The Walking Dead – A-
Another mentally taxing episode with everything but the kitchen sink and Negan, “Twice as Far” delivers a rueful Daryl, a contemplative Carol, Abraham and Rosita sulking in their own way, a defiant anatomy-chomping Eugene, and the left-field death of one of the show’s most nuanced and likable characters. It’s an episode of unlikely badasses traveling beyond the safety of the wall, as Dr. Denise takes Rosita and Daryl on a mission to raid a pharmacy she sighted, and Eugene reveals his munitions plan to Abraham before seemingly destroying their friendship over a botching of “dibs” protocol. The two stories unite in a hail of Savior-borne arrows that end Denise’s life mid-revelation and leads to Eugene proving his earlier declaration to Abe that he’s a “survivor” when his distraction gambit is to bite down hard on Savior Dwight’s manhood. It works and the supposedly invincible Savior army is beginning to look more like the 1962 Mets as the body count is something like 42-1 Alexandrians over Saviors. Merrit Wever gave her usual darkly enthusiastic performance on her way out, and Carol, Rosita, and even Dwight himself pretty much agree, yes, Daryl, you probably should have killed Dwight when you had the chance. That being said, Carol has gone nearly full-Morgan and is Kung Fu-ing out the Alexandria gates as the housewife-turned-fiercest-warrior has grown weary of all the murder. It’s a bit of an unearned manipulation and cheat on the show’s part to likely set the pieces up for a grand finale in two weeks, but it’s more interesting than her sitting around, skulking at Morgan, sipping tea with Tobin, and following Rick’s lead.
– Jason Thurston
Madam Secretary – A
There’s an international issue because a mine in Andes is on the wrong side of the environment and its people. Elizabeth has bigger things to do, like visit college campuses with he daughter, who just once, wants to be an anonymous teen. Russell, the Chief of staff, makes Elizabeth apologize to Chile and protesting college students, which goes to show that even the most powerful woman in America has to kowtow to jerks. Henry, who is investigating a Libyan woman trying to become a citizen, walks into a meeting with Russell and calls the shots. This is more subtle than it seems, which is the point. Whatever happens with Henry is resolved–the storyline is so quiet, so weak, that it’s drowned by Elizabeth shaming a student out of a lawsuit (the show’s equivalent of “Ha ha I made you eat your parents”), saving a native person who nearly dies in an avalanche, and inadvertently directing the Chilean government to mine a different, protected mountain. Win some, lose some.
– Katherine M. Hill
The Good Wife – A-
TGW opened with a montage, following the life of a young, Black girl, whose father (Blair Underwood) records the significant moments of her life–which tragically ends when she’s shot through the throat after prom over a glass of chocolate milk. This was some CSI shit, and TGW’s position on gun violence is clear (and appreciated). The father buys an ad, blaming the gunstore, Gloria’s, for the murder; Gloria’s is responsible for 3,000 deaths in Chicago, which the owner blames on the “bad neighborhood.” (Maybe the writers went a little too hard on that.) Blair Underwood is a standard fill-in on network shows, but he’s really good here, not at unlike Zachary Galifankis in “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story,” which begs the question, Man, you doing OK off set? Ultimately the law is not on his side for either of his two trials prosecuted by Diane and Cary, but the judge sees fit to fine him a dime a day the defamatory billboard stays up. It was a pretty good case, saving the show from Diane’s bullshit power plays, Cary’s sniveling, and Alicia pretending that she’s fine with Jason snogging other women.
– Katherine M. Hill