FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (March 29)

By TV.com Staff

Mar 29, 2014

There were a surprisingly large amount of season finales this week and even a few cancellations (Mind GamesEnlisted, and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland), which is a reminder to us all that life is a fragile, finite thing. Before we wrap up the best and worst of the television week, please observe a moment of silence for your March Madness bracket, that two-month-old tub of sour cream in your fridge, and oversized sunglasses. [silence for a moment] *sniff* And now let's take a look at this week's highs and lows of the last seven days on the small screen! 


Teen Wolf nails its best run yet

We already knew that Teen Wolf is the Platonic Ideal of a teen supernatural thriller, but it's also possibly the greatest TV show of all time apparently? This fourth batch of episodes proved that it's not only at the top of its game creatively, it's willing to take huge risks in order to freak us out and keep us thrilled. The Japanese mythology brought an unexpectedly fresh spin on the usual supernatural tropes (not to mention a thoughtful handling of the under-acknowledged Japanese-American internment camp tragedy) and the Nogitsune's stint inside Stiles' brain made for a terrifying villain simultaneously familiar and unknowable. And then came the tragedy. Allison Argent's death crystallized just how strong the love interest archetype can be and not only promises to have an impact on the characters moving forward but will make our ability to rewatch previous seasons downright impossible. Too sad! At this point it'll be hard for Season 4 to stack up (and its sheer number of new characters will give it a definite reboot feel), so it's important to acknowledge what's we've just seen: A Golden Era series experiencing a golden era of its own.


There really was a ring bear at Robin and Barney's wedding on HIMYM

AND IT WAS ADORABLE. Our only regret is that we didn't get to see the flower girl-iilla.


Justified's exploding cigarettes

After a season of everything going wrong, something finally went right for Boyd in "The Toll" when he rigged a box of smokes to blow up in Mr. Picker's lap. The result was one of Justified's most graphic deaths, and one of Mr. Crowder's most direct quips. What's more, the episode gave Justified the most direction it's had all season. [Thanks for the .GIFs, Vicky!]


Glee gracefully bows out of Ohio

There was no last-minute save in the cards for McKinley High's New Directions; the glee club officially disbanded this week due to lack of funding, and from here on out, Glee will embrace its New York state of mind on a full-time basis. It's been a bumpy road, but with the aptly titled "New Directions," the series let bid Lima goodbye with class, sincerity, and a lot of hope for a better, brighter future. Also: Brittany's back!


Misha Collins' directorial debut on Supernatural

“Mother’s Little Helper” saw the return of Grandpa Winchester (HI HENRY! HI!) and the extent of Abaddon’s evil machinations revealed. Sam took her soul-army-in-progress rather personally and Dean struggled with wanting to slaughter all the things, all while Collins' sharp directing decisions made the whole episode feel vintage creepy in a great way.


The Americans serves up more Martha and a particularly elite wig

While Philip spy-sat a Mossad agent, Clark's sister "Jennifer" visited Martha for a little white wine-soaked damage control, trotting out a contender for The Americans' best wig to date. A dash of "church lady" and a pinch of of Thelma Mae Harper helped Elizabeth disguise herself for an evening of learning a little too much about her husband's talents in the sack. It was a funny thread that provided just enough emotional disruption to Elizabeth's world, planting seeds of possible marital discord in an already tense relationship and adding some humor to what was ultimately a very heavy episode.


Suits breaks Louis's heart... twice

Louis gets shafted a lot on Suits. He's not cool or classy. He's not one of the popular kids. He's just a brilliant lawyer who wants to be a good human being, but it seems like he never quite gets there (for any extended period of time, at least). A heart attack in court landed Louis in the hospital and forced the staff at Pearson-Specter to examine their relationship with him, then forced Louis examine it right back. What could have been hokey and forced ended up being a loving homage to the most under appreciated partner at the firm... except for the unfortunate end to Louis's quickie engagement to Sheila. We're so not okay with their split, but "Heartburn" was a great episode nonetheless.


HBO swings for the fences, submits True Detective to the Emmys' drama races

We all assumed that HBO would follow FX's lead with American Horror Story and enter Hart and Cohle's adventure as a miniseries, but the network had other plans. True Detective will instead compete as a drama, pitting it against Breaking Bad's final season, Mad MenHouse of Cards, and so many more great shows. And while the news was initially met with some confusion—True Detective would've cleaned up as a miniseries—we think it makes sense. HBO hasn't won many Emmys in the prestigious drama categories recently, and True Detective, complete with the McConaughey comeback narrative, is the channel's best chance to win one in years (sorry, Game of Thrones).


Show title notwithstanding, Bar Rescue refuses to rescue a sh*thole bar

A typical episode of the reality series yields bartenders who get drunk while on the job, owners who think their place of business is a frat house, employees who barely show up to work on time, and lots of B.S.-ing. And what we got this past Sunday was a mixture of all that, plus a big helping of assault, a first in the show's history. The owner of "The O Face Bar" (yeah, classy) in Council Bluffs, Iowa assaulted one of his employees, then fired another for getting beat up by his manager. So when host Jon Taffer decided to walk away, we couldn't help but raise our glass in a toast, but also pour one out for the show's "51 successfully rescued bars" winning streak.


Another New Girl couple calls its quits

True American giveth, and True American taketh away. Jess and Nick’s break-up isn’t really a full-on WTF, because it's not a bad move for the story New Girl has going on; the show has been uneven at best in Season 3, and it we're open to whatever a return to a pre-"Cooler" state might hold. Plus, from a pesky realistic point of view, the S.S. Nessy had sprung a few leaks that were probably destined to take it down eventually. With that said: We’re still pretty sad about it. 


ABC stops playing Mind Games

Mind Games said an involuntary goodbye this week after only five low-rated episodes, making it Kyle Killen's third show to not survive beyond a season (the first two being Lone Star and Awake). However, it's also Killen's third show that's been better than most things on network television. So while we're sad Mind Games is gone, we're hoping its axing will be the impetus for Killen to move to cable, where he belongs. 


Beverly learned the truth about Hannibal and it got her killed

Bryan Fuller has been teasing an early-in-the-season character death for a while now, and pretty much as soon as Beverly agreed to take a closer look at the evidence against Will and further investigate the muralist, we figured she was doomed. We hoped it wasn't true because we liked Beverly; she was wry without being too silly (that job belongs to Brian and Jimmy), and a smart and bold, albeit reluctant, ally for Will in his time of need. But after discovering Hannibal's basement of horrors, she was caught and killed at the end of last week's episode, and this week she was the star of one of Hannibal's trademark murder art scenes. We're still recovering.


The Good Wife goes bang with a gun instead of a gavel

We knew Will Gardner wasn't long for The Good Wife, what with Josh Charles' contract ending and Lockhart-Gardner expanding to new cities. But we certainly didn't expect that instead of shuffling him off to another geographical locale, the show would shuffle him off this mortal coil in an out-of-left-field courtroom murder. It was shocking in that no one saw it coming and shocking because such violence is SO not The Good Wife's standard M.O. It was heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and sob-inducing. And, yes, like with Beverly on Hannibal, we're still recovering.


The Fosters' season finale almost buried us with all that drama!

Shows about angsty teens and their parents are predisposed to melodrama, but The Fosters laid it on a a little thick as it wrapped up its first season. Where should we start? Maybe with Timothy deciding that he didn't want to surrender his parental rights as a donor, but, whoops, Lena is pregnant with his baby. Need more? Brandon and Dani had sex. Not enough? How about Zack's mom having early onset Alzheimer's? Still not enough? FINE. It turns out that Jude's dad isn't Callie's dad, SO CALLIE CAN'T GET ADOPTED BY STEF AND LENA. Good grief, show. Tack on Brandon getting his hand smashed in a car door by a vengeful Vico just as he was accepted into a youth orchestra and "Adoption Day" was a histrionic sundae with too many toppings. Thank goodness we had the breathers of Jude questioning his sexual orientation and Jesus deciding to pull back on his ADHD meds so he date Emma.


Helix's finishes its first season with the bad kind of WTF

Syfy's festival of insanity has always been teetering on the verge of being just plain bad, and the sci-fi show's inaugural finale seemed like it couldn't wait to be done with its first season with a whopper of a goodbye. In the penultimate scene, someone learned she was pregnant, a severed head was tossed into a helicopter, a woman was murdered because she called someone by their first name, and the entire set of the first season was blown up. And it looks like the cliffhanger moved the show to France for Season 2. The good news out of all this is that Syfy renewed the show for a second season, meaning the writers at least have a chance to explain all these decisions. 


The 100 pulled a Monty Python in terms of believability

Monty Python's Black Knight was obviously ridiculous and played for laughs, but The 100 apparently thinks we're idiots who don't understand the vast differences between a flesh wound and a GAPING HOLE IN A CHEST. After taking a pointy stick in the midsection in the pilot, we thought it was curtains for Jasper. But The 100 had different ideas.


Television Without Pity gets shuttered with zero pity

The venerable TV recap site is one of the forebears of the modern TV recap phenomenon, and it's being shutdown next week by its parent company NBC Universal. But to rub salt and lemon juice and angry piranhas into our wounds, NBCU isn't even keeping the archives—a wealth of television history—online. That's just criminal. Someone grab all the recaps and post them to a mirror site! 

What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week? Arrow's "Birds of Prey"? The debut of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge on Syfy? A Survivor contestant quitting for the first time in the show's history? Share your own list in the comments!

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  • coutterhill Mar 31, 2014

    FTW: They broke up on the New Girl? Maybe I'll start watching again.
    FTW: Does this mean Glee is done? Or are they moving to New York, then it's WTF.

  • gizma1982 Mar 31, 2014

    To me, Heliz finales was a FTW ! I loved it. And yes, the biggest WTF was Beverly's death.

  • Whedonrules Mar 31, 2014

    FTW: 'Psych' - one of the greatest comedies of the past decade goes out with a wonderful and completely satisfying series finale and it doesn't make the list...?...?....? Oh that's right, it never did. Also FTW: A completely sad yet completely watchable Post Series conversation with (almost) the entire cast (only one missing was Sage.) If you weren't in tears during the conversation with Jim, Dule, Maggie, Corbin, Kirsten, and Kurt then you weren't a 'Psycho'. Most awesome part was Jimmi Simpson's surprise appearance -WE LOVE YOU MARY! - to hand over the award for his partner in crime Ally Sheedy who won the fan contest for best appearance on 'Psych' by a cast member of 'Breakfast Club'. Also can give the post show a WTF/FTW when the host tried to get the cast to cheer for his announcement that the next show on was the dumb reality show ' Chrisley (.sp) Knows Best' none of the cast acknowledged the announcement and Maggie Lawson shot him a 'WTF is that?' look. THAT IS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE WATCHING WAS THINKING AS WELL MAGGIE! Well USA and NBC Universal, you've killed every show on this USA network that made it a destination now all you have left is excrement. Have fun sinking into oblivion with the garbage you have left and joining the NBC mothership in the gutter. USA AND NBC UNVERSAL IN GENERAL CAN SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK IT!

    FTW: 'Reign' - At the end of this week's episode Sebastian 'Bash' (Torrence Coombs) and Kenna (Caitlin Stasey) were married by a barefooted syphilis ridden King Henry (Alan Van Sprang) and it wasn't spoiled - at all - until it happened! This is the best show, best new cast assembled on all of television this season, and the best show this network has ever had. (This show is starting to make the glacially moving 'Game of Thrones' look like a Knitting-Bee.) LONG MAY SHE 'REIGN'!

    FTW: 'Shameless' is the BEST SHOW AIRING ON SUNDAY NIGHTS. It is putting on its best season ever - getting its best ratings in its four years - and should be on this list every week. Thanks show for letting Lip start to forgive Fiona! Family dramas are a dying breed, good to see the best one left (Don't watch 'Parenthood', I liked the original too much and don't trust NBC) is still going strong.

    FTW: 'Legit' - put out one of its most solid outings with greatness from the entire ensemble. So much funny over recovering Billy's wheelchair my sides hurt. I just want Mindy Sterling and John Ratzenburgers' characters (Billy and Steve's parents) to make up already because they are great together. One of the single funniest half hours of television of this season. Awesome when funny people that have been around forever DJ Qualls, Dan Bakkedahl, Mindy Sterling, John Ratzenburger come together with a talent like Jim Jefferies at the right time in the right roles and the result is something wonderful, intelligent, and very funny to watch.

  • harpier Mar 31, 2014

    FTW: Hannibal. I'm moderately devastated that Beverly had to die, but I love that Hannibal would do it to me. And her murder scene was emotionally brutal and oddly beautiful, Hannibal all over. Will's moment saying goodbye after being briefly liberated from his straight jacket and muzzle was just the icing on a very sad cake.

  • Bloodangel Mar 31, 2014

    The New Girl episode was a WTF moment as it came out of nowhere
    And I don't watch it but the Series Finale of Psych should have been mentioned

  • patrickmcnama Mar 31, 2014

    The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine already has snapshots of "Television Without Pity"'s site.

  • IndianaMom Mar 31, 2014

    FTW: Late Night with Seth Meyers' Kathie Lee and Hoda intervention was hilarious.

  • epdochat Mar 31, 2014

    FTW: Sue and Darrin getting back together on The Middle.

  • Kerkesh Mar 30, 2014

    TW is not the best TV show of all time, but this finale was excellent. True Detective deserves a chance at the drama series at the Emmys and Psych will be missed.

  • Baiken Mar 30, 2014

    " It was shocking in that no one saw it coming and shocking because such violence is SO not The Good Wife's standard"

    It's all GAME OF THRONES's Fault...

    Bad influence ...

  • agarres Mar 30, 2014

    nah - if it was game of thrones influence he would have been beheaded with a sword or (spoiler alert) shot with a crossbow

  • Baiken Mar 31, 2014

    lol ^^

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