It's springtime! Which means your March Madness bracket is already busted, your seasonal allergies have transformed your eyeballs into pink golf balls, and your sexy beach body will have to wait another year because of stubborn winter blubber. But on the bright side, all the sports-induced depression, sneezing, and self-loathing can be cured between now and the start of summer with a simple three-month TV binge to wipe away the blues. And TV is aware of this fact, because it's packed with great shows right now! The Americans! The Walking Dead! Teen Wolf! CNN's flight-mystery marathon! All this greatness means a FTW-heavy edition of this week's FTW vs. WTF, so check your negativity at the door, because here's what we liked and didn't like about the small screen this week...
The Walking Dead's daycare episode
The AMC zombie drama is always at its best when it depicts the difficult choices that its survivors must make to stay alive, and the choices just don't get any more difficult than the one that Carol and Tyreese were faced with in "The Grove." The episode covered some very, very dark ground, and not so coincidentally, it was one of the series' best episodes to date.
Space Dandy finally delivers an episode that's not immediately forgettable (despite being about forgetting things)
The anime series has been something of a dud, but last Saturday's "I'm Never Remembering You, Baby" (which we watched after press time, hence its inclusion in this week's list) demonstrated the show's real value as a venue for lesser-known voices to tell a sci-fi tale while riding on Shinichiro Watanabe's considerable coattails. Written by Toh EnJoe, the episode dealt with the ephemerality of knowledge while mixing up the show's animation style with an emphasis on charcoal drawings. We haven't seen anything quite as different-looking on TV in recent memory.
This super-fortunate Wheel of Fortune solve
Man, was that guy lucky or what?
Rick and Morty's inter-dimensional channel-surfing
Adult Swim's demented 'toon continues to be one of the weirdest surprises on television, and this week Rick rejiggered the cable box to access channels from every universe. That meant a trailer for Alien Invasion Tomato Monster Mexican Armada Brothers Who Are Just Regular Brothers Running in a Van from an Asteroid and All Sorts of Things The Movie, a show called Ball Fondlers that had little to do with either balls or fondling, a show about a dead old lady's cats who crawled into her corpse and starred in a romantic comedy, and the wackiest of all, a commercial for an appliance dealer who had ants in his eyes. What's more, the ending was legitimately emotional, as Jerry and Beth solved their marital problems with the help of the virtual reality headset that initially tore them apart. This show is good, guys.
We're STILL crying over Teen Wolf
The most powerful episodes of television stay with us long after the credits roll, and "Insatiable" was a doozy. Allison's death hit us harder than we ever thought it could, and even though her exit was as tragic as can be, the scene itself was a near masterpiece. Incredible, heart-wrenching stuff.
Finn finishes Billy's bucket list as Adventure Time wraps up an ambitious season
Adventure Time's fifth season was a wild and bold ride of universe expansion and character development. For all of its high-flying fantasy and kooky humor, the series somehow never forgot to treat each and every one of its characters—from Lemonhope to Ice King to BMO to Root Buy Guy to Finn—as individuals, and not just props for fun adventures. The finale saw Finn getting over his fear of the ocean "FOR BILLY!" and perhaps coming to grips with everything he'd been through: "I'm doing it." The episode also set up new stories as it highlighted the dangers of Finn's grass sword and left us with a startling piece of information that has us super-stoked: We only have to wait until April 21 for Season 6 to begin.
The Person of Interest Machine teaches Root an important lesson
The CBS series about saving people went one step further this week by saving someone who wasn't in any immediate danger. Root's mechanical way of thinking was challenged by her techno-God when the Machine presented her with a choice: Save a valuable computer chip, or save a man's life and see the value in finding redemption for past sins. Root passed the test, and even though it may mean the onset of World War Machine, her computer-box lord was pleased.
The triumphant return of Justified's Dickie Bennett
It sure was fun to see the crazy coiffed hick again, even if his visit was a bit short, if for no other reason than to hear him utter this gem to Raylan:
Go to a Gas n' Go or whatever and get yourself a map of Kentucky. Follow Route 9 Southbound all the way down with your finger, follow it way, way down until you're pointing right at your asshole. Then what you're gonna do is you take your hand and just go ahead and cram it right up inside, you gotta make sure, Raylan, that you do it in a way so that the rest of you just keeps on following your hand right up your ass right up inside all that shit that you're so full of, Raylan. And then what you're gonna do is *whistling noise* just wink out of existence forever.
Don't ever change, Dickie!
The 100's series premiere was all like, "Jasper? More like Jas-spear!"
The CW's promising new sci-fi drama capped off its pilot by putting a long, skinny, and sharp surprise through the chest of one of its main (or so we thought!) characters! Teens getting impaled in nuclear wastelands is cool; we've got high hopes for this show.
Crowley + candy 4-eva
Forget the bizarro Snooki cameo; the most memorable part of this week's Supernatural was watching the King of Hell try to steal candy from a vending machine. We love it when Crowley's humanity peeks through, and what's more human than a desperate craving for a Snickers?
Diggle finally gets his due
We've been complaining about Diggle's recent benchwarmer status on Arrow for awhile now, so this week's "Suicide Squad," which delved into his backstory and allowed him to shine in the main storyline, was a welcome reprieve as the Ollie vs. Slade drama took a backseat this week. Now just keep it up, show!
HIMYM's one-shot recap
Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are more dedicated to tying up How I Met Your Mother's loose ends than
any showrunners in recent memory, and even though it probably wasn't
necessary to find out that BlahBlah's name was actually Carol, Ted's rapid-fire explanation of what happened to several former
guest stars—including Scooter, Sandy Rivers, Ranjit, Patrice, William
Zabka, and the aforementioned BlahBlah—was both funny and sweet. It was
also a fun way to bring back as many people as possible in a way that
felt organic to the series.
Pretty Little Liars' Season 4 finale hands out some answers but doesn't unmask A; fans are ready to riot in the streets
With the first dead, then missing, and now re-emerged Alison is back in town, the Liars jumped at the chance to sit her down and let her spill about everything that happened on that fateful night that ruined all their lives so many seasons ago. She mostly confirmed things we already suspected, but she also provided a timeline for them and shed a fair amount of light on the dark corners of Rosewood. Yet, since the show didn't unmask A, the more impatient fans tossed up their hands in surrender, shouted "HOW DARE," and threatened to walk away. We'll see them all right back with the rest of us in June.
Oh, also Ezra was shot, setting up what's sure to be the reunification of #Ezria, which will never be okay, not now, not ever. A "victory" for amateur stalkers everywhere.
The Blacklist finally tells the truth about Tom Keen
He's a killing machine! A ridiculous killing machine. We're thrilled that his story appears to finally be going somewhere, even though the execution of the big reveal was pretty absurd (LOL at that mysterious box of passports of cash from the pilot being his "go-bag"). And we'll miss you, Cowboy! But not you, Jolene.
Helix set up its finale with family issues instead of blood
Syfy's weekly hour of madness took a breather in its penultimate Season 1 episode by putting all its characters in self-conducted therapy as they worked through their family issues. That wouldn't be a problem for a regular show, but we all watch Helix for its craziness, not its family tree and soapdish antics. Thank goodness at least one person had their head explode.
The media's obsession with when Game of Thrones will end
We all know that the TV series is being produced faster than the books and that HBO has a problem on its hands. But come on, that problem is YEARS away and Season 4, which debuts April 6, will focus primarily on the second half of the third book. There's still plenty of time to work things out, so let's all stop freaking out and just enjoy what's coming. Too many of us sound like those A-holes who keep badgering George R.R. Martin about how fast he's writing.
Sometimes it really sucks to be a kid... especially on Parenthood
Hang in there, Max and Victor. Our hearts just about broke for you guys this week; just try to remember that It's not you guys, it's everybody else. We're going to choose to look at the two boys' respective situations through FTW-colored glasses: Max Burkholder's performance in the car was amazing, and possibly even Emmy-worthy.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week? Alec Baldwin's visit to SVU? Community's latest game of D&D? Beverly's decision-making on Hannibal? Add your own items in the comments!