Abortion Economics with Boo
By the grace of Netflix, Orange Is the New Black‘s third season came online six hours ahead of schedule, giving fans plenty of time to absorb its stellar premiere episode. Like last season’s Valentine’s Day celebration, it’s centered around an emotional holiday: Mother’s Day. Though watching the inmates interact with their children offered plenty of tearjerkers, the most powerful moment passed between two childless women, Big Boo and Pennsatucky, as the former helps the latter ease her guilt over her five abortions through the power of Freakonomics. While dressed like a clown. The best bittersweet dramedy around is back!
Dragon Ex Machina
The penultimate episode of the season tends to be where Game of Thrones puts its showstoppers (Ned Stark’s death, the Battle of the Blackwater, the Red Wedding), and Sunday’s was no exception. While Drogon’s nick-of-time arrival to the fighting pits wasn’t quite enough to erase the memory of Stannis’s brutal child sacrifice, it’s the sort of thrilling payoff Thrones doesn’t exactly hand out like candy. So it’s all the more thrilling when we get a visual like Dany riding on a goddamn dragon into the sunset.
Dead Dad Blues
Lifetime’s UnREAL debuted last week, but its second episode showed how truly dark this show is willing to go. Tasked with crafting one of her Bachelor-esque reality show’s contestants into a convincing villain, producer Rachel effectively refuses to let one woman leave the show when her father dies of a heart attack…then edits her ensuing freakout into what reads onscreen as an unprompted meltdown. The worst part? Rachel sabotages a woman’s reputation with her own grief to buy back a laptop whose contents might embarrass her ex…then gets the money too late, hurting both him and the competitor. Reality TV’s rough.
Hannibal is a show filled to the brim with grotesquerie, but this week’s “Primavera” gives us one of its most indelible images to date. In a trance, Will Graham watches the impaled bundle of flesh Hannibal Lecter’s left for him in a church unravel: the limbs reveal themselves, elongate, grow horns, and slowly advance on a horrified Will. The stag is a recurring visual motif on the show, a stand-in for Hannibal’s terrifying, amorphous influence. Watching it take shape in a new form, complete with sickening bone cracks, is one of Hannibal‘s sicker pleasures.
Presenting the McKinney Bikini
Predictably, The Daily Show turned to “Senior Texas Aquatics Correspondent” Jessica Williams for its take on this week’s high-profile example of police misconduct. Williams trotted out her “McKinney Bikini,” a combination of swimsuit and full-coverage body armor, for her outing to the Texas suburb…and managed to make it out of there without being pinned to the ground by a cop.