There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This round, You’re the Worst takes on mental illness, Scandal‘s renaissance continues, and The Leftovers proves it is possible to get even darker.
You’re the Worst at Its Best
Last week’s You’re the Worst revealed where Gretchen had been sneaking off to in the middle of the night (crying in her car); this week’s bottle episode revealed why: she’s chronically depressed. (Also revealed: Jimmy doesn’t know the expression “Hakuna matata” was popularized by The Lion King.) Writes TV editor Pilot Viruet: “Depicting depression — actual depression, not theatrical depression overplayed to an audience — is incredibly tricky to do on television. I’ve written about it before, in reference to how well BoJack Horseman portrayed multiple forms of depression in its second season. It looks like You’re The Worst is heading in that same direction (one more sophomore show and it’s a trend!) and is also doing a remarkable job.”
Olivia Comes Clean
Season five of Scandal has gotten credit for finally applying the series’ ridiculous pacing to its central conflict: the relationship between Olivia Pope and the President. Their affair is now public knowledge, and Thursday saw Liv essentially take herself on as a client, appearing on national television and offering her own spin on the “president cheating with his hot coworker narrative” (in Leo’s words, “a love story for the ages,” and one that emphasizes how accomplished Liv is in her own right). It’s a knockout moment for Kerry Washington, and a move in the right direction for Scandal.
Revenge of the Cults
The Leftovers saw the return of multiple characters who’ve yet to make a season two appearance this week. Laurie, we learn, has turned from die-hard cult member to die-hard cult recovery leader, and Tommy has been working as her man on the inside, infiltrating Guilty Remnant cells to find members who might be considering escape. But no one has an entrance more dramatic than Liv Tyler’s Meg, who sexually assaults Tommy after he’s discovered and taken prisoner, threatens to set him on fire, and orders him to tell his mother, and her former mentor, that “Meg says hi.” It doesn’t seem likely this will turn into yet another gratuitous HBO rape scene, either; co-creator Damon Lindelof has promised the Meg-Tommy story line will continue.
The Captain Rises Again
The return of Captain Holt to his home precinct was inevitable —network sitcoms aren’t in the habit of resetting their core premises — but this week, Brooklyn Nine-Nine carried it off in typically charming fashion. Jake and Holt crack the “Oolong Slayer” case (the serial killer gets his name from tea bags he leaves at the scene of the crime), and in exchange, Holt gets to replace the Vulture…and Gina gets to make an entrance with a giant confetti bomb. With the Captain back and Jake and Amy’s relationship secure, though, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is on the market for some long-term conflict.
Star Wars Episode X: Racist Trolls
It’s Trevor Noah’s first time in this roundup since his Daily Show debut last month. The segment that landed him here? His take on the Star Wars debacle that briefly took over Twitter when some users semi-seriously called for a boycott of the new film, since non-white male leads promote “white genocide.” Noah could have just stopped after “racists already have their own Star Wars movie,” but instead he makes time for a charming correspondent bit with Jordan Klepper.