“A Serena-Sharapova Tennis Match”
That’s how Regina King described the face-off between her character, Erika Murphy, and Carrie Coon’s Nora Durst in this week’s episode of The Leftovers. Following the disappearance of Erika’s daughter, exile of Nora’s brother, violent unraveling of both women’s partners, and Nora learning she might be responsible for the departures of both Evie Murphy and her own family, Erika and Nora duke it out via questionnaire, an exchange that’s a thousand times more heartbreaking than it sounds. “Lens” has to be seen to be believed, but suffice it to say the 2016 Emmy acting race is over before it even began.
Calling Out Colbert
Aziz Ansari has been doubling up on his Master of None promotion and his Hollywood diversity real talk, publishing an op-ed in the New York Times and adding his voice to the chorus of those criticizing CBS in general and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in particular for a preponderance of white dudes. Unlike most critics, however, Ansari got to call Colbert out in person, an awkward moment the host manages to take in stride. No word on whether that writers’ room is getting any less white or more female, though.
FARGO — “The Gift of the Magi” — Episode 205 (Airs November 9, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Bruce Campbell as Ronald Reagan. CR: Chris Large/FX
Reagan Rolls Through Luverne
Fargo has been pretty sparing with the period detail this season, a restraint that makes the sudden appearance of Bruce Campbell’s Ronald Reagan even more of a pleasant surprise. Campaigning in Minnesota as a presidential candidate in 1979, Reagan has a conversation with Lou Solverson in the men’s room (where all good heart-to-hearts take place) that’s both sad, as Lou vents about his wife’s illness, and subtly damning, as Reagan totally fails to deal with it in a real and human way. Combined with the fire at the butcher shop, the cameo made for the best episode of the season yet.
Emotions with Diaz and Holt
Brooklyn Nine-Nine does a great job of pairing off its characters in different combinations almost every episode, but it’s always a treat when the stone-faced Captain Holt and badass Rosa Diaz end up together. Both are practically allergic to expressing themselves, so the scenes where they strategize over how Rosa should break up with Holt’s nephew Marcus are predictably spectacular. It’s not a major milestone in the course of the show, but the scene above made me laugh harder than anything else this week.