After an exciting start with Golden Globe wins for Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez and Transparent, this week gave us some really strong episodes of television. Not all of them invoked a lot of emotion in me, but the ones that did, really did.
- Looking: It is so nice to have this show back. I would like Patrick to stop making terrible choices and leave Kevin once and for all and realize how incredible Richie is, but I recognize that will take some time. What I do always find interesting about him is his ability to live in denial. His whole sunny, boy-next-door demeanor is predicated by his belief that bad things aren’t happening (and he’s not doing them) if he just refuses to think about them. It fell apart in this episode and I was happy to see him confide in his friends about his affair with Kevin.
- Castle: I was concerned about what would happen to the show now that Castle was no longer working with the NYPD. The working relationship between Castle and Beckett has been part of the foundation of the show and has been shown as equally as valued to both of them as their romantic relationship. After seeing this week’s episode, I’m no longer concerned. With Castle continuing to be a P.I., I expect his path will cross with the NYPD at least occasionally and even if it doesn’t, he and Beckett can still discuss his cases over dinner and continue the theory-building dynamic I’ve loved from them. I was also thrilled by the more sexual overtones to this episode. Not because I need Castle and Beckett to constantly be having sex, but because this show always handles that aspect of their relationship so well. It’s part of their lives and it’s one that they enjoy and have fun with. It’s doesn’t seem to require Castle to use his previously-mentioned safeword of “apples” nor is it portrayed as a love-making scene out of a romance novel. It’s something that these two consenting adults who are in a loving relationship do for fun. The romance clearly didn’t die with these two after marriage and it’s nice to see that sort of relationship portrayed.
- Parks and Recreation: I missed this show so much. It’s a little bittersweet knowing that each episode leads us closer to the series finale but I’m certain that the final season will be just what I want from this show. Jon Hamm’s reappearance made me laugh (then promptly tear up because that was apparently the moment it hit me that there wouldn’t be any new episodes after next month) and Leslie finding her husband attractive in unusual ways will always make me smile. I am so ready to see Ron and Leslie find a way to overcome their ideological differences one last time and find a way to work together and forgive each other, because that’s what these two do. They may differ in nearly every single way but they are friends and respect the other, even if they don’t understand them. I am ready for April to find her path in life (especially as I am at the stage in my life that I’m doing the same thing) and for Andy and Ben to help her along the way. I’m ready for Tom to find the personal happiness he’s been searching for nearly as long as he’s wanted professional success. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Pawnee but I am ready to see what this show has in store for us.
- Chicago Fire: I am really looking forward to seeing Severide and Dawson work together to find the arsonist responsible for Shay’s death. She meant so much to both of them and Dawson still carries around so much guilt over her death, so I want to see the person responsible found. I always want both of these two characters to have more interaction and I hope this is their chance to form a strong friendship. They’ve always existed on the fringes of each other’s lives, bound by their relationships with Shay and Casey, and I’d like to see them find some common ground.
- Parenthood: This episode gave me two relationships to talk about. First, Hank and Sarah. Camille said it best – if Sarah loves Hank and he makes her happy, she should take the chance and marry him. He’s working on his issues and she’s hopefully working on some of hers too and so long as they continue to do so and continue to remember that love, they can be happy together. I love that it was Hank helping Amber assemble the crib that made Sarah realize just how much this man cares for her and her children. He was never asked for help but he did it because he wanted to. Just like he wanted to be at the hospital with the Bravermans last week. He’s gonna struggle with social cues and interpersonal relationships sometimes but he knows what he wants to be, and that’s a guy who shows up and supports the woman he loves in whatever way he knows how. The second relationship is my beloved Joel and Julia. This is a reunion that was a long time coming and I’m not embarrassed to admit that the kiss on the ice skating rink made me cry a lot. Julia has been the character I most identify with from episode one and her conversation with Joel reminded me just how much I love and relate to her. She’s strong and capable of doing a lot of things, but she’s human. She struggles and she fails sometimes. She fell apart and it didn’t make her easy to live with or connect with because it was so far from the woman Joel was used to seeing and interacting with. She fell apart and couldn’t handle the fact that she did and everything continued to spiral out of control. She needed Joel but wasn’t capable of asking for what she needed from him and he left. Of all the things that could destroy Julia, it’s the fact that the person she had hoped would always be there for her left just when she needed him the most. I’m glad she recognized her own failings in regards to the temporary dissolution of their marriage and I’m glad that he sees his own as well. It’s time for these two to be back together and to be a team again because that’s when they are both at their best.
What were your thoughts on TV this week?