Talk about feelings upon feelings. I have to confess that I didn’t even catch some of these episodes, but the expressions of our TV writers have me a little verklempt this Sunday evening. Now, you know it’s a damn good scene, when just reading about it has you all emotional, and fighting back tears whilst editing on your laptop. And, in case you missed it, Better Call Saul had an excellent premiere, and we recommend catching up immediately. Here are our top five picks for the week of February 8, 2015.
1. The Walking Dead: One Last Escape
The best part of the episode to me was seeing the rescue attempt from the dreamy perspective of Tyreese. Rick, Glen, Noah and Michonne are panicked, but the camera makes the journey seem tranquil. He’s spent the episode coming to terms with how he lived his life. He lived it well. He knows who he is, and no hallucinatory Governor or Martin can take away the good that he did. He didn’t turn away from the hurt around him, though he was sorely tempted time and again. He fought until the end, and when he could no longer fight, he made peace. We’ve seen so much pain in the show lately, from Maggie grieving Beth to Noah grieving his family to Sasha grieving Tyreese at the end. The suffering of this apocalyptic world is what Tyreese is finally escaping, and that makes it a little easier for viewers to deal with such a loss.—Josh Jackson
2. Girls: Damn You, Gillian Jacobs
Hannah just opened her own apartment door to be greeted by this… Mimi-Rose… girl. And I can’t even hate this Mimi-Rose, because she’s Gillian Jacobs. But Mimi-Rose just Britta’d Hannah and Adam’s relationship!
Hannah’s situation sucks to watch because no party’s done anything wrong. The two parted on amicable terms. They decided to turn the other way when it came to hook-ups. As far as their love went, they’d make no plans and let fate decide. Hannah had to pursue her dream, watching Adam pursue his wasn’t stimulating, so they parted on what love advice columnist Dan Savage would probably call “fairly healthy terms.” So much was left in the air that, one might hold out hope that the two could come back fully formed and perfect for each other at the end of grad school.
But this is Girls. Its mission statement is to be a realistic portrait of millennials in New York. A long-term situation like this for Hannah and Adam would have been a fairy tale. Hannah and Adam’s relationship had to dissolve over this situation, like it had to dissolve every other time. It had to happen. Right!?—Tyler Kane
3. Agent Carter: These Agents Ain’t Loyal
So Sousa and Peggy have connected over the experience of being shunned by their peers, which makes that alleyway moment rather tragic. We can see the struggle of uncertainty play out across Gjokaj’s face in full. Is he more loyal to the SSR than to Peggy? Can he really turn in this person he very obviously cares about? The answer is first “no,” but ultimately “yes,” when Dottie takes Peggy out at the Griffith; more the sucker Peggy for falling for her own trick, though in her defense nobody might reasonably expect Iowa to lock lips with her, even in the best of moments. The rift between Sousa and Peggy threatens to grow greater next week, but there’s great drama in seeing our favorite member of the SSR after Peggy decide where his priorities lie. —Andy Crump
4. Portlandia: High Fashion
One scene starts off promisingly with the always hilarious Kumail Nanjiani as a salesman at an upscale clothing boutique. Carrie says she’s interested in buying new jeans, but is quickly corrected by Nanjiani, who steals the episode with this line: “If you want jeans there’s an OshKosh B’gosh around the corner.” He then shows Fred and Carrie the care of raw denim, which should never be washed. He wraps a napkin around his index finger to “just wipe” the denim. The education process, he says, is “like teaching a lizard… how to cover a Foo Fighters song.” Nanjiani’s dry delivery is key in making that nonsensical statement amazingly funny.—Christine Ziemba
5. Better Call Saul: Someone Who Cares
Can we just talk about the silent montage where James is sitting with the trashy-pretty girl at the bar but he can’t take his mind off the two skaters’ broken legs? That one scene says so much about who this guy is—much more than we ever got in Breaking Bad. He cares, Shane. He’s slimy, but he honestly cares. Along with his performance in the desert and the montage at the court, we learn that he actually enjoys using his silver tongue to help his clients, even when they’re stupid punks who turned on him twice—first trying to cut him out of the hit-and-run money then in the garage when he starts cutting them free. He talks them, as he puts it, “from a death sentence down to six months probation.” And still, he can’t bear the thought that he didn’t get them off clean—every breaking of a breadstick brings back the crack of a leg. He’ll probably betray his conscience dozens of times during the course of this first season, but we now know how heavy it’ll weigh.—Josh Jackson
Shannon M. Houston is Assistant TV Editor & a film critic at Paste, and a writer for Pink is the New Blog and Heart&Soul. This New York-based freelancer probably has more babies than you, but that’s okay; you can still be friends. She welcomes all follows (and un-follows) on Twitter.