Wilfred is winding down and The Leftovers is heating up. Plus, the series premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick reminds us that TV ain’t what it used to be—it’s getting bigger, and it’s getting better. These are our picks for the five epic TV scenes that had you all in your feelings during the week of August 3.
1. Wilfred: When Dogs Cry
The shift starts with perhaps the most heartbreaking scene of the entire series (and that’s saying a lot). Wilfred decides to give up Bear to another dog, but not before wishing it a fond, heartfelt farewell. The absurdity of the Bear/Wilfred relationship has always largely been played for laughs, so the sincerity of the moment really catches you off guard. The fact that it lands so well is a testament to the strong writing and fantastic performance from Jason Gann.—Mark Rozeman (Read the full review here.)
2. The Strain: TMI
“It’s Not Everyone” picks up right after “Gone Smooth,” with Ephraim having just bashed in the freshly-vampiric pilot’s head. The CDC team immediately begins an autopsy giving us the ins (the circulatory system is completely different from a human) and outs (even more lost genitalia) of the vampires. Around the moment when they pull out the vampire creature’s yard long stinger tongue, I was already at the point of knowing far more about these beasts than I cared to.—Ross Bonaime (Read the full review here.)
3. Halt & Catch Fire: Cameron: 1, Joe: 0
The scene suddenly becomes a lot more memorable when it comes to Cameron’s response to Joe’s proposition. In a brief monologue, she proceeds to systematically deconstruct the flaws in Joe’s personality, flaws that many critics covering the show have been pointing out for months.
“I loved you because you recited my own ideas back to me and pretended they were your own,” Cameron says. “You’re still exactly what you were the day your mom let you fall off that roof: just a sad little boy with a lot of wasted potential.”
Harsh? Maybe. But damn it if it doesn’t feel good to hear someone articulate it.—Mark Rozeman (Read the full review here.)
4. The Leftovers: A Strange Ritual
As the episode opens, [Nora] is buying groceries for a family, boxes of sugary cereal and Nesquik. It’s all to replace the same batch of stuff she already has in her cupboards and fridge. Though she never says it, perhaps she’s still hoping that the kids will just reappear the same way that they blinked out of existence. Then she hires a call girl. Not for sex, but so that the sex worker will shoot Nora in the chest (she’s wearing a bulletproof vest). Is this a William Tell act, or an effort to find someone to miss and put Nora out of her obvious misery? Whatever the answer, it’s difficult to watch. Read more here.—Robert Ham (Read the full review here.)
5. The Knick: The Doctor’s In
When we first get a full glimpse of Owen’s character Dr. John Thackery, he’s stumbling out of an opium den, bowler hat on his head and sunglasses shading his eyes. He looks like some turn-of-the-century rock star, with attitude to spare. He tersely directs a cabbie to take the long way to the show’s titular hospital where he presides as assistant chief of surgery. This gives him ample time to inject himself between the toes with a cocaine solution. The movements of Owen and the camera are fluid and economical, not wasting a beat and filling the scene with a sense of impending tragedy.—Robert Ham (Read the full review here.)
The new week starts with tonight’s shows! Tweet us if something epic happens!
Shannon M. Houston is Assistant TV Editor at Paste, and a New York-based freelance writer with probably more babies than you. You can follow her on Twitter.
Hilary Hughes is a professional Music/TV/Pop Culture word nerd. In addition to geeking out over any given sitcom and rock star at Paste, she’s also a music critic at The Village Voice, the music correspondent for Esquire.com and a recovering Real Housewives addict at Bravotv.com. Follow her at your own risk at @hilmonstah.