Before I move on to this week, I need to squeal for a moment over last Friday. Fringe and Friday Night Lights! The return of FNL makes me bounce in my chair. Oh show, I’ve missed you so much! It’s sad that this will be the last season, but I’m so glad we got 5. And the first episode of this final season did not disappoint, we got to spend some time with Landry and Julie (and Grandma Saracen!) before they head off to college. Coach’s nostalgia echoes what it feels like to see all these people go through all these changes. I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds until we reach the very final episode.
Over on Fringe, we were treated to a crazy new episode — crazy awesome that is. Everyone (save Astrid) gets high and enters Olivia’s mind to find her so they can get Bell out. Broyles accidentally gets high handling the tray that the LSD-laced sugar cubes were on. Olivia’s mind world was very Matrix-y and apparently animated? And that’s before the zombie scientists and dirigible ride. I’m going to miss Bellivia though.
Now, on to this week! On How I Met Your Mother, Barney is trying to reconnect with his father who he thinks is “anti-awesometic.” His plan is to bust his dad out of the suburbs and give him the best night ever, so he invents new “improved” personalities for Ted, Robin, Lily and Marshall. Love the NY club names, (think meaningless single words in an attempt to be edgy) and the Who’s On First tribute “Not Ok, Ok is Lame. GAY BAR!” After embarrassing Barney by acting like a crazy drunk person (which Barney did not mind), Jerry admitted that it was a ruse to show him he couldn’t party forever. It seems that Barney has taken this lesson to heart. However, it seems like many shows have character growth only to have the character revert to their old ways whenever they need. Other things I liked: Lily and Marshall’s open marriage as made up by Barney, Robin and her crush, the cast doing the opening credits and the line “Get off the field at the Superdome, cause you ain’t no Saint!” I am totally using that!
Tuesday was an embarrassment of riches. Starting with Raising Hope: was that Jerry Van Dyke of Coach fame as Memaw’s gentleman suitor? Memaw met a man in Shelley’s elder care/day care and attempted to have an affair behind her dead husband’s back. Burt didn’t seem to be bothered, his father being dead and all, but Virginia pointed out that if you think you’re cheating, you are. His nonchalance lead her to believe he might fool around if given the chance. He pretty quickly passed the test and the two had a sweet, if bizarre, moment where Burt swore he would have her stuffed, so they could still snuggle. Poor Jimmy had his heart crushed by Sabrina (played by Shannon Woodward, who is a sorely underappreciated young actress — check her out in The Riches sometime). After trying to break up Sabrina and Wyatt, he learns that their Halloween kiss meant nothing to her. He takes Memaw’s advice to move on with Zoe, who apparently has the kind of nose guys go for, and he takes her to a Pancake show, where they run into Sabrina (who he tells Sabrina is just his cough friend cough). I’m pretty sure we’ll see Zoe again. She had great interaction with Virginia when Virginia brought Memaw over for her “booty call” (Zoe is his granddaughter).
And the season finale of Parenthood happened Tuesday as well. I will never get over this cast. Man, can Lauren Graham cry. I think we need to have a cry-off between her, Allyson Hannigan and Mae Whitman (more on that later). At first I thought this episode was going to be all about denial. They cleared up the Will Amber Pull Through!?! Fairly early and, I think, to their credit because this was so much more than the Very Special Episode a lesser show would’ve turned it into. Amber was in complete denial about where she was headed. After assisting in the delivery of Sydney’s ex-teacher’s baby, Julia was in denial about wanting more kids, and Crosby was in denial about his chances with Jasmine after buying a house. Adam was not so much in denial as avoid-y about telling his family about his job loss, though both he and Christina were very much in denial about how much Haddie sleeping with their boyfriend bothers them. But then, to misquote Ranger’s coach Ron Washington, “this show does what it does; it do what it do.”
After visiting the ex-teacher in the hospital, Julia realizes that she was using the pain of labor to rationalize not wanting kids, when she really wants more. Crosby let go of Jasmine, and she at least agreed to make baby steps toward giving him a shot (I’m not convinced she’s ready to just get over it). Adam, after coming clean with Christina (who has some news of her own) about his job loss, and determined to find Max’s lost and VERY EXPENSIVE retainer, finds a positive pregnancy test in the trash and proceeds to flip out like a mammal, and lets loose about all his fears about Haddie and Alex. Turns out, though, it’s Christina’s — we’re getting another Braverman! I’m sure next season we’ll see some tension between Julia and Christina over this.
Lastly, but most effectively, Papa Braverman takes Amber to see the car she was nearly killed in so that she will understand how serious it was, and to let her know she can’t just check out anymore. She gets this, but it’s not until Sarah’s play, where she sees her family, watches her mom’s life played out on the stage, and sees how much everyone is enjoying it that she truly gets what she nearly lost. And here, if you didn’t watch Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman act and cry the heck out of the scene where they tell each other their hopes and fears and how much they love each other and bawl your own eyes out, you have no soul. See you next season, Parenthood!
Finally, there was a new Glee on Tuesday. The glee club was holding a Night of Neglect (don’t even get me started about this stupid theme) to benefit the glee club and the academic team (I keep wanting to say Academic Decathalon, but it wasn’t that). Sue and her Legion of Doom are still trying to sabotage Will and the club, and Sue sent in The Pink Dagger (Sandy) to wreak havoc on the benefit with his “Heckling Club.” However, he is bested by the awesomeness of Holly and the power of Aretha, and winds up funding the whole shebang. So that was the plot, but the best bits were the Amber/Rachel interaction, Santana being a complete badass and joining Kurt and Blaine in standing up to the homophobic bully, Dave and Holly and Will’s break up. I don’t say that last part because I hate Gwynnie or her character; I just thought it was a pretty classy way to go about that. I have to say, during Holly’s talk with the heckling club, I did wonder if some of that was directed toward Gwyneth Paltrow and Glee haters alike.
And then there was last night’s Justified. An awful lot happened after the last episode’s shootout and Boyd’s burgeoning criminal empire, so I’m just going to hit the highlights and then look at where we are. People have noticed that Raylan gets shot at. A lot. Gary in particular thinks Winona isn’t safe around him. Art sends everyone off with protection (Rachel with Gary and Winona and Tim with Raylan). Bless Art for this, because it gave us the Raylan and Tim show, which is something like the Road Runner crossed with The Fugitive. Raylan acknowledges up front that he will give Tim the slip, so it should come as no surprise when he does so to head off to the Bennett’s convenience store to see if they put the hit out on him. Speaking of the Bennetts, Dickie seems to have lost what little grasp on sanity he had and has a merry band of hillbillies out to out outlaw Boyd. Boyd, of course, will not be outdone, and robs (along with his cousin Johnny and masked Arlo!) what Dickie and his boys just robbed. After a chat with Helen, in which she is told it’s better not to know what your lovable criminal mastermind is up to, Ava tells Boyd she wants to know everything (It’s like she wasn’t even listening!) It turns out Gary put the hit on Raylan through Duffy, who is now going to take Gary out as well, so he takes off. Dickie figures out Arlo was with Boyd and heads over to exact some revenge. What he finds instead is Helen, and at the end, there’s a shotgun blast and a black screen. So, we have Raylan issuing death threats against Duffy, Ava up to her neck in everything she said she didn’t want to be involved in, Dickie crazier than ever, Boyd on his way to becoming his dad, and Shrodinger’s Helen. Next week, I think I’d like more Mags.