This week, our top performer of the year so far took his last bow as his series wrapped. We also fell in love with Jane The Virgin, and still are not impressed with Rise.
Check out our picks for this week’s TV Reels Feels!
Bec: What’s good, China Anne McClain? I can tell you. You totally are. This week as Jennifer Pierce grapples with her own powers emerging on Black Lightning, fans really got to see this actress let loose in the best way. Her heartbreaking speech to her mother about her desire to have a normal life is one of the best things to come out of this pretty stellar season. It’s a frame of mind rarely seen in superhero shows. What makes it best is that it felt believable to Jennifer’s character. If you’re not keeping an eye on this young talent, than you’re not paying attention.
Verena: Andrea Navedo had me in tears on this week’s Jane The Virgin. How the series handled Xiomara’s cancer diagnosis, and her battle with making a decision about her future was impressive. Having to choose between what Xo wants for herself, what is best for her health, what her family wishes she would do is an impossible decision to make. Eventually having a mature conversation with her husband about her choices was an admirable sign of pure strength. Without trying to put her on a pedestal, I am so very excited to see where Navedo will take this character in the upcoming episodes.
Stephanie: Once again, I’m choosing Chloe Bennet. I almost picked Iain de Caestecker but, at the end of the day, Bennet made me feel like I was in every scene with her. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pulled a big fake-out on viewers this week and it never would’ve worked unless Bennet was that dang convincing. Then when she’s between sobs and mumbles to Fitz, “I’ll never forgive you,” my heart broke more than the realization that it was truly Fitz who had tied down and operated on his friend.
Clare: What a surprise, Darren Criss in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story wins hands down for me this week and I’m sure this isn’t the only highly prestigious accolade he will be taking home for his performance as Andrew Cunanan over the next year. While he was absolutely spectacular throughout the 9-week series, in this finale “Alone” he was outstanding. Spending the majority of the episode holed up alone in the houseboat, the episode really hinged on his ability to carry the story and he did it and more. This performance is going to stick with you for a while to come. While it doesn’t excuse at all the horrendously evil acts committed by Cunanan, Criss’ performance inspired sympathy but also frustration at such wasted potential and the enormous potential in others that he ruthlessly cut short. Prepare your acceptance speeches, Mr Criss. You’ll be needing them over the next few months.
Bec: So I haven’t talked about FOX’s 9-1-1 here at all, but the season finale was a perfect mesh of big action set-pieces and surprising character growth. It’s rare for a show to end quite as strongly. Even if the show wasn’t renewed for a second season, I still would have felt satisfied with the way things ended. The best parts of the episode came from Oliver Stark’s Buck and Connie Britton’s Abby (unsurprisingly this duo has knocked it out of the park all season). Not only did it showcase the character growth for both, but it also showcased a rare instance of a couple actually talking to each other without hurt feelings. When Abby wanted to leave in order to find herself against after her mother’s death, Buck acknowledged that he wanted her stay but was also excited for her to find who she is. You know what? I’ll take it. Also the guy who was literally torn in half and dying. That was just…it’s an emotional show. I totally cried.
Verena: I’m a bit torn here. The two episodes I enjoyed most this week were Riverdale’s “Primary Colors” and Jane The Virgin’s “Chapter Seventy-Eight”. Riverdale was fantastic this week, not because it was brilliant writing or acting, but because it was so true to what I’ve come to love about the series – which is the drama. On Riverdale, 40 year olds act like children, and 15 year olds act like adults, and I am loving it. It’s not quality television, but it is my most favorite guilty pleasure. Jane the Virgin on the other hand, shines because of its quality. While the episode dealt with a heavy subject, it still had moments of light-hearted fun. The Villenueva women are the heart of the series, and never have we felt it more than this week.
Stephanie: Obviously I’m going to picked Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “The Devil Complex.” I didn’t expect this heavy of an episode at all. Sure, the stakes are high at the moment but when aren’t they? To bring back Fitz’s evil doppelganger from last season’s Framework arc and then reveal an even deeper piece of Fitz’s psychology was hard to watch. It was compelling and sad and frustrating and has been on my mind ever since.
Clare: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story has me enthralled from the get-go, but “Alone” left me with goosebumps and needing to collect myself after the credits rolled. What a powerful 90 minutes or so of television and a fantastic and fitting conclusion to the series. While Darren Criss was definitely the standout performer, everyone brought their A-game week after week and the finale was no different. From Ricky Martin’s Antonio’s pain to Jon Jon Briones’ Modesto’s playing of his son, to the stoicness of Penelope Cruz’s Donatella, the tragedy of the events and how they affected everyone was so clear.
Bec: Can I say every moment with John Constantine on Legends of Tomorrow? If I have to pick, then I’ll take the closing scene where he joins a DnD group or when he lights his cigarette on Rory’s fireball. I really hope that Legends gets a season four renewal because I want him on my screen every week.
Verena: Funnily enough one of my favorite moments on TV this week was on Modern Family’s “Wine Weekend”. I loved how it was Hayley of all people who outsmarted her whole family into thinking each and every one of them broke the priceless tiara. Brilliant!
Stephanie: When Fitz realized he was the one holding the scalpel and about to forcibly operate on one of his best friends, it was one of the biggest shockers ever on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I fully believed the evil Fitz was a product of the Fear Dimension, as they were leading us to believe. I bought it completely. Until right then when realization dawned on Fitz.
Clare: As the Feds are closing in on Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, we get a scene of a resigned and scared adult Cunanan watching the reports of the Feds’ efforts to get him out of the houseboat joined by the younger version of himself (played by Edouard Holdener). The look shared by the child and adult Cunanan was so beautiful in its simplicity and tragedy. Here Andrew finally has the fame and recognition that he has been told has been his due all his life and that he has seeked, but it’s for all the wrong reasons and has lead to his death. This was so heartbreaking.
Bec: Mallus is really starting to get boring on Legends. As the ladies of 4YE can tell you though, I’m finding like all of the CW-DC villains boring this season. (Except Tobias Whale over on Black Lightning.) Also Penelope Blossom over on Riverdale should have just burned to death. I have never wanted someone to suffer more since Kilgrave over on Jessica Jones.
Verena: I have to say this week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow had me disappointed. While I do like the idea of John Constantine on the series, I actually didn’t love the moments he shared with the Legends as much as I thought I would. Also, can we talk about how stupid it is that Sara broke it off with Ava Sharpe over the ~darkness within her? Come on, that’s the oldest trope in the book and it wasn’t exciting on Arrow (with any and all characters that struggled with their murderous instincts) and it isn’t exciting on Legends. Please stop using this as an excuse to create drama in romantic relationships.
Stephanie: Why does it feel like everyone from every season is coming back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lately? And not many people anyone truly wants to see again. I do not care about Ivanov or Carl Creel. They feel like filler and a waste of airtime.
Clare: Once again it’s Rise for me. It just feels like they’re trying too hard to appeal to their target audience and failing. They are cramming way too many storylines into each episode that you don’t have time to really get invested in any one or any character. They need to take a breath and just work out what the main story is they want to tell. I’m giving this only a few more weeks to grab me, but it’s not looking promising so far.
Nate: “If I’m not back in five minutes…”
Zari: “Just wait longer?”
Nate: “No, come rescue me.” –Legends of Tomorrow
“I like my body, and I like showing it off. It’s part of who I am. You and I have different relationships to our bodies, Jane, and I don’t know if I want to have elective surgery for your piece of mind.” – Xiomara Villanueva, Jane the Virgin
Simmons: “You’re our grandson.”
Deke: nods while almost crying
Simmons: throws up – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
“Andrew is not hiding, he’s trying to be seen” – The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
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