This week brought a few premieres that had us feeling—as they say—some type ‘a way. The Strain on FX delivered a frighteningly good time, Masters of Sex kicked off Season Two, and we also got to meet the hilariously odd characters of Married. Here are our picks for the five epic TV scenes that had you all in your feelings during the week of July 13.
1. The Leftovers: So Close, Yet So Far Away
... Jamison’s story spirals downward. His money is almost stolen from him in the parking lot of the casino but he beats the thief to a pulp to retrieve it. As he’s headed to the bank to hand it over, he stops to help a member of The Guilty Remnant who has been hit with a rock thrown by someone in a truck. The assailant comes back, hits Jamison square in the face, and he’s out cold.When he finally wakes, and rushes to the bank to deliver the funds, he finds out that he’s been out for three days and missed the deadline. If that weren’t enough, when he finally visits the church building, he finds that it was The Guilt Remnant that bought it. The camera stays on his stricken face for what feels like an eternity before snapping to black.—Robert Ham (Read the full review here.)
2. The Strain: A Bad Way To Go
Our critic must be used to watching vampire, zombie-like beings smashing the heads of their prey like pumpkins, because he barely blinked in his review. For some of us, this was a look-away-from-the-TV moment of pretty epic proportions:
We also get a flash of a shady organization that looks to be behind this infestation, people who blink sideways and don’t breathe, passengers coming back to life to feast and the aforementioned hooded beast sucking blood mosquito-style before smashing the victim’s head to mush with his bare hands.—Ross Bonaime (Read the full review here.)
3. Masters of Sex: The Treatment
First we watch as Barton undergoes electroshock therapy in an attempt to “cure” himself of his homosexuality, and the camera doesn’t look away from him as he writhes on the table with an awful look of pain and fear on his face, or as he vomits on Bill and struggles to remember where he is following the treatment, or as he lies in bed and weeps after the fact. Later, he makes a pathetic attempt at sleeping with Margaret; in order to do it, he preps by looking at his stash of homoerotic magazines and then asks Margaret to turn around so he can pretend she’s a man. She’s obviously not having it, and the storyline finally comes to an awful head with Barton attempting to hang himself. Even though it was easy to see it coming, the image was somehow more jarring than the discovery of Lane Pryce’s corpse on Mad Men. We watch as Beau Bridges (proving why he’s worthy of that Emmy nomination) flails about, his face contorted and desperate for air, as his wife and daughter desperately cling to him, cut him down and give him CPR. When a concerned Bill shows up on the Scully doorstep later on, he’s politely shooed away by a stoic Margaret.—Bonnie Stiernberg (Read the full review here)
4. 24: Live Another Day: People Swapping
Chloe is pulled out of the helicopter. Jack insists that she walk first. We’ve seen this many times on 24, the people-swap, and yet it’s always a tenuous scene. When Jack and Chloe meet in the center, they clutch hands. Jack asks her to check in on his family. Jack reaches the other side. He tells the man, “I’ve taken you at your word.” These guys must make good on their promise to leave Chloe and Jack’s family unharmed. “We just want you, Mr. Bauer,” the man responds. “That’s all we ever wanted.” Jack gets into the helicopter and they take off. The hero of 24 will now be facing punishment in Russia…
that grand finale, when Jack and Chloe clutch hands at the trade-off, is gold. It’s not giving into any sort of romantic tension between the two, but it’s a gesture that acknowledges how close Jack and Chloe are and how much they rely on each other.—Liz Ohanesian (Read the full review here)
5. The Bridge: Kyle Is A Hot Mess
With the promise of some sort of sexual relations with Eleanor Nacht, Kyle brings her to his home, lets her wear his mom’s clothes, ditches school and takes her to a deserted storage facility. He is privy to multiple signs that Eleanor is bad news—she tells him to say goodbye to his brother and he still doesn’t flinch. But still, there he is in the storage facility getting stabbed to death at the end of the hour. Of course, he also willingly told Eleanor exactly where his friend lived before she killed him. Kyle, Kyle, Kyle . . . what is wrong with you?—Amy Amatangelo (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.