We at Paste TV are so torn up about the end of The Leftovers, that we gave the finale two spots on this week’s round-up—that’s right. We are wrecked with grief, and inconsolable. Even so, there were other shows that came through for us this past week. After a few not-so-great episodes, AMC’s Hell On Wheels brought back—then took away—the great Elam Ferguson, and FX continued to provide the comic (yet, dramatic) relief, with another strong episode of Married. These are our picks for the five TV scenes that had you all in your feelings during the week of September 7.
1. The Leftovers: True/False Prophets
The door opens to reveal Holy Wayne, clinging to his intestines. Kevin attempts to get help, but Wayne tells him to stay, knowing that the end is near. Instead, the dying prophet offers to grant a wish for Kevin as a way of asserting that he was actually the guru he has been claiming he was. For a few wordless seconds, the two men stare at each other before Wayne’s eyes get wide and a huge smile takes over his face. “Granted,” he says, before departing himself. It’s borderline amateur dramatics, but damn if it doesn’t work. The words don’t escape Kevin’s lips, yet the message is clear: he wants his family back.—Robert Ham (Read the full review here.)
2. Hell On Wheels: When Cullens cry
The final moments of “Elam Ferguson” are among the best of the entire series, as Cullen takes the body of Elam as his own weight, digging the grave and carrying the casket by himself. As he realizes that maybe Elam’s death is his own fault, and that he’s lost his closest ally in this world, Cullen breaks down, sobbing uncontrollably. In that moment, it’s like all of the tragedies of Cullen’s past hit him at once, his dead family, his past in the war and now Elam. In this moment he’s, weak, defeated, almost hopeless. It’s a rare case of strong emotion in a show that too often veils such things.—Ross Bonaime (Read the full review here.)
3. Garfunkel and Oates: Legalize it, already
“Weed Card,” the song of the week, offers a sing-a-long description of obtaining a medical marijuana license in California. Featuring hilarious E.T. imagery (with Kate dressed as the bundled up version of the title character), frequent ukelele strums, and Riki and Kate’s signature sweet vocals, it’s one of the more well-integrated songs in the series thus far. The song implies that getting a marijuana prescription is incredibly easy, which proves to be true for Riki. Kate, on the other hand, finds no health problems and is hesitantly denied a prescription (in fact, the doctor didn’t even have a “denied” stamp). All is well later, however, when Cornish angrily throws a melodica at Kate’s face, arming her with the necessary malady to make her weed card holding dreams a reality.—Maren McGlashan (Read the full review here.)
4. Married: We’re going streaking!
The A.J. thread follows Russ and Jess as they try to wrangle A.J. into rehab, which proves increasingly tough after he hops out his bedroom window and leads them all over town; first to a café (“I had to say goodbye to my favorite barista… That guy makes the best mochas”), then to his office, where—upon hearing that his peers are holding a partners meeting without him—he explodes in a bearded blaze of nudity and violence.—Evan Allgood (Read the full review here.)
5. The Leftovers: A community, resurrected
Two episodes ago, we thought we knew what was in store for the people of Mapleton on Memorial Day. The Guilty Remnant were going to leave physical reminders of the people in the town that had disappeared. This was the expectation…
But Leder, along with scriptwriters Tom Perotta and Damon Lindelof, knew that to drive the point home deepest was to concentrate on poor Nora walking down the stairs to find her husband and children sitting around the dining table. Her paroxysms of grief and fear were terrifying to watch and were likely being reflected by people all over the town.—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.