ProWrap consists of quick reviews of the television shows we don’t cover with full reviews or podcast episodes during the week.
Vinyl – S1E10 “Alibi” | Sunday at 9pm | HBO
Vinyl began its maiden season with a two-hour origin story for its lead Richie Finestra, shot through the camera of Martin Scorsese, and it ended that season with a literal bang this past Sunday. From the beginning, the series did not seem dead-set on reinventing the wheel: there are well-trodden tropes, there are clear clichés, and there are entire plot lines you have seen before. But, when you go see The Rolling Stones on their 46th tour, do you want to hear “Paint it Black”? Do you want to hear “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”? Do you want to hear “Start Me Up”? Of course you do. Why? Because it’s good. What the first season of Vinyl presented was an excellent showcase of the “oldies but goodies”. In its season finale, the show’s fictional Nasty Bits opened for The New York Dolls and officially kicked off the punk revolution we have been seeing work its way free all season, and we saw the birth of disco at the same damn time. We saw the creation of the famed CBGB, which will probably mean The Ramones will be making an appearance or two next season. Oh, and we also saw another person die. Sure, the criminal element was not the main attraction of the finale, and it wasn’t really a big draw for the entire season, but so? Let’s just let it open the show for us and then have the music legends close the show by continuing to bring the house down each week. That is what Vinyl is, from its premiere to this week’s finale. It knows that, and that self-awareness makes it work. Grade: A
12 Monkeys – S2E1 ‘Year of the Monkey’ | Monday at 9 pm | SyFy
In the season 2 premiere, Dr Jones shredded one Messenger in the time machine before they figured out how to bypass the lockout and sent a woman into the past. Cassie and Deacon made an unlikely alliance and brought in the West 7 to retake the base. Cole and Ramse made up in the past and slipped Olivia’s grasp. Ramse admitted Jennifer Goines has the virus in New York. Jennifer managed to keep a grip on her sanity for .5 seconds when she wandered into speed dating, flashed the virus, and asked her date to shoot her. Cole almost did, but was almost shot himself by a group when Cassie appeared to save the day. After 8 months in the future, she and Dr. Jones figured out Jennifer had the virus, and she came back to kill her. Instead she ended up in a standoff with Cole who didn’t want her to kill Jennifer. Also, who the eff is the Witness? Grade: A
Empire – S2E14 ‘Time Shall Unfold’ | Wednesday at 9pm | FOX
Hakeem was CEO for all of ten minutes. Lucious rides the high of his new hit video and maneuvers himself into the shareholders’ favor and the CEO seat. Anika reveals her pregnancy and makes a surprising demand of the Lyons. Cookie manipulates Jamal into breaking a promise. Grade: B
Underground – S1E7 ‘Cradle’ | Wednesday at 10pm | WGN
Underground is never an easy watch, but the story is necessary and masterfully told. Still, this week’s episode, told through the eyes of the children, was particularly heartbreaking.The child actors in this episode all did a wonderful job depicting the many complex emotions of slavery. Under the influence of Rev. Willowset, Tom has put both of Ernestine’s sons (including the youngest, James, his own son) into the fields. Boo runs into trouble, yet finds safety with Elizabeth, but it’s not without cost to Elizabeth. The Macon 7 loses another member. Grade: A+
Scandal – S5E18 ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ | Thursday at 9pm | ABC
This week’s Scandal gave us a deeper look into Jake Ballard by shedding light on the abuse he suffered as a boy, watching his father beat his mother and knowing his father was raping Jake’s sister. He was truly ripe for Papa Pope’s picking and we see through a series of training and manipulation how he came to view Eli as a father. Jake is further manipulated by Olivia when she learns of his plans to marry Vanessa sooner than later. This was one of the more enjoyable episodes of Scandal in a very long time, even though it was painfully absent one of the steamy sex scenes Kerry Washington and Scott Foley have all but mastered. Why you hate us so much, Shonda? Grade: B+
You can read full reviews of the shows we covered this week below:
Quantico | The Girlfriend Experience | Fear the Walking Dead | Bates Motel | The Flash | Lucifer | Gotham | Supergirl | Outsiders season 1 review | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D | Better Call Saul | Jane the Virgin | The Americans | The Vampire Diaries | Damien | Vikings | Tokyo Ghoul
What’s the best thing you watched on TV this week?