Top Moments: The Following's Eye-Opener and the Ends of Fringe, Private Practice
Our top moments of the week:
16. Creepiest Misunderstanding: When New Girl's Jess discovers that one of her students is drawing mutilated deer, Nick thinks it's a warning sign of his impending homicidal tendencies. So he investigates. Of course he and Jess get caught red-handed at his house, where they learn that he doesn't want to kill his teacher, he's just working on a graphic novel. But there are stillhorrors to behold: The feisty older woman who lives with the student isn't his mom; it's his girlfriend.
15. Wettest Hook-Up: Get your minds out of the gutter, readers! When Mindy tries to orchestrate a casual hook-up with rival (hot) doctor Brendan (Mark Duplass) on The Mindy Project, things quickly escalate from kinda awkward to incredibly cringe-worthy. (Michael Scott would be so proud!) Right before they're about to get down to business, Mindy excuses herself to freshen up. In the bathroom, she accidentally starts up Brendan's high-tech shower that appears out of nowhere and sends Mindy slipping and sliding to the floor. Here's hoping he has protection! You know, like Band-Aids.
14. Best Double-Take: Just when Rayna has reassured her estranged husband that she hasn't cheated on him since their impromptu separation on Nashville, both husband and wife get a rude awakening when Deacon, Rayna's ex, boards her plane. Horrified, Rayna asks her manager if he hired Deacon as her new guitar player behind her back. No, it's worse. He's on the plane as a member of rival Juliette's entourage. Buckle your seat belt, Deacon, this is going to be a very bumpy ride.
13. Most Hands-On, Part I: On Nikita, Nikita and Michael finally track down Amanda, which leads to a car chase and flying bullets. After Amanda's cohort Anne flips Nikita and Michael's car with a grenade, Michael is pinned underneath as the flames rise. Knowing it's about to blow, Nikita does the only thing she could think of to save her fiancé: chop off his pinned hand.
12. Worst Collateral: You didn't really think Victoria was going to die, did you? Emily convinces Aiden not to carry out The Initiative's order to kill Queen V just before he pulls the trigger on Revenge, but there is still a body count. The Initiative had been holding Aiden's sister Colleen hostage and appears to kill her via a drug overdose in retaliation for his failure to off Victoria. "It's you I shouldn't have trusted," Aiden tells Emily. "If she is dead, then this is on you." Uh-oh.
11. Best Confession: Jane goes to great lengths to figure out if her new — and extremely attractive — co-worker Brice (John Stamos) is gay on The New Normal. Once Brice realizes what Jane is up to, he storms out. The next day, she tries to explain she doesn't want to be tricked like she was by her gay ex-husband. Taken aback by her honesty, Brice lays a big smooch on her. "Still think I'm gay?" he asks. "I don't care," she replies breathily. Whatever team he plays for, we're in too.
10. An Affair to Forget Award: Mike gets attacked on the street on Suits, but this is no random mugging. The guy is the husband of Tess, Mike's childhood pal, with whom he's having an affair. "I'm sorry. It's over," Mike pleads before getting his ass kicked. "You think it's that easy?" Mr. Tess sneers. "Keep your goddamn apology and stay the hell away from Tess!" Can't say you didn't have that coming, Mike. But at least you've got Louis to patch up your wounds.
9. Save the Best for Last Award: Private Practice takes cares of the major business at the top of the show's hour-long finale when Addison gets married. Although it might seem anticlimactic, the structure allows the spotlight to switch to the show's stellar supporting cast and their own well-deserved happy endings — including the big shocker that Sam and Naomi end up remarrying and having another child together. Pass the tissues, please!
8. All in the Family Award: Ted starts dating a much-younger girl, Carly (guest star Ashley Benson), on How I Met Your Mother and, at Barney's urging, sleeps with her. But it turns out, she's not just any 20-year-old: She's Barney's half-sister! There goes that theory that Barney's sis is Mrs. Mosby.
7. Longest Kiss: The Bachelor tasks Sean and Lesley with setting the world record for the longest smooch and, unsurprisingly, they are up to the challenge. After a laughing fit, they start passionately making out (with an audience watching), and 3 minutes and 16 seconds later, the world record is theirs. Does anyone have an Altoid?
6. Worst Timing: After going back and forth between Hank and Mark on Parenthood, Sarah finally chooses Hank, only to learn that he has decided to move to Minnesota to be near his daughter. Really, Hank? You couldn't have told Sarah about that yesterday?!
5. Best Family Bonding: It's been the question of the season: Would Lana survive American Horror Story: Asylum? The dogged investigative reporter made it through her incarcerations at Briarcliff and in Bloody Face's basement, but would her luck run out when confronted by her sociopathic biological son, Johnny? In the season finale, Johnny punctuates their tense reunion by holding a gun to her head. She's able to talk him out of killing her, though, by explaining to him that she gave him up for adoption so that he could have a chance at a happy life. In the process, she also grabs his gun and shoots him in the head — just like she did his father — aka her rapist — lo those many years prior.
4. Most Hands-On, Part II: NBC's inauguration correspondent and infamous White House sharter Al Roker refuses to let his presence go unnoticed by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the parade route. Egged on by Brian Williams and David Gregory, Roker bellows at them from the sidelines and gets Obama's attention and a thumbs-up, but his true victory comes when Biden runs over and shakes the Today weatherman's hand. Cue an epic mic drop.
3. Best Introduction: Jim's long hours at his new job and away from his family take its toll on Pam, who after a fight with Jim is left sobbing alone on The Office. Well, actually, she's not completely alone and — for the first time during the show's nine-year-run — one of the members of the documentary crew shows his face and steps into the shot to help comfort Pam. "What am I doing wrong, Brian?" Pam asks through heart-wrenching tears. "Nothing. You're doing the best you can," he says, as he kneels next to her. "It's just a tough situation." A minute later, Brian further breaks the separation between documentary subject and crew when he tells the cameraman to stop filming: "Seriously, guys, enough." Why do we have to end so soon?! This show is just getting good.
2. Best Disappearing Act: There's only one way that Fringe could end truthfully: Walter needed to atone for all the damage he inflicted upon the world by sacrificing himself so that his son and daughter-in-law could be reunited with their daughter. So despite a September fake-out, Walter does eventually reset time and disappears in 2015, effectively wiping out the Observers from existence. Sniff. We'll always have that white tulip — and five years of the most trippy, outlandish, yet heartwarming stories.
1. Most Eye-Popping Premiere: Just how gory and intense is Fox's serial killer drama The Following going to be? Creator Kevin Williamson answers that just moments into the episode when an acolyte of Edgar Allan Poe-loving mass murderer Joe Carroll makes one hell of a statement. She walks into the FBI's command center, takes off her coat to reveal her naked body covered with lines from "The Raven," and quotes Poe's alleged final words before stabbing herself in the eye with an ice pick. Nevermore will there be any doubt about what kind of show this is.
What were your top moments?