It’s still a little early to call this mid-season for the four shows I’ve been tasked to rant about, but I’d say we’re on cruise control in terms of writing, acting, and big ol’ surprises. This week was pretty solid, but nothing so epic (they’re setting it up for epic, those sneaky TV bastards). So let’s get to it.

Mommy!How I Met Your Mother was a bit wacky. In this week’s installment, Ted got saddled with a crazy girl (you chose… poorly!) played by Anna Camp of Pitch Perfect fame, and she’s ridiculous enough so you really feel for Ted, the poor bastard. Marshall and Daphne got into an argument about Big Oil, and Daphne sent a cliffhanger text to Lily about Marshall’s current career move. And Robin and Barney’s illicit tale of how they came to their engagement disgusted a minister to actual death. That in particular was a good bit of dark humor, and was also a good balance to the episode’s crazy girl arc (which they’ve done too many times). I find myself really looking forward to what happens if and when Lily finds Daphne’s text.

New Zooey

New Girl is consistently and surprisingly funny. This week, Jess, Nick, and Winston pretended to be Michael Keaton to cheer up Schmidt, causing Nick to reveal the amount of care he’s actually given to our favorite neurotic, street-talking mensch over the years. It was a super sweet episode, complete with a couple of embarrassing Halloween costumes and Zooey Deschanel drunkenly trying to convince everyone she’s Batman. I always enjoy Deschanel acting drunk and being a cute counterweight to Johnson’s performance of Nick. Oh, and Schmidt moved away… to the loft next door (I hope it’s actually haunted, what a joke to waste).

I’ve been pretty hard on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far, only because I know Whedon’s play and expect the best from him. This week was better than last, with Coulson’s gang tracking down a mysterious organization trying to perfect Extremis (we met “The Girl in the Flower Dress” too, a seductive villainess). There was a dude who could burn stuff with his mind, so that’s pretty great. And Chloe Bennet showed some skin, never a bad thing (c’mon Internet, we all know how many times we’ve searched for nude pictures of her). More action, a reveal about Skye’s true intentions, and continued excellent work on Clark Gregg’s part made for a sweet installment.

a lemon entryThe only real disappointment was Elementary, only because the mystery felt like it had no real stakes (shouldn’t the use of a Russian crime syndicate in an episode make for danger?) and Joan received a mystery with no fun payoff either. Turns out, Sherlock followed Joan a lot at the beginning and bedded one of her friends, said lady giving Joan the task of finding the mystery man a year later (Sherlock used an alias). Joan should have actually gotten that mystery, instead of it being some trust storyline between her and Holmes. And the main plot was actually too easy to guess, which was kinda sad. The whole thing was enjoyable as usual (Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu have wicked onscreen chemistry), but there were points where I thought they’d missed the ball or stretched a little too much. I’m hoping they introduce another main villain sometime soon, cause I think they might be running the mystery well dry.

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