This week was a little shy of a doozy TV-wise. Nothing too crazy happened, but I’m a fan of the proceedings nonetheless. Remember folks, I’m currently covering Elementary, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Four shows that have different offerings, each one a nice little weekly gem for viewers like you and me.

Let’s start with How I Met Your Mother. To recap, Barney and the gang (including Marshall via webcam because he’s with Sherri Shepherd in a yellow hummer) are in the middle of a poker game, the Mother is somewhere at that romantic hotel, and tensions are building. In the latest episode, Marshall, Lily, and Ted found themselves in a feud over wedding gifts, and Barney had to choose between his mother and brother, and Robin. Barney of course cursed out his family for Robin (I sure hope that comes back later) As for the plot, nothing much happened, Cristin Milioti still only appearing in those first two episodes, but Jason Segel’s wide range of emotional shifts made for a solid twenty minutes.

New girl on TVNew Girl keeps getting better and better in my view. There may be first season purists out there, but guys, the third season is winning a lot. This latest installment saw Jess trying to solve Nick’s dizzying financial apocalypse (his box of unpaid bills), and Schmidt wishing for validation as a good person after the Cece/Elizabeth fiasco. It’s always refreshing to see a TV couple work through something as dangerous as financial strife, and Nick and Jess’s dynamic has only gotten more fun to watch. Schmidt got his ass kicked by rabbis too, so that’s awesome.

But then there’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an engaging drama with Joss Whedon’s token flare for dialogue and quirk in the face of danger, but it still feels like an Avengers afterthought. The tough guy and the hot hacker girl have a tiny bit of chemistry, which was an obvious move from the pilot, and I guess this episode’s introduction of a villain that uses false eyeballs implanted into operatives is pretty sweet. And Phil Coulson is quite the mystery; at the end of the episode, the episode’s one off agent character from Phil’s past hinted that S.H.I.E.L.D. did something to him. Suppose we’ll have to wait a month or two for all Whedon’s subtle hints to pay off, hope it’s worth it.

Finally, there’s Elementary. The episode this week was one of the strongest so far in its short history. We got to see a glimpse into Sherlock’s past, as well as the normally robotic dude caring for a suspected murderer. It was definitely one of the least predictable episodes, and with a couple defining moments of Watson impressing Sherlock with her own detective skills. And it seems the writers are continuing to raise the bar content-wise, having a murder mystery turn into a dramatic rendition of very well-played trauma (of the illicit variety). Also, I’ve never seen “planning a murder” used as an alibi before, very clever you writing staff, you.

Again, it was a good week for these shows. Here’s hoping next week the same actors, writers, and showrunners keep to the standard to which they’ve set themselves.

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