This Week’s Top 5 TV Moments

There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This time, Jon Stewart makes the case against deep-dish pizza and Scandal gives one of its main characters a seriously heavy back story.

Scandal Handles a Tough Issue Right

“Everything’s Coming Up Mellie,” contrary to its title, didn’t see things going especially well for Mellie Grant. In the opening scene, she gives a painfully inauthentic tour of the White House to a reporter. Then during a flashback, we learn that the current First Lady of the United States was raped by her husband’s domineering father. It’s a shocking revelation, but as Judy Berman writes in her recap, it’s to the writers’ credit that Mellie’s rape isn’t used to make her character more sympathetic or “human.” Instead, the event serves as a plausible explanation for her steely determination, demonstrating that there is, in fact, a way to incorporate rape constructively into a series’ plot.

Jon Stewart Takes on the Chicago Deep Dish

“Above ground marinara swimming pool for rats.” Never mind that this rant has but the flimsiest of time hooks; that line speaks for itself. Watch the clip for the rest.

Stacy Keach Drops By Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Everyone’s favorite character actor, last spotted on 30 Rock urging Americans to buy severely uncomfortable couches, stopped by the 99th to play Jimmy Brogan, an “old-school” cop turned crime novelist. He’s the kind of guy who orders two bottles of scotch at the bar and comes into work the next day sans hangover. He’s also a racist and a homophobe, and a great device for deflating Detective Jake Peralta’s naive view of the past, when most of his colleagues in Nine-Nine‘s impressively diverse ensemble cast wouldn’t be cops at all. Keach is still charming enough, though, particularly when spitting out fake cop slang terms like “hair-bag.”

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Parks and Recreation Celebrated Halloween Two Weeks Late

… Oh, and saw its main character getting fired from her public service job. By the public. The titular “Recall Vote,” which Parks has been building towards this entire season, did not go well for our heroine Leslie Knope, a gutsy move for a comedy that’s decidedly more saccharine than predecessors like 30 Rock. Last night’s belated return wasn’t entirely a bummer, though; before “Recall Vote,” Leslie got to do her best Wendy Davis in the rather obviously titled “Filibuster,” albeit in roller skates rather than sneakers. It was, in a word, awesome.

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Saul Has a Moment on Homeland

SAAAAAUUUUUUULLLLL!!! Homeland‘s best character got some much-needed screen time this week, culminating with his ballsy decision to lock a senator in a conference room. He also continued his faceoff with Javadi, capped off last week by a full-on punch to the face. In a season that’s nowhere near this show’s best, with a truly awful Dana story line, it’s a pleasure to watch Mandy Patinkin flesh out one of Homeland‘s better protagonists.