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TV Rundown: June 1 - 6: Death Visits 'Game of Thrones'

Game of Death: Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper” started off slow before making way for some intriguing character drama. Sansa’s handling of Littlefinger provided her portrayer Sophie Turner with an opportunity to shine. In an empowering moment for the Stark family, Sansa descended the stairs in a new raven-inspired frock, a spark of newfound confidence bewitching her. Daenerys’ rash judgment on Jorah was a sad end to their compelling relationship.

It was also surprising given her usually thoughtful verdicts. Startling with its tenderness was Missandei and Grey Worm’s developing relationship, which is one of the only legit romances on the show these days.

Of course the biggest highlight was the closing battle between “the Viper” and “the Mountain” as they faced off in a brutal fight that’s result took viewers from on a remarkable roller coaster. Peter Dinkalge’s performance during Tyrion’s “beetle” monologue and the trial by combat was simply spellbinding.

Also making major waves was Pedro Pascal’s dazzling turn as Oberyn Martell, his rhythmic chants filled the screen with stellar passion. It’s hard to imagine this season will offer a more chill inducing scene.

Surprising Shockers: Penny Dreadful: “Demimonde” was a decent episode that moved the storyline along with a steady flow. Dorian Grey and his flirtation with Vanessa seemed to be hitting its stride. Meanwhile, Ethan romanced Brona by taking her to the theater where an excellently choreographed sequence demonstrated the behind-the-scenes workings of the era’s stage productions.

It seems that Brona is destined to become The Creature’s bride as Dr. Frankenstein would be able to justify her transformation in light of her health crisis. One thing that hasn’t been addressed is why Ethan doesn’t seem concerned about contracting her tuberculosis. It’s a nagging question that hasn’t even been acknowledged. Sir Malcom’s scenes with the “good doctor” were illuminating, offering insight into both characters. It was the episode’s ending moments that would shock with a truly surprising twist. 

Return of the Beast: Beauty and the Beast: Welcome back, B&B! What a return it turned out to be. The biggest problem facing the series continues to be Vincent’s self-pity and raging angst. Why others work so tirelessly to advocate for him is mystifying. All he does to reward them when they succeed is inflict them with further misery. If he could show a little emotional variance it would help immensely. Tess and JT were in fine form though, bringing the show a level of levity and a romantic entanglement worth rooting for.

Not Much Further to Go: Fargo: It was the episode before the penultimate and in comparison to the previous installment; it was a slower affair. The monologues particularly meandered. The best moment in “The Heap” came when Sam Hess’ widow, Gina, stormed into Lester’s office demanding answers for her insurance claim being denied.

Kate Walsh’s exuberant performance provided the jolt of energy the episode needed and made one wonder why she hasn’t been a more integral part of the series. After seeing her explosively entertaining scenes and the character’s combustible energy, watching Gus Grimly ramble on felt like watching paint dry.

Next Week’s TV: Pretty Little Liars returns on Tuesday. Stay tuned to the TV Rundown for coverage on the series’ fifth season and check the review of last season by clicking here