These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

Boardwalk Empire: “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (5.01) - C- 
The Bridge: “Eidolon” (2.10) - 
Extant: “Before the Blood” (1.12) - 
Intruders: “Ave Verum Corpus” (1.04) - 
The Knick: “They Capture the Heat” (1.05) - 
The League: “Tefl-Andre” (6.02) - C+ 
The Leftovers: “The Prodigal Son Returns” (1.10) - B+ 
Married: “Halloween” (1.09) - C+ 
Masters of Sex: “Story of My Life” (2.09) - 
Ray Donovan: “Snowflake” (2.09) - 
Sons of Anarchy: “Black Widower” (7.01) - D 
The Strain: “The Disappeared” (1.09) - D 
Under the Dome: “Black Ice” (2.11) - F 
You’re the Worst: “Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction” (1.09) - B- 

The first season of The Leftovers is a very bizarre set of ten episodes to try to digest and come up with an opinion on the overall product. It was an inconsistent season, but even in its weaker moments I don’t think there has been anything more compelling on television in at least the last few years. While I may prefer other shows like The Americans and Masters of SexThe Leftovers is genuinely the only show in years where I’m actively excited for every new episode each week. It’s the only show where the moment an episode ends I am gnawing at the bit for the next and that was a feeling I have been deeply missing these days. Featuring a sterling cast with award-worthy performances from Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Amy Brenneman and Christopher Eccleston, The Leftovers brings HBO back to the kind of attention-demanding television it has been disappointingly lacking in lately. 

Being a show with a large ensemble and many different running plotlines, it’s not surprising that some characters generate far more interest than others and some storylines really slow down the momentum and level of attention that the show manifested in me — while everything with Kevin Garvey (Theroux) or the Guilty Remnant had me on my toes, when the show would shift back to Kevin’s son Tommy (Chris Zylka) or the exploits of Holy Wayne (Paterson Joseph), I found a noticeable slag in how much I cared about what I was seeing. Nevertheless, what Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta have created on the basis of Perrotta’s novel is a fascinating world with complex themes, a chilling and relentlessly engaging atmosphere and an air of mystery that doesn’t demand immediate answers but revels in letting the experience linger through each moment. 

Hopefully anyone expecting the next Lost or needing a show that answers every mystery it offers up as quickly as possible knows that they are watching the wrong show by this point because The Leftovers is the type of series that isn’t here for answers — it’s here to throw up a bunch of mysteries and then beat the hell out of the characters who are left standing. The many different responses to the event referred to as The Departure are compelling to explore and the ways that Lindelof and Perrotta have layered in supernatural elements underneath the more readily engaging human drama slowly grew on me as the season progressed. At first I was worried that these elements would become too overwhelming or distracting, but they’ve been naturally folded into the mix and instead of driving the narrative they give it a dark, ambiguous undercurrent that always feels like it’s a looming threat just on the horizon. 

While the majority of episodes operate in a similar fashion that we see on most ensemble shows (a scene with one character, jump to a scene with another, then to another, back to the first, etc.), there was the rare week of a singular story focusing on an individual character or the magnificent penultimate episode that gave us a look back into the lives of the characters before the Departure for the first time. Some say that latter one came too late in the season but I think it was at just the right time, though maybe we could have been given more than one other episode after it — HBO always has a problem with these big penultimate episodes that leave so little room to wrap up a season afterwards. Regardless, these episodes gave us a more insightful look into the characters we had gotten to see in their present, everyday surroundings and they also offered us a look at the show at its absolute height — those weeks were The Leftovers at its very best and even if every other week was absolute garbage (which they certainly weren’t), this show would be worth watching for those three episodes alone. 

I didn’t love the first season of The Leftovers. I had plenty of problems with it and I’m sure there will be more to come, but this is a show truly unlike any other on television at the moment and the only one I would consider appointment television, an idea that used to be present in many more weekly installments just a few years ago. For all of its bad there’s just so much good, so much potential for more and at the end of every week I couldn’t help focusing on all the positives it let me explore. There were moments within this ten-episode stretch that had an impact on me in a way that very few shows are capable of reaching and even through all its faults, this too-short season grew into something far more confident and consistent in quality by the time its finale was over. The Leftovers is going places in a big way, it just may take some rocky moments to get there. I’m more than willing to be along for the ride. 

B+ 

Episode Highlights: 
01. "Two Boats and a Helicopter" (1.03) 
02. "Guest" (1.06) 
03. "The Garveys At Their Best" (1.09) 
04. "Gladys" (1.05) 
05. "The Prodigal Son Returns" (1.10)

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

The Bridge: “Rakshasa” (2.09) - 
Extant: “A New World” (1.11) - 
Intruders: “Time Has Come Today” (1.03) - 
The Knick: “Where’s the Dignity?” (1.04) - 
The League: “Sitting Shiva” (6.01) - B 
Married: “The Old Date” (1.08) - D+ 
Masters of Sex: “Mirror, Mirror” (2.08) - 
Ray Donovan: “Sunny” (2.08) - 
The Strain: “Creatures of the Night” (1.08) - B- 
Under the Dome: “The Fall” (2.10) - F 
You’re the Worst: “Finish Your Milk” (1.08) - B

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

The Bridge: “Goliath” (2.08) - 
Extant: “Care and Feeling” (1.09) - 
Extant: “A Pack of Cards” (1.10) - 
Intruders: “Time Has Come Today” (1.02) - 
The Leftovers: “The Garveys At Their Best” (1.09) - A- 
Married: “Waffles & Pizza” (1.07) - C 
Masters of Sex: “Asterion” (2.07) - 
Ray Donovan: “Walk This Way” (2.07) - 
The Strain: “For Services Rendered” (1.07) - C 
True Blood: “Thank You” (7.10) - F 
Under the Dome: “The Red Door” (2.09) - F 
You’re the Worst: “Equally Dead Inside” (1.07) - C 

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

The Bridge: “Lamia” (2.07) - 
Extant: “More in Heaven and Earth” (1.07) - 
Extant: “Incursion” (1.08) - 
The Honourable Woman: “The Paring Knife” (1.08) - 
Intruders: “She Was Provisional” (1.01) - 
The Knick: “The Busy Flea” (1.03) - 
The Leftovers: “Cairo” (1.08) - B+ 
Married: “Invisible Man” (1.06) - C- 
Masters of Sex: “Blackbird” (2.06) - 
Ray Donovan: “Viagra” (2.06) - 
Rectify: “Unhinged” (2.10) - 
The Strain: “Occultation” (1.06) - D+ 
True Blood: “Love Is To Die” (7.09) - F 
Under the Dome: “Awakening” (2.08) - F 
You’re the Worst: “PTSD” (1.06) - A- 

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

The Bridge: “Harvest of Souls” (2.06) - 
Extant: “Nightmares” (1.06) - 
The Honourable Woman: “The Hollow Wall” (1.07) - 
The Knick: “Mr. Paris Shoes” (1.02) - 
The Leftovers: “Solace for Tired Feet” (1.07) - B- 
Married: “The Playdate” (1.05) - C- 
Masters of Sex: “Giants” (2.05) - 
Ray Donovan: “Irish Spring” (2.05) - 
Rectify: “Until You’re Blue” (2.09) - 
The Strain: “Runaways” (1.05) - D- 
True Blood: “Almost Home” (7.08) - F 
Under the Dome: “Going Home” (2.07) - F 
You’re the Worst: “Sunday Funday” (1.05) - B+ 

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

The Bridge: “Eye of the Deep” (2.05) - 
Extant: “What on Earth is Wrong?” (1.05) - 
Halt and Catch Fire: “1984” (1.10) - 
The Honourable Woman: “The Mother Line” (1.06) - 
The Knick: “Method and Madness” (1.01) - 
The Leftovers: “Guest” (1.06) - A 
Married: “Uncool” (1.04) - C 
Masters of Sex: “Dirty Jobs” (2.04) - C+ 
Ray Donovan: “S U C K” (2.04) - 
Rectify: “The Great Destroyer” (2.08) - 
The Strain: “It’s Not for Everyone” (1.04) - D 
True Blood: “May Be The Last Time” (7.07) - F 
Under the Dome: “In the Dark” (2.06) - F 
You’re the Worst: “What Normal People Do” (1.04) - C- 

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

The Bridge: “The Acorn” (2.04) - 
Extant: “Shelter” (1.04) - 
Halt and Catch Fire: “Up Helly Aa” (1.09) - 
The Honourable Woman: “The Mother Line” (1.05) - 
The Leftovers: “Gladys” (1.05) - A- 
Married: “The Getaway” (1.03) - C 
Masters of Sex: “Fight” (2.03) - A 
Ray Donovan: “Gem and Loan” (2.03) - 
Rectify: “Weird As You” (2.07) - 
The Strain: “Gone Smooth” (1.03) - C- 
True Blood: “Karma” (7.06) - F 
Under the Dome: “Reconciliation” (2.05) - F 
You’re the Worst: “Keys Open Doors” (1.03) - B 

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

The Bridge: “Sorrowsworn” (2.03) - 
Extant: “Wish You Were Here” (1.03) - 
Halt and Catch Fire: “The 214s” (1.08) - 
The Honourable Woman: “The Ribbon Cutter” (1.04) - 
The Leftovers: “B.J. and the A.C.” (1.04) - B- 
Married: “The Shower” (1.02) - C 
Masters of Sex: “Kyrie Eleison” (2.02) - B+ 
Ray Donovan: “Uber Ray” (2.02) - 
Rectify: “MazelTov” (2.06) - 
The Strain: “The Box” (1.02) - C- 
True Blood: “Lost Cause” (7.05) - F 
Under the Dome: “Revelation” (2.04) - F 
You’re the Worst: “Insouciance” (1.02) - B

These are the episodes of television I watched that aired this week, not including any previously aired episodes that I watched in addition: 

24: Live Another Day: “Day 9: 10:00pm - 11:00am” (9.12) - C+ 
The Bridge: “Ghost of a Flea” (2.02) - Will update later. 
Extant: “Extinct” (1.02) - Will update later. 
Halt and Catch Fire: “Giant” (1.07) - Will update later. 
The Honourable Woman: “The Killing Call” (1.03) - Will update later. 
The Leftovers: “Two Boats and a Helicopter” (1.03) - A 
Married: “Pilot” (1.01) - D+ 
Masters of Sex: “Parallax” (2.01) - B- 
Ray Donovan: “Yo Soy Captain” (2.01) - Will update later. 
Rectify: “Act As If” (2.05) - Will update later. 
The Strain: “Night Zero” (1.01) - C 
True Blood: “Death is Not the End” (7.04) - D 
Under the Dome: “Force Majeure” (2.03) - F 
You’re the Worst: “Pilot” (1.01) - B