Joe Manganiello on 'True Blood'
Between "Magic Mike" and finally hooking up with Sookie, it was a big weekend for Joe Manganiello
Credit: HBO

'True Blood' recap: Sookie hooks up in 'We'll Meet Again'

Also, Jason and Andy visit fairy land and Pam and Eric reunite

After last week's commendably focused episode, "True Blood" returned to its usual scattershot ways this week in an all-over-the-place installment. It was a hour heavy on vampire blood ties (the ways in which vampires consider themselves "family" were stressed throughout) but low on real thrills or surprises.

If it wasn't for Kristin Bauer van Straten's continued excellence as a suddenly dramatically dominant Pam, this week would've been a total wash. But let's break it down:

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Valentina Cervi as Salome on 'True Blood'

We got to know Valentina Cervi's Salome a little better this week. But not as good as Bill and Eric.

Credit: HBO

'True Blood' recap: Pam rules in 'Whatever I Am, You Made Me

Also, Salome gets busy and Jason gets schooled in a solid episode

Well that was another solid episode of "True Blood." And the best of the season so far in terms of balancing the large cast of characters and giving a variety of actors room to shine. There's not a whole lot of momentum building after three episodes, but we still saw advances in several major storylines and got a better understanding of both a new addition and an old favorite.

Let's break it down...

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<p>Amber Riley and Lea Michele of &quot;Glee&quot;</p>

Amber Riley and Lea Michele of "Glee"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' Finale - 'Goodbye'

A surprising (and surprisingly strong) end to an uneven season suggests interesting possibilities next season
Having an ensemble can be an asset for a television program. Ostensibly, the more onscreen talent you have, the more diverse a set of stories you can tell. On “Glee,” perhaps less would have been more as a general rule. The show hasn’t narrowed its scope of storytelling over the years, but rather expanded it to the point where everything has become diffuse. It’s hard to focus on any one particular aspect of the show when it keeps shining flashlights into the corner of your peripheral vision. “Goodbye” was probably one of the best episodes of this uneven third season because it turned “Glee” into what it’s always truly been: the story of Rachel Berry. One can argue the relative merits of that focus. But having that focus tonight really did make a difference.
 
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<p>Mick Jagger and some musical friends on &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>

Mick Jagger and some musical friends on "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Mick Jagger

Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters and other guests close the 'SNL' season
Here we are at the end of another season of “Saturday Night Live,” aka “the latest season that just proved for most people the show isn’t what it used to be, even though that particular version of the show only lives in selective, imperfect memory in the first place.” Pulling double duty tonight is host/musical guest Mick Jagger. Accompanying Jagger musically will be Jeff Beck, The Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire. That’s like “The Avengers” of guitar-based rock. And yes, I just saw “The Avengers” tonight for the second time, so I might accuse a lot of sketches tonight of lacking conviction. Just thought I’d preface that up front.
 
Once more unto the recapping breach!
 
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<p>&nbsp;Jenna Ushkowitz of &quot;Glee&quot;</p>

 Jenna Ushkowitz of "Glee"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - 'Props'/ 'Nationals'

Tina bumps her head, and then the show bumps into an inevitable result at Nationals
There’s a shot halfway through the second hour of tonight’s two-episode “Glee” gauntlet in which the camera zooms in tight around Finn Hudson’s face. He and the rest of New Directions have just finished their set at Nationals, ending in a lengthy performance of Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”. His face is triumphant, but more importantly, his brow is sweaty. For the first time I can remember in the show, performing seemed like actual hard work. It’s an easy thing to forget in “Glee,” a program in which flawless numbers seem to fall out of the sky only to disappear into the ether.
 
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<p>Usher and Will Ferrell of &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>

Usher and Will Ferrell of "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Will Ferrell and Usher

Which old friends would join the 'SNL' veteran?
We’re here near the end of another season of “Saturday Night Live.” Can you feel the warm breeze, hear the sounds of birds, and fear the prospects of months of reruns? Me too! Tonight’s host is no stranger to the show. Will Ferrell will probably go down as one of the show’s all-time best players, and seeing him back in Studio 8H should make for some fun sketch comedy. While a lot of his characters were famous as part of a pair, he also had plenty of solo characters that will undoubtedly make an appearance tonight. (Also probably making appearances? Some of those old cast mates with whom he created so many memorable moments.) Along for the ride is musical guest Usher. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! OK! (Sorry, he probably won’t perform that tonight.)
 
My hopes are high for this one. Let’s get to it!
 
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<p>Leonard Nimoy of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>

Leonard Nimoy of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' Finale - 'Brave New World, Part 2'

Let it never be said the show took the safe path this season...but where has it led us?
So, yeah, that happened.
 
By “that” I mean a few things. Primarily, I mean the second half of the two-part finale “Brave New World.” But I also mean the fourth season of “Fringe” in general, which I think will go down as a case study in how following one’s muse sometimes allows you to lose your way. I’ve been watching a lot of the reaction online the past few days to announcements of renewals, pick-ups, and cancellations of various television shows. And it strikes me just how much people feel invested in those programs. Sure, I’ve always known about that investment, but it’s felt particularly acute over the past 48 hours. But there’s a difference in feeling invested in them and actually owning them. None of us watching these programs own them. It might feel that way at times, but it’s just not true. So when I say that “Fringe” bitterly disappointed me for nearly an entire year, I want it clear that I respected the decision of the show to go this route even as they took it further and further away from what I used to love. They had no obligation to make any show other than the one they wanted, and they absolutely achieved that goal.
 
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<p>A scene from Tuesday's &quot;Glee&quot;</p>

A scene from Tuesday's "Glee"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - 'Prom-asaurus'

The show forgets about last week, and suddenly remembers about four other plots instead.
It’s not surprising that “Glee” dropped the Coach Beiste storyline like a hot potato, at least for this week. After all, who has time to deal with the serious issue of domestic abuse when there’s a dinosaur-themed prom that needs attention? “Prom-asaurus” is another unfortunately hyphenated title, but unlike “Saturday Night Glee-ver,” this one didn’t soar so much as lurch along. It wasn’t offensive, it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t good, it wasn’t coherent, it was just…there. It existed. This episode of television absolutely, positively existed.
 
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<p>Rihanna and Eli Manning of &quot;SNL&quot;</p>

Rihanna and Eli Manning of "SNL"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Eli Manning and Rihanna

Eli's got more Super Bowl rings, but could he top Peyton on 'SNL'?
Athletes and “Saturday Night Live.” They don’t go together exactly like oil and water, but they don’t exactly mix, either. And while Eli Manning has proven himself on the field (as much as it pains this Patriots fan to acknowledge that), there’s no proof he has the ability to even perform competently in a pre-recorded piece, nevermind live onstage. But who knows? Maybe tonight will be as improbable the Helmet Catch that has haunted my dreams for the past five years. More likely? Rihanna will look amazing and perform the third act of the “Shy Ronnie” trilogy. That will be something. But will it be enough? Only one way to find out!
 
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<p>Walter Bishop (John Noble)&nbsp;goes to work on &quot;Fringe.&quot;</p>

Walter Bishop (John Noble) goes to work on "Fringe."

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Brave New World, Part One'

The show reveals the man behind the curtain...but didn't they already do that two episodes ago?
I’m not going to go into a tremendous amount of speculation about tonight’s “Fringe,” since the first hour of two-part finales are tricky ones to really analyze. Everything truly important will go down next week, with this installment serving primarily as set-up for the major shakeups coming down the pipe in the season (not series) finale seven days hence. My biggest instant reaction to the first part of “Brave New World”? I want that second hour NOW. Not because I need answers this second, although that wouldn’t be awful. Rather, this felt like an unbalanced installment of the series, one that was holding its cards back for future play rather than creating a satisfying hour unto itself.
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