Have you found yourself wondering “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite TV shows? If so, we’re here to tell you. Check out our Spotify playlist below and see why these music picks clicked. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
The song: Ruby Friedman Orchestra, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”
The episode: “Restitution” (513)
The hook: Tuesday’s season 5 closer returned to form musically, using a song that’s become known as a Justified finale standard. “It’s the most percussive version of the song. It has a real drive to it,” EP Graham Yost told Mandi Bierly of this version. “I had as a goal from early on using a female cover of the song when a season would end with a dilemma for Ava (Joelle Carter). It really is the question: We know it’s gonna come down to Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd (Walton Goggins), but what’s gonna happen to Ava? And will she survive this story? Or will she be killed? It felt like almost more than any other time we’ve used it, it was appropriate. … It was actually written in the script that, as Ava walks back to the car, Ruby Friedman’s version kicked in.”
Read Mandi’s postmortem with Yost
THE MINDY PROJECT (Fox)*
The song: The Cars, “Just What I Needed”
The episode: “Be Cool” (217)
The hook: The first installment of Tuesday’s hour-long block of Mindy closed with Danny (Chris Messina) blindsiding Mindy (Mindy Kaling) by breaking up with her as she wept to Jimmy Durante’s bitterly used classic “The Glory of Love.” But let’s focus on the happy times, shall we? Specifically, the down-low doctors opened the episode skulking around and sucking face to New Wave rockers’ 1978 hit.
Read Erin Strecker’s recap
The song: Anoop Desai, “Love Lost”
The episode: “Everything Is Everything” (1328)
The hook: The American Idol alum brought his synth-y smoothness to Canada’s most famous high school on Tuesday. Playing during a scene in which Claire (Aislinn Paul) and Drew (Luke Bilyk) struggled with their feelings for each other, Desai’s song could signal that their dynamic will shift in one of two directions. Will Claire’s “Love Lost” be that of student council president Drew? Or of her collegiate boyfriend Eli (Munro Chambers), who has complicated their relationship with distance and infidelity?
BEING HUMAN (Syfy)*
The song: Royal Wood, “You Can’t Go Back”
The episode: “There Goes the Neighborhood” (413)
The hook: Perhaps “You Can’t Go Back,” but everyone seemed to be moving forward in his or her own way as Being Human wrapped up for good on Monday. Thanks to the self-sacrifice of their supernatural roommates, Josh (Sam Huntington) and Nora (Kristen Hager) found their happy ending, complete with two children named Aidan and Sally in tribute to the couple’s late friends. Closing out the series finale, the Toronto sing-songwriter brought it home with a tune about loss that felt both wistful and self-affirming.
REIGN (The CW)*
The song: Amy Stroup, “Sabotage”
The episode: “Liege Lord” (117)
The hook: The Nashville songbird (and Jukebox vet) had a big week. Jukeboxers on Twitter shouted out “Sabotage” as used in Monday’s Bones when Wendell (Michael Grant Terry) returned to the Jeffersonian post-chemotherapy. The “show tune” made its second appearance of the week on Thursday’s Reign as Mary (Adelaide Kane) angered and threatened her mother-in-law Catherine (Megan Follows) by boldly affirming her commitment to Scotland. To be fair, Queen of France Catherine triggered Mary’s rebellion by ordering the murder of a dozen of Mary’s countrymen. Mutual “Sabotage” begets mutual destruction? Stay tuned…
Read Ariana Bacle’s recap
The song: Sanders Bohlke, “An Unkindness of Ravens”
The episode: “No Way Out” (316)
The hook: Thursday’s season 3 finale saw Mike (Patrick J. Adams) make a big decision about his future, and Bohlke’s song played as he broke the news to Harvey (Gabriel Macht). At turns contemplative and aggressive, Bohlke’s song conveyed the “bittersweet” vibe creator Aaron Korsh told Mandi Bierly he was going for from the scene that saw the friends and colleagues part ways professionally.
Read Mandi’s postmortem with creator Aaron Korsh
The song: The Temptations, “Smiling Faces Sometimes”
The episode: “Flesh and Blood” (317)
The hook: At the top of Thursday’s ep, “Super Bad” dad (Joe Morton) got a nice lyrical cue thanks to James Brown’s same-named 1970 R&B staple. But things really got cranking — or should I say ticking? — at the end of the hour. In a good, old-fashioned Scandal montage, terrorist mama Maya Pope (Khandi Alexander) started the clock on a bomb that could take out some of the Beltway’s most powerful players. The most “Smiling” face of all belonged to President Chief of Staff Cyrus (Jeff Perry), who realized he’d just been handed a way to eliminate all his opponents, and the tick-tick-ticking percussion of The Temptations’ 1971 track underlined the situation’s urgency as Scandal heads into its season 3 finale.
Read Katie Atkinson’s recap
The song: “Amber Riley, “Colorblind”
The episode: “Bash” (513)
The hook: Tuesday’s episode began in New York with a candlelight vigil for a victim of gay bashing, with Kurt (Chris Colfer), Blaine (Darren Criss), and Rachel (Lea Michele) joining voices on an understated performance of Stephen Sondheim’s “No One Is Alone” from Into the Woods. Later, after Kurt himself was bashed, Criss performed a beautifully rich and comforting a cappella rendition of “Not While I’m Around” from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Tying another plot thread into the episode’s overall message of tolerance, Mercedes (Riley) serenaded Sam (Chord Overstreet) with a powerhouse performance of Riley’s real-world ballad. But this wouldn’t be Glee without a show-stopping closer, so Kurt finished the night with a triumphant version of “I’m Still Here” from Sondheim’s Follies. It all added up to an hour of Glee that was more soulful than Gleeks have seen in a long time
Read Jodi Walker’s recap
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC)
The song: “Dongs All Over The World”
The episode: “Anna Kendrick/Pharrell Williams” (3917)
The hook: The Pitch Perfect star took part in a hilariously sexual antidote to the princess-heavy April 5 episode with this members-only, Pussycat Dolls-style parody number featuring SNL MVPs Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, and Sasheer Zamata.
Read Erin Strecker’s recap and check out one sketch that didn’t make the cut
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