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    Twin Peaks, Ep. 2.11: “Masked Ball”: Off the board, off the wall

    The long-awaited revival of Twin Peaks returned from its own horrific limbo in the Black Lodge earlier this month, when David Lynch announced on Twitter that he’d worked out a deal with Showtime to honor his original commitment to direct the third season—only six weeks after he’d walked away from the project in a similarly public fashion. The news was met with universal acclaim and relief, because after being told this unique show was coming back, it felt wrong that the auteur from whose mind it sprang had to be involved to usher his creation into its next stage of life. They wanted to see it so much, in fact, that the show’s original actors even took to social media to offer character-specific similes on what losing him would mean to the show. More

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    Damn Good Podcast – Twin Peaks S01E07: The Last Evening

    For the finale of season one, Twin Peaks borrows a page from Dallas. Mark Frost writes and directs a finale with multiple cliffhangers, uncomfortable moments, great performances from multiple characters, and terrible performances from a few others. This is the last Damn Good Podcast before our hiatus to cover Season 3 of NBC’s Hannibal for […] More

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    Damn Good Podcast – Twin Peaks S01E06: Realization Time

    A beautifully shot and directed penultimate episode of the season from Caleb Deschanel is hampered by an at times underwhelming script by Harley Peyton that seems to take a surprising number of shortcuts. It’s still very solid television, leading up to a “come back next week” style cliffhanger, but it pales in comparison with last […] More

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    Agents of SHIELD, Ep. 2.21-22, “SOS Part 1 and 2”: Goodbye, Cal

    Audiences should consider themselves warned that “SOS”, the two-part season 2 finale of Agents of SHIELD, does not mess around. Five named characters (plus two very unlucky SHIELD redshirts) die, Coulson loses his forearm like Ash from Evil Dead, and Simmons is dragged off Drag Me to Hell-style by that mysterious Kree stone. (Did the writers have a Sam Raimi marathon just before writing this episode?) A few storylines get resolution, like the May-Dr. Garner relationship and Cal protecting Skye, but there is also a lot of set-up for season 3 in the midst of this epic showdown between SHIELD and Jiaying. For everything it is setting up, however, the episode never loses steam for an exposition dump, nor does it rush to resolve season 2’s story arcs. It easily tops the season 1 finale “Beginning of the End”, and really, “SOS Part 1 & 2” are the best two episodes that Agents of SHIELD has produced so far. More

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    Agents of SHIELD, Ep. 2.18, “The Frenemy of My Enemy”: Ice Cream With Dad

    “The Frenemy of My Enemy” is an episode with a whole lot going on, probably a little too much going on. The return of Ward, Hydra seeking out super-humans, and Cal’s day out with Skye all come to a head in a big showdown in Milwaukee. Plus, Simmons and May are clashing over Gonzalez’s SHIELD, and one of Jiaying’s super-humans goes missing on a camping trip. As a result, everything except for Skye and Cal’s father-daughter date feels rushed, but thanks mostly in part to Kyle Maclachlan’s performance, the episode is still very entertaining despite its minor flaws. More

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    Twin Peaks, Ep. 2.10, “Dispute Between Brothers”: Where you belong

    Dale Cooper belongs in Twin Peaks. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it appears to be a more complicated issue in this episode. As the writers struggled to figure out where to go from here, they realized that Cooper had no real reason to stay in town anymore. About half our time is spent watching him say goodbye to everyone and prepare to head out, only to be interrupted as he finds out that he is being suspended from the FBI and must stay put. Clearly, the writers just needed a reason, any reason, to keep him in Twin Peaks. More

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    Agents of SHIELD, Ep. 2.13, “One Of Us”: Kyle Maclachlan’s Super-Villain Squad

    “One Of Us” is an episode that improves on repeat viewings. Like “Who You Really Are”, this is not a perfect episode, and has one really bothersome plot hole, but some enjoyable characters get a chance to shine. May gets substantial back-story with her ex-husband Dr. Andrew Garner, played by Blair Underwood. Cal is back with a vengeance, and some powerful psychos at his side. Bobbi kicks butt all over the place. Plot hole or not, “One Of Us” is still a really fun episode, with a lot to recommend. More

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    The Definitive Movies of 1995

    20. Dead Man Walking Directed by: Tim Robbins Susan Sarandon earned herself an Oscar for her work in “Dead Man Walking,” a film directed by her then husband, Tim Robbins. She plays Sister Prejean, a nun who befriends a death row inmate named Matthew (Oscar nominated Sean Penn) as they confide in one another and […] More

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    Twin Peaks, Ep. 2.01, “May The Giant Be With You”: The pressure of a phenomenon

    The question of who killed Laura Palmer holds a particular and acute power. Not only did it captivate millions of people in 1990, but it has continued to have the same effect on millions more in the decades since thanks to home video and, most importantly, Netflix. When I first started watching Twin Peaks as a teenager some years ago, I wasn’t as familiar with the phenomenon, having only been told by many about how powerful the show’s legacy has become. The first season of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s series immediately gripped me, not only with that central question but (more importantly) with the remarkable world and its characters that these men had carefully crafted. More

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    Twin Peaks, Ep. 1.07, “Realization Time” hypnotically ties narratives and cherry stems together

    With the sheer breadth of stories being told on an average episode of Twin Peaks, it’s startling to take a step back and realize that each episode only covers a period of 24 hours. While not as slavishly devoted to calling attention to its timeframe in the way The Killing or 24 was, Twin Peaks is a show focused on the day-to-day of the town, beginning each episode with the prerequisite cup of coffee and ending on the wind blowing through the deserted streets and forest. The basic nature of that structure only makes it more remarkable to consider how much happens in a single day, and how good the writers are at keeping the momentum of each plot going as the season progresses. More

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    Agents of SHIELD, Ep. 2.08, “The Things We Bury”: That escalated quickly

    The best way to sum up “The Things We Bury” is Grant’s observation that, “Nothing stays buried forever,” and wow, this episode finds some dark stuff buried in the past. Hydra’s human experimentation in Nazi Germany, Grant’s troubled family history, and what exactly happened to Skye’s mother is all revealed in full, gory detail. Agents of SHIELD is generally a family-friendly show, but “The Things We Bury” is violent and disturbing in a way that audiences have not seen before. It also might be the best episode of season two. More

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