The Affair, Ep. 2.11-12, “211” and “212”

Alison’s steps towards independence from Noah draw her back to Montauk and Cole, while Noah himself feels the sting of being cheated on and lied to in an entertaining finish to the season.

The Affair, Ep. 2.05-06, “205” and “206”

As Cole and Helen begin moving on with their lives, Noah and Alison’s relationship begins to show cracks, causing Alison to retreat towards familiarity while Noah finally comes up with an ending for his book in a compelling pair of episodes.

The Affair, Ep. 2.03-04, “203” and “204”

As Noah tries to reconcile Helen’s demands with his budding relationship with Alison, how the Solloway children are coping with the divorce and the behaviour of their parents takes centre stage in a strong pair of episodes.

Ruth Wilson as Alison and Joshua Jackson as Cole in The Affair (season 2, episode 2). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_202_4267

The Affair, Ep. 2.02, “202”

Having examined how Noah and Helen are coping in the second season premiere, the show’s focus turns to Alison and Cole this week, in a compelling continuation that brings up some interesting ideas.

Dominic West and Maura Tierney

The Affair, Ep. 2.01, “201”

The focus of the show shifts from Alison to Helen in the second season premiere, as the effects of Noah and Helen’s divorce on the formerly married couple, as well as their children, takes centre stage in a strong return for the series.

Penny Dreadful, Ep. 2.07, “Little Scorpion”

Evelyn Poole and her coven of witches have been fighting hard to deliver Vanessa to Satan, and “Little Scorpion” highlights one of the reason’s the devil wants Vanessa’s soul so badly: it’s steeped in darkness.

Homeland, Ep. 4.05, “About A Boy” an uneasy hour of bad choices

“I’m a spy. I know shit.”

That line, spoken by John Redmond, is funny in the moment, but begins to feel ironic by the end of the episode. Practically everyone is off their game this week, with an abundance of questionable decisions leading to Saul getting kidnapped. By this point, we’ve spent plenty of time with Carrie, Saul, Quinn, even Fara. We know what they can do, we know how good they are at their jobs…except when the writers need them to be stupid. It all feels overly telegraphed, to the point where these uncharacteristic decisions not only frustrate on a plot level, but a character one too. It’s reminiscent of how a show like Family Guy treats its characters and its continuity, which is an unfortunate comparison to make with a high profile prestige drama.

Homeland, Ep. 4.04, “Iron in the Fire” goes the Full Carrie

There are several reminders in this episode about how good Carrie is at her job, as if the writers are making sure we have the right perspective on her character heading into the episode’s final scene. Fara tells Quinn when he arrives, “I don’t know how she finds time to sleep.” Later, the guy John Redmond had tailing Carrie last episode (and failing) tells John, simply, “She’s good.” Considering the fact that we’ve seen Carrie often at her worst, it is valuable to remember what a good agent she is. Which brings us to that final scene.

Homeland, Ep. 4.03: “Shalwar Kameez” brings the team back together

Is Homeland a show about romance? Put another way, is romance central to what it is trying to say about war, intelligence, bureaucracy? After the Carrie/Brody romance was present through three seasons of the show, there were undoubtedly many that hoped the show would get back to basics with Brody gone. They looked forward to Carrie moving to Pakistan, letting her baby and its father fade into the past, taking control of her new station and hunting down bad guys. That stuff is happening, but we also seem as if we may be heading towards a Carrie/Quinn romance, and it’s unclear if that’s a good thing.

The Affair, Ep. 1.01: “Pilot” sets up an engrossing new series

The newest series from Showtime doesn’t waste the talent it has amassed, as the pilot uses the multiple perspective narrative structure to great effect, establishing unreliable narrators and using actions and dialogue to draw out characters, showing great promise for the show.

Homeland, Ep. 4.1/4.2, “The Drone Queen”/”Trylon and Perisphere” hits reboot

The opening minutes of Homeland’s fourth season, designed to disorient and excite, throws us into Carrie’s new world as the CIA station chief in Kabul. This double feature premiere hits the ground running as we watch how Carrie and her team make a decision that looks as if it will have reverberations throughout the rest of the season. Welcome back, Homeland is saying, and let us get “back to basics”.

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