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Insecure Recap Season 2, Episode 1, “Hella Great”

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Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 1, “Hella Great”

HBO

Insecure Recap: Season 2, Episode 1, “Hella Great”

It's nighttime in Los Angeles. Or, to more accurately locate the universe of HBO's Insecure, it's nighttime in Inglewood. That's evident upon watching the opening moments of the show's second season, which feature a number of familiar establishing shots from the South L.A. neighborhood. One can't help but notice that the introduction to “Hella Great” bears a striking resemblance to that of the show's pilot. Each contains requisite shots of locales like Randy's Donuts and the Forum, and in the background blares a cherry-picked track (Kendrick's “Alright” in season one, NxWorries's “Scared Money” here).

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap Part 10

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Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 10

Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 10

In “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” William Blake wrote: “Without Contraries is no progression…Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence.” Last night's installment of Twin Peaks: The Return illuminated the precarious balance between these two opposing forces, previously represented as overarching cosmic principles in “Part 8” but here embodied at the level of all-too-human experience in ways both touching and terrifying.

Game of Thrones Recap Season 7, Episode 1, “Dragonstone”

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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 7, Episode 1, “Dragonstone”

Helen Sloan/HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 7, Episode 1, “Dragonstone”

Whenever Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the newly minted King of the North, seeks guidance, he thinks back to the words of his deceased father, Ned Stark. When it comes to whether he should punish the disloyal houses of Karstark and Umber, who fought against his rightful rule in last season's Game of Thrones episode “Battle of the Bastards,” he chooses not to hold the children responsible for the mistakes of their parents, and bulldozes his way past the more vengeful desires of his sister, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Yes, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) has seized control of King's Landing and summons Jon to take a knee before her, and yes, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has finally returned to her ancestral home at Dragonstone, but “Yesterday's wars don't matter anymore,” Jon announces. Winter is here, women and children will learn to fight alongside men—a prospect fully backed by the fiery young Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey)—and gold is irrelevant. Only dragonglass (and Valyrian steel) can slay the marching armies of the dead.

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap Part 9

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Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 9

Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 9

Showtime gave viewers of Twin Peaks: The Return two weeks to process the epically unsettling excursion into cosmic tone poetry and splattery monochrome horror that constituted much of “Part 8.” It seems likely that, given the show’s fondness for delaying the connection of its many plot points, those events will only bear their strange fruit a few episodes further down the line. And so last night’s installment resolutely picked up where the previous episode’s present-day first act left off, with the miraculously resurrected but still blood-soaked Bad Dale (Kyle MacLachlan) hoofing it along a dusty country road, until a blood-red bandana shows him where to turn off.

Doctor Who Recap Season 10, Episode 12, “The Doctor Falls”

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 10, Episode 12, “The Doctor Falls”

BBC America

Doctor Who Recap: Season 10, Episode 12, “The Doctor Falls”

With “The Doctor Falls,” showrunner Steven Moffat caps off not one, but two story arcs which have run through the entirety of Doctor Who’s 10th season. One of these arcs has been so hidden in the background that its rising to the surface and resolution comes as a great surprise, while the other has been gradually developed throughout the 12 episodes. It all began as the mystery of what the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) were guarding in their secret vault in the basement of the university where they met Bill (Pearl Mackie). After we learned that the vault contained Missy (Michelle Gomez), the focus shifted to the Doctor’s attempts to rehabilitate her and resume their old friendship. The result of that effort was still in the balance when, in last week’s episode, they landed on a 400-mile-long spaceship containing both Cybermen (who captured and converted Bill into one of them) and Missy’s own prior incarnation, the Master (John Simm).

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap Part 8

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Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 8

Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 8

For those who thought “Part 7” of Twin Peaks: The Return contained too much exposition and narrative linearity, Mark Frost and David Lynch have obliged you in spades with “Part 8,” a delirious descent into the murky matrix of material existence. Events pick up, deceptively enough, right where they left off last week, with Bad Dale (Kyle MacLachlan) and Ray (George Griffith) barreling through the night, leaving their recent confinement in Yankton federal prison far in the rearview. The opening sequence sets us up to expect that Bad Dale will summarily execute Ray for withholding key information. Frost and Lynch, though, have a nifty, noirish twist up their sleeves: Ray gets the drop on Bad Dale, putting two in his chest, but before Ray can finish the doppelganger off with a headshot, three spectral figures appear out of nowhere to “treat” his wounds with some bloody hands-on healing.

Silicon Valley Recap Season 4, Episode 10, “Server Error”

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Silicon Valley Recap: Season 4, Episode 10, “Server Error”

John P. Johnson

Silicon Valley Recap: Season 4, Episode 10, “Server Error”

“Server Error,” the season-four finale of Silicon Valley, checks in with almost all the main characters in Pied Piper’s orbit while setting the stage for two season-five showdowns: the battle between Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and Gavin (Matt Ross) for domination of the Internet and the fight for Richard’s soul. Richard lurches in the general direction of ends-justify-the-means mogul-dom with exquisite clumsiness, bouncing back and forth between maniacal determination and dejected self-loathing as his team keeps pulling him back from the brink—Jared (Zach Woods) appealing to his morals while Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) ride herd on his ego. Meanwhile, Gavin roars back into top predator mode with sociopathic ease, polishing off the amuse-bouche of Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky) in one ravenous bite before making a beeline for Richard.

Doctor Who Recap Season 10, Episode 11, “World Enough and Time”

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 10, Episode 11, “World Enough and Time”

Simon Ridgway

Doctor Who Recap: Season 10, Episode 11, “World Enough and Time”

After a run of well-made, entertaining, but hardly top-tier Doctor Who episodes, this week’s “World Enough and Time” sees showrunner Steven Moffat return to form, beginning the wind-up of his last season with a bang. What must surely be the shortest teaser ever for a Doctor Who episode delivers a jolt of adrenaline immediately as we see the TARDIS land in an unknown snow-covered location and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) stumble out, surrounded by the glow of regeneration energy but holding the process back by force of will. Rather than provide a conventional pre-titles prologue to the story of this particular episode, Moffat instead opts to insert a flash-forward to Capaldi’s imminent departure from the series, leaving an aura of impending doom hanging over the Doctor from the outset.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 9, Episode 14, “Grand Finale”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 14, “Grand Finale”

VH1/Logo

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 14, “Grand Finale”

And so it is that RuPaul’s Drag Race recappers like me are tasked to write about the season finale on the first night of Pride celebrations. I shouldn’t complain though. Chad Sell, who’s more or less the official or at least most high-profile illustrator drawing from the Drag Race well, was forced to celebrate his honeymoon while the show was on because of its later berth this time around. I know, I know. Very first-world problems. But dammit, these are exactly the type of rights we fought for nearly 50 years ago. Right?

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap Part 7

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Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 7

Showtime

Twin Peaks: The Return Recap: Part 7

This week’s episode of Twin Peaks: The Return uses Mark Frost and David Lynch’s abiding preoccupation with doppelgangers and mirror imagery as an often subtle structural device. Take Hawk’s (Michael Horse) fleeting mention of Jacques Renault (played in the original series by Walter Olkewicz) during his conversation with Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) about the handwritten pages he found in the bathroom stall door. This brief reference is later echoed by our introduction to Jean Michel Renault (also Olkewicz), the French-Canadian clan’s next generation of sleazy bartender-cum-pimp. Lynch uses a couple of classic rock instrumentals to link scenes set in the wee hours of the night: Booker T. & the M.G.’s “Green Onions” incongruously accompanies the image of a man (reduced almost to a silhouette) sweeping the floor of the Bang Bang Bar, a shot Lynch holds until it becomes strangely hilarious. Set to Santo & Johnny’s aptly titled “Sleep Walk,” the end credits scroll over the late-night patrons of the Double R Diner, only the second time the new series hasn’t concluded with an on-stage performance.