TV (#110 of 1022)

The Walking Dead Recap Season 7, Episode 10, "New Best Friends"

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The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 10, "New Best Friends"

Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 10, "New Best Friends"

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is still uncharacteristically happy in “New Best Friend,” thanks to the group that he ran into at the end of last week's episode and forms an alliance with this week—and he hasn't even been told yet about the seaside community that Tara (Ma Masterson) encountered during her last supply run. Yet, even by the standards of The Walking Dead (whose characters often speak in aphorisms, if they say anything at all), this new group is theatrically taciturn. It's as if their response to the end of the world had been to devolve rapidly, losing the power of speech in the process. Their leader, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), talks, like The Road Warrior's Lord Humungus, in the clipped monosyllables of a toddler, ordering a follower to escort Rick to the top of the trash pile by saying: “Show Rick up-up-up.”

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 5, "Casus Belli"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 5, "Casus Belli"

JoJo Whilden/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 5, "Casus Belli"

In a perfectly logical and reasonable world, Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) would immediately make the connection between the footage of the exploded Medina Medley van at the epicenter of an explosion in New York City and the photos he'd taken the night before, of the man across the street who he believes has been surveilling Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). But how much room is left for logic in the wake of a major terrorist attack?

The Walking Dead Recap Season 7, Episode 9, "Rock in the Road"

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The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 9, "Rock in the Road"

Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 9, "Rock in the Road"

If The Walking Dead were a boxer, it'd be hit-like-a-hammer George Foreman, not float-like-a-butterfly Muhammed Ali, so the sly head-fake that opens “Rock in the Road” throws us surprisingly and effectively off balance. The episode starts where the midseason finale left off: outside at night in Alexandria with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) just after an as-yet-unidentified stranger, whose face we've yet to see, leaps down from the wall where he or she was spying on him. The ominous memory of that mystery stalker—not to mention the show's penchant for blowing up any post-apocalyptic community that starts to feel safe or stable—primes us for mayhem, as Gabriel finishes pondering a passage in his Bible and heads into the supply room. So when the camera lags behind him as he rounds a corner, the sudden clatter registers as the sounds of a struggle until the camera catches up and Gabriel is seen loading up on canned goods and tools that could double as weapons, which he then puts in the trunk of a car that he drives off into the night.

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 4, "A Flash of Light"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 4, "A Flash of Light"

JoJo Whilden/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 4, "A Flash of Light"

Up until the literally explosive final two minutes of “A Flash of Light,” Homeland's sixth season has taken a radically different approach to its narrative. Rather than dealing with an immediate threat, the series has revolved around the hypothetical threat of a nuclear attack, one that's at worst still several years down the road. Instead of establishing an obvious villain, the series has criticized the FBI for essentially inventing homegrown terrorists like Sekou Bah (J. Mallory McCree) and suggested that Mossad might also be fabricating threats with the use of false-flag operatives like Iranian moneyman Farhad Nafisi (Bernard White). The people doing all the threatening in this episode are the ones who're supposed to be the good guys: the CIA's Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), casually accosting Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) as she picks her daughter up from school, and the Israeli government's Etai Luskin (Allan Corduner), politely detaining Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) on his way back to America from the West Bank.

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 3, "The Covenant"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 3, "The Covenant"

Didier Baverel/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 3, "The Covenant"

In “The Covenant,” when Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) uses the word “conclusive” to describe the findings of his Abu Dhabi operative, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Carrie (Claire Danes) knows that something isn't right. A true intelligence officer would never speak so decisively; they prefer to hedge their bets, as Carrie explains to President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel). Only those with an agenda to push would act so bluntly, and at its best, Homeland describes such dealings with subtle ambiguity.

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 2, "The Man in the Basement"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 2, "The Man in the Basement"

JoJo Whilden/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 2, "The Man in the Basement"

At the start of “The Man in the Basement,” both Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) and Homeland are trapped in basements of their own making. Both have lost their connection to the outside world, and are wrapped up in scenarios of what Shakespeare once deemed “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” For Quinn, this means sitting in a dark room, drowning out the concerns of his housemate and caretaker Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) by listening to right-wing conspiracy theorists, looking to make order from the chaos of his life. For Homeland, this means burying itself in small character moments that stand miles apart from the show's political thriller roots.

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 1, "Fair Game"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, "Fair Game"

JoJo Whilden/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, "Fair Game"

The FBI, in full riot gear, breaks down the door to an apartment in the projects of New York City, screaming at a mother (Zainab Jah) and her daughter (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) to get down on the ground, the stove left unattended. The target is Seikou Bah (J. Mallory McCree), an intelligent, tech-savvy Muslim teenager who's been posting videos online that are critical of the United States government; when the family refuses to answer questions from the icy agent Ray Conlin (Dominic Fumusa) without a lawyer present, he abusively kicks them out of the apartment in the cold and dark of midnight so that his team can execute their search warrant. Under Keith Gordon's efficient direction, this entire sequence takes little over two minutes, and it's a jarring (and potentially critical) acknowledgment of the increasingly jingoistic actions America takes in order to protect itself.

Doctor Who Recap 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”

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Doctor Who Recap: 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”

BBC America

Doctor Who Recap: 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”

When the classic Doctor Who was first sold to Mexico in the 1960s, the show was retitled, with a stentorian voice declaiming “El doctor misterio!” at the opening of each Spanish-dubbed episode. According to Steven Moffat, showrunner of the present-day Doctor Who, this title—which the series still uses in Mexico—was the spark that served as the initial inspiration for this Christmas special, in which he creates a very enjoyable mash-up of Doctor Who and the superhero genre.

The Walking Dead Recap Season 7, Episode 8, "Hearts Still Beating"

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The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 8, "Hearts Still Beating"

Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 8, "Hearts Still Beating"

This season's start was as bleak as any in The Walking Dead's history, but the show's midseason finale closed on a major note of hope. Tested by the fire of Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) sadistic dictatorship, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and most of his core group wound up stronger than ever, determined to stand up to their tormentor—and to do it together. “Hearts Still Beating” ends on a shadowy figure who's spying on our survivors, the close-up of his (or her?) boots establishing that it's the same person who shadowed Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Rick on their supply run earlier that day.

The Walking Dead Recap Season 7, Episode 7, "Sing Me a Song"

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The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 7, "Sing Me a Song"

Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead Recap: Season 7, Episode 7, "Sing Me a Song"

The Hitchockian opening scene of tonight's episode of The Walking Dead, “Sing Me a Song,” makes clever use of Michonne's (Danai Gurira) inscrutability. Walking down an initially empty country road and whistling “The Farmer in the Dell” to attract her prey, Michonne is the epitome of the existentially alone western hero she personifies more than anyone else in Rick's group as she sets a walker-lined trap whose purpose is disturbingly opaque. The close-up of the sword and walkie-talkie she leaves behind as she drags a body down the road is a particularly unsettling bit of misdirection: Is she planning to commit suicide by walker? And even if she's doing something else, like setting things up to make it look as if walkers got her so she can go underground, how long can she survive without that sword?