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American Horror Story: Cult Recap Episode 11, “Great Again”

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American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 11, “Great Again”
American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 11, “Great Again”

The season finale of American Horror Story: Cult, “Great Again,” ends on an unmistakably cathartic note. A red-pantsuit-clad Ally (Sarah Paulson), once a terrorized, fearful woman, is no longer willing to be seen as a victim or a survivor. Indeed, she stares down both the slick politician, Herbert Jackson (Dennis Cockrum), whose senate seat she seeks, and then the man who abused her, Kai Anderson (Evan Peters), telling him: “There is something more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man: a nasty woman.”

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

In last week's Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David briefly played the people's hero, standing up to self-righteous hostesses and ill-mannered travelers. In “Namaste,” he proudly reemerges as a shameless asshole and nuisance, which leads to some of the best—and worst—tussles of the season so far.

American Horror Story: Cult Recap Episode 10, “Charles (Manson) in Charge”

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American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 10, “Charles (Manson) in Charge”
American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 10, “Charles (Manson) in Charge”

In so fervently, even humanely, leaning into Kai's (Evan Peters) madness as it once did into Ally's (Sarah Paulson), “Charles (Manson) in Charge” manages to get back to the inspired lunacy of American Horror Story: Cult's first few episodes and reclaim a sense of purpose, one that puts character development on a level playing field with political provocation. The flashbacks are no longer misleading or disconnected and the aesthetics are, while still dissonant, lush with meaning, as in the framing of bodies and use of mirrors that stress both Kai's fraught connection to his sister, Winter (Billie Lourd), as well as his psychic break from reality.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

Larry David has worn many hats throughout Curb Your Enthusiasm's run. This season alone he's been a pickle hero and fatwa boy, but more often than not, he's just a “four-eyed fuck.” “The Accidental Text on Purpose,” last night's episode of the show, introduced the unlikeliest of roles for Larry: relationship guru. Why anyone would trust Larry with relationship advice is unclear, but for the better part of the episode, Larry doles out some inspired—and appropriately disingenuous—nuggets of wisdom.

American Horror Story: Cult Recap Episode 9, “Drink the Kool-Aid”

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American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 9, “Drink the Kool-Aid”
American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 9, “Drink the Kool-Aid”

“Drink the Kool-Aid,” the latest episode of American Horror Story: Cult, opens with Kai Anderson (Evan Peters), a flashlight held under his face and his underwear-clad recruits sprawled out on sleeping bags before him, telling what could be a ghost story at summer camp. The scene is at the very least effective for infantilizing Kai and his followers. It’s a succinct expression of the blind leading the blind, which is, of course, what the makers of the show understandably believe is the governing principle of the Trump presidency.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 5, “Thank You for Your Service”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 5, “Thank You for Your Service”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 5, “Thank You for Your Service”

“Thank You for Your Service,” last night’s unbelievably incident-packed episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, hinged on the kind of tone-deaf punchlines that have marred many of the Larry David show’s recent episodes. But it’s also the ninth season’s most cohesive installment thus far, recalling the jigsaw-puzzle-like construction of vintage Curb episodes.

The Deuce Recap Season 1, Episode 8, “My Name Is Ruby”

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The Deuce Recap: Season 1, Episode 8, “My Name Is Ruby”

Paul Schiraldi

The Deuce Recap: Season 1, Episode 8, “My Name Is Ruby”

Even without considering its title, it becomes obvious that Ruby (Pernell Walker) will figure heavily in the season finale of The Deuce when we see her walk dejectedly through Times Square midway through “My Name Is Ruby.” Normally prone to holding court under the 42nd Street lights, she’s avoided by pedestrians as though she were a piece of debris. Her thoughtless murder late in the episode is heartbreaking precisely because after weeks of her amicable presence, it’s a shock to see her treated as a disposable thing.

American Horror Story: Cult Recap Episode 8, “Winter of Our Discontent”

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American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 8, “Winter of Our Discontent”
American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 8, “Winter of Our Discontent”

In “Winter of Our Discontent,” Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) is shown in flashbacks as an online troll, a hero to the oppressed, and a savvy manipulator, all before being reduced to a bumbling, petulant clown, a punching bag for an outraged, exasperated, and imprisoned Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) to rail against. “You’re a fake,” she tells him. “You don’t stand for a goddamn thing.” The tracing of the trajectory of Kai’s life throughout the latest episode of American Horror Story: Cult is close to coherent, but we’ve known as early as the season’s first episode, “Election Night,” when he painted his face orange with crushed Cheetos, what—or, rather, who—this young man is supposed to represent. What you probably didn’t expect is that Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson), who’s been terrorized by Kai’s cult for months, would one day become part of his inner circle.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 4, “Running with the Bulls”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 4, “Running with the Bulls”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 4, “Running with the Bulls”

Throughout its original eight-season run, Curb Your Enthusiasm questioned the limits of political correctness and offended nearly every group in the process. In doing so, the series produced some wonderfully uncomfortable (and impossibly funny) television. “Running with the Bulls,” though, is what happens when Curb’s inherently problematic humor fails.

The Deuce Recap Season 1, Episode 7, “Au Reservoir”

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The Deuce Recap: Season 1, Episode 7, “Au Reservoir”

Paul Schiraldi

The Deuce Recap: Season 1, Episode 7, “Au Reservoir”

David Simon’s The Wire helped to make the Momentous Penultimate Episode a hallmark of prestige television, so it’s fitting that tonight’s “Au Reservoir” ends with The Deuce’s first shocking twist of the season. When the usually docile Leon (Anwan Glover) snaps, killing Reggie Love (Tariq Trotter), the act dutifully provides gravity to an episode that fixates on the show’s peripheral characters. The Deuce has consistently balanced cynical appraisal of urban development with a humanist attention to individuals, and after last week’s focus on the broad influences affecting Times Square, the season’s second-to-last episode looks to the background, prominently featuring Ashley (Jamie Neumann), Paul (Chris Coy), and the now-listless crew of pimps.