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Michelle Forbes (#110 of 5)

Orphan Black Recap Season 2, Episode 10, "By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried"

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Orphan Black Recap: Season 2, Episode 10, “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”

BBC

Orphan Black Recap: Season 2, Episode 10, “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”

“Men observe when things hit, and not when they miss,” Francis Bacon once wrote, “and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.” Published posthumously, his “natural history, in ten centuries” Sylva Sylvarum is a pastiche of “experiments” in the philosophy of science, but his aphoristic caution aptly describes the dangers of the episodic review. Weighing the merits of individual installments in a beloved series, particularly one as disposed to bouts of whiplash as Orphan Black, the standout moments tend to linger while the disappointments fade. The second season finale, however, provides an opportunity to reconsider the whole. “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” is best understood as a microcosm of the previous nine episodes: plagued by the same intractable flaws and buoyed by flashes of brilliance, a sloppily written marvel of editing and performance.

2011 Primetime Emmy Winner Predictions

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2011 Primetime Emmy Winner Predictions
2011 Primetime Emmy Winner Predictions

On September 18, Bryan Cranston will not win his fourth trophy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, as Breaking Bad’s fourth season fell outside the award show’s eligibility period—and if you think that bodes well for the AMC program’s chances for Outstanding Drama Series in 2012, remember that Mad Men’s much-delayed fifth season is still slated to fall within the upcoming Emmy calendar. Standing to gain from Cranston’s absence is always-a-bridesmaids John Hamm—unless Steve Buscemi’s Golden Globe and SAG victories earlier this year, and the chillier-than-Mad Men Boardwalk Empire’s surprise showing at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend—weren’t just flukes of nature. A three-time winner for Outstanding Drama Series, Mad Men may have to move over for the new HBO prestige drama on the block, and if Betty White doesn’t win her 3,897th Emmy for acting saucier than your grandmother, that may be enough for this Sunday’s telecast to go down as the Year of the Passing of the Guard. Below, my predictions in a handful of the major categories—brought to you with less than my usual dash of wish-fulfillment.

In Treatment Revisited: Week One

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<em>In Treatment</em> Revisited: Week One
<em>In Treatment</em> Revisited: Week One

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That seems to be what the individuals running HBO’s series In Treatment are telling us with the first batch of episodes of its sophomore season. Back in the therapist’s chair as Dr. Paul Weston is Gabriel Byrne, whose portrayal of Weston manages to make the character the best and the worst therapist of all time.

season two opens on the heels of much upheaval in Paul’s life. He’s relocated to Brooklyn after divorcing his wife and has restarted his practice in his apartment. The premiere begins with an off-hours knock on the door by Alex Prince Sr. (Glynn Turman), informing Paul that the Navy has found no mechanical malfunction with regards to his son’s death and subsequently serving him with papers for a lawsuit.

Battlestar Galactica Recap Season 4, Episode 13, “The Oath”

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Battlestar Galactica Recap: Season 4, Episode 13, “The Oath”

Sci-Fi Channel

Battlestar Galactica Recap: Season 4, Episode 13, “The Oath”

The first five minutes or so of “The Oath” were pretty good Battlestar Galactica, if a little on the on-the-nose side of things (as the show can be every so often). But then, oh, then, “The Oath” turned into the awesomest thing that ever walked the face of this Earth. It had its flaws, and I want to pick on them, but, man, oh man, Starbuck shot a guy in the head, and Baltar and Roslin had to work together to help quell a growing mutiny in the fleet, and Adama and Tigh had their very own version of the impossible last stand of so many siege movies, and the whole thing just rocketed along like a leftover script from season one (when the series was most overtly an “action” show). I’d like to criticize the whole thing, but did you hear me? It was AWESOME!

Wrong Is Right: The Political Jiu-Jitsu of Battlestar Galactica

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Wrong Is Right: The Political Jiu-Jitsu of <em>Battlestar Galactica</em>
Wrong Is Right: The Political Jiu-Jitsu of <em>Battlestar Galactica</em>

The first episodes of Battlestar Galactica’sthird season revised the text displayed during the opening credits, thereby distilling the series’s premise down to its absolute basics: “The Human Race—Far from Home—Fighting for Survival.” In other words, these folks live thousands of lightyears away yet inexplicably worship the Greco-Roman pantheon and are at war with a genocidally-inclined artificial species of their own creation…but they’re us.