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Justified Recap Season 3, Episode 9 "Loose Ends"

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Justified Recap: Season 3, Episode 9  “Loose Ends”

FX

Justified Recap: Season 3, Episode 9  “Loose Ends”

Justified never shies away from telling you exactly what it’s doing, and when it titles an episode “Loose Ends,” you can bet it will be all about tying up, well, loose ends. Given the particular brand of people who populate Harlan County, it’s not surprising that the tying up of these loose ends involves landmines, shotguns, and more bodies pushed into the swamp. Nor is it surprising that it manages to tell us something about Justified’s value system: Either you’re your own man, or you’re as good as dead.

Justified Recap Season 3, Episode 6, "When the Guns Come Out"

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Justified Recap: Season 3, Episode 6, “When the Guns Come Out”

FX

Justified Recap: Season 3, Episode 6, “When the Guns Come Out”

As season three of Justified reaches the halfway point, things are starting to escalate in a hurry: Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Quarles (Neal McDonough) are confronting each other, their respective Oxy clinics are being attacked, Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) has reluctantly become the linchpin of the coming war, and, sensing that things will only become more dangerous, Winona (Natalie Zea) has put an abrupt end to her reconciliation with Raylan. Yet, in this week’s episode, “When the Guns Come Out,” Raylan (Timothy Olyphant), the man seemingly always in control, comes across as quite oblivious to the trouble brewing in Harlan County.

Better Here than There Mike Cahill’s Another Earth

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Better Here than There: Another Earth
Better Here than There: Another Earth

Mike Cahill’s Another Earth is a high-concept failure. Cahill and co-writer Brit Marling struggle in vain to foreground the thematic significance of their film’s novel main conceit. In their film, a second Earth—that is, an identical planet to Earth as we know it—suddenly appears in the orbit of the film’s native planet Earth. Cahill and Marling don’t have original or even exciting ideas to present, just C-movie insights about survivors’ guilt that happen to revolve around a cool science-fiction premise. But the film’s plot doesn’t really to do much with this alternate planet, a fact that has since made viewers rather upset because, well, just look at that title. Trust me: The lack of sci-fi-ness is the least of Another Earth’s problems.

Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 7, “Not in Portland”

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Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 7, “Not in Portland”
Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 7, “Not in Portland”

When Lost last aired back in early November, I identified what I felt were the show’s two most damning faults: the inability of the characters to raise even the most basic, confusion-averting, common sense issues with one another, and the way the show withheld much of the action (both in the literal, violent, sense as well as juicy plot-developments) until the final 10 minutes of each episode. On the basis of last night’s episode, “Not in Portland” (the first of what we’ve been promised will be a run of 16 uninterrupted episodes), it would appear that Lost has addressed these two gripes; as a result the show is moving with a sense of urgency and assurance it hasn’t displayed in some time.

Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 1, “A Tale of Two Cities”

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Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 1, “A Tale of Two Cities”
Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 1, “A Tale of Two Cities”

And I thought they got rid of that damn hatch. Five months after its dazzling second season finale last May, Lost returned last night with the show very much back to its old tricks. Nothing on broadcast television is as ambitious or as frustrating as Lost. Even the best episodes unfold along a sliding scale of mediocrity-to-brilliance, and from minute to minute, you never know where a scene will land.

So as was the case with “A Tale of Two Cities,” a title that, coupled with the book Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) favored last season, would indicate there are some Dickens fans on the show’s writing staff. The episode follows a familiar pattern of giving the audience a migraine-inducing amount of information in a very short period of time while giving us nothing completely concrete to comfort ourselves with. It’s the sort of show that gives the viewer two choices: stretch before you watch it, or get cramps trying to catch up.