In “7,” The Affair (both proper noun and otherwise) had a reckoning. As I’ve noted all season, one of the things that makes The Affair so engaging, but also so difficult, is how real and natural its dialogue can feel. The fights and confrontations in “7″ were hard to experience, even from a removed perspective, because they had in them such universal truths. And, while seemingly removed from one another for most of the episode, Alison and Noah’s stories both followed similar structures. Hit the jump for why “it’s the end of summer, are you heading back to Gotham soon?”
“There’s Something Else Going On” was another incredible, tense, and twisted hour from Homeland that stuck to what the show does best: political posturing and CIA business. It’s not surprising that almost all of this season’s best episodes have done away with the soap opera elements (Carrie’s “trip” through the city ignited a few, they were contained in her mind, so they get a pass). “There’s Something Else Going On” showed just how difficult and sprawling this war has gotten, and that, as Carrie said last week, even the right choices are wrong. Hit the jump for “what the fuck? What the fucking fuck??”
In its second episode, The Missing continued the taught and emotional storytelling of its first. “Episode Two” also showed that the series is not looking for quick answers, and yet, it still (thanks to its dual timeline) moves at a very fast pace. A hint at the end of the hour also suggested that there is more to Oliver’s case than just a rogue kidnapper, but that is, of course, only one small part of the story. His the jump for why “we need to get a heartbeat out of a building that died over three centuries ago.”
Last week on Twitter, Kerry Washington promised that Scandal‘s holiday-break finale would be “bananas.” “Where the Sun Don’t Shine,” though, was also a kind of recap of the entire season so far, boiled down into one hour. There were some twists and turns and some dancing, and a good set up for the next half of this season, but was it completely bananas? Hit the jump for why “I’m marrying a whore, but at least I know what I’m paying for.”
Hmmm. In my enthusiasm over “Episode Seven’s” big departure from Broadchurch, I might have overestimated Gracepoint‘s decision to really strike out on its own. “Episode Eight” was more or less a kind of reset, and the kind that made “Episode Seven” look largely like wheel-spinning. Nothing much was revealed in this new episode, either, which seems to suggest that the two-episode expansion from the original series may not ultimately yield any different results. Hit the jump for why I’m running hot and cold about this series.
“Suits of Woe” delivered another dense and emotionally rich episode of Sons of Anarchy, and possibly one of the best the show has ever done. Like “Faith and Despondency,” it had a little bit of everything (character building, plot advancement, car chases, prison humor). But “Suits of Woe” was the first step in a reckoning that is going to not only define these last two episodes of the series, but the series itself. Hit the jump and “put some pants on. We need to talk.”
Before The Knick garnered all of its fanfare, there was a little show on Cinemax called Banshee, created by Alan Ball (Six Feet Under). The criminally underrated series chronicles the comings and goings in the small and supposedly sleepy Amish town of Banshee, Pennsylvania. But Banshee is also home to a large number of gangsters, who all start to come out of the woodwork once an unnamed protagonist and former jewel thief (Anthony Starr) arrives and takes over the position and identity of a man would have been the new Sheriff, Lucas Hood.
The gorgeously filmed Banshee excised many demons last year, including the end of the Rabbit Saga. According to its Season 3 trailer, though, the bloodshed has only begun. Hit the jump for more.
Fox, having learned nothing from its Gracepoint/Broadchurch experiment, is developing a remake of the BBC crime series Luther. Like Gracepoint/Broadchurch, Fox has hired Luther‘s original creator, Neil Cross, to assist in the making of the American version, which will exist because …? There’s really not a sound reason to remake Luther, especially since the original is readily available for U.S. audiences via Netflix (it also ran on BBC America). Hit the jump for the who and the what of this remake.
ITV’s hit crime series Broadchurch (whose American counterpart, Gracepoint, is currently airing in limited series format on Fox) is set to return in January of 2015. The show was never supposed to go past a first season, after young Danny Latimer’s killer was revealed. But the show, which was so beautifully written and filmed, enchanted and engrossed audiences beyond the crime. Still, there’s a big question about where the series can and will go from here. It’s a question that its main characters, Detective Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Detective Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman) also ask in the teaser trailers. Hit the jump for why the end is where it begins.
Things took a hard turn in The Affair‘s “6,” as Noah (and viewers) discovered some new things about the Lockharts and their business interests. The recollections also differed wildly again, and there was no present day perspective given. While in past episodes, difficult truths have been met with compassion, the things uncovered in “6″ only drove Noah further away, while Alison stood fast. Hit the jump if you worry that I’m just a really great dream.
Things are both starting to come together and starting to fall apart on Homeland. Though there wasn’t any trolling or dramatic meltdowns like in “Redux,” “Halfway to a Donut” was a strong follow-up to that hour’s chaos. What’s been really fun about this season of Homeland is that the major arc can never be fully predicted. The detours and twists and resets have made this season an excellent showcase for Homeland‘s new dedication to the unexpected. Hit the jump for why “they hate us. Good luck finding common interest in that.”
In recent months, Starz has introduced a slate of both scripted (Outlander) and reality series (The Chair) that should make viewers sit up and take notice. The Missing, an 8-part miniseries collaboration with the BBC, seems poised to continue the trend. Its opening hour, “Eden,” was hauntingly raw, and has set up an emotionally complex world to exist in compliment to its central mystery. Hit the jump for “the ugly truth” of Oliver Hughes’ disappearance.
Scandal was full of twists and turns and unholy alliances in “The Last Supper,” the most worrying of which is that Rowan appears to have his own private sniper squad. Though Olivia, Fitz, David Rosen, and others may be masters of their domains, they are no match (apparently, yet), even as a team, against Rowan. Hit the jump for why, “I don’t want justice. I want to kill your father.”
For fans of Broadchurch, Gracepoint‘s “Episode Seven” is when this show completely distinguished itself as a separate crime story. There have been clues in these later episodes that suggested the two would have different outcomes, but “Episode Seven” made it clear the circumstances leading to that revelation are vastly different, and a gamechanger on all fronts. The story is now not only about Danny, but about a second mystery, with even more secrets yet to uncover. Hit the jump; “I have a rifle in the van. Don’t make me use it.”
There are only a few episodes left in Sons of Anarchy‘s final season, which means it’s time to get down to brass tacks. “Faith and Despondency” delivered in a number of ways: sex was had, eyes were lost, genealogies were considered, silverware were reconsidered, motorcycles were ridden, vaseline was dispensed, and there were both deep conversations and shallow graves. Hit the jump if you’re looking for some professional comfort.