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Watch Revolution – Ties That Bind Online S01E08

Revolution - Ties That Bind While Revolution doesn’t subscribe to any obvious moral or political ideology—opting to gloss over serious questions of the Monroe Republic’s methods and laws—it does have a philosophical center in its clear commitment to family. With the safety net provided by electronic devices taken away, people reflexively grab tighter to things that are real, the connections that don’t need a web browser or a phone signal to ask. And in that case, the family unit is a clear choice for preservation: giving a support system for surviving the day-to-day obstacles, and something to fight for in the long term.

The problem with this philosophy on Revolution however, is that because so many of the characters on the show make their decisions based on family, the justification for what they do feels weaker and weaker the more it happens. Especially, as keeps happening, many of those decisions come across as irrational at best and stupid at worst. Several other post-apocalyptic shows have had this same problem—Falling Skies and The Walking Dead both stumbled into bad family-oriented subplots more than once—but it’s sort of startling just how many times it’s happened here. Charlie’s willing to walk into danger time and time again to rescue her family, or as we saw last week, even someone else’s family. Rachel is giving Monroe the keys to the blackout to keep her son safe, consequences to the world be damned. Maggie walked cross-country trying to get to her children, and Aaron left his wife because he thought it was the right thing for her. Even Neville’s not immune, though his transition—becoming a stone-cold killer to protect his son—had the virtue of being to the viewer’s benefit.

So it stood to reason that eventually, even Nora would get her own family-oriented plot, which she does in the alternatively entertaining and frustrating “Ties That Bind.” The group is attempting to cross the Susquehanna River to get to Philadelphia, a move complicated somewhat by the lack of bridges and more that Sergeant Strausser’s team has finally traced the group. After an unsuccessful ambush on the bridge, Strausser calls Nora out specifically, offering an impossible choice. Either Nora surrenders Miles and the Magical Pendant, or his prisoner—her sister Mia—dies a slow and painful death.

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Watch Homeland – The Clearing Online S02E07

Homeland - The Clearing What makes Homeland a good TV show, an entertaining, thrilling TV show, are its stories about terrorism, spycraft, politics and lies. What makes it a great TV show is that it is above all about the people involved in those stories — and in particular how being entangled in a world of lies and conflicting demands stresses them, damages them and in particular breaks them.

“The Clearing” advances the thriller subplot slowly, and takes our characters down some blind alleys, but it’s very revealing of Homeland’s human story. Each subplot is about a relationship whose members have genuine connections but also private motivations. Each wants something from one another, each knows something is wanted from them — even if they don’t know what it is — and each wants to figure out what in their world is real or, failing that, how to escape.

If I were to quibble about the season so far, it would be that Saul Berenson, a fascinating character in Season 1, has not had many spotlights of his own. In the first season he was integral to the terrorist hunt and an important counterpart to Carrie: just as her work cost her mental stability, his work cost him his marriage. And one of the most revealing episodes for him last season took him on a cross-country ride with terrorist suspect Aileen, the privileged, radicalized American terrorist. You might think they had little in common, but their shared sense of hurt and humanity let Saul forge a key connection with her.

Now Saul needs Aileen again, but we find that there are limits to his understanding of her. He pleads with her; he confronts the warden who resents Saul’s attempt to bigfoot him; he brings her wine and cheese. He feels that he knows her, he genuinely sympathizes and he again works a key revelation out of her.

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Watch Once Upon a Time – Child of the Moon Online S02E07

Once Upon a Time - Child of the Moon Generally, episodes of “Once Upon a Time” fall into two categories: those that propel the mythology forward in big ways (such as last week’s “Tallahassee”) and those that tread water by focusing more on character backstory, and/or form building blocks for the next mythology episode.

This week’s Ruby-centric outing, “Child of the Moon” fell into the latter category — not much was resolved or advanced, but it was clearly pushing things into place for next week’s dramatic-looking installment. That’s not a value judgment; every serialized story requires certain “filler” episodes to pace the story advancement over 22 weeks, and “Child of the Moon” did a fine job of making us root for Ruby/Red as we learned more about her troubled past.

Back in the Enchanted Forest of yesteryear, we picked up where “Red-Handed” left off, with Snow and Red on the run from the queen’s men and Red first getting to grips with her inner Big Bad Wolf after eating her adorable boyfriend Peter. After separating from Snow, she met up with a pack led by her long-lost mother Anita (Annabeth Gish), who wanted to teach her all about embracing her animal side instead of shying away from it.

The episode mostly served as a reminder that humans can be far more monstrous than any beast, as illustrated by the evil King George’s attempts to undermine Charming’s rule in Storybrooke, killing the innocent Billy (AKA Gus, Cinderella’s adorable mouse buddy) in an attempt to frame Red and make it look like Charming couldn’t protect the town. It’s a familiar message, given some of the awful things Cora, Rumple and Regina have done over the course of the show so far, but the theme of free will is especially important this season, with Ruby proving able to fight her darker impulses and make the right choices — something that Regina and Rumple are both struggling with this year.

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Watch Dexter – Chemistry Online S07E07

Watch Dexter - Chemistry Online S07E07 The seventh episode of Showtime’s “Dexter” for this season is titled “Chemistry” and Sunday night’s show starts with Dexter laying on his kill table, naked with Hannah. She climbs atop him and puts the knife to his throat. She asks if he does that to all of his women. Dexter doesn’t really have women, though, so he has no frame of reference. They wind up having sex again on the killing table.

Meanwhile, Debra is on a date with the crime writer, Sal Price. They’re doing a mix of flirting with discussion about Hannah and her family. Dexter drives Hannah back home.

Dexter: This can’t happen again.
Hannah: Which part? The horse tranquilizer?
Dexter: The sex part.
Hannah: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

She asks him if he’s still going to try and kill her, and he says no. She gives him a kiss on the cheek and leaves. As Dexter gets ready to go, he sees Price watching from his car. He knows Dexter covered up the blood evidence for Hannah, and he tries to get Dexter to go on the record with him. Dexter offers to give him Wayne Randall’s last words and thoughts instead, and Price says he’ll give it some thought.

LaGuerta talks to Debra about the Bay Harbor Butcher, and Deb says they may be sidetracked because they’re still trying to clear Sgt. Doakes, rather than just looking at the evidence.

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Watch Fringe – Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There Online S05E06

Fringe - Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There Of all the people best-equipped to deal with altered realities and venturing into them, you’d think that Walter Bishop would be at the top of most lists. But, as Friday’s Fringe demonstrated, things aren’t always as they seem… Here’re five questions about the wonderfully-titled “Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There”.

Who is Donald?
For the second time this season, we find out that someone called Donald – who Walter doesn’t remember, and the show seems suspiciously determined to hide from our view – helped Walter organize the plan against the Observers before the Fringe team was ambered. It’s clear that Walter’s identity is going to end up being something that’s important to the overall arc this season, which makes me wonder if we’ve already met Donald, in some other guise. My guess, based on little other than a suspicion that I’ll partially explain in a second? Donald is Captain Windmark. That’s why Windmark is so obsessed with capturing Walter, and yet can’t quite manage to do it…

Who is the “we” that helped Walter design the Pocket Universe? (And how did they do it?)
“We designed this for you,” VideoWalter said. But since when did Walter have the knowledge to construct alternate universes, never mind designing them so that they resembled Escher paintings? Was Donald part of the team…? Or was September, the Observer that crossed sides and teamed with the Fringe team at the end of last season, responsible? If that last option is the case – and it seems to be the most likely option at this point – then what else did he help Walter do before his disappearance?

Who is the child?
The questions of who the child Walter abandoned in the Pocket Universe was and why he needed to be hidden there were central to the episode, and left entirely unanswered purposefully. He was an apparently integral part of the plan to defeat the Observers, but why…? (Weirdly enough, the fact that he came from some Fringe case that Walter doesn’t remember struck me as odd, as well. Did the Fringe team have cases after the Observers invaded? Doesn’t that strike anyone else as weird?) Is he an empath, as Olivia assumed? Is he an Observer? Some kind of human/Observer hybrid? Either way, expect to see him again before too long, I suspect.

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Watch Greys Anatomy – Beautiful Doom Online S09E05

Greys Anatomy - Beautiful Doom At last! Christina and Meredith are reunited. Before breaking for the 30-second dance party, let’s revisit the events that led Christina to get past her fear of flying (for now) and head back to Seattle.

While Christina found her car buried under several feet of Minnesota snow, Meredith found a woman who was literally buried under a car. As Meredith rallied others to save the injured woman, Feeny showed up and saved Christina with a warm, snow-free car and a delicious pastry. Seriously, is there anything that George Feeny can’t make better? Considering this is the last time we’ll see Feeny on Grey’s Anatomy, it might be nice if I referred to him by the proper character name – Thomas.

The episode’s opening moments led to a memorable day for the two best friends. Like Dr. Webber and other staffers, I too was worried that Meredith was too emotionally invested in saving Melissa. The image of her trapped beneath the car immediately led me to thoughts of Lexie.

Meanwhile, Thomas continued to surprise Christina by my managing to actually teach the woman who thinks she knows it all. Thomas was clearly invigorated by Christina’s presence, taking on riskier surgeries and finding joy in his work despite Parker’s crass efforts to force the elder statesman into retirement.

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Watch 90210 – Into The Wild Online S05E04

90210 - Into The Wild Beverly Hills, what a thrill! When Max wanted to take Naomi on a camping trip, things weren’t quite as fun as they were in Troop Beverly Hills, but there were interesting developments nonetheless. Into the Wild” was all about Naomi trying to tell Max about that certain kiss.

Here’s a refresher: Two weeks ago, Naomi Clark-Miller – as she’s apparently calling herself – attempted to butter up her husband’s business partner Alec. Little did she know that Alec was setting her up in order to make it look like they kissed and she betrayed Max. Somehow in this whole equation, Alec told Max what he did and Max ended up mad at Naomi for NOT telling him.

Max wasn’t mad that his best friend and business partner set up his wife to make it look like they were kissing. Instead, he was peeved Naomi didn’t share it with him right away. Did it ever occur to Max that Naomi was scared of his exact reaction? She was afraid he wouldn’t believe her, would turn away from her and ultimately side with Alec no matter what. I’d say Naomi’s fears were confirmed. Yes, trust is important, but shouldn’t that trust extend to believing that your husband’s business partner isn’t scheming against you?

I’m Team Naomi on this one, sorry Max.

Speaking of trusting people, Silver should know better than to sign off on having nude photographs taken without reading the fine print. I know she’s stressed, but have the words “nude photos” ever ended up linked to something positive in a sentence? No. It always ends up that they were leaked, hacked and are now all over the Internet. I have to say that this new side of Silver could be interesting, though. If it makes her feel sexy and more alive then sure, go for it.

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Watch Once Upon a Time – Tallahassee Online S02E06

Once Upon a Time - Tallahassee This week’s “Once Upon a Time” felt like a breath of fresh, top-of-the-beanstalk air. We finally found out who Michael Raymond-James is playing (Henry’s father!) and who sent him the postcard telling him that the curse was broken in the season premiere (August!).

Neither of those revelations felt particularly shocking, but it was satisfying to dispatch two of the year’s biggest question marks and get some insight into Emma’s checkered past so early in the season. “Tallahassee” also introduced us to Jorge Garcia’s sympathetic Giant, marking a reunion for him and “Lost” executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. And this episode isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Garcia — in our recent interview, the “Lost” alum revealed that Horowitz and Kitsis had invited him back to film again in a month, so fingers crossed for some Giant backstory.

After the last episode’s hit-and-miss introduction to Frankenstein, this week’s “Once Upon a Time” felt like a breath of fresh, top-of-the-beanstalk air. We finally found out who Michael Raymond-James is playing (Henry’s father!) and who sent him the postcard telling him that the curse was broken in the season premiere (August!).

Neither of those revelations felt particularly shocking, but it was satisfying to dispatch two of the year’s biggest question marks and get some insight into Emma’s checkered past so early in the season. “Tallahassee” also introduced us to Jorge Garcia’s sympathetic Giant, marking a reunion for him and “Lost” executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. And this episode isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Garcia — in our recent interview, the “Lost” alum revealed that Horowitz and Kitsis had invited him back to film again in a month, so fingers crossed for some Giant backstory.

Jennifer Morrison has played Emma with a great weight on her shoulders thus far, so it was nice to see a more carefree, playful version of the character this week — one who was in love and saw a chance for happiness and a stable home in her romance with the roguish Neal Cassady, no matter how fleeting it turned out to be.

August apparently wanted to make amends for abandoning Emma when they were children by lurking around and “protecting” her later in life, but I wonder how Emma would react to learning that he scared away her one chance for happiness just for the sake of breaking the curse.

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Watch Walking Dead – Killer Within Online S03E04

I know I keeping saying it week in and week out, but honestly The Walking Dead keeps on managing to be create more emotion that has everyone on the edge of their seat while watching. Once again the writers have proven no one is safe in this new world, and we should hold our loved ones close while we still can.

We start off with what is a seemingly normal day at the prison, the group is moving cars, cracking a joke about Maggie and Glenn in the guard tower when suddenly things shift after they notice the fence has been cut open and walkers are making their way into the prison guards.

The group is split, with Rick leading Daryl and Glenn on a mission to shut off the sirens that are drawing walkers, while T-Dog after being bitten makes it his mission to lead Carol to safety. Hershel and Beth find shelter behind a fence, while Maggie, Carl and Lori are forced to hide in a boiler room after Lori enters labor.

While we see the tension filled ride through the prison, we are also treated to a more talkative day in Woodbury. The loyalty and bond between Andrea and Michonne isn’t as strong as it once was and Merle wants to try and find his brother. David Morrissey continues to play the Governor as a borderline psychotic character, whose every action seems like it could have ulterior motives.

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Watch Arrow – An Innocent Man Online S01E04

Arrow - An Innocent Man Online S01E04 This week’s episode of “Arrow” picks up pretty much exactly where last week’s episode left off: Diggle awakes from his poison induced unconsciousness to discover that his employer, Oliver Queen, and the murderous vigilante, Arrow, are in fact one in the same. Throughout the course of “An Innocent Man,” Dig struggles to come to terms with Oliver’s criminal killing hobby as he decides whether or not to take Mr. Queen up on his offer.

Oliver Queen very much became the 1970s liberal, and he was contrasted with law-and-order beat cop and cosmic do-gooder Hal Jordan, a.k.a. Green Lantern. The two emerald-clad heroes set out on a road trip through America, helping loggers and Native Americans, stopping drug lords, facing the perils of overpopulation and pollution, and even dealing with a Charles Manson-type cult leader.

Later at the Queen mansion, Laurel drops by to make sure Oliver is OK post-shootout. The possible-future Black Canary still doesn’t know he’s Arrow, but she has noticed he tends to disappear. “I care about the lives of other people, Oliver.” A lecture from Laurel and John on the same night? Looks like it’s time for a bad dream.

Once again Oliver is on the trail of a wealthy, dishonest businessman who had a whistleblower murdered and framed the woman’s husband for the crime. Now on death row and awaiting execution, Oliver assists Laurel in getting the evidence she needs to free the man. Without a doubt this was the least threatening villain Oliver has faced. This whining twerp isn’t the slightest bit believable as a ruthless businessman, especially when he exclaims in a pouty cry, “She’s going to come after me!” in referring to Laurel.

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