It’s death, death, and more death on the schedule for the Jennings as the second season of The Americans continues: “New Car” doesn’t just force Elizabeth to face (literally) the death of her protege Lucia, but makes all of the KGB face an ideological truth when information the Jennings stole turned out to be fake, leading to the death of 160 young sailors of the coast of the motherland. And as the bodies continue to pile up, Elizabeth and Philip are growing more and more on edge, an anxious fragility that’s underlined every scene this season with a new sense of urgency – and more importantly, ambiguity, as the spy world becomes as confusing and nonsensical as the many lives they’re both trying to maintain.
It’s easy to search for meaning in a Community episode: given the show’s uber-meta construction, it invites critical dissemination of itself in a very unique way. This includes episodes like “Basic Sandwich”, a story so bare-bones and un-Community, it almost feels as if Dan Harmon and company are teasing us, presenting us what appears to be a lot of loud, anti-climatic nothing, then simply dropping the microphone and walking off-stage. Yes, “Basic Sandwich” technically completes the season’s journey of Saving Greendale – but as “Basic Story” went out of its way to point out, the Save Greendale Committee had already saved Greendale. We knew Greendale wouldn’t become Subwaydale – and having that knowledge from the beginning casts both parts of the finale in a very different light.
The ending of the third season of Awkward. saw Jenna end up single, yet on her way towards personal happiness following a year of turmoil. Her lack of a partner made her unique amongst her friends, as Jake and Tamara had moved past their first major fight, and Matty and Bailey were beginning a new relationship, with Ming giving up the Asian mafia for Fred. The season opener this week brings the stress of senior year down on everyone as Jenna adjusts to a level of irrelevance that comes at a bad time, in an enjoyable episode that sets up some promising stories.
Through the first forty-plus episodes of Arrow, we’ve watched Oliver Queen try to balance a series of identities. Suave playboy, CEO, super hero, family member, Eastern mobster: and as the series has evolved and grown, Oliver’s slowly lost control of all of them. He’s burned personal and professional bridges, killed dozens of people, given away his company to a complete stranger… the more Deathstroke orchestrates the world around him, the more Oliver’s lost his already-precarious grip on the various lives he’s trying to juggle.
This week we sit down to discuss “The Lion and the Rose,” a game changing episode that sees the death of a major player. Written by George R.R. Martin and directed by Alex Graves,“The Lion and the Rose” leaves us with plenty to debate, and joining us to dive deep into Martin’s universe is Sound On Sight comics editor, Logan Dalton.
Our introduction to Fargo, Noah Hawley’s Coen Brothers-produced adaptation of their 1996 cinematic classic, begins with a very goofy looking Billy Bob Thornton, driving down a long, desolate Minnesotan road (sound familiar?) with someone in the trunk. Bathed in the red of his brake lights, our first look at Lorne Malvo (small spoiler here since we don’t learn his name in the pilot; you’ll survive) is littered with homages to its source material and symbolism, drawing ties to the original (a briefcase! snowy roads! People running through snow!) and silently introducing Lorne as the Devil incarnate – not only is he surrounded by the color red in the opening sequence, he also hits and kills a deer, a beacon of innocence and purity that Malvo eventually stuffs in the trunk of his broken down car.
That Certain Summer, a made for TV movie, airs as the ABC Movie of the Week. It is the first TV movie to deal with the subject of homosexuality sympathetically. In 1975, ABC debuts Hot l Baltimore, a short lived Norman Lear series, which features the first gay couple on TV. In 1991, the first kiss between a homosexual couple airs on network TV during an episode of L.A. Law. In 1989 an episode of the US drama thirtysomethingfeatured the first gay male couple to be shown in bed together. The brief clip is considered a TV landmark, and of course proved extremely controversial at the time.
Veep, Season 3, Episode 02 “The Choice” sees the staff scramble to establish Selina’s position on a major issue, in an insightful yet funny episode.
Since Winter, Channing, and the group broke Tate out of Death Row, the latter has expressed a strong desire to confront the people who put him in jail in the first place. Tate’s earlier efforts to escape have been hampered by the FBI-led manhunt as well as Winter insisting that his first priority is to look after Bo, an assignment Tate has shown some interest in carrying out. However, Bo’s disengagement of Tate’s ankle bracelet at the end of last week’s episode gave him his first real opportunity to follow his own agenda. This week’s episode puts the focus on Tate’s history, in an exciting episode that alters character dynamics permanently.
Some of you might be wondering why there’s a new episode of This is Our Design considering nothing happened in the most recent episode of Hannibal. Really, it was just an episode featuring 42 minutes of a black screen. Weird. Oh, well. Co-hosts Sean Colletti and Kate Kulzick still managed to analyze the darkness with the help of their fabulous guest, Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club. One of the three is an expert in music, one is an expert in pronouncing the names of actors and actresses, and one clearly knows everything about the Japanese language. We’ll let you figure out which is which. This week, topics include concepts of love in Hannibal, how to get the best use of a stationary character and some more discussion of why Dr. Chilton is a strong candidate for this season’s MVP. Also returning, of course, are the segments “Kate’s Classical Corner” and “The Devil in the Details.” Have a listen and feel free to join the discussion by leaving some comments.