Mindhunter Season 1: Review

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In Which the FBI Learns to Think Like a Serial Killer

Mindhunter is a new 10 episode original series from Netflix based on the true crime book of the same name by John E Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Douglas spent 25 years in the FBI, many of them developing the science of criminal profiling. The series is a fictionalized account of  Douglas’ time with the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit, where he worked with Dr Ann Wolbert Burgess and Robert Ressler to study and categorize the behavior of psychopathic criminals.

The first season starts before Holden Ford, the stand-in character for Douglas, and Bill Tench, the stand-in for Ressler, meet. Ford is an FBI hostage negotiator and instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. Tench travels the country teaching FBI methodology to local law enforcement agencies. He listens in on local concerns and occasionally assists with cases at the same time. Ford feels he’s wasting his time teaching a subject that’s too limited to students who don’t care, while Tench wants help carrying his slide projector, so their supervisor pairs them up.

While Shepherd, the supervisor, originally pairs the two as a way to get both to stop hassling him, it proves to be a stroke of genius. Local officers frequently approach Tench and Ford during and after their presentations with unique cases that seem unsolvable. These spark Ford’s instincts, leading him to seek out more information about crimes involving fetishes and repeat offenders: what would come to be known as the work of serial killers.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 7: Getting Over Jeff Recap

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This week’s episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a mixed bag, continuing the trend we’ve seen all season. Paula takes center stage with the A storyline and, for the first time ever, the title, which refers to Paula’s lost high school love, Jeff Channington, rather than Josh Chan.

Donna Lynne Champlin and Paula are deserving leading ladies, and the show reminds us that they are both the types that Hollywood normally forgets can be more than best friends. By giving Paula her own hot ex-boyfriend, and letting her live that fantasy out, they acknowledge once again that romance isn’t limited to certain ages or body types. That message never gets old.

None of the other storylines can live up to the glory of Paula singing about Jeff’s penis in the grocery store aisles complete with back up singers and suggestive vegetables. Josh is still trying to grow up, Rebecca is still trying to please her doctor, and Darryl and White Josh are still at a crossroads that they can’t navigate through. Stuff happens during the episode, but, other than Paula, I didn’t feel like any of them had made any tangible progress by the end.

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Legion Season 1 Episode 1: Chapter 1 Recap

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Now that it’s back on HULU, let’s talk about Legion! THIS show is the Twin Peaks of the current era, if anything is, a groundbreaking, mindbending thrill ride that’s artistic and unpredictable, but full of heart, and characters you’ll care about. It substitutes Dan Stevens, who’s quickly becoming a sought after star, for Kyle MacLachlan, as the lovable pseudo-everyman in a topsy-turvy world.

As with Twin Peaks, viewers seem to either love this show or hate it. Going in with an open mind and letting go of the need for linear, mundane storytelling is crucial. We spend time in a mental institution this season, trying to determine what’s reality and what isn’t, for some very good reasons. Unlike Twins Peaks, the writers of this show actually know where they’re taking us, so don’t worry, just strap in and enjoy the ride!

Chapter 1 begins with a montage of the infancy and childhood of David Haller, otherwise known as Legion. It’s set to The Who’s Happy Jack. By the time he’s a teenager, David is drinking, doing drugs, and involved with petty crimes, in addition to the auditory and visual hallucinations he’s dealt with for his entire life. And he occasionally moves things with his mind.

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Marvel’s Runaways Season 1 Episode 5: Kingdom Recap

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This week on Runaways the characters reached some major turning points. The kids all banded together for the first time to fight off a common enemy. The Pride accomplished the goal they’d been working toward for 15 years, and revived Dr Doom. We found out more about Geoffrey, Catherine, Victor, and Tina, giving us more insight into their characters, and possibly the future timeline of the show. And we might have met Karolina’s real father.

The cold open shows us a flashback to a prison in LA, eighteen years ago. Geoffrey and Darius are incarcerated together. Geoffrey has a visitor. They assume it’s his lawyer, but it’s a man named Jonah. He makes a $5 million offer to buy a run down strip mall that Geoffrey owns in Compton, one of the worst parts of LA.

Catherine has arrived during the conversation, and she helps Geoffrey work out a deal to sell, but retain partnership rights with Jonah to manage the property, since it’s in a poverty-stricken black neighborhood. Geoffrey just has to find a way out of prison in the next month. He talks Darius into confessing to the murder that Geoffrey committed, in exchange for Geoffrey promising to take care of Darius and his family for life. Darius will do a minimum of ten extra years in prison for Geoffrey’s crime.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 8: Chapter Twenty-One- House of the Devil Recap

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On the roller coaster ride that is Riverdale, this episode is the lowest the show has ever taken us. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is echoing his old boss Ryan Murphy, and his old show Glee, with epic levels of character and plot inconsistencies, misogyny, sheer contrivances, and using audience manipulation in place of actual storytelling.

The Berlantiverse is known for many of those things as well. Just take a look at any character that the writers decide is mainly a love interest, whether it’s Mon El on Supergirl, Caitlin or Iris on The Flash, or Felicity on Arrow. Betty and Cheryl seem to be meeting the same fate on Riverdale, as their characters erode from the complex women that they were in season one into inconsistent caricatures.

This episode, Veronica and Archie continued their sexathon relationship the way it had always been, complete with sex montage. After a particularly romantic tryst in front of her parents’ fireplace, Archie, overcome with endorphins, told Veronica that he loved her. She conspicuously didn’t reply, so they did the discomfort dance and decided that Archie should leave.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 2: Orientation Part 2 Recap

 

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The second episode of this two parter slips in much more information than Part 1, and brings up even more questions, chief among them, WHERE IS FITZ??? One postcard in two episodes is not enough. While the world could always use another Nazi zombie movie, especially when JJ Abrams is involved, Fitz is sorely needed in the future, rather than the past. Shouldn’t Steve and Bucky be taking on the World War 2 era Nazi zombies, anyway?

Alas, the rest of the team is left to cope with the news that the monolith flung them 90+ years into the future, where the earth has been blasted into a debris field and a piece of shell, without the one member who might be able to work the problem. On second thought, maybe those sneaky showrunners sent him off to do a movie for a reason. As Jemma says, she’s not the kind of scientist who can whip up some time travel at a moment’s notice. But Fitz just might be able to do it, after working with Aida and Radcliffe. They needed to leave Fitz behind to slow the plot down a bit.

Part 2 picks up immediately after the end of Part 1. Jemma and May try to wrap their brains around what they’re seeing through the trawler’s windows: about a third of the earth’s surface remains, with atmosphere on top, some crust, and glowing red under the eggshell shaped curve of its underside. The rest of the earth has become the debris field we’ve been watching since the tag at the end of last season.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 1: Orientation Part 1 Recap

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Agents of SHIELD is back! In space! The one thing they haven’t done yet, TM Mack. With the Kree, the most vicious Blue Man Group impersonators known to this, or any other galaxy. And without Fitz. 😭 Jemma and I are nearly inconsolable, but it’s not our first rodeo time in space, so we will soldier on and use the scientific method to make the worst decisions possible, damn it.

But first, let’s rewind to discover how the team got into space. We follow a bald, middle-aged man going through his morning routine at his home, including going for a swim, drinking one of the peanut butter flavored nutritional shakes that are the sole contents of his fridge, and peeling off his human skin suit so that he can take a shower in his alien nakedness.

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The Gifted Season 1 Episode 9: outfoX Recap

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This week, The Gifted continues to explore its central theme of family. The main theme of this season is the question of protection: How far is too far when it comes to protecting family? How much pain and suffering is it okay to cause others in your quest to save or avenge your own? How far can you go before you become the monster?

But there is also the question of who counts as family, and the necessity of making hard choices. Will you be able to live with yourself if you don’t go far enough to help someone, save someone, or catch someone? How do you find balance?

One of the best things about this show is that we’ve been given both sides of the conflict all along, and with extreme and reasonable characters on both sides. Jace’s need for revenge is very understandable, but now, after this episode, he’s faced with destroying a family that he knows, and a father who loves his children the way Jace loved Grace.

Except Andy and Lauren won’t die the quick, clean death that Grace did. They’ll be tortured and exploited for as long as Campbell wants to use them, then murdered, with their bodies left to rot somewhere.

You could see it in Jace’s face at the end of the episode, when he realized who he’d caught. He’d finally reached the point where he had to ask himself, “How far is too far?”

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Marvel’s Runaways Season 1 Episode 4: Fifteen Recap

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The Runaways get serious about their investigation of their parents this week, while their parents get serious about fixing the mistakes made the night of the ritual. By the end of the episode, we’ve gotten a pretty clear idea about the morality and criminal competency level of many of the parents, though a couple remain elusive. The kids start the episode with differing opinions about their parents, but by the end, their investigation brings them into alignment.

The cold open shows us the Minoru family discovering Amy’s body after her suicide. Nico finds Amy dead in bed before school. She looks blue, but that could be a lighting effect. Nico reacts normally, screaming for her parents, crying, calling 911. Tina and Robert react calmly, almost as if they expected this. They seal the house rather than calling for help. Tina uses a jolt from her staff to knock Nico unconscious so that she can’t call 911, then locks Nico in her room. When Nico wakes up, she uses the house cameras to spy on her mother, who is busy paying off a local police detective.

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Marvel’s Runaways Season 1 Episode 3: Destiny Recap

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This episode is the third part of the three part introduction to the series. We’re done with the night of the Pride ritual, and it’s time to cope with the morning after.

The episode begins with a flashback to ten years ago, when everyone attended the funeral of Molly’s parents, who died in a house fire. The entire Pride, and their children, are there. Little four year old Molly sits alone in a tiny wheel chair with a pink cast on her right leg. She’s next to the Yorkes, who look devastated. The entire Pride has the grace to display varying levels of sadness, except for Tina, who looks like the funeral is making her miss another board meeting. The distaste and impatience on her face are palpable.

After the funeral, everyone gathers together for food and memories. Tina conspicuously pulls her sleeve down to cover the thick bandages on her right hand and arm. Geoffrey confronts Robert about Pride members potentially murdering each other, but Robert insists it was a cooking accident. He implies that he didn’t see the cooking accident, saying he’d know if she’d done something to the Hernandez.

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