Made for Love Season 2 Episode 1: I Have a Rotten Finger Recap

Made for Love, HBO Max’s story of a woman who impulsively marries a dysfunctional billionaire (is there any other kind?) is back for season 2. Season 1 began when Hazel Green, wife, hostage and muse to tech giant Byron Gogol, escaped him after ten years of living a life of luxurious imprisonment in his secretive high tech work-home-play environment, the Hub. Unfortunately, Byron had already done home brain surgery on Hazel to place a Made for Love chip in her head, which allowed him to track her movements and emotions and to literally see through her eyes at all times.

Hazel struggled to break free from Byron’s control, but then reluctantly returned to the Hub when Byron promised to cure her father, Herbert, of his fatal pancreatic cancer in exchange for a chance to rekindle their relationship. Unbeknownst to Herbert, she and Byron brought him, his synthetic partner, Diane, and their entire home to a cube in the Hub where they’ll stay while he receives cutting edge cancer treatments developed by Byron’s company. Hazel’s plan is that Herbert will never know about the sacrifice she made for love him.

Season 2 picks up with Hazel (Cristin Milioti), Herbert (Ray Romano) and Diane (as herself) adjusting to their new routine back at the Hub. Hazel has to push Byron (Billy Magnussen) to keep the promises he made that she would have more freedom to move around the Hub, control over her own life and access to information. Byron reluctantly gives in and also provides Herbert with the promised state of the art medical care, but he still has many layers of secrets that Hazel knows nothing about. Herbert is drugged to sleep whenever it’s time for a treatment, then his clocks and the sun in his cube are reset as if no time has passed. He begins to question reality when he senses time passing differently from what his clocks show.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 6: Hide and Seek Recap

In episode 6, Graner and Cobel close in on the person who helped Petey with reintegration. Cobel punishes Ms Casey for letting Helly out of her sight the day before and warns Mark to keep MDR in their own office. Mark rebels against her orders and takes the team to O&D instead, where they meet the rest of the department. Outie Mark goes on another date with Alexa. While out on a walk, Devon runs into Gabby, the other expectant mother from the birthing center, but Gabby doesn’t remember her. Later, Devon learns that Gabby’s husband is a pro-severance state senator.

Recap

Dressed for bed in a homespun cotton nightgown and braids, Harmony (Patricia Arquette) finishes turning Petey’s (Yul Vazquez) implant into a pendant and clasps its chain around her neck. She’s made her bedroom in the basement, enclosed on two sides by the basement’s cinderblock walls, painted an institutional white, with only partially framed walls on the other sides, almost suggesting bars. Her bed has an old cast iron bed frame. The room is lit by a single fluorescent light, mounted on the wall over the head of bed, and candles the size and shape of Gemma’s candle, but Harmony’s are white.

It looks as though she’s recreated her childhood bedroom from a mid 20th century orphanage or school. Or she’s a survivalist who’s very worried about natural and manmade disasters, so she sleeps in her basement bunker.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 5: The Grim Barbarity of Optics and Design Recap

In episode 5, Helly continues to work through her issues with the help of Mark and Ms Casey. Irving and Dylan find a disturbing painting which shows O&D attacking MDR. When they confront Burt about the painting and his lie about the size of his department, he tells them that the rest of the O&D department believes false rumors about MDR. Ms Cobel asks Milchick to have Petey’s implant analyzed. In the outside world, Devon goes into labor and Outie Mark joins her support team at the nature retreat birthing center.

Trigger warning for self-harm. And more about goats than anyone wants to know. There are some things you can’t unsee. Metamaiden was traumatized by flying goats, so I promised her that I will finally analyze Petey’s map in episode 6. Somehow this one got long, even for me. I didn’t even talk about the kelp. 💦

Recap

The episode begins moments after the end of episode 4, continuing Helly’s (Britt Lower) suicide attempt. The elevator reaches its destination and the doors open, revealing Outie Helly hanging from the ceiling and struggling to breathe. Judd (Mark Kenneth Smaltz) is missing from his desk once again. We’re briefly shown the view from one of the surveillance cameras, which is recording the scene. The elevator doors close again and Helly rides back down to the severed floor, still struggling.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 4: The You You Are Recap

The jeopardy ramps up in episode 4, as Helly’s desperation to resign keeps her in the break room and then leads to increasingly dangerous attempts to get through to her outie. The loss of Petey triggers outie Mark’s grief for his wife, while innie Mark ponders what to do about the map Petey left him. Burt visits MDR and makes Irving an offer he can’t refuse. Dylan continues to offer sage advice that nobody takes.

This would be a very different show if people listened to Dylan’s common sense more often.

Self-harming trigger warning for this episode.

Recap

It’s late afternoon and Helly (Britt Lower) is still in the Break Room. She’s been there for hours, since before lunch of this workday that started in episode 3. Even Milchick (Tramell Tillman) looks droopy around the edges, but he dutifully informs her that she’s still not sincere enough in her reading of the mandatory Lumon confession of Original Sin, ever after reading it 259 times. However, when the clock on the wall clicks over to 5:15, their shift is over, so Milchick’s mood lightens, he methodically organizes his space and puts the recording of Helly’s confessions in his shirt pocket.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 3: In Perpetuity Recap

In episode 3, Petey tells Mark more about how he became reintegrated. After Mark leaves Petey alone in his basement for the day, Devon and Ricken drop off an advance copy of Ricken’s latest self help book outside on Mark’s front stoop as a gift for Mark. Suspicious of what Mark has been up to lately, Cobel/Selvig finds the wrapped gift and takes it with her. Then she searches his house, driving Petey to escape back out into the cold.

At the office, Helly continues to be unhappy and to search for a way out. Mark and Irving decide she needs more meaning in her work life, so they arrange a group tour of the Perpetuity Wing, the corporate museum which highlights founder Kier Eagan’s family dynasty, Lumon’s corporate philosophy and it’s good works.

Recap

By the beginning of episode 3, Petey (Yul Vasquez) has recovered from whatever it was that happened to him in the shower at the end of episode 2 and put on the blue and red striped robe Mark (Adam Scott) that left for him. Mark must have heard something happen because he asks if Petey is okay and apologizes about the robe, saying it was a gift from Ricken (Michael Chernus). Petey says he just slipped a little in the shower and to respect the robe.

It does look like a cozy robe.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 2: Half Loop Recap

In episode 2, we follow Helly as she goes through the severance procedure in a flashback, then jump back to the present and watch her first full day in the Microdata Refinement department. Mark calls in sick in order to visit the address on Petey’s card.

Recap

The episode opens with Helly (Britt Lower) filming her video testimony consenting to the severance procedure. Milchick (Tramell Tillman) records the video then walks her to the procedure while going over some of the details of the day. They walk through an upper floor of the vast, open lobby that we watched Mark walk through in episode 1. Milchick stops in front of the monolithic bust of corporate founder Kier Eagan (Marc Geller) to comment that he loves the smell of napalm in the morning the look of the sunrise over Kier’s face. The window frame shadows create a series of bars across Kier’s face, enhancing the prison quality of the building’s architecture. Shadow bars are a staple of Film Noir cinematography, so they instill a subliminal sense of peril all by themselves, without Big Brother watching behind them or the reference to the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 1: Good News About Hell Recap

This is a recap of the AppleTV+ series Severance, season 1 episode 1. My review of the season is HERE.

Severance is ostensibly a series about work-life balance, but while it’s a complex, layered show, there’s very little balance involved. A little juggling, maybe, by some of the characters who haven’t been through the severance procedure, which splits memories into a work life and a home life, with no meeting of the two minds. But there is no way for two halves who can’t communicate with one another to negotiate anything like balance between them. Instead, this is a show about choices, connection and self awareness, in a controlled environment that tests the characters as if they are lab animals.

This distinction between the work self and home self as two halves of the same whole who don’t and never will know or understand each other is introduced and explored in episode 1 when Adam Scott’s Mark finds that his best work friend Petey has left his job at Lumon Industries. Mark is promoted to Petey’s former position on the spot and told to acclimate his own replacement, Helly R (Britt Lower), who has just undergone the severance procedure. The corporate philosophy that humans are replaceable, programmable plug and play resources is illustrated within the show’s first few minutes. The flaws in this sort of thinking are also exposed.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 3 Episode 7 Recap: In Which Diana Rescues Matthew

In episode 7, the series finale, Diana shows that she’s come fully into her power. She rallies the family, including Baldwin, to find Matthew and rescue him from Benjamin’s torture. Then she confronts the Congregation with scientific evidence that the Covenant is helping drive species extinct, and in the process thwarts Gerbert’s plans, while helping bring justice for the long overlooked daemons. Once she’s done saving the creature world, Diana turns back toward Matthew and tying up loose ends with her family.

Recap

The action picks up not long after the end of the previous episode. Dressed in black dark colors, the family gathers in the Sept-Tours great hall to organize the search for Matthew.

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Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 3: The First Blow Recap

Episode 6 begins with an epic train battle as the two engines vie to outmaneuver each other in a rail yard that gives them dozens of parallel and crisscrossing tracks to work with. While the engineers and their commanders battle it out, the resistance and loyalists down the line on each train also join the fight.

Recap

Wilford (Sean Bean) has the voice over:

“I was born for battle, built for it. Sometimes in battle a perfectly crafted plan gets compromised. A true general comes up with a better one right there on the spot; working without a net and sticking the landing to thunderous applause… There’s a moment in a fight when that first blow lands and everything stops. And in that flash of clarity, you know who you are. I’ll push as hard as it takes to get my engine back. Snowpiercer, 1,023 cars long.”

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A Discovery of Witches Season 3 Episode 6 Recap: In Which Diana and Matthew Attempt to Settle Old Scores

Discovery of Witches S3Ep6 Sarah & Diana Cast a Spell

In episode 6, Matthew leaves for Poland to find Benjamin and punish him for being a de Clermontacting exactly like Matthew – not getting the message that the de Clermonts don’t harm witches any more since Matthew met Diana. And for stealing his grandfather Philippe’s watch. While Matthew is gone, Diana and Sarah set out to retrieve the Book of Life from the library now that they have all three missing pages.

Recap

As Ruelle’s song Genesis plays, Matthew (Matthew Goode) and Diana (Teresa Palmer) say an emotional goodbye, then he drives to Poland, where Benjamin (Jacob Ifan) is holding witches hostage and waiting for Matthew to find him.

Diana informs Marcus (Edward Bluemel) that she and Matthew agreed she’d go to Oxford and retrieve the Book of Life while he was gone. In an out of character moment, Marcus tries to talk her out of it. He thinks they should all sit at Sept-Tours and wait for Matthew to come home.

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