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  • A hand studded with scars points to a move on a chessboard

    Twin Peaks Episode 20: Who Brought The Nightmare To Twin Peaks?

    Episode 20, “Checkmate”, is certainly some of the best of the worst of Twin Peaks. Whenever I have to convince people to watch Twin Peaks and they protest by citing the dip in quality of the second season, I make a point of insisting that while the James-Evelyn plotline is a chore, some of the best moments […] More

  • David Bowie in a dusty, triangular attic from the video for "Blackstar"

    David Bowie: “Something Happened On The Day He Died”

    On the night of January 10, 2016, Lester Bangs visited me in a dream. I finished reading his biography that week. He showed up at a bus stop with some Taco Bell and a very important message. But I immediately forgot what it was because I woke up around 4 am to the news that […] More

  • A man in a hat with a gun walks away from a burning car

    Fargo S4E11 Wraps Up The Beginning of A New American Crime History

    Fargo S4E11 wrapped up the prequel season of the crime anthology series. Season 4 sought to retell the fictional history of the Kansas City mob by subverting imagery and tropes from Hollywood. First, Loy Cannon managed to fend off Josto’s alliance with Happy and Leon by striking a deal with Violante based on Ethelrida’s information […] More

  • Ethelrida Smutny in S4E10 of Fargo

    Fargo S4E10: The Gospel of Ethelrida Pearl Smutny

    Fargo S4E10 leads us into the finale with a brutal episode that nevertheless ends with a triumphant Ethelrida Pearl Smutny striking a deal with Loy Cannon that could save her family. In keeping with the religious symbolism seen all throughout Fargo Season 4, Ethelrida’s bold actions make a compelling parable about justice and mercy. But […] More

  • A young Black boy in a black and white room opens to a door in color, in reference to The Wizard of Oz.

    Fargo S4E9 Looks to The Wizard of Oz for Its Most Kansas Story Yet

    Fargo S4E9 is the best standalone episode of the season so far. Like the blizzard in Season 1, or even the UFOs in Season 2, it culminates in a terrifying act of god that reminds our characters of their meaninglessness in the universe. While S4E9 is a brief reprieve from the escalation of tensions back […] More

  • FBI Agents Mulder and Scully with flashlights in a black and white scene.
    in ,

    In The X-Files: “The Post-Modern Prometheus” Mulder Defies Reality

    “The Post-Modern Prometheus” really started kicking the X-Files monster of the week episodes into a higher gear. Part of the success of The X-Files in the early years was its relatively experimental episodic format that bounced back and forth from standalone stories to a larger seasons-long arc that delved into the show’s extra-terrestrial mythos. The […] More

  • Detective Weff with his gun drawn in a train station, bodies visible on the flood in the background.

    Fargo’s Nadir Turns Apocalyptic in S4E8

    Fargo S4E8 once again lets us know that this is a story about storytelling. The episode’s title, “The Nadir,” references the moment in a traditional plot structure where the characters are at the deepest pit of their struggle. The chaos of the outside world has made its way into their lives and disrupted their chosen […] More

  • Chris Rock in a suit in Fargo Season 4, with a man to each side

    Fargo S4E7: The Angels of Death and Mercy

    Fargo S4E7 opens with a visit from the Angel of Death and ends with an act of mercy. Nurse Mayflower brings poisoned macaroons to Dr. Harvard, showing her willingness to resort to murder as a solution to nearly every problem. She can barely wait for him to take his last breath before diving into his […] More

  • The mutant Killface and Xander Crews on a debate stage in front of podiums. Crews is wearing a tuxedo shirt and Killface has a penguin on his podium.

    Does Frisky Dingo Understand American Politics Better Than The West Wing?

    The election is finally here so it is time to look back at television’s best campaign parodies and ask ourselves: does Frisky Dingo understand American politics better than more serious shows like The West Wing? During a time when Americans were understandably disaffected from mainstream politics, Frisky Dingo gleefully imagined a presidential race between two […] More

  • Ethelrida Smutny blows out the candles of her birthday cake while a tall ghostly figure stands over her in the dark

    Fargo S4E6 Descends Into Snowy Darkness

    The opening scene of Fargo S4E6 sets an ominous tone for the episode, which starts to feel like we’re finally entering the descent into the dark abyss. Ethelrida walks into her family home and finds her parents waiting, unaware of the scene that took place in the last episode. We see the cake and the […] More

  • A line of men in coats and hats standing under umbrellas

    Fargo S4E5: A Slow Burn To A Deadly Beginning

    Fargo S4E5 isn’t a typical origin story, but it is an origin story nonetheless. It isn’t the origin of a hero or villain, or character at all. Or even the place Fargo, North Dakota. But it is the origin of the corrosive underworld we’ve come to recognize as Fargo, the vaguely supernatural element of gothic […] More

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