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July 31, 2014

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'Dexter' Recap: Talking 'Talk to the Hand' With Michael C. Hall

by Alex Moaba, posted Dec 11th 2011 10:01PM
We've come to expect penultimate episodes of 'Dexter' seasons to be heart-pounding and intense, but the second-to-last episode of Season 6 raised the stakes of serial-killing suspense. In 'Talk to the Hand,' Dexter thwarted a poison gas attack aimed at Miami Metro and lost a showdown with Travis that ended with him set out to sea, surrounded by a ring of fire. It also opened a pandora's box of step-sibling sexual tension when Deb's therapist suggested she might be in love with Dexter.

To help bring some perspective to such a dizzying episode, AOL TV has an interview-cap with Dexter Morgan himself, Michael C. Hall. We discussed tonight's episode, the developments of Season 6 and where 'Dexter' may be headed in its final two seasons. Hall offered his thoughts on the Wormwood attack, the Gellar twist, and the new, strange wrinkle in his complex relationship with Jennifer Carpenter. Read on for the interview.

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'Once Upon a Time' Season 1, Episode 6 Recap: Prince Charming's Identity Crisis

by Laura Prudom, posted Dec 4th 2011 10:50PM
Prince Charming['Once Upon a Time' - 'The Shepherd']

Well, no-one said that it was going to be easy. The course of true love never did run smooth, as Shakespeare wisely wrote, and for those of us hoping that Snow White and Prince Charming might find their happily ever after six episodes into the show's first season, this week's installment of 'Once Upon a Time' certainly had its share of emotional ups and downs.

We were treated to a little of Snow and Charming's backstory in episode three, but 'The Shepherd,' written by genre mainstays Andrew Chambliss ('The Vampire Diaries,' 'Dollhouse' and 'Heroes') and Ian Goldberg ('FlashForward' and 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles') proved to be a perfect companion piece to 'Snow Falls,' bringing us right up to the events of that episode while also providing some surprising revelations about "Prince James."

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'Gossip Girl' Season 5, Episode 9 Recap: Top 3 OMG Moments (VIDEO)

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 28th 2011 10:30PM
Chuck and Blair['Gossip Girl' - 'Rhodes to Perdition']

They say blood is thicker than water, but on the Upper East Side, few things are thicker than money -- a lesson that the artist formerly known as Ivy learned all too well this week. She misguidedly seems to think that the Rhodes name has earned her a bulletproof vest, but in reality, it's only painted a bigger target on her back.

While far too much of this week's 'Gossip Girl' was concerned with Chivy drama, it was nice to see Nate at the center of his own storyline for once (even if said storyline was still kind of a snooze), and the scenes between Chuck and Blair were both touching and tragic. Finally, we saw Chuck admit what we already knew; now it's just a matter of time before Blair comes to her senses, right?

The episode was somewhat lacking in twists and turns this week, so instead of struggling to find our top five jaw-dropping moments, we narrowed them down to three instead. Join us after the jump for our favorite scenes.

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'Once Upon a Time' Season 1, Episode 5 Recap (VIDEO)

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 27th 2011 11:00PM
Archie and Regina['Once Upon a Time' - 'That Still Small Voice']

Though I had an embarrassingly extensive collection of Disney movies as a child (who am I kidding, I still have them), Pinocchio was never among the VHS tapes I wore out beyond repair. Because of this, the idea of an episode centered around Jiminy Cricket didn't exactly leave me hopping with anticipation.

Still, 'Once Upon a Time' already proved that it is adept at subverting expectations in its first four episodes, and 'That Still Small Voice' proved to be an undeniably satisfying hour of television, deepening our understanding of Archie/Jiminy's character and giving us some welcome development in Mary Margaret and David's tragic romance. I don't know about you, but I really could watch a whole hour of those two playing hangman and innocently flirting and need nothing else from the show.

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'Nikita' Season 2, Episode 9 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 19th 2011 12:00AM
Amanda and Birkoff['Nikita' - 'Fair Trade']

I had a feeling that last week's lackluster episode was just a fluke; this week's installment was a welcome return to the 'Nikita' we know and love, advancing the storyline while providing palpable tension throughout the well-paced hour.

'Fair Trade' was a long-overdue showcase for Aaron Stanford, with Birkoff the focal point for much of the hour, and for anyone who underestimates the importance of our resident nerd, this episode was a welcome reminder of just how integral he is not just to operations, but apparently to Nikita's sanity too. We never forget the devotion that Nikita and Michael share, but sometimes it's easy to overlook our irritable little hacker, grumbling in the corner but always coming through for our heroes whenever they're in a tight spot.

Sadly, even though the loss of Birkoff sent Nikita off the deep end, his presence beforehand wasn't quite enough to stop our heroine from going "on a bender" this week, behaving even more recklessly than usual in Michael's absence.

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'Gossip Girl' Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: Top 5 OMG Moments (VIDEO)

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 14th 2011 10:45PM
Blake Lively and Elizabeth Hurley['Gossip Girl' - 'The Big Sleep No More']

Ah, a masquerade, a staple of CW storytelling and a delicious excuse for all manner of identity-switching shenanigans; it was only a matter of time before 'Gossip Girl' exhumed their stock of fancy facewear and started a new scandal or two.

The episode had more than a passing resemblance to last season's masked ball outing, 'The Witches of Bushwick,' another installment in which Serena and her fabulous blonde locks were the subjects of identity theft. (At least this week's episode didn't see her roofied and unconscious in a grimy motel in Queens.)

Diana proved herself to be a master manipulator capable of rivaling even Blair Waldorf, while our stubborn Queen B. found herself too fixated on Chuck's nonexistent scheme to recognize her own feelings.

Join us after the jump for our five favorite moments from episode seven.

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'Once Upon a Time' Season 1, Episode 4 Recap (VIDEO)

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 14th 2011 1:00AM
Cinderella - Once Upon a Time['Once Upon a Time' - 'The Price of Gold']

Hot on the glass heels of last week's excellent Snow/Charming (Snarming?) episode, 'Once Upon a Time' offered yet another compelling entry this week, this one courtesy of Cinderella.

As with Snow White and Prince Charming's unique backstory, the writers chose to mine new territory with the character instead of retreading the same old rags-to-riches tale we're already well acquainted with. It was no fairy godmother that sent Cindy to the ball this time around, but a malevolent Rumplestiltskin, who wanted something in return for his "generosity." Nothing important, anyway, just Cinderella's firstborn child ...

(Snow and Charming apparently got off relatively easily, since all they had to give Rumple was their baby's name.)

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'Nikita' Season 2, Episode 8 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 11th 2011 11:35PM
Nikita['Nikita' - 'London Calling']

I knew that the streak of awesome 'Nikita' episodes had to end sooner or later, and last week's 'Clawback' was definitely a hard act to follow, but I was still a little disappointed by how emotionally disconnected I felt from 'London Calling.'

That's not to say that the episode was terrible, by any stretch of the imagination, but the danger of focusing a story around a character who isn't a series lead (and further, a character whom much of the fanbase actively dislikes) is that the audience will struggle to relate to the narrative. I'm sure that the producers hoped that we'd be invested in Cassandra's fate purely because she's the mother of Michael's child, but frankly, I couldn't care less whether she lived or died, which made the stakes of the episode practically non-existent.

It's not even the fault of the writer. Kalinda Vazquez wrote a competent enough episode (even if the missing $200 million felt a little like a convenient MacGuffin that was never really explored in depth), but since Cassandra was introduced purely to be an obstacle to Nikita and Michael's relationship, nothing we learned about her in this episode actually made her more sympathetic.

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'The X Factor' Recap: Top 10 Revealed, Who Was Eliminated? (VIDEO)

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 10th 2011 9:15PM
'The X Factor' Top 10 RevealedAs predicted, the systematic wipe-out of the groups continued on 'The X Factor' tonight, with The Stereo Hogzz and Lakoda Rayne taking the bottom two slots after America's vote. Is this proof that US audiences just aren't ready for groups in vocal competitions?

It's strange, given some of the lackluster solo performances we've seen in recent weeks, that even when the groups perform solidly, they still haven't made enough of a connection with viewers to progress further in the live rounds. I firmly believe that the remaining group will be knocked out next week, and I guess then we'll finally start to see some drama in the Thursday eliminations.

Join us after the jump to find out who was the second act to be eliminated by America (and the judges).

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'The X Factor' Recap: The Top 11 Perform Songs From the Movies (VIDEO)

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 10th 2011 12:00AM
X Factor JudgesThis week's 'X Factor' theme was ostensibly "songs from movies," but in reality, it was just a week where the contestants sang mostly-commercial hits that have coincidentally been included on lesser-known movie soundtracks at some point in the past two decades. Totally the same difference, right?

I would've had less of a problem with the cheating if it weren't for the fact that Simon Cowell was flagrantly cheating -- if anyone actually believes that 'You, Me and Dupree' is one of his all-time favorite movies (or, indeed, a movie anyone would willingly sit through) I have an excellent Ponzi scheme for you to invest in, and it'll only cost you $5 million. And to follow that up with a song only vaguely featured in a half-finished Michael Jackson documentary about a concert? Spurious, Cowell, very spurious.

Still, questionable song choices aside, most of the contestants acquitted themselves well, with less sour notes than we've heard for the past couple of weeks. Hit the jump for our verdict, and weigh in on the acts you think are in danger of being sent home.

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'Gossip Girl' Season 5, Episode 6 Recap: Top 5 OMG Moments

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 8th 2011 2:00AM
Blair - I Am Number Nine['Gossip Girl' - 'I Am Number Nine']

After a two week break, 'Gossip Girl' was most assuredly back with a bang last night, bringing all of our favorite Upper East Siders (and their enunciation-challenged significant others) to one scandalous shindig, where sparks began flying before the coats were even checked.

Louis and Eliza's nefarious scheme was revealed, Nate got more than his fair share of action, Serena hit a new career low and Dan became a literary has-been in the space of a week. And that's not even touching on Blair's grueling bridesmaid competition -- Pippa Middleton made it all look so easy!

Join us after the jump for our top five favorite moments from this week's episode.

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'Once Upon a Time' Season 1, Episode 3 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 6th 2011 9:30PM
Prince Charming and Snow White['Once Upon a Time' - 'Snow Falls']

For the hopeless romantics among us -- myself included -- tonight's episode of 'Once Upon a Time' was like a dream come true. We've grown up with stories of happily ever after and love at first sight, and 'OUAT' is at its most potent when it plays on those whimsical childhood memories, taking us back to a time when we truly believed that our soulmate was out there somewhere, just the other side of an evil witch's curse.

But, as the series has already demonstrated in its first two episodes, it's also surprisingly adept at taking the fairytales we know and love and turning them on their heads. Few who saw the Disney iteration of Snow White could possibly have imagined her as rock-wielding thief with decidedly messy hair, but 'Once' presented the idea so confidently, I couldn't help but prefer their version. (Snow White was always my least favorite Disney princess, anyway -- that voice was just too grating.)

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'Once Upon a Time' Season 1, Episode 2 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 31st 2011 10:30AM
Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison['Once Upon a Time' - 'The Thing You Love Most']

The effects might be a little messy and the sentiment might seem a little saccharine, but in its second episode, 'Once Upon a Time' continued to build on the whimsy and charm it exhibited in its pilot, proving that the entertaining first hour wasn't just a fluke.

Now that the premise has been established, the show is taking on the 'Lost'-esque formula of focusing on a specific character and their backstory each week, allowing us to learn more about their fairytale pasts and how those traits inform their current Storybrooke identities.

The Evil Queen took the central narrative this week, giving us some much-needed insight into her motivations for cursing the fairytale world, while simultaneously exploring Regina's relationship with her adopted son Henry in ours.

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'Nikita' Season 2, Episode 6 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 29th 2011 8:25AM
Nikita and MichaelAs a show -- and as a character -- 'Nikita' exists to defy expectations; whether it concerns illegitimate children, long-lost parents or potentially damaging secrets, whenever you think the series is about to duck, it weaves instead.

Much was made of the introduction of Nikita's biological father, but nothing is ever as simple as it appears, and instead of finding some sense of identity, our heroine was merely reminded of how long Percy's reach is. Even from his plastic prison, the ex-Division head proved capable of manipulating everyone around him, from Alex and Amanda right through to the seemingly untouchable Nikita, Michael and Birkhoff.

But despite her emotional setbacks, the episode's final moments demonstrated just how far Nikita has already evolved since last season -- she clearly learned from her mistakes with Alex and decided, despite her fears and insecurities, to trust Michael with the truth about Max.

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'Chuck' Season 4, Episode 24 (Season Finale) Recap

by Rich Keller, posted May 17th 2011 3:00AM
Chuck and Sarah go through a dry-run of the wedding on the season finale of 'Chuck.'['Chuck' - 'Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger']

Okay, for those of you who watched the season finale of 'Chuck,' let's take some deep breaths before we plunge into the recap. For those who didn't watch, you need to stop reading right now, go to your DVRs and tune in.

In the meantime, let's congratulate Chuck, Sarah and the rest of Team Bartowski for pulling off yet another renewal. Granted, it's only 13 episodes, the show will be moved to Fridays, and it will most likely be its last season; however, it's good to see that it will return to the NBC lineup. All that in spite of the fact that the network itself has not given the show a shred of the promotion it's due.

The renewal is especially important because of went on in the finale, which changes the entire playing field. If you've caught your breath or watched the show, then read on.

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