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‘Rick and Morty’ Review: ‘The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy’ is the First Great Episode of Season 3

6 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Rick and Morty” Season 3, Episode 5, “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy.”]

It’s not as elaborate as the premiere, not as recognizable a template as the “Mad Max” or “Guardians of the Galaxy” diversions, nor is it iconic like “Pickle Rick.” But with “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy,” “Rick and Morty” seems to have regained its guiding principles to deliver the best episode of Season 3 so far.

Cutting to the chase in a quick cold open (that finds Jerry doing even worse than we might have previously suspected), Rick drags Jerry from his dismal apartment and on a carefree trip to a planet where death is an impossibility. Protected by a shield of immortality, the two of them kick back with various colored beverages, assuming this consequence-free getaway is the recharge that Jerry needs.

Naturally, that plan is quickly torn asunder by the general manager of the restaurant where the two set up shop. Another collateral victim of Rick’s space misadventures, »

- Steve Greene

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‘Game of Thrones’ Review: Series-Altering ‘Beyond the Wall’ Is One of the Year’s Most Intense Horror Stories

8 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Game of Thrones” Season 7, Episode 6, “Beyond the Wall.”]

Consider the penultimate episodes of previous “Game of Thrones” seasons’ devastating displays of scale and loss: “Battle of the Bastards,” last year’s signature showdown of houses; Season 3’s fateful Red Wedding gutpunch in “The Rains of Castamere”; even the opening season’s “Baelor” saw Ned meeting a shocking end.

Add to the list “Beyond the Wall,” an episode that didn’t have quite the notable body count that some of those other installments did, but is every bit the paradigm shift that its predecessors were. Opening up this world to a new kind of monster, “Beyond the Wall” might not be the best episode of the season, but it’s more assuredly the most important. By bringing the season-long promise of terror and triumph in rapid succession, the series turned this vital episode into a horror story to remember.

Read More: ‘Game of Thrones’ Review: ‘Eastwatch’ Shows Off an »

- Steve Greene

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‘Twin Peaks’ Review: David Lynch Bids at Least One Pensive Goodbye in a Powerful ‘Part 15’

9 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Twin Peaks: The Return” Episode 15, “Part 15.”]

Throughout “The Return,” David Lynch and Mark Frost have paid tribute to cast and crew who have passed away since the original seasons aired — including a dedication to David Bowie in last week’s episode — but “Part 15” felt like an episode-long tribute to Catherine E. Coulson. The woman known fondly as the Log Lady and formally as Margaret Lanterman said her final goodbye near the end of Episode 15, speaking to Hawk (Michael Horse) over the phone, just as she has all season, and reminding him to “watch for that one […] the one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain.”

Read More: ‘Twin Peaks’ Review: Big Secrets Spill Out in ‘Part 14,’ But the Truth Lies Within David Lynch’s Dreams

It was difficult and largely unnecessary to absorb plot points when her final words meant so much more than the narrative. Coulson passed away in 2015 and she filmed scenes for “The Return” shortly before her death, »

- Ben Travers

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