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'Outlander' season 2, episode 8: Welcome home, Claire and Jamie!

Jamie and Claire are back to scheming for a different future.

Starz

Jamie and Claire are back to scheming for a different future.

Well, fellow Outlander book fans. This episode was probably the hardest to swallow in rewrites and edits. This whole time I've held onto faith that the story would stay the course Diana Gabaldon set, but now too many chess pieces have been rearranged.

Hear me out, though. Television shows need satisfying intrigue to keep going. Viewers also need constant backstory to give context to lots of incoming and outgoing characters. And so far, Outlander has been successful in that. But the show has taken out many of the quiet moments that shape our beloved characters. However, I'm sure we'll get to the same ending. 

You have to admit, "The Fox's Lair" was a fine hour of television, though. So let's recap:

Jamie is pardoned and is sent back home to Scotland. Lallybroch welcomes the couple home; where life has been pretty much the same. Jamie's sister Jenny and her husband have welcomed a second child; and the potato crop that Claire suggested last season is successful. …

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Winner and loser of the week: Gucci Mane drops new music after prison release; Johnny Depp's divorce drama escalates

Amber Heard leave the court room after requesting a domestic violence restraining order against Johnny Depp. Heard says the bruise under her eye is from Depp throwing a cellphone at her.

AP

Amber Heard leave the court room after requesting a domestic violence restraining order against Johnny Depp. Heard says the bruise under her eye is from Depp throwing a cellphone at her.

Winner
Gucci Mane. What's the first thing you would do after being released from prison? See family? Catch up with friends? Binge Orange Is the New Black? Nope. Not if you're rapper Gucci Mane, who apparently went straight to the studio. The 36-year-old rapper is a free man - released a few months early from an Indiana prison where he was serving a federal firearms sentence, his lawyer said - and wasting absolutely no time. Less than 24 hours out of prison, Gucci Mane dropped the new single First Day Out Tha Feds. Mike WiLL Made-It produced the track, and a whole album is expected out soon. You go, Gucci. Be a productive member of society.
Loser
Johnny Depp. The 52-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean actor is not having the best week (or month, really). Days after losing his mother, Depp's wife of 15 months, actor Amber Heard, filed for divorce Monday. To make matters even worse, Heard filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp on Friday, submitting photos to the court of herself with various bruises. The judge granted a temporary restraining order, which requires Depp (who's off in Europe promoting his movie or performing with the Hollywood Vampires, depending on what source you trust) to stay 100 yards away. Heard walked in to court with a bruise under her eye, which she said is from Depp throwing a cellphone at her face on Saturday. The court granted her the right to remain in their home, but rejected Heard's request for spousal support, attorney's fees and possession of their Range Rover. With Heard claiming to have video proof of violence, this battle is only going to get messier.

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‘Orphan Black' season 4, episode 7: Finding each other in grief

Oh hey, Peaches!

BBC America

Oh hey, Peaches!

I don't know about you, but it's been a tough week of television for me, starting with last week's episode of Orphan Black. And then that brutal Outlander episode (another show yours truly is also recapping). And then an unsatisfying Nashville series finale (honestly, I wasn't expecting anything else). So much like #CloneClub, I'm trying to make sense of my life now.

Okay, I'm being a bit dramatic. I need to get a life. That's clear. Let's get on with it.

Tatiana Maslay's exquisite performances this week in "The Antisocialism of Sex" show each clone falling apart, suffering last week's loss in her own predictable way. And thankfully, they (and we) have Felix to get us back together. We didn't get any Rachel or Alison last week, so let's start with them.

Susan Duncan has moved The Family All Dressed In White to the Island of Dr. Moreau. She immediately tells Rachel that the original, along with the cure, are gone. To her, a life wasn't lost. The scene is juxtaposed with Siobhan dealing with the same loss. The loss of her mother. …

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Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai wins Indian National Film Award

Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai accepts his Indian National Film Award from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

Special to the Times

Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai accepts his Indian National Film Award from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

Not playing at a theater near you: an award-winning film produced by Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai.

Pillai recently won an Indian National Film Award for Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (Birds with large wings), in the "environment conservation/preservation" category. The documentary chronicles the lives of villagers in Kasargod, Kerala, suffering health issues resulting from the usage of endosulfan pesticide on cashew plantations for nearly three decades.

The award was presented by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at a May 3 ceremony in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal previously won a World Humanitarian Award in Jakarta and was screened at a United Nations program on environmental issues.

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12 period shows you should be watching, especially if you miss 'Downton Abbey'

The star- and class-crossed lovers Alicia and Julio of Gran Hotel.

Antena 3

The star- and class-crossed lovers Alicia and Julio of Gran Hotel.

On Friday, Amazon Prime dropped new show Doctor Thorne from Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey. And the Downton deprived world welcomed it with open arms. I wasn't all that impressed, maybe because I spend so much of my time burrowed down in period dramas anyway.

The appeal of the British drama that followed the noble Crawley family and their servants in their Yorkshire estate through changing times is undeniable. I, too, was once a rabid Downton fan, though I'll admit gave the show up seasons ago when Matthew died in the Christmas special (I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, DAN STEVENS).

If you are feeling the Downton loss, fear not and look not to Doctor Thorne for healing. There are many, many other great period pieces out there to fill the void, whether newcomers or old faves. You may or may not have noticed that I tend to write about a lot of them right here on this blog.  …

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What's coming to and leaving Netflix in June?

The fourth season of Orange is the New Black comes to Netflix in June.

Netflix

The fourth season of Orange is the New Black comes to Netflix in June.

June is a big month for Netflix, with additions including the first three Jurassic Park films, Best Picture winner Spotlight and Sundance Film Festival acquisition The Fundamentals of Caring. And in addition to original series Orange is the New Black returning for another season, there will also be new seasons of shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Scandal being added. But it's also a big month for departures, including beloved films like Groundhog Day and Who Framed Roger RabbitFor a full list, read below: …

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Don't count on Julian Fellowes' 'Doctor Thorne' to be the next 'Downton'

The newest offering from Julian Fellowes — perhaps best known as the creator of Downton Abbey — dropped on Amazon Prime on Friday amid some serious buzz. But the show already drew some cool reception across the pond, and after spending the weekend watching it, this period drama enthusiast can very much see why.

Doctor Thorne is certainly no Downton.

Lots of reviewers have cried that it's far closer to Jane Austen, which is true with its 1800s setting, numerous love-versus-money marriage plots and a strong dash of families-who-don't-agree. But even then, it lacks something of the depth one usually feels in an Austen adaptation, and every episode is rather maddeningly introduced and recapped by Fellowes himself, sitting in a red armchair by a crackling fire. (Yes, really.) …

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'Game of Thrones,' Season 6, Episode 5: Hold the door

Bran made the mistake of letting the Night King see and touch him on Sunday's Game of Thrones.

HBO

Bran made the mistake of letting the Night King see and touch him on Sunday's Game of Thrones.

Dang, Game of Thrones. Back at it again with a dragon glass-tipped spear right in the feels.

Last week was the satisfying and tearful reunion of Sansa and Jon after years apart. Not to mention the budding romance between Brienne and Tormund that's taking the Internet by storm.

We all want someone to look at us the way Tormund looks at Brienne while gnawing on a piece of bread.

This week was Sansa presenting Jon with a handmade coat reminiscent of their father's, Daenerys forgiving Jorah for his betrayal and refusal to leave her side and the truth about Hodor's past and its relation to Bran's future.

Don't be surprised when people burst into tears when they hear someone say "hold the door." They're just Thrones fans.

Bran has been relatively enjoying his stay with the Three-Eyed Raven and warging out into the past.

He saw his father, uncle and aunt as children. He learned a little more about the Tower of Joy and the fight his father had always bragged about. He even saw a young Hodor when he was Willis and was able to speak. …

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'Fear the Walking Dead,' season 2 episode 7: First sin

Nick found a new high and hit a new low on the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead.

AMC

Nick found a new high and hit a new low on the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead.

Nick has been brainwashed. Chris is broken beyond repair. Alicia is terrified of her own family. Daniel is seeing ghosts.

The mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead left the Clark-Manawa family broken, fearful and without a home yet again.

Reeling from the loss of her son and Strand's betrayal, Celia gives the group until sundown the next day to pack their bags. They're officially no longer welcome in the safehouse.

They inadvertently caused the deaths of Celia's two sons and have insulted her at every turn. She is crazy though.

Celia genuinely believes the walkers are just the next phase for humanity. She doesn't seem them as dead, but as the next phase of the human race.

She also has her claws firmly in Nick. She dug into him quickly, brainwashing him with her maternal charm and tasty pozole.

And she's not letting go.

Nick used to be the clear-headed one. He became the rock that held the family together and showed them they can survive this new world.

But he grew sick of the death and destruction.

He wanted peace, and Celia convinced him he could find peace through accepting the zombies are not monsters. …

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'Outlander' season 2, episode 7: A test of faith

Claire comforts Fergus.

Starz

Claire comforts Fergus.

I stared at a blank screen for five minutes after drowning in Outlander's latest installment. Caitriona Balfe gave her best performance, yet, in this episode flooded with superb melodrama. And for me, "Faith" proves that stories in books and stories on screen amplify emotions in different ways. One cannot simply be better than the other.

But TV Claire punched me in the gut. I felt her despair. I felt her pain. I felt raw. Let's recap:

Last episode, Claire went into premature labor after chasing Jamie in the woods as he fought Captain Randall. And after delivering a stillborn, a relinquished Claire faces death herself. With the covert aid of Monsieur Raymond, she finally fights to survive. She fills the numbness with hatred for Jamie. He betrayed her, and of course she blames him for this fatal consequence of his actions. Mother Hildegarde urges her to seek forgiveness, but we know how stubborn Claire is.

When she leaves the hospital, she's sadly greeted by the people of the house. I thought this sad scene might be the end of our misery. But it is not. Far from it. …

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What's coming to Amazon Prime in June?

Mr. Robot is among the new shows being added to Amazon Prime in June.

USA Network

Mr. Robot is among the new shows being added to Amazon Prime in June.

In June, Amazon Prime adds some notable movies to its selection, ranging from choice classics (Apocalypse Now, Carrie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) to new biopics (Lance Armstrong and The Program, Brian Wilson and Love & Mercy, Dalton Trumbo and, uh, Trumbo.) In addition, the streaming service will be adding new seasons of critically acclaimed shows like The Good Wife, Mr. Robot and Downton Abbey. For a full list, read below:

Jun. 1:

Apocalypse Now/Apocalypse Now Redux

As this year’s Cannes Film Festival comes to a close and a winner of the top Palme D’Or award is to be announced, you’ll soon have a chance to see the winner from 37 years ago. Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 masterpiece adapts Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as a delirious journey through the backdrop of the Vietnam War. The addition of nearly an hour of new material in 2001’s Apocalypse Now Redux was divisive, but viewers can decide for themselves, as both versions are being added to Amazon Prime.

The Black Stallion

Carrie (1976) …

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Winner and loser of the week in pop culture: Julia Roberts pulls an empowering Cinderella and the Kesha-Dr. Luke battle rages

Our hero, a barefoot Julia Roberts, climbs the stairs on the Cannes red carpet ahead of fellow superwoman and 'Money Monster' producer Jodie Foster.

Getty Images

Our hero, a barefoot Julia Roberts, climbs the stairs on the Cannes red carpet ahead of fellow superwoman and 'Money Monster' producer Jodie Foster.

Julia Roberts. Several normal-sized steps for Julia Roberts, one giant leap for women at Cannes.

Wearing an off-the-shoulder Armani Privé gown and a pair of towering platform pumps, the stunning and talented Money Monster star stepped foot onto the red carpet at the celebrated film festival for the very first time last week.

“I’m a late bloomer,” she told InStyle of her Cannes debut, adding, “Have you ever watched it on television? It looks terrifying. … I’ve kind of avoided it. … It seems like you have to walk a very long distance and then a lot of stairs.”

What she did next was a subtle protest against Cannes’ infamous dress code, which last year required that all women attending red carpet screenings wear heels. The rule was widely criticized, especially by older and disabled guests who were initially denied entry because of their footwear.

This year, Roberts slipped out of her heels before climbing the famed Palais stairs. It was a statement, no doubt, a rebellious fist bump to women everywhere.

Has Julia Roberts ever not been the best? …

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‘Orphan Black' season 4, episode 6: The engineer

Evie Cho and Cosima extract the bot from Sarah's mouth. About as gross as it sounds.

BBC America

Evie Cho and Cosima extract the bot from Sarah's mouth. About as gross as it sounds.

Orphan Black is a show about power play. As each door opens, more strings are simultaneously being pulled. Everyone has a story to spin, a reason why their game is the right one. This season has especially made it clear that the end goal is to perfect humans from the start. Speeding up evolution is a dangerous process, and its deadly cost ultimately doesn't matter.

And, phew. What an episode.

It really felt like a season-ender. A reset button. Because where do we go now?

So let's recap "The Scandal of Altruism":

Sarah is still determined to get that bot out of her face. So #CloneClub's plan is to trade Kendall for the removal. Brightborn wants those original cells and Cosima's research. So the two sides agree that Brightborn only gets Leda cells (thanks to Kendall's leukemia, they are able to separate the Castor and Leda cells), and they work together to find a cure for the Ledas, and help Brightborn's future work on fertility and human genome perfection. …

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Preview: AMC's 'Preacher' is the supernatural Southern thriller we've been waiting for

'Preacher' stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a small-town man of God who becomes host to a strange entity that gives him unusual powers.

AMC

'Preacher' stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a small-town man of God who becomes host to a strange entity that gives him unusual powers.

Preacher is jarring. It's crude, offensive, graphic and violent. Yet it still one of the best television adaptations of literature I've seen in years.

Its the sepia-toned story of a small-town preacher who becomes host to a strange entity that gives him the power of God. The man himself makes appearances as well as other heavenly hosts that aren't so holy.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's adaptation of the beloved 90s comic strays from specifics, but still oozes with the same southern gothic, horror and comedic elements.

Preacher benefits from not putting every frame on the small screen. By nature, comic book tells stories in choppy bits that meld together as squares on a page. The story of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), needed to be more smooth seamless.

And it is.

A strange, supernatural entity is seen bursting into packed churches and hurling itself into men of God in the first five minutes of Preacher. The teaser shows comet-shaped being streaming through 90s-era-style OUTER SPACE and flinging itself into an unsuspecting reverend in Africa.

He manages to silence the congregation and exclaim he's the prophet and the chosen one before he literally explodes. …

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First teaser for the new 'Star Trek' show is here, and it's lame

REALLY? A LOGO'S ALL YOU GOT, CBS?

CBS

REALLY? A LOGO'S ALL YOU GOT, CBS?

At its upfront presentation yesterday, CBS finally debuted a "first look" at the new Star Trek series coming in early 2017 to its streaming service. (Still sigh over that whole streaming service thing.)

It features some pretty CGI that looks like an updated version of the Next Generation opening, promises of "New crews. New villains. New heroes. New worlds." and that's about it. It's completely devoid of content, with no hints at who or what is happening in this new series or even what the darn thing is called. All we know at this point is that it's filming in Toronto in the fall.

That music, though, can still give you all the feels.

Now let's just hope CBS can actually give us something here soon, and tide ourselves over with bits from Star Trek Beyond, in theaters in July. And if we can't get a Capt. Worf, I say we riot.

 

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