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City On A Hill struggles to transcend the clichés of the Boston crime genre City On A Hill struggles to transcend the clichés of the Boston crime genre

Three years ago, Seth Meyers skewered the proliferation of Beantown crime thrillers with a fake trailer for Boston Accent that nailed the tropes established in films like The Departed and The Town. That should have been a clear signal that future such projects would be well-served by putting a fresh spin on the…

On a dizzying Billions, nothing is as it seems...unless it is On a dizzying Billions, nothing is as it seems...unless it is

This is when Billions is at its best— when seemingly dozens of plates are spinning at once, and it’s exhilarating to watch and wonder which will smash to the floor first. “Lamster” is particularly dizzying for those of us writing about the show, as I can’t begin to imagine generating a straight recap of the week’s…

Billions sets the stage for late-season fireworks Billions sets the stage for late-season fireworks

Money never sleeps, as the misbegotten sequel to Wall Street informed us, and evidently it never takes a holiday either. True to its title, “New Year’s Day” unfolds over the first day of January, traditionally reserved for hungover brunches and college bowl games. It’s unusually specific for Billions, where time is…

Tragedy and triumph elevate the Flash fifth season finale Tragedy and triumph elevate the Flash fifth season finale

No single episode of The Flash could redeem an entire season as flawed as this fifth one turned out to be, but “Legacy” manages to pull the strongest elements of this past year together in an emotionally satisfying way, shaky as the storytelling logic is at times. The Cicada saga is put to bed, a much more worthy…

Billions spins its wheels in an unusually lackluster episode Billions spins its wheels in an unusually lackluster episode

We’re in the doldrums of this season of Billions, the point at which you can set your watch to the reversals of fortune. Those who were riding high last week will be brought low this week, and vice versa. “American Champion” is about as rote as this show gets, which means it still offers up its share of entertaining…

Team Flash settles its family differences as the Cicada saga nears its end Team Flash settles its family differences as the Cicada saga nears its end

The curtain comes down on the Cicada saga next week, so “The Girl With The Red Lightning” is tasked with moving all the pieces into place for the grand finale. The episode is better at delivering emotional beats than airtight storytelling, although a certain amount of confusion may have been a desired effect. Thawne…

On "Fight Night," Billions only lands a few punches On "Fight Night," Billions only lands a few punches

The characters on Billions all consider themselves to be alphas, and most of them are probably right—within the narrow confines of the world they inhabit, anyway. If civilization were to collapse overnight, how many of them would even last a week? Their financial acumen, their deal-making skills, their boardroom…

Nora breaks bad with the young Rogues on a crowded hour of The Flash Nora breaks bad with the young Rogues on a crowded hour of The Flash

The number of metahumans Team Flash has tangled with over the course of five seasons is easily in triple digits, with most of them inspired (sometimes very loosely) by villains who originally debuted in the DC comics. Most of them are one-offs, hardly worthy of a return visit...unless they decide to team up. I would…

Having the upper hand is a temporary condition on a table-turning Billions Having the upper hand is a temporary condition on a table-turning Billions

Regular readers of these reviews know that their track record of predicting Billions plot developments is not the best. Having said that, I will take credit for foreseeing that “Chekhov’s gun permit,” introduced in the season premiere, would go off eventually. Sadly, a dog pays the price, as a trigger-happy Brogan…

A fast and furious hour of The Flash is all about family A fast and furious hour of The Flash is all about family

When the writers of The Flash decide to hammer home a theme, they go at like Thor on...uh..you know, one of Thor’s villains. (Come on, this is DC, not Marvel. I don’t have room for another rogues gallery in my head.) Despite laying it on thicker than deep-dish pizza, “Snow Pack” makes the importance of family into a…

The past haunts just about everyone on a table-setting Billions The past haunts just about everyone on a table-setting Billions

The “previously on Billions” segment alerts us that some familiar faces will be showing up this week, giving your faithful recappers a heads-up on which characters from the past we’ll need to brush up on. One of those faces, that of Danny Strong’s Todd Krakow, never appears in the episode proper, though he is a key…

Nora's origin story is revealed in a Flash-forward episode, with mixed results Nora's origin story is revealed in a Flash-forward episode, with mixed results

Weeks ago, the last new Flash episode to air ended with Barry locking his future daughter Nora in the STAR Labs pipeline. It was a unilateral decision on Barry’s part, and “Godspeed” ends on the same note. Barry delivers Nora back to the future because he can’t trust her, but he’s really demonstrating that he hasn’t…

Billions leans into the despicable behavior of characters we love to hate Billions leans into the despicable behavior of characters we love to hate

If you’re a Billions fan (and if you’re reading this, I assume you are), it’s probably safe to say that likable characters aren’t high on your list of necessities for quality entertainment. What makes the show fun is inextricably bound with the bad behavior of Chuck, Axe, and most of the rest. It’s a fine line between …

Billions accelerates through its story at warp speed in a game-changing episode Billions accelerates through its story at warp speed in a game-changing episode

Billions has never been afraid to burn through plot at a faster than expected pace, but “Overton Window” takes that strategy to the limit. Up until now, Chuck’s quest to become the next Attorney General for the state of New York has been in the early, gearing-up stage. With his enlistment of Axe to his cause at the…

Dollar Bill counts his chickens in a blackly comic outing of Billions Dollar Bill counts his chickens in a blackly comic outing of Billions

Sometimes the episode title is a tip-off that we’re not in for the weightiest hour of the season, and “Chickentown” definitely fits the bill. So to speak. I’m not saying that’s a problem—the perfect time to spring an episode that leans into laughs and a touch of self-parody is early in the season, when we’re still…

Billions adds a new billionaire to the mix as the season's arcs emerge Billions adds a new billionaire to the mix as the season's arcs emerge

New characters are the lifeblood of a veteran series, so it’s no surprise that even with last year’s new adversaries Jock Jeffcoat and Grigor Andolov still in play, Billions has added another player as season four kicks into gear. And with Malin Akerman’s greatly reduced screen time (she has yet to appear, but will…

The Flash hits its stride as secrets are spilled and new threats arise The Flash hits its stride as secrets are spilled and new threats arise

It’s the fastest sequel alive! Cicada II arrives even before the first Cicada has finished his run. I’d like to give The Flash credit for defying the formula and finally killing off the Big Bad before the end of the season, but I can’t really do that. Yes, by the end of “Time Bomb,” Orlin Dwyer is dead, but not before…

In its fourth season premiere, Billions presses the pause button on its central conflict In its fourth season premiere, Billions presses the pause button on its central conflict

When last we saw Chuck Rhoades and Bobby Axelrod, both were licking their wounds and plotting vengeance—but not against each other. After teaming up at the midway point, Chuck and Axe spent the rest of the third season in separate storylines, each pitted against a new threat paired with an old ally. In Chuck’s case,…

An eventful hour of The Flash can't quite close out the Cicada saga An eventful hour of The Flash can't quite close out the Cicada saga

Just when it appears the Cicada saga might finally be at an end, The Flash pulls the rug out from under us again. It’s not that much of a surprise, given that we got a glimpse of a potential future version of Grace-as-Cicada a few weeks ago, but the story isn’t over quite yet. If nothing else, however, we can hope the…

Gorilla Grodd and King Shark battle too briefly on The Flash Gorilla Grodd and King Shark battle too briefly on The Flash

The title doesn’t lie. This episode does eventually get around to giving us the promised bout we’ve been waiting for: King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd. But for its first half, at least, what should be a respite from all things Cicada and a throwback to the Silver Age shenanigans that made us fall for The Flash in the…

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