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'Turn' react: The spy ring sounds retreat

Remember, remember! The fifth of November, the Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions did the scheme contrive, to blow the King and Parliament all up alive. 

In 1605, a Catholic Englishman named Guy Fawkes was arrested and executed for conspiring to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James. His demise was celebrated every November by the British, and 175 years later — after American patriots fell at Concord in the “shot heard ’round the world” and a new spirit of resurrection began to spread — the idea of British infallibility was still unshakeable to many of those shooting fireworks and burning a rebel effigy on Nov. 5, 1776.

In Turn, which picks up months after the British Navy has chased George Washington out of New York, some shady events have unfolded in the backwater Long Island town of Setauket. It can’t be ignored any longer, not after 20 redcoats from the Setauket garrison walked into an ambush in Connecticut, sending many of them home in barrels. Captain Joyce’s murder, which preceded the skirmish, remains a mystery, but Robert Rogers is now on the case since the ambush was punctuated with a pointedly directed middle-finger.

Abe Woodhull has been excused of suspicion in the crime, thanks to his father’s influence, but Rogers isn’t so sure. He at least makes sure to rattle the Woodhulls’ cage when he arrives to investigate the town’s “unusual amount of smuggling, arson, and murder.” (The arson being Abe’s shed full of cabbage by two riders in Guy Fawkes masks.) READ FULL STORY

'Turn' react: Don't start the revolution without me


A popular and comforting misconception of the American Revolution is that aggrieved American patriots united to take up arms against British redcoats, and that a new nation rejoiced as one after finally throwing off the yoke of tyranny in 1783. In fact, our war for independence was a civil war that divided families and neighbors — Ben Franklin’s son was a devoted loyalist, for example, and thousands would flee the colonies after America’s victory. Another substantial segment of the population tried to straddle the fence — switching sides depending on whose troops were closest that day.

That’s the background for AMC’s new Revolutionary War spy drama, Turn, which set the tone by declaring, “Insurgents have declared war against the Crown.” In other words, we are the traitors. It’s autumn 1776, and revolutionary fervor has subsided in Setauket, Long Island, a few months after the Declaration of Independence. George Washington’s troops were just spanked by the British in New York and chased into New Jersey with their tails between their legs. A quarter of Manhattan burned during the American’s panicked withdrawal, with some accusing Washington of sparking it intentionally. Maybe all this “give me liberty or give me death” talk was a little premature, huh, Founding Fathers? READ FULL STORY

'Walking Dead' DeathWatch: Which character won't survive the finale?

Death is a constant fact of life for the characters of The Walking Dead – but especially on season-finale episodes. In season 1, Jacqui elected to die in the CDC explosion; in season 2, Shane died twice in the penultimate episode before the zombies overran Hershel’s farm in the finale; and last season, Andrea was the season-ender’s biggest casualty. With the final episode of season 4 set for this Sunday, none of the characters who’ve reached or will soon reach the promised oasis known as Terminus should start making long-term future plans. Dead producer Robert Kirkman has already warned us that the finale is going to be shocking, and EW’s Dalton Ross has already mentioned his leading candidates for dead-man-walking.

So clearly, someone is going to die. The big question is, will it be someone we just met this season, or will it be someone from the core pack — perhaps even someone we’ve known since season 1? Darren Franich and Jeff Labrecque spitballed the possibilities, made totally irrelevant references, and completely exposed their ignorance of gambling culture. Humor them.


Time's 'Mad Men' cover story: What we learned


The story of Mad Men is as much about the transformation of its characters as the changes that took place in 1960s America — not to mention the storytelling revolution of modern television. As the iconic AMC drama prepares to enter its seventh and final season, Time TV critic James Poniewozik examined the broad significance of Mad Men for the magazine’s latest cover story. Here’s his take on why we’re mad about the show.

The characters

It’s easy to envy a guy like Don Draper (Jon Hamm) — on the surface, at least. But the tailored suits and beautiful apartment and gorgeous women are just selling points in the broken ad man’s personal marketing campaign.

“I’m always surprised when people are like, ‘I want to be just like Don Draper,’” Hamm tells Poniewozik. “You want to be a miserable drunk? You want to be like the guy on the poster, maybe, but not the actual guy. The outside looks great, the inside is rotten. That’s advertising. Put some Vaseline on that food, make it shine and look good. Can’t eat it, but it looks good.”


Overthinking the inscrutable 'Mad Men' season 7 photos -- THEORIES

Matthew Weiner has once again shrouded the new season of Mad Men in Soviet-level secrecy, disallowing cast members from saying anything more specific about their roles on the show beyond “I am still on Mad Men” and “Please redact my previous statement.”

But as the show prepares to unveil Season 7A, the veil has lifted ever-so-slightly. Last week, AMC released a preview, which showed Don disembarking from an airplane, very slowly and mournfully. “Jesus, maybe it’s a metaphor!” we all thought. “Or maybe it’s an homage to Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2,” some of us thought. “Don is the Yellow King!” screamed your friend who proved that True Detective and Mad Men were set in the same universe, and had the GIFs to prove it.

However, new photos from the season have just been released, which strongly imply that “airplanes” aren’t just the subtext of the season: They might actually be the text. The photos show various Mad Men cast members hanging out in various stages of the air travel process, experiencing a variety of emotions running the gamut from “abstract befuddlement” to “meanderous ambivalence” to “existential perambulation.” But they’re all doing it while air-traveling! Let’s take a look, shall we?


'The Walking Dead' midseason finale: 'Too Far Gone' spoilers

WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Do not read if you have not seen The Walking Dead!

Discuss Sunday’s episode below! Here’s a breakdown of what went down during the fourth midseason finale… READ FULL STORY

'Breaking Bad': Does Walt have Huntington's Disease?

During AMC’s ongoing marathon rebroadcast of the Breaking Bad series, I caught the episode “Salud” and found myself wondering something strange: Walter White has cancer — but does he also have Huntington’s Disease?

Toward the end of the episode (while recovering from an impromptu beating at the hands of Jesse), Walt tells Walt Jr. that his father suffered from that very condition, rapidly declining in the hospital until his death. It’s clear that Walt’s childhood memory of his father’s body slowly disintegrating still haunts him. He admits that he can still hear the man’s labored breathing, a “rattling sound like if you were shaking an empty spray paint can—like there was nothing in him.” Certainly, this could be another of Walt’s lies. But this story seems real.

The children of people with Huntington’s Disease have a 50 percent chance of getting the gene for the disease, though Walt insists that he was screened as a child and came through with clean results. Whether he’s bluffing about that detail isn’t clear, especially since so much of what he tells Junior isn’t true. Either way, symptoms don’t usually begin until mid-adulthood, and now that he’s in his 50s, Walt certainly seems to suffer from some of the classic ones. Obviously, I’m not a doctor. But a few things on the checklist stand out, especially since this is a fictional show in which every tiny detail serves a narrative purpose. Behavioral disturbances? Well, we do often see Walt wandering around in his underwear. Irritability and moodiness? That pretty much defines Heisenberg’s hot-tempered decisions and sudden bouts of rage. Restlessness or fidgeting? Think back to “Hermanos” and “Buried,” with their close-up shots of Walt’s fingers twitching. (Of course, maybe he was just foreshadowing Gus’ death, since Gus’ middle finger twitched, too.) Odd grimaces? There are so many of them. Paranoia? Just remember Walt telling Jesse in “Cornered,” “This whole thing, all of this, is all about me!”


10 things you may have missed this week on 'Breaking Bad'

If you haven’t watched the latest episode of Breaking Bad, then stop reading this, watch it, read our recap, and then return to this post. Ready? Okay, let’s dive in! Like most episodes of the AMC drama, “Ozymandias” is brimming with Easter Eggs and clever hints recalling past and future moments of the series. This week featured monumental events (Hank! Gomie! Flynn!) as well as these smaller, subtler beats. Here are ten nitpick-y tidbits from last night’s epic episode — many courtesy of our very own EW recap commenters. READ FULL STORY

'Breaking Bad': The show's 10 most effective F-bombs -- VIDEO

[Spoilers for last night's Breaking Bad follow -- though if you haven't watched it yet, what exactly are you waiting for?]

As a basic cable drama, Breaking Bad doesn’t get a lot of chances to use everyone’s favorite four-letter word. In a way, that’s a good thing — because their scarcity makes each F-bomb more potent than the last. (Especially when it’s one of the final things a beloved, bald character will ever say.)

After the word made another pivotal appearance last night, we decided it was time to take stock of its greatest guest appearances on Breaking Bad so far. In other words: Time to take the Tour de F—, bitches!

'Better Call Saul': More AMC spin-offs to join 'Breaking Bad' prequel

Spin-off! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul? AMC clearly hopes not. The network just greenlit a Breaking Bad spin-off focusing on comic-relief lawyer Saul Goodman. Hopes are high for the show — currently untitled, although everyone on Twitter has made an executive decision to call it Better Call Saul. Executive producer Vince Gilligan and star Bob Odenkirk are trustworthy, eccentric creative types who will guarantee this isn’t just Breaking Bad‘s version of Joey. The worst-case scenario is that it turns out like Gilligan’s last spin-off, The Lone Gunmen, a gonzo-goofball misadventure that is also the kind of show that — in our postmodern post-television TV era — could probably earn a devoted fanbase and run for five seasons on a cable network.

But for AMC, greenlighting a Breaking Bad spin-off probably just makes good financial sense. This final season of Breaking Bad has gotten series-high ratings and has dominated late-summer social media chat. The network — which is losing Bad in three weeks and Mad Men next year — wants that fanbase to stick around. It’s nothing new for a network that already pioneered the after-show spin-off concept with The Talking Dead, the Walking Dead talk show shot in Chris Hardwick’s basement, which gets more ratings than at least one major broadcast network. If Better Call Saul works — And it will, won’t it? Oh do please say it will, Mary Poppins! I do believe in fairies! — maybe the network should start thinking about some other spin-off possibilities. Forthwith, some suggestions:

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