Cromwell is the ‘Master of Phantoms’ in a Rousing ‘Wolf Hall’ Finale

Director Peter Kosminsky enjoys bringing viewers in and out of Cromwell’s head… It’s an upheaval of the mind that mirrors the unpredictability of the circumstances in which Cromwell finds himself.

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This review contains major spoilers. Proceed with caution!

“Wolf Hall” finally drew to a close on PBS this weekend with “Master of Phantoms.” It’s 1536 and Thomas Cromwell is set on freeing Henry VIII (Damian Lewis) from Anne Boleyn, bringing a set of rousing portrayals by Mark Rylance and Claire Foy. I’ve taken issue before with Claire Foy’s scenes; but in this installment, she was very compelling as the now spurned queen. Momentum has been building in previous episodes: ultimately pointing to Cromwell’s mission to seek vengeance against Cardinal Wolsey’s (Jonathan Pryce) enemies.

Mark Rylance makes a strong finish as Thomas Cromwell. Photo: BBC
Mark Rylance makes a strong finish as Thomas Cromwell. Photo: BBC

The clash of the Cromwell and Anne is captured from the start in a daymare, in which a feast is laid out. Cromwell looks on wide-eyed as Anne’s body is pulled across the table towards him. It’s quite disturbing yet artfully done, as Anne’s gaze finally hits our own directly through the frame. The dark tone continues on, as Cromwell comes back to himself and the luncheon at his home. Director Peter Kosminsky enjoys bringing viewers in and out of Cromwell’s head, throwing a seemingly mundane moment (e.g. a dinner, looking out of a window) into something absolutely bizarre, hilarious, or horrifying all at once. It’s an upheaval of the mind that mirrors the unpredictability of the circumstances in which Cromwell finds himself. Continue reading “Cromwell is the ‘Master of Phantoms’ in a Rousing ‘Wolf Hall’ Finale”

TV Review: Anyone Could Have Killed Danny as ‘Gracepoint’ Crawls Along

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

As the town reels from the death of Danny Solano, Detectives Emmett Carver (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn) are gathering more information on the case. Secrets are abound and slowly coming out about many of the characters. Continue reading “TV Review: Anyone Could Have Killed Danny as ‘Gracepoint’ Crawls Along”

TV Review: Different ‘T.R.A.C.K.S.’ and a Stan Lee Cameo on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team took on Cybertek and Ian Quinn (David Conrad) in an undercover mission this week. They divided up into pairs: 1) Coulson and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), 2) Ward (Brett Dalton) and May (Ming-Na Wen), and 3) Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Skye (Chloe Bennet). As one may expect, they are double-crossed by an informant with Italian Intelligence and must resort to a new game plan. Continue reading “TV Review: Different ‘T.R.A.C.K.S.’ and a Stan Lee Cameo on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’”

TV Review: ‘The Blacklist’ Crafts a Horrifying Recipe in ‘The Stewmaker’

Reddington’s (James Spader) next master criminal on “The Blacklist” is a creepy serial killer who is aptly named “The Stewmaker.” It’s worth emphasizing just how creepy and disturbing the Stewmaker/Stanley Cornish (Tom Noonan) is. Continue reading “TV Review: ‘The Blacklist’ Crafts a Horrifying Recipe in ‘The Stewmaker’”

TV Review: ‘Blacklist’ Fizzles with ‘Wujing’

This week on “The Blacklist,” Reddington (James Spader) and Agent Keen (Megan Boone) handle deciphering encrypted messages for Wujing, a dangerous Chinese mastermind. After two episodes of plot twists and fast-paced action, last night seems like a bit of a letdown. We’re only thrown a couple of crumbs in the way of mysterious developments. Continue reading “TV Review: ‘Blacklist’ Fizzles with ‘Wujing’”

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Sees Another ‘0-8-4’ and a Cameo

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

Last night’s episode brought Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team to Peru with the 0-8-4 code: to investigate a puzzling artifact and determine whether it’s a threat. What was the last 0-8-4? Thor’s hammer. Yet another reminder for viewers to check out “Thor: The Dark World” on November 8th. Continue reading “‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Sees Another ‘0-8-4’ and a Cameo”

TV Review: ‘The Blacklist’ Continues to Shine in ‘The Freelancer’

Caution: Spoiler alert.

This week, Reddington shows he can still call the shots even though he’s being held at high security facilities. He’s offered his so-called “Blacklist” of heinous criminals but only if the authorities will grant him immunity, a special tracking chip, and a special staff. Unfortunately, his record as an international criminal and informant only infuriates the Attorney General, who wants to press charges against him. Both Red and Agent Elizabeth Keen are given polygraph tests, which he deems to be a “waste of time.” Continue reading “TV Review: ‘The Blacklist’ Continues to Shine in ‘The Freelancer’”