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"Avengers: Endgame" and the Miracle of Great Pacing

Avengers: Endgame is the caps the current iteration of the MCU, known as the “The Infinity Saga.” With more than $2.7-billion in worldwide box office dollars, Endgame is the biggest movie of all time in that regard. Does it deliver the goods? Yeah, it does.

This is not an in-depth discussion of plot, but there are probably some spoilers.

Avengers Endgame Poster

Avengers: Endgame is often magnificent. Let’s just get that out of the way. I’d say I have Marvel fatigue, even though I’ve seen just about all of the movies. I was excited to see Endgame, although my enthusiasm was yoked to some degree of obligation. Excited or not, when you feel obligated to see a movie nuzzling the 3-hour mark, that’s not necessarily a spot you want to find yourself in. Compulsion, run time and an impossible amount of hype compelled me to temper my expectations. I was just hoping for a good time and for my bladder to remain intact.

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THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Brings Everything Full-Circle… Or Something

Spoilers.

With a busy slate of upcoming TV projects and a dearth of information about new films in development, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker feels like the end of yet another era for the franchise George Lucas first unleashed upon the world in 1977. Furthering this point is the fact that The Rise of Skywalker is the capstone of a trilogy of trilogies. (I hate that sentence… please forgive me.)

We finally have the answer to the big question. Who were Rey’s parents? Rey is not another hidden Skywalker, nor a Solo. It turns out that she’s Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter, and like Luke before her, her Jedi path leads her directly into a confrontation with the Emperor. Yes — if you haven’t been following the buzz around this movie — the Emperor is quite operationa– I mean, he’s still alive. If The Force Awakens was A New Hope (only more), Skywalker feels like Return of the Jedi (only a lot more). So, Palpatine survived his fall and the explosion of The Death Star II to rebuild his power on the mysterious Sith world of Exegol. It is revealed that he had engineered Snoke as his puppet, and now he wants his granddaughter to unite with him to rule the galaxy in what is to be the Final Order. Let’s begin by jumping straight to the end. How does Episode IX manage to wrap things up?

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GAME OF THRONES Season 8 Review & Episode Scores

Game Of Thrones Season 8 Review

Game of Thrones: Season Eight

With this Season 8 review, we’ve scored every Game Of Thrones episode and there will be a master ranked list of the episodes forthcoming. The episodes were broken down at the granular level. Each storyline within each episode received score from 1-5 in each of the following areas: Story, Worldbuilding, and Entertainment. The component scores were then combined and used as the basis for the Episode Scores. With some time to reflect on the final season, we’ve completed the task. Read the Season 8 Review and stay tuned for the full ranked list of all 73 Game of Thrones episodes.

Previous Entries:

Introduction & Rationale

Season 1 Review

Season 2 Review

Season 3 Review

Season 4 Review

Season 5 Review

Season 6 Review

Season 7 Review

Without further ado…


First, a brief excerpt from our review of the previous season:

This is still Thrones, but with a shorter run of seven episodes and an overall breezier approach to storytelling, it often felt like a dragon of a different color.

This was the last sentence of the opening paragraph of our Season 7 review. With the series finale now in hindsight, that sentence serves as a quaint reminder of just how much Game of Thrones contorted itself in its final two seasons, seemingly in a rush to cross the finish line. Seasons 1-6 each comprised ten episodes. Season 7 delivered seven. Season 8 had six. Despite less screen time, there was never any shortage of story left to tell. Ultimately, Season 8 was a similarly uneven experience that doubled down on the storytelling headaches of Season 7. This is not to say that Thrones’ final season is of poor quality as a whole. Indeed, the season features some of the most striking Thrones scenes of all time with the unfortunate garnish of some of the series’ worst. Bring on the episode blurbs…

Winterfell [8.01]

Winterfell Episode Game Of Thrones

Episode Score: 74 Read more…

GAME OF THRONES Season 7 Review & Episode Scores

Game of Thrones Season 7 Review

Game of Thrones: Season Seven

We’ve scored every Game Of Thrones episode (excluding Season 8, of course), and there will be a master list of the ranked episodes forthcoming. The episodes were broken down at the granular level. Each storyline within each episode received score from 1-5 in each of the following areas: Story, Worldbuilding, and Entertainment. The component scores were then combined and used as the basis for the Episode Scores. We’ve published a review of every season to date, and Season Eight will get the same treatment once the full slate of episodes has had a fair chance to resonate.

Previous Entries:

Introduction & Rationale

Season 1 Review

Season 2 Review

Season 3 Review

Season 4 Review

Season 5 Review

Season 6 Review

Without further ado…


Season 7 delivered long-awaited reunions (Sansa and Arya) and first-time-meetings (Daenerys and Jon). Revelations bookended an eye-popping amount of dragon-related spectacle. As with all previous entries, Game of Thrones’ penultimate season delivers, even if it fades noticeably in its later stretch. This season drew increased criticism for eschewing some of the novel-esque method and rigor that the series had become known for. Characters moved across the map of Westeros at a head-spinning pace, and the fan-favorites seemed to dodge certain death at an unsustainable rate for a series that has shocked viewers repeatedly during its run. This is still Thrones, but with a shorter run of seven episodes and an overall breezier approach to storytelling, it often felt like a dragon of a different color.

Dragonstone [7.01]

Dragonstone Episode Game of Thrones

Episode Score: 79 Read more…

GAME OF THRONES Season 6 Review & Episode Scores

Game of Thrones Season 6 Review

Game of Thrones: Season Six

We are building toward a ranked list of every Game Of Thrones episode by combing through the series one season at a time. The episodes are broken down to a granular level. Each storyline within each episode received score from 1-5 in each of the following areas: Story, Worldbuilding, and Entertainment. The component scores were then combined and used as the basis for the Episode Scores. The series will continue all the way through the Season 7 Review, which can be expected sometime around the the Season 8 debut. As you rewatch the show in preparation for the final season and re-listen to Binge Mode, you can also follow along here.

Previous Entries:

Introduction & Rationale

Season 1 Review

Season 2 Review

Season 3 Review

Season 4 Review

Season 5 Review

Without further ado…


The sixth season casts the longest shadow. Jon Snow returns. Hodor holds the door. The bastards battle. Cersei chooses violence. Daenerys moves on from Meereen, finally. It could be recency bias, or it could be that Season Six ends with the marvelous double feature of Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter, but either way, this season clears the deck in a way that makes it arguably the most memorable batch of episodes to date. Not only does this season go out with an unprecedented bang, it’s also the first season to exist almost entirely without established source material. Benioff and Weiss proved that they could handle the reins without the officially published words of George R. R. Martin guiding them. Martin contributed, of course, but this was the season that the show established its storytelling primacy.

The Red Woman [6.01]

The Red Woman Episode

Episode Score: 67 Read more…

GAME OF THRONES Season 5 Review & Episode Scores

Game of Thrones Season 5 Review and Episode Scores

We are building toward a ranked list of every Game Of Thrones episode by combing through the series one season at a time. The episodes are broken down to a granular level. Each storyline within each episode received score from 1-5 in each of the following areas: Story, Worldbuilding, and Entertainment. The component scores were then combined and used as the basis for the Episode Scores. The series will continue all the way through the Season 7 Review, which can be expected around the time of the Season 8 debut. As you rewatch the show in preparation for the final season and re-listen to Binge Mode, you can also follow along here.

Previous Entries:

Introduction & Rationale

Season 1 Review

Season 2 Review

Season 3 Review

Season 4 Review

Without further ado…


From start to finish, Season 5 is an extraordinarily dark season, and for this series, that is no small feat. Though it wallows in a few unpalatable story arcs — Sansa’s plight and Stannis’s folly come to mind — it’s still a genuinely thrilling ten episodes of television. For every story arc that lingers a few episodes too long, there is another that keeps the season humming along. The saga of the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings continues to develop under the influence of Jon Snow. Cersei seeks an extreme solution to what, for most people, would amount to mundane family drama. Arya grapples with what it truly means to become “no one.” Dany learns that Meereen can’t be tamed in a day. Season Five carries the scent of stagnation at times, and a fouler stench at others, but like King’s Landing itself, the grandeur is still there, even when obscured by distracting smells.

[5.01] The Wars To Come

The Wars To Come Episode

Episode Score: 76 Read more…