Jeffrey Tambor Quits ‘Transparent’

Following mounting accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor has decided to exit the Amazon show “Transparent.” Tambor starred on the critically-acclaimed show playing Maura Pfefferman, the trans matriarch of the Pfefferman family that included members played by Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Judith Light, and extended players like Kathryn Hahn.

READ MORE: ‘Transparent’ Writers Considering Season 5 Without Jeffrey Tambor Following Sexual Harassment Allegations

“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life, Tambor told Deadline today. “What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.”

Just a few days ago, Tambor‘s former assistant Van Barnes accused him of making lewd comments, groping her and threatening to sue her if she spoke up. The actor strenuously denied the claims. On November 16, transgender ‘Transparent’ semi-regular Trace Lysette alleged that the actor made lewd, sexual and unwelcomed remarks while they worked together. Lysette also claimed that Tambor became “physical” and recommended that Amazon and series creator Jill Soloway “remove the problem and let the show go on.”

“I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue,” Tambor added in his exit interview. “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent.’”

The actor did, however, acknowledge some bad behavior on set, but never of a sexual, physical or harassing nature. “I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with,” he said. “I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator – ever.”

Following the accusations, “Transparent” writers and Jill Soloway were considering writing Tambor’s Maura character out of the show, but it appears that the actor has made that decision for everyone (though some legal and contract issues likely need to be resolved before it’s 100% official).

“Transparent” came out of the gate as a critical darling when it premiered in 2014, winning two Golden Globe awards for the first season of the series—Best Musical or Comedy TV series and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Tambor—and Tambor world also go on to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. The fourth season of “Transparent” premiered September 22, 2017 and the fifth season, while renewed, will obviously require a serious rethink now.

The Essentials: Best Horror Movies Of The 1960s

Before 1960, horror movies were, shall we say, a little more prudent and followed, more or less, conventional narrative structures and genre tropes that never crossed the line into the full-on taboo. The ’60s was the decade when ratings boards were put into precarious positions by rebel filmmakers and were pressured to condemn or even ban films that were being deemed by advocate groups as “morally wrong.” The decade in cinema might have not been as groundbreaking and envelope-pushing had it not started with a bang.

1960 saw the release of “Psycho” and “Peeping Tom,” two groundbreaking movies that, needless to say, shocked mainstream audiences. These two taboo-breaking movies were met with inauspicious reactions, and one of them, “Peeping Tom,” was banned in its native country and destroyed the career of one of the great directors of all-time, Michael Powell. As for “Psycho,” the studio had so little faith in the picture, Hitchcock was left to finance it, and traded in his director’s fee for a 60% stake in the picture. It was a costly mistake for Paramount. The film was a hit, and also pushed boundaries, not just with its unprecedented depiction of violence (cue the famous shower scene), but sexuality as well, opening with a man and woman sharing the same bed (gasp). Powell and Hitchcock paved the way for open-mindedness and the rest is, as we say, history, as the domino effect both “Peeping Tom” and “Psycho” had on filmmakers wasn’t left unnoticed.

READ MORE: The 50 Best Horror Movies Of The 21st Century So Far

The ratings board had a stack of cases to deal with the rest of the decade, including “Eyes Without a Face” which had a sadistic doctor kidnapping a girl and removing her face to help his disfigured friends and “Black Sunday,” about the bloodbath a witch concocts to possess the body of a lookalike, was full-on banned in the U.K. and censored in the U.S, By then, real-life “serial killers” were emerging from the shadows and into mainstream news, and filmmakers were using these everyday horrors to tell their own inspired tales on-screen. Suffice to say, the floodgates would bust wide open the following decade with full-on shock horror such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “I Spit on Your Grave,” and “The Last House on the Left,” but the 1960s set the stage.

READ MORE: The 25 Best Foreign Language Horror Movies Ever

For more, don’t forget our lists of the Best Horror Movies of the 1970s,1980s, and 1990s.

Dracula- Prince of Darkness Christopher Lee“Dracula: Prince of Darkness

Christopher Lee’s second time as Bram Stoker’s beloved vampire also proves his best (Lee is on fine form, avoiding the boredom of his later performances, having nicely carved the character for himself after one film). Director Terence Fisher brings a humanity out of Lee, their best work together besides “The Curse of Frankenstein.”Silent, but stern (Lee claims he refused to read any lines in the script), Dracula is as imposing as the film is daunting. Barbara Shelley, red haired and ready, gives the film a sensuality, rarely seen again in post Hammer films. Where later Hammer films entered into the territory of pastiche, here there is a genuine sense of threat when the local tourists ignore a warning not to enter Karlsbrad for fear of vampiric reprisal. Cinematographer Michael Reed has a good eye for colours (the reds and blues in the film are very striking), giving him a palette to bring to “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” the darling of the James Bond series. The film ends on an icy note (literally), giving an oddly sombre close to a franchise more concerned with whacking hearts than melting them. — Eoghan Lyng

READ MORE: The 15 Best Horror Films Of 2016

“The Haunting” (1963)

One of Martin Scorsese’s 11 scariest horror films of all time, Robert Wise’s “The Haunting” is widely considered to be a staple of the genre. Director Wise is better known for his musical adaptations “The Sound of Music” and “West Side Story,” but this darkly psychological adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” showcases the director’s darker side. The film follows Dr. Markway and his three young companions Luke, Theodora, and Eleanor as they try to prove the existence of ghosts at the eerie Hill House. Things quickly turn terrifying when a malevolent spirit tortures the group, especially the sensitive Eleanor. This movie is a great example of innovative filmmaking, as Wise and cinematographer Davis Boulton made use of a warped camera lens to produce disorienting visuals. The script is also particularly innovative for its time, as it features a lesbian character (Theodora) and much of the plot hinges on her attraction to Eleanor. Censors forbade the characters from touching, but that didn’t keep this masterwork from making their romance more explicit than in the novel. For both its formal and social achievements, this film will always be one of the most memorable and invaluable contributions to come out of the 1960s. – Lena Wilson

“The Innocents” (1961)

Director Jack Clayton’s loose adaptation of Henry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw,” “The Innocents” (1961) is not only one of the scariest films of the ‘60s but one of the scariest films ever made (again, just ask Scorsese who, like “The Haunting”, named it one of 11 scariest of all time). Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) has just accepted her first job as a governess for a niece and a nephew. Upon the nephew Miles’ (Martin Stephens) expulsion from boarding school and his return home, Miss Giddens begins seeing visions of a man and a woman, who may have died previously in the house, and now seem to be possessing the bodies of the niece and nephew. While indebted to James’ novella, the film probably owes more debt to Truman Capote’s scripting, which externalizes much of the horror from the novella, than anything else. While Clayton would never become a household name, his other notable film being the Robert Redford snoozefest “The Great Gatsby,” he directs here with a truly menacing gothic touch. The use of cinemascope for a horror film, and the blackout that begins the movie were truly original ideas at the time and add the overall eerie feeling present. “The Innocents’ is a truly stunning horror film that’s well worth tracking down. — Christian Gallichio

Rosemary's Baby“Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)

One of the rare horror films whose Wikipedia entry could start with, “ ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ is an Academy Award-winning horror film,” Roman Polanski’s psychological occult horror film remains the benchmark for the “pregnancy horror” subgenre. The best horror plays to our basest fears as opposed to a quick, cheap jump scare, and the strength of “Rosemary’s Baby” comes from it’s all-too-real plausibility. Most of that can be chalked up to the performances, specifically Mia Farrow’s slow-burning manic performance as Rosemary Woodhouse, who becomes mysteriously pregnant after moving into a new apartment in New York with her husband (John Cassavetes) that is known to have strange occurrences. In addition to the claustrophobia that Polanski brings to Ira Levin’s novel, it’s aso easy to forget how darkly humorous the movie is. Most of which comes from Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer as their suspiciously involved neighbors, who are a little too interested in Rosemary starting a family. “Rosemary’s Baby” successfully captures the anxieties of taking the plunge into parenthood, yet also expertly weaves it into a story about paranoia, body horror, and satanism. It’s stature looms so large that any film that even remotely pays homage to it (most recently Alice Lowe’s “Prevenge” and Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!”) is immediately recognized as having a “Rosemary’s Baby” feel. – Ryan Oliver

“Night Of The Living Dead” (1968)

Zombie films and television programs may be all the rage in 2017, but very few have used the undead in as terrifying or thought-provoking ways as George A. Romero. And even fewer have remained relevant in terms of their themes. Like some of the other great horror films released in the late 60’s and early 70’s, “Night of the Living Dead” is a clear commentary about the Vietnam war, how the country was in a fractured state and this looming sense of gloom and doom permeated through everything. Perhaps an obvious metaphor with people being eaten alive by the undead, but regardless of subtlety or lack thereof, “Night of the Living Dead”remains an unflinching and brutally effective siege horror movie, one that holds up as a metaphor for the fractured state of our country, but also the troubling racial tensions that are still going on almost 50 years after the fact. The other, less dire legacy the film has left behind — something known from experience — is how chocolate syrup makes an excellent fake blood substitute if you’re shooting horror in black and white on a low budget. – RO

  • John W

    Great list.

  • hoarderking

    Haven’t seen quite a lot of these but they all sound good. One of my favourites from the 60s, however, is The Raven. I know it’s a black comedy but there are a few on your list that I wouldn’t class as Horror, either

‘Justice League’: Go To Battle With 7 Clips & 60 New Images

There are only two weeks before “Justice League” is finally released in theaters, and the hype could not be more palpable. If all goes according to plan, Warner Bros.’ all-star superhero spectacle, featuring Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash (with more than a little hint of Superman) is expected to gross between $110 – $120 million in its first weekend. Audience turnouts are expected to be high, but how will “Justice League” fair with critics? Well, if “Wonder Woman“‘s warm critical reception last June is any indicator, than DC’s superhero universe may be on the upswing since the dreary days of “Suicide Squad” and “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

“Justice League” is of course the product of two directors, Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon, who have very distinct visual styles. After Snyder left the production in late May to deal with a family tragedy, Whedon stepped on board to finish what was started. Although there have re-shoots on Whedon’s part, the extent of with are either massive or small, depending on who you believe, the cast is not worried this will compromise the integrity of the original product. In an interview given last month, Ben Affleck, who plays Batman and his alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, enthusiastically expressed that “Joss came in and walked a very fine line between Zack’s sensibility tone and direction. We found a really fun and inspiring synthesis of their two forms of storytelling.” Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, said, “This is Zack Snyder’s movie. Joss only did a couple of reshoots. He was Zack’s guy and knew exactly what he wanted to get.”

Not much is known of the plot, except for the fact that like “The Avengers,” “Justice League” will feature our five heroes coming together to save the planet from impeding doom, at the hands of the menacing Steppenwolf, played by Ciaran Hinds.

“Justice League” is directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon. It stars Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciaran Hinds and J.K. Simmons, among other notable stars. Here’s the motherload of 60 images and the first six clips of the movie.

More photos on page two.

‘24’ Getting Third Reboot As Courtroom Drama With Female Lead

First, Fox tried to reboot “24” with Kiefer Sutherland reprising his role as veteran terrorist-killer Jack Bauer. After that fizzled, Fox went back to the well again, and they decided to start fresh with a new reboot led by a new actor, Corey Hawkins, as the lead terrorist-killer. Now, hoping the third time is indeed the charm, Fox is changing the “24” game again, but with a new twist on the real-time drama.

Deadline is reporting that Fox is in the early stages of working on a new “24” series, however, don’t expect any terrorist-killing in this one. In the new and improved “24,” the series will focus on a female prosecutor who is working to save a death row inmate, facing execution, by uncovering a grand legal conspiracy. If you’re reading this and scratching your head, you’re not alone. This is a bold take on the idea of “24,” ditching the premise and existing mythology entirely, but keeping the real-time element.

READ MORE: ‘Black Mirror’ Presents A World Without Catharsis

The report continues by saying this series will be an anthology and will keep the 24-hour real-time aspect, but start fresh each season with a new premise and characters, as seen in “American Horror Story” and “Fargo.” That’s right, “24” is now a reboot and an anthology series, making it the epitome of modern of television.

Former “24” executive producers Howard Gordon and Brian Grazer are leading the way on this new series. Joining them is “The Killing” writer/producer Jeremy Doner.

There is also a tidbit in the report that Fox might consider other takes on the “24” formula, in case this one turns out to be a dud. At some point, they’ll have to put “24” out of its misery, right?

‘Alias Grace’: Stream 2 Tracks From Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna’s Score [Exclusive]

Earlier this year, “The Handmaid’s Tale” became of the hottest new dramas on the small screen. Well, if you still want more compelling, Margaret Atwood inspired fare, get ready to fire up “Alias Grace.” The new series arrives very soon on Netflix, and in addition to boasting a wealth of on-screen talent, it will feature a score by composers Mychael and Jeff Danna.

Written by Sarah Polley, directed by Mary Harron, and starring Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft,Anna Paquin, Paul Gross, Rebecca Liddiard, Kerr Logan, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg, the series follows Grace Marks, a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott, was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, in 1843. James was hanged while Grace was sentenced to life imprisonment. Grace became one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of 1840s Canada for her supposed role in the sensational double murder and was eventually exonerated after 30 years in jail. Her conviction was controversial and sparked much debate about whether Grace was actually involved in the murder, or merely an unwitting accessory.

READ MORE: 11 TV Shows To Watch In November

Powering “Alias Grace” is the music of Mychael and Jeff Danna, who were inspired by the period setting of the story. “We wanted the score to mirror the formal rigidity of British Colonial 19th Century society,” Mychael Danna said.

“We chose a chamber group of virtuosic musicians to lay out the complicated fabric of the musical world of ‘Alias Grace,’ ” Jeff Danna added. “There was interwoven string parts, often with one player per part in the traditional way, colored by fleeting woodwinds, piano and even the occasional church organ – all of it underlined with a dark thread of mystery and growing doom as we slowly move towards the inevitable violence of the crime.”

Alias Grace — Original Mini-Series Soundtrack” will be released digitally on November 3rd, the same day the series hits Netflix. Listen to the exclusive debuts of

Bingeworthy Breakdown: ‘Alias Grace’ Is A Compelling, Fantastic Addition To Margaret Atwood’s Legacy

Hike up your petticoats and knot up your kerchiefs, because it’s time for another Bingeworthy Breakdown! This time we’re spotlighting “Alias Grace,” a co-production between Netflix and the CBC that hit Canada earlier this fall but comes to Netflix on Friday, Nov. 3.

This six-episode miniseries set in the mid-19th century follows convicted murderess Grace Marks as she recounts her life to psychiatrist Dr. Jordan. Jordan has been hired by a local minister to try and prove Grace’s innocence and win her a pardon. The thing is, Grace can’t remember whether she actually helped murder her master and his housekeeper. Subtle violence, Puritan eroticism, and quiltmaking ensue.

“Alias Grace,” directed by Mary Harron (“I Shot Andy Warhol,” “American Psycho”) and written by Sarah Polley (“Away from Her,” “Stories We Tell”), is based on the eponymous novel by every streaming service’s favorite trenchant feminist, Margaret Atwood. Yes, “The Handmaid’s Tale” isn’t the only Atwood adaptation on the block anymore, and the well-made, smartly scripted “Alias Grace” should earn comparable critical praise.

Sarah-Gadon-and-Rebecca-Liddiard-in-Alias-Grace-(2017)

All right, hit me. What’s this show about?

As the pilot dawns, Grace Marks has been languishing in prison for 15 years. So the story goes, she and fellow servant McDermott joined together to kill their master and his housekeeper. McDermott, the only other survivor of the event, has since been hanged, meaning Grace has the final word on everything that happened on that fateful day. Unfortunately, she has no memory of the day. A local reverend calls in psychiatrist Dr. Simon Jordan to unearth the truth, in the hope that he will endorse Grace’s pardoning. Grace is wary of Jordan at first, having faced medical abuse while in prison and, previously, an insane asylum. She eventually agrees to tell him her life story leading up to the murders, and the show unfurls via both flashback and the present-day narrative. It’s stark. It’s dryly feminist. It’s very Atwoodian.

Man, if you’d told me a few years ago that 2017 would be the year of Margaret Atwood, I would have laughed in your face.

Right? Canada’s pride and joy is finally getting her day in the sun – or rather, on the screen. It’s cool to see, considering how desperately our society needs more feminist messages. And it’s even cooler to see her work adapted by two women (no offense, “The Handmaid’s Tale” creator Bruce Miller). An Atwood adaptation directed by the woman who helmed a Valerie Solanas biopic? I practically peed my third-wave pants when I found out about this series.

Honestly, I’m worn out on political talk. Any other reasons to be excited about the series?

Yes. “Alias Grace” is an unflinching period piece, set in mid-19th century Canada. Of course, there is murder. There are insane asylum flashbacks. There is hypnotism. There is lust. There are lost souls (literally). There is a lot – and I mean a lot – of vomiting.

Wow. Doesn’t sound like your typical period piece.

Yes and no. The editing in this show is awesome, as is the way it treats gore. The pilot is typical period fare laced through with violent visual flashes. When something grisly does go down, it does so with none of the fanfare typically present in today’s shock-obsessed programming. On the period piece downside, a noticeable amount of the dialogue comes off as stiff and unnatural. Whether that’s in the script or the actors is anybody’s guess, but I’d say it’s a mix of the two.

Yikes, so the acting’s bad?

I’m not trying to say the acting is bad per se, just that portions of the dialogue seem difficult to carry. Aside from that, I quite enjoyed most of the show’s performances. “Chuck” star Zachary Levi, for instance, has an endearing and enigmatic turn as Jeremiah, an eccentric peddler. For some reason, David f*cking Cronenberg blesses this show as the reverend. Edward Holcroft and his noble nose expertly portray the complex Dr. Jordan as both detestable and sympathetic. Overall, though, Sarah Gadon is fantastic as Grace, and not just because of her sweet Irish accent. As she skillfully dances between cold and mysterious in the present-day storyline and naïve and charming in flashback, the magnetic actor keeps you wondering. She deserves all kinds of awards just for her performance in the last episode, which borders on Eva Green-in-“Penny Dreadful” levels of amazing.

Conversely, Anna Paquin doesn’t exactly dazzle as the ambivalent housekeeper Nancy, and Rebecca Liddiard has a mixed turn as fiery best friend Mary. They both offer fairly one-note performances, perhaps because they’re sharing screen time with the astoundingly nuanced Gadon.

‘House Of Cards’ Crew Members Allege Sexual Harassment & Assault By Kevin Spacey

The week started with sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Spacey, and the story has only become more devastating. Vulture ran an extended interview from another alleged victim, who says he was sexually assaulted by the actor at the age of 15 years old. British police have opened an investigation into another alleged assault in 2008. And even more stories have emerged about the actor’s behavior, this time from the set of “House Of Cards.”

Eight crew members and employees who worked on the hit Netflix show, have spoken to CNN, and shared their stories of Spacey’s harassment and assault, which went all the way back to the first season of the show.

“I have no doubt that this type of predatory behavior was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position,” a production assistant who was harassed said. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”

Netflix and production company Media Rights Capital have been swift to respond to this latest set of allegations. According to the streaming service, they were only made aware of one incident that occurred during the first season, and any other subsequent encounters, did not come to their attention. Here’s their statement:

Netflix was just made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly. On Tuesday, in collaboration with MRC, we suspended production, knowing that Kevin Spacey wasn’t scheduled to work until Wednesday. Netflix is not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set. We continue to collaborate with MRC and other production partners to maintain a safe and respectful working environment. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the production, and have nothing further to share at this time.

Meanwhile, MRC has established “an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew,” and also claim they were only made aware of one incident. Here’s their statement:

We are deeply troubled to learn about these new allegations that are being made to the press concerning Kevin Spacey’s interaction with members of the crew of House of Cards. As the producer of the show, creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our cast and crew has always been our top priority. We have consistently reinforced the importance of employees reporting any incident without fear of retaliation and we have investigated and taken appropriate actions following any complaints. For example, during our first year of production in 2012, someone on the crew shared a complaint about a specific remark and gesture made by Kevin Spacey. Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved. Mr. Spacey willingly participated in a training process and since that time MRC has not been made aware of any other complaints involving Mr. Spacey.

Production has been halted on season six, and given these latest allegations coming to light, it seems unlikely that it will resume. Spinoff talk is already happening, though the future of “House Of Cards” should really be the last concern at the moment.

There has been no comment from Spacey’s camp, but on Wednesday, his publicist shared the following statement: “Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment. No other information is available at this time.”

  • PhotographicAmnesia

    When I was a Massage therapist back in the mid 90’s Kevin Spacey kept grabbing my hand as he began to masterbate while I was giving him a massage at the Spa I worked at. I Stopped with the massage and immediately went to the front desk. They totally swept the whole thing under the rug sorta speak. Asked me not to say anything. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to think. So I quit not long after.

Park Chan-wook Goes Peak TV With ‘The Little Drummer Girl’

We’re still recovering from Park Chan-Wook‘s dazzling, audacious “The Handmaiden“, which hit cinemas last year. As for what the director might do next, things have been pretty quiet, but word has emerged that Park Chan-Wook is gearing up to join the Peak TV craze.

The filmmaker has signed up to direct a six-part adaptation of John le Carre’s spy novel “The Little Drummer Girl.” Florence Pugh, who recently earned plenty of acclaim for her titular performance in “Lady Macbeth,” will lead the miniseries that follows an aspiring actress who is lured into the world of terrorists and espionage. Here’s the book synopsis:

On holiday in Mykonos, Charlie wants only sunny days and a brief escape from England’s bourgeois dreariness. Then a handsome stranger lures the aspiring actress away from her pals—but his intentions are far from romantic. Joseph is an Israeli intelligence officer, and Charlie has been wooed to flush out the leader of a Palestinian terrorist group responsible for a string of deadly bombings. Still uncertain of her own allegiances, she debuts in the role of a lifetime as a double agent in the “theatre of the real.”

Production will begin on “The Little Drummer Girl” in early 2018, with BBC airing the series across the pond, and AMC in the U.S. No release date, but I’d assume we won’t be seeing this until 2019. Still, six hours of pure Park Chan-Wook is something to look forward to.

Until then, maybe you can catch up with the 1984 film adaptation, directed by George Roy Hill, starring Diane Keaton. [Daily Mail]

  • Toshio Shimizu

    This photo is Pong Jun-Ho.not Park Chan-wook

    • swell

      Sure looks like Park Chan-wook on the set of Stoker to me.

‘Stranger Things 2’: 10 Memorable Moments

It’s been roughly a week since we’ve returned to the Upside Down. Within less than 24 hours of the sequel season’s premiere, fans and critics were already spawning theories of what could come in the third installment of the nostalgic series. We have well over a year to theorize on what comes next for the heroes of Hawkins, Indiana. As fans continue to digest “Stranger Things 2,” let’s revisit some of the best and most intriguing moments of the season.

1) Eleven’s Meltdown (“Chapter Four: Will The Wise”)

While the first few episodes of “2” were essentially a slow burn to the huge payoff of the concluding episodes, one stand out moment of acting, effects, and overall impact was Eleven’s meltdown. Upon returning to the cabin where she is hiding out, under Chief Hopper’s paternal eye, Eleven’s reaction to the consequences of breaking the rules and leaving her new home is anything but controlled and subtle. The scene offers a moment of necessary character growth and conflict for both Hopper and Eleven, as both are becoming acclimated to their new roles with each other; Hopper as budding father figure to Eleven and Eleven coming to see the full strength of her power. Since we didn’t see the two characters share a lot of screen time together in season one, the scene set a strong tone for the relationship the two characters would have through the rest of the season.

2) Steve and the Demordogs (“Chapter Six: The Spy”)

“Stranger Things” is built on the foundation and inspiration of a slew of science fiction and horror films. Of the references made in “2,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” found its way into the mix. When Lucas convinces Max he has proof of everything that took place a year ago, the two find themselves with Dustin and Steve in a junkyard, waiting out the demordogs. Surrounded by creatures from the Upside Down, Steve’s predicament is similar to the band of Velociraptors stalking the party of scientists and opportunists in the sequel to Spielberg’s original dinosaur film. The ensuing scene plays out with action and references to the prehistoric creatures. Its well acted and well choreographed and adds another reference to the many pictures the Duffers have drawn from.

3) The Army (“Chapter Six: The Spy”)

Chapter six of “2” builds up the finale of the season in every way. It’s the episode where action starts to go down, and stuff hits the fan. The latter part of the episode sees Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) become more possessed by the Mind Flayer. As a layer of mist, also a reference to Stephen King’s “The Mist,” rolls in to the hive, the center fixation of the tunnels underneath Hawkins, it’s difficult to discern exactly what becomes of the members of the Hawkins Lab group, but the fear is in not knowing. What we see on screen is a methodological take down of each person, and what we’re left with is fear and some satisfaction that the series is really starting to kick into gear.

4) Eleven is not alone(“Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister”)

While it’s been argued that “The Lost Sister” is the weakest part of the sequel season, it did add to the world of “Stranger Things.” The episode saw the introduction of Kali aka 008, Eleven’s “step sister” who she bonded with at Hawkins Lab when they were children. One of the best parts of the episode, Kali is as powerful as Eleven but much more vengeful, seeking retribution against the people who tortured her and treated her as a lab rat. While Kali is egging on Eleven to move part of an old, discarded train, the scene offers a moment between two very powerful female characters and further exploration into what Eleven can really accomplish when her mind is set to it (which is paid off in full by the last episode).

5) Dark Phoenix Meets Darth Vader (“Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister”)

While fans and critics have debated its necessity “The Lost Sister,” there are small moments that do pay off. By the end of the episode, we see the full extent of the internal conflict Eleven has built upon, avenging her mother and herself. When on a mission to exterminate another member of the “bad men” from Hawkins Lab, Eleven’s means of torture and killing show a likeness to that of Darth Vader. Using her hand in a similar motion and focusing her power by choking the unsuspecting victim, the dichotomy of X-Men’s Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix storyline plays out with a subtle nod to the George Lucas series. This is a powerful moment that adds to Eleven’s character arc, in an otherwise standalone episode.

Jonathan Groff Reveals The Unscripted Moment In The ‘Mindhunter’ Finale

**Spoilers ahead**

While “Stranger Things 2” has dominated television talk for the past couple of weeks, it wasn’t that long ago when “Mindhunter” was leading the conversations. The first season of David Fincher‘s serial killer drama is talky, masterful, precision driven storytelling. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t opportunities to try new things, and that’s just what everyone did for the knockout finale.

As the first season winds down, Holden (Jonathan Groff) returns to see Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton), who is in the hospital following a suicide attempt. The visit becomes a moment of realization for Holden, where he finally realizes the true nature of the man who thinks they’ve become friends. The scene is played out beautifully, as one simple gesture tears apart Holden’s world. As it turns out, that moment wasn’t in the original script.

“I love the evolution of the Ed Kemper-Holden Ford relationship, the arc of it through the season, and the way the writers put in this energy at the end almost like Ed is this jilted ex-lover. Holden is so completely different in his final scene with Ed than in his first scene with Ed. In that first scene we see him buttoned up, horrified, scared, and then in their final scene you have him sort of begrudgingly come back to visit Ed when he’s got nobody else in his life,” Groff told Esquire about that final scene. “It’s that sort of desperation and need that drives him straight to the center of it all with Ed. And Ed is the one who gives him the wakeup call.”

“I remember when we were in rehearsals, [series creator] Joe Penhall saying, ‘What if Ed hugs him? What if the end of the first season is the serial killer hugging the profiler? Isn’t that a horrifying image?’ Cameron is so amazing, and when I read the scene with him for the first time, the hair stood up on the back of my neck,” he continued. “That final scene was easy to act, because he is truly terrifying,”

Indeed, that hug is frightening, and it drives Holden out of the hospital room, and he collapses in the hallway panicked. It’s a blunt reminder for the character — and audience — that a demure personality like Ed Kemper could be extraordinarily dangerous.

“Mindhunter” is now streaming on Netflix.

  • Rodrigo Paroni

    this image is helped by the powerful use of Led Zepp’s “In the light”

  • Jimmy Siu Yan Ngai

    that is one truly hair-raising scene.