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Every Twin Peaks Actor In Psych’s Dual Spires Episode

A Psych season 5 episode, “Dual Spires”, served as a homage to Twin Peaks. Here’s every actor from the show who guest-starred in the episode.

Psych season 5 aired an episode that paid homage to Twin Peaks and brought in several actors from the show. Titled “Dual Spires”, it was named for the town featured in the episode, similar to the naming of the 1990s mystery horror series that aired on ABC.

Psych, a series known for calling out popular movies, TV shows, and actors (primarily from the 1980s), sometimes took their references to a higher level by creating entire episodes designed to pay tribute to certain films or shows. Its 100th episode, for example, “100 Clues” united several cast members from the 1985 mystery movie, Clue. Another instance of this was Psych season 5, episode 12, “Dual Spires”, which sent Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dulé Hill) off the beaten path and into an off-the-radar town called Dual Spires, which reflected the setting and themes of Twin Peaks in several ways.

As per usual, their stay in Dual Spires led to the duo being swept up in a murder mystery (which was also what set up the story of Twin Peaks). Their investigation into the death of a young woman saw Shawn and Gus meet with numerous, strange individuals, some of which were played by actors from Twin Peaks. Here’s every Twin Peaks actor in Psych’s “Dual Spires” and who they played.

Every Twin Peaks Actor In Psych's Dual Spires Episode
Every Twin Peaks Actor In Psych’s Dual Spires Episode

Dana Ashbrook as Bob Barker: On Twin Peaks, Dana Ashbrook was Bobby Briggs, a main character and the boyfriend of the murdered woman. On Psych however, Ashbrook portrayed the victim’s uncle and the co-owner of the local diner.
Sherilyn Fenn as Maudette Hornsby: In “Dual Spires”, Maudette is a local librarian, and a woman who flirts with Shawn and Gus. In Twin Peaks, the actress’ character was Audrey Home, a classmate of the murder victim. She was also romantically interested in the main character, Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).
Sheryl Lee as Dr. Donna Gooden: Sheryl Lee played both the murder victim, Laura, and her identical twin cousin, Maddy Ferguson, on Twin Peaks. In Psych, she was the town doctor and one of the two murderers. She secretly had an affair with Bob Barker.
Robyn Lively as Michelle Barker: Robyn Lively recurred on Twin Peaks as Lana Budding Milford, a woman with a reputation for seducing many of the men who lived in the town. She played Bob Barker’s wife in the Psych
Lenny Von Dohlen as Sheriff Andrew Jackson: Dohlen’s Harold Smith didn’t like to leave his house in Twin Peaks. The actor played the role of Sheriff Andrew Jackson in “Dual Spires”. He, like Dr. Gooden, was one of the villains of the episode.
Catherine E. Coulson as “Wood Woman”: Twin Peaks’ Margaret Landerman was known for always carrying around a log. Her Psych character, who was never named, shared the same habit.
Ray Wise as Father Westley: Ray Wise portrayed the father of the victim on Twin Peaks and a local lawyer. Interestingly, Ray Wise had already appeared on Psych as Father Westley, who was friends with Gus. So instead of having him play someone else, “Dual Spires” brought back Father Westley by having Shawn and Gus call him for advice. Later in the episode, he arrived in Dual Spires to help them in person. Father Westley was also on hand when Shawn and Gus wrapped up the case

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Twin Peaks: The Television Collection on DVD For Sale

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Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

Chicago PD is a truly addictive hospital drama with some amazing episodes. According to IMDb, these stand out above all the rest.

NBC has been a hot spot over the last few years with dramas centered around action, fires and medical miracles with their One Chicago Shows. Chicago PD is all action. The cops in the Intelligence Unit love nothing more than to protect their city against white-collar, blue-collar and any other criminal in their streets.

But if asked to choose which episodes you love best, would that be an easy choice? There are so many to choose from that there’s a good chance you would or could leave one or two off the list.

Allegiance (Season 4, Episode 5) Rating 9.0

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

Death has been a main visual for Chicago PD over the course of its run. However, none of the main characters have really been touched. In “Allegiance” Alvin Olinsky is the first. The lead up to this was pure great work by the writers and the main culprit everyone involved wanted was Voight. But being true to the team is one thing Olinsky has always been.

Instead of giving up, he confesses, takes the time, and in the end. meets his demise. Yes, there was another storyline going in here, but Olinksy’s incarceration stood out to be the reasons this made one of the top 10 best episodes for IMDb.

Trust (Season 6, Episode 11) Rating 9.0

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

When one of Voight’s friends ends up dead, it’s an all-out war to Voight. As the Intelligence Unit digs deeper into the case, they find out that the Mayoral candidate and Superintendent of Police, Kelton may be involved. That news alone sends Voight into a frenzy and now he really wants answers. To add more salt to the wound, in an attempt to find the killer, Atwater is shot.

If Kelton is indeed behind all this, then that means that in the end, his hands are dirty regarding Atwater. Now Voight is left with an ultimatum. Does he look the other way and make Ketlon an ally or take him down and make him an enemy? That would not be a bad move since he may win the election and having the Mayor owe you a favor is always good. But Voight wants the truth, not friends.

Ties That Bind (Season 6, Episode 14) Rating 9.0

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

Kim Burgess finally figures out the secret within the Unit. Upton and her old boyfriend Ruzek are now dating. The team, doing what they do best–go undercover at a Gun Show but something goes wrong and Upton and Burgess are kidnapped. The two guys drive the two undercover officers to a remote location, tie them to pipes and demand that Burgess give up the 20k she bragged that she had for the purchase of the guns.

Back at the station, Ruzek is freaking out. I mean, the two women he slept with are kidnapped at the same time and there’s nothing he can do. Antonio is giving point this case and that doesn’t help calm Ruzek down. The women do manage to escape and share a moment where Upton explains that she’s not dating cops to further her career.

Reckoning (Season 6, Episode 22) Rating 9.1

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

IA wants Ruzek to amend his final statement as to what really went on in that warehouse. But Ruzek is sticking to his story despite his hot/cold relationship with Antonio Dawson. All of this could have been avoided if Ruzek wasn’t so quick to jump the gun and listened to his commanding officer Voight.

But the drama doesn’t end there. Antonio, even after a stay in rehab, is still back on the pills that have everyone in trouble in the first place. While this episode is officially Jon Seda’s last, it was not a great way for his character to depart. Ruzek is in jail, Kelton ends up dean and it looks as if Voight is the one who killed him.

A Shot Heard Around The World (Season 4, Episode 8) Rating 9.1

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

This is Antonio’s last day with the Intelligence Unit before he joins S.A.’s office. In the midst of his last day, a shooting takes place which happens to involve a police officer. When the Unit gets a lead, cops swarm the place only to realize it was a setup and another cop is shot in the process. Everyone is on high alert.

In the end, it was the son of a former c0p who was killed in the line of duty. He wants cops to pay for his father’s death. He’s eventually caught and killed by a great shot by Olinsky. At Molly’s, the cops gather around and take donations for the fallen. Antonio says his goodbyes and Voight officially adds Burgess to the Unit.

Descent (Season 6, Episode 9) Rating 9.1

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

Antonio has a drug problem and Ruzek is once again moving too fast in a relationship. He and Upton and looking at apartments for her but Ruzek has the crazy notion that they should move in together. On the other side of town, Antonio is trying to score drugs at the doctor’s office (what a mess Dawson has become of the last few episodes).

There is a drug bust going on and when the Unit arrives, somehow Antonio is already there. But little do they know, he was not there on official police business but as a buyer. The one who catches it is Burgess who decides to stay quiet about it. Before Voight had a chance to help Antonio after he found out, his daughter Eva was kidnapped.

The Forgotten (Season 6, Episode 16) Rating 9.1

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

Ray Prive wants to win the Mayor’s seat and he needs Voight’s help to do it. In the beginning, Price was not to be trusted. He was a crooked Alderman and Voight was not that fond of him. But now they had a common enemy–Kelton. Price told Voight in so many words that if he wins, the Intelligence Unit was safe.

Voight is set to take is favorite CI to the airport to begin a new life. When he gets to her house, she’s missing. There is a serial killer on the loose but it goes way deeper than Voight thinks. While searching for Lexie, Voight learns that the killer is tied to Kelton. Needless to say, this is one of those moments where the team just needed a few more minutes. Lexie is not saved in time and now the war between Kelton and Voight just turned personal.

Emotional Proximity (Season 4, Episode 16) Rating 9.2

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

The hunt is on for the man responsible for a building fire that killed Alvin Olinsky’s daughter. Mess with the city of Chicago and the hammer comes down, but touch one of theirs, and time stops until you’re found. The Intelligence Unit is a tight group that prides itself on togetherness.

What hurt the most about this episode was Voight trying to get Alvin to take the high road. There was a time when Voight and Antonio were ready to tear down Chicago regarding their kids. The killer is caught and sent away. That was not supposed to go down like that.

Start Digging (Season 3, Episode 23) Rating 9.3

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

For the officers in the Intelligence Unit, there are certain things that are off-limits. Dating within the team is supposed to be one but that’s often ignored. The other is family. No one touches one of their own. However, for Hank Voight, that all comes to a crashing end this episode.

Justin (Voight’s son) has cleaned up his act. He’s married with a newborn baby and is all smiles. He decides to help one of his friends and it all goes wrong. He ends up dead. There is nothing or no one going to stand in Voight’s way for payback. Once the killer is found, Voight does what any father would do in that situation. He gets his revenge against anyone telling him differently.

Homecoming (Season 5, Episode 22) Rating 9.4

Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
Chicago PD: 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

With news that Alvin did not survive the stabbing while in jail, the Unit is out for revenge. This is not the usual catch him, lock them up, and throw away the key episodes. One of theirs was targeted and murdered. While searching for leads, Woods is still coming after Voight with everything he has.

When they find the person (Carlos) responsible, Voight catches him on a roof and shoots him. To the bystanders, Carlos was unarmed. However, Voight swears that he was reaching. The only other witness was Antonio and he still isn’t sure. In the end, it was ruled a clean shoot, Woods gets arrested, and Voight mourns his friend. Sad episode.

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Chicago PD: Complete Series 1-7 DVD For Sale

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The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

The show Criminal Minds has a long and storied history, and here’s our ranking of the top ten best episodes in the entire series.

Through 14 seasons, Criminal Minds has delivered some of the most twisted and shocking serial killer cases to ever hit television. The show, though, is not just about the FBI solving crimes, catching serial killers, and saving lives. This is a show that remained fully invested in the lives of its characters and the mental stress that working a job like this can place on someone.

From the start with Gideon and Hotchner leading the BAU with Prentice, Spencer, and Derek to the additions of JJ, Rossi, and Ashley, plus the always delightful Penelope Garcia, the character moments are what made the show so popular for so many years. With season 15 promising to mark the end, here is a look at the best episodes from the first 14 seasons of Criminal Minds.

Mosley Lane (S5E16)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

One aspect of crime dramas that can turn people off is a lot of the cases involve children. A point in Criminal Minds’ favor is that it always handles those stories delicately, just as the writers did with “Mosley Lane.”

The episode saw JJ visited by the mother of a missing child when a new, and very similar case, became public knowledge. JJ realized that there was the distinct possibility that the woman’s son was still being held. The storyline involved several kids being raised as a “family” by their kidnappers. It was one about hope for the families of missing people.

Mr. Scratch (S10E21)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

While Criminal Minds typical explores the psychology of serial killers, this episode went deeper into the power of suggestion. Three different “killers” were all motivated to commit the acts as a result of someone else.

The villain, who became known as Mr. Scratch, would go on to target the group of FBI detectives, appearing in three more seasons of the show. This particular episode set his escape, as well as the escape of even more serial killers, in motion for a longer story arc.

Entropy (S11E11)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

Spencer Reid tends to be the subject of hostage situations a lot, but that’s likely because he’s a fan favorite, and he’s the character most likely to talk his way out of a situation. In “Entropy,” he had to do more than that; he had to outsmart an assassin.

The episode began allowing fans to think Reid was on a blind date. In reality, he was pretending to be a client of an assassin, trying to catch her. Aubrey Plaza as the “Black Widow” assassin was a great guest star, and one whose intellect was a match for Reid.

The Tall Man (S14E5)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

It’s always interesting when an episode is less about the case at hand and more about delving into the backstory of a main character. In this case, it’s JJ.

When two people go missing in the woods, and a third is found, the team investigates a small town ghost story. In order to better help with the case, JJ goes home to her own small town where her big sister died when she was 11. That aspect of JJ’s past was explored early in the series, but this episode provided more details, fleshing out the character a bit for the fans.

Lauren (S6E18)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, RankedThe 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

This episode was supposed to be the beginning of the end for Emily Prentiss. Revealing her job before she joined the BAU, the episode was the kind of adrenaline fueled ride that most crime dramas only dream of achieving.

In it, the team has to band together when Prentiss goes missing. As they realize she’s tracking a dangerous enemy from her time undercover as a woman named Lauren, they also realize how little they know about her past. Some of the team deals with it better than others. Though this mission was supposed to culminate in her death, fan outrage saw it as a fakeout later in the series. It didn’t lessen the emotional punch.

The Replicator (S8E24)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

The main villain of the eighth season of Criminal Minds was none other than Mark Hamill who portrayed John Curtis, also known as The Replicator. He was an interesting villain since he was a former FBI special agent with a genius-level IQ who turned into a serial killer. In season 8, he started to create copycat crimes of cases the BAU solved in the past.

There have been few deaths of the main Criminal Minds characters, but that changed in the episode “The Replicator” when Curtis killed BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss as revenge when he was left to take the blame on an older case. This season finale featured a huge loss, a great climactic scene, and it was a perfect goodbye for the season.

Minimal Loss (S4E3)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

“Minimal Loss” was just the third episode of the fourth season of Criminal Minds, but it ended up being very important, and it even played a big role in arguably one of the best episodes of the entire series with “300” over 10 years later. The episode pulled its inspiration from the 1993 Waco standoff with David Koresh.

Luke Perry starred in the episode as Benjamin Cyrus, the leader of a cult who goes on the defensive when the FBI comes in to investigate claims of child abuse at the compound. The episode saw Prentiss and Reid captured inside the compound when a gun battle begins between law enforcement and the cult members, and the end is twisted when the victims take the side of Cyrus in the fight.

Mayhem (S4E1)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

“Mayhem” is the season 4 premiere as the BAU investigate the bombing of an SUV in New York City that was carrying a member of the team. This explosion happened in the season 3 finale, so it had a lot to live up to since fans had to wait till season 4 to learn if someone they loved died. It lived up to expectations, and no more.

This episode was not so much of a search and rescue as it was a nail-biting thriller, with Hotch and NY special agent Kate Joiner forced to keep first responders away after they were injured in the bombing because the attackers targeted first responders. This also started a level of tension between Hotch and Derek that opened the season on a very high note.

Penelope (S3E9)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

“Penelope” was a hard watch because possibly the most beloved character on Criminal Minds, Garcia, fought for her life after she was the target of the new unsub. It was sad and horrifying since she was the one who sees the good in people, and it was her happiness at going out on a date only to end up shot by a serial killer that hurt her almost as much as the injuries that almost took her life. Everyone who watches Criminal Minds knows the close brother-sister styled relationship between Derek and Garcia, so watching him try to contain his fury as he hunted down the unsub was great.

Damaged (S3E14)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

“Damaged” is a Rossi-centric episode and follows him as he sets out to finally solve a case that haunted him for 20 years. Someone killed a couple, leaving their three children without parents, and the murder went unsolved for two decades. Through the years, Rossi continued to check in on the kids and made sure they had everything they needed.

It was the regret from this unsolved case that brought Rossi back to the BAU to begin with. In this episode, the team is called in to investigate a similar case, and Rossi eventually gets a lead to his cold case. He then sadly learns his years of assistance has continuously reminded the kids of their parents’ unsolved murder. In a truly touching moment, Rossi finally captures the killer and lets the kids know so they can finally have closure.

300 (S14E1)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

10 years after the BAU stopped a cult leader named Benjamin Cyrus, his followers returned for revenge in the 300th Criminal Minds episode. They now followed a new cult leader named Benjamin David Merna who restarted it with one of Cyrus’ wives. He was also known as The Strangler—a serial killer with 299 victims.

In this episode, The Believers kidnap Reid and Garcia, and this is made even worse when the cult actually has members within the FBI. The plan was for Reid to be the 300th victim to make a point. As a 300th episode, this had it all, from callbacks to the previous 299 episodes to a mystery that had its origins over 10 years before.

Revelations (S2E15)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

Spencer Reid is one of the most interesting characters on Criminal Minds, a brilliant young man who has trouble dealing with his own insecurities and whose own mother is institutionalized for paranoid schizophrenia. Much of his neuroses are explored in “Revelations” in season 2 when he is captured by split personality serial killer Tobias Hankel.

The BAU frantically tries to find Reid when a live feed of Hankel abusing the agent airs. Meanwhile, Reid is drugged and is flashing back to his childhood. This episode saw Reid forced to kill his captor, knowing that inside the multiple personalities was someone who needed help and this changed him for a long time.

The Fisher King (S2E1)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

The Fisher King was a two-part case, the season finale of season 1 and the season premiere of season 2. The case surrounded a man named Randall Garner who was badly burned in a fire that took almost his entire family and ended up institutionalized at the same asylum that housed Reid’s mother Diana. Despite his clear mental illness, he was released and set his sights on Reid and his partners in the BAU. Through season 1, he stalks the BAU members and then starts to torment them. This ends with him shooting Elle as a season-ending cliffhanger. Elle lives, and it is Reid who finally finds Garner, who can only watch as the killer blows himself up.

100 (S5E9)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

The most demented, dangerous and hated villain in Criminal Minds history is easily The Reaper. Portrayed by C. Thomas Howell, had killed 20 people and was the unsub on the first ever case that Hotch worked as a BAU senior. No leads came, and The Reaper stopped killing. 11 years later, the lead investigator in the case called Hotch and said that he was dying and believed The Reaper would start killing again. It was true.

Through season 4 and 5, The Reaper made Hotch’s life a living hell. This started in “Omnivore” and launched one of the biggest and best cases in Criminal Minds history. It ended in “100” and resulted in one of the most horrifying moments in the show’s history when the team had to answer for Hotch killing The Reaper after he murdered his ex-wife Haley.

Masterpiece (S4E8)

The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked
The 15 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

Jason Alexander turned in one of the most chilling and despicable villains in Criminal Minds history. He was Henry Grace, a narcissistic serial killer who believed he was born to be a master killer. Rossi captured his brother William, another serial killer, and this ruined Henry’s life, which made Rossi someone he wanted to destroy and “Masterpiece” gave him the chance.

He admits to killing seven missing women the BAU had been hunting and that there were five others, including three children, that would die if they didn’t find them and one would die every two hours if they didn’t. The thrilling conclusion saw Rossi interrogating Henry and hearing in horror that his entire BAU team died in a trap Henry laid. However, the twist was they knew what he was doing and saved everyone with no casualties, and Rossi chillingly tells Henry he will be there when they execute him for the other murders.

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Criminal Minds Season 15 DVD For Sale in UK

Criminal Minds – Season 15 on DVD

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Arrow: The Character Grant Gustin Originally Auditioned For

Grant Gustin originally auditioned for the role of Roy Harper, a supporting character on Arrow before being cast as Barry Allen on The Flash

Before being cast as Barry Allen on The Flash, Grant Gustin auditioned for the role of Roy Harper on Arrow. The role ultimately went to Colton Haynes, best known at that time for his role on MTV’s Teen Wolf, leaving Gustin free to appear in other roles in the Arrowverse.

Many fans were unsure about casting Gustin as Barry Allen on The Flash, thinking that he would’ve been a better fit as either of the younger versions of the Flash, such as Wally West or Bart Allen. Barry is usually an older, more experienced character, a vibe that Gustin doesn’t exactly give off. He was changed significantly for the show, with many coming around to the idea that this is the perfect version of Barry Allen for the Arrowverse.

Grant Gustin was one of many actors who auditioned for the role of Roy Harper on Arrow. He ultimately got the better deal, as while Roy became a regular after Arrow season 1, Gustin was cast the next year as the lead of The Flash, a much bigger and more prominent role in the Arrowverse.

Arrow: The Character Grant Gustin Originally Auditioned For
Arrow: The Character Grant Gustin Originally Auditioned For

This was the right move to make, as the success of the Arrowverse relied a lot on The Flash, which owes much of its popularity to Grant Gustin in the lead role. The tone of the Arrowverse in general got much brighter when Barry came in, and the CW series brought superpowers and metahumans into the Arrowverse, balancing out Arrow’s much more grounded threats. Gustin plays Barry Allen with enthusiasm and energy, and usually the hope that he can make everything better. Gustin even manages to carry the show through low times, even when it’s Barry’s fault. Barry has a tendency to make bad decisions and not think through all of the consequences. In the hands of a different actor, this could be a fatal combination, but Gustin manages to make it work. Had he been cast as Roy, he never would have had the opportunity to play this role, and the Arrowverse as a whole would look quite different with someone else playing Barry Allen.

The potential casting of Grant Gustin as Roy Harper could have lead to a really intriguing possibility. Melissa Benoist, who plays Kara Danvers/Supergirl, auditioned to play Thea Queen on Arrow. Fans have loved whenever Benoist and Gustin appeared together in crossovers, and their potential casting as Thea and Roy would have led to them playing a couple. They certainly have the chemistry to make it work, and it would have been intriguing to see.

While the alternate possibilities are interesting, ultimately the better casting decisions were made. While he could have been a good Roy Harper, Grant Gustin makes a great Barry Allen, not just being a side character on Arrow, but the lead of The Flash and one of the stars of the Arrowverse.

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Arrow Season 8 DVD For Sale in UK

Arrow – Season 8 on DVD

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‘Jack Ryan’ Interview: Kenneth Branagh on Re-launching The Tom Clancy Franchise

Screen Rant visits the set of ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ and chats with director Kenneth Branagh about bringing back the Tom Clancy franchise and starring in it as a villain.

Kenneth Branagh is an actor/director who is best known for his screen adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays. The Irish-born Branagh has always dabbled in the Hollywood pool however, first directing the Hitchcockian thriller Dead Again in 1991 and then bringing a big-budget version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the screen in 1994. He began to focus on acting, taking on varied roles like that of the Scandinavian detective Wallander in the BBC television series and a supporting role as Laurence Oliver in My Week with Marilyn.

Recent years have seen him return to directing in a big way, first launching the Thor franchise for Marvel Studios and now working with Paramount Pictures on laying the groundwork for a whole new set of Jack Ryan adventures – based on the popular character created by Tom Clancy – beginning with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Branagh not only directs the movie, but he also stars alongside Chris Pine, Kevin Costner and Kiera Knightley.

Screen Rant chatted with Kenneth Branagh on the London set of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit where and discussed the pressures of bringing a big-budget thriller to the screen and his inspirations for rebooting the Jack Ryan franchise in a post-911 (and post Jason Bourne) world.

What made you want to make this?

Kenneth Branagh: I guess the script arrived and it was unputdownable and I knew the previous films, I’d read some of the books and simple as that. It came out of the blue. I was going to be making another movie, it went away, and this one came to me, and I read it and responded very strongly as a kind of film I go to see. It’s the kind of film that the world of the film has the antecedent of ’70s movies, of great style that I very much admired. All the President’s Men, Parallax View, things like this—quite extreme espionage thrillers with slightly distorted worlds.

No Dutch camera angles, no worry. (laughter) It’s me and Haris Zambarloukos again but we found a spirit level on the camera (chuckles). I don’t know if you spoke to Chris, he’s very eloquent about this but I liked Bond and I liked Bourne and I liked Mission: Impossible and this is distinct from all those because he’s not a paid assassin. He’s not a man coming up from program. We don’t have the flamboyance of say Bond and we don’t have the extremity of something like Mission: Impossible as far as the technology and things that go on. In a weird way, even though Jack Ryan is the brightest and the best, he’s sort of an analyst with the great skillful, intellectual mind, he’s also in relative terms, he’s kind of an everyman. He doesn’t have the range of skills that Liam Neeson and I have a very particular set. He doesn’t have that particular set of talents, but he’s got his brain and he’s got a desire to do something, to serve in some way and so all of that. It’s rich stuff.

With something like Thor, the human dimension inside a world full of fantastical elements and many disparate elements often felt like you were making lots of different films and with this, there’s also that element which for me, if you can get it right, leads to an interesting experience for the audience. You get surprised, there’s unexpected turns, and at the center of it, in both cases and certainly here, is this human element. It’s much more… the script engaged me because it was a page-turner but this big personal story that you’re invested in at the heart of it.

'Jack Ryan' Interview: Kenneth Branagh on Re-launching The Tom Clancy Franchise
‘Jack Ryan’ Interview: Kenneth Branagh on Re-launching The Tom Clancy Franchise

How do you balance the drama with the action?

It’s constant question between what you can take? We’re very blessed with the actors, so Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley and a ton of other people who are really strong. We had people like David Paymer in the other day for just a small section of the film. He’s brilliant in it. These are people who once you get into a close-up, if you have story working for you, how they think is very, very striking and so definitely, the landscape of the close-up, the orchestration of that, versus bits of action like we’re doing today, so it’s about a sleight of hand as he gets from one vehicle into another. He’s being followed. He’s in the headquarters of the man who may appear to be his nemesis, and so this is all about multiple camera angles and lots and lots of coverage so we can really pace it up and confuse and then sometimes, it’s just what you hope is just the well-composed frame into which a very interesting character, played by a very interesting actor, walks and thinks for a bit, and it seems to me that it would be a very fascinating post-production process to try and orchestrate between the two things.

I hope we have plenty of both. I think we’ve all been surprised—Lorenzo, Mace. We had much more action than we thought we’d have, but we have the other dimension, the thinking man part of it and the thinking woman part of it, because Keira Knightley’s role is extremely central to how the story plays out. We have the resources to orchestrate both I think in a gripping way.

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Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 2 DVD For Sale in UK

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American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

American Horror Story may be an anthology series, but creator Ryan Murphy has confirmed that every season can be connected: here’s how.

Despite being an anthology horror series, creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy has confirmed that every season of American Horror Story is connected.

Since airing on FX in 2011 with season 1, Murder House, American Horror Story has explored numerous elements of history, the horror genre, and has brought numerous, terrifying stories to audiences. The series has won an astounding number of awards for technical merits as well as acting through the years, with the first three seasons – Murder House, Asylum, and Coven – being the most successful overall. Soon to hit its landmark tenth season, Ryan Murphy has managed to keep audiences engaged in his anthology series enough that FX renewed the show through season 13.

While the theme for season 10 has not yet been announced, and might even have to change due to production and filming delays due to COVID-19, Murphy never seems to lack in ideas for the anthology. Even though he has since become involved with many different projects on Netflix, network television, and even has lent his talents to movies, Murphy’s passion for the show – and his fans – continues to be apparent through the care he takes to make these clever connections, keeping the universe richly developed and fans scouring each season for hints about what could be coming next.

Murder House & Apocalypse: Tate & Vivien’s Child Becomes The Antichrist

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Ryan Murphy teased the crossover season between Murder House and Coven for a while before it finally came to fruition in season 8, Apocalypse. While it has its own plot line that doesn’t fixate on the characters from Coven and Murder House directly, the post-apocalyptic wasteland created by Michael Langdon acts as the perfect vehicle to bring everything together. Michael Langdon, who comes into his powers as the Antichrist, is the son of Tate Langdon and Vivien Harmon; the Harmon family moved into the Murder House in season 1 and Tate, a ghostly resident, raped Vivien before becoming romantically involved with her daughter, Violet. Medium Billie Dean Howard teased the unnatural birth of such a child, and discussed a prophecy that would bring about the End of Days. At the end of season 1, Michael’s murderous nature was seen when he was still just a child.

Cove

n & Murder House Cross Over In Season 8

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

The crossover between Murder House and Coven connected in other ways outside of its inclusion of Michael Langdon. The witches’ purpose is to stop Michael Langdon and restore balance to the world in a match up of ultimate good vs. ultimate evil. While there’s a lot involved within the season, there is a connection that is more of a theory than a direct link. Madison Montgomery, one of the witches in both Coven and Apocalypse, could be related to the original owners of Murder House: Charles and Nora Montgomery, though this has never been confirmed. However, Madison did travel to Murder House with Behold during season 8; this could be just a coincidence, or another clever clue from Ryan Murphy.

Billie Dean Howard Works With The Spirits In The Hotel Cortez

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Billie Dean Howard, a medium who was first introduced in season 1, traveled to the very haunted Hotel Cortez in season 5 to commune with the different spirits who inhabit the place as part of her TV show, which is similar to shows like Ghost Adventures, except Howard has a genuine gift. Billie Dean Howard wasn’t a major character in either season, but as the Cortez and Murder House are both located in California, it begs the question as to whether she travels around to numerous other haunted locations in the state; perhaps some of these haven’t been revealed yet, or perhaps they have been and just haven’t been revisited yet, such as Camp Redwood in 1984.

Pepper & Sister Mary Eunice Travel From Asylum To Freak Show

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Pepper is one of the more tragic characters in American Horror Story, and while she certainly endured a lot during her time at Briarcliff in season 2, Asylum, it was revealed in season 4, Freak Show, that Pepper was originally a part of Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Pepper grew up in an orphanage and was adopted by Elsa to become a part of her troupe of performers. A kind, gentle soul, Pepper was wrongly blamed for the murder of her sister’s baby, and ended up in Briarcliff as a result. In a scene that includes Sister Mary Eunice, also a character from Asylum, during Pepper’s admission to Briarcliff, she is told that Pepper sliced off the baby’s ears and drowned it. In Freak Show, Pepper always showed a maternal and even domestic nature, referenced through her marriage to Salty, another “freak” with microcephaly, and her caring for Ma Petite.

Lana Winters From Asylum Appears In Multiple Seasons

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Lana Winters, who is arguably one of the most iconic characters in American Horror Story history, tends to pop up all over the series’ timeline just via her nature as a reporter. While most prominently featured in season 2, Asylum, Lana makes an appearance in Roanoke – and her show does, too – when she interviews Lee Harris. Another connection that Lana Winters shares is a brief mention in season 7, Cult, when the journalist asks to interview Ally Mayfair-Richards, but is denied the opportunity. Perhaps this has something to do with Sarah Paulson playing both Ally and Lana, but the actress has doubled up on roles and characters before, so it might have just been an Easter egg or a way to show Lana Winters is still going strong in modern years, as Cult took place after the 2016 US Presidential Election.

Hotel Cortez’s Function Is Revealed In Apocalypse

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

The Hotel Cortez, the focal point of season 5, Hotel, has a bigger significance than just warranting a whole season. Not only is it one of several locations in the series – such as Camp Redwood and Murder House – where the dead don’t stay dead, it is revealed to be of integral importance by none other than Michael Langdon during Apocalypse. Apparently, the Hotel Cortez isn’t just a haunted hot spot. It’s also a sort of purgatory – which they all could be, in a way – where Madison and Queenie from Coven were trapped for years before being released by Michael.

1984 Connects To Asylum’s Briarcliff Manor

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Though another, smaller connection, it’s revealed in 1984 that serial killer Margaret Booth has taken to purchasing true crime locations and turning them into cash cows. 1984 and Asylum end up being directly connected through this new business venture of Margaret’s, because she purchases Briarcliff because she sees it as a decent investment, just like Charles Manson’s ranch and the site of her own murders, Camp Redwood. As true crime is very profitable, there’s no reason why something like this wouldn’t be a gainful business even outside of the American Horror Story universe.

Roanoke Connects To Coven Through The First Supreme

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

en introduces the concept of a Supreme through Jessica Lange’s character, Fiona Goode. Fiona is a determined, powerful leader – albeit a selfish one – who will stop at nothing to keep her power and hold over the coven intact instead of being replaced by a younger model as her body starts to fail her. However, as witches are not immortal, there have been many Supremes throughout American Horror Story history. In Roanoke, audiences were introduced to Scathach (Lady Gaga), who started the entire line of Supremes that eventually led to Fiona and Cordelia sparring at Miss Robichaux’s Academy in season 3.

Asylum Connects To Freak Show Through Dr. Arthur Arden

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

One of the darker connections in American Horror Story, Dr. Arthur Arden from Asylum ended up having a significant role to play in season 4, Freak Show, even though he only made a brief appearance. One of the biggest mysterious surrounding his character, who was a major player in season 2, was whether or not he had connections to the Nazi Party. This was brought up to question when a woman who claimed to be Anne Frank was admitted to Briarcliff and said she knew him as Hans Gruper. His experimentation on different patients at Briarcliff certainly revealed that Dr. Arden had a dark side, but Anne’s identity – and Arden’s – was left ambiguous after she was lobotomized. Elsa is revealed to have lost her legs in a snuff film, and it was confirmed that her legs were removed by none other than Dr. Arden years before she ever arrived in Jupiter. Even more interesting was the confirmation that when he removed Elsa’s legs, he was going by the name of Hans Gruper.

The Mott Family Is Connected To Roanoke

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

The Mott Family Is Connected To RoanokeThe events of Roanoke primarily take place at a farmhouse that is purchased by Matt and Shelby Miller, the focus of My Roanoke Nightmare, a docuseries about the terrors they endured that are connected to the disappearance of the Roanoke colonists who mysteriously disappeared in North Carolina. The farmhouse was once occupied by Edward Philippe Mott, an ancestor of Dandy Mott and his mother, Gloria, who were trying to purchase Elsa’s show during season 4.

Twisty The Clown Appears In Cult (In Comic Form)

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

While Ally Mayfair-Richards’ fear of clowns is a prominent feature of season 7, Cult, along with the clown cult that is headed by Kai Anderson. However, one clown who was already a major feature of American Horror Story, Twisty, who premiered in season 4 is featured in comic form. Ally and Ivy’s son, Oz, is seen reading comics that feature the tragic villain, although his mother does not approve.

Richard Ramirez Visits The Hotel Cortez & Stalks Camp Redwood

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Richard Ramirez connects to two seasons, 1984 where he plays a major role and Hotel, where he appears as a guest of hotel proprietor James March for his Devil’s Night celebrations alongside other prominent serial killers. While the history behind the character’s inclusion was a bit murky at times, Ramirez’s existence in both seasons is yet another connection that the nine seasons of American Horror Story all share. Likely, with the release of season 10 on the horizon, more will eventually be revealed.

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American Horror Story Season 9 DVD For Sale in UK

American Horror Story – Season 9 on DVD

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