Nail-Biting ‘Slow Horses’ Climax, Story of a ‘Wildcat,’ ‘White Noise’ on Netflix, Judy Woodruff’s ‘NewsHour’ Swan Song
The offbeat spy thriller Slow Horses ends its second season with twists amid threats of terrorism. A nature documentary pairs a soldier with PTSD with an orphaned ocelot who needs to be reintroduced back into the wild. Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig star in Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s contemporary allegory White Noise. Judy Woodruff leaves the anchor desk of PBS Newshour to return to her reporting roots.
My favorite spy drama in ages (almost as good as the Mick Herron book series that inspired it) ends its second season with a nail-biting climax. Among the complicated plot threads: a small plane flying towards London on a mysterious and possibly deadly mission, while demonstrations rage on the city’s streets and a Russian scheme involving sleeper agents bedevils the disgraced MI6 agents of Slough House. Leading the team: the rumpled and irascible Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman), who somehow always gets the last word.
While Slow Horses manages to tell its story in a taut six episodes, this sluggish military rescue adventure plods on with its eighth installment, and there are still two more to go. After spending the last few episodes concocting a futile hostage-rescue strategy, special ops soldiers Bambi (Luke Evans) and Prince (Michiel Huisman) recruit local South American mercenaries to enact a raid on the prison where a suffering Amber (Jessica Ann Collins)—Bambi’s sister and Prince’s wife—awaits her execution date. C’mon, guys. Get a move on.
Animal lovers will have their hearts lifted, and possibly broken, by this wildlife documentary about the relationship of a troubled soldier and the orphaned ocelot he’s charged to prepare for life in the Amazon rainforest. Directors Melissa Lesh and Trevor Beck Frost spent two years working with British army vet Harry Turner, who’s struggling with PTSD after duty in Afghanistan, and American scientist Samantha Zwicker, who operates a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center. Turner shot much of his own footage as he trains the orphaned baby ocelot to survive in the wild, while becoming emotionally attached to the furry wildcat.
Oscar bait alert, as writer-director Noah Baumbach adapts Don DeLillo’s acclaimed novel into a satirical 1980s allegory starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. Heads of a raucous blended family in a university town, they head off on a bizarre journey where big themes (consumerism, environmental disaster) are addressed in the wake of an ecological disaster trumpeted as an “airborne toxic event.”
One of TV’s most respected journalists, Judy Woodruff steps away from the NewsHour anchor desk where she began co-anchoring in 2013 with the late Gwen Ifill, working solo since 2016. She may be signing off, but Judy’s not leaving NewsHour, instead transitioning to a reporting role, where she’ll embark on a two-year project covering the nation’s political divisions. Taking over the desk, starting Monday: co-anchors Amna Nawaz and Geoff Bennett.
Inside Friday TV:
- Stab That Cake! (9/8c, Cooking Channel): If the catchy title doesn’t grab you, then maybe you’ll fall for the skills of the bakers who each week strive to make realistic-looking cakes that can pass for other food items when placed in the grocery aisles. With John Henson and Jocelyn Delk Adams as hosts, the opening episode challenges the bakers to make cakes that look like produce, and in the second round, they’re tasked to wrap their cakes in credible edible plastic.
- We’re Here (10/9c, HBO): The Season 3 finale concludes the life-affirming drag queens’ Florida adventure, where Eureka is inspired by one of their clients to be more upfront about her own identity.
- This Place Rules (11/10c, HBO): Irreverent 25-year-old journalist Andrew Callaghan hits the road in an RV during the turbulent COVID and election year of 2020 to take the pulse of a fractured nation, exposing the volatile political divisions that would erupt most alarmingly at the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot.
- Maxine (streaming on BritBox): A three-part true-crime drama stars Jemma Carlton and Scott Reid as Maxine Carr and Ian Huntley, a grade-school assistant and school caretaker who gained notoriety after she helped cover up his murders of two 10-year-old schoolgirls in 2002.