Dr. Brain season finale serves up the ultimate brain sync [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dr. Brain season finale recap: Brain scientist Sewon braces for the most important brain sync yet.
Scientist Sewon braces for the most important brain sync yet.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s exciting new South Korean sci-fi series Dr. Brain draws its first season to a thrilling close this week. Sewon has one last brain sync to perform — and it’s the most important operation he’s ever conducted.

He needs to get everything right in order to save his son (and redeem himself in his own heart for the job he’s done as a father and a husband). The race is on to find out if he and his cohorts can stop Myung from stealing his son’s body.

Dickinson finally faces its essential truth [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dickinson recap: Emily and a dead man peer into the abyss this week.
Emily and a dead man peer into the abyss this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Dickinson, Apple TV+’s soon-to-be-missed show about the great poet, arrives at its moment of truth this week. The episode, titled “My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun -,” is the one the entire show has been building toward — and there are still two left to go before this final season concludes.

Will Emily Dickinson become who history understands her to be, or is there some greater truth for this version of the poet? Strong performances and fearless writing guide the show into uncharted territory this week.

On The Shrink Next Door, Marty’s big breakthrough underwhelms [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Shrink Next Door recap: What this show needs is a serious comeuppance.
What this show needs is a serious comeuppance.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s The Shrink Next Door hits the boiling point in this week’s episode. After suffering three decades of passive aggression, manipulation, bad advice, greed and sabotage, Marty finally has his fill of Ike and decides to take action.

It’s too little too late for Will Ferrell‘s character — and for this increasingly unpleasant show — which is about to wrap up on a distinctly unsatisfying note.

Invasion’s aliens plot something nasty [Apple TV+ recap]

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Invasion recap: Tears flow as season one wraps.
Tears flow as season one wraps.
Photo: Apple TV+

The aliens have been defeated … or have they? And if so, what next? Is this the first wave of a prolonged attack? The start of intergalactic war? This week on Invasion, our heroes wake up in a reality that’s been thoroughly altered for the second time since the series opened.

As the first season of the Apple TV+ alien combat show ends, it plants clues that leave us itching for season 2.

Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne whips up some old-school holiday magic [Apple TV+ review]

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Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne
The gang's all here as New Year's Eve approaches!
Photo: Apple TV+

Just in time for Christmas, Apple TV+ cooked up a brand-new holiday special from the Peanuts gang. The charming show, titled Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne, debuts Friday and centers on Lucy’s attempt to pull off a New Year’s Eve party.

It will run alongside several classic Peanuts specials on the streaming service, so we don’t have to judge the new one in a vacuum. Luckily, For Auld Lang Syne pops the cork on some of that old-fashioned holiday magic that makes the Peanuts special so … special.

Invasion gets gory as the alien mystery deepens [Apple TV+ recap]

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Invasion recap: We learn some interesting things about Trevante (Shamier Anderson) this week.
We learn some interesting things about Trevante (played by Shamier Anderson) this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week on Invasion, the humans and the aliens seem just moments away from some kind of break in their standoff, but fate is about to throw an 18-car pileup between them.

The Apple TV+ sci-fi series is about to bring back the fireworks in a big way. The Maliks are being shuffled to the Defense Department, Trevante is off to the hospital with Caspar and Jamila, and Mitsuki has to think hard about what’s floating in space.

Start the holiday season right with Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues [Apple TV+ review]

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She's back for Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues
Mariah Carey, aka the "Queen of Christmas," returns with a breezy holiday special.
Photo: Apple TV+

Last Christmas, Apple TV+ made an important play for the hearts and minds of viewers: It gave Mariah Carey a Christmas special. This year, amidst a host of new original Christmas programs, Apple TV+ brings her back to sprinkle more of her magic on the holiday season.

Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues is a short but definitely stream-worthy follow-up to last year’s charmingly chintzy special. Honestly, can anyone get enough Mariah?

Dr. Brain plunges deeper into conspiracy and sci-fi [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dr. Brain recap: The truth is getting closer, and weirder, in this South Korean sci-fi show.
The truth is getting closer, and weirder, in this brain-melting South Korean sci-fi show.
Photo: Apple TV+

Dr. Brain, Apple TV+’s new series from visionary genre specialist Kim Jee-Woon, drives headlong toward answers, both disappointing and cathartic, in the second-to-last episode of the exciting first season.

Can brain-syncing scientist Sewon stop the far-reaching forces at work to destroy him before they succeed? Can Hong redeem himself after causing so much chaos and hurt? Apple TV+’s first South Korean series is poised for a strong close.

Time travel and weed take Dickinson to interesting new places [Apple TV+ recap]

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Dickinson recap: High times lead to laughs this week.
High times lead to laughs this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Emily and Lavinia visit the future in this very special episode of Dickinson, Apple TV+s alt-history romp about the great poet. They head to 1955 while Austin gets desperate, Betty gets lonely, Henry gets creative, and Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson get high.

It’s a wild episode this week, rootless and maybe a little too cute, but that’s not unusual for Dickinson.

Swagger builds up to the big game [Apple TV+ recap]

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Swagger recap: Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) flies high as his team faces challenges.
Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) flies high as his team faces challenges.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week’s Swagger finds Jace, Ike, Jenna and Crystal at crossroads. The Apple TV+ basketball drama is all business this episode, showing us what the raised profile of their activism has done for the kids on Swagger, good and ill.

Jenna feels like coach Ike is letting her son down — and takes some drastic measures to try and take him off the pedestal on which Jace has placed him. But at what cost?