I was at a dinner party recently, where someone asked the question "what are your favorite episodes of television ever?" Today, ew.com posted about the greatest episodes of good shows, and it got me thinking!
Entertainment weekly framed the question a little differently, but I've decided to think about the all-time GREATEST episode of a particular show. Let me further clarify - I may have a 'favorite' episode of a show (one that really warmed my heart, or brought together a storyline that I was really excited about), but when I say greatest episode, I really and truly mean the episode that I consider the masterpiece of the show. Without further ado, here are my picks for some of my all-time favorite shows (**P.S. some of this may be super spoilery if you haven't seen the show so beware!**):
LOST - "Through the Looking Glass" - Season 3, Episodes 22/23 (finale) - This was, for me, the single most mind-blowing episode in LOST (and television) history. It concluded the fantastic 16 episode run that took place after the incredibly awkward 12 week break in the middle of season 3. The events that unfolded in the underwater Dharma station were incredible: making contact with Penny's boat, finding out that the new people on the island were not from Penny's boat, and Charlie's death. The truly mindblowing element of the episode, though, is the 'flashforward'. This is what completely confirmed my faith that the writers knew where the show was going. I will never ever forget that last scene with Jack and Kate. Some of my (few) readers were with me when I watched that episode and I remember us all simultaneously freaking out. "We have to go back, Kate, We have to go back!!" will forever be my favorite line of LOST.
2. The West Wing - "Two Cathedrals" - Season 2, Episode 22 (finale) - This episode surrounds President Bartlett's decision to run for re-election. The flashbacks chronicle President Bartlett's long history with Mrs. Landingham and the real-time portion of the episode leads up to Mrs. Landingham's funeral. The scene with Martin Sheen shouting at God in Latin in the Church is one of the most moving scenes ever (and to this day I'm APPALLED that Sheen didn't win an Emmy for it), and the use of the song "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits is probably my favorite use of music in any TV show. In my mind, this is Aaron Sorkin's writing masterpiece.
3. Veronica Mars - "A Trip to the Dentist" - Season 1, Episode 21 - In this episode, Veronica finally finds out what happened the night of Shelly Pomroy's party. While the next episode (the finale) really ties up all the lose strings, this episode really gets the plot sprinting towards the climax, and the scene between Duncan and Veronica is one for the books.
4. The Office - "Diversity Day" - Season 1, Episode 2 - Talk about starting off a show with a bang! While this is not my favorite episode of The Office, I still think it's the best. Some of the greatest one-liners are from this episode, but I'll leave you with my personal favorite: "Abraham Lincoln once said that "If you're a racist, I will attack you with the North," and these are the principles I carry with me in the workplace." HAHA
5. Friday Night Lights - "Mud Bowl" - Season 1, Episode 20 - It was really difficult to pick one episode for FNL because every one is always so moving, but this episode really encapsulates the heart and soul of the show. So many things go wrong throughout the course of the episode but the ending is one of those heartwarming-while-still-soul-wrenching conclusions. Coach Taylor choosing to play the game in a cow pasture (so as to not lose home field advantage), after losing their stadium due to toxic fumes, is just genius.
6. Friends - "The One with the Embryos" - Season 4, Episode 12 - It was also nearly impossible to pick just one Friends episode (and this one will probably be the most hotly contested), but I chose this one because it gives us amazing glimpses into the quirks and history of each of the characters. Despite the huge storyline taking place with Phoebe, Frank and Alice (Phoebe's IVF procedure to try and carry Frank and Alice's baby), the trivia contest alone stands out as Friends' finest moment. "His legs flail about as if independent from his body!!" hahaha
7. How I Met Your Mother - "Slap Bet"- Season 2, Episode 9 - I haven't been a HIMYM fan for very long, but the "Robin Sparkles" video is a true gem of the show. I mean, really, who saw that coming!? That and the introduction of the Slap Bet, which will continue to play out for the duration of the show, were both AWESOME.
8. The OC - "The Dearly Beloved" - Season 2, Episode 24 (finale) - The is yet another one that I struggled with but luckily earlier this year SoapNet did an OC marathon where viewers could vote on their favorite episode so I had already thought it through. This episode is incredible because so many storylines come to a head. Kirsten's intervention leaves me in tears every time (when she turns around and sees Seth standing there!), Caleb's funeral (particularly Sandy's speech) is so emotional and moving, and the final showdown in Trey's apartment is exhilarating and shocking. And another shout out to music - Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" is my second favorite use of music in TV!
Alright, that was a long one guys, but let me know what your favorites are in the comments!!