This week, the summer-long countdown breaks into the Top 20! But before we get to that, we have to go over the rules for the countdown. LillyKat and I ended up with 33 incredible episodes that demonstrate the diversity and quality of the current television state. The shows and their episodes are from both NETWORK and CABLE television. All episodes aired between June 2008 and June 2009. Each episode that made the final list moved us in some way; either by making us laugh out loud, cry our eyes out or just left us with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! Since this is a summer-long countdown to the number 1 episode, we will reveal a few each week all summer. So, be sure to tune in every Friday to find out which episodes are on the countdown! Today, we're going to take a look at numbers 21-19.
21: "Hey! Mr. Pibb" - Damages
Payback is a b*tch. Patty Hewes know this. She's normally giving it, not receiving it. But in "Hey! Mr. Pibb," Daniel Purcell, on the stand, totally frakes up Patty's attempt at filing a motion against UNR (read: evil energy company killing everyone with their polluted water in West Virginia) to start a class-action lawsuit AFTER he told her a) he'd run the test on the water that was snuck out of town by his on-the-down-low reporter, compliments of the Ellen and Tom Traveling Road Show; and, b) go on the record UNR doctored his original toxicity reports. Patty's seething, silent rage just came blazing through the screen at the moment Purcell screwed her. There is nothing like Glenn Close and THAT look. You know the old saying: If looks could kill, we'd all have been dead a long time ago (at about the time Fatal Attraction came out). It is seriously rare to one-up Patty Hewes. et, Purcell's screwing over of Patty's case wasn't the only OMFG moment: it was followed shortly thereafter (er, kinda simultaneously) by the reveal that he was IN on the murder of his wife. Solid episode. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Mario Van Peebles. LillyKat - PTR Senior Staff Writer.
20: "The Deadliest Ice Road" - Ice Road Truckers
This third season premiere (and the only episode from this season to air in time to make this year's countdown) started me on a journey that I now look forward to continuing each Sunday night. This time the drivers are taking on Alaska's Dalton Highway, a 400-mile plus harrowing stretch of ice-covered highway that winds through steep passes and dangerous downhills while connecting Fairbanks to the oil-rich Prudhoe Bay, and they packed a few new drivers including the show's first female: 28-year old Lisa Kelly. From the moment this episode started and we were introduced to The Dalton and its stomach-dropping stretches such as The Rollercoaster, The Beaver Slide, and Atigun Pass, I was on the edge of my seat. Even ice road veterans Hugh "The Polar Bear" Rowland and Alex Debogorski struggled at first and found themselves displaced to the passenger seat when their years of experience on Canadian ice was no match for the treacherous Dalton. And then we watched Dalton veteran Jack Jessee make it look so easy as he moved his oversized load along the 400-mile journey. Throw in a little humor from my girl Lisa and you have the makings of the start to one awesome season of IRT. Produced by Thom Beers and Dawn Fitzgerald.
19: "I Lied, Too" - Damages
This episode was Damages second season premiere. And when it finally arrived, it didn't feel as if it had been over a year since the last time we checked in; they brilliantly recapped key points of the first season for everyone WITHOUT running the flashback-this-is-what-we-did routine into the ground; and, they set the table once again for an even more complex web of manipulation and betrayal, with Ellen set to take down Patty once and for all if she could get past her own revenge issues. And that was all laid out for us in just ONE hour. Vengeful Ellen working for the Feds was just a brilliant storyline. She was SO different from the wide-eyed, fresh-out-of-law-school Bambi that was presented to us in the first season. Hardened by Patty's betrayal (uh, you know ... the whole tried to kill her thing), grieving over the murder of fiancé doc David that had her simultaneously wanting to disembowel Arthur Frobisher (can we blame her?), and having this veil of icy calm whilst seething on the inside as she agrees to play nice with Patty only to eventually be able to destroy her in the end ... GENIUS. I was glad to have Ted Danson back in the fold given he was just SO good at being the man everyone loves to hate in season one. Glenn Close was still fabulous. I swear, it's like an honor to get to watch her week in, week out. And I just loved the introduction of William Hurt's character, Daniel Purcell. Even if the storyline did seem a little tobacco industry-esque given he supposedly had smoking gun data to bring down an entire "industry," he was mysterious in a sympathetic way. The history between he and Patty was alluded to just enough to make you want to know more. And that, my friends, is great writing. Hard to believe we h ad to wait a couple of eps to SEE Marcia Gay Harden work her magic, too. Written by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman and directed by Todd A. Kessler. LillyKat - PTR Senior Staff Writer.
So, there's a look at numbers 21-19 on the countdown. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave us a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to tune in next Friday for #18-16 on the list.