Friday, August 21, 2009

The Countdown Breaks into the Top 10

The summer-long countdown is finally dipping its big toe into the Top 10 with three more episodes that shone brightly this season. But before we get to them, 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 12-10.

12: "Yanks in the UK" - Bones
I expected to laugh at Booth and Bones's adventures in London, but I did not expect to be laughing so hard that I missed laughs while I was laughing! Booth driving that ridiculously small rental car and not being able to grasp the no right-on-red concept was HILARIOUS! And it sent him into a meltdown where he proclaimed, among other things, that he was glad the U.S. had a revolution with England. Later, he was trying to ease the car back into "the flow of traffic" and more hilarity ensued. I'm not sure what's funnier during these types of scenes -- Booth's rising agitation level, Brennan's rational/level-headedness, or the combination of the two. Meanwhile, Brennan was busy thwarting the affections of her British cohort, which prompted some interesting scenes between her and Booth. They shared several intimate conversations and Booth, in a successful ploy to deter his partner from sleeping with England's very own Romeo, told her that she's "special." All together now: Aaahhh! The entire episode set the season off to a smashing good start. Part 1 written by executive producer Hart Hanson and Karine Rosenthal and directed by Ian Toynton. Part 2 written by Stephen Nathan and Scott Williams and directed by Ian Toynton.

11: "I Believe in Angels" - Saving Grace
I sure do like it when everything comes full circle. Especially for show I gave up on. But I took a second look at the series, and I'm glad I did. My gripes for the second season of were about the same as they were the first season: stop the endless downward spiral of Grace; give us something to care about in her character; separate her away from that co-dependent mess of a relationship she has with Ham Dewey; force her to grow up, be accountable and act like an adult; give some of the other characters a chance to shine. When the show DID do all of this, as it did with this second season finale, it really worked for me. Grace owned up to not only having been awarded a last chance Angel, but also in accepting her responsibility that comes along with that gift. We didn't get the happy ending with Leon Cooley earning a stay of a execution, but we did get some serious soul searching on the part of Grace that brought her face to face with Leon in the end. It allowed her to make some peace not only with Leon, but within herself. We didn't get the holier-than-thou lecture from Angel Earl (not that he ever really does that), but instead, more of the equal partnership between her and Grace as to the turn of event(s) that have brought them both to this point in time. And we also saw the leveling of the playing field between Earl and Grace, which had been progressing nicely for most of the season. That is, they had become friends, gotten to know each other, had come to almost understand one another. In the end, we found out Grace really was worth saving. Written by Nancy Miller. Directed by Artie Mandelberg. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

10: "The Incident" - Lost
This season finale was jam-packed with questions for next season while still providing enough to close out this season. We found out that Jacob had a personal hand in bringing Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun and Locke back to the island by appearing to each of them at their worst moments. Later, we learned one of the season's most shocking secrets: Locke really is dead! His body was hidden in the chest that Richard, Ilana, Ben and "Locke" were carrying around. Not-Locke was really an old rival of Jacob's who has survived by, apparently, taking others' shapes. Not-Locke convinced Ben to stab Jacob several times (although, it didn't take too much convincing since Ben had always felt neglected in Jacob's eyes) and then Not-Locke pushed him into the fire. We got an ominous warning from Jacob right before he was pushed: "They're coming!" Who's they and why are they coming? The critical point of the episode came when Juliet got sucked into the pit with the energy source and the non-detonated hydrogen bomb. She had a huge choice to make and she decided to detonate the bomb. Is she dead? Did she "reset" the island? What happened to everyone else? Intriguing questions left hanging in this excellent season ender. Written by executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Jack Bender.

So, there's a look at numbers 12-10 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 #9-7 on the list.


Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see Lost on the countdown, but what about Cold Case I only have see about one episode on the countdown


John said...

I like the inclusion of Saving Grace on the countdown. I liked it more than you originally did, but I agree it has become even better, especially regarding Grace's behavior which had been way too extreme to relate to.

RichE said...

I must admit to being surprised to see "Yanks In The UK" in the Countdown. Not because it isn't it a worthy entrant. It is. My initial thought was "that's not eligible, it's too old!"

The writers strike of early 2008, and an episode they decided not to air that season, made for a longer than normal season which started earlier in the year. It was nearly a year ago now!

Of course, the UK doesn't have a "right-on-red" policy. It would largely negate the use of traffic lights :-) We don't have the equivalent "left-on-red" though.

If what I gather is true and the US "cash for clunkers" scheme saw Ford Explorers most commonly traded in for a Toyota Corollas then you'll all be driving cars that small soon :-)

Re Juliet. In world of Lost being dead doesn't mean much does it? Those we think are dead are often brought back (as the next season will show as well) and even being seen as being alive doesn't mean they are. If you see what I mean. Losing Juliet would be a shame though. Elizabeth Mitchell is involved in new show but it may not make it or prevent a return of Juliet to the final season of Lost.

Kathryn Morris UK

TVFan said...

LII: Stay tuned...

RichE: It's always hard to know with Lost as you so accurately pointed out. People come and go, but it doesn't mean that they're no longer dead. The way the show moves between flashbacks, years, island versus mainland, and even changing bodies it's set up to bring characters back in any number of ways. I just hope we get a decent amount of Juliet next season.

Anonymous said...

Last season of Lost was pretty confusing, but really amazing. How Hawking was Daniel's mother, and that John Locke was really dead in the finale, shocked me!!

Excellent Acting Between both Josh and Elizabeth, really emotional and strong right before Juliet falls all the way down.