Friday, August 14, 2009

The Countdown Dips into the Top 15

The summer-long countdown is moving right along 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 15-13.

15: "Mortal Men" - Deadliest Catch
I know we referenced Captain Phil's memorable survival of a blod clot passing through his lungs in last week's countdown, but THIS is the episode that started it all - and left us all wondering what the heck was the matter with him. As a result of an Arctic hurricane, the Cornelia Marie took one of those 90 degree rolls, which threw Phil out of bed, across his room and smack dab into the sharp corner of his dresser. Being the tough guy that he is, he thought he could just Ace bandage himself back together and keep on fishin'. Not so much. Slowly but surely, it gets worse. Way worse - to the point where Phil's coughing up blood, the crew is freaked, and he's thinking the haunting dream he's always had of dying on the Bering Sea is actually going to come true. Now, I love Captain Phil, and the Cornelia Marie is my favorite ship (though the Hillstrand brothers on the Time Bandit run a very close second). But I just wanted to throw Phil overboard given he just would not call it a day and get himself to a freakin' hospital - even when everyone was telling him to do so, including his crew and the other captains. Thankfully, Phil does come to his senses. But interestingly, what he thought was the cause of the problem (cracked rib, punctured lung from being thrown out of bed) ended up NOT to be the case (as we now know). And that made this episode quite compelling to watch. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

14: "Unleashed" - Fringe
This episode centered around a seemingly impossible concept and managed to make it seem pretty possible all in the course of a 1-hour story. It's a hallmark of this series, but it was done to perfection with this outing. Scientists successfully created a new species by using the DNA of several existing species. It sounds crazy, but Walter presented his research, addressed all of the difficulties that one would have to overcome in order to accomplish such a feat, and then pointed out that if the scientist built on Walter's research from 20 years ago, he/she would be able to create a hybrid creature (in theory anyway). Apparently, the "monster" contained bat DNA, which is important because bat DNA gives the creature a unique immune system that would allow it to fight off the effects of different DNA coming together (much like the way the body will reject an organ transplant unless the recipient takes specific drugs to stop the process). It was all very clever. This stellar episode also included a life or death situation with Charlie (who had been attacked by the hybrid creature) and had Walter putting his own life in danger for the greater good. What more can you ask for from this delightful freshman series? Written by Zack Whedon and J.R. Orci and directed by Brad Anderson.

13: "Heart of a Cop" - Saving Grace
Two words: Christina Ricci. When I heard she was joining the cast of Saving Grace for a three episode arc, I was beyond thrilled. When she debuted in this episode - late to a crime scene after she and her son were teary-eyed and heartbroken over the death of their pet goldfish - it ended up being Best.Character.Introduction.Ever. Unexpected, yet cute and charming at the same time. We were all being set up to have Grace rip her a new one given her. Yet, when she finally does arrive and breaks into tears, even Grace is thrown off her game. Brilliant! As was the episode. It counts as one of my all time favorites. Everything gelled - some suspense, lots of humor, great personal interactions amongst the characters, nothing was over the top, good pacing. It all just worked. But it was Christina Ricci who made this episode so much fun - and so memorable. She was a perfect addition to the cast. As Holly Hunter told us, the role of Abbey Charles was written specifically for her by Creator Nancy Miller. As such, it definitely fit her like a glove. Christina is good in EVERYTHING she does, and I still wish she would become a regular cast member (or at least recurring). She balanced out the testosterone, gave us the young cop v. old schooler angle and slowed Grace down a bit to give us a more mentoring, elder detective woman look at the usually wild-child-hellraiser character that is Grace. Written by Denitria Harris-Lawrence and directed by Artie Mandelberg. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

So, there's a look at numbers 15-13 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 #12-10 on the list.


John said...

Ricci did add a lot to the show. I hope she returns, but expect it.

And showed they can write strong episodes that don't depend on Earl.

John said...

RE: Grace

The is ending next summer with a nine episode season. It will not air this winter.

TVFan said...

I was surprised to hear that about Saving Grace.