Friday, August 07, 2009

The Countdown Keeps Rolling

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 18-16.

18: "The Final Hour" - Deadliest Catch
The fourth season finale of Deadliest Catch is remembered - at least by me - for the Cornelia Marie crew's resilience in light of Captain Phil's troubled health. As we recall, their season got off on the wrong foot - they couldn't even find the crab at first, then they encountered engine troubles that forced them to return to port. When they finally limped back out the crab grounds and started to rake in the payload, they were hit with Phil's near-death blood clot health issue, which saw him have to be removed from the helm and take up residence in a hospital. Credit should be given to relief Captain Murray Gamrath for pulling the crew together and doing one heck of a pinch hit job. As we now know, Captain Phil's health remained an issue for the first part of the fifth season, and it is still something he must keep a close eye on as he continues to fish today. However, considering only 2 out of 10 people survive a blood clot passing through one's heart and onto one's lung, Phil has already beat the odds. And that is definitely worthy of a place on our countdown.LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer.

17: "Zebras" - Law & Order: SVU
This season finale incorporated one of my favorite devices: suspect the most unlikely suspect even if he is right under your nose. Cold Case did it to perfection with the George Marks character, The Closer shocked me with the Stroh character and now Law & Order: SVU has managed to do it with a weaselly lab rat who seemed to get in the way of solving the crime more than he helped. In fact, I thought Stabler was going to deck him several times. Turns out, he wasn't incompetent and he wasn't bumbling the case -- he was covering his tracks. Stuckey was the man that Stabler and Benson were hunting, and he had a bit of an ax to grind with Elliot. Apparently, Elliot should have been more patient with Stuckey and not discounted his intelligence (or psychotic-ness!). First, he kills CSI tech O'Halloran and then waits for Elliot. He gets Elliot and ties him up, but he makes a mistake when he answers Elliot's phone and his ensuing conversation with Olivia tips her off. When she arrives, the showdown to end all showdowns occurs between Liv and Stuckey with Liv pretending that she hates Elliot and sides with Stuckey. Her deception works, and she manages to save her life and Elliot's. Stuckey isn't so lucky. This was one awesome way to end a season! Written by Amanda Green and Daniel Truly and directed by Peter Leto.

16: "Tomorrow Blues" - Friday Night Lights
With the end of senior year comes many difficult decisions, and this year's season-ender centered on those decisions and their repercussions for the future. Lyla thought that going to San Antonio State with Riggins was the right decision even though she had gotten into Vanderbilt. Thankfully Riggins, in a very selfless act, convinced her that she belongs at Vanderbilt. Matt was torn between his dream of art school (in Chicago) and his grandmother and her declining health. In the end, he chose his grandmother. And then there was this outing's most moving story line: Tyra's emotional rollercoaster as she waited to find out if she would be moved from the waiting list to the accepted list at the University of Texas. She made a desperate visit to the school's admission office, but it was that beautiful, moving essay that made the difference. I rejoiced along with Tyra and felt so proud for her when she received that acceptance letter. What a moving moment and such a perfect reflection on why this show is one of television's best. Written by Jason Katims and directed by Jeffrey Reiner

So, there's a look at numbers 18-16 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 #15-13 on the list.

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