Friday, September 04, 2009

The Countdown Eyes the Finish Line

The finish line is in sight this week as we wind down our summer-long countdown of the Best Episodes of the Season! Before we get to this week's entries, 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 6-4.

6: "Allison From Palmdale" - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
There is no denying my love of Summer Glau. There is no denying my love of her Cameron terminator. So when the T:SCC folks gave us "Allison From Palmdale," I once again died and went to Terminator heaven. The ep explained how Cameron came to be – her human inspirational blueprint, a one awesome Allison Young, part of John Conner's inner-circle in the future, captured by the machines to be copied, emulated. I didn't care that her chip went on the fritz so that she remembered the actual girl she was based on – her history, her human tendencies. It gave us a truly rare human moment of Cameron being Allison, having fun playing foosball, calling the mom who hadn’t given birth to her yet a la John meeting his baby toddler of a father in the first season. There is no denying this series would not have been what it was without Summer Glau and without Cameron. She impressed with each successive performance – and particularly in THIS performance. A human performance. We often take for granted just how good she is at not being human. The precision and conscious awareness to subdue every tick and twitch that she has forced herself – as an actress – to adhere to so as to remove every human element from what we see as Cameron, yet still maintain a remarkable sensitivity and bring a sense of humanity to Cameron. So. Darn. Good. And yet, we were treated to the complete opposite mindset in this ep. A girl on the run, trying to survive capture, interrogation and torture by the machines, telling us the raw truth of her life post-judgment day. I just can’t say enough about this ep - except to say thank you, Summer (and to put this ep just outside our Top 5). Written by Toni Graphia and directed by Charles Beeson. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

5: "My Finale" - Scrubs
Saying goodbye is never easy, but this perfect little series finale made it a bit easier. Story lines were wrapped up and we even got a little peek into the future. Plus, JD finally got Dr. Cox to admit that he was going to miss him. The final episode wasn't just about saying goodbye to the show, though, it was about JD saying goodbye to Sacred Heart. As he walked through the halls of Sacred Heart for the last time, he saw so many of the faces who had shaped his experiences as an intern, resident and finally, staff doctor. When he finally reached the exit doors, he saw a movie playing and the movie showed is future. He was happy, with Elliot and they had a family of their own. Suddenly, his decision to leave the comfort of Sacred Heart, his friends, and his mentor didn't seem quite as scary. While some things change, others stay the same and JD knew the important things would never change. This was a brilliant finish to a brilliant show that gave us 8 glorious seasons. My only complaint is the network's decision to bring the show back next season (albeit, with some significant changes) when it ended so beautifully. Written and directed by series creator Bill Lawrence.

4: "Right Place Right Time" - How I Met Your Mother
This clever episode told a story in a nonsensical order, and yet, made perfect sense and gave us a twist I didn't see coming. The entire outing posed the fateful question: What would have happened if Ted had gone a different way when he left his apartment? What wouldn't have happened was that he wouldn't have encountered the mystery woman with the umbrella. But before he got to her, he had to start out going the wrong direction only to realize his mistake (the bagel place he was going to eat at had made Robin sick earlier), stop at a newsstand (to see Barney's 200th conquest), and give a dollar to a homeless man (let's just say it had something to do with Marshall's new obsession with charts). There were so many precise actions that had to take place in order for THAT moment to happen -- the moment that put him on the course to meet his future wife -- it had to be fate. And after each action unfolded, Ted was standing there on the street corner waiting for the WALK sign as the rain began to fall. The woman with the umbrella walked up and tapped him on the shoulder. That woman was none other than Stella! As in, left-Ted-at-the-alter Stella! Suddenly, the implications hung in the air as the episode faded to black. Storytelling at its best! Written by Stephen Lloyd and directed by Pamela Fryman.

So, there's a look at the next set of episodes 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 when we finally reveal our #1 Best Episode of the Season!!

1 comment:

John said...

"Allison From Palmdale" was a great episode from a greatly missed series.