Friday, July 09, 2010

The Countdown Gets Moving

Last week, PTR kicked off the summer-long countdown of the Best Episodes of the Season with FOUR great episodes.  This week, we're back to the countdown's usual 3 episodes/week format and we have three fabulous outings that moved us (almost to tears at times).  But before we get to them, we have to go over the rules for the countdown. We ended up with 28 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 2009 and June 2010. 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, PTR 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 24-22.

24: "The Beginning in the End" - Bones
The title of this season ender says it all -- at least that's what I kept telling myself over and over again as I watched that heart-wrenching final scene between Booth and Bones.  Brennan wanted to be a part of the anthropological find in Indonesia.  She was excited, distracted and longing to be a part of history, but she wasn't exactly packing her bags.  Then, she found out about Booth's offer to train soldiers in Afghanistan for a year.  Daisy may be annoying, but she was right when she suggested that they were holding each other back.  Once Booth thought that Bones was definitely going to Indonesia, he decided to go to Afghanistan.  And when Bones heard that Booth had decided to go to Afghanistan, she decided to go to Indonesia.  I do not believe that either of them took the jobs to get away from their FBI/Jeffersonian work.  Sure, Brennan wants to be a part of that find, but she decided to go because she needed to get away from Booth.  She said as much herself when she told Angela that she needed to take a step back and re-evaluate her life objectively again.  She has feelings for Booth -- the same that he has for her -- but she's too scared to pursue them.  Maybe she's hoping that their year apart will allow her time to get over those feelings and go back to working with Booth as a partner.  Booth, on the other hand, knows what he wants -- he just can't have her.  Perhaps, he hopes the distance will help him get over her.  Hopefully, Brennan will realize something while she's away from Booth: her feelings aren't going anywhere.  This is why this separation could be a very good thing for these two.  That reunion on the reflecting pool in one year is going to be one hell of a scene!  And hopefully, a lot less heart-wrenching than the final scene of this stellar finale.  Written by executive producers Stephen Nathan and Hart Hanson and directed by Ian Toynton.

23: "Laryngitis" - Glee
Could they have packed any more awesome moments into a single episode?  Rachel's story with the former football player paralyzed from the chest down was incredibly moving.  I feel pretty confident declaring the scene at the end between them one of the most moving scenes ever.  In the span of a single episode, this show managed to make me laugh out loud and blink away tears so I could see without the blurry glow that tear-filled eyes bring.  In general, Rachel Berry is a tough character for me.  I want to like her and I want to hate her.  The show won't let me do either exclusively, so I wind up fluctuating between "like a lot" and "annoyed a lot."  Maybe I just like to see the good in everyone, but I've always felt that underneath all that selfishness, arrogance, perfection, obsession and high- and- mighty- holier- than- thou attitude was a good person.  A bit misguided, but still good... somewhere... buried deep.  At first, things were going along in typical Rachel fashion.  For her project, she chose Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" and declared that the song described her current self because the rest of glee club was the big obstacle in her way.  Then, she lost her singing voice and became obsessed with what would happen if she never got it back.  But then, something magical happened.  Something out of character and wonderful.  Rachel Berry's heart grew.  She began to feel something... for SOMEONE ELSE!!  I know!  I could barely believe it either, but it happened.  She met someone who had lost a lot more than his voice.  He lost his body, and in the process, found his voice.  Their duet at the end to U2's "One" was brilliant, sob-inducing and poignant.  Written by executive producer Ryan Murphy and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

22: "August" - Fringe
For the better part of the last couple of seasons, we have wondered about the man we only know as The Observer.  He is often seen, but hardly ever heard.  We learned previously that he is really several men -- all dressed the same, all with the bald head and fedora and all observing time.  One of those men, simply known as August, went from observing to participating.  And that's when the trouble started.  He had been observing Christine Hollis since she was a little girl.  He was supposed to observe her losing her life in a tragic plane crash off the coast of Italy, but instead, he kidnapped her (preventing her from getting on the plane).  He interfered with fate -- something that the Observers are not suppose to do unless the person is "important."  So, the other Observers decided to correct August's wrong and ordered a hit on Christine.  August turned to Walter who told him to "make Christine important," so he made her responsible for the death of one of the observers.  Why did August go to so much trouble to save this one girl's life?  Because somewhere along the way, The Observer went from observing his subjects to becoming like them.  He became human.  He fell in love.  It was a moving journey that asked an important question: What does it mean to be human?  Certainly, the Observers look the part (even if they are a bit strange in their appearance), but are they human?  They travel through time, or in their world, time is merely a series of events all taking place congruently.  They observe without interfering (unless warranted) and prior to August's actions, never show an ounce of emotion along the way.  And yet, one of them began to feel: one of the most basic of human elements.  At the end, the Observers reminded us once again of their purpose: they watched as Olivia enjoyed a day off with her niece.  In seeing her joy, they remarked that it's a shame that things are about to get so difficult for her.  An ominous warning that proved true in subsequent episodes.  Written by Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman and directed by Dennis Smith.

So, there's a look #24-22 on the countdown. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave a comment with your thoughts. You can also view previous entries by clicking the "Best Episodes" label below.  And be sure to tune in next Friday when the countdown cracks the Top 20!


John said...

The "August" episode was partly interesting beause it was so atypical.

PS: They wear fedoras, not top hats (top hat think of Fred Astaire in tails).

I thought the Observer whose death made her important was August himslef.

TVFan said...

Thanks for the hat correction. I need to brush up on my fashion knowledge! ;0)

Interesting point about August. I think you might be right.

John said...

My top hat knowledge comes from a misspent youth watching too many 1930's and 40's musicals.

Also, there is something wrong with your site's comment section. The visual word verification is always blank the first time through. I put in something meaningless and then I get a clue. This has been true for a while.

Anonymous said...

No Cold Case??

I was hoping to see it..


TVFan said...

Stay tuned... lots of eps left on the countdown. ;0)

Anonymous said...

Administrator test.....

TVFan said...

I reset the comments settings and ran the test above. Everything worked fine after I reset it. Please let me know if it isn't fixed when you comment next, John (or anyone else for that matter :0)). Thanks for the heads up!