Friday, August 20, 2010

The Countdown Enters the Home Stretch

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 the #1 episode next week, we have three awesome episodes to tied you over.  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 6-4.

6: "Journey" - Glee
Words cannot describe my warm and fuzzy feelings for this wonderful season finale.  Every scene was emotional, every Sue moment was HI-LARIOUS (and one was actually touching), every song was awesome and the surprises were perfect.  But the most exciting thing about this season ender was that fan-freakin-tastic Journey medley that New Directions performed at Regionals.  Oh. My. Steve Perry!!  It was the greatest thing since, well, the last time Glee did Journey (a little awesome number called "Don't Stop Believing"). I loved the way the show cut between Quinn in labor and Vocal Adrenaline performing at Regionals.  Great juxtaposition of Quinn in agony with Jesse giving another performance of his life and the parallels between the song and Quinn delivering were well-played.   Also loved the way things turned out: Quinn got to go back to being a "normal" teenager, Ms. Corcoran got to start the life she missed with Rachel, and Beth got a loving home.  Back at Regionals, Vocal Adrenaline's performance was better than New Directions, but they were simply going through the motions without actually feeling them.  And let's not even discuss Aural Intensity (seriously with the name??!!).  So if the judges had actually judged based on talent, heart and performance, then New Directions and Vocal Adrenaline should have been the first and second place finishers (in either order).  But, the judges were on some sort of elitist power trip and decided that the motley crew that makes up our beloved glee kids was not good enough to place.  There was one judge who did the right thing, though, and it wasn't who you'd expect.  Sue "I Hate Glee Club" Sylvester cast her first place vote for New Directions.  Since glee club did not place at regionals, they were suppose to be disbanded, but Sue had one last surprise up her sleeve.  She used her leverage over Principal Figgins to get the glee club another year.  Maybe Sue does see herself in those kids or maybe it has to do with her sister or maybe deep down inside she really is a good person.  Whatever the reason, my fellow Gleeks and I are very, very grateful.  Written and directed by Brad Falchuk.

5: "Chuck Vs. The Other Guy" - Chuck
This fantastic romantic outing had so many "pinch me, I must be dreaming" moments it was hard to keep track.  Chuck thought Sarah was in trouble.  He thought Shaw was working with the Ring and that he had kidnapped Sarah because he learned that she was the agent who killed his wife.  He thought Shaw was going to kill Sarah to avenge his wife's death.  After an embarrassing rescue attempt, the threesome went on a mission to capture the director of the Ring.  There were so many red herrings about Shaw that I started to believe that I was wrong about him.  Maybe he really was a good spy.  It certainly seemed that way until he "shot" the director.  Then, Sarah was on her way to Paris with Shaw and everyone thought that Chuck was wrong.  But something big happened at Chuck's house before Sarah was Paris-bound.  Chuck was wallowing in a bottle of whiskey and a fake Guitar Hero guitar.  As he lay there in his underwear, Sarah entered.  He wasn't exactly in tip-top shape, but he decided to ask a question anyway.  He wanted, nay needed, to know if Sarah loved him.  She hesitated.  Then she said yes.  And they finally kissed for real (as in, under no pretense of spyhood).  Fast forward to Paris with Sarah and Shaw.  Shaw trapped Sarah and with help from his new buddies in the Ring, he disabled her central nervous system with a toxin.  And then it happened... a waiter entered behind Shaw.  But it wasn't a waiter -- it was Chuck!!  He and Shaw fought, but Shaw got away with Sarah.  Chuck followed and he gave Shaw every chance he could to surrender.  He didn't want to kill Shaw, but it was either that or let Shaw kill Sarah.  He chose the former and as Shaw's body fell over the wall of the bridge, his hand grabbed Sarah's and began to pull her in with him.  Chuck raced to the wall and grabbed Sarah right before Shaw pulled her paralyzed body into the river with him.  In the end, Sarah and Chuck decided to spend a little extra time in Paris together.  Chuck finally got to see the Eiffel Tower in person, but more importantly, he got to be with Sarah -- for real this time.  Could there be a more perfect episode of Chuck?  Written by Chris Fedak and directed by Peter Lauer.

4: "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole" - Bones
There is only one way to describe this monumental 100th episode of Bones: HEART-WRENCHING!!  It was important for so many reasons with the most basic being that it gave us the beginning of the story between Booth and Brennan.  But, it was so much more than that!  Of course, it was heart-wrenching, but it was also funny and revealing and it had me on the edge of my seat (especially during that last scene).  These two characters have always had chemistry, so it was no surprise to see them both taken with each other the moment they met.  It was surprising to see how forward they both were about their attraction to one another right from the start.  Sweets was convinced that if the pair ever started down the road to something more than partners, they'd never return.  When Booth and Brennan told him how they kissed in the rain outside the bar with plans of catching a cab back to one of their apartments, he instantly thought that he was wrong about them.  But, he couldn't have been more right.  That kiss in the rain was the catalyst for all of the pent up unresolved feelings between the pair to this day.  They didn't let the dam open up and they've been paying the price ever since.  Then Sweets reminded Booth that he's the gambler, and therefore, should be the one to take the chance.  Afterwards, everything that they had just discussed was hanging there and it wasn't going away.  So Booth took the gamble and he laid it all on the line.  He told her that he wanted to try to make it work between them.  He told her to shoot for a different outcome.  And then he kissed her and for a very brief moment, everything seemed right.  But then she pushed him away -- both literally and figuratively.  She explained that she hadn't been protecting herself all this time -- she was protecting Booth from herself.  They both looked so sad and Booth was so deflated.  My heart broke for both of them.  It was raw and it was uncomfortable, but it was also kinda brilliant.  Written by showrunner Hart Hanson and directed by series star David Boreanaz.

So, there's a look at the next set of episodes 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 #1 Best Episode of the Season is finally revealed!!


John said...

My problem with "The Parts inthe Sum of the Whole" is that it was really all about B&B.

Now I am not anti-B&B, but I am against an endless will they or won't they and this episode was just another stumbling block episode. (And the split at the end of the season was another.)

Either have them go forward and deal with the consequences of that or just make them partners and deal with that.

The endless dance has gotten old.

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