Friday, December 21, 2012

Top 10 Episodes of 2012 - Part 3

This is part 3 of 5. I asked 20 friends to write about their favorite TV episodes of 2012 and this is the exciting results. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Justified – “Guy Walks Into a Bar” (Season Three, Episode 10)

[Plot spoilers for what happens in this episode of Justified.]
It has been awhile since I have seen Season Three and since they don't release the DVD until a week before the new season, it doesn't give me much time to refresh my memory. But one episode stands out. The episode consists of a stand off between Raylan and Querles, the Emmy-winning Jeremy Davies as Dickie, the monster that is Limehouse and also my favorite Supernatural guy, Jim Beaver.

This episode marks the fall of Querles. Querles started off the season high on power and ideas but once he put those ideas into action, in Harlan, his power slowly decreases. Querles to me was never a smart guy so his character just bugged me so it was nice to see his plan crumble. After his Sheriff lost office on a technicality, thanks to Boyd, he knew he was screwed. What else was he to do then to get high and tie a man to a toilet. His humility continues when he tries to "scare' Raylan and threatens him. First he gives a great speech on how he will kill Raylan sometime soon, "Maybe not tonight, maybe not tomorrow, but someday you'll be walking down the street and I'm going to put a bullet in the back of your skull." Boom, so he thought. Raylan shoots his gun to the ceiling clearing all the patrons from the bar stating "Why wait?" (BEST RAYLAN MOMENT EVER!)
Querles is thrown off guard and unprepared, which seems to be a theme for him. He isn't ready to take Raylan because he knows the only advantage of taking down Raylan is the element of surprise. But of course him being cocky that he is thinks he can do it, but alas has no chance. He is scared off by a girl with a shotgun. Now this is the third act of humility and downfall for him. It can only get worse and it does. 
This episode had Raylan being humiliated but in the end it all work out for him in a way. He's speech about letting Dickie go was on cue. Either he will end up back in jail or he will be dead. Why should Raylan get a smoothie dropped on him, from some crazy lady, to stop it. This begins the new adventure of Dickie and his stupidity. I love Jeremy Davies portrayal so more of him is good! Boyd hears about Dickie inevitable release and he knows he will do something stupid to get his hands on the money. Limehouse is worried about the same thing so in his pig-murdering den he tells his minion to bring him to him. The way Limehouse always gives order while in the pig dissection room brings a stronger evil presence to Limehouse. I can only hope we will be seeing him in Season Four. 
This episode picked up Limehouse's storyline and decreased the power of Querles two things I wanted to see happen in the season. I just love when things go my way! 
(Sidenote When Shelby lied to the deputies about having cancer I totally got a Bobby vibe.)

Molly’s Top 10 Episodes of 2012 (disclaimer: I hate picking favorites and numbering best to worst.) 
1. Community – “Digital Estate Planning” (Season Three, Episode 20)
2. Mad Men – “Far Away Places” (Season Five, Episode 6)
3. Game of Thrones – “Valar Morghulls” (Season Two, Episode 10
4. Cougar Town – “Ain’t Love Strange” (Season Three, Episode 1)
5. Justified – “Guy Walks Into a Bar” (Season Three, Episode 10)
6. Breaking Bad – “Dead Freight” (Season Five, Episode 5)
7. Parks and Recreation – “Halloween Surprise” (Season Five, Episode 5)
8. The Vampire Diaries – “The Murder of One” (Season Three, Episode 18)
9. Community – “Virtual System Analysis” (Season Three, Episode 16)
10. New Girl – “Bath Tub” (Season Two, Episode 10)

Louie – “Late Show Part 3” (Season Three, Episode 12)
By Jason Braun
[Spoils for the resolution to the three-part storyline. Yet continuity doesn’t really matter on this show. Still the small warning.]
Louie C.K.'s life is shit, and his semi-autobiographical show, simply titled Louie, doesn't sugar coat that fact with slapstick jokes or feel good endings.  That being said, it's probably the funniest show on television.  Louie doesn't force jokes; it sets stories and says “look how funny life can be”. 
Louie breaks down the walls of what comedies and dramas are. 
Scrubs tried to do what Louie does successfully.  When Scrubs was written they had parts where you were supposed to laugh and parts where you were supposed to cry.  Louie just writes stories with the pretense that this is a comedy, so you laugh.
That is something everybody can do every single day.  Pretend when you wake up tomorrow that your life is supposed to be funny and I guarantee you will laugh all day long.
The third season's three-part saga, “Late Show”, hits the nail on the head with this idea that comedy is changing.  In these episodes David Letterman is retiring and Louie, along with Jerry Seinfeld, is considered as a replacement.  Louie is given a date for a test show and a coach, played by David Lynch.
The episode chronicles the emotions and decisions Louie has to make.  It shows the ugly underside of show business.  His friends Chris Rock and Jay Leno betray him. He works his ass off and nails the test show.  In the end, Louie doesn't get the job but his impressive performance sends a message to David Letterman, forcing him to renegotiate his contract from $60 to $40 million dollars.
The last scene of this saga is the reason I chose this episode as the season's best.  Louie stands in front of the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the Late Show is filmed, and he shouts “I did it!... Letterman, fuck you!”
Even though he didn't get what he hoped for he still stuck it to the man.  No one expected Louie to do so well, but he did.  So well, in fact, that he took $20 million dollars out of Letterman's pocket.
There isn't this perfect ending like most comedies usually shoot for.  However, in the eyes of Louie it was still a huge victory because he knew his 20 years of doing stand up comedy were worth something.  He had not only been walking down the right path but his path has a bright future.

Jason’s Top 10 Episodes of 2012
1. Boardwalk Empire – “Margate Sands” (Season Three, Episode 12)
2. The Newsroom – “We Just Decided To” (Season One, Episode 1)
3. Sherlock – “The Reichenbach Fall” (Season Two, Episode 3)
4. The Amazing Race – “Off to See the Wizard” (Season 21, Episode 7)
5. Game of Thrones – “Blackwater” (Season Two, Episode 9)
6. Breaking Bad – “Dead Freight” (Season Five, Episode 5)
7. Shameless – “Just Like the Pilgrims Intended” (Season Two, Episode 11)
8. Awake – “Pilot” (Season One, Episode 1)
9. XXX Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony
10. Louie – “Late Show Part 3” (Season Three, Episode 12)

Mad Men – “The Other Woman” (Season Five, Episode 11)
By Austin Lugar

Mad Men’s plotting is done as a surprise. Every scene is an interaction towards a small goal or thematic arc, you don’t know what it’s planning until the end. In this episode, it put majority of its characters in a room and they had to make a decision. Then suddenly, it threw me back on the couch. Everything had been leading up to this moment where Joan, Pete, Sterling, Cooper, Lane and Don had to decide what they really believe. It was perfect writing where everyone’s argument was dictated by how the characters had propelled themselves for the previous ten episodes.
In the previous episode, Don and Joan had one of my favorite scenes in the entire series as they played out their ideal versions of themselves in a bar. They were witty, sexy and warm to each other without ever being romantic. It was two people who knew the versions of themselves they liked the most and they were able to be that with a friend for a moment. To have two characters who always respect each other, but rarely get to interact with each other was a special moment.
Then like everything else after the decision in this episode, it becomes bittersweet. They can never have a moment like that again. At the end, great things happen for the agency and for the partners but Don can’t enjoy it because he refuses to forget what they’ve done. None of this is fun anymore. There used to be an understand of how business was done but now it’s all about greed, perversion and a downfall in quality.
To top it all off, Don has to say goodbye to someone very special to him. I think in that scene, Don is more desperate and emotional because he knows she’s right. He can’t do anything else for her. She has to move on and find the best situation for her life….something, that until recently, Don thought he finally found for himself.

Austin’s Top 10 Episodes of 2012
1. Sherlock – “A Scandal in Belgravia” (Season Two, Episode 1)
2. Mad Men – “The Other Woman” (Season Five, Episode 11)
3. Sherlock – “The Reichenbach Fall” (Season Two, Episode 3)
4. Breaking Bad – “Live Free or Die” (Season Five, Episode 1)
5. Homeland – “Q&A” (Season Two, Episode 5)
6. Doctor Who – “The Angels Take Manhattan” (Season Seven, Episode 5)
7. Mad Men – “At the Codfish Ball” (Season Five, Episode 7)
8. Breaking Bad – “Dead Freight” (Season Five, Episode 5)
9. Spartacus: Vengeance – “Libertus” (Season Two, Episode 5)
10. Misfits – “Episode Eight” (Season Four, Episode 8)

Parks and Recreation  -- “Win, Lose or Draw” (Season Four, Episode 22)
By Rachael Clark

[Spoils for what happens in the election at the end of the Season Four election.]
What a great finale to a solid season of Parks and Recreation. From the very beginning of this season, Leslie Knope had been campaigning against all odds for city councilwoman with the help of the people who loved and cared for her. Now was the moment to see if Leslie was going to beat Bobby Newport, the heir to the Sweetums factory that employs many Pawnee citizens, and Brandie Maxxx, the porn star. This episode was filled with many laughs as usual, combined with moments of revelation, relationship dilemmas, and the notion that you can’t achieve anything alone. 
Some of the best moments in this show are the silent/unspoken ones. My favorite scene was the peek we got to see of Leslie in the voting booth. She has just voted for herself and is standing in awe realizing what she has accomplished, on the verge of tears. She has waited practically her whole life for this moment and it has finally arrived. Then in true Parks and Recreation form, Bobby Newport breaks the seriousness of the scene and brings on the laughter, asking for Leslie’s help on how to vote. The second best unspoken scene was Leslie and Ben’s facial reactions when they hear the recount was in Leslie’s favor. Leslie jokes with Anne on how sneaky she was with her choice of words. Going from sincerity to silliness is why I enjoy this show so much. They are able to show these little moments of being authentic and genuine, and then they effortlessly go back to being a hilarious show with the goofy but loveable characters.
If anything else, this episode had the best ending line ever to a season. At the last second when Leslie finds out that Jerry forgot to vote, she appropriately responds, “Dammit, Jerry!”

Rachael’s Top 10 Episodes of 2012
1. Sherlock – “A Scandal in Belgravia” (Season Two, Episode 1)
2. Breaking Bad – “Dead Freight” (Season Five, Episode 5)
3. Parks and Recreation – “Win, Lose or Draw” (Season Four, Episode 22)
4. Game of Thrones – “Blackwater” (Season Two, Episode 9)
5. Doctor Who – “Asylum of the Daleks” (Season Seven, Episode 1)
6. Community – “Pillows and Blankets” (Season Three, Episode 14)
7. Mad Men – “Christmas Waltz” (Season Five, Episode 10)
8. Girls – “Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackident” (Season One, Episode 7)
9. Homeland – “The Smile” (Season Two, Episode 1)
10. Veep – “Tears” (Season One, Episode 8)

Continue on to Part 4 to read a review of Peep Show that sounds like it's from the monologue of Peep Show, a mystery publisher writing about TV's best mystery and the funniest and strangest review of a show you'll see all year. 

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