What is the single best *episode* of any TV series that you have ever seen?

Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by JohnT, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. JohnT

    JohnT New Member

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    "City on the Edge of Forever" in Star Trek? "The Contest" from Seinfeld? "Abyssinia Henry" from M*A*S*H (one of the few times I cried because of a TV show... and I caught it in reruns!)

    What is your favorite TV episode, ever? If you can't think of a "favorite", just tell us about one that you really, really liked.
     
  2. JohnT

    JohnT New Member

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    Ladies and Gentlemen, the greatest single hour of episodic television:

    Once More with Feeling, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    It could've gone soooo wrong, this one. Tragically, horribly wrong, the sort of thing that destroys careers and become legendary in its complete awfulness (My Mother the Car, anyone?) Had it just sucked, most would've been relieved. Had it been merely mediocre, most fans would've been overjoyed at having dodged the bullet. Had it been good… well, nobody was expecting that. They were pretty much expecting suckitude.

    But… it was fantastic. Spellbinding. Brilliantly written, with songs that were shockingly good coming, as they did, from first time songwriter and wunderkind Joss Whedon. Even more amazing, the songs were not in the same style... pop, hard rock, jazz, and other genres were presented here.

    And the greatest thing of all... it wasn't gimmicky. It moved the season's overarching story along, while supplying character development to all the major characters in a logical, consistent manner.

    And, unlike other TV shows, BtVS has no problem going dark... there’s no rule about happy endings with this one. This one started dark, and ended darker.

    It starts off with Buffy singing about how she has lost all the joy in her life:

    I’ve been making shows of trading blows
    Just hoping no one knows
    That I’ve been
    Going through the motions
    Walking through the part
    Nothing seems to penetrate my heart
    ...
    Will I stay this way forever?
    Sleepwalk through my lifes endeavor?
    ...
    I don't wanna be
    Going through the motions;
    Losing all my drive.
    I can't even see
    If this is really me.
    And I just want to be
    Alive

    People usually don't sing in the Buffyverse, and while discussing the situation in the song "I've got a Theory" (with possibly the rockingest refrain about bunnies (yes, bunnies) you'll ever hear in your life), they theorize that the entire town of Sunnydale is under some sort of spell that compels people to burst into song expressing their deepest feelings. Buffy, apathetic to her friends and life, closes the song with the words:

    It doesn't matter...
    What can't we face if we're together?
    What's in this place that we can't weather?
    Apocalypse?
    We've all been there
    The same old trips
    Why should we care?

    The best song (bar one) in the entire episode comes a few minutes later, as the lovers Willow and Tara (yes, a lesbian couple) go for a walk. Actress Amber Benson (Tara) easily has the best voice of the cast which is highlighted in the love ballad "Under Your Spell"

    I'm under your spell
    Nothing I can do
    You just took my soul with you
    You worked your charms so well
    Finally, I knew
    Everything I dreamed was true
    You make me complete!

    The above words are VERY ironic, as the viewer (and Tara) will find out later in the episode. The song ends with Tara receiving oral sex (you thought you could just skip all this, didn’t you? ;) ) from Willow while singing:

    The moon to the tide
    I can feel you inside
    I'm under your spell
    Surging like the sea
    Drawn to you so helplessly
    I break with every swell
    Lost in ecstasy
    Spread beneath my Willow tree
    You make me complete!
    You make me complete
    You make me complete
    You make me come...

    Xander and Anya have a song and dance routine that explores their fears in regards to their upcoming marriage: both (especially Xander) have cold feet. This song strikes me as very reminiscent of the old "**** Van ****" theme, which isn't all that hard to believe as Whedon's father was a writer for the show. Xander has a bit of a courage problem, which is pointed out to him by Anya in perhaps my favorite moment in the entire episode:

    When things get rough, he
    Just hides behind his Buffy!
    Now look, he's getting huffy
    Cause he knows that I know.

    Because BtVS has more than it's fair share of Soap Opera overtones ( ;) ), and because modern song seemingly exists only for the musical exploration of love and sex, Spike gets to sing how he feels about Buffy though he has no desire to whatsoever.

    Then we meet the villain, Sweet, who explains what’s going on in his jazz-tinged number:

    All these melodies, they go on too long
    Then that energy starts to come on way too strong
    All those hearts lie open; that must sting
    Plus, some customers just start combustin’
    That's the penalty when life is but a song.

    He was called to Sunnydale unaware that the Slayer lived there, but once he found out (at the end of his song) his goal was (of course) to kill her.

    Giles, Buffy’s “teacher”, realizes that he is no longer needed and is, in fact, hindering her development. In a scene that takes place in his business (a store devoted to magic) he sings:
    The cries around you, you don't hear at all
    'Cuz you know I'm here to take that call
    So you just lie there when you should be standing tall
    But I...
    I wish I could lay your arms down
    And let you rest at last
    Wish I could slay your demons
    But now that time has passed
    Wish I could stay your stalwart, standing fast
    But I'm standing in the way
    I'm just standing in the way

    As he is finishing his song, the camera catches Tara running towards the book section, a small flower in her hand. Flipping through some pages, she sees an illustration of the flower, stops, and reads the caption that states that the flower is used to augment spells of mind control – her own lover is, literally, messing with her mind. In a duet with Giles, they sing how they must leave the one that they love the most – Giles for Buffy’s sake, Tara for her own:

    I'm under your spell
    God, how can this be?
    Playing with my memory.
    You know I've been through hell.
    Willow, don't you see?
    There'll be nothing left of me
    You made me believe

    Wish I could trust that it was just this once
    But I must do what I must
    I can't adjust to this disgust
    We're done and I just
    Wish that I could stay

    Sweets minions burst in to the magic shop to inform the group that Sweet has Buffy’s sister. Buffy turns to go face Sweet, expecting the group (especially Giles) to follow her. Giles refuses, saying that Buffy doesn’t need him any more and that she needs to take care of this one herself. Buffy, pissed, leaves, starting my favorite song of the musical: the ensemble piece “Walk through the Fire.” I can’t really quote it as there would be no way I could do it justice. Humor, pathos, fear, apathy, irritation, and more are interwoven into the episodes centerpiece song, and while music-wise it isn’t anything to write home about (something about it definitely sounds like somebody from LA wrote it), lyrically and structurally it is a wonder.

    Buffy bursts into Sweets lair a few minutes before everybody else (they decided to join her after all during the “Fire” song), kicks his minions ass while she is singing the final full song of the show, one that explains to her friends why she has been so apathetic and listless the past few months. See, Buffy died at the end of season 5 (OMWF was aired during season 6) and Willow, being a witch and Buffy’s best friend, brought her back to life. Usually in fiction this is a good thing, but BtVS pulls no punches: When she died, Buffy went to heaven and, after having come back, is distressed with how painful life is even when it is good, and her resentment at the joy and peace that has been stolen from her is finally beginning to boil over:

    There was no pain
    No fear, no doubt
    Till they pulled me out
    Of Heaven
    So that's my refrain
    I live in Hell
    Cause I've been expelled
    From Heaven
    ...
    So, give me something to sing about!

    Of course, Buffy doesn’t die, and Sweet is (kind of) defeated. As he leaves, he crows to a very sorry-looking band of heroes in a reprise of his earlier song:

    What a lot of fun
    You guys have been real swell.
    And there's not a one who can say this ended well.
    All those secrets you've been concealing:
    Say you're happy now,
    Once more with feeling.
    Now I've got to run
    See you all in Hell!

    Understanding that things will never be the same again, the gang sings the final (very short) song:

    Where do we go from here?
    The battle's done and we kind of won
    So we sound our victory cheer
    Where do we go from here?
    Why is the path unclear
    When we know hope is near?
    Understand we'll go hand in hand, but we'll walk alone in fear
    Where do we go from here?

    And by the way, I wasn’t a fan or even a regular watcher of this show when I first saw this episode: it made me an instant fan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2004
  3. Gen0c1de

    Gen0c1de Kush'd Out Since I Was Push'd Out

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    its got to be nearly every episode of family guy.
     
  4. HoodRich

    HoodRich Professional Street Nigga OT Supporter

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    hush was a far better episode than once more with feeling
     
  5. dthumper

    dthumper Guest

    freaks
     
  6. pixie

    pixie on one wild ride :naughty:

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    Okay, damn... I know the thing by heart & I couldn't have done that.

    :cool:





    As for the subject at hand? I haven't got a clue how I could possibly ever decide :dunno:
     
  7. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    I dont' know if it's my favorite or not, but it's certainly up there:

    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Chain of Command.
    "THERE ARE... FOUR... LIGHTS!"
     
  8. pixie

    pixie on one wild ride :naughty:

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    best moment of the show...

    the show itself dragged though... :dunno:


    Don't get me wrong, I still love that eppisode, but only for that moment, not as a whole
     
  9. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    Ok. The best one on the first viewing was Cause and Effect. "All hands abandon ship! Repeat: ALL HANDS..."

    BOOM.
     
  10. rocky123

    rocky123 New Member

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    Pine Barrens episode of The Sopranos :bigthumb:
     
  11. pixie

    pixie on one wild ride :naughty:

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    That one tripped me out from end to end :cool:




    & damn it, you are going to make me find my damned TNG tapes :squint:
     
  12. TTA89

    TTA89 Guest

    I really liked the Buffy series and I thought this episode SUCKED! I actually shut it off 1/2 way through. :)
     
  13. JohnT

    JohnT New Member

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    To each his own.

    So, what was your favorite?
     
  14. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Guest

    Sealab 2021 - BeBop Cola
    Southpark - Towelle
    Simpsons - First Episode
    90210 - All/When Kelly does Crack
    Frontline - All Episodes
    The Late Show - All of them
    CNNN - All
    The Chaser - All
    John Safran Versus God - All
    Pizza - Any episode with Kamahl in it
    Monkey Magic - All
    Blue Heelers - When Wayne Dies
    Friends - The last episodes credits
     
  15. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    Also, the episode of All In The Family when Edith died. At the end Archie was sitting there on the bed just staring, the he saw Edith's shoes and broke down crying.
     
  16. vtecaholic

    vtecaholic New Member

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    Millennium - "The Time is Now"
     
  17. sleev

    sleev It's sleep, life, and death It's speed, coke, and

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    my favorite tv scene has to be from Futurama, when Fry drinks 100 cups of coffee, and gets this angelic glow around him and starts running around faster than the speed of light.
     
  18. Gai

    Gai New Member

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    Buffy: Becoming Part 2 or The Body or Hush, or The Gift...too many

    Angel: I Will Remember you

    Firefly: Out Of Gas

    CSI: Blood Drops

    The Shield: Too many

    Friends: Too many...maybe the 100th

    Everybody Loves Raymond: Don't know the name but the one with teh cheese in the suitcase

    King Of The Hill: again, too many
     

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