Eight Incredible Episodes from the 2009-2010 TV Season

As I am prone to say in my TV.com articles, "Let's get this out of the way:" This isn't a preachy, this-is-how-it-is list of the best TV episodes that aired this past season. It's a list of my favorite TV episodes of my favorite shows... that aired this past season. Feel free to agree or disagree, and to mention which episodes you thought were exceptional, in the comments section, below.

So without further ado, here are eight episodes of television from the 2009-2010 TV season that will never leave my DVR (slight spoilers ahead; read at your own risk!).

Fringe: "Peter"

Season 2, Episode 16
Aired: April 1, 2010
"Peter" was an episode that Fringe fans have been waiting for for a long time. While the series' alternate-universe storyline is blowing our minds and is the subject that fans chat about most when discussing the show online, it's the interpersonal relationship between Peter (Joshua Jackson) and his father Walter (John Noble) that tugs at our hearts and was on full display in this episode. "Peter" filled holes, solved mysteries, showcased Noble's acting chops, and was an integral part of Fringe's stellar second half of the season.

Modern Family: "Pilot"

Season 1, Episode 1
Aired: September 23, 2009
Modern Family burst onto the scene as this year's "comedy that would save the genre." Adored by critics and lauded by viewers, Modern Family was a comedy that almost everyone could agree on. The show's pilot was a perfect encapsulation of how the program would go on to combine humor and heart while poking fun at everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexual preference. Modern Family may have faltered in the second half of the season, but the pilot is a reminder of the show when it's at its best.

Sons of Anarchy: "Albification"

Season 2, Episode 1
Aired: September 8, 2009
Those of you who've seen this episode know what I'm talking about. That final scene. Sons of Anarchy suffered a few growing pains in its first season, and the Season 2 premiere needed to slap us in the face—HARD—or risk losing us as viewers forever. Well, it did just that, and threw in a kick to the crotch for good measure. No one expected things to explode so quickly or to have such ramifications throughout the excellent second season, and everything was pulled together by the underrated Katey Sagal (SAMCRO matriarch Gemma), who delivered another riveting performance.

Lost: "Ab Aeterno"

Season 6, Episode 9
Aired: March 23, 2010
Richard frickin' Alpert, dude. The guy who never aged and doesn't wear guy-liner was a fan favorite and one of Lost's biggest mysteries. "Ab Aeterno" gave him his own episode... finally. A self-contained period piece mixed with forward-moving plotlines made this episode one of the most anticipated installments of the show's final season, and we were not let down.

Next: The Final Four >>

Community: "Comparative Religion"

Season 1, Episode 12
Aired: December 10, 2009
If one comedy kept getting better and better last year, it was NBC's freshman school-com, Community. But its winter finale (is that what we're calling them now?), which doubled as its Christmas Hanukkah Kwanzaa Holiday episode, was absolutely brilliant. The show skewered the role of religion during year-end festivities, and brought to light what the holidays are really about: friends and family. Oh, and it illustrated this point with a bloody shirts-vs.-skins street brawl. Bonus points for making Anthony Michael Hall a douche-y bully.

Supernatural: "Changing Channels"

Season 5, Episode 8
Aired: November 5, 2009
Supernatural's fifth season gave us plenty of excellent episodes about its apocalyptic storyline, but it was one of the series' standalone episodes that stood out as uniquely special. "Changing Channels" saw Sam and Dean transported into various television programs (most of which just happened to be parodies of shows that aired in the same Thursday-night time slot as Supernatural, wink wink) and delivered comedic moments that its devoted fanbase thirsts for. Plus, that fake sitcom intro is awesome.

Breaking Bad: "Half Measures"

Season 3, Episode 12
Aired: June 6, 2010
Forget just talking about one of the best episodes of television last season, "Half Measures" was one of the best episodes of television EVER. The penultimate episode of the series' most polished season showcased everything that places Breaking Bad on top of TV's heap: artful direction, class acting, and slick writing. But the episode's monologues and final jaw-dropper were what really put it over the edge. Those last minutes weren't just unexpected, they were a game-changer for the entire series.

Archer: "Diversity Hire"

Season 1, Episode 3
Aired: January 21, 2010
Television's funniest new comedy wasn't on the main networks, and it wasn't a premium cable laugher headlined by an A-lister. Heck, it doesn't even have flesh-and-blood actors. FX's Archer is foul, crude, and racist and sexist (in an equal-opportunity way). And that's why we love it, of course. There's a valid argument that "Skorpio" belongs on this list instead of "Diversity Hire," but as the third episode of the season, the latter set the bar for the series' off-color humor. It featured a black Jewish man, a secretary who loves erotic asphyxiation, and all sorts of other shenanigans in a winning formula for comedy that made us cringe in delight.

What episodes of your favorite shows do you think stood out from the rest?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Jul 30, 2010
Loved ALL the episodes of The Middle, Modern Family, Cougar Town, 30 Rock,

Community, Parks & Recreation, Castle and The Closer.
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Jul 20, 2010
I love "The Middle".The episode where Brick joined the basketball team was as good as it gets.Hopefully the show has a good long run.
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Jul 13, 2010
Where's Bones or NCIS? The Parts in the Sum of the Whole and Good Cop, Bad Cop were amazing.
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Jul 09, 2010
Nice picks of the Lost and Fringe episodes, although they aren't my favorites. House's season finale deserves to be up here. The storyline of that episode pulled at my heartstrings as no other season finale has this year. Except for Lost's, but that was because it was over, not because it was amazing. I wish Psych and Chuck were up there, but they just weren't as good this season as they were their first and second. Let's hope they come back nicely! Oh, and Castle's finale was great and Fringe's second half this season has been AMAZING! lie to me and the mentalist are good too. :]
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Jul 07, 2010
I completely agree with your choice of episodes for Fringe, Lost and especially Supernatural.
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Jul 07, 2010
And even though I seem to be way late in reading this- not one mention by anybody, anywhere about Saving Grace?! Holly Hunter rocked it week after week supported by an outstanding cast- we laughed, we cried, we cheered, we blushed and just like that it's done- what a loss!
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Jul 07, 2010
I am appalled! Whoever the phony 'critic' who wrote this article is.......They forget the unfunny, unwatched 30rock. I would think that 30rock would have all eight 'best episodes'!
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Jul 07, 2010
I would have thought Chuck Vs the Subway would have made this list. Made nearly everyone elses. Mindblowing good stuff. OH and True Blood. Haha just kidding!
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Jul 06, 2010
I don't know. I kind of liked Abadon All Hope more. And any list without Kill Them All from Spartacus: Blood and Sand is full of fail. Sorry. Just the way it is. Can't say I've seen all these episodes. But I have seen most. It's a pretty good list overall. Especially Ab Aeterno.
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Jul 06, 2010
I can't agree more with you : "Changing Channels" was one of the best episodes of Supernatural this season and one of the best in general !! I absolutely LOVED it ! Just to think about it right now makes me laugh!

Otherwise, you could've added "Time after Time" from this season of Brothers and Sisters.
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Jul 05, 2010
Oh no no no. If you pick one from Community, it's "Modern Warfare". By a mile. Also, something from Glee (you know, the season's biggest new hit?) would have been appreciated. Otherwise good list.
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Jul 05, 2010
Those specific episodes of Lost, Breaking Bad, and Community were great indeed.
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Jul 04, 2010
Community makes my heart happy.
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Jul 02, 2010
Where is the Castle episodes ??
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Jul 01, 2010
Sometimes I wonder how much I'm missing by not watching a lot of network television...and then I read something like this and see I'm not missing anything. "Modern Family" and "Archer" as BEST??? You've got to be kidding.
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Jun 30, 2010
LOST, Community and Supernatural...I love you.
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Jun 30, 2010
what was with crossing out the names of the holidays in the community description?
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Jun 29, 2010
Yay! for Supernatural making this list. :D
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Jun 29, 2010
Plus, it had John Noble in a bad freaking wig!!
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Jun 29, 2010
Spartacus: Blood and Sand just blows my mind, also couple of episodes of House.
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Jun 29, 2010
yeah uh no i don't think so
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Jun 28, 2010
Most of Fringe this season, Castle's fabulous two-parter Tick-Tick/Boom was good, the closer of NCIS, Bones' "The Proof in the Pudding"...
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Jun 28, 2010
what about The Good Wife? The whole season was a must-see TV!
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Jun 28, 2010
Great choices with FRINGE, LOST and SUPERNATURAL!!! The season finales of Fringe and Supernatural were even more awesome so they would make the list for me! ;) Oh! And CASTLE's two part episode "Tick, Tick, Tick…"/"Boom!" was fantastic!!!! And THE MENTALIST's episode "His Red Right Hand" was also quite awesome!!!! And LIE TO ME also had some great episodes. I would put "The Core of It" on the list! ;)
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Jun 28, 2010
Grey's Anatomy finale ( big shooting ), The end and last episode of 24, End episode of Desperate Housewives. And the 21th episode of bones the fifth season.
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Jun 27, 2010
I totally agree with Supernatural "Changing Channels". That was just awesome & that sitcom opening was hilarious. Supernatural continues to be one of the best shows on TV.
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Jun 27, 2010
I surely miss Smallville's Absolute Justice episode .. that was probably the best episode I have seen .. of ANY show!!!
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Jun 27, 2010
Great choices with SONS OF ANARCHY, LOST and BREAKING BAD - easily some of the best tv shows ever! Also on the comedy side - the SUPERNATURAL and ARCHER episodes were hilarious, glad you mentioned them.
I agree with some of the comments here - the finales for SPARTACUS and MAD MEN were some of the best I have ever seen and definitely deserve a place on a similar list...but I guess you don't watch these shows and, as you stated, this is only a list with episodes of favorite shows of yours.
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Jun 27, 2010
The NCIS season premiere was my favorite broadcast of the season. "Working Stiffs," the second episode of CSI this season, and the Red John episode of The Mentalist from mid-season would probably be next on my list if I bothered to one. Also, possibly the Doctor Who special "Waters of Mars."
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Jun 27, 2010
A next to perfect list IMO!

Community's "Modern Welfare" was easily the best episode of this years best commedy. Might very well be the best single episode of any comedy show ever (well - at least I can't think of any better right now).
Not that "Comparative Religion" was bad, of course.
Also I'm happy that I actually have seen every episode listed, except for the "Archer" one - I probably should look into that series though. I'm thrilled you didn't forgot Sons of Anarchy, and even thourh the season premiere was mindblowing (and deserved to get on the list) I would have gone with the season finale. M-I-N-D-B-L-O-W-I-N-G.
Lost's "Ab Aeterno" definitely belongs on the list for technical reasons and acting at the least. I do miss the season three finale of Californication and the season four finale (or opening, for that matter) of Dexter. You should have made it a top-10-list, rather than a top-8, I guess ;)
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Jun 27, 2010
Oh, man, Ab Aeterno was a series low for me. Easily the worst episode of Lost ever. Probably because, being Spanish, I can't even look at it for what it is, I can only focus on how it is one of the worst researched, most half assed attempts at recreating another country with what you have. As funny as Lost's very poor version of London was, their version of Tenerife was so offensive it was funny, but in a bad way.
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Jun 27, 2010
Haven't seen most of these but very much agree that Ab Anterno, Peter and Changing Channels were superb. Glad you didn't include the Lost final. Don't think it deserves it.
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Jun 26, 2010
grey's anatomy's season finale.. #1 & #2 episodes of the season.. so nerve-racking, intense, and brilliantly acted
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Jun 26, 2010
Changing Channels was AWESOME"!
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Jun 26, 2010
Was hoping for something better. I don't watch any of these shows, and i'm a tv-o-holic.
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Jun 26, 2010
I would have to say that "Modern Warfare" was definitely my favorite episode of Community, really funny stuff. However I have to go against the grain, I actually hated Ab Aeterno. I thought it was boring, and really didn't answer all that many burning questions. And the ones it did? Boy was I disappointed. Richard is immortal because Jacob said so? That's the best you could do?
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Jun 26, 2010
I am quite positive this list is crap! where are the series finales of lost and 24???
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Jun 25, 2010
Grey's anatomy season finale... number one for me
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Jun 25, 2010
Lost, Supernatural, and Community! Fantastic choices!!! I think I love the Paintball episode better though with Community ;)
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Jun 25, 2010
That Supernatural episode was hilarious! I love that show. I'm so glad its awesomeness was acknowledged :)
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Jun 25, 2010
Just realised that I totally forgot to add Community's best episode, Modern Warfare!
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Jun 25, 2010
Some good choices (Modern Family and Community) but I would like to add The Power of Madonna and Dream On from Glee (Sue's Vogue video and NPH singing Aerosmith...what could be better?), Help Me from House (especially near the end, man that was a nasty, claustrophobic situation...made me fall in love with the show all over again) and the first half of the Grey's Anatomy finale (can't remember what it was called, but that scene with Bailey hiding under the hospital bed was by far the best scene this year! Very No Country For Old Men ;)
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Jun 25, 2010
The Grey's Anatomy 2 hour finale should be on this list. Sometimes you guys choose mediocrity, though I do love 2 of the episodes you have on this list.
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Jun 25, 2010
NCIS Season 7 Premiere "Truth or Consequences". Best NCIS episode we had this far. Absolutely perfect acting and script. Brilliant season opener.
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Jun 25, 2010
Episode 20 of season six of "Desperate Housewives", titled "Epiphany", was pure brilliance, the darkest hour in DH history. It was the origin show that was all about the Fairview strangler. Josh Zuckerman and Diane Farr gave fantastic performances in that episode, penned by the series' creator himself.
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Jun 25, 2010
haha Changing Channels was great I loved loved the part where they made fun of CSI: Miami thats exactly how I feel about that lame show.

But the best of the season has to be when Jack tries to go save Hassan only to find him already dead 24.
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Jun 25, 2010
"Dream On" from Glee featuring NPH was one of the best episodes of season 1. And "Bloodlines" from Vampire Diaries gave me chills (when Stefan tells Elena he rescued her from the car and that she's adopted)
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Jun 25, 2010
SOA's second season was great. Good choice.
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Jun 25, 2010
agree with breaking bad and community, but for Fringe, I might switch it with a later episode and I would switch Lost with The End because it's just THE END of LOST, not to mention that it was a shocking and emotional ending! You also NEED to switch out one of the other ones with the finale of Spartacus! Beyond amazing finale! before someone raped the ratings it was at a 9.9 with like 200 votes, deserves to be at the top of the list!
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Jun 25, 2010
Lost OFCOURSE but wat about its series finale nw that was AWESOME! nd ofcourse DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES! season 6 episode 23 & 20 & 01 r some of the highlights!!!!!!
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