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AMC (ended 2013)

It's that time again! That time when we look back over the last 300-something days and say, "Remember that? That was good." We're speaking specifically about the best television episodes of the last year, the hours and half-hours that made us laugh, made us cry, and made our hearts stop beating for three very scary minutes. 

I polled the TV.com writers for their input and after much discussion and arm-wrestling, we settled on these 20 episodes of television that made the past year awesome. The rules for qualifying for this list are simple: no more than one episode per show and it must have aired from June of 2013 to June of 2014 (give or take a few weeks so that we could squeeze the end of Game of Thrones in here). Take a look, vote for which episodes you thought were best, and hit the comments with your own list! (Lest ye blow your top over an episode appearing at the bottom of this list, these are in random order.)


Breaking Bad's "Ozymandias" – Season 5, Episode 14


What made it one of the best: When it comes to choosing the best Breaking Bad episode from this last season, you really could do no wrong. But "Ozymandias" stood out as an hour where pretty much every last damn thing about the whole series came to a head. Hell, it's named after a poem about the fall of kings and empires: a flashback to Walt and Jesse's first cook, the stalwart demise of Hank and Gomie, Walt finally telling Jesse about Jane, Walt losing his family. Rian Johnson’s expert direction carried viewers through Breaking Bad’s special brand of madness, tragedy, and existentialism, all while setting up the the final two episodes in a way that had everybody guessing how this would all finish out. – Ryan Sandoval   

TV.com's "Ozymandias" review: Family Feud

Other great Breaking Bad Season 5b episodes: "Blood Money," "Felina," "To'hajiilee," "Confessions"


Arrow's "Three Ghosts" — Season 2, Episode 9

What made it one of the best: Arrow's mid-season finale has hallucinations, a mask, a startling death, and an even more startling reveal. The hallucinations didn't completely work, but they were much-needed character insights into Oliver, who can sometimes feel too closed off to those around him and us. Even if that wasn't there, the episode was high on action and thrills with Sebastian Blood's abduction of Roy, Barry receiving his powers in Central City, Oliver's fight with Cyrus Gold and, perhaps best of all, finding out that a deranged and vengeful Slade Wilson was still alive and out for blood. It's exactly how you get people to stay pumped over a month-long break. – Noel Kirkpatrick

TV.com's "Three Ghosts" review: Now It's Personal

Other great episodes from Arrow's second season: "Identity," "Deathstroke," "The Man Under the Hood," and "Streets of Fire"


Fargo's "Buridan's Ass" – Season 1, Episode 6


What made it one of the best: Fargo's first four episodes were good, but the miniseries really became great during a four-episode stretch that detailed Lester Nygaard's transformation from push over to pusher. When Lester framed his brother (and threw a gun in his kid's backpack for good measure) in "Buridan's Ass," he cemented himself as more Heisenberg than Walter White, changing his character for the remainder of the series. But "Buridan's Ass" also featured the series' most gloriously dark violence when Don was duct-taped to an elliptical machine with a shotgun in hand while a SWAT team swarmed his house and the most tense firefight when Malvo took on Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers in a white-out blizzard. Add beautiful cinematography, scintillating performances, and a level of insanity that could only leave you laughing, and it's one of the best hours of the year. – Tim Surette

TV.com's "Buridan's Ass" review: Red, White, and Who?

Other great Fargo Season 1 episodes: "The Crocodile's Dilemma," "Who Shaves the Barber?," "The Heap," "A Fox, a Rabbit, and a Cabbage," "Morton's Fork"


Mad Men's "Waterloo" – Season 7, Episode 7


What made it one of the best: The first half of the first half of Mad Men's final season may have taken some time to pick up speed. But by the time man walked on the moon, Don had managed to avoid being enthusiastically fired by his colleagues, which frankly, was a surprise to us all—especially with a finale called "Waterloo" to leave us hanging until the season wraps up next year. There was a lot of catharsis in "Waterloo," from Don passing the torch to Peggy by insisting she make the Burger Chef pitch, to Cutler calling Lou Avery out for the "hired hand" schmuck that he is. Never a series to shy away from the historical context of its setting, Mad Men's "Waterloo" fell against the backdrop of the July 1969 moon landing and felt every bit as new and epic. We may have had to say goodbye to Robert Morse's Bert Cooper, but that goofy-great song-and-dance routine (in Cooper's trademark stocking feet, no less!) made the loss more pleasant to bear. – MaryAnn Sleasman

TV.com's "Waterloo" review: Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, Life Goes On

Other great episodes from Mad Men's seventh season: "A Day's Work," "The Strategy," "The Monolith"


How I Met Your Mother's "How Your Mother Met Me" – Season 9, Episode 16


What made it one of the best: How I Met Your Mother might have gone out on a sour note, but for all the series' problems in the final season—or even the final few seasons—every once in a while an episode would sneak in and remind us of the good ol' days when the show's flexible narrative structure wasn't a gimmick and Ted's romantic nature was charming. The introduction of the Mother in Season 8 opened many doors for HIMYM, and every scene featuring Cristin Milioti's Mother crackled with an electricity the series hadn't seen in years. Which is why "How Your Mother Met Me"—the series' 200th episode—was so exciting even with the reveal the Mother's first love was killed on her 21st birthday. Despite the episode's earnest nature, seeing all of Ted's near misses with the Mother from her point of view was fun and finally fleshed out a woman fans had been building in their minds for eight years. The series truly came full circle in that moment. – Kaitlin Thomas

TV.com's "How Your Mother Met Me" review: Hittin' the Mother Lode

Other great episodes from How I Met Your Mother's ninth and final season: "The End of the Aisle," "Vesuvius," "The Lighthouse," "The Rehearsal Dinner"


Hannibal's "Mizumono" - Season 2 Episode 13

What made it one of the best: The Season 2 finale of Hannibal was the psychological thriller at its most daring, and I say this about a show that had a man eating his own face the week before. It was daring not because it was gory and violent—though it was those things—but because it embraced the psychological and emotional horror of a man torn between two natures and a monster who thought he had finally found a friend. It was an intimate showcase of betrayals and broken friendships and a ruined pseudo-family, with the chaos Hannibal leaving in his wake hearkening back to the chaos Will left in his in the pilot episode with the death of Garret Jacob Hobbs. – Noel

TV.com's "Mizumono" review: Would You Stand Up and Walk Out on Me?

Other great episodes from Hannibal's second season: "Sakizuki," "Mukozuke," "Shiizakana," and "Tome-wan"


Sleepy Hollow's "Necromancer" – Season 1, Episode 8

What made it one of the best: Some of you are like, "Necromancer" over the season finale? Really? Are you on drugs? Allow me to explain, please. "Necromancer" was a turning point for Sleepy Hollow. It was the episode of the Infamous Fist Bump Incident of 2013, but even more than that, it was the episode that introduced us to the man behind the Headless Horseman. The reveal that it was Ichabod's former BFF and Katrina's former betrothed Brom who was out for blood opened up Ichabod's backstory and dove into how our actions affect not only the present, but also the future. It also raised the question of whether evil was born or created while humanizing someone who runs around chopping off people's heads/blowing them away with automatic weapons. The episode was a perfect balance of everything that makes Sleepy Hollow work: friendship and love, humor and drama, good and evil. Plus, you really can't deny how awesome that fist bump was. – Kaitlin

TV.com's "Necromancer" review: Hey, the Horseman is People Too!

Other great episodes from Sleepy Hollow's first season: "The Sin Eater," "Bad Blood," "The Midnight Ride"


Louie's "So Did the Fat Lady" – Season 4, Episode 3


What made it one of the best: Louie's been kind of a jerk all season, and "So Did the Fat Lady" put him right in the middle of one of society's double standards: that an overweight man can be cuddly and funny but an overweight woman is "fat." With a spectacular guest appearance from Sarah Baker and brilliant, intimate direction by Louis C.K., "So Did the Fat Lady" was Louie at its best: uncomfortable and thought-provoking. – Tim

TV.com's "So Did the Fat Lady" review: Uncomfortably Close

Other great Louie Season 4 episodes: "Model," the "Elevator" arc, the "Pamela" arc, "Into the Woods"


The Walking Dead's "The Grove" – Season 4, Episode 14


What made it one of the best: When The Walking Dead isn't recycling the boring debate about who should be leader (just put Carol in charge already), it occasionally reminds us just how horrible this zombie-packed world can be and how society's rules—even the most basic ones like "Don't shoot kids"—need to be rewritten in order to give everyone a fightin' chance. This was one of the most fucked-up episodes of television all year and featured more brilliant acting by Melissa McBride. It's the kind of episode that The Walking Dead should be putting out more often instead of the ones where Rick wonders about where to plant cucumbers. – Tim

TV.com's "The Grove" review: Won't Someone Think of the Children?

Other great The Walking Dead Season 4 episodes: "Internment," "Alone," "A"


Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "Turn, Turn, Turn" – Season 1, Episode 17


What made it ones of the best: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had a tough go of it this season. It was frustratingly uneven for most of its run, but all of that changed when the series finally realized its potential in the final moments of "Turn, Turn, Turn." The reveal of Agent Ward's betrayal was the catalyst the show desperately needed to propel itself forward. Acting as a slap to the face of those fans who'd long ago fallen asleep, the episode not only made Ward the series' most interesting character in a matter of seconds, but it also raised the stakes and left its mark on each episode that followed. For fans who'd stuck by the series, it was vindication. For fans who gave up, it was reason enough to come back and give it another try. – Kaitlin

TV.com's "Turn, Turn, Turn" review: Out of the Shadows

Other great episodes from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first season: "F.Z.Z.T.," "Providence," "Beginning of the End"


Orange Is the New Black's "Tall Men With Feelings" – Season 1, Episode 11

What made it one of the best: In the final moments of "Tall Men With Feelings," the great end of a brilliant four-episode run, outside collided with inside as Larry—still heated after learning about Piper and Alex's rekindled lesbian romance—told all on a radio show part out of spite and part out of drive to kickstart his middling writing career. The entire prison was listening, and everything Piper had done to build up her life while incarcerated was destroyed by Larry's honest talk. It re-emphasized that time inside Litchfield and time among the free moved at different speeds and that no amount of phone calls or visits could keep the lives from being severed. And it was full of OMG moments, if that's what you're into. – Tim

TV.com's "Tall Men with Feelings" review: Scared Straight?

Other great episodes from Orange Is the New Black's first season: "I Wasn't Ready," F*cksgiving," "Bora Bora Bora," "Can't Fix Crazy"


Game of Thrones' "The Lion and the Rose" – Season 4, Episode 2


What made it one of the best: Yes, the season finale "The Children" was pretty incredible, but Season 4 didn't save the best for ninth or last as it did in previous seasons. Instead, Game of Thrones' finest hour came in Episode 2 with the Purple Wedding (I get the chills just thinking about it). The series is well known for keeping its characters apart, which is why gathering them all together for Joffrey's wedding made for dialogue rich with backhanded compliments, jealous stares from across the patio, uncomfortable situations for poor Tyrion and Sansa, and King Joffrey acting like King Joffrey on his special day. Well, until he choked to death on some poison. Game of Thrones thrives on shocks, and this was the biggest—and most satisfying, despite the fact we'll miss the lil' bugger—shock of the season. – Tim

TV.com's "The Lion and the Rose" review: I Always Cry at Weddings

Other great Season Game of Thrones episodes: "The Laws of Gods and Men," "Mockingbird," "The Mountain and the Viper," "The Watchers on the Wall," "The Children"


Person of Interest's "The Devil's Share" – Season 3, Episode 10


What made it one of the best: The follow up to the series' most shocking moment could have been 60 minutes of Reese spraying bullets (which would have been awesome), but instead the episode backtracked and examined the team as individuals dealing with loss. And it peeled back yet another layer to this surprising show in what was its best season yet. Despite the episode's fantastic finish, it was the amazing intro—an emotional, cinematic montage—that remains one of the best scenes of the past year and captured the varied emotions—sadness, anger, confusion—that death brings. Are we sure this is a network show? – Tim

TV.com's "The Devil's Share" review: Revenge, Redemption, and Resolution

Other great episodes from Person of Interest's third season: "Razgovor," "The Crossing," "RAM," "Death Benefit," "A House Divided," "Deus Ex Machina"


Boardwalk Empire's "Farewell Daddy Blues" – Season 4, Episode 12


What made it one of the best: Boardwalk Empire has a knack for turning fantastic season finales that bring all the disparate storylines together in one bloody package, and the Season 4 finale "Farewell Daddy Blues" is the best exemplar yet. Like the preceding 11 episodes, the season-ender smartly placed its focus on two fan favorites, Richard and Chalky, and delivered emotional gut-punches to both. Richard saw his journey come to a stirring, still conclusion while Chalky lost nearly everything but his life. In many ways, this was an episode four years in the making. – Cory Barker

TV.com's "Farewell Daddy Blues" review: Last Train to Wisconsin

Other great episodes from Boardwalk Empire's fourth season: "The North Star," "White Horse Pike," "Havre de Grace"


True Detective's "The Secret Fate of All Life" – Season 1, Episode 5

What made it one of the best: HBO's star-studded miniseries was great when it was delivering cockamamie new-age monologues, keeping a camera on for six minutes, or discussing the battle between war and light, but it was incredible when it played with viewers' expectations and beliefs. The miniseries format and the crummy protagonists that we watched led us all to wonder who was telling the truth and who was more involved than they let on, and "The Secret Fate of All Life" ran with our suspicions and transformed our anti-heroes into suspects themselves. It's unusual that an episode that leveled everything we thought we knew about a series would be its best, but that's the game that True Detective played best. – Tim

TV.com's "The Secret Fate of All Life" review: Everyone is Guilty

Other great episodes from True Detective's first season: "The Long Bright Dark," "The Locked Room," Who Goes There," "Form and Void"

Community's "Cooperative Polygraphy" – Season 6, Episode 4

What made it one of the best: Well, it's more or less a Community bottle episode, and few shows do better in those single, confined spaces. "Cooperative Polygraphy" faced the challenge of explaining away the departure of both Chevy Chase's Pierce and setting up an exit for Donald Glover's Troy, but it managed to do so thanks to a simple premise (everyone is made to take a lie detector test) that forces all the characters to speak from the heart and reveal uncomfortable things about themselves—you know, like all great Community episodes. Though it's a bummer we won't see #SixSeasonsandaMovie on NBC, Dan Harmon's return season was worth it for this episode alone. – Cory

TV.com's "Cooperative Polygraphy" review: Lies, Lies, Lies, YEAH!

Other great episodes from Community's fifth season: "Geothermal Escapism," "App Developments and Condiments," "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality," "Basic Sandwich"


The Americans' "Echo" – Season 2, Episode 13

What made it one of the best: Granted "Echo" has the benefit of being a season finale standing proud on the backs of its predecessors. But dammit if this episode didn’t feature a perfectly executed mind-melting twist that honored the season-long mystery of who killed Jared’s family (hint: teenagers are nuts!), while shifting focus to higher stakes to come in season 3. And let’s not forget Stan and Oleg’s betrayal of spy prodigy Nina! The Jennings are no strangers to mixing suburban home life with private espionage, but "Echo"’s family outing forced the two spheres together in a way that had yet to been see in The Americans. For evidence that this show can not only survive, but thrive past its own high-concept premise, fans need look no further than the emotional, suspenseful "Echo." - Ryan

TV.com's "Echo" review: Mother (Russia) May I?

Other great episodes from The Americans' second season: "Comrades," "Arpanet," "The Deal"


The Good Wife's "Hitting the Fan" — Season 5, Episode 5

What made it one of the best: Season 5 of The Good Wife was likely one of the best seasons of TV in the past year, and "Hitting the Fan" is the point at which it started its ascent. A culmination of character arcs, from Cary's professional ambitions to Alicia's cocktail of emotions, "Hitting the Fan" was also a visual tour de force, an episode directed and edited within an inch of its life in the first half, giving the sense of legal speed-chess as the defecting associates scrambled to keep their clients and files and the older partners did everything to stop them. The second half offered up a twisty, bitter case-of-the-week as everyone tried to keep Chumhum on their respective side, showing that even when the show is blowing up its premise, it sticks to what works. – Noel

TV.com's "Hitting the Fan" review: Everything You Ever Wanted

Other great episodes from The Good Wife's fifth season: "The Decision Tree," "Goliath and David," "The Last Call," and "A Weird Year"


Orphan Black's "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed" – Season 2, Episode 1


What made it one of the best: When a TV series' freshman season is as successful as Orphan Black's was, there's always a concern that the show won't be able to maintain the same level of quality the second time around. Luckily, that worry was unfounded as the series went to new heights in season 2, introducing new characters and threats while still maintaining the series' perfect balance of humor and drama. But none of that would have been possible if the Season 2 premiere, "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed," hadn't come out swinging, quite literally. Nearly no time had passed since Season 1, and yet we had a new set of villains, we had new mysteries to solve, and Helena was revealed to be alive. A lot was riding on the premiere, and it was definitely the highlight of what came to be a strong, successful sophomore season. – Kaitlin

TV.com's "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed" review: Personal Property

Other great episodes from Orphan Black's second season: "To Hound Nature in her Wanderings," "Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things," "Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done," "Mingling Its Own Nature With It"


The Returned's "La Horde" – Season 1, Episode 8

What made it one of the best: This is really a case of take your pick, with every chapter of this stunning foreign series' worth a spot on this list. But I'll go with the finale "La Horde" (it's French for "The Horde") because it blew my head clear off my neck. It didn't deliver answers to the series' main questions (i.e. What the f@*$ is going on?) which may have upset some, but it still elevated the series to another level, which is The Returned's big gimmick. Stunningly gorgeous with odes to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and bite-your-fingers tense, "La Horde" was the perfect hour to end the season on because it made us even more excited for Season 2. – Tim

Other great episodes from The Returned's first season: "Camille," "Victor," "Adele"


Honorable Mentions: Supernatural's "Bad Boys," New Girl's "Keaton," Sons of Anarchy's "Aon Rud Persanta," Sherlock's "The Sign of Three," Parks and Recration's "Moving On Up," The 100's "Twilight's Last Gleaming," Justified's "Shot All to Hell," Banshee's "The Truth About Unicorns," Homeland's "One Last Thing," Scandal's "A Door Marked Exit," Almost Human's "Skin," The Mindy Project's "The Desert," Bob's Burgers' "Mazel-Tina," Enlisted's "Vets," Archer's "Filibuster" 


What were your favorite episodes of television from the past year?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/29/2013

Season 5 : Episode 16

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Once again no love for The Leftovers. That episode where we are back before the event (trying not to give spoilers). One of the best and most suspenseful episodes of TV I've ever seen, put just in the right place to have real meaning.
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I feel like parks and rec, it's always sunny in philadelphia and archer should have had episodes in this list. You should make one for comedy and one for drama next year!
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20 different shows? How many people (besides the true TV fans that all of us here are) watch 20 different shows? I also have the problem of being very poor at remembering the greatness of individual episodes. I can only say that this and that show had an overall great season, but nothing more specific. This will be tough...nope, can't do it. I can say that the following shows had the best episodes, but I can't remember which specific episodes were the greatest:

American Horror Story, Arrow, Banshee, Bates Motel, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Game of Thrones, Grimm, Hannibal, Hell on Wheels, Homeland, Louie, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Masters of Sex, Orange is the New Black, Parks and Recreation, Penny Dreadful, Person of Interest, Rectify, Resurrection, Salem, Shameless, Sleepy Hollow, The Bridge, The Fall, The Good Wife, The League, The Walking Dead, True Blood, True Detective, Wilfred.
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what about shameless's iron city?
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Sorry Tim Surette, but Agents of Shield should NOT be on this list, even if it got better, it's still a very mediocre show. Like many have said already, you left several really good shows out, shame on you!
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The fact that you folks put up 20 episodes from 20 different shows makes this entire article invalid, and I believe you all know that. I just watced Arrow's Three Ghosts, and it wasn't even in the top 100, and I do enjoy the show. I find it entertaining, but there is certainly nothing breathtaking about it. A great episode of anything leaves you with a special feeling that you just saw brilliance. I can't speak to Got, Breaking Bad, Hannibal, or The Walking Dead, because I don't watch them for personal reasons. But I do believe their popularity is warranted. I also would not have put Sleepy Hollow in here. I enjoy it, but it's not as good as other things, and it never took my breath away. I wouldn't put Arrow or Sleepy Hollow up against any episode of The Good Wife this season, because that one usually does take my breath away. And if any of you ever watched Call the Midwife, it would be there right on top. I didn't want to watch when my wife suggested it, but I'm really glad I did--it takes my breath away, it's just that good. HIMYM's last season was awful, and I haven't yet seen the episode you mention. But it was probably just so good after the crap that came before it that it just made you think it was great. Turned off the Dr. Suess episode I did. As for True Detective and Fargo, I couldn't agree more as they were both quite brilliant. And you also forgot about Doctor Who's 50th...
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The Children- S4E10 GoT.

Nothing would give me more pleasure than the look on Tywin Lannister's face when his son wedged a crossbow's bolt through his belly. Peter Dinklage took only 10 minutes of the finale, yet managing to freaking steal the show.
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Hannibal and Breaking Bad's Finale too. Fucking epic.
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Sherlock Series 3's "His Last Vow" was superb--while it lacked the cat-and-mouse tension of the S1 and S2 finales, it delivered on so many other, newer levels, and set up Series 4 exceptionally well.
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Bate's Motel had some great episodes this season. And while divisive I liked the HIMYM finale....
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Bobs Burgers - Equestranuats instead of Mazel-Tina
Aqua Tv Show Show - "Working Stiffs"
South Park - "World War Zimmerman"
Wilfred - "Uncertainty
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "The Gang Broke Dee"
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Episode 2 of season 4, Game of Thrones, may be the most overrated episode of the show. Well actually I only see writers on this site singing it's praise.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad episode or something. But it wasn't remarkable until the end. Compared to the amazeballs episodes GoT had this season, it shouldn't even crack the top 3.
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Where is "The Gang Squashes Their Beefs" from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia??
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Sunny gets no love
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'The Gang Broke Dee' is one of the absolute best. Funnier than any of their comedy selections. The entire ensemble was at their peak. Very excellent selection.

'Uncertainty' - Gann's 'Tatiana Maslany' moment! Most disturbingly funny part of the entire episode when Wilfred gets into the car at the end after he leaves 'Stinky' behind, Ryan: 'So who won the rape fight?' Wilfred: 'Just drive'. or his line about being owned by Ann Frank, "Thank god those well dressed German men heard my barking and broke into the attic.' They get away with it because he's a dog. You don't want to laugh but its just too damn funny. Plus Angela Kinsey playing an exceptionally disturbing dog owner. It also gave Fiona Gubelmann one of her best scenes with Elijah Wood in the entire series at the end. I always get worried when a new show runner is taking over a show but this 1st episode of season 3 curbed that feeling very quickly with a smooth and hilarious transition. Another very nice choice.

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My own top 20 list would definitely include OB finale and GOT finale.
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Seriously, you didn't put "Demon Dean" on this list? Granted, season 9 did kind of suck (Bloodlines being the worst) but that last 5 seconds made up for the whole season of Supernatural.

Henry Parrish's epic reveal on Sleepy Hollow is by far better than anything else that happened till then. It even beat the Ike vs Steve fight in Necromancer, and I LOVED that scene. "Bad Blood" found a way of giving us what we were expecting (the return of Ike's son) but doing it in a way that we have no choice but to say "Holy SH*T! I did NOT see that coming!"

"Turn, Turn, Turn" is the best episode of Agents of SHIELD, but I'm surprised you didn't mention Garret's "upgrade fake out" of the season finale. I watch that scene all the time.

Long Live King Joffery! As cool as Oberyn was, we only knew him a grand total of 1 season, whereas Joffery spent 3 seasons getting under our skin and watching his comeuppance was bittersweet due to the fact that the most evil character on thew show is dead, but there isn't one character left that I loved to hate.
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Seeing Person of Interest "The Devil's Share" on the list sent chills up my body all over again. Easily the best episode of any TV show that I've seen in a long time.
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i guess price and lily didn't nominate anything.........................? or just got voted down. or had better things to do. or whatever.

certainly community being in the featured section as opposed to the honorable mention feels more like a "farewell show we used to love and then started to suck even when the guy who created you came back." parks, archer and bob's burgers selections were were way better than "polygraphy"
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Staff
COMMUNITY SUCKS
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Surprisingly good choices pretty much across the board. To those, I really do think need to be added some gems that sadly get overlooked by this site far too much:

Review with Forrest O'Neil - Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes: It's possible there has never been a more effectively disarming episode of comedic television ever. Even compared to the depths of depravity that the original series sank to, Forrest's dual encounters with pancakes were the perfect bookends to what came between.

Rick and Morty - Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind: With this brilliant little episode, what was already a hilariously original cartoon series rose to the upper echelons of animated television. The added complexity of the alternate dimension Ricks and Mortys following the brutal cold open really elevated this episode above everything that came before. Even the solid finale couldn't compare. All that, plus the awesome closing tease to the tune of Blonde Redhead's For the Damaged Coda made for one of the most effective moments on television this past season.
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I'd have gone with "Rick Potion #9" but yeah, leaving off Rick and Morty entirely is a huge oversight. I guess they might have decided there was only room for one Dan Harmon show and went with Community, but that's pretty inside-baseball.
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Community had a six season? I thought that it was canceled? Maybe it's just my computer.
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The Grove was by far the most shocking episode of TV I've ever witnessed. Hannibal's Mizumono was as shocking as The Red Wedding but in a different way than The Grove. It was one of those what would you do type of situation, and the outcome was bone chilling and scared me for life.
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I know, the Mountain/Viper and others were shocking but you expect bad things in fights but involving kids is usually a no no. I think people just couldnt believe what Carol had to do.
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Wish the Parks and Rec season finale made the list but all-in-all a solid list. Ozymandias was probably the best thing to happen on TV all year while How Your Mother Met Me could have served as a two-parter for HIMYM as it felt a bit rushed but was definitely a rare good episode from Season 9. Anyone who voted for the HIMYM finale in the poll must be on crack.

Fargo its tough to pick because every episode was so good while Boardwalk remains as one of the more under rated shows on TV and that finale was classic. That Walking Dead episode was also a rare very good one on an otherwise mediocre season.
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TV.com - What is going on?? Double's of the same article on the home page plus Big Brother??? WTF? You could've easily put two community posts up there that would get way more hits then two of the same story and reality show drivel. Some of the community writers are posting brilliant stuff that goes unnoticed because it doesn't get promoted while you guys put up pointless articles. Sorry but it's true. Especially since it's summer and not much is happening on the TV landscape, you could really cut the contributors who don't get payed (but spend hours writing) some slack.

I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I just think this reflects badly on the site.


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OK I take that back. I see what you mean about the top of the page. I guess they need a bigger budget for the whole set up.

I know in talking to staff - they really have been struggling to replace Pat. It sounds like they lost him but haven't been given a chance to hire someone to replace him or at least a vouple more warm bodies to help.

I am starting to feel more anger towards CBS Interactive. I mean you have a site that has the name TV.COM! This could be the goto for all things television. Yet everything has been such a mess - so much so - Grumpy wrote what he wrote. This could be so awesome here. I get that awful feeling of wasted opportunity. Your point is so well made - all this talented free labor posting stories and they don't even get featured in a timely way. Dump most of the staff writers and let the Community contribute more to the site. Use the money they give writers and give this site top notch technical and editorial staffs.

I suppose if it was this easy, they would have done it.
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I don't think they should lose the staff writers. In my opinion some of them (TIm, Cory, Price and more) are one of the few good things about TV.com. The other is the show directory and episode guide which is great.

But the website itself is dire and so is the front page organisation. And mods seem to pick on people (I've already had a conversation with one writer about all my posts are review being deleted apparently by a mod for no reason). Thank goodness I had not spent time writing any articles which would have gone as well.

What this website needs is more time, money and people put into managing it.

On the writing front, one thing I would like to see is less show favouritism. I love Tim's articles, but things like episode reviews for Revolution when it was not a good show seem a waste of talent to me, when other good shows get no love at all.
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You know how we always get in trouble for linking (or posting) every show we mention in an article? Yet, this one is linked to all of the ones mentioned. :-/
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Difference between Staff and User contributors. That and no group in a Community would probably complain or call this article "Spam" like the Blacklist ladies did to mine.
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so...wait. your idea is to ditch the staff writers, rely on unpaid users to generate stories, and keep the ads? ....are you an entertainment weekly executive..........??? you're annoyed you don't get featured, but you would be happy to perform free labor to help a corporation's bottom line? mmmmmmmmmmmmmm capitalism at its finest!

...nevermind that commenting over and over again is just free labor, too. ...crap.
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If you were a business, wouldn't you accept free labor?
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thank you for breaking it down to the basics for some people;-)
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You're picking something very relevant up, it's true, for the corporation it would be a dream to only have technical staff and all the content is produced for free by the communities... but then it wouldn't be tv.com anymore and fewer clicks means less money for the corporation and then they'll shut it down. Why fewer clicks? Because the biggest buzz is still created by staff articles covering the most beloved shows, it is what it is.
But only this year so far, I missed professional coverage of several good shows, like Davinci's Demons, FDTD, Salem, Penny Dreadful to name a few. Plus the outrage of several seasoned members, contributing members, about technical chaos and insufficient maintenance...
For me personally, it's not that of a big deal, I'm a patient and humble guy, but spending a little more to hire 2-3 ADDITIONAL writers to cover more shows and to give the current writers more space to pick "their" shows and so that they can give all for those shows, resulting in more clicks , better ads and subsequently more money for everyone! The communities will grow too, especially with more engaging staff members in the communities and a motivated, well paid technical staff to make the experience of the readers and the contributers as smooth as possible - and everyone is happy.
I think you missed a little the point, and although your view on the tendency is accurate, I don't see a solution in your comment either.
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@Vicky8675309: I don't think that the majority of the members yet alone the occasional guests search for a writer.
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I discovered this site when searching for info on a tv show and not by searching for some writer.

I've read stuff in the communities and in the comments on both community and non-community articles/reviews that do and would continue to draw me back to this site. I do like many of the "official" articles/reviews but wish there was more variety.
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No sir. I see it. It just doesn't matter to me.

And it is not work if you enjoy it.
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Actually I think it is you who are missing the point.

You and I have different views on why people come here and sometimes contribute. As much as I can be an ass to Staff, I love this place and I genuinely like the people here. I love the sense of Community with all the users who write posts and comment on the ones we post. If I were a smart man, jenny, I would start my own site to compete with a million others in the entertainment industry, right? C'Mon. This is a place to read about TV - but for others it is a chance to write creatively and have people read what we write.

CBS Interactive and TV.Com handle the business end, they make the money. I get to be creative and hang with people I have grown to like a whole lot. And I already like my career - i don't care to run an entertainment site. That said - those of us who come here care about the site, even though we don't always show it in the most diplomatic of ways. We want to see it thrive.

They make money and employee people. I get to write and make friends. I am fine with that.
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yep, you don't see it. i'm out. enjoy your free work. (and it is work.)
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I know it sounds like you'd be cheated out of professional writing - but if you read some of the work the guys and gals do in the community - a ton of it is well done and very entertaining. From experience - it can take 4-6 hours to do a good photo recap. There is a lot of effort in there. Don't underestimate how good a User-based entertainment site could be.

Its not like you pay for access. And the ads are hardly intrusive.
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@WindUpRobot

I mean if you call it "work" I guess the answer is YES. Look under my username and see how much I have submitted here. I am only one of several - most of whom are much better at this than I am.

I work 50 hours a week and write here as a hobby. I enjoy covering shows I like. They don't have the staff to cover them all here (I recapped Almost Human most of the season, Believe ALL season). A bunch of us do this during off hours. Trust me - I am hardly alone.
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Do you have any idea how much effort a batch of community contributors here put in? Do you know how much content used to be promoted daily and how much that number has dropped due to TV.com being left short staffed? Well I do. I am in contact with a group of us that submit several things a week here (or used to). There is a ton of potential here for user driven content. The old boss here even mentioned it as something they wanted to increase substantially. I was bringing up an idea in play that was told to me by the guy who used to run a chunk of this site.

I never intended to imply fire them all. Actually none would be fine with me. That was an idiotic statement I made. But at one time, you could see the site going in that direction. I can't see it anymore, which I think is a shame.
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@WindUpRobot my point is that you are happy to do do all this (apparently quality) content for free on a corporately-owned website. instead of running a site yourself and/or with friends where at least the only person making money is your domain register

I understand what you're saying and thinking, but the truth is different. There is of course, just on my/our personal level, a trade off. TV.com has a huge number of visitors, has a lot more professional writers, has communities, lots of interesting people to talk and discuss with and all that for nothing. The platform is available. It even gets better when you post something, because the number of comments, replies, people pm'ing you etc. grows and the discussions get much better. I now know people from all over the world I did not know before. And there are some fine people amongst them (staff included). Having your own website you will never be able to make that work.

So, we invest and get a lot back.

If you look at it from your point: we are helping a multinational to make more money, you are also right. Because making more money means more money available for the site and an even better platform for me to post, discuss and meet people.

So you remark: if you don't see, or want to see, why this is is a bad thing, then i can't help you. is out of place and even a bit pedantic as far as I'm concerned. We do see it and even embrace it.
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bro, i don't care about the quality of the content. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beside the point. my point is that you are happy to do do all this (apparently quality) content for free on a corporately-owned website. instead of running a site yourself and/or with friends where at least the only person making money is your domain register and site host provided you don't set it up yourself. if you don't see, or want to see, why this is is a bad thing, then i can't help you.

and the reason we don't pay for access is because we're the thing being sold. would we pay only to be bombarded wi...oh, nevermind. american tv has that covered.
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so................yes, you'd like to do more unpaid work for a major media company. the rest of that is just window dressing
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Yes, the correct answer is definitely for several hardworking people to lose their jobs.
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@thekaitling

LOL. Seems to be happening a little too often lately. I need to start using my built in brain editor and slow my damn fingers down. It never looks as good on the page as it does in your head at the time.
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That is the story of my life.
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Your other comment was funny! This one, from an employee, was just pouring fuel on the fire.
Not totally relevant but it still made me this of:


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Hmm. Can't make little icon hearts on here. It becomes an ampersand.

Note to self...
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That is absolutely not what one should aim at. As far as I know, there are only two writers with a permanent position (next to the editor position(s)) and in a site that wants to attract so many readers, that isn't that much. We need people with permanent positions as they are the ones we know for sure that they will be able to write posts.

Maybe the people from TVGuide have permanent positions, don't know, but let's hope they will help in developing the site.
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Unfortunately businesses need to priorities how the $ is spent. It is sad but I see it everywhere and understand why businesses sometimes need to do it
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@WindUpRobot
if redirecting this site to tvguide is the best way to prioritize, then the data supporting that being a priority would be interesting to see. I just checked out tvguide.com and thought it was boring. If this site just redirected people to tvguide then I would just go to IMDb which has reviews and forums of all tv shows (or most tv shows). Another option is The AV Club which seems ok--much better than tvguide.

Currently I like tv.com the best but it needs some improvement (from a user standpoint) and it sounds like they do not have enough appropriate staff for the communities which was what this site's focus was on (however they are having difficulties meeting the demands/needs of the communities and maintaining them).

The site should do whatever is best for its goals. Ultimately the goal is profit and they must of thought the addition of the communities would affect that goal positively. They really pushed the communities and spent time and money developing them. If they help achieve the target profits then great. If not then improve them or, in necessary, get rid of them. I would miss them but I don't blame a business for doing what it needs to do to stay afloat.

tvguide.com really isn't very interesting imo

I love capitalism;-)
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@WindUpRobot I see where you're going, but I don't believe it's the best way to go. One being that TVGuide.com is a completely different site then TV.com and aimed at different people. I have been there a few times to see what they're doing and I personally will never visit it voluntarily any more and I will never put one minute of free work into that site.

The people visiting TV.com are interested in reviews, comments, talking about episodes, discussions etc. and they will not be able to find it in that way on TVGuide. It is very obvious that TVGuide gets more money for the big guys, or at least it had more money invested before GBSI bought them last year. The idea is that TV.com will profit from what TVGuide brings to the collaboration and we now can see posts by TVguide writers. Some are pretty good, but most have been on the TVGuide tabloid format that most TV.com members are not really interested in.

It probably will have been part of the plan all along: some TV.com staff to new jobs within CBS and TVguide people taking over. But until now we have only seen TVGuide writers and support staff is very much understaffed. I have not heard about any additions from the TVGuide side. They also have to deal with (and that is purely my personal opinion), an IT system supporting the site that is so outdated and bugged and 80% of their time goes into keeping it working. As a former board member responsible for IT, I have seen situations like this before.

It isn't different in this company then in any other. They will have to invest before they can get anything out of it. If they do not invest in getting a better IT framework for the site, it will break down some day and automatically will happen what you say: redirect to TVGuide.

I hope it won't happen.
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best way to prioritize considering cbs now owns two tv sites: shut down tv.com and use the url to re-direct to tvguide.com. way more economical, and the latter is way more of a brand.

i mean, all idea are on the table while we're pretending to be business executives who have lots of spreadsheets in front of us about website metrics and budgets, right?
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No OF COURSE NOT! In a perfect world, the answer is to hire more people. But if your budget is squeezed, then that doesn't look possible. I wouldn't want anyone to lose jobs. My point is - I wish the people that control the money would see what a great site this could be and invest in it. When you can't even take advantage of all the people who give up spare time to try to contribute here because what they spend hours working on never sees promotion - then an opportunity is missed.

I regret how I worded that. Let's not get antagonistic (again). What I meant was - maybe the site could focus funds to take more advantage of user contributions.

Then again, If I was smart enough to run a business, than I would be. Just seems a shame to see the slide we've seen lately.
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We REALLY REALLY like this article. (Mistakes sometimes happen when programming doesn't work properly. Thanks for bringing it our attention!)
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Lol....Thanks for clarifying Kaitlin. Boy oh boy. It seems I have thrown fuel on a fire that's been burning for months. Whoops. Didn't even consider that it was a technical issue.

Look, we're just a bunch of angry husbands and wives who can't handle when our shared, cheating and lying spouse that we are somehow still deeply in love with, starts to ignore us. But I get it, it's hard when you're married to 10'000+ people. ;-) It's kinda like Big Love andwe're just a bunch of passionate polygamists.
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Please check your PMs Mirela. YOu have to see something before you crash tonight.
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Sorry, crashed before I saw this but will check it out now. Is it a certain episode of one of your favourite shows?
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MmmHmmm

We have talked this out! A Human Reaction is up now:

Farscape: A Human Reaction
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And to add to that - the people I talk to on this site are MORE interested in what the Community is writing about than the staff stories. Just being honest, guys.
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Oh stop it, you just want to run this site! That's what's going on here! You attention whore. Shame on you and your 12hours of really good unpaid work every single day. :-P
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I prefer Hooooor (Whore, but more "huh" in the H and hold that "Ooooo")

6 hours of really good unpaid work and 6 hours of fixing all mistakes. It is good I don't sleep.
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I just saw a few new Community posts were promoted (finally). But we had my 24 one Tuesday around 3PM EST, and that sucker sat in the catbird seat for a while. I loved it, of course, but I was wondering how many COmmunity posts were sitting there waiting to be promoted. As sad as I am my newest Farscape recap wasn't promoted - I am glad to see @Klotensen and @Rolamb on the front page now.

I have to believe Staff content and Community content is handled by different people. One side really needs to hire some help. Great point, MIrela.

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Yes! I felt like punching that 24 Gif party several times!
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Punch the GIF party and Jack does this:



Watch yourself, Missy!
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Damn it Chloe!!!
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Yes, it took more time than usually, but after Vicky and me sent some pms it worked to get it promoted.
Sometimes, I guess, it's hard to pick which one gets promoted, I'd give reviews and recaps of currently airing shows a preference, IDK.
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I think it is a "skeleton crew" right now and especially on weekends. Several non-writer employees left and haven't been replace to my knowledge. I wonder if those positions where "downsized" or if they are just trying to find decent employees to fill those positions (if those positions still exist). Anyway, they use to find the posts to promote on their own but I don't think they have the resources they use to have. Hopefully the positions are still open and they are just looking for the right fit. Even better would be they have been filled but are currently in "training".
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That would be nice.
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I don't have a problem dropping Editorial or Debbie a note (like I did with yours, Klotensen) but it would be nice if we didn't have to. IT would take 2 minutes to see how hard you worked on that recap and that it was worthy for promotion.

I always feel shitty PMing Debbie about wanting a story promoted.
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Me too! Especially my own...
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In one of her replies on Grumpy's post, Jessica said that Gathard is the one doing all the community promotions with the TVcom_editiorial account. It has changed since Pat left. Before that, there were a number of people using that account, from the editor side and the support side (as Jen told me once). As Jessica told us, the tasks have newly been divided and obviously the editor side of staff and most of supporting are not allowed to do so any more. I guess that within the 'more with less' approach, their priorities has been made very clear to them.

Gathard needs the time to look at all the community posts and decide what to promote and as @Vicky8675309 says, she definitively is in the part of the company where people have more work since the last changes. I know she looks at her pm's when possible, but when there is a lot going on, promoting will understandably not be her priority. So days might go by before she gets the information about those posts that might be promoted.

I we would like put the blame for how the process is run no, we definitely should look at the people who made TV.com do more with less lately and had put so much pressure on staff.
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IIn sharing Pms with @jessicakroeber and @gathard - I have a whole new appreciation for what they are up against. i wonder who is pushing the buttons behind the scenes, making the staffing decisions on what is a priority.

Misssing from all this is hat Mirela asked me to comment on - seeing some attention directed toward helping the Communities grow and encouraging user posts (I mean - it is FREE LABOR!). I feel awful for my answer to cut back on Staff writers - because you are all right in that professional writing is necessary to keep the clicks coming and the reputation high.

I just remember those long PMs with Pat about a new vision for the site that would really utilize those of us who love to contribute. I feel like Debbie and JEssica are having their hands tied and it is frustrating.
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I wonder if free lancers are more cost effective? Look at Price and he has a huge loyal following! He is very funny and I love reading his reviews since they make me feel good (laughing) even if he is making fun of a show (he does it with style and many of the community posts have a similar style that is so much fun to read). Also Andy's Spartacus review (really) and Noel's Hannibal reviews were great to read for the insight and if I disagreed it was still great to learn another's perspective without feeling "defensive" or "upset".
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"do more with less"
Unfortunately I see that everywhere and not just here! That is also why I have no issue with Gathard and hopefully the higher ups will provide her with the support that she needs. Otherwise she will burn out…..
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@klotensen

Sonya is all blowed up. Garza is making love to an assault rifle. Travis is bench pressing something, Lucas is creating anime pron visualizing that protector/Garza/Travis/Lucas orgy he thought was coming.
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Where's Liber8 when you need them?
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Gathard promoted klot's Salem review and responded to my pm requesting it to be promoted:-)
She seems good and I bet that her and her department are the overworked ones where the help is they really needed--not the writers but then I don't know their duties except to write x number of reviews/articles
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Masters of Sex deserves a place in the list.
and how about series premiere of The Bridge? it was great IMO
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This seems like an awfully diplomatic list. If we're being real, out of the top 20 best episodes of the entire television season, there probably shouldn't be more than 6-8 shows. True Detective and Game of Thrones by themselves should probably make up the majority of the top 10. Add in big time shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, The Americans, Orange is the New Black, etc and I have a hard time believing that in an objective world, there would be any room for the likes of Arrow, HIMYM, SHIELD and Sleepy Hollow.

As a means for an article and general discussion, I understand the "no more than one episode per show" qualifier. But hard not to think that that alone means it's not actually the best 20 episodes.
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Agreed, and I'm a fan of Arrow.
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no scandal?!
no teen wolf?

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Those are not in the same league as Breaking Bad, GoT, etc.
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scandal got that honorable mention thingy...which may be more than it deserved...? i didn't like this season too much
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i agree with doctor, they are not in the same league, but they deliver what they are supposed to in their genre and this in a brilliant way i think. (sorry, my english isn`t the best, you know what i mean.)
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Disappointed to not see Teen Wolf on this list!
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Nothing from Teen Wolf or The Originals?
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Those aren't actually good shows. The list is Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Person of Interest, Fargo, Hannibal, Orphan Black, mostly the best of TV.

No offense intended. I'm a fan of Arrow but it shouldn't be on this list either.
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omg Teen Wolf!! why not even an honorable mention and new girl gets one!
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Wow, this has just reminded me of so many amazing episodes from this year. True Detective blew my mind, GoT and The Good Wife were as enjoyable as ever. Finally caught up with The Walking Dead and loved (almost) every minute of it. I loved The Returned too, but I watched that the previous year, so it doesn't count. Annoyed to hear the second season won't be out till January (won't Victor have grown up by then?). It makes me so excited for September and makes me think that there are loads of programmes that I have missed out on and need to get watching or need to catch up on. So I'm seeing that I need to watch Breaking Bad (will borrow the box set from my mum as some point), The Americans, Ophan Black and Hannibal. Is the Arrow really worth going back and watching? I avoided it because I didn't want a replacement for my Arrow from Smallville, but time has passed now and I could be persuaded.
Anyway, thank you so much for this! Just seeing that still from True Detective sent shivers down my spine!
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Good list although I'd have included Silicon Valley's finale.
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I would have included The Originals' Farewell to Storyville episode. Considering that the Michaelsons spent the episode trapped in a cemetery, yelling, threatening, running away and stabbing each other, I still felt sympathy and rooted for all of them. They do love each other but Rebekah was right; they are all broken, that's why they have been hurting each other a thousand years. Daniel Gillies, Joseph Morgan and Claire Holt did a great job of conveying to the audience the anger, hurt, fear, desperation and regret that they felt that I could believe them as siblings in real life. It was just so heartbreaking that after watching the episode, I just wanted to be left alone, cry, call my siblings and apologize for not being a better sister.
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I posted this link on the site a while ago (and probably will do so again). It's a must for any television fan, it shows the IMDB rankings of an entire series episodes in graph form so that you can visually see how well each individual episode (or season) is received in comparison to the rest of the series. A great time waster, and a very helpful tool when reading lists like this.
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Awesome site, thanks! Although it is to be noted that the Breaking Bad episode that got the worst rating is "Fly" - arguably one of its most unique and defining episodes.
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That's the problem with all list/ rankings unfortunately. And I'm sorry to continue to be a pain, but 'Fly' would be my worst rated Breaking Bad episode. Such a frustrating bottle episode, but from what I gather that ep severely decides fans - you either love it or hate it.
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It appears it doesn't divide so much by numbers - those seem to be on the hatin' front - but by determination.
EW even put it at the very top of their 'All-Time-Best-Breaking-Bad-Episodes' ranking.
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Last fall I put it on my list of the best episodes of Breaking Bad. Fly is definitely the most divisive episode of Breaking Bad (and maybe possibly all of television).
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Awesome site. Thanks for posting the link again!
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I know Revenge isn't considered very good, but boy did that have a great season, so many memorable episodes/ moments. 'Exodus' paid off brilliantly, and 'Execution', what a crazy finale.
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I thought 'Erlkönig' was the best episode of Boardwalk's fourth season.

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While there are probably better episodes of Homeland - for me The Star was just heartbreaking and an episode of TV I'll never forget.
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Absolutely loved the very end of the episode. Who knows what the series will do in the future, but for me, that moment when Carrie's etched the star would have been the perfect ending to the series.
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Again, Hannibal's 'Mizumono' is the obvious choice for its pure shocking events, but I personally thought there were other episodes that were better.

'Yakimono' saw the release of Will from the asylum (a problem that plagued episodes earlier in the season), Miriam Lass' surprising return, and Chilton discovering Hannibal's true nature - too late. An all round thrilling episode. As was 'Naka-Choko' in the wake of Will's transgression by killing Randall Tier so begins his seduction of Hannibal, but Freddie gets too close...
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I disagree. With "Mizumono" every single story line and psychological tension culminated in a fantastic, mind-blowing way. Yes, it was the most shocking episode but it was also Hannibal's most daring, most touching and most beautiful (methinks) episode. Simply put, many of the show's strong suits coincided in the finale. Naturally, it wasn't the only good episode this season, but I do think it was the best - if only for Mads Mikkelsens face upon his realization of Will's betrayal.
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I feel like shock is for many people the criteria if an episode was good or not nowadays. Ratings on IMDb support that thought.
ex. The Wire not having one episode rated higher than a 9 while The Walking Dead has several episodes rated higher than a 9.
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True, and there are definitely episodes other than 'Mizumono' on this list whose nomination I would question based off that fact.

'Mizumono' at least, was an entirely shocking episode, but if Agent Ward hadn't turned out to be a Hydra agent in Agents of SHIELD's 'Turn, Turn, Turn', or if Joffery and Magarey had just gotten married in Game of Thrones 'The Lion and The Rose', I wonder what the chances would be that they'd be on this list?
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On any list, I think I would just write "Hannibal" and then drop the mic, walk off the stage.

IMHO
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Shocks tend to come from TV series breaking the rules or rejecting stereotypes. Shocks aren't a sign of quality, but they're a good indicator that the show has at least avoided playing it safe.

I'd guess that the vast majority of the "best episode" candidates that anybody came up with would feature a "defining event" that made them stand out from the usual format.

Also, regarding your GoT point - I'd argue that Joffrey was a villain from Season 1, that had pissed off everybody in Westeros. I'm not sure his death counts as a shock. It wouldn't have been shocking at all, it had happened less abruptly at the end of a sword. Yes, his death is the reason that episode 2 is so highly rated BUT every episode on this list would need to be replaced if you dropped the most dramatic plot point.
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Fargo was a brilliant season all round, and each week I found myself questioning whether each episode was better than the one that had proceeded it.

'Buridan's Ass' is the obvious choice, but to be honest I feel that I'd have to watch the series again to say which I enjoyed most. The pilot, 'The Crocodile's Dilemma' was great and obviously what sucked people in, but than there's also the penultimate episode, 'A Fox, a Rabbit, and a Cabbage', where the series maintained it's pedigree despite its potentially disorientating time jump.

It's hard to choose when a series is this good.
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What happened to Teen Wolf?
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Solid list. Of the series I watch, I tend to agree with the picks for best episodes.
'Ozymandias' was not just the best episode of Breaking Bad's last season, but the entire series.

Orange is the New Black's 'Tall Men With Feelings', The Walking Dead's 'The Grove', and True Detective's 'The Secret Fate of All Life' would be the best episodes of their respective series to date in my opinion.

How I Met Your Mother's 'How Your Mother Met Me' was definitely a standout in an otherwise disappointing season.
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Isn't, in a way, 'Mizunomo' Hannibal's 'Ozymandias'?
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At this stage of the series, yes, but at the very least there will be another season of story, and while 'Minunomo' will undoubtedly play a defining role in how the series progresses, it also means that from this point forward the series has also changed what it's about, completely defining itself and continuing, which was not something Breaking Bad ever did.
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I look at Ozymandias as the episode that Vince Gilligan knew he was going to make since the pilot. Breaking Bad is tough though because there are often episode couplets that tie in so closely to eachother, where the impact of one is dependent on the other. Ozy wouldn't have been what it was without the amazing To'hajiilee sparking the conflict. Half Measures and Full Measure comes to mind too. I would definitely give those two episode pairs the honor for series' best though.
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Yes! Someone who says his main character will go from loser to Scarface will always have that moment in mind when it all comes crumbling down.
Series-best is a decision I'm not yet ready to make. Season 2 definitely would send a few contenders (still the critic-in-me's absolute favorite season).
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This list is not complete and utter bullshit if it does not contain any episode of Teenwolf... I can count a couple that would make the list
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Breaking Bad for most innovative alternative utilization of a lawn sprinkler- to kill Nazis. Thank you suburbia!
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Orphan black S2, and teen wolf S3b had many many epic episodes that had me on the edge of my seat screaming at the tv or crying into a heap. I agree once SHEILD "turn, turn, turn" episode aired and made Ward into this hot sexy complex dark man the series took a turn, turn, turn for the better.
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eh...for fannish, personal reason.... blue bird, episode 22 of season 6 of the mentalist.
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That is an incredible list.
It is hard to believe that there has been so much great TV in a single season.

Breaking Bad, Fargo, Hannibal, Person of Interest, True Detective...
Where the H**l is American Horror Story!?!

There has been a lot of great TV this season. In fact it is the best overall season I can remember.

But I have to give it American Horror Story S3e04: Coven, Fearful Pranks Ensue.
Though Person of Interest s3e10: The Devil's Share is a close second.
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For the shows I watch, I pretty much agree with all of these, save Game of Thrones. Yes, it was great having so many people together for the Purple Wedding and yes, the outcome of the episode was fantastic, but I've gotta give it to Tyrion's monologue in the Laws of Gods and Men, with his rampage in The Children a close second.
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I really liked the "Smash the Beetles" monologue, frankly. "Mountain and the Viper" all the way!
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Well, my main question is where the heck do you get the titles of the episodes?
When you watch them when broadcast, the titles are never shown.
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Just search on Google/Wikipedia "list of [show's name] episodes"
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TV.com...
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Umm, the Internet?
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wut?
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"Just look at the flowers Lizzie" printed The Grove in my memory as one of the all time best TV hours of my life.

And I'll take Game of Thrones's The Rose and The Lion, if only because of the massive spoiler Cersei throws in the middle of the wedding, that neither Jaime nor Brienne have figured out just yet.

You can just tell Brienne was about to deny it when it hits her right then and there. Cersei not only changed the character and her journey, but also the journey of those she leaves behind and travels with as well. And that's before adding the marvelous display of potential suspects forv Joffrey's murder, none of which questioned by Cersei, despite her previously mentioned deduction skills.

As of Sleepy Hollow & Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, I agree but FZZT shall always remain my favorite because of Fitz & Simmons.
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Great call ionee

YOu have to be counting down the minutes to the Fitz Simmons story continuing. You and @Mey
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I like FZZT for exactly the same reason.
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We've had to stop using the phrase "Look at the flowers" in our house. Our 9-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, found out about it (we've never called her "Lizzie", but she's not stupid). That said, my husband and I quite literally jumped up and were screaming when that happened. Talk about breaking taboos!
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I hate to be a complaint pants because so many of my favorites shows made the list, but come one guys...

American Horror Story: Fearful Pranks Ensue or Burn, Witch! Burn
Shameless: Iron City or Emily
Sons Of Anarchy: A Mother's Work (I could not get that final 5 minutes out of my head! I couldn't even watch it again.)
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Continuum's finale
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Really? Personally I liked it. But some die hards were really upset with it @Mirelapilipo and others.
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Missed the cut off, I suppose.
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This list needs three more episodes:
  • Shameless, Iron City (s4 e6)
  • Masters of Sex, Catherine (s1 e5)
  • Veep, Debate (s3 e8)
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Generally flawed article again from the illustrious tv.com writers... You offer one synopsis of a show, then list a bunch of other also-ran episodes, then ask people to vote which was the best. Who has time to look up the highlights of other episodes? Who even knows what the titles of episodes even are?

A better way would have been to offer all the choices you would have people vote for, leave the voting out all together, or write a different article for each show. Yet another stupid rookie mistake. Used to love this site, but I think I'm going to have to find another.
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Staff
Who has time to look up the highlights of other episodes?

Who has time to write blurbs for 80-100 different episodes from this past season? Or 20 different articles because there were 20 different shows? I understand your frustration, but all of our show pages have episode guides, like this one for Game of Thrones, for instance. Episode titles are in every one of our reviews, too. They're quite easy to find.
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Well aware of that, but you add anywhere from 4-6 other eps, you're supposed to look up each one so you can vote? It's just a flawed premise. You summarize the best episode, then ask people to vote for which one they think is the best.
And it's summer, a series of the best episodes of the best shows with perhaps 20 or so articles is exactly what good sites do.
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Since when do you need to look up anything to vote? No one's forcing you. To look it up or to vote. If you don't even remeber the name of an episode you clearly didn't like it that much. This is a best of the best list. You vote for the ones that blew you away so much that you can't get them out of your head. It's as simple as that.
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I like Tv.com but I do agree that you can't expect people to remember (or even know) every episode title.

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You could have looked up the highlights of other episodes in the time you took to write this lame comment
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Always stuns me a little when people stand up for mediocrity
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I'm definitely missing a Vikings episode and the episode of Sherlock where he gives the wedding speech should be in the top20 imho...
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I have seen Vikings shown in this period, I believe it should listed too.
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