What were some of the best TV episodes, scenes, or moments of 2017? Read further to find out…
Runner-Up: the “Vice Principals” series finale. Even if you figured out who Neal Gamby’s real shooter was, you likely didn’t see a wedding dress, a car crash, and a tiger mauling coming.
10. “Longmire”‘s Series Finale…A show no one respects, and most critics would honestly laugh at if they saw it placed on any “Best” lists, but that served up one of the year’s most satisfying series finales. It gave fans everything they could’ve wanted.
9. “Manhunt: Unabomber”‘s sixth episode “Ted”…I wouldn’t have thought Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski could be a remotely sympathetic figure, but this episode dares to show us his origins, his abuses (according to this, Ted was experimented on as part of the CIA’s infamous MK-Ultra program), and his worldview. What emerges is a tragically lonely figure who may have been born a century too late.
8. “American Gods” finally reveals who Mr. Wednesday is…I found this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book mostly unsatisfying, but the moment Ian McShane’s tricky, fascinating Mr. Wednesday reveals himself to be Odin in the finale was fantastic. Also, special props to that montage of Yetide Badaki’s Bilquis absorbing men and women through her vagina.
7. “Game of Thrones” finally tears down that damn wall…The penultimate season of “Game” might have been a largely predictable snooze (even Littlefinger’s death you could see coming a mile away, plus the show is now seriously lacking in ambiguous characters), but the season’s final scene gave us that damn wall being blasted to bits.
6. “House of Card”‘s Claire Underwood proves she’s on top…Claire poisoning her blackmailing lover Tom Yates right before she has sex with him by a roaring fire proves she may be ready to succeed Kevin Spacey’s Francis Underwood after all.
5. “Halt and Catch Fire”‘s second episode…The second episode of the fourth and final season was the series’s emotional highlight, largely featuring Joe and Cameron talking on the phone. The two shared their thoughts, secrets, and desires and it’s the most literal and best example of the series’s hope that technology can connect us. Towards the end of the episode, when Joe and Cameron met face-to-face it was the most romantic scene of the year.
4. “Glow”‘s old-fashioned season finale face-off…It’s the Ruskies vs. American wholesomeness in a battle the creators only thought would be a throwback. Special props to an-against type Alison Brie for portraying Zoya the Destroyer, the ultimate Soviet villainess.
3. “Better Call Saul”‘s Jimmy finally bests his loathsome brother Chuck…Let’s be honest and admit that Chuck is terrible, mental illness or no, driven by an almost pathological hatred of his brother Jimmy (who may have been favored by his parents but would still drop everything to come take care of his brother, at a moment’s notice). When Jimmy finally got Chuck to admit–in a court of law–that his feelings for Jimmy are driven by hatred more than the “nobility of the law” it was a moment of sad triumph.
2. “The Mindy Project”‘s Morgan and Tamera Wedding…”Mindy” viewers likely gave up on Mindy a while ago (perhaps even before she married and divorced a male nurse in the span of two episodes) but Morgan and Tamera’s wedding, with a special choreographed dance (who knew Morgan had such moves?) gave us what we came for.
1. “Mr. Robot”‘s fifth episode…Which unfolds in mesmerizing long takes (it wasn’t really one-take but is replicated to look like one), between an impending cyber-attack Elliot is desperate to stop and a protest outside by people that have no idea they’re being manipulated by the exact shot callers that have nearly ruined their lives.
1. “Nathan For You”‘s fourth season finale “Finding Frances”…This extended episode is the perfect capper for a fantastic season four, an episode that even people who don’t ordinarily like this series may love. It involves Nathan trying to help a casual acquaintance (a Bill Gates impersonator he had hired in a previous season) find a long lost love, and it is equal parts affecting, mysterious, remorseful, hopeful, and hilarious. Outstanding