Episodes

Episodes is a column in which senior contributor Valerie Ettenhofer digs into the singular chapters of television that make the medium great.

If you’re new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these:

Explore the entire Episodes archive below

Better Call Saul Finale Gone

The Heartfelt Long Con of ‘Better Call Saul’

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The story of a sleazy lawyer’s descent into amorality pulled off one of the most meaningful series finales in recent history by becoming the one thing none of us dared hope for: a redemption story.

M*A*S*H: Sometimes You Hear The Bullet

One Early M*A*S*H Episode Proved That Sitcoms Can Break Our Hearts

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The season one M*A*S*H episode “Sometimes You Hear the Bullet” revealed the show’s bleeding heart, and gave voice to profound topics it would keep returning to throughout its storied run.

House Bus Crash Episode

Revisiting The ‘House’ Bus Crash That Shocked Viewers

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The penultimate episode of House’s fourth season sees the death wish-chasing doctor unravel the shocking mystery of his own head injury.

Gilmore Girls They Shoot Gilmores Dont They

Once Upon a Time, ‘Gilmore Girls’ Danced the Night Away

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In season three’s “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” Rory and Lorelai get in over their heads at a 24-hour dance marathon.

Jessica Jones in Aka Smile

Let’s Revisit That Cathartic ‘Jessica Jones’ Showdown

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Jessica Jones’ first season is a brutal and powerful look at intimate partner violence that ends stronger than ever.

A Dark Quiet Death

Love and Creativity Die “A Dark Quiet Death” in Mythic Quest’s Standalone Episode

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The tech comedy’s best episode is a decades-spanning story about selling out, breaking up, and making art.

Sharp Objects Amy Adams

How ‘Sharp Objects’ Ended with a Perfect Dose of Poison

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Prestige mystery series don’t get much darker than ‘Sharp Objects,’ and ‘Sharp Objects’ doesn’t get much better than its sickening finale.

Golden Girls Sick And Tired

What the ‘Golden Girls’ Chronic Illness Episode Means to Me

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Dorothy’s traumatic and frustrating journey through the medical system hits close to home for people who live with chronic illnesses, like our TV critic Valerie Ettenhofer.

Flight Of The Conchords Mugged

Remember When the Flight of the Conchords Got “Mugged”?

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HBO’s short-lived musical series was at its best when the protagonists wandered naively into strange situations, like in this Season 1 episode.