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

Jessica Jones in Aka Smile

Let’s Revisit That Cathartic ‘Jessica Jones’ Showdown

By   

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

By   

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

By   

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

By   

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”?

By   

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

True Detective Who Goes There

Re-entering the Void with the Best Episode of ‘True Detective’

By   

The surreal HBO series’ first-season midpoint — “Who Goes There?” — careens into epically cinematic chaos.

Halt And Catch Fire Ten Of Swords

‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Reinvented Itself Until The Very End

By   

The series about the early days of the tech industry was in love with reinvention, and its series finale, “Ten of Swords,” made us love it too.

Fleabag Season 2 Episode4 Waller-Bridge

The Flashback Episode That Transformed ‘Fleabag’

By   

The fourth episode of Series 2 is sexy, sad, and the emotional key to the whole show.

Chernobyl Episode 1

On the Particular Devastation of the ‘Chernobyl’ Premiere

By   

For our Episodes column, we re-examine “1:23:45”, the bleak, fantastic first installment of HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ miniseries.