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

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

Dorothy's traumatic and frustrating journey through the medical system hits close to home for people who live with chronic illnesses,… Read More

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

HBO's short-lived musical series was at its best when the protagonists wandered naively into strange situations, like in this Season… Read More

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

The surreal HBO series' first-season midpoint -- "Who Goes There?" -- careens into epically cinematic chaos. Read More

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

The series about the early days of the tech industry was in love with reinvention, and its series finale, "Ten… Read More

The Flashback Episode That Transformed ‘Fleabag’

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

On the Particular Devastation of the ‘Chernobyl’ Premiere

For our Episodes column, we re-examine "1:23:45", the bleak, fantastic first installment of HBO's 'Chernobyl' miniseries. Read More

Revisiting the ‘Game Of Thrones’ Pilot 10 Years Later

Before it was a worldwide phenomenon, it was just a new HBO show with a hell of a good hook. Read More

How ‘Orphan Black’ Hits the Ground Running with “Natural Selection”

"Natural Selection" introduces viewers to the series' fast-paced, thrilling world, as well as to the gift that keeps on giving:… Read More

‘Justified’ and the Battle of “Bloody Harlan”

Justified's second season finale, "Bloody Harlan," is a master class in acting, directing, writing, and American myth-making. Read More