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

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

When ‘You’re the Worst’ Took a Hard Look at Marriage

One of the series' most unnerving and enlightening episodes, "LCD Soundsystem" sees Gretchen stalk a seemingly picture-perfect married couple. Read More

“Bad Blood” is ‘The X-Files’ Operating at Peak Silliness

Scully falling for a buck-toothed sheriff played by Luke Wilson? Mulder singing the Shaft theme song? That's right, we're revisiting… Read More

One of the Best ‘Mad Men’ Episodes is All About the Women

Season 5's "The Other Woman" offers a pivotal moment of character development for Joan, one that's deeply rooted in the… Read More

‘The Leftovers’ and the Many Miracles of “I Live Here Now”

The profound, emotionally devastating series closed out its second season with an all-time-great hour of television. Read More