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07 August 2006 @ 03:15 pm
Choose Your Fifteen  
I don't know where this idea came from, but it just popped into my head last night and I thought it might be fun to list five favorite eps from three different series with a reason why you picked those five. And then anyone who responds choose one of those shows and pick two different ones and list your fave five of each and so on and so forth. I'm not sure how many (if any) will respond, but if a few people do this, more might join in and I think it would be a pretty cool read.

Anyhoo, my three shows are with the five episodes listed in chronological order ...

The X-Files

Ice - Despite being an early entry, this is still one of the best. Crackling with tension, both plot-wise and sexual (between Mulder and Scully), this one is rife with the paranoia, intelligence and faith that made XF a classic.

Duane Barry/Ascension - I've included the two-parter as one because I'm looking at the whole arc. What doesn't this episode have? Mulderangst!, UST galore, strong support from a recently introduced Ratboy, excellent performances all-around, tight writing and an incredible sense of awe.

Jose Chung's From Outer Space - While I adore just about everything Darin Morgan wrote, this one, by far, remains my favorite. It has humor galore (hello, Mulder's girly scream! Classic!), interesting guest starts (Alex Trebek!), weirdness pervading, and a closer that kicks you in the pants with a pathos that reveals a depth to the episode that the smoking alien into the intro never hinted at. Brilliant.

Paper Hearts - I will always adore this episode. Of all of the superb Mulder-centric eps, this remains my favorite. It was so strong, so heart-breaking, so unhappy, yet so well-written, so well-acted and Vince Gilligan officially became my co-tv writer God (Darin previously held the title alone).

How The Ghosts Stole Christmas - Just lovely, albeit in a grisly, twisted way, but hey this is The X-Files. I loved Scully, I loved Mulder, I loved Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner, loved the house, the dialogue, the direction, the ending. Just a sweet (if sick) episode.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Pack - I'm in the minority in that my fave character was Xander and my ship of choice was Buffy/Xander and this episode exemplifed why. Nicholas Brendon is awesome, bad-ass and sexy as hell and he and SMG have amazing chemistry. This was the episode that made me realize just how good BtVS could be.

Prophecy Girl - And this one cinched it. I adore Buffy's speech when she cries that she just wants to be a girl and yet, when push comes to shove, the Chosen does what she has to do and it was an awesome moment indeed.

Surprise/Innocence - I may not have been a B/A fan, but I appreciated the epic beauty of their story (the first two seasons anyway -- "Becoming I/II" just missed the list). It was this two-parter that got my sister hooked on the show after I forced her to watch it. The pathos of the story was so beautifully fucked up and delivered so wonderfully. It showed that BtVS just wasn't about "the vampire slayer" but also about the sixteen year old girl and it broke my heart.

Passion - No, this isn't on the list just because Buffy and Xander are dancing in the beginning, but it helps! Excellent use of voiceover, excellent death of a secondary, but loved character, excellent follow-up offering proof of Angelus' evil. Giles following those roses is still one of the most devastating moments. Gah!

Hush - How an episode with practically no dialogue can be so awesome, one can only thank the wonderful performances and direction. Creepy, unsettling, with a small dose of humor, this episode was just so damn good.

Veronica Mars

Pilot - Not only one of the best VM episodes, this remains one of the best episodes of television ever and one of the best Pilots ever produced. It showcases a complex storyline that includes several characters, a multitude of flashbacks and delivers all of the above in a steady pace that never flags and never fails to hold interest. The episode is filled with strong performances and snappy dialogue that can bite as easily as it can break a heart, wring tears as easily as bring on the laughs.

An Echolls Family Christmas - Arguably, the best episode that VM has ever produced. Witty, charming and heartbreaking, one can find all of the hallmarks of what makes VM such a stellar show. Effortlessly interweaving comedy and drama, it's a wonderful hour of television (and more than any other episode before, it showcased the chemistry of Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring and the potential of Logan and Veronica as a pairing).

Ruskie Business - Even with one of the worst guest starring performances (I'm looking at you, Willow!), this episode is so magnificent in every other aspect that the one negative is so neglible it just does not effect my opinion. There is simply just a lovely symmetry to every moment. So many puzzles pieces that intersect and fit beautifully lead to a knock-out of an ending. This one is as close to perfection as the show gets and is the episode that made VM die-hard, must-see, obsess-much? TV for me.

Plan B - Arguably the best episode of season two, this ep features the overall brilliance of the cast, the entwining of stories with threads pulled from the season opener on into a brilliant tapestry. We have some witty, wonderful dialogue, incredible, evocative direction by John Kretchmer and some character actions and insights that literally blow viewers away. Dark secrets are hinted at, character motivation is questioned and explored and oh, then there's that dance.

I Am God - I loved the direction of the dream sequences, the twists and turns of that dialogue effecting Veronica outside of dreams and vice versa, the pairing of Logan and Wallace was awesome! Pieces fit nicely together and we got to see Meg again! I was just left with a WOW! feeling at the end, which didn't happen all that often in season two. It did here.

So anyone wanna play along?
Sally: msr otpmissmarch on August 7th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)
I'll bite. I love your choices but I won't repeat them.


1. Beyond the Sea. Gillian Anderson knocked my socks off, not to mention Brad Dourif. The jail scene when she confronts him is when I fell in love with that character.
2. Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose. Because I share your love for Darin Morgan episodes. I just love everything about it, and Peter Boyle was great and heartbreaking.
3. Small Potatoes. Did I mention the Darin Morgan love? He was just as good as Eddie Van Blundht(the H is silent) as he was as a writer. And Duchovny is hilarious. XF was as good as a comedy as a drama.
4. Bad Blood. Another funny Vince Gilligan episode with Luke Wilson and his amazing teeth, DD singing Shaft, Scully's great rant. Good times.
5. Folie a Deux. This is a great little later-season MOTW that I love. I always like stories focused on paranoia and people who are alone in seeing what's really going on. (See also, Angel's Jasmine arc) And then there's "You're my one in six billion." I love my old OTP.

1. Band Candy. Because nothing beats drunk Giles and Joyce.
2. Doppelgangland. I love early Willow, and I particularly love Vamp Willow. And we meet Anya, who's hilarious in this episode.
3. The Prom. I have to have a little drama in here too. Season 3 is my favorite season of Buffy and while I'm not a huge B/A shipper, I do get a little emotional at the ending, not to mention the Class Protector award and Xander paying for Cordelia's dress.
4. Fool for Love. My favorite Buffy/Spike interaction. I love the flashbacks of the four vamps, and the present day tension between Spike and Buffy. It's just a great episode and even better when watched back to back with the ATS episode Darla.
5. Once More With Feeling. Best episode ever. I'm a musical freak. There's no way I could *not* pick this one.

1. The Wrath of Con. The flashbacks between the four of them are so real and so sad and this episode made me care so much about who killed Lilly Kane.
2. The Girl Next Door. Because the motw is lame but the secondary story is funny and it has Mr. X and I love Logan/Weevil interaction almost as much as Logan/Veronica. And I love the scene with the motorcycle gang in the clothing store.
3. Clash of the Tritons. I think this is the episode where I knew I was head over heels in love with a new show. I was pretty sure after AEFC but this one cemented it. The scenes in the counselor's office were fascinating and this is where I *really* fell for Logan.
4. Weapons of Class Destruction. Because I'm a big sappy shipper and I squeed out loud. I was unspoiled and not really involved in VM fandom at the time, and wow, I never expected that so soon.
5. Look Who's Stalking. Big sappy shipper again. I can't leave this episode off. I just can't. I couldn't even go to sleep after watching it, I was so wired. I finally went to bed at 5 am, I think.

Sally: good griefmissmarch on August 7th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
And after I clicked post comment, I realized that I was supposed to pick two new shows. Oh well. That's what happens when I try and comment in a hurry. Plus, I liked your three choices.
Arabian: Pilotarabian on August 8th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
That's cool, maybe more people will play along and we'll get more shows thrown into the mix. :)
sweetumms33sweetumms33 on August 9th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
I have only loved two shows, Veronica Mars and Firefly.

"Our Mrs. Reynolds"~ My favorite "schmoopy" episode, it finally plays up the love between Mal and Inara. The little mystery/adventure of the episode is also hilarious, and is the first episode to really explain all of the characters well.
"War Stories"~ Very scary action packed plot, plus a great interaction between Mal and Wash who were my favorite characters. They are incredibly funny, snarky, and loveable all at once.
"Out of Gas"~ Explains the backstory of everyone in the crew, and its just funny and loveable. The introduction of Kaylee is just classic and perfect for her character

It's a great show, I love Joss Whedon, and its the reason I am going to start watching Buffy.

Veronica Mars
An Echolls Family Christmas: I know everyone already mentioned it, but this episode is the best. Veronica's interactions with all the poker players really fleshes out not only her character, but Duncan, Weevil and Logan's. The scenes between Logan and Veronica were when I realized they were meant to be, they are so compelling to watch. And watching Logan and Duncan fight then make-up was great
Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough: This was by far my favorite episode of the second season. I loved how many little things were revealed in the episode (Cassidy's weird side, Logan's desperation, Veronica's loneliness, her love for Weevil, Wallace's willingness to stick up for Jackie etc). And Ms. Hauser getting her just reward? Plus so many great one liners
Donut Run: This episode and the finale were the only times I actually liked Duncan. These Duncan's were interesting, and willing to do whatever was necessary for their loved ones. RT didn't flesh out Duncan enough, and this episode proves it. Yeah him and Veronica are annoying, but the expression on his face at the end when he is looking at his daughter? It made me cry.
Return of the Kane: I loved the contrast in this episode of Ducan and Logan's relationship with their fathers. This was a great episode for explaining how very differnt the '09ers lives were. Plus the ending scene, where Logan doesn't say anything, but just stares those belts? Every single person I have watched that scene with says the same thing, "Holy SHIT!" Logan got interesting from then on.
A Trip to the Dentist: By far the best episode of season 1. There were so many loose ends tied up, and the entire plot line was gripping. I loved the original explanation for Veronica's rape. It put it into this weird gray area, which was fascinating and creepy all at once. It also brought together so much of Veronica's knowledge from the whole season. The flashbacks were great, not so jarring that the viewer was confused. And the scene with Duncan was heartbreaking. And the Logan/Veronica love at the end was the best ever...damn Aaron

Sorry so long, I babble~