[Continued from part 1]
We’ve just hit fall and the new television seasons are dawning. So it seems like a good time to look back into my brain and see what episodes stood out in the last year. Here’s the second half of my list in order of airing dates:
Update: I should have warned that there are spoilers all over, so tread carefully.
“One Day, One Room”
Season 3: Episode 13
First aired: 1/30/2007
Writer: David Shore
Director: Juan J. Campanella
While House is forced to work full-time in the clinic and deal with a rape victim who insists on confiding with him, Cameron deals with a terminal cancer patient trying to take advantage of her state of mind.
What makes it great: There’s so much I can say about this episode. Shore started it off just like any other, and as the formula we all know and love unravels, he suddenly tears it all down. At that point we have no idea what will happen next. There is no medical mystery in a show about medical mysteries. In an instant we are unexpectedly watching a short movie about two people trying to figure each other out. Two people who have nothing in common except that they’ve found refuge in abandoning trust. The cast, joined by Katheryn Winnick, do impressive performances in what is easily the best episode in this list.
The number of homeless people in South Park is increasing as they eat, sleep, and beg for change across the town. While the adults try to find creative solutions to deal with the homeless, the boys are trying to figure out a way to solve the problem for good.
What makes it great: Incredibly stupid. Brilliantly executed.
Season 3: Episode 23
First aired: 5/10/2007
Writer: Jennifer Celotta, Greg Daniels
Director: Harold Ramis
Michael is being considered for a position in corporate, but also plans a day of “Survivor” like competitions while the office workers visit Lake Scranton. Pam is not asked to join in on any of the competitions and is forced to sit and watch Jim and Karen have fun.
What makes it great: Sitcoms don’t like change. Change killed Mork and Mindy. A lack of change made Seinfeld a success. So when Pam does what she does at the end of this one we know she’s not going to be the same. It was all built upon since early in the series and masterfully executed. This is where the mocumentary style has found it’s best use: Since there are actual “camera men” in the scene, Ramis took advantage of this by having one of them drift his view to Pam as if we were there. As if we were saying: “Look! No way. She wouldn’t.” It sad that Jenna Fischer lost the Emmy but she definitely has a big career ahead of her.
Series One: Episode Five
First aired: 7/21/2007
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Matt Lipsey
When Hyde is released from the box it appears Jackman is gone forever. However, flashbacks to the original Jekyll and Hyde reveal the importance of Claire Jackman to both present-day Jackman/Jekyll and Hyde. When his captors leave Hyde alone with Mrs Jackman and her children the implication is that he will kill them.
What makes it great: Although I love this series, Hyde’s complete lack of subtlety turned me off at times. He’s so over-the-top that he constantly switched between midly-annoying and entertaining. But not here. This is probably the deepest episode of the bunch. As Hyde absorbs Jackman’s memories we start to see a change in him. After all, the experiences we keep make us who we are. And then, the bomb: “I’m so strong that I walk through your world and don’t notice a thing. But you…you make me weak. I notice you.” It’s something I though of early in the series but disregarded, because hoping that something awesome will happen usually gets me disappointed. This show delivered all the way.
Well, that’s it for 2006-2007. Let’s just hope this year doesn’t 24-suck.