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Best TV episodes of the decade (2010s)

Jeremy Blackman · 3 · 3191

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Jeremy Blackman

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on: January 02, 2020, 02:03:14 AM
1. Lost - "The End" (617/618)
2. Game of Thrones - "The Winds of Winter" (610)
3. Twin Peaks - "Gotta Light?" (308)
4. The Leftovers - "International Assassin" (208)
5. Breaking Bad - "Ozymandias" (514)
6. Black Mirror - "White Bear" (202)
7. Battlestar Galactica - "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2" (220)
8. Nathan For You - "The Movement" (303)
9. Burning Love - Season 3, Episodes 11-14.
10. The OA - "Overview" (208)

I did not really see enough TV in the 2010s to make a "best of" list, so consider this more of a favorites list.

With Game of Thrones, I'm always torn between "The Dragon and the Wolf" and "The Winds of Winter." The former might actually be my true favorite, but the latter is objectively better.

For The Leftovers, I was likewise torn between the obvious choice, "International Assassin," and others like "The Book of Kevin" (301), which I think has more soul. It's a close call. With this show, it's less about standout episodes and more about season arcs, anyway.

I don't care that Battlestar Galactica was always rough around the edges; the episode I've named has two of the most mindblowing moments I've ever seen in television.

Just a note, I'd say bundling the final four episodes of Burning Love is not a cheat, since they're all about 15 minutes long.

If you haven't experienced Season 2 of The OA, oh boy, it's something. And the finale goes places. The catch is that you kinda have to see Season 1 as well, which is a bit of a slog.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


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Reply #1 on: January 06, 2020, 10:03:24 PM
Good list, although I haven't seen 6 to 10 but 2 to 5 are on my list too.

Here's mine, not really a top ten but my fave episodes I can think of right now, I'm sure I'm forgetting several, one curious thing is I couldn't think of a single episode of a Netflix show even though there are several series I love.

Game of Thrones - Winds of winter - 610
A wonderful hour or so of tv from start to finish.

Also like to add my fave payoff from the show, the reveal of Hodor's name from The Door.

Breaking Bad - Ozymandias - 514
I have nothing to add here, so I'll just name my other fave intense moments from the series, the ending of Crawl Space and the parking lot scene from One Minute.

Twin Peaks - Gotta light? - 308
This is probably the greatest achievement on TV of this decade, not only episode 8 but the whole thing.

Fargo - A Fox, a Rabbit, and a Cabbage - 109
Everyone shines on this episode, it should go hand in hand with episode 8 where Lester escapes justice and has a great life but he just can't help himself.

Leftovers - International Assassin - 208
I was very close to give up on this series when S1 ended, not that it wasn't good but there were characters that bored me, then S2 and S3 were incredible and so we got this gem of an episode.

Watchmen - A God walks into Abar - 108
Just a wonderful episode from start to finish, everything worked for me, acting, music, editing, the way they explain how Dr. Manhattan experiences time, Regina King was amazing.

Episode 6 was a very close call as one of the best and actually 7 too.

Hannibal - Antipasto - 301
It seems almost wrong that my episode doesn't have Will Graham in it, but this season opener was just wonderful.

Mizumono, the finale of S2 is also a fave of mine, it sealed a great season from start to finish.

The Knick - Get the rope - 107
IMO as perfect as any series can be.

The Jinx - "What the Hell Did I Do?" - 106
Is it valid to put a doc? This final episode has one of the greatest endings I have seen, and that's why is on this list.

Westworld - The Passenger - 210
One of the most ambitious series ever created really came together with its second season, all women here are a delight to see and this finale delivers, can't wait for S3.

Big Little Lies - You get what you need - 107
And its mystery is solved, the editing on this episode is perfect.

Veep - Crate - 309
Selina goes from being completely destroyed by her own stupid staff to later in the episode become the next POTUS, and S3 finale New Hampshire is just as good.

Fleabag - Episode 6 - 106
This finale took me by surprise, one of the few times that something lives up to the high expectations it gathered, also season two opener is wonderful.

Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #2 on: January 06, 2020, 11:16:40 PM
Nice list! I was very, very close to including a Fargo episode (and probably should have). The Big Little Lies and Jinx episodes you listed would definitely be in my honorable mentions.

I've been delighted to see that basically every list out there has Ozymandias and Gotta Light. Those episodes might qualify for "objectively best."

I highly recommend watching The OA if you're at all interested in spiritually-tinged science fiction. It's worth getting through the cheeseball first season for that season finale—which is one of the most audacious (or ridiculous, some argue) season endings I've ever seen—and for season 2, whose higher budget allows for more insanity, and an ending that might be even more audacious.
"Hunger is the purest sin"