7 great moments in television

By Rev/Views

I've been just thinking about some of the very best moments in television I've seen. Those moments which just hit you with the perfection of the story. Sometimes they are up, sometimes down. But always when you see one, you realise that the show has moved from just TV to something more personally important.

I'm going to list a few here:

As a major warning, there will be heavy spoilers to the following shows:
The Shield, The Wire,
Do not read on if you want to experience these moments without having the shock or joy of a fresh moment in them.

Big gap here as these are spoiler-riffic.

1. The Shield - Season 5, Final episode.

This is the single most heartbreaking moment I've ever seen on television. Even now, nearly 2 years after the events of this episode I feel saddened by them. Lem has been hounded all season and is at breaking point. But so far he hasn't turned on Vic and the Strike Team.
Shane meets him out alone, walks up to give him a sandwich and chats a little. Before dropping a grenade in the back of the car and walking off. It detonates and Lem lives just long enough to see Shane breakdown in the realisation of what he's done.

Vic's reaction on discovering Lem's death is iconic, but it's clear that nothing will be the same again and that this signifies the beginning of the end for Vic.

2. The Wire - Season 2 - Frank Sobotka's death at the hands of 'The Greeks'

Over the course of the season Sobotka grew on me greatly; he had a strong sense of personal honour and wasn't a criminal for his own ends, but to help his fellow Union members. He spent the entire season being fucked by the police all because he pipped a Captain over a stained glass window.
Eventually he begins to turn on the Greeks, but changes his mind and decides to go talk to them instead. Unbeknownst to him, the Greeks have a mole inside the police force. One who notices that Sobotka was talking to the police - despite the fact that Frank didn't actually tell them anything and had changed his mind.

Frank walks alone towards them, having told his nephew to stay back. His body washes up in the harbor later, without its head.

The Union honour his memory by declaring him head of the union for another year. "Sobotka for union president" posters crop up in later seasons.

3. Dead Zone - 205 - Precipitate

I talk about this episode here.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003

This show has several fantastic moments. The decapitation of Shredder, the tengu Shredder, Bishop's first appearance and many more.

But the one I'm going to pick is "The Big Brawl" series from the end of the second season. It's a wonderful four parter that has the Turtles and Splinter involved in an ultimate contest of champions. It's high action, immense fun and you'll be suprised at the winner.

5. Boston Legal - Guantanamo by the bay - Cold Opening

This is probably Boston Legal's finest moment. Pretty much shattering the 4th wall in an ironic fashion. Jerry Espenson explains to Shirley Schmidt that he'd love to return to firm and thinking about it makes him want to sing out this happy song. Shirley asks him to hum a few bars of it and he breaks out into the theme song. I love the Boston Legal theme song, the Denny Crane kazoo version was fantastic, but this one is beyond all that. It's funny, enjoyable and just plain cool.

6. Arrested Development - Who is Mr. F?

Arrested Development is so brilliant in it's forshadowing that other shows should take note, the Lucile/Buster/Hand pun of season two was brilliant. But it's season three's Bond-like Mr. F sting that cracks me up repeatedly. Mr. F turns out to have two meanings, but it is the second one that's funniest. A mysterious pimp named Mr. F starts threatening Michael Bluth over a woman who Michael thinks is his sister, but is really a prostitute. Mr F. Turns out to be Franklin, G.O.B.'s offensive hand puppet. Then the Mr F. Sting plays over the top of the moment and it just becomes hysterical.

7. Futurama - The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings (Season 4 final episode) - The final notes.

This episode has it all, it's bittersweet. Has a fantastic musical number and is just sublime. For a long time I'd always feel choked up when watching this episode. The open and hopefull ending showed a real gift for open ended story telling. It could have been the perfect moment to end on, I'm glad it wasn't...


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