2013 was a fantastic year to be a TV fan. We saw the introduction of almost too many great series, said goodbye to what could arguably be one of the best shows in the history of TV, and laughed, cried, cheered, booed, and stared in horror as our favorite shows continued to shock and entertain us with twists, turns, payoffs, reveals, and moments that made us go, “What? No! Yes! Holy crap!” etc. Seriously, there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with all the TV we want to watch. It’s officially the golden era of TV.
‘Hart of Dixie’ — ‘The Gambler’
Before all Zade funs jump down my throat at including the heartbreaking episode where Wade gets drunk and cheats on Zoe, hear me out. This is the episode that got everyone talking, for better or worse. It changed everything. While everyone was outraged at the choices Wade made, you can’t deny that this was a smart move on the writers’ part.
Self-destruction is a big part of who Wade is as a character, and it threw a wrench into the epic love story that was Zoe and Wade. It gave Zoe a purpose to pause, reflect, and make a big decision over whether or not she was going to stay with Wade. That in turn prompted Wade to better himself as a person and work with Lemon to own and run the Rammer Jammer, a lifetime dream of his. And it also spurred Zoe to spend her summer in NYC where she met her new boyfriend and made her realize that Bluebell was her home. So while we still don’t like what Wade did, we have to agree that this was an unforgettable episode.
‘Supernatural’ — ‘Sacrifice’
The Season 8 finale was epic. That ending scene where Sam and Dean watch in horror as angels fell from heaven, with their wings burning as they did? Powerful. But what makes “Sacrifice” one of the best episodes of the year is the scene in the church where Sam has almost cured Crowley of being a demon. The king of hell breaks down crying, wondering if he can even ask for forgiveness for all the horrible things he’s done over the past few centuries. This was the first time we’d ever seen remorse in Crowley, and it was astounding. Then later, he gives a monologue revealing all he’s ever wanted was to be loved. Chills.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ — ‘Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word’
Shonda Rhimes really knows how to twist the knife that’s already deeply embedded in our hearts. We thought Arizona and Callie’s breakup was heartbreaking, but it turns out, it was even more heartbreaking than any of us had realized. In Season 10’s Callie-centric episode, it was revealed that post-plane-crash, post-leg-amputation, there was a brief period in which Callie and Arizona had gotten back to a good place. They were happy, they were together … and they were trying to get Arizona pregnant. Not only did she successfully get pregnant, but she miscarried while Callie was in surgery. Having to deal with that loss alone is what sparked Arizona to tell Callie she can’t deal with any more sad moments and drove her to cheat.
‘New Girl’ — ‘Virgins’
After Nick and Jess’ epic kiss in “Cooler,” “New Girl” gave us such a back-and-forth over whether or not these two crazy kids were actually going to get together. In “Virgins,” we were led to believe the door had closed for good on a Nick/Jess relationship … until the last moments when Nick literally swept Jess off her feet and carried her into his room for a spontaneous roll in the sheets. It was hot, and it was perfectly Nick and Jess: Their pillow talk consisted of “Oops,” and “Ruh roh!” Sure, “New Girl” hasn’t exactly perfected how to handle their relationship ever since, but we were pleasantly surprised by the fake-out.
‘Arrow’ — ‘Sacrifice’
The Season 1 finale of “Arrow” went over big … but not in the way we expected. All seemed well: Oliver had Felicity and Detective Lance working together to dismantle the machine Malcolm Merlyn was using to destroy The Glades via a man-made earthquake, and Oliver had Malcolm cornered on a rooftop. But then, Malcolm revealed he had a second earthquake generator primed and ready to go, and with no time to stop it, The Glades were destroyed. As Oliver looked out at the destruction he had failed to stop, all hope seemed lost.
Then, as if “Arrow” couldn’t hurt us anymore, Tommy dies while saving Laurel, and Oliver failed to save him. On a show that serves up so much death, we never thought they’d kill off one of the main characters, especially one so universally liked and who had evolved so much over the course of one season. RIP Tommy Merlyn.
‘Nashville’ — ‘Take These Chains From My Heart’
After a full season of longing looks and tearful breakups (seriously, these two were never together and still had some sort of breakup every other episode), Rayna threw all caution to the wind and went all in with Deacon. She showed up at his door, told him she loved him, and walked away. All it took was a simple whispered “Hey” from him to turn her around, and they kissed passionately. It was the perfect payoff for these two star-crossed lovers, and the wait was worth it. If only things weren’t so complicated, they could have lived happily ever after.
‘Nikita’ – ‘Pay-Off’
This episode aired recently, and despite having two more episodes to go before the series ends, it looked like Nikita and her team got a happy ending. Amanda was dead, The Shop was destroyed, the real story was sent to all major intelligenc
e organizations all over the world, the real president was freed, Birkhoff’s dad was saved, and Nikita and Michael were back together. Everyone was alive and everything was over. But since it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. The bubble Nikita and her team were in was orchestrated by Amanda (she created a double of herself to die), to fool them all into thinking they had won. In actuality, Amanda and The Shop was now working in secret with no one to stop them, since no one even knew they still had to be stopped.
This was a clever way to go into the final two episodes, and gave audiences the chance to think there was a happily-ever-after moment possible for Nikita. But we knew that someone was going to die before it all ends (RIP Ryan Fletcher), so thanks for the false sense of security that lasted for about five minutes!
So what do you think of my choices? What was your favorite episode from 2013?