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  • The perfect TV-episodes

    In the thread on Sleeping in Light it was mentioned that the episode is a truly perfect episode of television. And I agree wholeheartedly. As a few other episodes, like the final of Fringe, was mentioned as well, I figured why not make a thread of it?

    What do you guys think, are there many perfect episodes out there and what does it take to rank that high?

    We all agree that Sleeping in Light is one. Unfortunately I have not seen the Fringe finale yet.

  • #2
    I didn't watch Fringe - that may have been a mistake but when I didn't really care about the characters after about 3 episodes, I quit watching.

    For me, a close second with Sleeping in Light is the second half of the MASH finale. I appreciate the artistry of the first half when Hawkeye had issues but it's the second half that really got me. I can't say I cried, but it was very touching and I really did like those characters.
    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Satai with Punsch View Post
      In the thread on Sleeping in Light it was mentioned that the episode is a truly perfect episode of television. And I agree wholeheartedly. As a few other episodes, like the final of Fringe, was mentioned as well, I figured why not make a thread of it?

      What do you guys think, are there many perfect episodes out there and what does it take to rank that high?

      We all agree that Sleeping in Light is one. Unfortunately I have not seen the Fringe finale yet.
      Agreed on Sleeping in Light.

      I have seen all of Fringe, and The final episode is very satisfying. Much like SiL bittersweet.

      Jan, Fringe takes a little while to get going, many of the 1st season episodes are more episodic, but slowly we learn much more about all of the characters. I am re-watching Fringe these days, with a good friend of mine. It is as good as I recalled. Not quite B5 level, but very good.
      Last edited by babylonlurker; 11-23-2016, 01:16 AM.
      Jan from Denmark

      My blog :

      http://www.babylonlurker.dk

      "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jan View Post
        I didn't watch Fringe - that may have been a mistake but when I didn't really care about the characters after about 3 episodes, I quit watching.
        Fringe is much like B5, it grows slowly and the true nature of the show is revealed later on. At first I had it pegged as a bit of an X-Files rip off, then everything gets flipped upside down later on. The long form plotting is very good, and I couldn't believe it had come from Abrams after finding Lost too meandering and unfocused. It's also got a sense of humour and doesn't suffer from the grim/dark thing. Walter is genuinely the emotional core of the show, but it happens gradually. You need to give it time, I cared about all the characters by the end and the show never let me down. It wrapped up very nicely too. No rushed exposition, big explosions or deus ex machina.
        Last edited by Ubik; 11-23-2016, 02:38 AM.
        Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

        Kosh: Good!

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        • #5
          I'd say the blake's 7 finale, no "let us hang around and leave dangling threads for a follow up, it wraps everything up in a wonderfully dystopian fashion. I liked it.
          "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

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          • #6
            So many episodes I have not seen. Neither the Fringe, Mash or Blakes 7 ones. Clearly there is some watching to do.

            Being a Joss Whedon fan I also want to add Objects in Space, the final Firefly episode which is perfect. Not one word or shot in the wrong place. And extra bonus points for connecting to the "Objects" B5 titles.

            And I also want to add the Buffy season 4 finale Restless. That dream episode is as close to tv-poetry as it gets.


            So far we have:

            -Babylon 5 Sleeping in Light
            -Fringe An Enemy of Fate
            -M.a.s.h. Final episode, second half
            -Blakes 7. Final episode
            -Firefly Objects in Space
            -Buffy s.4. Restless

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            • #7
              I'm going to throw one in that ended up being a series finale but was also the perfect cliffhanger: The final episode of 'Jeremiah'.

              Many here know that the show was a horrid experience for JMS and he knew he was leaving at the end of season two well in advance. Even so, Showtime and MGM could have continued the show if they'd wanted to. As a professional, it behooved JMS to leave the story at a point where a new showrunner could pick it up.

              'Interregnum Parts 1 & 2' did exactly that. When we left Jeremiah, Kurdy and Mister Smith, they were walking toward an enemy army and there was really no telling what would happen. But the voice-over and the events leading up to that scene also left hope that there wouldn't be a battle that day.

              I thought it was one of the most brilliant things I'd ever seen. A new showrunner could have gone either way with perfect logic. Yet that season's main story was complete and there were a few threads that could be picked up or dropped as the new showrunner decided. I loved it a lot!

              Jan
              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jan View Post
                I'm going to throw one in that ended up being a series finale but was also the perfect cliffhanger: The final episode of 'Jeremiah'.

                ....

                I thought it was one of the most brilliant things I'd ever seen. A new showrunner could have gone either way with perfect logic. Yet that season's main story was complete and there were a few threads that could be picked up or dropped as the new showrunner decided. I loved it a lot!

                Jan
                I can live with that assessment. Just saw the series recently.
                Jan from Denmark

                My blog :

                http://www.babylonlurker.dk

                "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Satai with Punsch View Post
                  So many episodes I have not seen. Neither the Fringe, Mash or Blakes 7 ones. Clearly there is some watching to do.

                  Being a Joss Whedon fan I also want to add Objects in Space, the final Firefly episode which is perfect. Not one word or shot in the wrong place. And extra bonus points for connecting to the "Objects" B5 titles.

                  And I also want to add the Buffy season 4 finale Restless. That dream episode is as close to tv-poetry as it gets.


                  So far we have:

                  -Babylon 5 Sleeping in Light
                  -Fringe An Enemy of Fate
                  -M.a.s.h. Final episode, second half
                  -Blakes 7. Final episode
                  -Firefly Objects in Space
                  -Buffy s.4. Restless
                  Out of Gas has to be my favourite Firefly episodes, it's so tightly scripted. it manages to flesh out characters and 'origin stories' without being a trite flashback episode. Love this one.

                  On the same note BSG's 'Unfinished Business' was also a brilliant piece of writing. The whole episode is essentially a giant sequence of boxing matches between different personnel, and it really gets all the tension out in the open. It also uses flashbacks to fill in lots of very interesting gaps in the narrative. Again, i just thought it was structurally very creative and up there with the best episodes of the series.
                  Last edited by Ubik; 11-24-2016, 07:45 AM.
                  Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                  Kosh: Good!

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                  • #10
                    The Buffy episode “The Body” was a remarkable piece of writing, that focused on the death of the mother and how the various characters reacted to the news. Perfectly acted as well.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Triple F
                      The Buffy episode "The Body" was a remarkable piece of writing, that focused on the death of the mother and how the various characters reacted to the news. Perfectly acted as well.
                      Agree. Also very clever use of sound, i.e. no score whatsoever. I remember it being a really hard watch.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

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                      • #12
                        At least two episodes of Lost are perfect as far as I'm concerned: The End, which makes me cry like a baby and is one of the best endings I've ever seen, and Tricia Tanaka Is Dead, which is hilarious and life-affirming and has great music. Lost is sadly one of the most misunderstood shows of all time, partially due to so much of the advertising/media focusing on the supposed mysteries instead of the things the show is actually about.

                        From Fringe, I'd nominate A Short Story About Love and An Enemy of Fate. Fringe is so much more than it seems. I thought it was a generic X-Files rip-off too, and it really isn't. I still miss the characters.

                        The Stargate Universe episode Epilogue, which is the second half of a two-parter with Common Descent, is absolutely incredible. It's one of the most deeply human episodes of a show that started out seeming incredibly grim.
                        Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jonas View Post

                          The Stargate Universe episode Epilogue, which is the second half of a two-parter with Common Descent, is absolutely incredible. It's one of the most deeply human episodes of a show that started out seeming incredibly grim.
                          YES! That show really does earn the 'most improved' award by the time S2 wraps. That final stretch of S2 was better than any other Stargate incarnation. And the music, that leitmotif refrain on Piano, beautiful.
                          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                          Kosh: Good!

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                          • #14
                            Booo you guys mentioned all the episodes I was going to

                            Lost: The End. Very emotional. The perfect ending. Try and beat that showrunners! (Yes, I know several people hated it, but those mostly fell out of love with the show, long, long, before the final episode).
                            Buffy: A bunch of episodes, typically being directed by Whedon himself, were breathtaking!
                            Firefly: Out of Gas. Perfectly weaving three timeframes.

                            Oh, oh, I remembered one;
                            Babylon 5: Intersections in Real Time. This was one of the most chilling things I've ever seen in a series and for that reason it's B5's most memorable episode for me.
                            Last edited by sense8ional; 11-26-2016, 04:17 AM.
                            My posts are my own opinion and do not represent JMSNews.com's opinions or views. As it's written under my handle I'm "just a fan".

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                            • #15
                              Speaking of Fringe

                              White Tulip comes to mind as a perfect episode. It was Walter-centric, it had a lot say, it referenced both the past and the future of the show, it was perfectly written science fiction, and it had one of the most amazing guest appearances a SF show can have.
                              It's so perfect, you almost can't spoil it. It's that affirming.
                              But definitely don't click this link if you've never seen it and don't like spoilers.

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Tulip

                              It was ranked the best episode of the entire series by Entertainment Weekly, while IGN and Den of Geek ranked it as the second best.

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