In this edition of The Weekly Set, Kat, Will, and Tyson discuss their favorite Television episodes of 2014. Edward, unfortunately could not join us, but he left his list for us to discuss. Menashe even pops in for a few comments on Doctor Who before passing out from sleep deprivation. So without further ado, our discussion of the best TV episodes of 2014.
Beware, as SPOILERS from many 2014 TV series are present throughout this article.
Tyson: Okay then. So tonight we are going to talk about our favorite TV episodes of 2014.
Will: Ready as ever.
Tyson: So, each of us has compiled a list of our top 5 episodes of 2014, we will take turns and work our way through the list. Ed can’t join us tonight, but he left his top 5 picks with me, so I thought we could go over those as well. I’ll start with 1 of his picks the True Detective episode Who Goes There. Have either of you watched True Detective?
Will: Yes, brilliant show.
Will: That was one the the eps I was heavily thinking of when I was putting my list together.
Tyson: Who Goes There is perhaps best known for the long tracking shot at the end of the episode.
Will: Exactly, because of that tracking shot.
Kat: Yeah, I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Tyson: Ed says it is one of the greatest moments in television, the tracking shot that is.
Will: I admit my jaw dropped when I saw that.
Tyson: I remember the episode fondly for the dialogue in it as well, my favorite line “I see your soul at the corner of your eyes… its corrosive”, I ADORE that line.
Will: True Detective had such great dialogue through the whole series.
Tyson: I love the supercut on Youtube of Rust Cohle’s nihilistic dialogue, it is really funny.
Will: Ha I haven’t seen that.
Tyson: I considered this episode for my list as well, along with The Secret Fate of All Life, which juxtaposes the truth of the past with a lie in the present. That was the episode that brought us “Time is a flat circle” by the way.
Will: Oh yeah, I remember that. That was towards the end.
Tyson: Lets move on to Kat’s first pick.
Kat: My first pick is the Doctor Who Christmas Special, Last Christmas.
Tyson: Oh that one is recent.
Tyson: I have a Christmas Special on my list as well.
Kat: It’s the first time in a looooong time that I’ve felt like I could love Doctor Who again.
Tyson: Last Christmas featured Nick Frost as Santa Claus.
Kat: So what I liked most about the episode was that not only did it sell me on Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and solidified Clara as one of my favorite companions, but I think the two them are one of the best duos the series has ever had.
Kat: I like Clara better with 12 than 11 – and I think they bring out the best in each other.
Tyson: I liked the christmas special as well, but I am not fond of clara anymore haha.
Kat: Gasp! I love Clara – she’s probably my second fave after Donna.
Tyson: I just think she is too glum now. I don’t know what they will do with her.
Kat: Also, I struggled a lot with Moffat during 11’s era – and I enjoyed season 8 way more than I thought I would; the Christmas special was just the perfect emotional capper to it.
Tyson: I was hoping it would be the last episode for Clara actually hahaha, but they kind of took back the big moment. I really like Capaldi as the doctor though. He is rude, and a bit inhuman.
Menashe: I don’t go for Clara particularly. I guess i’m neutral about her.
Tyson: Ladies and gentleman, Menashe, site owner of TVEnthusiast and the other Enthusiast Media Network sites.
Kat: You’re all heathens!
Menashe: I love Capaldi though.
Kat: Yeah, Capaldi’s great, “You have a horror movie called Alien? How offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.” That joke would never have worked with 10 or 11.
Menashe: I do think Moffat is losing his content a bit, he’s past his best stuff, unless he surprises me.
Tyson: Yeah, I feel about the same, we need some fresh blood.
Menashe: Yup, Capaldi plus a new director would have been a good shake up.
Kat: I kind of feel the reverse – which I never would’ve said going into the season; I actually was a bit disappointed when he said back in the fall he would be staying on as showrunner, but now, I’m pretty cool with it. Though I’d like if they let someone like Neil Gaiman take over for a season.
Tyson: So back to the Christmas Special. What did you guys think of Frost as Santa? Oh, and the elves too? I loved the elves. One of the elves had been in the last 2 seasons of Misfits, seeing him made me laugh.
Kat: Loved it all. Frost was perfect.
Tyson: So I’ll throw out one of my picks now, Game of Thrones, The Mountain and the Viper, the 8th episodes of season 4.
Will: Oh yes, What a shocking episode that was.
Tyson: For some reason it hit me MUCH harder than the season 1 and season 3 shockers. Do you watch the show Kat?
Kat: I don’t – I’m just tacitly aware of it. Like I know about the Red and Purple Weddings.
Tyson: So you don’t mind spoilers?
Kat: No. I watched one episode and read the first book and determined it wasn’t for me.
Tyson: Okay then. So at the beginning of season 4 we were introduced to a new character named Oberyn Martell, also known as “The Red Viper.” He was pretty much everything Kings Landing needed.
Will: He was my hero.
Tyson: He was smart, strong, nearly untouchable, and he HATED the Lannisters. Because his home country of Dorne was on rocky ground with Kings Landing, so nobody in Westeros wanted to offend him (at least not directly). So he got away with a lot, he could directly insult Tywin Lannister, and there was basically nothing Tywin could do but say “thank you sir may i have another.”
Will: I think Oberyn is a good example of how to get viewers to care and root for a character, since he really didn’t have much screentime on the show.
Tyson: In addition to his attitude, intelligence, and… uh… sexual prowess, he was also a stunningly skilled fighter, that was known of around the world. He could walk the walk. So when Tyrion was facing trial by combat against “The Mountain”, and everyone else left Tyrion on his own, it was amazing to see Oberyn take up the challenge and fight for Tyrion. And he kicked the crap out of The Mountain, just treated him like a child’s play thing, it was hugely satisfying. That is until he got caught up in his plot for revenge against Tywin. He NEEDED to hear The Mountain confess the crimes he committed on Tywin’s behalf, and his rage and frustration left him open to a last burst of strength from The Mountain, and he died HORRIBLY! One of the hardest to watch scenes on TV. I felt cold, I went to bed early and just laid under my covers. What effect did it have on you Will?
Will: Yeah I was shook, even though I was half expecting a twist like that, The writers played it off so well that it still shocked me.
Tyson: You could see the moment in which Oberyn lost his focus, he kept yelling “you raped and murdered my sister” at The Mountain, and kept looking at Tywin. The audience was thrilled at what seemed to be Oberyn’s victory, but in the end he lost to his emotions and you could see everyone’s faces begin to turn. In my house we were screaming “just kill him!”
Will: Yeah the worst part of that scene was that Oberyn had him. He could’ve easily won but he let his hatred for the Lannisters spoil it.
Tyson: And he didn’t just die, his death was horrible, just brutal beyond measure.
Will: Oh yeah, The Mountain doesn’t screw around, just brutal.
Tyson: But that fight scene was stunning.
Will: Agreed, one of the best fight scenes of the series.
Tyson: So lets move on to your first pick Will.
Will: Well my number one episode of 2014 is the season finale of Hannibal season 2.
Kat: That’s right – you’re a Hannibal fan.
Tyson: This was also picked by Ed as one of his top picks. I have a different episode of the series on my list, but I loved the finale as well.
Kat: I’ve read some interesting stuff about how even though it’s a critically acclaimed show, fans worry it won’t get awards recognition because it’s not “prestige” enough.
Tyson: Season 2 got 100% on rotten tomatoes in critical reviews.
Will: Yeah, I dunno, It doesn’t get big ratings that’s for sure.
Tyson: It never gets nominated for awards, and very few people seem to even know it exists, but it is stunning.
Will: Yeah, a shame really. I figure as long as it’s still airing it’s all good.
Kat: It’s why I pay little attention to awards shows these days.
Will: I never do really, I rarely agree with them.
Kat: And I’ve seen it on a ton of top ten shows of 2014 lists.
Tyson: Here is what Ed had to say about the episode, “Season 2 of Hannibal was intense. Everything built up to the final moments of this season finale. The show pulled a surprise revelation that a supposedly dead character had been alive this whole time, and the Grand Guignol last moments is everything we have come to expect from a Hannibal Lecter story.”
Will: Yeah it’s actually hard to pick one single episode from that season as I think it’s best as a whole, the way it flows it’s all building up to that finale.
Tyson: I am dying with anticipation for season 3. The finale was just loaded with twists, and the ending was so brutal, a true cliffhanger.
Will: I gotta say what Hannibal did to Mason Verger earlier was one of the most disgusting and brutal things I’ve ever seen on TV
Kat: When does it come back?
Tyson: No firm date on season 3 yet.
Tyson: It is expected in Spring.
Kat: Dang, that’s a long wait.
Tyson: We should start getting spring premiere dates soon, we just got the Game of Thrones season premiere date after all.