Yes I know, this post is a little late, so let's just get into it! 2017 was such an amazing year in TV, so many great new shows came on the scene, and many returning shows had some epic episodes. There is so much to watch now, that it is honestly impossible to be able to experience all the great moments television has to offer. And coming from someone who did a lot of binging last year, it was hard to narrow down my ten favorite episodes of TV I saw in 2017. From dragon battles, to series finales, to moments that made me cry my eyes out, here were my favorite episodes and moments from last year.
10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Kimmy Goes to Church (Episode 3x9)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is slowly becoming one of my favorite comedies. It has an amazing ability to comment on social issues in such clever ways. This episode is a great example of that in the way it handles our country's current views on religion. When Kimmy asks Titus to take her to church to learn more about religion, she is presented with many different views of the church. Titus warns her about Ms. Clara, the church gossip who as he claims, excuses her faults by hiding behind the Bible. Throughout the episode, Titus continues to make digs about the church, highlighting many of the problems people today have with religion. But when Kimmy realizes that Ms. Clara is in fact a nice person who admits to having faults, she comes to a realization that religion, no matter which one you follow, is not about being perfect, but just trying to be better. It's a sweet message that demonstrates how the show is able to comment on topics without being offensive. And the storyline with Lillian and Jacqueline was a classic sitcom story turned around. Instead of Lilian learning she is happy the way she is when Jacqueline gives her a make over, it is Jacqueline who realizes she can stop pretending to be something she isn't to please others. The whole episode is fun and light hearted, and just a great example of the show doing what it does best.
9. The 100 – Die All, Die Merrily (Episode 4x10)
Maybe it is just because I'm missing The Hunger Games series, but this episode of The 100 was one I looked forward to from the moment it was announced. The whole episode centered around an epic battle between a representative from each clan. This fight to the death, with the last one standing alive, would secure their clan a place in the bunker to protect them from the upcoming acid rain. Not only was it super exciting to see some of the show's greatest warriors battle against each other, but to see Octavia rise up to be the warrior she was meant to be was a touchstone moment for the show. Not to mention that there was so much excitement going on beyond the battle, as Clark and Jaha tried to overtake the bunker right out from under everyone's noses. It was a high stakes episode that got back to dealing with the main theme the show does so well, what is the difference between right and wrong in life or death situations?
8. The Handmaid’s Tale - Late (Episode 1x3)
There are so many things I could say about how incredible this show is, and every episode was a true stand out in TV this year. But this one in particular really hit me when I was watching it. This episode displayed a different side of not only the handmaid experience, but of Serena as well, when she believes Offred to be pregnant. But the most compelling part was of course the flashbacks which showed the rise of Gilead. Watching the women walk into work to find out they were all being fired, and then realizing all of their bank accounts were frozen felt surreal. It made the entire show even more frightening, as we had to watch what could be a reality in our world today. The themes shown throughout the episode of women's rights and abuse hit very close to home in this time when women's rights have been a major topic in the media. The other standout part of this episode was Ofglen's storyline. Alexis Bledel completely blew me away with her essentially silent performance throughout the episode, using only her facial expressions to express her complete dispaire at not only watching her girlfriend be hung, but undergoing that horrific surgery.
7. Pretty Little Liars – Till DeAth Do Us Part (Episode 7x20)
While this is probably one of the most ridiculous hours of television I have ever seen, let me just say it was seven years of waiting finally paid off. Was I necessarily happy with the reveal of who A was? No. It did not make much sense to me, and was extremely far-fetched. Was I happy to finally find out who it was after all this time? And to see the girls all get happy endings not only with their significant others but with each other? YES. The episode was also just a lot of fun, with many call backs to past seasons, and answers to mysteries from all throughout the show. So you can judge me for including this one, but I will say it was one of my most anticipated episodes of television this year, so it had to be on my list. Also, I won’t spoil it for you but, Mona’s ending was my favorite part, and made the whole episode worth it.
6. Outlander – A. Malcom (Episode 3x6)
Yes, I came to the Outlander fandom a little late, but that does not mean I can't include it on my top 10 list! Jamie and Claire are easily becoming one of my absolute favorite on screen couples, and to have to watch them spend half of a season apart was torture! However, the long wait was definitely worth it because we got this episode from it. After spending 20 years apart in different time periods, we finally got to see Jaime and Claire reunite, and it was fantastic. From Jamie fainting after seeing Claire, to them catching up on all they had missed, to their epic first kiss, the whole episode was great from start to finish, and gave me so many feelings.
5. Once Upon a Time – The Song in Your Heart (Episode 6x20)
While Once Upon a Time might not be as good as it was in it's first few seasons, this episode might actually end up being one of my all time favorites of the series. In an episode where everyone is put under a magic spell that will use their power of song to defeat the evil queen, we get to see all our favorite characters each perform their own special numbers. And since the show is owned by Disney, you can imagine that the songs were of course well written, and very catchy. Not to mention that quite a few of the cast members used to perform on Broadway, so the singing is also very well done. And unlike some shows that debut musical episodes, there was an important reason for the sudden bursts of song, and the episode is vital to understanding the plot of the show going forward. It is not just a fun episode that you could skip over, it is one that truly furthers the current storylines. And of course, I also love this episode because it features Hook and Emma's wedding, which I have been waiting to see for quite a few seasons now.
And if you couldn't tell from the GIF I chose, Hook's song was definitly my favorite. You can see the whole song by clicking here.
4. Game of Thrones – The Queen’s Justice (Episode 7x3)
While I loved this entire seventh season of Game of Thrones, this one stood out to me the most. I have been waiting since season one to see John and Daenerys meet, and it was well worth the wait. The scene was just as epic as I had imagined, and surprisingly, quite funny. And that scene was just the beginning, we also got to see another Stark reunion, as Bran finally reunited with Sansa at Winterfell. As Game of Thrones has been speeding up it's story lines to prepare for it's final season, it has had to come up with creative ways to make big moves faster, but still deliver the same impact. A great example of that takes place in this episode, when Tyrion comes up with a plan to take back Casterly Rock from his family. His explanation of the attack playing over the scene, and then ending with the major twist that Jamie let him take it as part of a distraction was genius. And of course, the final great moment of the episode was Lady Olenna's unfortunate death, in which she went out with more style than any other character in the show's run.
3. This is Us – Memphis (Episode 1x16)
Yes I know, this was probably the saddest episode of television from the past year, so why did it make my top ten list? Because everything about the episode was so well done. Each scene had such meaning, all building up the ending where Randel had to watch yet another one of his fathers die. From the scene where William wanted to meet Jack, to Randel meeting all of his cousins, to that final heartbreaking scene where he told William to "just breathe", this episode nailed every moment perfectly. The acting, and writing were both phenomenal, and even though we all knew William's death would eventually come, this episode still felt like a punch in the gut when it finally did.
2. Stranger Things – Chapter 9: The Gate (Episode 2x9)
Even though Stranger Things has only had two seasons so far, it is slowly becoming one of my all time favorite shows. When the trailer premiered for season two, I was counting down the days till it would become available on Netflix. And while the whole second season was fantastic, it was all leading up to the amazing finale which had so many great moments. Steve becoming the "ultimate babysitter" and waking up to a car being driven by middle schoolers was hilarious. And Eleven making her return and proving her powers to not only Hopper, but herself was so rewarding. I also loved when Nancy made Dustin's day by dancing with him at the Snow Ball. And of course I also loved the smaller moments like Hopper officially adopting Eleven, and her finally being able to be like a normal kid and attend a school dance with Mike. The whole episode had me both on the edge of my seat, and warmed my heart, to create an amazing hour of television.
1. The Vampire Diaries - I Was Feeling Epic (Episode 8x16)
If you know me, this will come as no surprise, if not, I’m Kelly and I love The Vampire Diaries. While it makes me so sad to know I will never have another Thursday night Vampire Diaries viewing, the show ended at a great place, and with such a strong series finale. There were satisfying conclusions to everyone’s stories, and of course Nina Dobrev made her big return. I loved that this final season's theme was redemption, and showing how all the main characters were trying to grapple with all of the terrible things they had done after realizing that Hell was in fact real. Vampirism is at it's core, a myth we have created because of our fear of death, and what happens to us after we die, a question the characters ask continuously throughout the show. So to conclude it by seeing where everyone ended up after all the choices they made through the years was not only a great way to wrap up all the themes of the show, but also a great conclusion to their stories. I have only watched this episode again one time since watching it live, and both times I cried throughout the whole thing. The only thing I wished they had done different was make it last longer…
If you want to read my full review on The Vampire Diaries series click here.
1. Riverdale - The Sweet Hereafter (Episode 1x13)
2. 13 Reasons Why - Tape 7, Side A (Episode 1x13)
3. Big Little Lies - Once Bitten (Episode 1x5)
4. West World - The Bicameral Mind (Episode 1x10)
5. How to Get Away with Murder - Who's Dead? (Episode 3x9)
So there you have it, my favorite TV moments from 2017. Make sure to let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite episodes of the year were!
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