Best Episodes

Are there episodes of your favorite shows that really stand out in your mind? I was just recently rewatching Mad Men and the episode “The Suitcase” (season 4, episode 7) came up. That is truly a perfect episode, right down to the song that plays over the closing credits. If you knew nothing else about the show other than that episode, you would still recognize it as a truly exemplary television series.

The story of the episode, as with most great stories, is fairly simple: The team has a deadline to come up with a campaign for Samsonite, Cassius Clay is fighting Sonny Liston, Don Draper’s former “wife” has died of cancer in California, and Peggy Olson, celebrating her 26th birthday, gets an offer from her former lover to start a new agency. Draper and Olson end up staying together all night at the office, working and sharing a lot of very personal moments. As always, and for reasons that are not always readily apparent, Peggy shows herself to be the ultimate Draper loyalist. Somehow, this episode ends up with some of the best writing, best acting, and most iconic scenes of the entire series. Here is the best of the best:

Mad Men - The Suitcase - Don & Peggy

11 thoughts on “Best Episodes

  1. Buffy – Hush episode, where no one has a voice and almost the entire episode has no dialogue.

    And of course Buffy – the musical episode.

  2. It seems like I have listed some of these before, but here goes, in reverse chronological order:

    The Americans – In Control (Season 1, Episode 4 — the Reagan shooting)
    Life on Mars (US version) – Life is a Rock (Season 1, Episode 17 — how to do a series finale right)
    House – Three Stories (Season 1, Episode 21)
    Bablyon 5 – Passing Through Gethsemane (Season 3, Episode 4)
    St. Elsewhere – After Life (Season 5, Episode 9 — Howie Mandel meets God, played by…?)

  3. I’d have to throw in the finale of the 4th season of Breaking Bad, “Face Off”. That’s when Walt’s transformation from mild-mannered chemistry teacher to sociopathic drug kingpin became complete. There are so many good scenes, Hector Salamanca at the DEA office, the wheelchair bomb, Walt and Jessie destroying the meth super-lab, Walt telling Skyler “I won”, and the final reveal where they show the Lily of the Valley plant in Walt’s back yard. To me the scene where Gustavo Fring steps out of Hector’s room after the bomb went off is one of those iconic scenes that I’ll always remember.

  4. I agree on the Face Off episode of Breaking Bad, but I think the episode I liked even more was a couple epiodes before that, called Crawl Space, where Walt finds out Skyler has given all their money to Ted.

  5. “Fixer” – S1E03 Justified. It was the show that made me realise I would love this show.

    The Suitcase is a brilliant Mad Men episode but a close second is probably “The Wheel”.

  6. I like that Justified episode a lot. The Wheel is a good Mad Men episode, but it has that crazy bit between Betty and Glen that just makes no sense whatsoever.

  7. Also, Community, “A Fistful of Paintballs”/”A Few Paintballs More” and “Remedial Chaos Theory”

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