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The Blogulator Presents: Episode of the Month, May 2012

It's been a crazy TV month in May, what with a month chock-full of cliffhangers, season-enders, and all-out balls-to-the-walls craziness. The Blogulator crew is here to discuss their favorite of that batch of individual episodes of the month. Bring it, gang.

Game of Thrones, "Blackwater", Aired 5/27/12 on HBO

We're now two seasons into this show and, much like how the novels are structured the penultimate episode of each season ends up being a total gutpunch. Whereas last season's "Baelor" was a gutpunch on a purely "holy @#$%, they just killed the show's biggest star!" level, the masterful "Blackwater", scripted by book author George R.R. Martin and directed by Neil Marshall, director of The Blogulator's favorite film of 2005 The Descent, is a gutpunch on an epic scale. And as we know from The Descent, few directors are as good at directing action sequences in the dark as Marshall is. Yet, it's the small scenes between just a few of the major characters that keep the episode grounded. Tyrion and Joffrey's banter before executing their plan is hilarious and true to both of their characters, while Cersei's downward spiral aided by a whole lotta wine gives her character an added layer of sadness, even though we also know she's pretty much a bad person. All of this makes the emotional devastation on Tyrion Lannister's face when he executes the "wildfire" plan as epic as the physical devastation of A Crapload Of Boats And People On Fire And Lit All Green. [Qualler]

Smash, "Bombshell", Aired 5/14/12 on NBC

 You guys probably realize by now that I don’t watch a lot of TV when it airs (why would I watch real TV when Netflix offers all 7 seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space 9??), so my choices for best episode of May were limited to two episodes of Smash.  Whoops.  So the Smash season finale, “Bombshell” it is!  And, really, if you remove all the stupid personal drama, all the cheating and the breaking up and the dating of celibate baseball fans, and just leave the professional drama of the musical itself, this episode is pretty good.  This is the first time we’ve been able to see the songs of Bombshell in succession, which mostly makes me want to see the fictional musical Bombshell. (So much tap dancing!) Plus, Karen’s performance gives at least a whiff of justification for her apparent inbred talent, something which has been self-evident to everyone involved in the show except its audience.  (Ivy is still way better, though.) (Can Meghan Hilty just have her own show?) (Can it also star Kristen Chenoweth?) (Can it take place in my apartment so that we can all be friends?)  Millennial Ellis has finally been fired, Dev is gone (sadly), and the show faces a second season of new creative direction and writing.  The rapidly-put-together final song, “Don’t Forget Me”, was beautiful and wonderfully sung, giving promise to a much-improved second season.  That Ivy swallowed a handful of pills in the last shot of the episode is something that I’ll willfully choose to ignore. [Sam]

Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23, "The Wedding...", Aired 5/2/12 on ABC
Comedies usually take a while to get going. Much like The Office and Parks & Recreation, Apartment 23 premiered mid-season and only a few episodes to make an impression (only 7 episodes this first season). But, much like Happy Endings before it, Apartment 23 has quickly developed into a hang-out show with characters that bounce off of one another interestingly and entertainingly. I'm not sure how far into production this episode was made(it's common practice for networks to shuffle eps around to put the best foot forward), but it can't have been too late as it includes James Van Der Beek's plotline of becoming a contestant on Dancing With The Stars (which is one of the many wonderful ideas this show has had). Whatever the case, this was one of the funniest episodes of television I've seen this season and it's also a great entry point for anyone that hasn't watched the show yet. In this episode, June is feeling depressed and decides to let loose, letting Chloe mold her into a fun-having machine. It turns into a Single White Female thing wherein June becomes so fun, JVDB starts hanging out with her more than Chloe. This all leads to a lot of great stuff for both Dreama Walker ("June") and Krysten Ritter ("Chloe") to play. There's also JVDB dancing and clips of him in a fake Guy Ritchie movie. All terrific stuff that shows what this now up-to-snuff series can do. This ep raised Apartment 23 to the ranks of Happy Endings, Community, Cougar Town and Parks & Rec as one of the funniest network comedies. [sarCCastro]

Mad Men "The Other Woman" Aired 5/27/12 on AMC
Everyone that knows who Joan Harris (née Holloway) is will likely be talking about this episode for years. We'll be at the senior center for our pancake feed, complaining about the haircuts the kids have these days, and one of the volunteers pouring us pulp-free orange juice will have crimson red hair. One of us will say to the other, "whoa, she looks like Joan fromMad Men L-O-L." And then the other one will say, "awww I miss having Don Draper on my TV every week." And then the first one will respond with, "oh man, remember when Pete pimped out Joan to that Jaguar guy?" The conversation will then drown in a flood of nostalgia that the kids with the bad haircuts and the redheaded juice pourer will not understand one iota. It may not be the most powerful episode of the vanguard series, and it's certainly not my favorite episode of Mad Men (it's not even my favorite of this season), but it needs to be noted here because it's a touchstone for its ballsy "it-went-there" storytelling, officially placing the series in a pantheon of not only great dramas, but fantastic conversation starters. I still feel weird about it, and am not sure I want to be having this conversation about our dear beloved Joan, but it's a hell of a conversation nonetheless. And that's why we write about television dammit. [Chris]

Revenge "Reckoning" Aired 5/23/12 on ABC
O. M. G. Revenge knows what a season finale should be.  Holy Hamptons. As soon as the episode begins, you can feel it.  The plot points quickly become infinitely more absurd, the dialogue more stilted, the facial expressions more overly-wrought.  In fact, I would bet that if you cut out all the moments in this episode where a character was just looking at something or someone silently with anger, shocked recognition, or despair, the show would run just ten or fifteen minutes. Without providing too many spoilers, "Reckoning" kills characters (at least two, maybe more!) and relationships, and sets up a hellva season two (long-lost parents! a love triangle, with pregnancy!). The waves of sheer delight and deliciously frothy over-the-topness will inspire many a dream for me until the waves of the Hamptons once again grace my television screen. [Jerksica]

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