5 TV Fight Scenes That Pack a Punch

Oriana Schwindt

There are many ways for a fight scene to miss the mark: clunky choreography, confusing editing, obvious stunt doubles. Nail all the technical elements and you have some truly cathartic classics.

Fight Scenes- Buffy-The-Vampire-Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy vs. Angelus

Season 2, Episode 22: Buffy’s second season saw a noticeable uptick in fight-scene quality, but it’s the emotional underpinning here that’s really a sword to the gut. After spending the last several episodes coping with her boyfriend’s return to his murderous, soulless vampire ways and trying to restore said soul, Buffy realizes she not only has to fight Angelus (as Angel calls himself now), but kill him and send him to Hell. And just as Buffy’s sword goes through his heart, Angel’s soul comes back. Breakups don’t really get any worse than that.

Fight Scenes- Alias

Alias: Sydney Bristow vs. Francie's Clone

Season 2, Episode 22: “Francie doesn’t like coffee ice cream.” Such a small detail to spark a truly epic fight to the almost-death between our hero and the woman who had assumed her best friend’s identity. (That is, undergone a complete genetic makeover to look exactly like her; Alias could get a little weird.)

Game of Thrones: The Mountain vs. The Viper

Season 4, Episode 8: Oberyn “the Viper” Martell finally gets the crack at revenge he’s been thirsting after for two decades, representing Tyrion Lannister in trial-by-combat against Cersei’s champion, Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane. On paper, the hulking Mountain should be the de-facto victor. But Oberyn’s size makes him far more agile, and his use of a poisoned spear as a weapon evens out the playing field. Rather, it should even out the playing field. Maybe the best takeaway from this fight is that stopping to monologue before delivering the deathblow is a very (very) bad call.

Fight Scenes- Real-Housewives

The Real Housewives of New York City: Aviva vs. Everyone

Season 6, Episode 20: This one might seem a bit anachronistic compared to the others on this list, but anyone who finds herself so incensed during a screaming match with her frenemies that she slams her prosthetic leg on the table at New York’s fanciest restaurant, then throws it across the room, deserves a spot. Let us repeat: She threw. Her. Prosthetic leg. Who cares if she probably planned the toss ahead of time? Terrifically entertaining is terrifically entertaining.

Fight Scenes- The Flash Vs Arrow

The Flash: Flash vs. Arrow

Season 1, Episode 8: Nice guy Barry catches a nasty case of rageys, thanks to a visiting villain who can scramble people’s heads by literally making them see red. Luckily Barry’s old buddy Oliver Queen happens to be in town hunting an evildoer of his own, so he offers to catch the Flash so Dr. Wells can fix him. The visual effects are stunning, and better yet, the fight switches between Flash and Arrow’s perspectives, allowing viewers to feel the intensity of battling at superhuman speeds (Arrow) and see the gorgeous choreography in glorious slow motion (Flash).

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