5 Episodes That Almost Made Best of the Century: What's the Biggest Snub? (POLL)
When we were rounding up our Best Episodes of the 21st Century, some tough decisions had to be made.
Not all great episodes made the Top 10 list, while others weren't up there with our favorite pilots and finales. And just because we didn't list them, it doesn't mean they didn't have shocking deaths or surprising twists.
Scroll down for five episodes that almost made our roundup.
Curb your Enthusiasm — "The Car Pool Lane"
(Season 4, Episode 6) Larry picks up a hooker (Kym Whitley) so he can take the car pool lane to a Dodgers game. And she ends up having marijuana that soothes his dad’s glaucoma. It’s as sweet as a bitter comedy can get.
The Sopranos — "Employee of the Month"
(Season 3, Episode 4) This one—about the brutal rape of psychiatrist Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco)—also made us think. She knows if she tells Mafia boss/patient Tony (James Gandolfini, right, with Bracco), he’ll “take care of” the attacker. As she says to her own therapist, “I could have [that man] squashed like a bug.” But she keeps mum.
Game of Thrones — "Battle of the Bastards"
(Season 6, Episode 9) Masterful directing and deft camera work embed us with the armies of both good guy Jon Snow (Kit Harington, right) and sadistic Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) during the epic clash. We’re so much a part of the action that when Jon emerges from a pile of bodies that have nearly suffocated him, we gasp for air too.
Community — "Modern Warfare”
(Season 1, Episode 23) The action-movie spoof launched the show’s beloved paintball-on-acid recurring theme (featuring an always-ready-for-battle Ken Jeong) and established its wildly creative knack for making sitcom tropes go splat.
Breaking Bad — "Dead Freight"
(Season 5, Episode 5) Earlier in the final season, Walt and cronies Jesse (Aaron Paul) and Todd (Jesse Plemons, below right, with Paul) engineer a pulse-pounding train heist. If only a boy on a bike hadn’t ridden past at the worst possible moment.… Why did we ever root for these Bad guys?
This article also appeared in the Apr. 2 - Apr. 15 issue of TV Guide Magazine.