10 TV Episodes From 2020 That We Can’t Stop Thinking About

Outlander Supernatural The Good Place
Starz; Robert Falconer/The CW; Colleen Hayes/NBC

In a year where viewers were watching more TV than usual, selecting some of 2020’s best installments is a nearly impossible task.

With compelling a drama like Better Call Saul to the emotional sendoff for Supernatural, TV Insider’s Meaghan Darwish and Meredith Jacobs are offering their picks for the year. Below, see a full roundup of 10 compelling episodes worth checking out.

the haunting of bly manor netflix t'nia miller


The Haunting of Bly Manor, “The Altar of the Dead”

(Season 1, Episode 5)

While this second entry in the Haunting anthology wasn’t nearly as spooky as Mike Flanagan‘s freshman venture, The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor delivered one of TV’s most compelling episodes of 2020. T’Nia Miller shined as Hannah Grose, a live-in employee at the manor with a dark secret. Answers about her true nature are revealed in this mind-blowing chapter which weaves in and out of time. Likening Hannah’s growing confusion and constant time-shifting with memory loss through conversations with chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), her devastating fate is clarified in a reveal not dissimilar to Hill House‘s Bent Neck Lady.

Tom Payne Michael Raymond James Prodigal Son Alone Time
David Giesbrecht/FOX


Prodigal Son, “Alone Time”

(Season 1, Episode 11)

Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) gets the answers he’s been looking for about that camping trip from his childhood not from his father Martin (Michael Sheen) but from the other serial killer in his past, John Watkins (Michael Raymond-James). It’s a chilling, yet engaging back-and-forth as Watkins holds Bright captive (under the Whitly house, we’ll learn later). It culminates in Watkins stalking Jessica (Bellamy Young) and Ainsley (Halston Sage) Shining-style through the house, until Bright uses a hammer to break his hand to escape the cuffs and stop the killer.

Outlander Season 5 Caitriona Balfe Sam Heughan


Outlander, “Never My Love”

(Season 5, Episode 12)

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) have had their fair share of challenges over Outlander‘s run, but Season 5’s finale certainly ranks among the most traumatizing. After being kidnapped by Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy), Claire is assaulted repeatedly by his crew of men and as she endures this horror, viewers are transported to a fantasy world in which she lives with her 18th-century family in the 1960s. Along with some clever callbacks to past seasons, once Claire is finally rescued by her Highlander husband and family, apprentice and step-daughter Marsali (Lauren Lyle) exacts some much needed-revenge by administering Lionel with a lethal injection.

Jared Padalecki Jensen Ackles Supernatural Carry On Sam Dean
Robert Falconer/The CW


Supernatural, “Carry On”

(Season 15, Episode 20)

Supernatural says goodbye after 15 seasons by letting Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) lay their weary heads to rest — but for the latter, it’s sooner than expected. On what seems like a routine hunt after they stop God (Rob Benedict), Dean lands on a piece of rebar, and we don’t think we’ll ever be over — or forget — the brothers’ final words as he dies. The pilot callbacks alone (Dean’s admission that he was scared Sam would send him away that day is utterly heartbreaking) do us in every time we watch.

Better Call Saul Season 5 Rhea Seehorn
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television


Better Call Saul, “Bad Choice Road”

(Season 5, Episode 9)

While some might think Season 5’s “Bagman,” which was reminiscent of some of Breaking Bad‘s finest, was this year’s best installment, “Bad Choice Road” proves that penultimate episodes are usually a season’s best. Despite exploring the aftermath of Jimmy’s trek to the desert in which he narrowly escapes with the bail money required to spring client and cartel man Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) from prison, it’s Kim’s (Rhea Seehorn) heated confrontation with Lalo in her and Jimmy’s (Bob Odenkirk) apartment that makes the episode stand out. How she wasn’t nominated for an Emmy is beyond us.

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Wynonna Earp, “Holy War Part 2”

(Season 4, Episode 6)

The Syfy drama rips out our heart and stomps on it for good measure before delivering a joyful moment that we waited years for in the midseason finale. The good: Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Nicole (Katherine Barrell) are engaged, finally! The bad: Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and Doc’s (Tim Rozon) relationship may never be the same after she shoots Holt in the back. And those differing opinions may mean that Wynonna and Doc may never have a future together…

The good place season 4 cast
Colleen Hayes/NBC


The Good Place, “Whenever You’re Ready”

(Season 4, Episode 13)

Who knew a comedy like The Good Place could make us cry like babies? The emotional series finale saw the soul squad, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), Janet (D’Arcy Carden), and Michael (Ted Danson), disbanded for good. But it was no less than perfect as each character got their happy endings, whether that meant moving on for good or residing in the after life.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Finale Clarke Family


Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Dad”

(Season 1, Episode 12)

Zoey’s has so many extraordinary musical numbers, but it’s in the finale that it finds perfection. After each member of the family shares a moment with the dying Mitch (Peter Gallagher) — including a fantasy song for Zoey (Jane Levy) — everyone gathers for his wake, during the entirety of which they perform the most haunting and emotional “American Pie.” Plus, the finale continues to show that Zoey’s knows how to handle a love triangle: Zoey takes a big step forward with Max (Skylar Astin), but that’s put aside for both him and Simon (John Clarence Stewart) to be there for her after she loses her father.

Normal People - Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal


Normal People, “Episode 12”

(Season 1, Episode 12)

While fans slowly fall for Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) as they fall for each other over the course of this limited series, it’s the finale episode that remains with viewers long after the show’s over. When things between the pair are finally on track and they have accepted their feelings for each other, life and opportunity get in the way and they end up parting ways. The heartache over their predicament is just as palpable through the TV screen as it is in the show’s closing moments.

Daniela Ruah Frank Military NCIS Los Angeles Raising the Dead
Ron Jaffe/CBS


NCIS: Los Angeles, “Raising the Dead”

(Season 12, Episode 5)

In one of the best and most chilling episodes of the series, Daniela Ruah delivers a standout performance as Special Agent Kensi Blye must come face-to-face with a sociopath from her past in a Hannibal-esque situation. The threats are terrifying (“When I get out of here, I want to be ready to hunt you down, have sex with you, and then kill you, maybe not even in that order,” Kessler, played by writer Frank Military promises), and the moment “touché” (a Densi staple) leaves his lips, we become very, very worried about how long he may have been watching. Plus: He’s still out there, so he very much remains a serious threat.