25 TV Episodes From 2022 We Can’t Stop Thinking About

The Best TV Episodes of 2022 featuring 'This Is Us,' 'The Bear,' and 'Our Flag Means Death'
Ron Batzdorff/NBC; FX; HBO Max

In 2022 there were so many fantastic shows to watch, but a select few episodes really stood out among the crowd.

Whether it was hilarious comedy installments from shows such as Abbott Elementary, Our Flag Means Death, and What We Do in the Shadows or emotional standouts from shows like Reservation Dogs, This Is Us, and Better Call Saul, there were episodes for everyone. And don’t sleep on twisty entries from Severance or The White Lotus.

Below, we’re rounding up 25 episodes from 2022 that we can’t get out of our heads, but beware of spoilers ahead as we delve into some of this year’s biggest TV reveals, twists, and more. And let us know your favorite TV episode of the past year in the comments section.

Paulina Alexis, Devery Jacobs, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, and Lane Factor in 'Reservation Dogs'
Shane Brown/FX

Reservation Dogs - "I Still Believe" (Season 2, Episode 10)

While Reservation Dogs had one of the best seasons of TV in 2022, it was the finale episode, “I Still Believe,” that delivered on all fronts. Centering around four friends — Elora (Devery Jacobs), Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), and Cheese (Lane Factor) — the series’ main storyline has focused on their efforts to reach California to honor their late pal Daniel (Dalton Cramer). There were bumps along the way as the group was fractured most of the season, but they finally came together once again in this hilarious and touching installment. While they managed to make it across the country from Oklahoma, a series of mishaps left them without a car or money. Even still, they make the most of their progress by walking to the ocean and stepping into the water as a symbolic farewell to Daniel. It’s an emotional conclusion and promising beginning for the show’s next chapter that’s left us hungry for Season 3. — Meaghan Darwish

Ron Cephas Jones and Mandy Moore in 'This Is Us'
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us - "The Train (Season 6, Episode 17)

This Is Us captured viewers’ hearts from its debut in 2016 and retained them through the final moments of its last season in 2022, but no episode hit quite as hard as the penultimate installment, “The Train.” Following the final hours of Rebecca Pearson’s (Mandy Moore) life, the family gathers at the compound Kevin (Justin Hartley) helped build to say their goodbyes. As Rebecca lingers in between life and death, she takes a journey on a train where she’s guided by Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) biological dad William (Ron Cephas Jones). The closer she gets to the caboose, Rebecca is adamant she’s waiting for someone. That someone is daughter Kate (Chrissy Metz) who is racing to meet the family after a trip to England. Rebecca holds on just long enough for her daughter to get there before letting herself succumb to the embrace of death alongside her love Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). Along with being a sendoff for the Pearson family matriarch, it’s also an homage to the series itself. What more could you ask for? — Meaghan Darwish

The cast of 'Abbott Elementary'
ABC

Abbott Elementary - "Desking" (Season 1, Episode 11)

“Sweet baby Jesus and the grown one too, my desks have been desked!” That line delivery alone didn’t win Sheryl Lee Ralph her long overdue Emmy, but it could have. Every new hit comedy has an episode where it’s clear the writers have fully gotten into their rhythm, making for a story where every bit hits and each character shines. For Abbott Elementary, “Desking” was that episode. “Sweet baby Jesus!” and “Black?” “It’s actually pronounced Zach” will be part of every single “best of” roundup this Emmy-winning comedy gets. — Kelli Boyle

Bob Odenkirk in 'Better Call Saul'
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Better Call Saul - "Fun and Games" (Season 6, Epsiode 9)

Better Call Saul‘s sixth and final season was undoubtedly the show’s best and narrowing down the stellar run to one single episode is a challenge, but a certain standout is “Fun and Games.” Set following the clean-up of Howard’s (Patrick Fabian) shocking death and Lalo’s (Tony Dalton) demise, Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) are forced to carry on with their day-to-day lives but adjusting to the new normal is easier said than done. Along with pulling back the curtain on Gus Fring’s (Giancarlo Esposito) personal life, a fateful encounter at a memorial service for Howard stirs up some ugly talents that seemingly force Kim to reckon with the fact that she and Jimmy are better off apart. Ending their relationship without warning, Jimmy tells her “I love you” for the first time onscreen in an attempt to sway her decision, but it doesn’t work. This tips the lawyer over the edge as the installment concludes with Jimmy’s full transformation into the Saul Goodman fans met in Breaking Bad. — Meaghan Darwish

Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Jeremy Allen White in 'The Bear'
FX

The Bear - "Review" (Season 1, Episode 7)

In Episode 7, “The Review,” of FX’s The Bear, the chaotic lunch rush at the Original Beef of Chicagoland is shown in a stunningly chaotic 18-minute single take. Chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) lords over the debt-ridden sandwich shop with a team of diverse characters, including Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) and Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). After a positive review in the local newspaper, lunch orders pour in, and the kitchen descends into a cauldron of foul-mouthed personalities getting on each other’s nerves. The camera work rivals the intensity of the amazing performances in this stand-out episode. — John Bernikow

Eve Best and Olivia Cooke in 'House of the Dragon'
HBO

House of the Dragon - "The Green Council" (Season 1, Episode 9)

Everyone has their own agenda, and if you think by not playing the game that you’re out of the game, you’ll only lose the game quicker. As soon as King Viserys (Paddy Considine) mercifully drops dead, hear come the vultures, like his former Hand Otto (Rhys Ifans), looking to pick at his corpse and get what he’s longed for ages: The Throne. What Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) didn’t know was the conspiracy to take the crown went deeper than she thought, as it’s revealed her entire council conspired with her father behind her back to take hold of the thrown once her husband passed. She thought marrying his daughter off to his old best friend was as far as she’d go, but she was wrong. Alicent realizes her position as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is more of a cage than she initially believed. This episode also showcases how the people who are best served to lead are usually passed over for the person who helps the gander reach their goals the fastest, as The Queen’s deviant son, Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney), is called upon to become the king. The episode says a lot about what politics essentially boil down to and how the people who lead us are put in those positions rather than achieved off their own merit. — Isaac Rouse

Jeff Bridges in 'The Old Man'
Prashant Gupta/FX

The Old Man - "III" (Season 1, Episode 3)

One of the drawbacks of so much prestige television is all the big stars that need their precious screen time. The show writers provide these big speeches that don’t mean anything, don’t move the plot anywhere, or are just plain confusing. But FX’s thriller The Old Man, with acting heavyweights Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow, deliver these types of speeches with the gravitas of the, um, august, and are written to reveal character and their motivations, actually do move the plot along, or just provide plain dramatic oomph. And in this pivotal third episode, “III,” the speech writing proves key, too, in a plot reveal I didn’t see coming but kept me coming back for more. — Michael Fell

Natasia Demetriou, Matt Berry, and Kayvan Novak in 'What We Do in the Shadows'
Russ Martin/FX

What We Do in the Shadows - "Private School" (Season 4, Episode 5)

How do you get a young energy vampire into the perfect school? What We Do in the Shadows explored the concept in this riotous installment titled, “Private School.” With the help of human neighbor Sean (Anthony Atamanuik), Staten Island vampire roommates Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and Laszlo (Matt Berry), along with human familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) sit down for a home interview, hoping to gain Colin (Mark Proksch) entry into a reputable private school. Co-written by The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri, the silly shenanigans include hypnosis, a guest appearance by Impractical JokersSal Vulcano, and much more. In a must-see season, “Private School” is a can’t-miss episode. — Meaghan Darwish

Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby in 'Our Flag Means Death'
HBO Max

Our Flag Means Death - "The Best Revenge Is Dressing Well" (Season 1, Episode 5)

Our Flag Means Death is one of the most charming shows of the year. In Episode 5, wannabe pirate Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and Ed “Blackbeard” Teach (Taika Waititi) crash a French ship’s party hosted by the incestuous Gabriel and Antoinette (a pitch-perfect Nick Kroll and Kristen Schaal). In this episode, it becomes clear that Stede can teach Ed about the world of gentlemen, while Ed can teach Stede about the world of pirates. In a surprisingly tender display of violence, Stede burns down the French ship after the party attendees are a little too mean to his new friend. There’s a moment back on their own ship where it seems as though they may kiss. They don’t, but the tension between Darby and Waititi in that scene (and in the rest of the series) makes it all the sweeter when they finally do admit their feelings for one another. “The Best Revenge is Dressing Well” sets up one of the most delightful TV romances of 2022. — Leah Williams

Adam Scott in 'Severance'
Apple TV+

Severance - "The We We Are" (Season 1, Episode 9)

Severance’s main characters are incredibly easy to root for. In the finale, three of our innies finally get to enact a plot to awaken in their outies’ lives, while one stays behind to hold the switch that keeps them awake. It’s a race against time (and being found out) as they explore their own outside lives while looking for someone to confide in about the evils of Lumon’s severance procedure. Mark (Adam Scott) spends most of the episode trying to get a moment alone with his outie’s sister (Jen Tullock) during her husband’s (Michael Chernus) reading of his new book. Unfortunately, a Lumon higher-up (Patricia Arquette) is also present. Meanwhile, Helly (Britt Lower) realizes she’s a member of the Eagan family and aims to use this information to expose the operation on a larger scale. Irv (John Turturro) heartbreakingly discovers his blossoming love with Burt (Christopher Walken) cannot work above ground, as the latter has a husband. Dylan’s (Zach Cherry) role in this episode is the least glamorous, but the most essential, staying behind to keep watch and keep them awake outside. It’s a lot of spinning plates, but Ben Stiller’s direction keeps them all in the air. It’s the most stressful episode of 2022, with a satisfying cliffhanger that has us dying for Season 2. — Leah Williams

Sam Reid, Jacob Anderson, and Bailey Bass in 'Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire'
Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Interview with the Vampire - "The Thing Lay Still" (Season 1, Episode 7)

Eric Bogosian told us after Episode 4 that Jacob Anderson’s Louis de Pointe du Lac was an “unreliable narrator.” That was proven true in the nail-biting finale of Interview With the Vampire Season 1, but to his sheer terror, Daniel Molloy didn’t crack the story he thought he did. Through the flashbacks to the vampire family’s gloriously bloody last night in New Orleans, we saw how Louis and Lestat’s (Sam Reid) lusciously bad romance came to an “end,” but we also learned the story we’d been told all season long may have been edited in Louis’s favor. And after seven episodes of watching the existential angst-filled Louis rarely let off the steam of his bloodlust, Anne Rice’s beloved nightcrawlers fully leaned into the havoc they could always wreak. Poor Lestat just didn’t think Louis had the stomach to pivot that havoc his way. (And as we learned when the true flashback played, he didn’t.) “The Thing Lay Still” felt like a train heading towards unfinished tracks, but instead of going off the rails, it soared off the cliff, hurtling viewers into the long wait for Season 2. — Kelli Boyle

Jennifer Coolidge in 'The White Lotus'
HBO

The White Lotus - "Arrivederci" (Season 2, Episode 7)

The White Lotus continues to entertain viewers with its tension-filled storylines involving rich guests vacationing at the titular resort. And no one made us laugh quite as hard as Jennifer Coolidge‘s Tanya who returned for the second season and became entangled in the biggest storyline yet. Plucked from the frames of a Dateline episode, the show’s twist ending [Spoiler], which involved a murder plot concocted by Tanya’s husband Greg (Jon Gries), is too juicy to exclude from this list. Watching Tanya come to terms with the fact that the group of gay men who whisked her away for an excursion in Palermo were actually setting her up is everything and more. Just as we feel like Tanya’s met her end, she goes rogue and shoots her captors, but sadly kills herself when she attempts jumping into a dingy and instead hits her head and drowns in the water. Along with Meghann Fahy‘s mesmerizing performance, this was primo TV. — Meaghan Darwish

Josh Brolin and Imogen Poots in 'Outer Range'
Prime Video

Outer Range - "The Void" (Season 1, Episode 1)

Do you go slightly cross-eyed when you think about the ‘sci-fi western?’ You may have experienced this condition ever since 2011 when the execrable Cowboys & Aliens galloped onto the silver screen and kicked us all in the head. The pilot (‘The Void”) of Amazon‘s Outer Range can set you right on taking another chance on the admittedly strange genre. Josh Brolin anchors this twisted, and twisty, drama set in the wilds of Wyoming, where he is trying to save his ranch and what’s left of his family. A big ol’ misty hole in the ground opens up, which might be a good place to throw in evidence of, say, a serious crime, or, maybe even a body. But will they pop up in another place, or another time? I’d be down to drop in a DVD of Cowboys & Aliens just to see. — Michael Fell

Karl Urban and Jensen Ackles in 'The Boys' Season 3
Prime Video

The Boys - "Herogasm" (Season 3, Episode 6)

“Herogasm” was hyped up on The Boys Season 3 the way Marvel Studios hyped up Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. In the leadup to Prime Video’s breakthrough superhero parody, headlines swirled regarding the episode’s adult-themed content, especially given the comic book XXX-rated storyline it would adapt. Folks awaited with bated breath to see how much dirty content from the books would make it to the screen. In the end, the episode delivered on the promise of its title — Supes and non-Supes alike got their freak on in the Woodstock-like orgy. But it also features some poignant character moments, pulse-pounding action, and a jaw-dropping, action-packed ending. — Isaac Rouse

Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate in 'Dead to Me'
Courtesy of NETFLIX

Dead to Me - "We've Reached the End" (Season 3, Episode 10)

For three seasons, fans watched as Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) and Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini) became ride-or-die BFFs, all thanks to the hit-and-run accident that killed Jen’s husband (that, coincidentally, Judy was involved in.) While every episode was filled with a masterclass of banter and twists, the series finale — which found Jen unexpectedly pregnant and Judy living out her final days with terminal cancer — upped the ante. From the getaway car banter at the episode’s beginning to the tearful goodbye in Mexico (which also served as the last scene shot and therefore, real emotional goodbye between real-life friends Applegate and Cardellini), the finale encapsulated everything that made the series so special and reminded us how grief can, at times, turn into something beautiful. Andrea Towers

Bill Hader in 'Barry' Season 3
HBO

Barry - "710N" (Season 3, Episode 6)

There’s a lot to love in the sixth episode of Barry Season 3. From NoHo Hank’s (Anthony Carrigan) interrogation to every sequence at the beignet shop, Barry (Bill Hader) loudly voice-to-texting in public, and Fuches (Stephen Root) Eat, Pray, Love-ing just outside of LA, it is one of the funniest episodes of the season. But the highlight of the episode is the motorcycle chase and Hader’s flawless direction. It’s Looney Tunes meets Coen brothers meets neo-noir meets Heat. It’s everything Barry does best condensed into a nail-biting six-minute sequence. — Leah Williams

Rosie O'Donnell in 'A League of Their Own'
Prime Video

A League of Their Own - "Stealing Home" (Season 1, Episode 6)

It’s hard to narrow down the reason this episode, above all, others, clicks. From Max’s (Chante Adams) tentative steps into a new world to Jess’ (Kelly McCormack) perfectly epic sarcasm that diffuses (and enhances) any conversation to Carson’s (Abbi Jacobson) torn nature between the world she knows and the world she knows she wants, the show fully pulls back the curtain on the Peaches and their personal struggles. Throw in a cameo from original League of Their Own star Rosie O’Donnell as the owner of the gay bar that Carson stumbles across while trying to confront her teammates and the hour shines in a way that puts it above the rest — so much so that, by the end, when the police raid everyone’s safe space, you truly feel the impact of what it means to be queer in this time period. Andrea Towers

Ethan Peck, Anson Mount, and Dan Jeannotte in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds'
Marni Grossman/Paramount+

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - "A Quality of Mercy" (Season 1, Episode 10)

Strange New Worlds capped off an outstanding first season that made it one of the most entertaining series of the year with a finale that felt more like a movie and allowed Anson Mount to continue to shine as (two versions of) Captain Christopher Pike. A future version showed the present-day Pike what would happen — including meeting Captain James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley) and Spock (Ethan Peck) suffering severe injuries — if he did find a way to thwart his fate he’s known about since Discovery Season 2 (and fans have known since TOS). With the remake of a classic Trek episode, fantastic conversations between the two Pikes and present-day Pike and both timelines Spocks, the captain choosing to accept his fate, and the cliffhanger of Una (Rebecca Romijn) being arrested for violating the anti-genetic modification directive, what’s not to love? — Meredith Jacobs

Himesh Patel and MacKenzie Davis in 'Station Eleven'
HBO Max

Station Eleven - "Unbroken Circle" (Season 1, Episode 10)

All of Station Eleven is incredible television, but the finale is the standout. Episode 10 of the limited series brings together our multiple timelines and groups of people in a conclusion that’s sad, hopeful, and immensely satisfying. In a departure from the book, Kirsten (Mackenzie Davis as an adult, Matilda Lawler as a child) is in the care of Jeevan (Himesh Patel) for months at the beginning of their pandemic, while in the novel they are only together briefly. This gives us a cathartic reunion in the finale, the series’ emotional climax. Their tearful embrace is juxtaposed with the more complicated, but no less moving, reconciliation between The Prophet, Tyler (Daniel Zovatto), and his mother Elizabeth (Caitlin FitzGerald) during the tensest production of Hamlet of all time. Plus, in this episode, we come to understand different characters’ roles in the reformation of various communities in their new, post-pandemic world. Station Eleven waited until its finale to connect all the dots, and it was well worth the wait. — Leah Williams

Charlie Cox and Tatiana Maslany in 'She-Hulk: Attorney at Law'
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law - "Ribbit & Rip It" (Season 1, Episode 8)

Listen, anything that brings Charlie Cox back as Matt Murdock/Daredevil automatically gets love from us. (The fact that he’s coming back for an 18-episode series on Disney+? We’re over the moon.) But the fact that She-Hulk not only brought him back in “Ribbit and Rip It” but gave us a Matt who was much lighter than he could be in the three seasons of his Netflix series instantly made it a highlight of the year. Matt and Jen’s (Tatiana Maslany) interactions were so much fun, especially as they worked together as Daredevil and She-Hulk, and left us hoping she pops up on his show. Plus the episode had Jen in court (even though she didn’t win) and Griffin Matthews back as designer Luke. —Meredith Jacobs

Andy Serkis and Diego Luna in 'Andor'
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Andor - "One Way Out" (Season 1, Episode 10)

Revolution brews all through Andor, but “One Way Out” flings viewers into a vacuum episode you don’t learn the true impact of until the season finale’s end-credits scene. That delayed payoff doesn’t make Episode 10 any less impactful. Diego Luna is at his best in this installment as his Cassian Andor slowly plants the seed of revolution in the reluctant mind of Andy Serkis’s Kino Loy, just as Stellan Skarsgard’s Luthen Rael and his band of rebels did for him in Episodes 2-6. Serkis reminds he’s one of the industry’s finest as Kino goes from a complacent prisoner leader to being the prison break’s battle cryer. In a gut-punch ending, we learn Kino led his men to freedom, knowing he couldn’t join them. The one way out was to swim, and he couldn’t. Andor is Star Wars at its best. — Kelli Boyle

Josh Brolin in 'Outer Range'
Prime Video

Outer Range - "The West" (Season 1, Episode 8)

From the get-go, Amazon’s Lynchian western lassoed my interest, and along the trail of its first season, it became more entrancing. By episode 8’s “The West,” it was viewers who won a major reward for their patience as the time-travel powers of the void in Royal Abbott’s west pasture escalated to a point of staggering beauty. The view of Native Americans on the riverbanks, the stampeding cattle, the brutal shoot-out between Royal and “Autumn,” whose true identity flipped everything upside down. Burnt into it all were indelible performances by Tamara Podemski, Imogen Poots, and stars Josh Brolin and Lili Taylor. Their nearly wordless kitchen-table confrontation left as much of a mark as the runaway livestock. — Damian Holbrook

Eve Birthistle, Anne-Marie Duff, Sharon Horgan, and Sarah Greene in 'Bad Sisters'
Apple TV+

Bad Sisters - "Saving Grace" (Season 1, Episode 10)

Dark comedies don’t come darker (or more hilarious) than this Dublin-set series that comes packed with sisterly love, revenge, and, yes, murder. Tightknit Garvey sisters Eva (Sharon Horgan, who co-developed the series), Ursula (Eva Birthistle), Bibi (Sarah Greene), and Becky (Eve Hewson) band together to help save belittled sibling Grace (Anne-Marie Duff) from her vindictive and abusive husband John Paul (Claes Bang). Beginning at John Paul’s funeral, the series flips from present day to flashback to see why the awful John Paul needed to meet his maker (trust us, you’ll be rooting for the sisters) and who actually did the dirty but necessary deed. — Jim Halterman

Aneesha Joshi, Anuja Joshi, and Manish Dayal in 'The Resident'
Tom Griscom/FOX

The Resident - "One Bullet" (Season 6, Episode 3)

(In)arguably one of the most powerful episodes of a medical drama ever, “One Bullet” showed just how one gunshot wound can affect an entire hospital: the resources used, the staff kept busy, the blood bank shelves emptied, the not-as-dire procedures postponed … And as a result of that, The Resident left Dr. Leela Devi (Anuja Joshi) with no choice but to have to be the one to operate on and save her twin sister Padma (Aneesha Joshi), whose C-section was pushed until she had to be rushed into an OR. And to further get the point across? Just as Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) and Nurse Hundley (Denitra Isler) were leaving, another gunshot victim was wheeled in. — Meredith Jacobs

'One Piece'
Crunchyroll

One Piece - "Straw Hat Luffy! The Man Who Will Become the Pirate King!" (Episode 1015)

When fans of a long-running show that initially started in 1999 say that this year’s episode was the best of the entire series, it has to be one of the highest compliments a franchise can receive. After over 1000 episodes and more than enough fantastic episodes behind it, One Piece episode 1015 – “Straw Hat Luffy – The Man Who Will Become the Pirate King” has become the highlight of the series. It adapts the 1000th chapter of the original manga, which has been ongoing for even longer than the anime. It also reaffirms Luffy’s mission to become King of the Pirates, not only in the episode’s namesake but in his declaration toward the end. It’s Luffy’s motto, and we’ve heard him say it dozens of times. But in this episode, the declaration of his dream, paired against the duo of pirate emperors he needs to surpass to achieve it, has never been more impactful. The art and direction have never looked any better than it does now, achieving consistent movie-quality animation for this special section of the story. It’s the culmination of so many things, but more than anything, it’s a testament to how far Luffy has come from a rookie to a true contender for the title of King. — Isaac Rouse