5. Forward Unto Dawn Part 5
Technically, it’s not a TV show. I know that. It’s a web series. But come on, the fifth, and, sadly, final episode deserves this spot on the list. Not only did it deliver an awesome finale to the show, it had some excellent action and there was a live action Master Chief. And he stuffed a frag grenade into a Hunter’s back. If you aren’t a Halo fan, that will probably sound like gibberish to you, but trust me, once you see it, you too will think it’s awesome. That isn’t the only reason that that’s number five on this list. The story line of this episode is awesome, and with the cast cut down, it gives the show a lot more opportunity to focus in on the four (five, counting Master Chief) remaining recruits. On top of that, this episode proves what a great job Forward Unto Dawn did with it’s characters, because Silva’s death packs a punch, and, as the viewer, I actually felt for the characters. What ties it all together though is the cinematography. The use of different camera angles and moving cameras is stellar in this episode, and creates a great atmosphere
4. Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 1, Episode 1 – Revival
The premiere of the Clone Wars’ fifth season is, so far, the best episode of the season and one of the best TV episodes of 2012. We get to see both Darth Maul and Savage Oppress at their most brutal and most awesome. The same goes for Obi-Wan. He seems to have become a lot more focused since season 4, because now he can fend off the brothers on his own, which he does in one of the show’s best lightsaber battles, which ends in Savage losing an arm. Also, the death of Adi Gallia was shocking, and something I never thought would happen. Savage’s brutality comes across when he kills her, as the way he does it is brutally awesome, using his horns. Plus, Hondo Ohnaka is an awesome addition to the show, as usual, and provides some legitimately funny comic relief from the serious tone of the episode. And the pirates always offer some great action, and are great on the show. All of this is tied together by some great writing, and makes Revival one of the best TV episodes of this of this year.
3. The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 8 – Made To Suffer
The Walking Dead’s mid season finale was, easily, one of the best things I’ve seen on TV in some time. First of all, it introduces Tyreese. He’s one of my favorite characters from the comics and having him on the show is awesome, especially since he wound up in the prison. Seeing Carl’s way of dealing with this is awesome, showing that Lori’s death and Rick’s descent into relative insanity has taken it’s toll on him. Meanwhile, in Woodbury, Darly, Rick, Michonne, and Oscar stage a rescue of Glenn and Maggie. What has made this season so awesome is that it has focused around showing that the real threat can be in the living, and not in the dead. And that all comes to a head in “Made To Suffer”, with a firefight between the Governor’s men and Rick’s group. Furthermore, this episode furthers Rick’s descent into madness, when he thinks he sees Shane. It isn’t Shane, but it is an enemy, and he shoots Oscar, which Rick could have prevented. It will be interesting to see the effect this will have on him. Also, the Governor’s true nature is finally revealed to Michonne when he discovers his room of heads. The fact that even this can’t convince Andrea that he is a bad person is a testament to his skills with people. A stellar episode.
2. The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 10 – 18 Miles Out
18 Miles Out does what every episode of the Walking Dead should do. It focuses in on a small group of characters, and puts them in a scenario that forces character development. Because character development and relations are a massive part of the show. And 18 Miles Out does that. It centers around Rick’s conflict with Shane, and this is the first episode where they actually fight each other. This marks a critical turning point int Rick’s view of Shane, and is one of the key events leading to Shane’s death. Despite being best friends before the walkers came around, this episode shows that the two are polar opposites. Thanks to the shows excellent writing, Shane’s brutality and ruthlessness comes across extremely well in this episode. The two’s opposing view points finally reaches the level where they fight. 18 Miles Out truly shows what an apocalyptic event can do to people, and how they are molded by their will to survive. And Shane will do anything to survive, while Rick will do anything to help others to survive. It’s hard to not draw a connection to the Jedi and Sith conflict from Star Wars. Maybe another time. In addition to all that, there’s also some awesome zombie killing, which is always nice.
1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4, Episode 22 – Revenge
Finally, at the very end of season 4, Darth Maul truly returns. And, naturally, the first thing he wants to do is take revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi, the man who nearly killed him on Naboo, and drove him to insanity. What “Revenge” does really well is show the lengths to which Maul will go, as well as showing the stark contrast between Jedi and Sith. Because Maul knows the Jedi. So, in order to attract Obi-Wan’s attention, he performs a massacre. And it’s this episode that shows that, at the end of the day, the Jedi really do care about others. Season 4 was filled with lies, deceit, and violence, but the facial expressions on the faces of the Jedi as they watch Maul’s holorecording shows that they were obviously appalled by this event. And it’s this event that masterfully shows the difference between Jedi and Sith. It shows the lengths that the Sith will go to achieve personal gain, and the lengths to which Jedi will go to prevent harm being done to others. On top of this, we get what is probably the best lightsaber duel of the show. It truly shows that rage doesn’t always win battles. Because Obi-Wan was so unfocused and, at the end of the day, angry, he couldn’t fight Savage and Maul, even with Ventress’ help. And then there’s Obi-Wan’s witty remarks to Maul throughout the episode, which are actually pretty funny. All of this comes together extremely well to create the best TV episode of 2012.