Mad Men

It was a great year for TV, which made it very difficult to choose the top 25 episodes of 2010. Recalling and, in some cases, rewatching the stand-out moments was a holiday treat. We got our first glimpse of a bespectacled Clark Kent and saw Snooki pummel Angelina. We wept as Jack Shephard took his final breath and cheered as Leslie took down a mischievous rodent wreaking havoc in Pawnee. Here's the fifth and final batch of TVGuide.com's weeklong countdown of the year's best episodes. (See the complete list here.)

5. "The Possum," Parks and Recreation
Tom was wearing golf gear, Ron refused to follow a government edict and April was falling in love with Andy. In many ways, it was just another outstanding episode of Parks and Recreation. But then you add in Leslie's mano-a-mano with Fairway Frank, Pawnee's most notorious possum — or... was it? "Mr. Campo-Piano, those are pictures of three different possums!" — and all hell breaks loose! How many more days until Season 3 again?

4. "Days Gone By," The Walking Dead
Every pilot has a lot to prove, but The Walking Dead had the added burden of demonstrating that zombies are interesting for more than two hours at the cineplex. Frank Darabont's wonderfully written and directed pilot did just that by focusing on the hearts of the living characters rather than the brainlust of the undead ones. The episode's emotional climax finds Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes returning to a park to euthanize a legless zombie. "I'm sorry this happened to you," he says, fighting back tears while pulling the trigger. We're only sorry this show had such a short first season.

3. "One Minute," Breaking Bad
A handful of Season 3 episodes could have made the cut, but it's hard to top this classic, which includes the most tense, agonizing 60 seconds committed to film when Hank is told he only has one minute to live. What follows is a brutal, super-charged parking lot shootout to the death between him and the blood-curdling Cousins. It fittingly ends with a gnarly shot of brain splatter on the camera. Simply awesome.

2. "Journey," Glee
The episode served as the perfect wrap for Season 1, but also opened doors for Season 2, showing fans that the journey to regionals was just beginning. Finn proclaimed his love for Rachel, Emma moved on from Will, and Sue proved she was capable of (begrudging) compassion for New Directions. Our top moment? Even the biggest critics of Quinn's pregnancy story line had to have been silenced by the baby's emotional delivery, to the tune of Queen's "Bohemian Rapsody." (Well, that and "To Sir, With Love.")

1."The Suitcase," Mad Men
Don Draper's dizzying downward spiral reached rock bottom — and the result was the best episode in the show's history. To avoid facing the news that his dear friend Anna had died, Don kept Peggy late to hammer out a pitch for Samsonite. While the rest of the office watched the Ali-Liston boxing match, Don and Peggy argued as they worked through their emotional baggage. But when Don broke down after his fears of Anna's death were confirmed, Peggy was right there to catch him. Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss' performances were a one-two punch of brilliance. 

 

What were your favorite episodes of the year?