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 second batch of TVGuide.com's weeklong countdown of the year's best episodes. (Catch up first with Episodes 25-21.)
20. "Hop a Freighter," Dexter
The Season 5 finale of Dexter paled in comparison to the penultimate episode, in which Dexter pondered a new life with Lumen. The idea of a Dexter who doesn't kill gave us hope for the complicated, grieving sociopath. Bonus: The second half of the episode — Dexter and Lumen were kidnapped; Liddy and Emily were murdered — was nothing short of a non-stop thriller.
19. "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?" Private Practice
Charlotte's brutal attack at the top of the episode set the tone for a tense, anxious hour. KaDee Strickland's Emmy-worthy performance was heartbreaking. There were moments, particularly when fiancée Cooper first saw the extent of her injuries, that it was like we weren't even watching TV anymore.
18. "Steve Guttenberg's Birthday," Party Down
RIP, Party Down. This parody and celebration of Guttenberg, who was only too game to send himself up in this Season 2 episode, ranks among the show's best episodes. Under the direction of The Goot, the gang decides to workshop one of Roman's sci-fi screenplays. The actor-caterers showcase some serious skills during the performance — making Roman's writing all the more raucously horrific.
17. "Reaganing," 30 Rock
Perfection (or "Reaganing") is hard to achieve, but like Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock came close to it in this episode, a welcome return to form after an uneven fourth season. The kooky half-hour featured Frasier (er, Frajer) himself, Kelsey Grammer, assisting Jenna and Kenneth in a long-con Carvel bakery scam and flirty interplay between Jack and Liz. We learned why Tom Jones, Liz's aunt and roller skates are to blame for Liz's sexual dysfunction and that Jack thinks she's great.
16. "Taking Control," The Good Wife
Julianna Margulies' legal drama returned with a vengeance. After months of laying low post-scandal, Alicia found her backbone, satisfaction (thanks to some, um, assistance from Peter) and a new mentor in Derrick Bond. The only thing she didn't find? Will's declaration of love via voicemail, which Eli deleted — a perfect way to keep the love triangle thriving. Props to the producers for adding Blake to the cast, a perfect foil for the enigmatic Kalinda (or should we say Leila?)
Check back all week as we count down to No. 1. What were your favorite episodes of the year?