2012's Best Episodes: Glee's New Beginnings and Vampire Diaries' New Undead
Deaths! Interrogations! Plane crashes! Breakups! Weddings! Catfights! Sex dreams! TV had it all this year. From Desperate Housewives' fitting farewell to Fringe's powerful flash-forward, 2012 served up some remarkable hours of television, and we've assembled the top 25 episodes. Which ones made the cut? Tune in all week to see the full list.
What were the best TV shows of 2012?
Here are Episodes 10-6. (Catch up with Episodes 25-21, Episodes 20-16 and Episodes 15-11.)
10. "The New Rachel," Glee
It's fun to see Rachel's new life in New York, but Glee's Season 4 premiere is about so much more. Can the show survive the graduation of eight main characters? Ryan Murphy's gamble pays off though, as this hour shows us that in addition to successfully juggling geography, it introduces several promising new glee clubbers, most notably Marley Rose, Ryder Lynn and Jake Puckerman. Gold star!
9. "Blackwater," Game of Thrones
Stannic's bid for the Iron Throne leads him to invade the Red Keep via Blackwater Bay, where the water is mysteriously set ablaze with a substance known as "wildfire." It's just the first of many triumphs for halfman Tyrion Lannister, a fan favorite for his sardonic wit and even sharper tongue. This episode also reveals everyone else's mettle — from the shared cowardice of King Joffrey and his mother Cersei to the leadership of political prisoner Sansa and fierceness of Tyrion's whore Shae. Battles are not won with brute force or sheer numbers alone. Well played, HBO.
8. "The Departed," The Vampire Diaries
Season 3 concludes with a defeated Klaus, Elena's choice between Stefan and Damon, the tragic death of Alaric and, of course, Elena's death in a car wreck that mirrors her parents' death at the beginning of the series. The episode is filled with flashbacks, surprises and gloom, and it's the final moment that reveals that Elena will turn into a vampire. It signals the start of a new era that leaves fans wondering about the very different future of the show.
7. "Mazel Tov, Dummies," 30 Rock
What the what?! Tina Fey's long-suffering showrunner, Liz Lemon, finally finds her inner romantic and walks down the aisle with boyfriend Criss Chross the only way Liz Lemon can: dressed as Princess Leia. Aside from giving hope to single women over the age of 40 everywhere (anything's possible!), Liz's wedding is a touching plot point to include in the show's seventh and final season. No epic eyeroll at that!
6. "Killer Within," The Walking Dead
When zombies infiltrated Rick & Co.'s prison sanctuary, viewers didn't expect to lose two main characters in the ensuing battle. While brave T-Dog feeds his body to several hungry walkers, it's pregnant Lori's poignant sacrifice — undergoing a C-section without proper tools in order to save her baby's life — that traumatizes us. Making matters worse, her young son Carl has to shoot her in the head lest she turn into a zombie too. It's no wonder that her estranged husband Rick finally loses his cool, showing true despair for the first time. What kind of carnage can we expect from the finale?
Check back all week to see the full list!