This week, television surprised and moved us. Meredith Baxter announced that she is gay. Sons of Anarchy shifted its focus abruptly from revenge to deep sorrow. And House admitted that without Wilson, he is truly alone. Also: Nathan Petrelli is dead and the ladies of Eastwick are witches. (OK, so not everything was a surprise.) Welcome to the Coolest Moments (aka Top Moments): Shock and Awwww Edition.
12. Best Reveal (Finally): After nine Eastwick episodes full of "Jedi mind tricks," Roxie, Kat and Joanna acknowledge the extent of their powers. "So did we all just admit we're witches?" asks Roxie. It's a shame their magic couldn't cast a spell on the ABC programmers who've canceled the show.
11. Worst Wordplay: How do you spell failure? Easy — or should we say Big Easy? On The Amazing Race, Harlem Globetrotter Nathaniel "Big Easy" Lofton toils for two-and-a-half hours to unscramble Franz Kafka's name — his first name. Inexplicably, he chooses to incur a four-hour penalty, which, uh, spelled elimination for him and his fellow 'Trotter, Flight Time.
10. Most Anticlimactic Goodbye: On Heroes, Nathan finally meets his demise as his brother, Peter, gives up on his mission to rescue Nathan from Sylar's grip by dropping him off a building. It's definitely an emotional moment, but it probably would have packed more of a punch if Nathan hadn't already died before.
9. Most Touching: It's about time House showed us what Wilson is thinking. As interesting as the Wilson-centric episode was, it was his tender (yes, I said it, tender) reconciliation with House that had us reaching for the Kleenex. Wilson wants House to be with him during his liver-donation surgery. House refuses, but it's because, as the cranky doc says, "If you die, I'm alone." Sniff.
8. Worst Twist: On Sunday's Desperate Housewives, Katherine turns a knife on herself. Whether it's because she's distraught over yet another rejection from Mike or because she's trying to frame him is immaterial. This story line has already totally bled out.
7. Not-Calling-It-a-Comeback Award: LL Cool J used to be one of the best rappers alive, as he tried to remind us on The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! — Countdown to Music's Biggest Night. A medley mixing his own hits with the biggest singles of the year gave him a few chances to show his lyrical dexterity, but the jerky transitions between tracks undercut his delivery. So did this Tony Awards-referencing rhyme: "It's not Hugh Jackman/yes, it's a black man." (We still love Cool James.)
6. Opposite-of-Mom-Jeans Award: Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi showed up for the finale pregnant! We knew the fashion plate wouldn't don typical maternity wear, but that black bondage dress with the strategically placed cut-outs looked like it escaped from Julie Brown's Club MTV wardrobe trailer.
5. Biggest Surprise: While Jax, Clay and all the members of Sons of Anarchy's SAMCRO focus on taking out their archenemy, Ethan Zobelle, a sneak attack hits them where it hurts. Cameron, believing Gemma murdered his son, kidnaps Jax's baby boy and takes him away by boat. Zobelle escapes, but the real loss is felt when Jax crumples into Clay's arms in the final frames of Season 2.
4. Best Tease: There were some big revelations on FlashForward this week, but none bigger than the one packed into a tidy three-minute preview of the show's spring episodes: There's going to be another blackout. The show returns in March 2010.
3. Most Out of Character: At long last, Will discovers that Terri is faking her pregnancy on Glee. But we weren't expecting his quasi-violent reaction to the news. He grabs his wife's wrist and pins her to the wall as if we're suddenly watching an episode of The Sopranos. What happened to expressing yourself through song?
2. Most Surprising Announcement: Meredith Baxter appears on the Today show to announce that she is a lesbian. The former Family Ties mom reports that she's doing so because a tabloid was threatening to out her. We applaud her bravery. Just nobody tell Alex P. Keaton, OK?
1. Best "Situation": On the premiere of MTV's instant-classic Jersey Shore, we meet Mike, a muscular Italian dude, and his abs, which he calls "the situation," as he raises his shirt, again and again. "What could you possibly say to someone that looks like Rambo with his shirt off?" Mike asks. He's got a point; we're totally speechless.
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