Our top moments of the week:
14. Best Blast from the Past: Six years after attempting to cheat on her on How I Met Your Mother, Ted gets the shock of his life when he spots Miss Buttercup herself, Victoria (Ashley Williams), catering the Architects Ball. We know canonically that Victoria's not the mother, but she was among our favorites of Ted's girlfriends (and he's had a lot), so it's nice to see her again, even if her only purpose is to restore the jaded romantic's faith in romance.
13. Best First Dance: Who knew moves like Jagger involves rooster chest-puffing and cat-clawing? But then again, Carson Kressley is always ahead of the trends. The Dancing with the Stars hopeful puts on an infectious, show-stopping cha-cha that is far from being technically perfect, but is perfectly entertaining, totally committed and endlessly glittery. As the former Queer Eye guy himself promised: "Nobody's going to be working harder than I am to compensate for my lack of talent." Keep it up, Carson, and the Mirrorball may just be yours!
12. Most Awesome Comeback: During a Senate hearing on Criminal Minds about the BAU's rogue pursuit of Ian Doyle, defiant Reid comes out to play. In the hot seat for having suggested the team use Doyle as bait, Reid forcefully explains his logic and actions to a decidedly unamused Senator Cramer in his typical (not to mention nerdy) rapid-fire pace. "Calm down, Agent," Cramer demands. Reid fires back: "This is calm, and it's Doctor." Oh, snap!
11. Saddest Death: On the eve of her trip to Italy on The Big C, Cathy receives a phone call from Lee asking her to come over, where she discovers he is on his deathbed. She suggests they call a doctor. "I did call someone," he weakly tells her. "I wanted to say goodbye to my soulmate." Cathy misses the trip to Italy and stays with Lee until he takes his final breath on, as he points out, the darkest day of the year, with the guarantee that the next day will be brighter.
10. Funniest Bust: Nicole Scherzinger drops by Conan in a low-cut, figure-hugging dress to promote The X Factor, and in Conan's mind, her boobs. As the Pussycat Doll starts telling a story, Conan's eyes inevitably drift downward toward her bust. "Focus, Conan," Scherzinger orders. "You didn't think I was going to look down there?!" he replies. Don't worry, Coco — we all did.
9. Sweetest Breakup: Now that she's running for city council (Knope 2012!), Leslie must break up with her boyfriend/boss Ben on Parks and Recreation. Ben also realizes they can't stay together and — after giving Leslie a Knope campaign pin — morphs into a jerk to make it easy on her. "It's not you; it's me. I'm not ready for a commitment. I just like don't like you anymore. ... You're boring and frankly, you disgust me. Bleh." Actions speak louder than words, and the understanding, but oh-so-disappointed look on Ben's face as he lets her go is both romantic and completely heartbreaking at the same time.
8. Coldest Revenge: Emily Thorne, you've got nothing on Gustavo Fring. Carrying out revenge more than 20 years in the making on Breaking Bad, Gus wipes out Don Eladio and his capos by poisoning Eladio's favorite tequila, the rare Zafiro Añejo, at his compound where they were celebrating Jesse's solo meth-cooking success. After vomiting up the poison he had ingested himself, Gus watches with glowing rage as Eladio collapses into the same pool Gus watched Max bleed into two decades earlier.
7. Best Musical Entrance, Part I: After a desperate plea from boyfriend Kurt, Blaine decides to ditch the Dalton blazer (peace out, Warblers!) and transfer to McKinley High on Glee. Kurt plans to "ease" Blaine in to New Directions, but Blaine chooses a different creative direction — performing Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" in front of the entire school with a full back-up band and a posse of dancing cheerleaders. The performance ends in flames, literally, but the piano fire is no match for Blaine's spark. Please, please let him be a junior!
6. Most-Fitting Goodbye:
Two and a Half Men lays Charlie Sheen Harper to rest with a funeral in the season premiere. Naturally, the writers use the fictional service — during which his former conquests parade out to share the venereal "presents" he gave them — to get back at their fallen star and explain that Charlie died when he "fell" in front of a high-speed train (conveniently, the day after his fiancée found out he had cheated) and that his body subsequently exploded "like a balloon full of meat." Charlie's housekeeper responds, "Never cross a crazy woman," and, minus the woman part, we somehow get the feeling those words are coming from experience.
5. Best Musical Entrance, Part II:
On New Girl, Jess' three roommates ditch their big party and come to her rescue when they find out she's been stood up on her first date post-breakup. They find her sitting alone at a fancy restaurant in a little black dress, so what's the logical thing to do to cheer her up? Sing her favorite song, "I've Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing, at the top of their lungs (and way off-pitch) in the middle of the restaurant. She cries, they get kicked out, and a sweet, but weird kinship is born.
4. Worst Breakup: With Christopher Meloni having left Law & Order: Special Victims Unit over the summer, Benson must learn secondhand from Cragen that Stabler has retired from the force. "He's earned it," she says, pursing her lips and forcing a smile before insisting that she's fine. But after walking out of Cragen's office, she heads to an interrogation room and breaks down in tears. It really won't be the same without you, Elliot.
3. Best Promotion: After months of waiting, The Office gets right to the point in the Season 8 premiere and reveals that — drum roll — Andy Bernard is the new manager of Dunder Mifflin. Andy's climb up the corporate ladder is made official in the opening credits when he's shown in Michael's old office adjusting an object on his desk (a nod to the old shot of Michael adjusting his Dundie) and then, appropriately, knocking it over. Let the era of the Nard Dog begin!
2. Most Painful Audition: Yes, we're all in favor of singing contestants who really put themselves out there emotionally, but The X Factorcontestant Geo Godley takes that adage far too literally. During the performance of his original (read: horrible) song, "I'm a Stud," Geo drops trou and dances around on the stage, shaking his equipment to the point where Paula Abdul runs back stage and starts dry-heaving. This coming from a woman who already had to endure William Hung live and in person.
1. Best Confession: After barely surviving the Season 3 Castle finale shooting, Beckett tells Castle that she doesn't remember anything after she was shot — including Castle saying "I love you" to her. But the truth comes out when she sees her police-mandated shrink and comes clean with her own three shocking words: "I remember everything." So how long is it going to take for her to say those three words back to Castle?
What were your top moments?