Television this week needs an American Red Cross telethon, stat! Jax's blood boiled on Sons of Anarchy. Top Chef's Kelly had no time for first aid, so she encased her bloody finger in a rubber glove. New Jersey's Real Housewives displayed remarkable sangfroid with a less-than-genuine hug. Vampire Diaries' Caroline, and not Jeremy, changed her life by drinking vampire blood. And Mad Men's Don Draper blunted his profound mourning with impromptu fisticuffs and a dangerously heightened blood-alcohol level. Welcome to this week's Top Moments: Let It Bleed Edition.
8. Most Brutal Ending: After a mostly quiet episode focusing on Jax's crushed spirit after his infant son's kidnapping, Sons of Anarchy's final scene features a drive-by. Deputy Hale is run over and killed, several bystanders (including a little boy) are hit, and Jax unleashes his fury on a gunmen left behind — by repeatedly bashing his face into the pavement. We're scared to think what Jax might do to the guy who took his kid.
7. Worst Hygiene: Let's hope the Health Department didn't watch the Top Chef finale. When Kelly cut her finger during a time-sensitive challenge and there wasn't a Band-Aid handy, she encased her wound in a rubber glove. Needless to say, it didn't seem to stanch the blood flow, just contain it. Her spicy eats looked delectable, but the image of a bag of blood attached to her hand while she cooked killed our appetite.
6. Best Twist, Part I: Nikita's series premiere tells the dual stories of Nikita, a former operative of the secret government agency Division who's now determined to bring it down, and Alex, a brand-new Division recruit. In the final scene, an exchange of text messages reveals that Alex is an agency mole working with Nikita. Good thing: We've already taken a shine to Alex, and didn't want Nikita to kill her.
5. Best Homage: When Hellcats' Marti loses her college scholarship, the savvy pre-law major decides her only chance to stay in school is to join the cheerleading squad. (Wait, you say: Isn't this the plot of Debbie Does Dallas? Almost, but the CW goes in a cleaner direction.) She heads to the video store to pick up a copy of — get your mind out of the gutter — Bring It On. It's a funny and charming way to acknowledge the show's debt to a past cheerleading classic (that the whole family can enjoy).
4. Best Winner: It's no Roger Federer tweener, but equally jaw-dropping was Fernando Verdasco's match point against countryman David Ferrer in their 4-hour, 23-minute U.S. Open fourth-round tussle. After Ferrer played a drop shot at the net, Verdasco — who fought back from two sets down and 1-4 down in the fifth-set tiebreak — bolted from behind the baseline to whip a looping forehand around the net post that landed cleanly in the corner. Now that's what you call a winner.
3. Most Insane Change of Heart: Following last week's combative Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion, the catfighting continues in Part 2 with name-calling, yelling and Andy Cohen's feeble attempt to tame some of the lovely ladies of the Garden State. But after Jacqueline accuses Danielle of wishing death on her teenage daughter via Twitter, a commercial break is all it takes for J. and D. to bury the hatchet with a hug. Caroline sums up the "reality" TV moment the best: "This is the biggest crock of sh-- I've ever seen in my life."
2. Best Twist, Part II: Jeremy and Caroline's life-or-death cliff-hangers took interesting turns on The Vampire Diaries' season premiere. Just after Elena tells Damon that she's in love only with Stefan, the rejected Salvatore brother snaps Jeremy's neck. But Jeremy won't get his wish and become a vampire; he's wearing Uncle Jon's ring, so he wakes up unchanged. Meanwhile, Katherine visits Caroline in the hospital and smothers her with a pillow. Because she drank Damon's blood to heal, it seems she's now on an unexpected path to a blood-sucking life.
1. Most Surprising Tears: After years of putting up a strong front before Peggy — and advising her, in her most vulnerable moments, to do the same — Mad Men's Don utterly cracks before his protégée. Following a night of yelling at her, drinking heavily, and sloppily fighting her former lover in the office, he finally makes the call to California he's been trying to avoid. He gets the news he expected — the woman who knew him best has died — and breaks down in front of Peggy. Now she's the one who knows him best.
What were your Top Moments?