WARNING: Spoiler territory.
Kate Humphrey’s Memorable Moment: Amy’s Baking Company
Kitchen Nightmares: Amy’s Baking Company (Air Date: May 10, 2013)
Who was quoted saying “The customer isn’t always right!” and “You don’t know how to eat!”? Who has been immortalized in TV history for the gem “I can speak cat…Meow meow meow!” and will forever be remembered for their crude use of explicatives towards their customers? The culprits are Samy and Amy, the distasteful, dysfunctional owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona. Lies leak out through their eyes, and their dishes leak grease and mediocrity. Chef and show host Gordon Ramsay does not only have to deal with store-bought charlatan eats, however. He also gets to experience the owners’ unique management techniques which include: having their customers wait almost an hour for an undercooked pizza, taking their servers’ tips, and verbally skewering anyone who questions their methods.
The incredulity this episode inspires has erased almost all other crazed reality TV characters from my mind (I still love you, Toddler in Tiara Mackenzie); there is something horrifyingly visceral about evil people serving food. To make things more memorable, Gordon Ramsay can’t even get past the initial review stage, and quits the episode early. The only thing worse than fraudulent and abusive business owners are the kind who are deluded enough to feel above criticism. We’ve all worked for them, but not all of them have retaliated with angry facebook posts.
I’m in a daily fight to retain faith in the human race. No matter how hopeful I become, a bitter taste in my mouth still lingers. Samy and Amy are bullies who have bastardized what makes life on earth worth living: the universal comfort of sharing food.
Kyle Trembley’s Memorable Moment: Ben and Leslie Get Married
Parks and Recreation, “Ben And Leslie” (Air Date: February 22, 2013)
What I wrote at the time still sums up my feelings about this episode, and this moment:
“The things that you have done for me – to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy – go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.”
Leslie Knope’s 70 pages of vows condensed down to one succinct, perfect statement.
“Perfect” is a slippery concept. I have no idea what makes a perfect TV episode. You could point out any number of things wrong with “Leslie and Ben.” You could talk about it not being consistently funny, or Councilman Jamm becoming too uncomfortable to watch, or the ending being telegraphed from a mile away.
All valid points, you can argue about any of that.
But the last act of this episode, starting from the moment Ron walks Leslie (in her ridiculous/amazing newspaper wedding dress) to the office and offers her his elbow, I will not argue about. That is perfection. That’s what it looks like.
‘Parks & Recreation’ showrunner Mike Schur has made no secret of his undying love of ‘Cheers.’ It’s only fitting, then, that the biggest moment in Parks’ five-year run would occur not in a giant tent in front of a bunch of strangers as part of a gala fundraiser, as originally planned; but in the office, with just our main group of co-workers and friends: Leslie, Ben, Tom, Chris, Ann, Andy, April, Donna, Ron.
Where everybody knows your name.
It was perfect.
(Oh, and Jerry. I forgot Jerry.)
Dave Warren’s Memorable Moment: Peggy Stabs Abe
Mad Men, “The Better Half” (Air Date: May 26, 2013)
This is pure unexpected awesomeness. It came out of nowhere yet somehow seems like it could actually have happened to these two.
Give Peggy and Abe some credit – despite their seriously fundamental beliefs, they always tried their best and worked hard on their relationship. Tension builds about the dangers of living in their crime-ridden ‘West 80’s’ neighborhood, and Peggy wants out. But who could have guessed that these two were more dangerous to themselves than what was going on in the streets? And it was Abe who got the worst end of that little stab-stick. Mmmm…. dramatic irony…..delicious.
‘Mad Men’ throws in these hectic yet believable moments every now and then. This one reminded me of the lawn mower incident in Season 3’s “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency.” OK, that was little more far fetched, but the aftermath of the incident was pretty realistic, just like the stabbing. I love how Peggy gets harshly dumped by Abe in the ambulance. Apparently, Abe saw things a lot clearly after Peggy knifed him, and that was it for their relationship.
So it was goodbye, Abe (for the series –he lives, of course). Peggy wraps up the whole episode the next day: “Abe got stabbed.”
That gif explains it all. (Credit: New York Magazine).
Blaire Knight-Graves’ Memorable Moment: The Red Wedding
Game of Thrones, “The Rains of Castamere” (Air Date: June 2nd, 2013)
I mean… Come on. Is anyone at all surprised that I picked this? It’s no secret that I hated Robb Stark and Talisa. I frequently wished they’d be killed off. But I could not have possibly predicted their demise in a million years (admittedly I had imagined much worse things happening to Talisa because Game of Thrones does well to remind the audience that women are victims 99% of the time).
The Red Wedding was horrific. I may have not been thrilled with Robb Stark and Talisa from the get-go (I may have even reveled in this scene for the first 24 hours post-broadcast…), but that’s not exactly the character death I had in mind when I wished for the couple to be written off of the series. Never mind my qualms with the elder Stark boy—the spectacle, the stabbing, the awful CGI blood and graphics—this abridged and powerful scene had all that it needed to be affixed into my memory like that really bad hair cut I had when I was 11.
From the vows, to the bedding ceremony, to Catelyn Stark’s sliced throat: the imagery will always be there. I shutter to think what poor Arya—the sole surviving Stark of the Red Wedding—went through and how her character will grow from having witnessed the deaths of both her parents, but goodness only knows that this event put a lot of potential storylines into play and I am desperately awaiting the return of this Game of Thrones.
Special Twitter Submitter:
Mary Busher’s (@joanbusher) Memorable Moment: The Golden Boy Season Finale
Golden Boy, “Next Question” (Air Date: May 14, 2013)
Hands down the best moment of the spring TV season was the Golden Boy series (unfortunate) finale. The whole hour kept the emotional hits coming, but the really devastating part of the episode was watching Chi McBride’s performance as Detective Owen, knowing that there wasn’t going to be a second season.
Why exactly was it so moving? Let me explain. The main character is Walter Clark, a man who we know will become the police commissioner of New York City in seven years. His partner is Detective Don Owen, the man who taught him everything he knows. The final episode involves flashbacks from Don’s perspective as Clark is put on suspension and is digging into an old case of Don’s.
So why is this case so important? It’s a cold case, a murder that happened on 9/11. It turns out that it was one of Don’s first cases as a detective. Not only that, but Don’s partner, the man who taught HIM everything he knows, is called down to the towers, to try to help. Don eventually gives up working on the case, to try to get to his old partner in the towers.
He’s on the street, a few blocks away, when he loses contact with his partner and the towers collapse. He manages to pull a woman with him into the lobby of a building as a flood of debris from the World Trade Centers’ collapse rushes past. An exhausted and bedraggled, dust-covered Don eventually makes his way back to the deserted police station. He plugs in his cell phone and listens to the last message from his partner, who tells him to let his wife and kids know he loves them, and he’ll be with them always, right before the message cuts out. Don promises his old partner that he’ll deliver the message and gets down on his knees to pray. As he asks God to watch out for his partner, and especially his partner’s wife and children, he breaks into sobs.
The camera pulls out to show the deserted police station, as Don cries for the loss of life and the radio narrates the devastation of the day.