2013 was a pretty incredible year for television [as if there aren’t years of incredible television], but I found it very fun to go back and take a look at the best episodes of the year. Although Fall television is still pretty fresh in my head, I found a lot of joy in going back into Spring 2013 television to recall how great some of those episode were. Below, I’ve compiled the television shows and their corresponding episodes to go back and relive some of the greatest television episodes of 2013.
Minor spoilers below.
The Walking Dead Season 3B: Clear
Scott Gimple transformed Season 4 of the Walking Dead into what it could have always been, a zombie show that made us care a lot about the characters. In season 3, he directed and wrote arguably what remains to be one of the best episodes of the series. Straying away from a super large group story and isolating the development to only three or four characters did wonders for developing depth and care for some of the main players. The episode is masked as a simple story of meeting up with a character we haven’t seen since the beginning, but we get so much more depth with how Michonne, Carl, and especially Rick react to a lost soul. Rick and Morgan essentially started as the same person: a man who would do anything for his kid. But the difference was that Morgan lost his, and look what happened to him. Rick sees this in himself and how bad things could turn. Lennie Jame’s Morgan delivers a speech that provides the most horrifying glimpse into how the apocalypse can truly break someone.
Breaking Bad Season 5B: Ozymandias
To be fair, each episode of the final season of Breaking Bad deserves to be a best episode of 2013, but nothing drove it harder home than Ozymandias. The poem was originally about how a previous king wrote about the glories of his conquers on a statue, that now lay on a deteriorating in the dust [thanks high school British Literature!] The poem was fitting for the episode as it epitomizes how far Walt has fallen as he loses just about everything. It still sends shivers up my spine as I write about it. What a fantastic final season to a fantastic series.
The Legend of Korra Book 2: Beginnings Part I + II
The Legend of Korra Book 2 was everything amazing that should be known with Avatar series, but what really drove me home in terms of awe and chills was the flashback to the very first Avatar, Wan. Done in an amazing art style that is reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli weighed together with trademark Avatar feels and action scenes, Beginnings Part I + II could be ranked up there with the best animated episodes on television of all time. Everything about these two episodes were perfect and can be recommended to anyone who appreciated great animation and fantastic story telling.
Parks and Recreation Season 5: Leslie and Ben
The header photo does not lie, I am a diehard Benslie fan. With Parks and Recreation being in my top three television shows of all time, the wedding of Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt provided me all the feels and laughter that I could handle. Everything from Champion the three legged dog to Ron leading Leslie down the Aisle made it perfect. If there is any episode out there that makes me believe in true love, it’s certainly this one. Out there, I know there is a Leslie Knope to my Ben Wyatt.
The League Season 5: Rafi and Dirty Randy
Having recently caught up fully on The League, I’ve found that the episode titled Rafi and Dirty Randy to be the most enjoyable [though of course they were all enjoyable.] This episode makes the cut because it calls back to other episodes in the season. This episode breaks off from the usual guys in the League [I originally typed ‘Gang’, but ‘Gang’ only deserves to be used in reference to Always Sunny] and focuses on two side characters, Rafi and Dirty Randy as they travel to Los Angeles.
The number of hi-jinx they get themselves into can only be rivaled with Always Sunny [though I think these two characters might dethrone the Gang in terms of depravity]. Murder, drugs, strippers, pornography, and more murder follows these two as they take over LA. Definitely the most memorable episode of the season.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 9: The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award
Even on nine seasons, Always Sunny for some reason can remain fresh and original. Although the Gang normally tries to get themselves in the most depraved situations possible, the writers/actors decided to dive into how they haven’t received an award for their show/bar. The episode itself is one of the most Meta episodes ever aired [rivaling prime episodes of Community], poking fun at only superficial/colorful sitcoms/bars with laugh tracks that everyone watches and dark/period dramas/bars that no one watches get awards. As they try to adopt either mentality to get an award, they realize they don’t give a shit and end up cursing everyone out and spitting on them in true Always Sunny fashion. This episode is incredible, as it relies on wit that doubles the pun for the title name.
Close runner ups:
Game of Thrones – The Rains of Castamere
Justified – Decoy