Watching a recent episode of The Totally Rad Show, I got to thinking - what are the best episodes of TV shows that I've ever seen? One immediately sprang to mind, but I had to do some thinking to come up with the rest. The fact that I knew the episode names of every one of these by heart really says something.
I'll be listing these in alphabetical order, since it's hard to prioritize them.
"33" - The series premiere of Battlestar Galactica was amazing. Still in my opinion the best BSG episode there is. The Cylons were using tactics that totally make sense for a machine to use - machines do not need to sleep. Humans do. The episode did what I wished Terminator 3 or The Matrix had done and really emphasized that. A brilliant and logical tactic for an intelligent machine.
"The Best of Both Worlds" - This Next Generation cliffhanger was huge, and is credited with bringing the series back from the brink of cancellation. Locutus announces himself, and Riker prepares to destroy the Borg ship with Picard aboard. Cut to black.
"Company Man" - When I think of good television episodes, this season 1 episode of Heroes is what immediately came to mind. We see Mr. Bennett's history with The Company and observe his relationship with his daughter and the mysterious invisible man. It really brought humanity to the characters. Absolutely fantastic.
"Eat Me" - Season 3 was the season where Farscape really got amazing. Sure, season 1 was good, and season 2 was great, but 3 and 4 were fantastic. In this episode, Farscape did what dozens of other sci-fi TV shows have done before: it cloned characters. But then it did what no other show I know has done: left a clone alive, and actually created an entirely new character. The whole notion is simply mind-blowing.
I'd have loved to include an episode of The 4400, Journeyman, or Dexter, but no single episode jumps out as me as better than all others.