What the hell is she doing to her baby?! Fans of the Showtime drama very likely bellowed that question at their TV when detached mom Carrie Mathison seemed to entertain extremely dark thoughts while giving wee Franny a bath. The tot made it out alive (and thankfully oblivious), but boy, it was scary there for a moment!
29 | THE CAPTAIN’S FINAL BOW
Derek Jeter capped his 20-season career with the Bronx Bombers in fitting fashion, slapping a walk-off, game-winning single in his final Yankee Stadium at-bat.
28 | ORPHAN BLACK: THINGS GET HAIRY
How does a clone drama up the ante for the actress who already has ably has portrayed a soccer mom, lesbian scientist and ice queen, among others? By tasking Tatiana Maslany with the role of Tony fka Antoinette, Sarah’s transgender clone.
27 | THE LEFTOVERS‘ STONE-COLD TWIST
Though HBO's freshman drama was never a contender for Feel-Good Show of Year, it wasn't until we witnessed this shocking act of violence that we realized just how dark the series could — and would — get. Antidepressants, anyone? Everyone?
26 | VEEP BECOMES POTUS
Although the show likely won’t change its name to POTUS anytime soon, the comedy drastically changed its foundation in Season 3 by promoting its titular VP to commander-in-chief — a creative risk that will hopefully pay off in the show’s upcoming fourth season.
25 | AMY SCHUMER UNLOCKS A RAPE COMMENTARY
Schumer’s Comedy Central sketch series got darkly serious with a bit in which her avatar in a military-themed videogame was 1) raped in the barracks, 2) invited to feel guilty about pressing charges and then 3) left to file piles of paperwork — only to not get her day in court.
24 | HANNIBAL‘S BLOODY GOOD FINALE
The deliciously dark, artfully crafted drama paid off a season-long question – “What happens when Jack Crawford confronts Dr. Lecter?” – with a manic kitchen melee that served eight courses of brutality. Were Jack but the night’s lone victim! No, by the time sirens (finally) pealed in the distance, most every major character was dead, critical… or walking away, to board a plane with Dr. du Maurier.
23 | SUPERNATURAL: DEAN GOES DARK
Imagine if Buffy became a vampire. Now you understand why the sight of Dean becoming the very thing the Winchesters hunt — a demon, creepy black eyes and all! — had fans gasping.
22 | WALKING DEAD‘S IMPORTANT MEATING
Fans of the comic book series waited with bated breath for the introduction of
The Hunters aka a group of survivors-turned-cannibals. Or would the TV series skip that grim twist? Bob sure wishes they had, seeing as he woke up one night to find Terminus’ Gareth feasting on his (tainted) leg meat!
21 | MAD MAN TAKES HIS FINAL BOW
Passed-on partner Bert Cooper sang in a post-mortem showcase, “The Best Things in Life Are Free”… or, in this case, a song-and-dance number delivered by talented Mad Men vet Robert Morse.
20 | OUTLANDER‘S BEDDED BLISS
Claire deflowered her nervous groom in an episode-long love scene that was at turns funny, touching and sexy as hell. That moment when she ordered him to undress and then slowly circled him, taking it all in, was so hot you could toast a bannock on it.
19 | THE CATCH HEARD ‘ROUND THE INTERNET
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s incredible one-handed TD reception against the Cowboys was immediately hailed on social media and by sports reporters as one of the greatest catches ever made.
18 | SLEEPY HOLLOW‘S WILD CHILD
Oh, how we adored John Noble as Fringe‘s cuddly Walter Bishop. And he’d saved Ichabod and Abbie’s bacon at least a few times as a Sin Eater. Cue the sound of jaws collectively hitting the floor when he was revealed in the Season 1 finale as not just Ichabod and Katina’s son Henry, but also the Horseman of War!
17 | GREY’S ANATOMY DANCES IT OUT
You didn’t actually think Cristina would say goodbye to Mer through a taxi window, did you? The ABC drama let us believe that, for a moment, only to have Dr. Yang return to Grey Sloan for a final dance party with her person. The sequence, preceded by an emotional outpouring from Cristina, perfectly summed up the besties’ bond.
16 | ‘TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE’
The instant that True Detective‘s Rust Cohle quoted meth cook Reggie Ledoux — “Someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again” — the Internet went wild over the whoa-worthy nihilistic POV.
15 | MELLIE GETS SMELLY
Nothing — repeat, nothing — could have prepared the pop culture-verse for the first glimpse of how Scandal‘s First Lady had been impacted by son Jerry’s death, among other sadnesses. The Uggs. The junk food. The screw-it-all-to-hell attitude. It was all as delicious as the buckets of fried chicken she inhaled.
14 | GAME OVER FOR JOFFREY
The brat king’s death — via poison— was the polar opposite of Ned Stark’s shocking beheading in Game of Thrones Season 1: It was anticipated with fervor and celebrated with much merriment. Watching someone eat crow (OK, pigeon) had never before been so satisfying.
13 | BIG BANG‘s ‘LOVE’-LY DECLARATION
Having already this year shared an impetuous kiss aboard a train, Sheldon and Amy crossed another threshold when, during their “prom night,” Sheldon volunteered those three not-so-little-words: “I love you.” And yes, most of us clutched our chest in surprise like Amy. Thank God he didn't have a brain parasite!
12 | AN OLYMPIC RING DING
The Winter Games got off to a so-Sochi start when a lighted logo at the opening ceremony snowflaked out and came up a ring short.
11 | THE SIMPSONS MEET THE FAMILY GUY
The long-awaited union of Fox’s first families brought out the best in both long-running shows — though we’re still trying to burn the image of Peter and Homer’s sexy(?) car wash scene out of our brains. Not everybody can pull off Daisy Dukes, apparently.
10 | LATE SHOW NAMES LETTERMAN’S SUCCESSOR
With little warning (other than a formal call to his CBS bosses), David Letterman announced his retirement during early April taping, leaving all to wonder: Who would — could — possibly follow in the late-night icon’s footsteps? Barely a week later, we had the crowd-pleasing answer: The savvy and quick-witted Stephen Colbert would lord over Late Show. Talk about your classic bad news/good news combo.
9 | ‘THE FLASH VS. ARROW’
There are crossovers. And there are superhero shows. But never in recent TV memory have two live-action costumed crimefighters clashed in super fashion (albeit under extenuating circumstances). The Flash‘s smooth moves versus Arrow‘s strength and stratagem made for a thrilling tango that lived up to the hype.
8 | CASTLE’S RUNAWAY GROOM
I now pronounce you…missing?! The ABC series abruptly interrupted its long-awaited wedding day by ending Season 6 with a fiery car crash that spelled doom for the groom. No, the show's titular character obviously hadn't been roasted — but if not, then what was going on?!
7 | MINDY AND DANNY’S AIRPLANE BUSS
Mindy Project fans were flying as high as the airplane bringing Mindy and Danny home to New York, when the intimacy of their on-the-road escapades prompted Danny to seal the deal with a kiss that we are pretty sure caused oxygen masks to drop.
6 | ONCE UPON A TIME‘S CHILLING SURPRISE
On the heels of a season that served up two infamous icons — Peter Pan and The Wicked Witch of Oz – how would the refried fairytales series keep the buzz going? Answer: With a top-secret season-ending tag that revealed the plan to plumb the very recent Frozen blockbuster for new Storybrooke drama.
5 | ‘ADELE DAZEEM’
Wait, what? Introducing “Let It Go” performer Idina Menzel at the Oscars, John Travolta jumbled her name, and 1,000 Internet memes were born. In-denial dyslexia? A Sweathog-caliber screw-up? Whatever the case, his flub was on everyone’s lips.
4 | SONS DEALS WITH ITS MOMMY ISSUES HEAD-ON
Juice at long last looping in Jax on the truth about Tara’s murder? Powerful stuff. But the moment Sons of Anarchy fans were truly waiting for was Jax’s response to that news, and the garden showdown between son and mother packed the expected dramatic bang.
3 | HOW TO GET AWAY WITH COMING CLEAN
Viola Davis obliterated one of TV’s biggest conventions when her Annalise Keating returned home to remove her wig, eyelashes and make-up, revealing a stark contrast to the dynamic and done-up character we’d known to date. (Then asking hubby Sam why his penis was on a dead girl’s phone? Mere icing on the cake.)
2 | HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER‘S FINAL, POLARIZING TWIST
Kids, let me tell you about how I met your mother… proceeded to watch her lose a fight with a serious illness… and then took another crack at your Aunt Robin. Did the sitcom spin a complete, satisfying story, or pull the rug out from under its loyal viewers? That debate roared loud in March, and shall forever continue on.
1 | GOOD WIFE‘S GREAT LOSS
The CBS drama shocked (almost) everyone by handing Will Gardner his worst day in court ever, killing off the very man who made Alicia a bit of a bad wife.