Episodes is a column in which senior contributor Valerie Ettenhofer digs into the singular chapters of television that make the medium great.

If you’re new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these:

Explore the entire Episodes archive below

One Early M*A*S*H Episode Proved That Sitcoms Can Break Our Hearts

The season one M*A*S*H episode “Sometimes You Hear the Bullet” revealed the show’s bleeding heart, and gave voice to profound… Read More

Revisiting The ‘House’ Bus Crash That Shocked Viewers

The penultimate episode of House’s fourth season sees the death wish-chasing doctor unravel the shocking mystery of his own head… Read More

Once Upon a Time, ‘Gilmore Girls’ Danced the Night Away

In season three’s “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” Rory and Lorelai get in over their heads at a 24-hour dance… Read More

Let’s Revisit That Cathartic ‘Jessica Jones’ Showdown

Jessica Jones’ first season is a brutal and powerful look at intimate partner violence that ends stronger than ever. Read More

Love and Creativity Die “A Dark Quiet Death” in Mythic Quest’s Standalone Episode

The tech comedy’s best episode is a decades-spanning story about selling out, breaking up, and making art. Read More

How ‘Sharp Objects’ Ended with a Perfect Dose of Poison

Prestige mystery series don't get much darker than 'Sharp Objects,' and 'Sharp Objects' doesn't get much better than its sickening… Read More

What the ‘Golden Girls’ Chronic Illness Episode Means to Me

Dorothy's traumatic and frustrating journey through the medical system hits close to home for people who live with chronic illnesses,… Read More

Remember When the Flight of the Conchords Got “Mugged”?

HBO's short-lived musical series was at its best when the protagonists wandered naively into strange situations, like in this Season… Read More

Re-entering the Void with the Best Episode of ‘True Detective’

The surreal HBO series' first-season midpoint -- "Who Goes There?" -- careens into epically cinematic chaos. Read More