TV

100 best episodes from TV dramas

Written by:
August 2, 2021
High Bridge Productions

100 best episodes from TV dramas

Drama comes from the Greek word for “action.” In television, drama is a broad category or genre in narrative fiction that can be further broken down into subcategories like crime, dramedies, legal, and domestic. Even before the advent of television, dramas have entertained audiences on stages and radios throughout history. Television dramas often explore serious topics such as death, love, and illness.

Stacker compiled data on all episodes of dramatic TV on IMDb with more than 5,000 votes and ranked them according to IMDb user rating, with ties broken by votes. In the interest of maintaining a diverse list and reducing the dominance more popular shows, such as “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad,” have over the list, shows on the list have been capped at three episodes.

While these episodes all fall under the umbrella of television drama, they each delve into the lives of their characters and bring audiences plotlines filled with tension, action, and serious content. They are filled with twists, turns, revelations, epiphanies, and secrets. There is an episode where a man finds the one thing that keeps him grounded is his long-lost love and another episode that features a he said, she said debate between two FBI agents, and yet another features a series of misunderstandings when characters only connect digitally.

Join Stacker to see if your favorite episode made it onto the list of the 100 best episodes of television dramas.

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1 / 100
USA Network

#100. Mr. Robot - Mirroring

- IMDb user rating: 9.3
- Season 1, Episode 9
- Air date: Aug. 19, 2015

Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Kevin P. Sullivan says of the episode, “‘Mr. Robot’ has become increasingly addictive week to week because of where it places its big narrative bets—always on character.” This episode is no different and reveals not only the Elliot of the present, but the young boy from the past. The audience gets a glimpse of him as a child in 1985 in a telling flashback that foreshadows who the flawed hero is set to become.

2 / 100
Hartswood Films

#99. Sherlock - His Last Vow

- IMDb user rating: 9.3
- Season 3, Episode 3
- Air date: Feb. 2, 2014

“His Last Vow” is an action-packed episode with a shooting, a shoot-out, and a hospital visit. Watson and Sherlock are recruited by Lady Elizabeth Smallwood for a case involving media tycoon and blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen.

3 / 100
Flitcraft

#98. The Queen’s Gambit - End Game

- IMDb user rating: 9.3
- Season 1, Episode 7
- Air date: Oct. 23, 2020

In the final episode of Season 1, Beth prepares for a life-changing match, while a visit from an old friend forces her to confront her past and figure out exactly what is important to her. While the show broke records for streaming service Netflix, it was actually only intended to run as a limited miniseries. 

4 / 100
MGM Television

#97. The Handmaid’s Tale - Mayday

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 3, Episode 13
- Air date: Aug. 14, 2019

In the wrap-up to Season 3, June moves forward with her plan to get the children of Gilead to safety, while Commander Waterford turns on his wife in Canada. In the final minutes of the episode, the handmaids band together to help their fallen leader, leaving the audience to wonder what will happen to June in Season 4.

5 / 100
USA Network

#96. Mr. Robot - Hello Friend

- IMDb user rating: 9.3
- Season 1, Episode 1
- Air date: June 24, 2015

The first episode of the ambitious series introduces the endearing, but flawed, protagonist Elliot Alderson, the group of hackers he hangs with, and their leader Mr. Robot. Things seem to be going Elliot’s way with a hack in Times Square until he is suddenly put into an SUV and dragged off to Evil Corp. “Mr. Robot” sets the audience up with an unreliable narrator and a series that will become known for its twists and turns and its ability to successfully employ techniques like breaking the fourth wall.

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6 / 100
Ten Thirteen Productions

#95. The X-Files - Bad Blood

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 5, Episode 12
- Air date: Feb. 22, 1998

Mulder and Scully each give an account of what happened to a Texas teenager Mulder staked through the heart because he believed the teen was a vampire. Actress Gillian Anderson said this episode was one of her favorites in the series. Luke Wilson and Patrick Renna guest-starred in the episode.

7 / 100
Dino De Laurentiis Company

#94. Hannibal - Digestivo

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 3, Episode 7
- Air date: July 18, 2015

Writing for Digital Spy, Emma Dibdin called the midseason finale, “a deranged, heartfelt contender for the best episode yet.” Hannibal is finally taken into custody though it is his own doing as he turns himself in, which does not allow Will any closure. Mason also sees the fitting and gruesome end that fans waited for all season.

8 / 100
Left Bank Pictures

#93. The Crown - Aberfan

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 3, Episode 3
- Air date: Nov. 17, 2019

The Queen’s delayed response to a mining disaster in the Welsh town of Aberfan, which takes the lives of 116 children and 28 adults, was the focus of the third episode of the third season. Those involved with the real-life disaster were asked to be extras in several scenes and a therapist was on hand to offer counseling, which many people did not receive at the time.

9 / 100
Media Rights Capital (MRC)

#92. Ozark - Fire Pink

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 3, Episode 9
- Air date: March 27, 2020

Wendy’s brother Ben continues to unravel, while the Byrde’s attempt to gain control of the situation in the penultimate episode of the season. Meanwhile, Sam remains concerned about the FBI. Ultimately, Wendy has to make a heartbreaking decision to guarantee the safety of her family.

10 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#91. Band of Brothers - The Breaking Point

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 1, Episode 7
- Air date: Oct. 14, 2001

Donnie Wahlberg plays 1st Sgt. Carwood Lipton, the focal point of this episode that reveals the utter horrors of war and how long they remain. Lipton covers for Lt. Norman Dike while keeping morale up amid a devastating attack outside of Foy. A man loses a leg, two major characters are killed, and Dike seals his fate.

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11 / 100
Bad Robot

#90. Lost - Live Together, Die Alone

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 2, Episode 23
- Air date: May 24, 2006

John Locke makes a decision about the hatch and its elusive button that may have devastating consequences in this final episode of the series’ sophomore season. After finding Desmond, whose story is revealed in a series of flashbacks, Sayid and Jack come up with a plan to get Walt back and deal with the “Others.” When it aired on streaming services, Netflix and Hulu, the episode was divided into two parts.

12 / 100
MGM Television

#89. Fargo - Buridan’s Ass

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 1, Episode 6
- Air date: May 20, 2014

While Malvo carries out his plan, Lester attempts to come up with one, and in Duluth, Molly and Gus team up. The episode’s title is a reference to a philosophical paradox, named after French philosopher Jean Buridan, that examines free will. This episode won an Emmy Award for outstanding directing for a miniseries, movie or a dramatic special and was also nominated for an Emmy for outstanding cinematography for a miniseries or movie, and outstanding single-camera picture editing for a miniseries or a movie.

13 / 100
FlanaganFilm

#88. The Haunting of Hill House - Two Storms

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 1, Episode 6
- Air date: Oct. 12, 2018

Hugh Crain returns for the funeral and finally reunites with his children, though it is not the reunion for which they hoped. Kate Siegel told SyFy, “Hilariously, I found out that I was pregnant while we were filming episode six.” The baby girl’s name is Theo, matching her mother’s character name on the show, and she is also the daughter of series creator Mike Flanagan who is married to Siegel.

14 / 100
Kilter Films

#87. Westworld - The Well-Tempered Clavier

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 1, Episode 9
- Air date: Nov. 27, 2016

Teddy realizes enlightenment comes at a price in this information-packed episode. Bernard and Dolores recall the past, and much of the episode focuses on a confrontation between Ford and Bernard. The title refers to a collection of preludes and fugues by Johann Sebastian Bach.

15 / 100
Netflix

#86. House of Cards - Chapter 52

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 4, Episode 13
- Air date: March 4, 2016

In the Season 4 finale, Claire and Frank use Ahmadi as a bargaining chip in the hostage negotiations. Ultimately the Underwoods lose a bit of footing, but quickly gain it back and devise a plan so wicked the American people won’t know what hit them.

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16 / 100
Media Rights Capital (MRC)

#85. Ozark - All In

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 3, Episode 10
- Air date: March 27, 2020

The Season 3 finale finds Wendy as she continues to struggle with the consequences of a decision she made earlier in the season, while Marty struggles to keep things together. Darlene gets revenge for Ruth and secures a partnership. The Byrdes meet up with Omar Navarro in Mexico, and things take an unexpected turn.

17 / 100
Steven Levitan Productions

#84. Modern Family - Connection Lost

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 6, Episode 16
- Air date: Feb. 25, 2015

Stuck at the airport, Claire does her best to track down Haley after they had a heated blowout. She winds up speaking to everyone else including Cam and Phil, completely misreading a situation. Shot almost in its entirety on iPhone 6 in just two days, the episode was processed on a Mac Pro and took place on a desktop.

18 / 100
White Rabbit

#83. The Leftovers - The Book of Nora

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 3, Episode 8
- Air date: June 4, 2017

The series finale, as the title says, is almost entirely focused on Nora and her decision regarding whether she took the machine to the other side. She sits with Kevin years later and gives him some of the details, and still, the audience is left feeling as though things are not completely resolved. Vox critic-at-large Emily VanDerWerff said, “If ‘The Leftovers’ is about finding your way home, then Nora has finally done just that.”

19 / 100
Media Rights Capital (MRC)

#82. House of Cards - Chapter 26

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 2, Episode 13
- Air date: Feb. 14, 2014

While President Walker plans to destroy Frank, played by Kevin Spacey, things change and the season finale ends with a resignation and a new president and first lady. Claire also visits Megan who is struggling mentally. The episode ends with a desk knock in the Oval Office before finally fading to black.

20 / 100
David E. Kelley Productions

#81. Big Little Lies - You Get What You Need

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 7
- Air date: April 2, 2017

The final episode of the first season blows things apart in the town of Monterey, binding the ladies together in one devastating moment that the whole season seems to have been building up to. At the time the finale aired, no decision had been made about a second season, so things were wrapped up in a way that offered the audience closure. “Big Little Lies” did eventually manage to get one more season to showcase the talents of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz, and even added Oscar-winner Meryl Streep into the fold.

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21 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#80. Band of Brothers - Why We Fight

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 9
- Air date: Oct. 28, 2001

Easy Company is plagued by disillusionment and anger as the war nears its end and the Allies occupy Germany. Only when they stumble upon an abandoned concentration camp do they understand what they fought for. Writing for AV Club, Emily Todd VanDerWerff says of the penultimate episode in the series, “There have been many brutal yet fantastic portrayals of the Holocaust on film, but ‘Why We Fight’ can stand proudly alongside any of them as a necessary reminder of the horrors human beings are capable of.”

22 / 100
Netflix

#79. Paranormal - The Myth of the House: The Return

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 6
- Air date: Nov. 5, 2020

The Season 1 finale opens with a flashback that brings audiences back to the Al Khadrawy house and the first time Refaat saw it was when his mother worked as a cleaning woman there. Not only does this show where things started, but it helps him uncover the truth about Shiraz, too. Rafaat also receives the third Tarot card and with it comes a realization that opens the door for a second season of the series.

23 / 100
Berlanti Television

#78. Arrow - Sacrifice

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 23
- Air date: May 15, 2013

Malcolm plots the destruction of the Glades, while Digg and Oliver attempt to stop him in this fast-paced Season 1 finale. Tommy finds out who his father is, and Oliver reels at the loss of a major character that will reverberate into next season.

24 / 100
Showtime Networks

#77. Dexter - Are You … ?

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 7, Episode 1
- Air date: Sept. 30, 2012

In the Season 7 opener, Debra finally knows who her brother really is and she has to figure out how to not only come to terms with that, but also cover up the role they played in the murder. Seth Avett from The Avett Brothers appears in a brief cameo.

25 / 100
26 Keys Productions

#76. Fargo - Loplop

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 2, Episode 8
- Air date: Nov. 30, 2015

Dodd is being held hostage in a cabin in the middle of nowhere by Peggy and Ed, who attempt to strike a deal with the Gerhardts, all while Hanzee Dent does his best to find them. The episode’s title is based on a character created by artist Max Ernst. Loplop was the alter ego of the Dada-Surrealist.

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26 / 100
Caryn Mandabach Productions

#75. Peaky Blinders - The Noose

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 4, Episode 1
- Air date: Dec. 21, 2017

Tommy calls in a favor to save his family who are headed to the gallows in the fourth season opener, hence the episode title. The action jumps forward in time to Christmas of the following year and finds Tommy getting the boys back together after they receive a new threat for some very bad things they did in the past. 

27 / 100
26 Keys Productions

#74. Fargo - The Castle

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 2, Episode 9
- Air date: Dec. 7, 2015

Directed by actor Adam Arkin, this episode features the police using Ed and Peggy to get to the Kansas City mob, while Hanzee takes revenge. Like all the other episodes in the series, this title has cultural and theme significance and is named after the Franz Kafka novel “The Castle.”

28 / 100
DC Comics

#73. Watchmen - A God Walks Into Abar

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 8
- Air date: Dec. 8, 2019

This episode of “Watchmen” is a love story from series creator Damon Lindelof, the man who delivered one of the greatest love story episodes ever with “Lost-The Constant.” It recalls the time when Dr. Manhattan, aka Cal Abar, first fell in love with Angela Abar in a bar in Saigon. The brilliant episode manages to marry the past, the present, and the future.

29 / 100
ABC Signature

#72. Daredevil - New York’s Finest

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 2, Episode 3
- Air date: March 18, 2016

Two New York vigilantes go head-to-head in “New York’s Finest.” The Punisher also gives Daredevil an ultimatum, and Karen learns more about The Punisher from an X-ray. Writing for Collider, Evan Valentine says of the episode, “Daredevil’s third episode of its second season is lean, mean, and knocks it out of the park. It’s arguably one of the best episodes the show has ever made … until the next one, that is.”

30 / 100
USA Network

#71. Mr. Robot - White Rose

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 8
- Air date: Aug. 12, 2015

This daring episode throws the world and the audience askew proving that we only know what Elliot knows and it turns out we don’t know what we think we know. Darlene’s true identity and relationship with Elliot are revealed, and there is a shocking revelation about Mr. Robot. The audience realizes just how unreliable Elliot is as a narrator.

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31 / 100
FlanaganFilm

#70. The Haunting of Hill House - The Bent-Neck Lady

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 5
- Air date: Oct. 12, 2018

Nell was a child when she first saw the terrifying figure that came to be known as “the bent-neck lady” standing at the bottom of her bed in Hill House. In this episode, audiences finally find out who the bent-lady is and her tragic role in the Crain’s story. According to user ratings on IMDb, this was the highest-rated episode of the season.

32 / 100
Kilter Films

#69. Westworld - Trompe L’Oeil

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 1, Episode 7
- Air date: Nov. 13, 2016

The biggest revelation of the episode reveals that Bernard is not who he, or we, think he is. Clementine also went through some brutal events, and we got to see inside Dr. Ford’s laboratory. The title “Trompe L’Oeil” translates to “optical illusion.”

33 / 100
Hartswood Films

#68. Sherlock - A Scandal in Belgravia

- IMDb user rating: 9.5
- Season 2, Episode 1
- Air date: May 6, 2012

The Season 2 opener cleans up the cliffhanger from the first season with a phone call. Sherlock keeps himself busy with a visit to Buckingham Palace to investigate an interesting new case. The disciplined investigator meets dominatrix Irene Adler and she not only fakes her death, but unnerves Sherlock a bit.

34 / 100
Alloy Entertainment

#67. The 100 - Damocles: Part Two

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 5, Episode 13
- Air date: Aug. 7, 2018

It’s a wrap for the battle for Earth in this episode, which says goodbye to two characters. Writing for Den of Geek, Delia Harrington said the Season 5 finale was “an achingly beautiful ending that felt like it came from an entirely different show.”

35 / 100
Rat Entertainment

#66. Prison Break - Go

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 21
- Air date: May 8, 2006

The inmates attempt the great escape in this penultimate episode of the first season. Someone joins in the escape before Pope sounds the alarm, leaving viewers to wonder who will find freedom.

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36 / 100
ARRAY Filmworks

#65. When They See Us - Part Four

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 4
- Air date: May 31, 2019

Korey’s time in adult prison is difficult. The truth about the Central Park Five finally comes out in this last episode of the series. This story, which was based on actual events, was not always easy to watch, but the miniseries won two Primetime Emmy Awards.

37 / 100
Tapert / Donen / Raimi

#64. Spartacus - Kill Them All

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 13
- Air date: April 16, 2010

Spartacus leads the other gladiators in battle in the epic Season 1 finale. The episode revealed the history behind the story of the rebellious warrior appealing to history buffs, while also satisfying those who simply want to be entertained.

38 / 100
Linson Entertainment

#63. Sons of Anarchy - Papa’s Goods

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 7, Episode 13
- Air date: Dec. 9, 2014

In the final and arguably the most haunting episode of the seven-season series, Jax Teller ties up loose ends and fulfills his destiny in the only way that he could. Gemma and Juice are also dealt with, and Jax secures his sons’ futures. At the end of the episode, a quote from “Hamlet” appears: “‘Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt thou that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love,’” which is a fitting end as show creator Kurt Sutter said that “Sons of Anarchy was loosely based on the Shakespearean play.

39 / 100
Teakwood Lane Productions

#62. Homeland - There’s Something Else Going On

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 4, Episode 9
- Air date: Nov. 23, 2014

With Saul’s capture by the Taliban, Carrie must rethink things and prepare for a difficult prisoner exchange. Carrie also confronts Dennis and delivers some stellar lines. The twist at the end is worth its weight in gold and sets us up for a complicated next episode and rest of the season.

40 / 100
Skybound Entertainment

#61. Invincible - We Need to Talk

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 7
- Air date: April 23, 2021

Everyone is searching for Mark, but he is feeling confused about his role as a superhero and seeks advice from Eve. Nolan and Debbie also continue to struggle in their marriage in an episode that focuses on relationships and the drama they can create. Writing for the Illuminerdi, Kevin Thomas noted of the episode, “The overall pacing and balancing of its multiple story arcs is quite impressive.”

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41 / 100
Aggressive Mediocrity

#60. Lucifer - Save Lucifer

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 4, Episode 9
- Air date: May 8, 2019

Chloe worries about Lucifer not only because of the way he’s changed physically, but because of his recent breakthrough centered on his own self-loathing. Maze gives a forlorn Eve some advice about Lucifer. The title references the #SaveLucifer campaign that came about after Fox dropped the series after Season 3 and Netflix stepped in to pick up the show for a fourth season.

42 / 100
Film 44

#59. The Leftovers - I Live Here Now

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 2, Episode 10
- Air date: Dec. 6, 2015

The final episode of Season 2 sees that Evie and the girls are not so innocent. Things also come to a violent head between John and Kevin in this episode that fans thought might be the series’ last until it was announced that “The Leftovers” was renewed for a third and final season.

43 / 100
Goddard Textiles

#58. Daredevil - A New Napkin

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 3, Episode 13
- Air date: Oct. 19, 2018

The episode opens with a wedding between Fisk and Vanessa. When Dex makes a startling discovery, he loses it and attempts to wedding crash with a creepy date of his own. Fisk, Dex, and Matt engage in a cathartic battle in what was meant to be the Season 3 finale, but would come to be known as the series finale when Netflix announced the show’s cancellation in November 2018.

44 / 100
Berlanti Productions

#57. Arrow - Lian Yu

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 5, Episode 23
- Air date: May 24, 2017

Arrow finds himself aligned with some unexpected allies in the season finale titled “Lian Yu,” which actually translates to “purgatory.” The scenes depicting Lian Yu were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, not the North China Sea, where the fictional island is actually supposed to be located.

45 / 100
Film 44

#56. The Leftovers - International Assassin

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 2, Episode 8
- Air date: Nov. 22, 2015

Patti and Kevin go head-to-head in this Season 2 episode of the show based on the book of the same name by author Tom Perrotta. The episode was written by Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse—the son of Carlton Cuse, Lindelof’s collaborator on “Lost”— so the many similarities between this episode and the television series “Lost” come as no surprise.

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46 / 100
Goddard Textiles

#55. Daredevil - Blindsided

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 3, Episode 4
- Air date: Oct. 19, 2018

Foggy is angry that Fisk is out of prison. Meanwhile, Matt makes his way inside the prison and learns a few important pieces of information. Roy Thomas, who penned several issues of the “Daredevil” comic and who was the Marvel Comics editor-in-chief in the early 1970s, made a cameo appearance in “Blindsided” as a prison convict.

47 / 100
Caryn Mandabach Productions

#54. Peaky Blinders - Episode #3.6

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 3, Episode 6
- Air date: May 31, 2016

There is a rat in Tommy’s midst and he has been feeding information to Father Hughes that jeopardizes a big job. Tommy’s son Charles also goes missing in the Season 3 finale. Packed with more than a few twists and turns, Louisa Mellor, writing for Den of Geek, says of the episode, “‘Peaky Blinders’ series 3 bows out on a tense, captivating finale with a sting in its tail. Bravo.”

48 / 100
The Colleton Company

#53. Dexter - Born Free

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 12
- Air date: Dec. 17, 2006

Fans were thankful to finally find out the identity of the Ice Truck Killer and his relationship to Dexter, the serial killer with a soul, in the Season 1 finale. Somehow Dexter, a serial killer, murdering a serial killer to save someone he loved, proved he was one of the most complicated heroes on the small screen.

49 / 100
Netflix

#52. House of Cards - Chapter 14

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 2, Episode 1
- Air date: Feb. 14, 2014

Zoe wonders if she should work for Frank again just as he prepares for his promotion to vice president in the Season 2 opener. The episode won an Emmy for outstanding sound mixing for a comedy or drama series and was also nominated for outstanding writing, directing, and editing for a drama series.

50 / 100
Wonderland Sound and Vision

#51. Supernatural - The French Mistake

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 6, Episode 15
- Air date: Feb. 25, 2011

Sam and Dean wind up in an alternate universe and appear on a television show “Supernatural.” The episode also features a clip of Jensen Ackles’ prior stint on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

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51 / 100
Caryn Mandabach Productions

#50. Peaky Blinders - Episode 2.6

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 2, Episode 6
- Air date: Nov. 6, 2014

The action-packed final episode of the season saw a foiled plan, a death, a pregnancy, and a narrow escape from death by another character. Fans felt it was a satisfying conclusion to a stellar season and were left wanting more. ScreenRant ranked it as the #1 episode of the entire season.

52 / 100
Berlanti Productions

#49. Arrow - The Climb

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 3, Episode 9
- Air date: Dec. 10, 2014

Though many found the third season bumpy, this episode made up for it thanks to the cliff-hanger ending. Filled with flashbacks and fights, the midseason finale also featured the League of Assassins making a dangerous and interesting demand.

53 / 100
Parliament of Owls

#48. True Detective - The Secret Fate of All Life

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 5
- Air date: Feb. 16, 2014

This Emmy-award-winning episode featured Hart and Cohle finally solving the case. What also made this episode stand out was the fact that it was the only one of the season to feature all three time periods—1995, 2002, and 2012.

54 / 100
Parliament of Owls

#47. True Detective - Form and Void

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 8
- Air date: March 9, 2014

In the Season 1 finale, the 17-year-old-case Cohle and Hart worked so hard to solve, gets new life when information is discovered. While it received a fairly high rating on IMDb, indicating that fans loved it, not everyone felt as jazzed about the season’s conclusion.

55 / 100
American Movie Classics (AMC)

#46. The Walking Dead - No Sanctuary

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 5, Episode 1
- Air date: Oct. 12, 2014

Rick and the crew have not escaped the box audiences saw them in at the end of last season’s finale. In the season opener, which broke records, they are still being held by the maniacal inhabitants of Terminus. They have nothing to fear though. Carol swoops in and saves the day, proving once and for all that she is a survivor.

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56 / 100
American Movie Classics (AMC)

#45. The Walking Dead - No Way Out

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 6, Episode 9
- Air date: Feb. 14, 2016

Daryl battles the Saviors, while Glenn does his best to rescue Maggie, and Rick walks through a pack of walkers with the rest of the crew in this adventure-packed midseason premiere. The Alexandrians finally learn how to fight back after tragedy strikes.

57 / 100
Hartswood Films

#44. Sherlock - The Reichenbach Fall

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 2, Episode 3
- Air date: May 20, 2012

Watson makes a startling declaration at the start of the Season 2 finale. At the same time, Sherlock’s archenemy, Moriarty, tries to make trouble for the wise investigator during an already difficult time.

58 / 100
Sister Pictures

#43. Chernobyl - Open Wide, O Earth

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 3
- Air date: May 20, 2019

The third episode of “Chernobyl” takes its title from an Eastern Orthodox funeral prayer. The award-winning miniseries continues to grow more layered and complex as Valery Legasov formulates a decontamination plan, and Lyudmilla turns a blind eye to warnings surrounding her husband’s contamination.

59 / 100
Sister Pictures

#42. Chernobyl - Please Remain Calm

- IMDb user rating: 9.6
- Season 1, Episode 2
- Air date: May 13, 2019

In her first appearance in the series, Emily Watson plays scientist Ulana Khomyuk who was an amalgamation of several Soviet scientists involved with the Chernobyl disaster. In the episode, Khomyuk begins her investigation after the explosion.

60 / 100
Echo Films

#41. The Morning Show - The Interview

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 1, Episode 10
- Air date: Dec. 20, 2019

In the Season 1 finale, morning show anchors Alex Levy, played by Jennifer Aniston, and Bradley Jackson, played by Reese Witherspoon, lay it all out when they announce, “We haven’t been honest with you,” on the air and shed the secrets they’ve been keeping. Eventually, the feed is cut and the viewer is left in silence to digest the enormity of the season and ponder what will come in Season 2. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Kerry Ehrin said of the episode, “It’s like a huge building fell on everybody and it’s about escaping from the wreckage.”

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61 / 100
Mutant Enemy

#40. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Body

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 5, Episode 16
- Air date: Feb. 27, 2001

Buffy faces one of the greatest personal tragedies of her young life when she loses one of those nearest and dearest, but gets through it with support from her friends. “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon felt strongly about the episode, believing it may be the best thing he would ever do.

62 / 100
Skybound Entertainment

#39. Invincible - Where I Really Come From

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 1, Episode 8
- Air date: April 30, 2021

From the comic book of the same name, which was co-created by Robert Kirkman of “The Walking Dead” fame, this episode of the animated series features Mark trying to put a stop to an unstoppable force and being given the chance to become the hero he always hoped he could become. Steven Yeun, who played Glenn in “The Walking Dead,” voices Mark Grayson/Invincible.

63 / 100
Mutant Enemy

#38. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Hush

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 4, Episode 10
- Air date: Dec. 14, 1999

This fan-favorite episode finds Buffy and the Scooby crew struggling against a gaggle of floating ghouls known as The Gentlemen. These bobbleheads, dressed in suits, steal voices and the hearts of Sunnydale residents without making a peep. The entirety of the episode is almost soundless.

64 / 100
DeKnight Productions

#37. Spartacus - Victory

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 3, Episode 10
- Air date: April 12, 2013

Spartacus and his group of rebels fight for their freedom against the Romans in the epic series finale. The show was known for its unique credits, and this episode was no different with the final credits listing almost every actor and character ever to show up in the series.

65 / 100
Colin Greenwood

#36. House - Broken

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 6, Episode 1
- Air date: Sept. 21, 2009

In this episode that opens the sixth season, House becomes the patient. The good doctor finds himself in a psychiatric hospital where he’s roomies with a character played by the creator of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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66 / 100
Chase Films

#35. The Sopranos - Pine Barrens

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 3, Episode 11
- Air date: May 6, 2001

Silvio is sick, and Paulie and Chris try to step up and handle collections in his place, but things do not go as planned in this episode directed by Steve Buscemi. When they attempt to dump a body in the woods, they get lost and nearly freeze. Tony confides in Dr. Melfi, telling the doctor that he’s been seeing a patient of hers, which may not have been the best decision.

67 / 100
Wonderland Sound and Vision

#34. Supernatural - Changing Channels

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 5, Episode 8
- Air date: Nov. 5, 2009

Winchester brothers, Dean and Sam, get exiled to TV Land by the Trickster. It is a place filled with TV show parodies. Fans of 1980s nostalgia got a real treat with this episode that included a nod to the series “Knight Rider” and the talking car KITT driven by Michael Knight, aka David Hasselhoff.

68 / 100
Aggressive Mediocrity

#33. Lucifer - Who’s da New King of Hell?

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 4, Episode 10
- Air date: May 8, 2019

In the Season 4 finale, demons attempt to lure Lucifer back to the fiery depths of hell after they escape and show up in Los Angeles. Kenny Loggins’ “I’m Alright,” which is the theme song for the 1980 movie “Caddyshack,” opens the episode and accompanies a devilish dance sequence.

69 / 100
Mutant Enemy

#32. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, With Feeling

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 6, Episode 7
- Air date: Nov. 6, 2001

Sure, modern shows like “Riverdale” have musical television episodes, but before they did there was Buffy. “Once More, With Feeling” has the longest runtime of any episode in the series. The episode finds the residents of Sunnydale bursting into song, dance, and on occasion, flames, because they are under the spell of a diabolical singing, dancing demon who makes them share all their dark secrets in a song. 

70 / 100
Wonderland Sound and Vision

#31. Supernatural - Swan Song

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 5, Episode 22
- Air date: May 13, 2010

Is there a better way to end a series about the supernatural than with a looming apocalypse and Sam and Dean contemplating difficult decisions? The fifth season finale was originally conceived of as the series finale—the show’s creator had only imagined the show as five seasons. Thankfully, “Supernatural” would continue with the new showrunner Sera Gamble.

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71 / 100
Bad Robot

#30. Lost - Through the Looking Glass

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 3, Episode 22
- Air date: May 23, 2007

Plotlines and potential plot holes abound in this episode that is jam-packed with characters and their stories. Fans marvel at the unforgettable image of Charlie as the water rises around him, and he raises his hand to reveal the terrifying message “Not Penny’s Boat” written in black marker. It is exactly this image and the revelation that Kate and Jack—or at least future versions of themselves—have made it off the island that makes this episode one of the most remarkable of the series.

72 / 100
Bad Robot

#29. Lost - The Constant

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 4, Episode 5
- Air date: Feb. 28, 2008

Time magazine called it the best episode of 2008, while The Ringer took it a step further, dubbing it the best episode of the century. “The Constant” follows Desmond’s story as it volleys between 1996 and 2004 with only a phone call to break the loop between the past and present—and bring with it the realization that Penny is Desmond’s constant. She is the only thing that can ground him at one time.

73 / 100
High Bridge Productions

#28. Better Call Saul - Chicanery

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 3, Episode 5
- Air date: May 8, 2017

Saul’s bodyguard from “Breaking Bad,” Huell Babineaux, appears for the very first time in “Chicanery.” The episode finds Jimmy going after someone he loves in court with Kim’s help.

74 / 100
High Bridge Productions

#27. Better Call Saul - Bagman

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 5, Episode 8
- Air date: April 6, 2020

IMDb rated “Bagman” the highest episode of the series, perhaps because this episode ups the ante by placing two major characters in mortal danger. The episode is also very similar in both style and tone to the spinoff series that birthed it, “Breaking Bad.”

75 / 100
American Movie Classics (AMC)

#26. The Walking Dead - Too Far Gone

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 4, Episode 8
- Air date: Dec. 1, 2013

The Governor, one of the series’ greatest villains, tries to take the prison from Rick and his crew. This midseason finale saw its fair share of death and destruction and left viewers eager to see what would come when the series returned for the second half of the fourth season.

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76 / 100
Parliament of Owls

#25. True Detective - Who Goes There

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 1, Episode 4
- Air date: Feb. 9, 2014

Detective Cohle’s search for Reggie Ledoux leads him to the Iron Crusaders, a motorcycle gang in this Emmy-award-winning episode. Perhaps the dramatic and critically lauded 6-minute tracking shot at the end of the episode had something to do with the win.

77 / 100
Kilter Films

#24. Westworld - The Bicameral Mind

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 1, Episode 10
- Air date: Dec. 4, 2016

The stage is set for Season 2 when several major characters experience significant shifts including Dolores, Maeve, and Foster. The movie on which the series was based was 2 minutes shorter than the episode and received positive reviews from fans and critics.

78 / 100
Rhode Island Ave. Productions

#23. This Is Us - Super Bowl Sunday

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 2, Episode 14
- Air date: Feb. 4, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday was always a special day for Rebecca and Jack, and now the Pearsons must decide how to spend the day in both celebration and remembrance. Editors had only a few hours to add footage to the episode from the actual 2018 Super Bowl LII in which the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots.

79 / 100
Bad Robot

#22. Person of Interest - YHWH

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 4, Episode 22
- Air date: May 5, 2015

Finch and Root do their best to save The Machine in the Season 4 finale of “Person of Interest.” “YHWH” is a reference to God’s name as it was revealed to Moses, as four Hebrew consonants.

80 / 100
Hanarply

#21. Barry - ronny/lily

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 2, Episode 5
- Air date: April 28, 2019

Not only did this episode from the series’ sophomore season win two Emmy awards, but it was also nominated for four additional Emmys. “Ronny/lily” finds Barry having a surprising encounter with unexpected consequences.

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81 / 100
Heel & Toe Films

#20. House - Wilson’s Heart

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 4, Episode 16
- Air date: May 19, 2008

House finally figures out what happened to Amber in the bus crash and why she is not responding to treatment in the final episode of the two-part season finale. Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Chancellor Agard notes of the finale, “Boasting both some of the show’s best writing and the cast’s best performances, this hour pushed both Dr. Gregory House, portrayed by the always excellent Hugh Laurie, and his co-dependent bromance with Dr. James Wilson, played by Robert Sean Leonard to the limits.”

82 / 100
Universal Cable Productions

#19. Suits - Faith

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 5, Episode 10
- Air date: Aug. 26, 2015

Harvey and Mike seek guidance from others when they are faced with important decisions in this flashback-heavy summer finale. Meanwhile, Jessica and Louis get into a power struggle with Jack Soloff and Daniel Hardman.

83 / 100
Heel & Toe Films

#18. House - House’s Head

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 4, Episode 15
- Air date: May 12, 2008

Only House can solve the mystery inside his head. After being involved in a bus accident, he believes one of the victims is dying, but not from the crash. Fred Durst of the band Limp Bizkit plays a bartender in a cameo appearance.

84 / 100
ShadowMachine

#17. BoJack Horseman - Time’s Arrow

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 4, Episode 11
- Air date: Sept. 8, 2017

The history of BoJack’s parents, Beatrice Sugarman, a socialite, and Butterscotch Horseman, a writer, is revealed in flashbacks, a technique employed in many of the series’ episodes. Matthew Broderick also guest stars as BoJack’s maternal grandfather Joseph Sugarman in the episode.

85 / 100
Kilter Films

#16. Person of Interest - Return 0

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 5, Episode 13
- Air date: June 21, 2016

The series’ final episode features a touching moment between Finch and The Machine and finds one character making the ultimate sacrifice. Though the series was dark, it did manage to end on a fairly optimistic note.

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86 / 100
John Goldwyn Productions

#15. Dexter - The Getaway

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 4, Episode 12
- Air date: Dec. 13, 2009

His role as Arthur Mitchell earned John Lithgow an Emmy for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. The season finale featured an uneasy end for one character and a shocking revelation for another.

87 / 100
Jerry Bruckheimer Television

#14. Lucifer - A Devil of My Word

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 3, Episode 24
- Air date: May 14, 2018

A shocking death finds Lucifer and his friends doing everything in their power to find a killer. Fox would cancel the series after Season 3, though Netflix thrilled fans with its decision to pick up the series for a fourth season.

88 / 100
Dino De Laurentiis Company

#13. Hannibal - The Wrath of the Lamb

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 3, Episode 13
- Air date: Aug. 29, 2015

Hannibal and Will join forces to bring down a common enemy in this epic series finale. Siouxsie Sioux of the alternative rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees came out of retirement to write and perform the ethereal song “Love Crime” featured in the final episode.

89 / 100
High Bridge Productions

#12. Better Call Saul - Bad Choice Road

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 5, Episode 9
- Air date: April 13, 2020

Mike and Gus come up with a plan as Jimmy attempts to return to normal after a misadventure, though it isn’t as easy as he thought it would be. Fans and critics alike loved this episode that received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

90 / 100
Dino De Laurentiis Company

#11. Hannibal - Mizumono

- IMDb user rating: 9.8
- Season 2, Episode 13
- Air date: May 23, 2014

Jack attempts to capture Hannibal while Will makes a decision that is not without consequences in the season finale. The episode titles in the series are based on cuisine-related terms, and mizumono is no exception as it’s a seasonal dessert in Japanese cuisine.

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91 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#10. Six Feet Under - Everyone’s Waiting

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 5, Episode 12
- Air date: Aug. 21, 2005

Often referenced as one of the best television series finales, it is included in publications where it is listed as such including USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and Variety, “Everyone’s Waiting” ties the story of the Fisher clan up in both the present and the future. The 7-minute flash-forward montage allows the audience to see how each character met their own end, which seemed a fitting way to close out a show that opened with people’s deaths.

92 / 100
Kilter Films

#9. Person of Interest - If-Then-Else

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 4, Episode 11
- Air date: Jan. 6, 2015

The “If-Then-Else,” of the episode’s title, refers to a conditional statement featured in computer programming languages. The midseason episode features the team being forced to stop what could become a global economic disaster, and Samaritan carrying out an aggressive cyberattack against the stock exchange.

93 / 100
ShadowMachine

#8. BoJack Horseman - The View From Halfway Down

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 6, Episode 15
- Air date: Jan. 31, 2020

Actor Zach Braff returns for the penultimate episode of the series in a turn as a butler. In one of the darkest and saddest episodes of the series, BoJack’s psyche is laid bare in a recurring dream at a dinner party and the surreal moments existing outside of it.

94 / 100
High Bridge Productions

#7. Breaking Bad - Face Off

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 4, Episode 13
- Air date: Oct. 9, 2011

Voted by TV Guide as one of the best shows of 2011, this Season 4 finale features a final faceoff between Walter White and one of his enemies. Questions also arise for Jesse Pinkman regarding how he knew about Brock’s poisoning. This episode offers a final twist that proves Walter has hit the point of no return and ensures that fans of the show will never look at a simple backyard lily of the valley without thinking of the disintegrating humanity of a high school chemistry teacher.

95 / 100
Sister Pictures

#6. Chernobyl - Vichnaya Pamyat

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 1, Episode 5
- Air date: June 3, 2019

Winning the most BAFTA awards for any series ever, the show also won an Emmy for outstanding limited series, as well as two Golden Globes. The final episode of the critically acclaimed miniseries, reveals the truth about the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.

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96 / 100
Television 360

#5. Game of Thrones - The Rains of Castamere

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 3, Episode 9
- Air date: June 2, 2013

One of the most shocking episodes of the series takes place at a wedding. A cameo by Coldplay drummer Will Champion as one of the wedding musicians pops up in this episode that received an Emmy nomination for outstanding writing for a drama series.

97 / 100
High Bridge Productions

#4. Breaking Bad - Felina

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 5, Episode 16
- Air date: Sept. 29, 2013

The most-watched episode of the entire series, the series finale saw record-breaking viewership with 10.3 million viewers and featured Walter White’s return to Albuquerque to tie things up with his family and some old enemies. The episode’s title is an anagram for “finale.”

98 / 100
Television 360

#3. Game of Thrones - The Winds of Winter

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 6, Episode 10
- Air date: June 26, 2016

Featuring an extended vengeance sequence and a major revelation about an important character, this Season 6 finale also shocked fans and their online reactions proved it. Cersei and Loras Tyrell face a trial and there is a confrontation between Davos and Melisandre.

99 / 100
Television 360

#2. Game of Thrones - Battle of the Bastards

- IMDb user rating: 9.9
- Season 6, Episode 9
- Air date: June 19, 2016

Daenerys goes after her enemies in one of the two major action sequences in the penultimate episode of Season 6. Called not only the best episode in the “Game of Thrones” series, but also one of the best television episodes of all time, its near-perfect rating on IMDb comes as no surprise.

100 / 100
High Bridge Productions

#1. Breaking Bad - Ozymandias

- IMDb user rating: 10
- Season 5, Episode 14
- Air date: Sept. 15, 2013

In this critically acclaimed episode called one of the best episodes of television—ever, one character is taken hostage, while another goes on the run. Show creator Vince Gilligan said of the episode, “‘Ozymandias’ is the best episode we ever have had or ever will have.”

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