And, as you've probably guessed, I'm doing another one today.
Last Friday, I discussed my top ten favorite characters.
On Monday, I discussed the first half of my top ten Joss-penned episodes (#6-#10) and promised (or threatened or warned...) that today I would reveal my top five favorite episodes.
I intend to fulfill that promise. I know you're super psyched about this, so I won't delay any longer...
What Happens: A bounty hunter steals aboard the Serenity while the crew is asleep, looking to capture Simon and River Tam. It becomes up to River to save them.
Why It's On The List: One of the things I love most about Joss (besides, you know, everything) is how he's always writing unusual episodes that break the mold. This particular outing offers the viewer an inside look at River Tam's mind, and is done in a really beautiful and elegant way. And Joss still finds time to make us laugh.
Favorite Scene: Okay, so I couldn't find any complete scenes from this episode on YouTube, so I'm sharing this snippet that I did find. This is taken from the scene where the crew is discussing River, and what's to be done about her unpredictable behavior.
What Happens: The season two finale, this is the episode where Buffy goes up against Angelus to stop him from sucking the world into hell. So, you know, it's like every day in Sunnydale, right?
Why It's On The List: This two-part episode has so much going on. Kendra! Buffy gets expelled! Joyce discovers Buffy's secret! Buffy and Spike form an alliance! Giles gets kidnapped! Willow's in a coma! The world's in peril! A truly amazing sword fight! Willow restoring Angel's soul! And (SPOILER ALERT!) Buffy freakin' kills Angel in order to save the freakin' world! Oh, and Buffy runs away at the end. And did I mention there were swords? I love how Joss isn't afraid to rip viewers' hearts out. He'll do the unexpected all in the name of story. This episode makes you laugh and cry, and I adore it. It also contains dialogue like this:
Angelus: No weapons...no friends...no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?
Favorite Scene: All right, so I couldn't find a clip of the sword fight (apart from the above gif), so I'm using the scene where Joyce discovers Buffy's secret.
What Happens: After opening a compartment in an ancient sarcophagus, Fred is infected by an ancient disease that slowly begins to kill her. As the team rushes to find a cure, Wesley begins to realize that there may be no way to save Fred.
Why It's On The List: Another example of how Joss loves to rip viewers' hearts out and stomp on them right in front of your eyes. This episode starts off so well. Fred and Wesley are finally together, and are super happy! (Always a sign in a Joss Whedon show that something horrible is about to happen, I know), and Spike and Angel are debating over who would win in a fight—cavemen or astronauts, so you're smiling and happy and feeling good and thinking about that whole cavemen/astronaut battle, but by the end of the episode, you're sobbing into an ever-expanding lake of tears on your floor. I love the episodes that make me feel, and this episode does that and more.
Favorite Scene: I was hoping to find a scene of Spike and Angel fighting over the cavemen/astronaut debate, but there was'nt one to be found (YouTube, you're really letting me down today.), so instead I have selected Fred's death scene...(sorry about the less-than-stellar quality.)
What Happens: The musical episode. A demon comes to town, and suddenly everyone is breaking into song and dance, and revealing their innermost secrets in the process.
Why It's On The List: Did I mention that it's a musical? Once again, Joss is pushing those boundaries and breaking those molds.
Favorite Scene: This episode is nothing but highlights for me, but I've decided to go with the musical number, Walk Through The Fire because it features everyone, is a little bit funny, and a little bit serious.
What Happens: Joyce dies.
Why It Makes The List: Holy hell, this episode is amazing. It's so amazing, that it beat out Once More With Feeling as my favorite Joss-penned episode. Which is really saying something because I love Once More With Feeling. It's so realistic (the brief vampire-slaying incident at the end notwithstanding) and goddamn heart breaking. I've said before that I have the greatest love for the episodes that make me feel, and this episode makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it.
So, that concludes my top ten. If you're a Whedonite, which episodes would you include?
And on that note, you have officially made it to the end of of my Joss Whedon-themed posts...At least until next year, that is. (Unless I decide to do one on Friday, too. But I probably won't.) Thanks for your patience!