There is so much TV in 2019 it can get overwhelming but even so the best episodes on television in 2019 stand out. From the final episode of a series or season to an episode that just stands out from the rest, the best new episodes on television have you hashing out everything that happened when you're discussing it the next day. Some of these episodes are already in the running for best single episodes of all time.
Episodes like "A Warm Body" stood out, even when binging all of Russian Doll in a day. As with the True Detective episode "The Final Country," it offered a kaleidoscope shift that changed how different elements and characters of the show are perceived. Other great episodes in 2019 managed to end a season satisfactorily while also leaving viewers already amped for the next season such as "Pandemonium" (The Good Place) and "Change Your Mind" (Steven Universe).
Vote up the stand-out episodes of 2019 that were great TV, but keep in mind that we have to explain just how great they are - so spoilers lie ahead.
"The Long Night" AKA the Battle of Winterfell was easily one of the most anticipated television events of 2019. With an 82-minute runtime, it was the longest episode of the season.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Dany Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) spent the first two episodes of the season strategizing with other leaders at Winterfell on how to defeat a threat to all humanity, the White Walkers. They agreed that Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) will sit in the Godswood to draw out the Night King (Vladimír Furdík) and his army. Plagued by guilt and a new sense of purpose, Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) says he will guard Bran.
The Dothraki, the Unsullied, the Knights of the Vale, the Northerners, and defected Lannisters Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) are all prepared to fight to the literal death in order to defeat the wights.
The Dothraki, supplied with fiery weapons by Melisandre (Carice van Houten) charge the wights and are quickly annihilated. Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and a few straggling survivors come back with horrifed looks. Already, this seems like an unwinnable battle. Adding more chaos, the Night King sends snow and ash, making the fight even more difficult for the living.
When Jon and Dany see the slaughter, they get on their dragons to help out. The Night King sees this and attacks them on his undead Viserion. Dany tries to light the trenches on fire (as planned) but is unable to do so. Melisandre uses her magic and manages to set the trenches ablaze at the last second as the Unsullied guard her.
Meanwhile, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) defends the wall with gusto. She is injured, but the Hound (Rory McCann) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) come to her rescue. Beric perishes as he fights to help Arya escape.
The Night King then breaches the wall and calamity ensues. Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) dies a heroic death after defeating an undead giant. Others quickly perish as our heroes Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) soldier on.
The citizens of Winterfell, along with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Tyrion, are holed up in the catacombs for safety. This proves fatal for most, as the Night King raises the recently (and not-so-recently) deceased as new soldiers.
As the war rages on outside, all of the humans seem to be on their last leg. Dany is grounded, and Ser Jorah dies defending her from the wights. Jon is cornered by an undead Viserion. And the Night King has made his way to Bran.
Theon attempts to stab the Night King but is quickly thwarted. The Night King takes Theon's spear and stabs him with it. The Night King then approaches Bran, and the two enter a staredown. Just as the Night King is about to pull out his sword, Arya launches at him in easily one of the most climatic moments of the series. The Night King grabs her by the throat, and she drops her two-ended dragonglass dagger from her left to her right hand. She stabs the Night King in the gut, and he - along with his entire army - stays dead.
As the sun begins to rise, Melisandre walks into the battlefield, her purpose fulfilled. She takes off her magical necklace and ages rapidly, collapsing into the snow and ash as she passes.
Original Airing: 4/28/2019
Director: Miguel Sapochnik
The penultimate episode finally links Season 1 and Season 3 of the anothology series when Elise (Sarah Godon) explains to Wayne (Mahershala Ali) her theory that connects the Purcell case to the pedophile ring that Detectives Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Hart (Woody Harrelson) investigated in Season 1. The Detectives in the 1990 timeline discover Tom Purcell's (Scoot McNairy) dead body, which is made to look like a suicide, in order to pin the kidnapping and murder of his children on the alcoholic father.
Roland (Stephen Dorff) and Wayne kidnap Harris James (Scott Shepherd) and take him to the barn in order to beat some answers out of him. The detectives know that Tom didn't commit suicide. Unfortunately, the beatdown goes awry, and Roland is forced to shoot Harris after the former lawman attacks Wayne. The audience finally discovers what the awful, regretful secret is that the detectives had been referencing all season.
Original Airing: February 17, 2019
Director: Daniel Sackheim
The final episode of Season 3 has Eleanor (Kristen Bell) taking over Michael's (Ted Danson) job as archetict, she greets the four new humans to the neighborhood, and she's totally crushing it. Unfortunately for our gang, the new humans sent by Shawn (Mark Evan Jackson) and the Bad Place were summoned to cause each character some form of emotional pain. Tahani (Jameela Jamil) has to deal with a gossip columnist who was especially cruel to her when she was alive.
The biggest problem arises when Shawn sends Chidi's (William Jackson Harper) ex-girlfriend Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Chidi is not equipped to handle the awkwardness of Simone's presence in light of his relationship with Eleanor. He ultimately decides that the only way to not sabotage their plan is to completely reboot himself, thereby erasing all of his memories of Eleanor and company.
Original Airing: January 24, 2019
Director: Michael Schur
After one of Will's (Eric McCormack) law students leaves a container of chocolate milk in his fridge; Will, Jack (Sean Hayes), and Karen (Megan Mullally) each drink a little. What they don't know is that the milk is actually laced with some kind of hallucinogenic drug. The trip makes Will and Jack ponder whether or not they are actually soul mates.
The jewel of the episode is Megan Mullally's powerhouse singing performance. Her character Karen Walker is about to be officially divorced from Stan; she's sad and doesn't know exactly how to deal with the end of her marriage. Karen hallucinates that she's singing in front of a crowd in a cabaret, giving her final performance as Mrs. Stanley Walker. Mullally can sing, really well. Her emotional rendition of "The Man That Got Away" became an instant classic and a shining moment in the long-running series.
Original Airing: January 31, 2019
Director: James Burrows