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10 Best TV Episodes of 2017

From ‘Better Call Saul’ to ‘Twin Peaks’ – our favorite stand-alone showstoppers from the past year

the handmaid's tale twin peaks better call saul

Rolling Stone picks the 10 best TV episodes of 2017 – from 'Better Call Saul' to 'Twin Peaks.'

Not all TV episodes are created equal, even within top-notch shows – some stand head and recapped shoulder above the pack. This year, we asked writers to essays on the 10 best TV eps of 2017 – from Twin Peaks‘ mind-blowing “Part 8” (“Got a light?”) to Bojack Horseman‘s heartbreaking “Time’s Arrow.” The list is below; you can link to each individual essay within the blurb.

master of none

Netflix

‘Master of None,’ “Thanksgiving”

A coming-out tale told over seven holiday dinners that spans three decades (hurtling through time rather than space), this stand-out, Emmy-winning episode is a vindication of Master of None‘s inclusive vision and artistic aspirations. Lena Waithe (who wrote it) has her character Denise go from a kid discovering she’s gay to a young woman negotiating her her mother’s resistance; Angela Bassett plays her mom. It’s also a reminder that no medium feels more homey than television – a coziness that makes a sense of belonging from the shows we watch all the more important. Inkoo Kang
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twin peaks

Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

‘Twin Peaks,’ “Part 8”

Landing at the exact midpoint of a 16-episode season, Twin Peaks: The Return‘s eighth installment – titled simply “Part 8” – was one of those rare cultural moments when you’ll remember where you were when you watched it. A nuclear bomb explodes in New Mexico, 1945; the story of Laura Palmer and her killer “Bob” appears in an eerie vision of predestination; and when the camera passes through the atomic flame, a photo-negative of American hell awaits on the other side. Then a sooty woodsman asks, “Got a light?” This is what it looks like when Pandora’s Box gets cracked wide open. Scott Tobias
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