14. the good wife: another ham sandwich
(originally aired: january 29, 2012)
The defeat - for now at least - of Wendy Scott-Carr (Anika Noni Rose) was "The Good Wife" at the top of its game. Whether it's the cleverly passive-aggressive way the characters manage to manipulate each other or the endless shades of grey they continue to become mired in, this show is a delightful meal any week. Here though we them pushed to the precipice, from Kalinda going all double-agent to Alicia being tasked with admitting to her personal foibles on the witness stand.
13. mad men: lady lazarus
(originally aired: may 6, 2012)
Pete's search for and Don's attempts to hold onto happiness remained as fascinating as ever in this episode. For the latter, Megan's decision to leave Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to pursue acting pulled the floor out from under him (literally if you count his experience with an empty elevator shaft). And in the former's case, a dalliance with an acquaintance's wife (Alexis Bledel) once again exposed - much like Don - his perpetual need to control the world around him.
12/11. breaking bad: say my name/gliding over all
(originally aired: august 26-september 2, 2012)
"Shut the f--- up and let me die in peace," were the final words of Mike Ehrmantraut to Walter White. They also marked the beginning of the end of Walter's empire as his meticulous construction begins to unravel across these two episodes. It's the end result of pride unchecked by humility. Even with his initial goals long achieved - Walter literally has more money than he can spend - there's a hubris inside him that still demands more. More respect. More fear. Just more. So how fitting then that the man who thinks he knows everything overlooks the one thing that lays the tracks for his downfall: a seemingly innocuous copy of "Leaves Of Grass" that Hank stumbles across and gets his wheels turning.