It's been some time since we've had a really meaty list & I've had this thread idea for a while (along with a similar comedy list).
How to play: Rather than rattling off the first great episode of dramatic TV that comes to mind, I'd ask that you primarily consider & choose episodes that have stayed with YOU over the years & that go far in defining a great series as a whole. Feel free to choose any episode from TV history, from "Requiem Of A Boxer" to last Sunday's Game Of Thrones. Please include a short summary & whatever is, in your opinion, the chosen episode's key unforgettable moment.
1. Homicide: Life On The Street "I've Got a Secret" (Season 4, 1996)
This episode, my favorite of Homicide, is an hour long morality allegory worthy of Beckett.
In it, our heroes Pembleton (Andre Braugher) & Bayliss (Kyle Secor) investigate the death of a man who'd succumbed to mysterious massive internal bleeding. Over the course of their investigation, they discover that the man is in reality a brutal, wife-beating, drug-dealing thug and was brought into a hospital emergency room for a stab wound shortly before his death.
In the end. the trail leads the detectives to an ER surgeon who, after being attacked by the dead man, failed to tie a crucial final knot in the man's wound stitching, leading to his death. A mother & respected doctor who's husband lost an eye to a recent mugger attack weeks before, the detectives allow the doctor to feed her daughter one last time & say goodbye to her husband before arresting her.
The key moment:
Sitting outside of the doctor's home, handcuffs in hand, Pembleton & Bayliss weigh the value of destroying a good family to provide justice to a heartless scumbag. In this moment, the principles of law & justice become unmoored and the episode fades out with Bayliss staring at his handcuffs, uncertain of what to do.
Edited by Art Decade - 6/1/12 at 9:26pm