Author Topic: Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television  (Read 371 times)

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television
« on: April 25, 2016, 05:31:11 PM »
So, I decided to do a list of my favorite scenes/moments in television. Granted, I haven't watched a whole lot of live-action TV shows, but I have more than enough great moments from my favorite shows which I care about enough to make a list of this sort. Here I'll list the scene, give a fair spoiler warning if it applies, give a brief description of its context within the overall series, and explain why I find it to be such a great scene. There are a bunch of shows that I could list, so what I list in this post is by no means all of my favorites. I'll definitely post more in the future. That said, these are definitely among the best of the best for me. With that said, here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

ANGEL


Scene: "Hero" (MAJOR SPOILERS)



Spoiler
Context: In this season one episode Angel, Doyle, and Cordelia are tasked with helping to hide and liberate a group of demon refugees from an opposing group of pure-blooded extremists who want to wipe them out. Genocide plots in fiction and especially in fantasy are not exactly cutting edge, even back when this series was airing. However, this episode executed it so well with its great writing and somber tone that I couldn't help but get wrapped up and invested in everything that was going on. But what really makes this episode stand out is its shocking ending. This is less than half-way through the first season, but most viewers would already be attached to Angel and Cordelia from their previous three seasons of development on Buffy. However, what came as a surprise was how quickly Doyle grew on fans as a character. With lesser writers and a poor actor he would have just been nothing more than a standard comic-relief character, yet due to his excellent performance and screen-presence, he proved to be just as good at hitting the right notes when it came to the drama. So to see him sacrifice himself in the pivotal scene of this episode, using his own body to jump in and deactivate a device which could kill so many people, including his friends, both felt appropriate for his character and simultaneously unexpected given how little time there was to process the situation. But the more you think about it, the more you realize that it was always in his nature to be that kind of person.

Why It's A Great Scene: At first glance, while definitely a highlight of an already great episode, it may not seem like anything special. Plenty of TV characters have been killed off through heroic sacrifices. What made Doyle's death scene so special, though, was how effectively well it was earned through proper build-up. You realize that in retrospect, Doyle's character arc at its core was just as much about redemption as Angel's was. At first that's disguised through his comedic personality and side-kick role to Angel, who most viewers are initially focused on. But when paying close attention to his character, you realize that a lot of the more serious moments regarding his backstory deal with him trying to atone for past mistakes in his life, both big and small, and it makes perfect sense why he was the man chosen to get Angel started on his own redemption quest, and was his biggest initial support. Simply put, this scene is really a culmination of everything that embodied who this character was form the very beginning, and that's precisely why it works as well as it does.

BETTER CALL SAUL


So, let me just preface these scenes by saying that, like most other shows on this list, I could easily make a whole list out of my favorite scenes just from this show alone. However, rather than show my favorite scenes featuring the main character of the show (and the source of its title), I'm instead going to focus on the main supporting character for now, Mike, and highlight why he's one of my favorite characters in all of television.

Scene: We Don't Need Three Guys (Spoiler-Free)



Context: Mike is hired as a bodyguard by some wannabe drug-dealing schmuck who knows absolutely nothing about the business. In addition to him are two other men who are coming along for the job, except one of them starts picking a fight with Mike when he realizes that he isn't carrying a weapon and feels that he is incapable of doing the job. And....that's all the set-up that you need, the rest of the scene pretty much speaks for itself.

Why It's A Great Scene: Admittedly, there's nothing essential to the plot in this scene. It's something that could have been cut from the show and viewers may have been none of the wiser. However, the addition of a scene like this just adds so much more in how well it sums up this aspect of Mike's character. There's Mike the family man, and then there's Mike the professional, and this is about the latter. When he is challenged by Trevor, whereas a less experienced or easily provoked person would take the bait and get into a confrontation, Mike at first tries to avoid it, simply stating the honest truth that he doesn't believe that a weapon is necessary for this particular job (and later on in the episode, we learn why he was right). Now, how he knows that is not important in this particular moment. What's important is how Mike responds to being threatened. In this case it's not on his life, but it is in getting him kicked out of the job, and he of course needs the money. Yet he never shows any desperation or weakness. Instead he keeps a cool head, calmly analyzes the situation, and responds with only what he needs to say and nothing more. And then he brilliantly reverses the situation. When he casually says that he will just use one of Trevor's guns if the situation arises, Trevor is provoked into defending his own status by trying to tempt Mike to see if he can take the gun off of him by force. And....yeah, once again, the scene pretty much speaks for itself. In the way that this scene is structured, despite no real action going on, we get the perfect sense of how Mike operates as a professional, and why he is a force to be reckoned with. With just a level-headed demeanor, a keen ability to observe, assess, and understand the people around him, and the skills to back up his tough act, Mike manages to get the other two guys kicked off of the job and now stands to profit three-shares worth of reward money. I'm just a sucker for scenes that manage to tell us so much about a character with something that seems like such a small deal.

Scene: Crooked Cops (Minor Spoilers)



Context: Mike may be a well-meaning character, but he has always clearly had a shady past. In this case, he had a history as a dirty cop. It's just too bad that his son, who used to idolize him, didn't find out this fact about him until well into his own career. Despite Mike being retired by this point, the police department of his district is still just as corrupt as ever, and when his son discovers that his partners have been engaging in some shady business of their own and refuses a bribe from them to keep quiet, he confronts his father about it. It's at this point that Mike had to destroy his heroic image in his son's eyes, and pleaded with him to just take the money, knowing full well what would happen to him if his colleagues suspected that he would rat them out. Yet, despite biting down on his own pride and morals and taking his father's advice, his son is still killed shortly after their conversation. In grief and rage, knowing full well that his son’s own partners were behind his death, Mike puts his old skills to work and plots his revenge on the men responsible for it.

Why It's A Great Scene: First of all, I'll say that this is more of a 10-minute sequence than a single scene. The only video that I could find, unfortunately, just highlights the pay-off of the the whole segment, but you'd really need to see the full thing to understand how brilliant it all is from a film-making standpoint. The way that everything is written, set-up, and acted is all executed to perfection. Mike breaking into their car and planting a fully-loaded gun in the back-seat (while unloading his own gun which he knows that they will take off of him when the time comes), his drunken act where he confronts them in the bar with "I know it was you," and the climax of it all where they realize that they played right into his hands are all so brilliantly staged. The sequence just keeps building up in tension, and even though we know that Mike is coming out of this alive since this series is a prequel (and this scene, at that, is a flash-back), you still just can't help but be on the edge of your seat wondering how this is all going to go down until it's over. And as a character piece, this really shows you that despite his own dirty history, Mike will risk his life whenever it comes to anything relating to his family, even for vengeance. It's a great scene for one of my favorite characters on TV.

BOY MEETS WORLD


Scene: Mr. Feeny's Farewell



Context: It's the final scene of the final episode of the show, and all of the core characters that we've grown up with since the first season of the show gather into one room to say their final farewells before the kids go out to meet the world.

Why It's A Great Scene: Simply put, I believe that it perfectly sums up the strong bond and relationship that all of these characters have developed between each other as the series has progressed throughout its seven season run. Admittedly, this scene is on here due more to personal value than being legitimately well-directed, but I do believe that Feeny's words here are legitimately poignant and really resonate with what BMS has always been about as a show. There's just something really touching and heartfelt about seeing the characters that I grew up with as a kid finally reach a coming of age point and move on to the next stage of their lives. And, while this show now has a currently-running sequel and we do get to see members of the cast back again from time to time, this series farewell is still such a tear-jerker for me.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 06:03:27 PM by Dr. Ensatsu-ken »

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 05:36:32 PM »
BREAKING BAD


Scene: Empire Business (Spoiler-Free)



Context: This one is simple enough: in the final overall season of the show, Jesse understandably wants out of the meth business, taking what earnings that he and Walt have made and going their separate ways to live out their lives. He's had enough of the killing and trauma associated with this line of work. Walt, on the other hand, isn't quite ready to give it up, and the conversation that they have in this scene is very telling of his line of thinking as a character.

Why It's A Great Scene: While there are more iconic scenes in the show, some of which I plan to talk about in future posts, this one always stood out to me personally as the best overall summation of Walter's character. As we can see in this conversation, despite having initially gotten into the meth business to support his family, no matter what he claims he's in it for himself at this point. When Jesse asks him "are you in the meth-business or the money-making business?" it prompts Walter to bring up his past with Gray Matter, and how he walked out on his potential. Yes, he makes the point of how he sold his share for a mere five-thousand dollars for a company that is now worth billions, but if you read in-between the lines, you realize what's really eating at him: his own ego. You see, that bit that he brushes over about why he left, saying "I don't want to get into the details" is actually more important than you might think. He had a falling out with the woman that he was in-love with at the time, one of his own partners, and she ended up starting a relationship (and eventually marrying) his other business partner. Despite Walt's genius helping to get the company moving off of the ground, he left and wanted to use his skills to prove that he was better by excelling in his own business, but that just never happened. His own pride ate at him for decades as he worked a mundane job as a high school chemistry teacher without any bright future in sight. When he then answers Jesse's question about being in the "Empire Business," it's really another way of saying that he wants to build something which he considers to be bigger and better than Gray Matter; he wants to build a legacy to himself. But the dramatic irony of this all is that while he's in the meth business to satisfy his own ego, it's that very ego of his that lost him Gray Matter in the first place. It's nothing short of brilliant how much you can comprehend about this character just from a mere few-minutes of dialogue.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER


Scene: "Passion" (MAJOR SPOILERS)



Spoiler
Context: Being that this is one of the most popular and well-loved TV story-lines of all time, I don't think that I need to explain too much, but here are the basics anyways: Angel is a vampire with a soul, except he lost it after having sex with Buffy, thus turning him into his evil persona Angelus. Jenny is among the main supporting cast and happens to be a descendant of the Gypsy family that infused Angelus with his soul in the first place. Attempting to remedy the situation, Jenny uncovers a method to restore Angel's soul, but is confronted by Angelus right before she can put her plan into action.

Why It's A Great Scene: Once again, I feel that this scene has reached iconic status for good reason. This was a major character death during a time in television when it was incredibly rare to even have recurring characters killed off as long as they were good guys. And yes, while major characters have died before on TV, this scene isn't just famous for the fact that a beloved character dies, but rather because of how well it was handled. Of course it's shocking in its own right, but beyond that it's also simultaneously scary and tragic. This is a character who was on the same side as our heroes, including Angel, for almost the entire run of the show up to this point, but none of that means anything to Angelus. That moment when he speaks out from the background, emerging from the darkness and revealing himself to Jenny, the tension escalates to eleven in almost no time at all. It only increases as Jenny tries to stall by talking to Angelus while attempting to find a way out of her predicament. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen, and Angelus chases her down. You really sense the desperation from Jenny as she tries to escape, but in the end Angelus was merely toying with her and catches up to her in no time. The way that he kills her with such a quick neck-snap, like it was nothing, is what really makes it sink in that Angel is gone, and what's left is a cruel, unfeeling monster of a shell. Even by today's standards, this scene has some serious balls.

DAREDEVIL


Scene: Stairwell Fight (Spoiler-Free)



Context: Right in the middle of an intense confrontation with The Punisher, a gang of bikers who have been the recent subject of Frank Castle's hit list attempt revenge by closing in on the building where he's at. Having just knocked him unconscious, Daredevil has to now protect The Punisher by distracting the entire gang and drawing them away from him. What pursues is arguably the best choreographed, single-take fight-scene ever produced for a TV series (technically an online series, as it's Netflix exclusive, but it's still part of the same medium).

Why It's A Great Scene: Now, first of all, honorable mentions have to go to both the amazing hallway fight scene from season one, as well as The Punisher's absolutely brutal prison fight scene from later on in season two. All of these fights take clear inspiration from the outstanding action scenes featured in excellent overseas films like Oldboy and The Raid. It's not often that you consider a pure action scene to be a great and memorable moment in live-action television. Being of lower-budget and on a stricter time-schedule than feature-length films, action in TV shows has almost always been more of an afterthought than a highlight. Recently, though, TV has been upping its game in this department as well, and arguably no series today does hand-to-hand fighting better than Daredevil. The choreography and one-take nature of the scene are already impressive enough (if you scrutinize closely enough, though, there are definitely some clever cuts hidden in the middle), but what puts this particular action scene even above the other two best ones from this show is how Daredevil also incorporates his environment and surroundings into the fight. Just about every awesome (and painful) thing that can be done in a fight that takes place on a stairwell is done here. Every move that occurs on screen is different, and just like all of the best fights in this series, every punch, kick, and general movement feels like it has actual weight to it. Matt gets physically tired during the fight, shows pain from the abuse that he takes, and vice versa with the men who he dishes it out to. On the one hand it's obviously highly choreographed, but on the other hand (and what makes this fight so good) it never actually feels choreographed when you're watching it. It feels like a real physical, gritty, down and dirty brawl, and that's what makes it so engaging to follow.

Scene: "Penny and Dime" (Minor Spoilers)



Context: Daredevil assists The Punisher in escaping from the Irish Mob when he's outgunned by them in one of their interrogation facilities. Beaten to a pulp, Daredevil allows Frank to rest while they are in the graveyard, as they wait for the cops to arrive. During this period of time, Frank finally opens up to him about his past with an incredibly gut-wrenching monologue.

Why It's A Great Scene: While I admittedly really wanted to talk about the conversation between the two from the previous episode as my all-time favorite scene from this show in general, that was really most of the episode, and far too long to rank as just a mere scene or moment. However, if I ever had to list a second favorite scene from either this season or this show in general, it would be this one. Over here, Jon Bernthal manages to carry an entire six-minute stretch of dialogue through the raw power of his performance alone. It was this, more than the violence or gruff voice, which convinced me that he was the absolute perfect casting choice to play The Punisher. After seeing this scene alone, I don't believe that I could ever imagine another man playing the role for as long as I live. What an enormous range of emotions you get here. You get fright as he recalls when he was not sure if he'd ever make it home to his family, genuine happiness when he reaches the part of the story where he does reunite with them, regret and sorrow when he recounts how he never read his daughter the Penny and Dime story that one night even when she pleaded for him to (the appropriate namesake of this scene), tragedy when he recalls what happened later, and tranquility as he resigns himself to his fate (for now, at this point in the series). What also works is Daredevil's presence here. At first glance it's just an afterthought, but in retrospect you realize that even without saying much of anything, these two men are communicating on a certain wavelength in which they sow the seeds of their shaky but essential alliance which will occur later on in the season. Really though, on a surface level I just love this scene for how gut-wrenching the story of Frank Castle's life is. [Incidentally, this scene also made me realize that Max Payne as a character is clearly based off of The Punisher. I can't believe that I never noticed that before now.]
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 06:04:45 PM by Dr. Ensatsu-ken »

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 05:41:30 PM »
FIREFLY


Scene: Out The Airlock (Minor Spoilers)



Context: The crew of Serenity are low on supplies and money, and with no big jobs coming up for weeks on end, things are looking pretty bad. Additionally, the crew's doctor and most recent crew member, Simon, wants to analyze his sister River's brain to understand just what kind of messed up experiments the Alliance has performed on her, and hopefully find a way to help her. Luckily, he has the perfect solution to both dilemmas: steal valuable medicine from a highly-secured top-level Alliance hospital to sell, while also taking that opportunity to use their advanced diagnostic equipment in order to tap into River's brain. Well, alright, maybe it's not so perfect when you consider just how tough it will be and how much planning is involved. But, what follows is arguably the best and most intense heist episode in any television series, and certainly my favorite episode of this show. But the moment in question that really got me comes at the end of the episode. You see, for this mission, Simon assembles a team of Captain Malcolm, Zoë, and Jayne to pose as medical personnel tasked with transporting a body into the morgue. This is all going well until it's revealed that Jayne, the least trustworthy of the group, has sold out Simon and River to the Alliance, knowing full well that there is a reward for any information leading to their capture. Of course, Jayne is an idiot and realizes too late that the Alliance, in addition to capturing them, will simply just kill anyone who knows anything about them. Despite his major fuck-up, the crew still manages to pull the job off and just narrowly escapes two Alliance assassins. All seems well and good, and none are the wiser to Jayne's betrayal....except Malcolm, who confronts Jayne about it by knocking him out and getting him to confess to what he did while trapped in the ship's airlock.

Why It's A Great Scene: What's great about this scene has less to do with the events of the episode itself (which is absolutely terrific, to be clear), and more about why Malcolm is such a great character and leader, and why the crew works so well together....besides Jayne. You see, briefly going back to an earlier episode, Malcolm rescues Simon and River despite only having recently met them at that point, and when Simon asks why, Malcolm simply says that he's part of his crew. Malcolm values his crew like a family, and once someone is in his circle, he'll go all out to protect them, and will absolutely show no mercy to someone who threatens them, even if that person is another member of his crew. On that note, if one of his crew were to betray him, they are out of his circle and subject to his wrath. This is the case of Jayne, a guy who's been with him far longer than Simon, but who tries to sell-out Simon because he thinks he can make a quick-fortune off of him. When Jayne pleads with Malcolm that he was never trying to sell out the crew, just Simon and River, Malcolm's fury says it all: "You betray any one of my crew, you betray me!" It doesn't matter whether he was involved in the treachery or not, what sets him off is that one of his own broke his trust and essentially jeopardized the lives of everyone he cares about, including Simon and River. I just love his response to the situation. He's clearly ready to let Jayne go (quite literally) on those grounds alone, and you can tell that he's dead serious about doing it. Fortunately, since he did consider Jayne to be part of his team, his sympathy got the better of him and he gave Jayne a chance to redeem himself, but it still doesn't change the fact that nothing gets past this man, and that he will not hesitate to take action against anyone he sees as a threat to his family.

THE FLASH


Scene: Eobard Thawne Reveals Himself (Minor Spoilers)



Context: As Barry is off fighting Weather Wizard's brother, taking revenge for his sibling's demise, Cisco is off on a personal little mission of his own: uncovering the identity of the Man in Yellow. When he digs deep enough, he gets an answer that he never wanted to know: The man he has known and respected as his mentor and father-figure for years, Harrison Wells, has been deceiving him and everyone at Star Labs since the beginning. Harrison Wells has been dead for decades, and posing as him is Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, and the man who killed Barry's mother. As if finding out that one of the people you care the most about in your world is an evil super-villain isn’t bad enough, it's immediately worse when that person instantly confronts you, ready to murder you for what you know.

Why It's A Great Scene: The drama, the emotion, the music, the acting: it's all so powerful here. The entire series had essentially been building up to this first big reveal, initially. Nothing needs to be said to really understand what the characters are thinking. Cisco is hurt, shocked, and confused. He is essentially already dead inside even before Thawne kills him. Yes, we as the audience already knew for a long time who Harrison Wells really was, but it was still such a surprise to see someone other than Barry use their wits to uncover his true identity well before we expected it to be revealed. In that regard it was a huge surprise, and what followed was even more unexpected. Simultaneously, Thawne's character shines in this scene as well. You really get the sense that for the first time in this series, he is being completely honest with one of the main characters. That also includes what he says about it being hard to kill off Cisco because he came to see him as a son. The performance is so well-done that you know him to be dead serious, and it really demonstrates what a three-dimensional villain the Reverse Flash is on this show. And make no mistakes, even though Barry essentially creates an alternate timeline after this and Cisco lives on through that, the impact of this scene is neither forgotten nor inconsequential. This plays a big part in Cisco's further character development, the overall plot, and the tone of the rest of the series from here on out. While The Flash is still primarily a fun show, this scene really cements in the fact that a tragedy can happen faster than even The Flash has time to prevent, and while things worked out this time, there's no guarantee that time-travel will always be the answer to any tragedy (and as we find out later in the series, it isn't). This scene is, IMO, a great example of the type of content that more comic book shows should strive for, as well as shows in general. It's incredibly dramatic and engaging in and of itself, especially so in the context of the story, and also has a huge effect on how you as a viewer experience the rest of the series. This isn't just one of my favorite scenes from The Flash, but from any superhero property in general, including comic books, animated series, and movies.

Scene: Barry Meets His Mother (MAJOR SPOILERS)



Spoiler
Context: In The Flash's first season finale, Barry travels back in time to the night in which his mother is murdered, in order to change the past and fix his life. However, upon reaching the moment where everything in his life changed, he is confronted not by Eobard Thawne, but a future version of himself. This Flash is already aware that his younger self is here, and without saying anything stares directly into his former self's eyes and simply shakes his head. The message is clear: Barry can never change this part of his past. For reasons that he does not yet comprehend, his mother dying and his father being framed for her murder are pivotal parts in the Universe's history and as tragic as that may be, there is absolutely nothing that Barry Allen can do about it. However, this trip to the past was not without purpose. In a sense, it's still a gift to Barry, as it gives him one last chance to see his mother before she passes on, and he is able to talk to her and hold her hand as she leaves him behind for good.

Why It's A Great Scene: This really is a heart-wrenching moment. I won't lie about almost getting a little teary-eyed myself, and that doesn't happen often for me. Hell, this very scene had Keven Smith bawling. While it may seem rather sappy out of context (OK, even in context it's pretty sappy), to us fans who followed and enjoyed the show from the very first episode, we were so invested in these characters and this world that it totally had our emotions firmly in its grasp to do with what it pleased. Beyond all else, The Flash has been such a huge success among both fans and critics alike because it has so much heart to it, and it's this scene which encapsulates the very essence of that nature more perfectly than any other. Through Grant Gustin's stellar performance, we get the sense of both joy and tremendous pain as he has the chance to say goodbye to his mother. He gets to see her one last time, but knows that this is his final farewell to her, and that no matter what he does, this part of his life is fate. It will never change. He has to move on. And you know what, as with the best fictional stories, this is just a very appropriate metaphor for real life. We as people can't be too fixated on the wrongs of our past, no matter how tragic they may be. It's alright to feel sadness and it's alright for it to hurt us, as that only makes us human, but we have to realize that those things can't be changed, and we must be grateful for what we have now. This is the development that Barry experiences within this scene. As he goes on to confront the Reverse Flash, Thawne curses Barry for not just going through with changing the past and letting him return to his own timeline. He tells Barry that he could have had a great life if he just went through with creating an alternate timeline, to which Barry states that he already does have a great life. He has a close and loving adoptive father and still maintains a great relationship with his real father despite him being locked up in Iron Heights. He has people that he loves and who love him back like Iris West, Cisco Ramon, and Caitlin Snow. And he has a future to look forward to. In just one sequence of a mere few minutes we get all of that expertly delivered to us, and to me it's some of the best television that I've ever seen.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 06:05:25 PM by Dr. Ensatsu-ken »

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 05:45:50 PM »
GAME OF THRONES


Scene: Syrio Forel's Final Lesson (Minor Spoilers)



Context: Arya Stark is the younger daughter of Lord Eddard Stark, and unlike her older sister Sansa, not at all like a proper lady is expected to be. She's a complete tomboy, preferring to ride horses and train with swords rather than dress up and make small talk. Recognizing that Arya is much like her late aunt Lyanna, Ned hires a mysterious Water Dancer from Bravos to teach her basic sword techniques under the guise of a dancing master (since others would be perplexed as to why a lady is taking swordsmanship lessons). While Ned figures that this will mostly just keep Arya busy, he probably didn't count on Syrio being so influential on her. Syrio teaches her more than just Braavosi sword techniques by showing her how his very philosophy on swordsmanship is also the same as his philosophy on life. In the scene linked to above, he gives her one final lesson before being interrupted by Lannister men as the show's plot takes a dramatic turn.

Why It's A Great Scene: It probably may seem strange to some people that this particular scene is among my favorites as opposed to the numerous other famous scenes from this show. However, while it may not seem like it at first, not only is this scene essential to Arya's own character arc and story-line, but if you pay careful attention, it says much about the central themes of the entire show in general. When Arya first comes to Syrio, reluctant to partake in the day's lesson, Syrio remarks that it's the perfect time to train. As Arya and several other characters learn later on, conflict rarely ever happens when you are at peace of mind and have nothing else to worry about. The very nature of conflict is that something bad comes up at an inopportune moment, and it's one's own responsibility to change that into an opportune moment of their own accord. Next they spar, and Syrio strikes past Arya's guard when she parries on the wrong side after he hits opposite from where he said that he would strike. Arya bickers that he lied, but Syrio then conveys his second part of the lesson: that his eyes told the truth. Arya needs to start discerning truth from lies for herself. And true to the themes of this show, relying on another's words is one of the worst ways to operate in a series of this nature. In the game of thrones, almost everyone is a liar, and being able to see the truth from behind a wall of deceit is how to survive in this world. In regard to Arya's story-line, she needs to learn to use all of her senses, not just for improving her swordsmanship, but for being able to hold her own in a world full of people hiding their true intentions. While being able to think through matters is an essential skill, people often forget that "properly" using one's basic instincts and trusting in what they feel from another person behind their words is what can truly alert you to their real motives. A particularly great excerpt from the book explains this logic perfectly, as Syrio tells Arya the story of how he became The First Sword of Braavos. In his tale, the Sealord of Braavos interviewed several men for the position of First Sword, and turned away just as many men as had come to him, though none could explain why. Then Syrio was sat down in front of him, and on the Sealord's lap was a fat yellow cat. When he asked Syrio what he thought of his exotic beast, Syrio simply replied that he had seen at least a thousand like it in the alleys of Braavos. And on that day he was named The First Sword of Braavos. This exerpt of what he says to Arya about it when she claims to not understand the meaning of his story says it all:

Quote
Syrio clicked his teeth together. “The cat was an ordinary cat, no more. The others expected a fabulous beast, so that is what they saw. How large it was, they said. It was no larger than any other cat, only fat from indolence, for the Sealord fed it from his own table. What curious small ears, they said. Its ears had been chewed away in kitten fights. And it was plainly a tomcat, yet the Sealord said ‘her,’ and that is what the others saw. Are you hearing?”

Arya thought about it. “You saw what was there.”

“Just so. Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth.”
(Arya IV, A Game of Thrones)

Of course, being that the episode which this scene is from was written by George R. R. Martin himself, the idea is still perfectly conveyed. The second half of the video in that link is just there by extension, and it's not really part of the specific scene that I was talking about, but hey, it's still a cool sword fight, so it doesn't hurt to be there. It does prove that Syrio can back up his sword skills, after all, and thus all of his life philosophy which he preaches to Arya.

Scene: Tyrion's Trial Speech (MAJOR SPOILERS)



Spoiler
Context: Despite being born to the richest and most powerful family in all of Westeros, Tyrion Lannister has always been looked down on his whole life....quite literally. Tyrion is a dwarf, born in a world and time-period where deformities are looked at by most people as a representation of one's wicked soul. Of course for those who truly know Tyrion, such as his brother Jaime, some of his own loyal men, and those who have come to either work for or with him, he is a brilliant mind that is arguably better fit to rule a kingdom than most men or women who have sat on the Iron Throne. He is also compassionate of other human life, no doubt from understanding what it's like to live under unfair circumstances due to his own shortcomings (no pun intended). Unfortunately, for all of his great qualities, Tyrion has at least one potentially fatal flaw, and that's his mouth. Sometimes it can get him out of trouble and help him out quite a lot. Other times, it can land him in deep shit, like in this very scene. As calculating of a person as Tyrion can be, he isn't quite that great at keeping his calm, and absolutely abhors being the butt of jokes, which happens all too often. This comes most of all from his nephew Joffrey, who on top of being a little shit, is also the unworthy successor to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Despite all of this, Tyrion has never hesitated to openly retort to Joffrey's insults with his own mocking jests, and while he could technically get away with it since he still had the status of being the Queen Regent's younger brother (even though Queen Cersei herself hates Tyrion), it's a dangerous idea to let so many people know your hatred of the King. And sure enough, when Joffrey is eventually poisoned at his own wedding and Tyrion has nothing to do with it, he is the first suspect for having committed the murder. Both his own father and sister, who have always loathed him, take this opportunity to fix the trial so that Tyrion is made to seem guilty, and while Cersei truly believes that Tyrion was the culprit of the crime, his father Tywin is too smart to really suspect Tyrion, and is only taking this opportunity to legally get rid of a son whom he considers to be his family's greatest shame. When all seems lost, Jaime makes a plea for his younger brother's life, saying that he will quit being a Kingsguard Knight and inherit his father's legacy, like Tywin has always wanted, in exchange for sentencing Tyrion to serve the rest of his days in service to the Night's Watch rather than be executed. Tywin agrees, revealing that this was his true intention all along for convicting Tyrion of a crime which he didn't commit. Tyrion agrees to go along with this deal and is about to give up all hope and confess until the trial gets taken a little bit too far when a surprise witness is called to the stand.

Why It's A Great Scene: Whereas I've said that I can fill an entire list with my favorite scenes from almost any one of the series that I have talked about thus far, this is a case where I could make a list featuring just Tyrion's best moments as a character. That said, if I could only pick one scene that had the strongest emotional resonance with me, it would be this one. Yes, the acting, writing, music, and overall delivery are of course top notch; that goes without saying. However, what really makes this scene so special for me has everything to do with its context within the series and Tyrion's personal character arc since the beginning. While we've seen Tyrion stand up for himself numerous times before, it's always in an indirect manner. He manages to fight back with his words, but without directly saying what he really means. He is, in essence, playing a game just like everyone else, and carefully filtering his words to avoid being on too many people's bad sides (except with Joffrey; he just never gave a shit when it came to him). What you get here is, for the first time in the series, Tyrion Lannister pushed past his breaking point. When the woman he loves is taken in front of him and openly betrays him by lying about his involvement in Joffrey's murder, something snaps in Tyrion that wakes up a beast inside of him. The following speech he gives is by far the most unrefined, unrestrained, vulgar, and downright hateful speech that he has ever given in the series thus far, and it's also the most incredibly rewarding and satisfying thing to hear from the perspective of a viewer. For once, Tyrion forgets about his own life, and doesn't care about the immediate consequences of what he says. He'd rather preserve some shred of his dignity than be paraded as a fool for another moment, and is tired of all of the crap that he has had to put up with for his entire life. He tells off his family, his former love, and the crowd surrounding him, and he does it with the truth. The raw, unfiltered truth. Tyrion was responsible for saving the city a couple of seasons prior, he was responsible for numerous great achievements in his life, for that matter, yet had seldom ever gotten credit for it. He would often dismiss this, however, as the only people who he ever truly wanted approval from was his own family. Yet having that very family (aside from Jaime) completely betray him finally managed to get him to be his true self for just a short but powerful moment. Peter Dinklage's amazing performance captures so many emotions from Tyrion and perfectly melds them all together. I truly believe that there isn't a single other actor on the planet who could portray this character any better than he does, and especially not in this scene. In a series all about people putting on acts and deceiving each other, there's something incredibly enticing about seeing someone get to be honest for once. When Tyrion says those final words: "I demand a trial by combat," for a little while, we as viewers are so proud of him. Yes, those words come with consequences, but what Tyrion manages to say almost makes those very consequences worth it, even for just a fleeting moment.

NARCOS


Scene: Confrontation (Minor Spoilers)



Context: I won't lie about being pretty ignorant of a lot of real-life history. I've read a bit from Killing Pablo Escobar out of interest generated from this show, and hope to read more eventually. That said, I do know that this series, despite it's docudrama approach to storytelling, is largely a fictionalized work inspired by true events. So, no, there was really no bad-ass Horatio Carillo to directly take on Pablo Escobar and his drug cartel, though he was loosely based on the real-life Colonel Hugo Martinez. That said, in the context of the show, Horatio is one of the lead-officers of Search Bloc (which actually was a real organization devoted to apprehending Pablo Escobar and eliminating his entire operation), and when he can't be bought like everyone else, Pablo sees fit to resort to threats on his family. The thing about Carillo though, is that he doesn't react to threats with fear or panic; he gets straight-up pissed off.

Why It's A Great Scene: What I love about this scene is that up until this point, Escobar has been used to having his way with everyone. He's had any of his incorruptible opposition with a strong moral stance against him brutally killed off, and very few are willing to openly take a stance against him. This only leaves people who are willing to play just as dirty as him, despite being on the side of the law, to take him on. In a way, people like Carillo don't necessarily seem to care all that much about justice in and of itself. Rather, they have the drive to get a job done no matter what, at any cost. So when this scene rolls around, it's a terrific moment as a viewer to see someone play Escobar at his own game. Shortly after receiving the standard threats, Carillo calls Escobar himself and tells him that he knows where his family lives. He has his eyes on them at all times, and law or not, he will not hesitate to make them suffer in return for anything that happens to him or his family. While we've seen Pablo Escobar lose his cool numerous times in this series already, it's usually a very rash and openly violent kind of rage. This is the first time where we see a cold, disturbingly calm kind of anger build up before he really sets off. In this case he's clearly infuriated, but through great acting, you also get the subtle sense of fear and insecurity. Escobar realizes that he has severely underestimated his opponent, and it comes at a big price. This also marks the point where full-out war between the government and the drug cartel has really started. Bloodshed will be high on both sides, and it took someone with balls like Carillo to get Search Block up to that point. This is a perfect example of how to execute a pivotal turning point in a show of this nature.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 06:06:10 PM by Dr. Ensatsu-ken »

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Re: Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 06:31:20 PM »
Very cool stuff. Here are two of my own:

DAREDEVIL


Scene: Jack Murdock's Last Battle (minor spoilers)



Context: Jack Murdock is a boxer who fell in with the wrong people. After being reminded of the importance of his son's life after nearly losing him to an accident, he begins to change for his son and become a better role model. He is presented with a choice by some shady goons: he can either take a dive in his next fight and let the scumbags continue to profit off their dishonesty, or he can risk it all for his son to give him a better life than what he had. Jack approaches the most important fight of his life refusing to back down and to continue being a doormat.

Why it's a great scene: Daredevil is a show about becoming a hero. The first season specifically showing Matt Murdock's rise from damaged vigilante to icon of justice is a towering climb that starts because of what his father went through. Jack, we learn, is a rough guy, not the most educated guy or even the best fighter, but there is something inside him that tells him this isn't right this place he's in. Of course, he can't take down all the crime in Hell's Kitchen, but what he can do is give his son something that he never had: a chance at a better life. Jack Murdock is walking to his death without fear, certain that he is doing what is right without even an iota of doubt about it. It's such a beautiful scene that even is inevitable death can't shake the impression that this man did everything he could and gave it his all. This also being the event that sets Matt on being Daredevil, it is appropriately powerful and still one of the best scenes in the series as it leads to mirror hallway scene at the episode's end.


PERSON OF INTEREST


Scene: John Reese asks a question



Context: John Reese is an ex-CIA agent who works with tech guru Harold Finch to save people before they are murdered. They use a machine which tells them the social security number of either the perpetrator, the victim, or someone related to the event and it is up to the two of them to track them down and figure out the situation. Reese has killed a lot of people, but it weighs on him how easy it was for him to take so many lives, so he tries for non-lethal measures thereby putting himself at more risk.

Why it's a great scene: Reese tracks down the perpetrator who is known for drugging and having his way with women. A real scumbag. This guy is a stalker, a creep, and by all accounts a monster. In order to keep this sicko away from any more victims, he kidnaps him and brings him to the middle of nowhere. He then has a serious discussion with the criminal into whether he should die or not. This isn't tough guy posturing, either, he is asking not only about the scumbag but about himself as well. Can this guy change? Can Reese? Or should they both just die? Keep in mind, this is the fourth episode of the show. Starting out this heavy proves that Person of Interest is a unique show with a lot more to give than it might show at first and made John Reese one of my favorite protagonists. The real kicker? We never learn what happens. The episode ends and we never find out if he killed him or not. Very powerful moment.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 06:47:12 PM »
Nice choices. You could pick almost any given moment from Daredevil and talk about it for paragraphs on end, and find a ton of things to say about it. The show is just crammed full of great scenes. I've always liked the portrayal of Jack's death in this series as well. It's basically Daredevil's version of Bruce Wayne's parents being murdered, and is so iconic to the series' lore that there's a lot to live up to whenever any medium attempts to recreate that scene. This show managed to pull it off splendidly, though, and it's essentially the definitive live-action version of that iconic moment in Matt Murdock's life.

And you once again remind me that I need to get around to watching Person of Interest one of these days. :D

Avaitor

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Re: Favorite Scenes/Moments In Television
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 10:14:09 AM »
While I'm melting about other, inconsequential things, let me make one of these myself.

CHEERS


Scene: "Wow."



Context: The original will-they/won't-they turned rocky couple, Sam Malone and Diane Chambers' relationship is questioned when an eccentric painter who is enamored by Diane volunteers to paint a portrait of her. It gets to the point that Sam tells Diane that if she goes to be drawn, he will break up with her. So Diane does anyway, as she plans to surprise Sam with it.

Why it's a great scene: The reveal of Diane's involvement with Christopher Lloyd's creepy artist results in some of the show's winning insults and a bit of violence that gets downright shocking. All of this is confirmation for Diane that the two cannot work, as she walks out and leaves Sam, the bar, and presumably Boston behind. But the key moment comes right after, when Sam unwraps the portrait, and gives out an exasperated "wow". This is reflective of how the show is able to combine such a wide range of emotions, often in the same scene. The characters have already became so well-defined this early in the run, with Diane's confidence purposefully not reflecting her lack of personal experience, and Sam's ignorance always making him open for more. Here, we see this in both of them, with Diane not recognizing the best way to tell Sam the truth, and at the end, with Sam, still fuming over the fight, accept that maybe, in this one instance, great art is worth it.

Or maybe he's just awestruck by how Diane looks here.
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