Holiday Episodes

Thursday, December 13th, 2012 09:10 pm
brightknightie: Janette and Nick giving the red-wrapped firetruck to Daniel. (Gift)
Do you have a favorite holiday episode? If so, what makes it a favorite?

Any television series, any holiday, but it must be a regular episode (e.g. FK's "Be My Valentine") not a special (e.g. Black Adder's Christmas Carol). (I realize that's a bit tough on some UK shows, with their different traditions about holiday airings, but... my post, my parameters.)

It always seemed strange to me that Highlander had so little holiday content in all its six seasons and successors. There's a nineteenth-century US Independence Day celebration in the flashbacks of "Obsession," and a 1980s New Year's Eve party in the flashbacks of "Revenge is Sweet," and a Prohibition-era one in the flashbacks of "Bless the Child," I think, but that's all I know off-hand (though admittedly I'm not nearly as good with the later seasons as the early ones; isn't "The Stone of Scone" set at a holiday, too? and what about the "Deliverance" flashbacks?). Holidays are threads running sideways through time, binding the years together; surely that's something worth touching on with such long-lived characters.

My favorite holiday episode, however, doesn't come from one of my best-beloved series: FK, HL, YB, BSG, BatB... No, it's "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" from Bones. Now, I adored that show's first season; it sung to me. The second season changed, becoming another story altogether; swiftly, nothing remained to speak to me, never mind sing, and I walked very sadly away. But in the middle of their first season shines this gem. Long story short and spoilery, the main cast is quarantined in the lab over Christmas; under the simultaneous pressures of having all their plans disrupted and breathing a potentially deadly contagious pathogen, personal tidbits and personality quirks emerge for every character. How do you face Christmas, and how do you face death? At the same time, of course, they work to solve a mystery, and in this case the case richly parallels Brennan's own scars -- then, just being revealed to the audience -- of unexplained abandonment. The layers of resonance are as vivid as a flashback; the holiday sharpens their cutting edges. I left that series as it left me... but that one episode can still make me laugh and cry.

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brightknightie: A blue and white stylized Toronto skyline, circa 1992-1996 (Default)
Amy R.

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