I’m pretty much the perfect example of a girl who simply wants to have her cake, and eat it too.
See, when watching television, I’m your everyday masochist. Like I literally want to be pushed to my ultimate limits of feels, crying until maybe I puke, and then I want you to fix it. Personally, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, right?
Give me that good old hurt/comfort in an actual hour of television with my favorite characters and I’ll love you forever. Just don’t kill them. Or take me to the limit and then push me off the god damn cliff.
So taking that into consideration, I really can’t ever fault tv for making me cry. It’s not like I’m watching comedies. I’m diving headfirst into the rabbit holes of shows I know will probably emotionally eviscerate me eventually.
Sometimes it’s exactly how I hope it’ll be and I can walk away feeling both satisfied, and like I’ve just cut out my own heart, put it on ice, and made plans to try and sew it back in later. Other times, my heart goes right into the blender and I stare aimlessly wondering why I ever dared to put myself in this situation in the first place.
After all, we all have that one thing we can never watch again. Cough cough– Pay It Forward— cough cough.
But after long hours and many tears, I’ve put together my top five episodes of television that, over the past twenty-four years of my life, have made me cry the hardest.
If you want a sob fest, take notes for later, go get some wine and a box of tissues, and be prepared to ask yourself why? Dear god, why?
1. Sons Of Anarchy ‘Papa’s Goods’ Season 7, Episode 13
OKAY. So after watching Inside Out, I wept so audibly that I decided to start rating my tears in ‘bing-bongs’. This episode is three bing-bongs worth of pain. Aside from being my favorite series’ finale, this episode wrings you out emotionally because of the poignant wholeness it provides for the entire show. I expected the last episode to be all action and was pleasantly surprised to find that they, more or less, stuck all the final fights into the second to last episode instead. This left me with nothing but resigned acceptance and bittersweet musings about the future amongst Jax, Chibs and Tig that will forever make me cry harder than anything ever. Start to finish, this episode for sure takes the cake.
2. Supernatural ‘Swan Song’ Season 5, Episode 22
When starting Supernatural, Kripke had a very clear five-year plan. The fact that this show is heading into its twelfth season, quite frankly, speaks for itself and its own success, but back in the day, its time on air was unknown. The culmination of this five-year plan ends with ‘Swan Song’, which allowed for this episode to almost feel like it could have wrapped up the whole show. The combination of the narration, and seemingly final goodbyes between Sam and everyone that mattered to him got me in a way few shows have since.
3. Buffy ‘The Body’ season 5, episode 16
This episode actually falls more into that heart in the blender category because, quite frankly, I can no longer watch it. Everyone has that one thing that is really hard for them to stomach, my thing is dead moms. Of course that’s probably everyone’s thing, but I mean I devolve into panic attacks and hysterics if I am faced with thinking about moms dying for more than like, 30 second intervals. This episode of Buffy gave us a very real, very hard look into the most real and heartbreaking moment of this show. A tough one on this list to get through, it’s also important in showing the conflicting feelings one goes through in losing a loved one.
4. Sons Of Anarchy ‘Red Rose’ season 7, episode 12
Yes, SOA made the list twice! Congrats to them for all the pain. I had to put this episode here because although it doesn’t make me cry in the same capacity every time I watch it, it was an especially surprising emotional reaction for me. I saw Juice’s death coming a mile away, and at the point in the show when it did actually occur (this episode in case that wasn’t clear) I was convinced that I had numbed his character out completely and wouldn’t care. Boy was I wrong. I don’t know what it was about his death that made me cry so hard the first time I watched it, I don’t even know if I ended the series hating him or liking him– still, there was a certain sadness to the way his story ultimately ended.
5. House ‘Wilson’s Heart’ season 4, episode 16
This one is weird. See, I always liked to watch House as a casual observer. I was never obsessed or especially emotionally connected to a character, I don’t even think I finished watching the series. Now taking all that into consideration, this episode must have really fucked me up for me to still have it pop into my head all these years later. The moment when Wilson had to make the decision to wake up his girlfriend just to tell her she was going to die was– it was more than my brain was able to handle at the time. I don’t know if it was the hopelessness of the situation, or that there was a choice to be made but boy did I cry at that death. I’ve actually never watched this episode since, not purposefully, but I wonder if I would have the same reaction now.
So there you have it. I recommend NOT watching more than one of these episodes in a day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.