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 The Second Episodes of TV Seasons I Have Loved 
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Hi everyone, here's a list I considered posting on the old RT forums that I never got around to posting.

Maybe it's just me - or maybe I watch too much TV - but it seems like the second episode in the season of a TV series is usually the worst and/or the least memorable. Granted, this is almost always by design. For serialized series, the second episode is a good opportunity to continue the table setting the first episode started and/or pick up the pieces of the typically explosive first episode's aftermath. For episodic series, it's understandable that the second episode is not the best because the show runners presumably want to save the best for last. Regardless, my enthusiasm is never at its highest when it's time to watch a second episode. This is a list of fifteen second episodes that buck this trend.

Note: for the sake of variety and unpredictability, I selected one episode per series and I'm presenting them in random order.
Feel free to post any second episodes you enjoy.

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Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:51 am
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The Office (U.K.), Season 1:
Work Experience


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Plot Summary:
Even though he'll have to layoff some of the staff in the near future, office manager David Brent gives his best friend's daughter a job. Also, a pornographic photoshop of David went viral, a situation that motivates power-hungry assistant manager Gareth to interrogate the staff Homicide: Life on the Street style.

What I enjoyed:
There's some really good character building in this episode for David, who preaches against pornography even though his behavior suggests that he consumes it more than anyone else in the office. Gareth, who reveals that he's completely incapable of backing up any of his macho posturing, also has many hilarious moments. The episode also introduces Chris Finch, a chauvinistic blowhard who David considers a good friend, but the fact that their relationship is much more Biff Tannen/George McFly than it is Doc Brown/Marty McFly and that
Chris created the photoshop
suggests that it's a pretty one-sided friendship.

MVP:
Chris Finch. As much as I love to hate David and Gareth, he's the series' love-to-hate character number one.

Favorite Moment:
Gareth interrogating Keith, one of the show's funniest bit players, about who made the photoshop.

Favorite Quote:
David: Look at this - "Dutch girls must be punished for having big boobs". Now you do not punish a girl, Dutch or otherwise, for having big boobs.
Gareth: If anything they should be rewarded.
David Brent: No, they should be equal.

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Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:17 am
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One of my favorites.

Gareth: "Was it one of you two?"
Dawn: "Yes...Christ you're good!"

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Captain's Log


Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:24 am
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Futurama, Season 5:
Jurassic Bark


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Plot Summary:
Fry finds the fossilized remains of his pet dog Seymour in his old workplace, which has been turned into a museum. Farnsworth offers to make a contribution to science that is actually worthwhile by making a clone of Seymour. Bender, who believes he deserves 100% of Fry's friendship allotment, is totally against this idea.

What I enjoyed:
This episode and "The Luck of the Fryrish" are always in conversations about the very best Futurama episodes. Like that episode, "Jurassic Bark" is also about a topic that likely hits hard for most people: while it would be an incredible opportunity to see what's in store for humanity and start all over again at the same time, it would mean having to leave everyone you love behind. As a dog owner, not to mention one who is not long for this world, it hits particularly hard.

MVP:
Seymour. It says a lot that the mere thought of him resting on the sidewalk makes me misty-eyed.

Favorite Moment:
The "I Will Wait For You" sequence. You know the one.

Favorite Quote:
Fry: I had Seymour 'till he was three. That's when I knew him, and that's when I loved him... I'll never forget him, but he forgot me a long, long time ago.

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Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:30 pm
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Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, Season 1:
Very Personal Injury


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Plot Summary:
In a parody of the famous case where a McDonald's employee spilled hot coffee on a woman's lap, Superfriend Apache Chief ("which one?") suffers the same injury, and as a result, he can no longer grow large. Impotence jokes ensue.

What I enjoyed:
This episode forms the mold that this hilarious series followed for the rest of its run. While the pilot about Race Bannon and Dr. Quest's custody battle is no slouch, it lacks this and rest of the series' crisp animation, snappy editing and wit. Not to mention, this episode proves that twice the Colbert - who plays Harvey's boss Phil Ken Sebben and antagonist Myron Reducto - is never too much.

MVP:
While Phil Ken Sebben deserves it for every episode of this series, I'm giving it to Apache Chief. Maurice LaMarche's subtle, hilarious performance makes Apache Chief's shame about losing his superpower and embarrassment about all the impotence accusations apparent in all of his scenes.

Favorite Moment:
Apache Chief saves the Earth by deflecting an incoming asteroid, but he destroys another planet and all of its inhabitants in the process.

Favorite Quote:
Apache Chief: Well, I saved the town the other day, and anyway, I saved the town. And anyway, afterwards I thought, "Man, a.. a coffee would be nice." But I spilled it...on my lap.
Harvey: Uh-huh.
Apache Chief: And, wow, it was hot...on my lap.
Harvey: I'll bet.
Apache Chief: Hotness. Crotch. Ouch.
Harvey: Yeah, I... ohhhh! Are you trying to say...?
Apache Chief: I... can no longer... enlarge.

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Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:59 pm
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Torgo wrote:
Favorite Moment: The "I Will Wait For You" sequence. You know the one.
You just had to remind me of that, you bastard...

= (

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Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:55 am
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The second episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "Charlie Wants an Abortion", is one of their classics. The second episode of season four, "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis", is on the shortlist of the best of the series. Later seasons like 8, 9, 11 ("The Gang Recyclees Their Trash", "Gun Fever Too: Still Hot" and "Frank Falls Out a Window") definitely qualify as among the show's weakest, but season 12, "The Gang Goes to a Water Park", breaks the cycle again.

Off the top of my head, Saturday Night (Live)'s second episode has some great Paul Simon performances, but it's extremely thin on comedy, and a good candidate for weakest of thee season. (That "Boxer" though...)


Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:17 pm
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 6:
Rocks and Shoals


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Plot Summary:
Sisko and crew manage to commandeer a Jem'Hadar warship, but their luck quickly runs out when they are shot down and crash on a remote planet. To further their bad luck, a crew of Jem'Hadar near their crash site capture Garak and Nog, and to heighten the tension even further, they only have one vial of ketracel white - the chemical that keeps them from going on murderous rampages - left in their stores.

What I enjoyed:
In addition to being one of the best Dominion War episodes, "Rocks and Shoals" is up there with "Balance of Terror" from the original series as one of Star Trek's best standoff episodes. For starters, the acting is impeccable - guests Christopher Shea as sleazy Vorta Keevan and Phil Morris as implacable Jem'Hadar Remata'Klan are particularly great - and there is unusually artistic direction from Star Trek and Babylon 5 veteran Michael Vejar. Also, like in "Balance of Terror," there is plenty of uncertainty: will the Jem'Hadar run out of ketracel white and go insane? Does Keevan have a trick up his sleeve? Will Garak and Nog be okay? Not to mention, instead of resolving the conflict with a cliched trope like a Deus Ex Machina as this franchise is unfortunately wont to do, the resolution happens via character and world building, i.e. the Dominion's rigid hierarchy.

MVP:
Remata'Klan. He's possibly the series' most interesting and memorable Jem'Hadar.

Favorite Moment:
The climactic standoff between Sisko and Remata'Klan.

Favorite Quote:
Sisko: Keevan doesn't deserve the unwavering loyalty you're giving him.
Remata'Klan: He does not have to earn my loyalty, Captain. He has had it from the moment I was conceived. I am a Jem'Hadar. He is a Vorta. It is the order of things.
Captain Sisko: Do you really want to give up your life for the order of things?
Remata'Klan: It is not my life to give up, Captain. And it never was.

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:36 am
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Stu wrote:
You just had to remind me of that, you bastard...

= (
Sorry. If it's any consolation, I hated reminding myself as well.

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:47 am
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Daria, Season 1:
The Invitation


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Plot Summary:
As a reward for helping her with an art assignment, vapid cheerleader Brittany invites Daria to a party at her parent's posh mansion. Daria is ambivalent about going, but after discovering that her status-seeking sister Quinn was also invited, she leverages the opportunity to gain an edge in their neverending rivalry. Regardless, there won't be much for Quinn to brag about because seemingly everyone at Lawndale - even the creepy Upchuck, who got an invite for dissecting Brittany's frog - is at the party.

What I enjoyed:
Like Harvey Birdman's "A Very Personal Injury," this episode lays the groundwork for the typical Daria episode while being very funny in its own right. Brittany's party provides the perfect opportunity to define the relationships at Lawndale as well as its social hierarchy (Quinn's insufferable fashion club friends make this very easy by informing us about each student's degree of popularity).

MVP:
Jane Lane. Her sardonic quips provide the kind of commentary the party desperately needs.

Favorite Moment:
When Upchuck provides a "tour" for Daria and Jane.

Favorite Quote:
Jane: So, have fun?
Daria: Well, I didn't talk to a whole bunch of new people, I made Quinn want to throw herself down a well, and I'm going home with a bonus sock. All in all, a great night.

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Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:01 am
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