“Happy Ending” – Schitt’s Creek
Schitt’s Creek ended its six-season run on an emotional high note, paying off years of thoughtful character development with a touching farewell that offers a satisfying conclusion for all of its beloved characters. It’s exactly the kind of optimistic, feel-good storytelling the world needs more of right now, which is why it’s such a bittersweet – but ultimately satisfying – goodbye.
For more, check out our “Happy Ending” – Schitt’s Creek review!
“The Hope That Kills You” – Ted Lasso
Ted Lasso’s exemplary first season finale saw Coach Ted and the lads of AFC Richmond take on the dreaded boys of Manchester City in an attempt to miraculously save their football club from extinction. And like the rest of the series, “The Hope that Kills You” was a rousing, riotously funny example of warmth, wit, and wisdom.
“The Jedi” – The Mandalorian
Almost every episode of The Mandalorian Season 2 contains some galaxy-shaking reveal for Star Wars fans, but its fifth episode, “The Jedi,” delivered on the widely-reported but never-officially-confirmed rumor that Ahsoka Tano – the former padawan to Anakin Skywalker and a powerful Force-weilder in her own right – would complete the jump from animation to live-action. Portrayed by Rosario Dawson, Ahsoka was masterful in her debut, liberating the city of Calodan on the forest planet Corvus from the evil clutches of The Magistrate. This episode also gave us Grogu – Baby Yoda’s real name – and it also features Ahsoka name-dropping Grand Admiral Thrawn, a classic Star Wars villain with a rich history. Directed by Dave Filoni, “The” Jedi was a major high point in a season full of high points, and made good on the promise of what live-action Star Wars on the small screen truly can be.
For more, check out our “The Jedi” – The Mandalorian review!
“On the Run” – What We Do in the Shadows
A standout episode in a standout season of television, What We Do in the Shadows’ “On the Run” has it all: Mark Hamill as a vampire named Jim, a feel-good underdog sports story, and the introduction of the already-iconic Laszlo human alter ego Jackie Daytona. WWDITS succeeds on the strength of its ensemble cast, but Matt Berry’s comedic portrayal of his vampire character’s attempt to act like a human is hands down one of the best performances of the year, and elevates “On the Run” to the episode of WWDITS Season 2 that we keep coming back to.
“Whenever You’re Ready” – The Good Place
Although almost a bit too idyllic, “Whenever You’re Ready” is a poignant rumination on what gives meaning to our lives, and does Jason, Tahani, Eleanor, Chidi, Michael, and Janet justice by allowing them to end things on their own terms. While the sitcom had lofty goals – outlining a moral theory of the afterlife isn’t typical television fare – its ambition brought it to a cathartic end. The series’ greatest strength was that it knew when it was time to pass on, and ultimately, The Good Place’s series finale was a fitting send-off for one of the best shows on television.
For more, check out our “Whenever You’re Ready” – The Good Place review!
Those are our picks for the best TV episode of 2020 – let us know in the comments what’s on your list that didn’t make ours, and be sure to cast your vote for our TV Series of the Year 2020 People’s Choice Award here!
There are plenty of other awards! Check out all our movies, TV, and comics nominees below!
Best Movies of 2020
Best TV of 2020
Best Comics of 2020
Be sure to check out all of our other movies, TV and comics of the Year award nominees as well as our picks for the best games of 2020!