Last month, I listed some episodes of TV that show heroes bouncing back from despair with resolve. This month, here’s some episodes of TV in which our heroes get a freaking break for once. Spoilers, duh.
“The Post-Modern Prometheus” The X Files, Season Five, Episode Five
This episode of X-Files is a tribute to the old black and white horror films, specifically Frankenstein. It’s shot in black and white and despite having a modern, small-town setting eventually our heroes and semi-villains are threatened by a mob bearing torches and pitchforks.
Just as the mob seems about to get its way, Mulder rebels and demands a happy ending. “I want to talk to the writer!” he yells. The monster is able to explain himself to the townspeople and visit Cher, his hero, while Mulder and Scully share a sweet dance together. It’s such a happy ending for everyone that many viewers believe that it must not be real – but I prefer to think that for once Mulder and Scully were able to relax and enjoy a job well done.
“The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” Doctor Who, Season One, Episode Ten
“The Empty Child” is a harrowing episode of a harrowing season of Doctor Who. This season introduces a Doctor who is haunted by a war in which everybody died (as far as he knows, he’s responsible for the deaths of all the Daleks and all the Time Lords other than himself). Luckily, “The Empty Child” is the first in a two-parter. In “The Doctor Dances,” we get a rare episode of pure joy, as The Doctor regains a sense of hope and joy, and figures out a way for everybody to have a happy ending for once!
“The Prom” Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Episode Twenty, Season Three
This episode takes place during the very end of Buffy’s time at Sunnydale High. It’s a heartbreaker of an episode but has one moment of absolute happiness. At Senior Prom, Buffy is awarded “Class Protector.” Its a wonderful moment of recognition from the students she saved for years.