I love when an episode of a show introduces something or has something happen that is so surprising that it changes everything. (Ignore what you know about cast changes from the news, I’m talking pure storyline.) These episodes tend to be season finale episodes in hopes that the suspense will bring you back and when done right, it’s something of an agony to wait. (Well, finales are either big cliff hangers or they are season wrap ups. I much prefer the former.)
Some great game changing episodes include (warning, potential spoilers):
Dexter‘s season four finale where someone close to Dexter dies
House‘s season four and five finales with rehab and Amber’s death
Make It Or Break It‘s 13th episode (debatabley a finale) with Payson and Kaylie’s turn of luck
Bones‘s last finale with Booth’s illness
Dollhouse‘s season one finale (the moment you realize what’s really at stake)
Star Trek Voyager when they make a deal with the Borg that brings them on board
Lost is of course king of game changers as nearly every episode and finales in particular tended to change everything we thought we knew.
There are some more subtle game changers, like when Vampire Diaries killed Vicki because it was the moment you realized this show meant business and they weren’t afraid to kill of a character (though I still wish they’d waited).
The reason I bring all of this up is because when I was watching Spartacus, and to a slightly lesser extent Smallville, my immediate reaction was Game Changer!
For Spartacus, there’s knowing that a slave revolt is going to occur and then there’s seeing it in all it’s successful gory glory. (This is already after we had the game changer where Spartacus’s wife was brought back to him dead.) And then there are some moments you kind of hoped for but never thought would happen like Varo’s wife’s revenge. And the question of who is still alive. Illithia and Asher sure but Batiatus or Lucretia? I think Batiatus is gone but a part of me thinks Lucretia may not be as out as we may think. (For starters, she is Sam Raimi’s wife and for another I think hers is the more survivable injury should one of them make it.) I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here and what the country will do with these slaves out as a sort of Robin Hood for Revenge group.
For Smallville, there was just that last moment where Zod decides maybe he shouldn’t have all the abilities in his little group. So much for keeping the future from coming true. Now it’s even worse because there is a less obvious way to destroy them. Still changes things and leads me to wonder how Clark and the Gang can possibly fight. Sure there’s the whole Kryptonite thing but the only really effective way to deal with that is to line the streets with the stuff which would make Kent’s life far more difficult (but I wouldn’t put past Chloe who has become sort of like Batman in this world). Unless they can get him an iron suit that looks real clothes.