TV's biggest night is just around the corner! The Primetime Emmys are less than two weeks away, and if you want to adequately prepare yourselves before the winners are announced, you'd better read our list of must-see episodes.
The series, actors and actresses nominated in the drama category all honestly deserve a statue, even if they already have one—or in someone's case, three. (Looking at you, Cranston!) If you've never witnessed the greatness of these nominees, or just want to relive their performances, check out our list of must-watch drama episodes:
1."Q&A," Homeland: A master class in acting, writing and directing, this intense, heartpounding hour of television takes place almost entirely in one room between two highly-skilled actors. In one corner, a vindicated and determined Carrie (Claire Danes), who is either breaking her opponent or consoling him; we're never entirely sure. In the other corner, the frightened and deteriorating Brody (Damian Lewis), who is so exhausted from all the lies he can't even keep them straight anymore. More brutal than most physical fights and more tender than most love scenes, "Q&A" may just be one of TV's finest hours in recent memory.
2. Breaking Bad, "Gliding Over All": The midseason finale of season five has everything that makes Breaking Bad one of the best television shows ever created: Phenomenal performances by every single member of the cast, from leads to supporting to guest stars. A cliffhanger ending that sets up what is thus far an incredible final run of episodes. And more than enough shocking moments that make fans want to jump on their couch screaming: "I love this show so damn much!" (Just us? We totally did that). Bryan Cranston gives yet another iconic performance as Walt, who spends half the episode cleaning up loose ends (the prison murders) and the other half saying goodbye to Heisenberg after Skyler (Anna Gunn) pleads with him to give her life back. And then Hank's (Dean Norris) big discovery in the end? Perfection.
3. Game of Thrones, "The Rains of Castamere": We're still working through our issues from the result of watching this episode with our therapist, so prepare to receive our steep bill soon, HBO. But seriously, it was impossible not to feel absolutely gutted and emotionally crippled after the Red Wedding massacre, which saw the brutal, brutal deaths of fan favorites Robb (Richard Madden) and Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley). As the credits rolled, our mouths were left wide-open and our brains void of words to describe what we had just witnessed. Such is the power of great television.
4. American Horror Story¸"Nor'easter": Lily Rabe not being nominated for her role as the possessed Sister Mary Eunic is more sadistic than the entire plot of Asylum. She is so good at playing evil, and "Nor'easter" is the first episode where she is really let loose. By her emotionally torturing Sister Jude, we got another flawless performance by Jessica Lange, and a seriously twisted ending that made us fear the sweet farmer from Babe (James Arden) even more. And the entire episode is wrapped up in the sights of the sounds of a huge thunderstorm, making the inmates and the viewers more on edge than ever.
5. Scandal, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President": Not only is this just a fine hour of TV, filled to the brim with tension and expertly paced, but it also contains one of best actress nominee Kerry Washington's best scenes. It was hard to pick just one from season two, given Washington's stunning ability to deliver Shonda Rhimes' infamous monologues so effortlessly she might as well be filing her nails, it was a quiet moment that really highlighted her talent. We see Olivia Pope, one of the strongest female characters on TV, finally reach her breaking point, attempting to keep it together when the man she loves, but can never really have, could die at any moment. It's a one-minute scene that conveys more than a thousand words could about Olivia's character.