Best of 2013: Did ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Walking Dead’ have year’s biggest shocker?

Shocking Moment -We’re one category away from naming our candidates for Show of the Year in our Best of 2013 Series, but before we come to that, there is one more important category that we take a minute to sit down and discuss: Most Shocking Moment. The shows that are up for this award are all prestigious in their own right, but what we are looking at here are some individual moments that stood out, and really got people talking over the past twelve months. Some of these are so good, we don’t feel like they will be replicated or equaled on TV at any point in the near future.

In addition to reading about the individual moment, we’ve also included the title of each episode in the event that you want to go back and watch the moment yourself.

“Arrow,” the reveal of Slade as the ringleader (“Three Ghosts”) – By far, this is the most recent out of all the shocking moments that we’ve seen. But who knew that the major villain of this season was going to be a one of Oliver Queen’s friends from his past. What also made this moment in particular brilliant was how it came following an appearance from Slade in a hallucination, producing almost a split-second reaction at the end of the episode when you weren’t sure if the character was actually back or not.

“Big Brother Canada,” Topaz Brady votes for the wrong winner (finale) – We were present to watch this moment unfold in studio, but even if we weren’t, it was still one of the craziest things that has ever unfolded on reality TV. She meant to vote for her friend Gary, but instead voted for Jillian and desperately wanted to change it to no avail. Her mistake was the deciding vote in what was a very close mistake, and Jillian was thus awarded the grand prize.

“Breaking Bad,” Walter White’s video message for Hank (“Confessions”) – While you could say that there were a number of shocking “Breaking Bad” moments throughout the final season, there really wasn’t when you think about it. Instead, most of them were moments that came at the result of several clues. But Walt’s terrifying message to Hank, where he informed him that he would turn the entire Heisenberg regime around on him using a series of careful moves, was jaw-dropping.

“Game of Thrones,” Brienne reveals herself to Jaime (“Kissed By Fire”) – The Red Wedding is probably the predictable choice here for some, given that it was surprising for most non-book fans of the show. But this moment was perhaps a part of the best five or so minutes of the entire season, as Brienne deciding to expose herself in the bath humbled Jaime in a way that we had not seen before, as he explained just what it meant to be the “Kingslayer.”

“Mad Men,” Sally Draper catches Don and Sylvia (“Favors”) – “Mad Men” did not have the strongest sixth season in its history, but what it did show within this scene was just to what extent Don Draper has failed his family. We all knew that he would be caught with his mistress (and the wife of his friend) at some point, but to have it be by his own daughter was particularly shameful. This may be the moment that led to the destruction of the old Don, and the creation of a new man that is somewhat closer to the Dick Whitman he was before the walls came up.

“The Office,” Michael Scott returns (“Finale”) – The rumors were proven true when Steve Carell graced the show on “The Office” series finale for a tiny cameo, where it was revealed that he and Holly had started a family together in Colorado. But it was the best “that’s what she said” line ever that sealed the deal and made this a moment so glorious, it’s almost hard to remember what the rest of the episode was even about.

“Sons of Anarchy,” Clay dies while Gemma watches (“Aon Rud Persanta”) – We never imagined that there would be an episode of “Sons of Anarchy” featuring Clay’s death that would be a stunner; this guy was a marked man from the very beginning. But it was almost at the point where you thought that he was going to have his redemption that he was finally destroyed, and almost as a pawn for a greater cause in Jax getting SAMCRO out of the gun trade.

“The Walking Dead,” Rick banishes Carol (“Indifference”) – “The Walking Dead” is a show like “Game of Thrones” where you tend to expect death to happen. So for us, the more shocking moments are seeing characters make confessions and revelations. To us, there is not one that shook us more than seeing Rick make the move, without any consultation, to send Carol packing after learning that she’d killed two of the members of their group. The reverberations of this move are so drastic, we don’t believe they have been fully felt yet.

To vote for your pick, just take a look at our poll below! You can view the rest of our Best of 2013 categories here, and the full results will be revealed come Friday, December 20.



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