Winona Hawkins — “Justified”: After four seasons of hapless criminal behavior, unnecessarily acidity and general…distemper, the lovely Winona Hawkins nee Givens nee Whatever finally made herself useful by helping Raylan gun down some Detroit mafia home invaders in this season’s finale. Honestly, it’s the first time I loved her.
Adam — “Girls”: It’s hard to know what to make of Adam Driver’s character on “Girls.” In a sea of unlikable ladies, he’s a…slightly less unlikable beacon? I thought Lena Dunham had done something very clever with his character in Season 1, initially presenting him as the douchebag in their relationship only to flip that dynamic on its head. A lot of that good work was undone in Season 2 but this moment, in the Season 1 finale, will always be one of Adam’s finest. Also, primo schadenfreude for all you Hannah haters.
Dark Willow — “Buffy”: Evil Willow was an intensely problematic character mostly because, in creating her, Whedon and company muddied one of their already awkward metaphors. If being a Wicca is equivalent to discovering other parts of your sexuality in Seasons 4 and 5, it can’t suddenly be a ham-fisted allegory for addiction is Season 6. It just can’t. And while most people love Dark Willow’s violent revenge on her lover’s murderer (“bored now”), the only time I really loved Dark Willow is when she finally (finally) addressed the whiny ball of light in the room. Dawn, sweetie, you had it coming.
Andy Botwin — “Weeds”: I talk about this moment a lot because it is absolute perfection. While Nancy Botwin had become a complete misery of a human being, the once-charming Andy was no-less difficult to watch. A thousand splendid quips could not off-set his unfathomable obsession with her. That’s why this discussion where he discovers his power in their dysfunctional relationship crowned with this glorious iced coffee smack down will always be my favorite moment of the series.
Cersei Lannister— “Game of Thrones”: Cersei the character is not all this problematic, but many “Game of Thrones” fans take exception Lena Headey’s delivery. But nothing brings us all together like a good ol’ fashioned Joffrey slap, eh?
Lane Pryce — “Mad Men”: The only thing better than a Joffrey slap, of course, is a Pete Campbell punch. Poor, repressed, useless Lane. This was his shining hour. It didn’t take long for the wheels to come off his life completely, but I like to think that when the remaining employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (or are they SCDHC now?) think back fondly on Lane Pryce, this is what they remember.
Trudy Campbell— “Mad Men”: And though she may not have laid a finger on him in last night’s episode, the largely useless Trudy Campbell finally attacked that slimeball she’s married to. While Joan Harris and Peggy Olsen have been blazing trials in their own way, Trudy has largely been a symbol of the bygone womanly era. No longer, apparently. Welcome to 1968, Pete.