2018 is nearing its end, causing everyone in the pop culture world to look back at the entertaining content that made the year memorable. The team at ComicBook.com came together to nominate our favorites in the world of television, movies, comics, games, and anime of 2018.
When it comes to television, it's incredibly hard to even narrow the field to our five initial nominees. This year, that was made even more difficult by the widening of our scope to horror, animation, and more. Even so, we did the deed, but after that it was up to us to pick a final, one-and-only winner.
And the winner of Best TV Episode is...
The Haunting of Hill House’s “Two Storms”!
The sixth episode of the Netflix series was not only an exercise in perfect storytelling, but in epic filmmaking. It’s the first episode of the series that doesn’t focus on only one of the Crain children, who each received their own centric episodes before “Two Storms.”
Beginning at Shirley’s funeral home, the episode’s first shot is of Nell in her casket while Shirley perfects the body. Theo drinks behind her sisters in disdain and you realize almost immediately that it is going to be a dramatic, but captivating episode.
You can tell the series’ director, Mike Flanagan, is going for something bold in the episode. It quickly becomes clear he’s choosing to shoot the moment in a continuous long shot, which follows the family as they trickle into the viewing room during a thunderstorm.
Within the first few moments, the home viewers are already given a deep look into all of the character’s feelings about Nell’s death. They have their various ways of coping, and you'd be hard-pressed not to find at least one of the Crain's handling of grief relatable.
Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser) focuses on keeping everything perfect and calm, Theo (Kate Siegel) quickly becomes brash from drinking, Steven (Michiel Huisman) reverts into his feelings and remains in denial about the literal ghosts he’s seeing, and Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) struggles to keep himself and his emotions together. Eventually, their father, Hugh (Timothy Hutton), arrives which puts all of the living Crains in a room together as adults for the first time since the series began.
The interactions between the strained family are awkward and tense, but underlined with a beautiful sense of camaraderie. The long shot makes the beginning feel like a stage play in the best, most intimate kind of way. It continues to impress as ghosts subtly appear in the background. Flanagan even managed to switch Nell’s adult body into her younger one while the shot was still going. The camera tricks in this episode are on par with Birdman, which won both Best Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards in 2015.
Eventually, the show’s creepiness shines through and buttons mysteriously show up on Nell’s eyes before the power goes out. The eerie sense of danger continues into the flashbacks as the storm begins to consume the house… or maybe the house is consuming the storm?
The episode eventually ends with adult Luke looking at Nell’s body while young Luke promises young Nell that he will never let her go. “None of you could see me. Nobody could see me,” says young Nell in a voiceover as the camera focuses on adult Nell's ghost as she looks longingly ahead. Talk about chills!
We'll be announcing more winners throughout the week, so be sure to check back on ComicBook.com to see if your favorites won. And don't forget to tell us who and what your favorites were on Facebook and @ComicBookNOW on Twitter.
List of Nominees:
- “Two Storms” - The Haunting of Hill House [WINNER]
- “A Dark Knight: No Man’s Land” - Gotham
- “Here I Go Again” - Legends of Tomorrow
- “Rosa” - Doctor Who
- “What Comes After” - The Walking Dead