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April 22 2013

8 tv episodes that qualify as psychological warfare. io9 puts together a good list with an interesting selection from Buffy.

Oh my god, that first image scared me! XD
Interesting article though!
Completely forgot about that episode, despite how much it horrified me. Makes total sense on this list though, what with the psycho-dynamics of it all.
i don't know.. i always thought normal again was the scariest episode, psychologically too. but that monster was pretty terrifying
I've always had a soft spot for "Killed by Death" and I'm really glad to see it show up on a list with the beloved Doctor Who episode "Blink" here. I love both these episodes for the way they tap into an almost universal fear with a creative spin. ("Blink" had a lot more going for it with funny Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey dialogue and an extremely clever structure, but I still love both episodes).

I think I've never seen that final episode of David the Gnome, but it sounds like a brilliant one. I think it's a shame children's TV like that isn't getting made so little these days.
Hush casts a long shadow but it's good to see Killed By Death getting some long overdue recognition. Helpless is an equally disturbing episode. Good io9 list btw. It's a cut above the usual best-ofs.
Did anyone else read this list as being really negative towards television that doesn't have a happy ending? She basically say, there are good tv shows, there are bad tv shows, and then there are tv shows that go beyond that, beyond bad, into making her a less happy human being.

I just thought that was an odd angle for an article featuring some episodes I thought mainly sounded interesting.
The Supernatural mention is spot on. What really did it for me though is how the brothers' happiest moments are portrayed. All of Dean's are when he's helping or comforting someone else, with literally nothing that was just his. On the other hand there's Sam, whose happiest moments are when he's doing something for himself without regards to how it might affect his family in some cases. If that doesn't say something about the Winchester's twisted family dynamic, I don't know what does. Most depressing episode ever.
That FUTURAMA episode upset me and my wife for days. Luckily, in a later episode, they retell it - IIRC, it turns out Fry actually did return (via some time travel plot the specifics of which I can't recall) and spent a nice life with his dog. The episode was like an apology - which we eventually accepted. :)
This is a good list of those stories that sneak a really unexpected and disturbing idea up on you, one that lingers long past the duration of the episode itself. I still think what The Doctor does to The Family is the most disturbing thing in Doctor Who. Because they're really pretty scary, up until the moment the tables turn and you realize he's actually running from what he will do to them if they catch him. He can be the greatest monster the show will ever know if he decides to be, and that episode doesn't let you forget it anytime soon.

In terms of The X-Files, "Home" is the episode that still creeps me out just remembering it ever existed.
Her reasons behind disliking the so-called implications of "Killed By Death" sound a bit extreme for anyone to ever actually feel, weakenignt he cae, but I agree it's a good choice.

One veyr troubling possible implication in "Normal Again" is that whenever a Slayer is called in a universe where they exist, it sucks the sanity out of the corresponding girl in a world where they don't.
Oh wow, DaddyCatALSO. I hadn't even considered that!! Mind=blown! And sad for them. The psychiatric hospital industry in that world must be booming.

"Normal Again" would have been my guess for most disturbing, but "Killed by Death" was the first Buffy episode I ever saw, so I'm particularly fond of it. The drawing the little boy sends her makes me LOL every time.
"Killed by Death" has always been the scariest episode of Buffy for me. I shudder when I think about it too long.

Sunfire - I still cringe at night when I hear a car outside my home, thinking it could be the family from "Home". I only watched that episode the first night it aired and I would change the channel every time it came on after that.
Strangely, my primary memory of "Home" is still Scully trying to get the animals to move by muttering "Bah-ram-ewe" at them. I don't conflate "scary" and "depressing" as the same thing. When I was very little, I used to hide behind the couch when the Wicked Witch appeared in the televised "The Wizard of Oz," but I never found it depressing. On "Buffy" and "Angel," because I cared about the characters (and was a good deal older by then), I always found what the main characters might do to each other out of anger, disappointment, fear, etc. much scarier than the monsters - though I still give big props to the Gentlemen because, well, you know, Gentlemen.
The 3 Buffy episodes that are the most disturbing to me are when characters are totally defenseless in face of the creepiest nightmarish monsters. I cannot bring myself to watch them again: Killed by Death, Shadow, Same Time, Same Place.
No one's mentioned "Same Time Same Place" which struck me as the height of psychological torture - trapped in a cave with something horrible, slowly, painfully killing you, telling you it's doing it, and believing that your friends have abandoned you to it. That's pretty high on my list of nightmare-inducing images.

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