On Sunday night, the TV-viewing public — or at least a relatively small, geeky-ish fraction thereof — let out a collective gasp when Melisandre (spoiler alert!) gave birth to Lost’s smoke monster on HBO's Game of Thrones. We’re still in a little bit of a head-scratching haze over the development, which got us wondering about 2012’s TV moments that’ve rocked our world, because even though the year is not even yet six months old, there have been WTF?! moments aplenty. Here are our top seven picks!
Game of Thrones: Smoke Baby (Duh!)
This show is known for pushing every conceivable boundary, but it took an interesting turn when new character Melisandre gave birth to a smoky demon while Davos Seaworth, and viewers, looked on in horror. She stripped down to her birthday suit in a wet, gloomy cave, revealing a very pregnant belly that wasn't there last week. Whatever was in there began making its way out violently, resulting in a horrifying birthing scene that consisted of a reincarnation of Lost's smoke monster grabbing her calves and pulling its way out. Then, it disappeared into the night while Melisandre smiled. She's weird! -Shaunna Murphy
Next: Don Draper did what? Mad Men: Don's Fever Dream
Don's murderous fever dream was shocking. Even though we knew it was a dream Don clearly has some terrible stuff creeping up on his subconscious. Things aren't going to end well with him and Megan, but this dream may have been a sign of how bad it could get. -Aly Semigran
We all sighed when we thought Don Draper had broken his vows to new wife Megan when he pounced on an old girlfriend while home sick. But then, following their regrettable romp, we all gasped watching Don pounce on her again… and strangle her to death. Of course, we know there was something as suspect as Pete Campbell about the moment — we are way too far away from Mad Men's finale for the murder to be real. Though it turned out to be a fever-inducing hallucination, realizing that the character is capable of killing — even only in his dreams — was a shocking setback for the new Don. -Kate Ward
Next: The Parks and Rec relationship heard 'round the world.Parks and Recreation: Anne + Tom Sittin' in a Tree
Ann is actually dating Tom. For real. And she didn't even pass his "Oh-no-no" test. How can Tommy Fresh have a boo-bear who doesn't even know who Ginuwine is? GINUWINE! Until this relationship hits a wall, I will perpetually be found making Ron Swanson's hernia face. -Kelsea Stahler
Next: Idol voters' temporary insanity.
American Idol: Jessica Sanchez (Almost) Gets the Boot
Jessica Sanchez receiving the lowest number of votes, while Hollie Cavanagh sat comfortably on the safe couch. How voters allowed the best singer this show has seen in years feel the sting of elimination (before the judges rightfully saved her talented tushie) while Hollie, the unpolished-pixie-wonder, enjoys waves of votes is absolutely inconceivable. Are they not watching the show? Do they not notice how deathly silent CBS studios gets every time the judges slam Hollie's performances? -Kelsea Stahler
Next: Ru-Paul's Drag Race gets slimy.RuPaul's Drag Race: Vomit-gate
The action on this campy reality show is usually straight forward: the queens put on their dresses, lip sync for their lives, and one of them is sent home. On one episode this season, things didn't go according to plan. Willam, one of the favorites in the race, was safe from elimination when he just started barfing all over his platform pumps. After two other contestants were up for being voted out, Ru called Willam back on stage and told him he had broken the rules and to pack his bags. He wiped the vom off his lips and sashayed off the show, without any further explanation given. Seriously, everyone, WTF to all of that! -Brian Moylan
Next: The Bachelor gets schooled.The Bachelor: That Awkward "Kissing Lesson"
On dating shows like this you're always going to encounter a few (many) awkward moments. But Jamie Otis took things to a whole new level when she decided to straddle Bachelor Ben Flajnik (in a very short dress, might I add) and instruct him on how to kiss properly. No man at any age wants to be told that he's not kissing the right way! Any chance of this girl winning Ben's heart went out the window at this precise moment. It was all kinds of awkward times ten. -Kelly Schremph
Next: Old Favorites on the 'Town.The Scrubs Cast on Cougar Town
As a Scrubs fan from the early indie-dramedy style days right down to the cartoon-esque finale season, it couldn’t have been more of a thrill than it was to see Cougar Town accumulate five surprise Scrubs alums for the purposes of a 30-second joke at the very end of its Season 3 episode “A One Story Town.” As Sam Lloyd (Scrubs’ Ted) begins to freak out that everyone around him resembles people from his old job at a hospital, the jokes become more and more absurd, climaxing with Zach Braff showing up as a pizza boy and Rob Maschio (The Todd) requesting a high five. It was nuts, and incredibly fun. Oh, and yes, I watch Cougar Town. -Michael Arbeiter
Merging Serpico with an almost Shakespearean sense of tragedy Pride and Glory details an extremely complicated investigation into the gunning down of four New York City cops after an attempted drug bust goes terribly wrong. With increasingly bad PR and an apparent cop killer still at large the Chief of Manhattan Detectives Francis Tierney Sr. (Jon Voight) assigns his son Detective Ray Tierney (Edward Norton) to lead the probe. The younger Tierney is reluctant since he knows all four cops served under his brother Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerich) and brother-in-law Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell). Ray’s instincts may be right because as he digs deeper he discovers an awkward and uncomfortable connection between Francis Jimmy and the case. Could his own family have been involved in an inside job and tipped off the drug dealers? Soon Ray finds himself having to choose between the greatest moral dilemma of all: loyalty to the job or loyalty to his family. Although Pride and Glory doesn’t break any new ground and is composed of elements we’ve seen in many previous films dealing with police corruption this film is distinguished by some of the finest work in the storied careers of many of its cast. Norton follows up his summer comic-book movie The Incredible Hulk with a far smaller and more focused character in P&G playing a man caught in a moral bind facing the unthinkable prospect of going after his own family members. Norton wears his ticklish predicament on his face and is enormously effective conveying pure angst. Emmerich (Little Children) delivers a rich portrayal of a tortured soul not only caught up in an intense investigation but dealing with a wife (Jennifer Ehle) dying of cancer. Farrell is better than he has been in some time playing a shady officer who seemingly will stop at nothing to get what he needs. Voight as the proud family patriarch and veteran of the NYPD clearly understands the dilemma of this man who is watching his family torn apart. Co-writer/director Gavin O'Connor has spent a frustrating couple of years trying to bring this story to the screen but his perseverance pays off. Pride and Glory is a well-written cop tale that co-exists as an interesting character study about the power of family ties vs. personal pride. O’Connor manages to put us right in the center of the moral conflict at the heart of his story and with several first-rate actors (even in the lesser roles) crafts a film that seems authentic to its core. Incorporating Declan Quinn’s in-your-face realistic cinematography O’Connor resists going for a more obvious audience-pleasing flashier style achieving a look and feel that seems more grounded in the milieu he’s trying to capture. His script co-written with Joe Carnahan (who wrote and directed the equally gritty Narc) is tight and unsympathetic slowly letting layers of a very intricate and complex story peel away to reveal a core that packs a punch right to the gut.