Last night's episode was the best 46 minutes of television in the history of television (I should note that it took me 54 minutes to watch the episode. I had to pause it during the scene between Nero and Jax discussing Gemma since I couldn't see the screen through the tears).
Let's start with the writing. Anyone who ever wrote for The West Wing, The Sopranos, Lou Grant, or Mad Men should simply kill themselves after watching the latest episode of SOA. They need to understand the shame they have brought upon the profession of television writing. Compared to SOA everything else might as well be an episode of "She's the Sheriff".
The acting? I shouldn't even have to say but I will. I had to remind myself that I was not watching I, Claudius or Breaking Bad several times last night. Is there any ensemble cast that can ever live up to what we saw last night? I once had the good fortune of seeing Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich in Death of a Salesman. The mere thought of that production now almost makes me vomit. After watching Theo Rossi and Kim Coates last night I have begun to question the casting choices made in the production of every movie and television show ever.
And has there ever been a better collection of action sequences in one place? I almost used the term "hyper-realistic" but then I caught myself and punched myself in the face for thinking such thoughts. SOA is super-ultra-hyper-realism. The Normandy Beach sequence in Saving Private Ryan looks like a Pokemon episode next to SOA. There were at least 3 occasions last night where my neighbors came to my door to ask me if I was OK thanks to my screaming.
Last but not least has there ever been a more dramatic or compelling cliff-hanger as what we saw last night? 'Who Shot J.R.?' Who gives a ####? Will Ross and Rachel ever get together (again)? Hopefully in hell. Who killed Laura Palmer? Probably Tara Teller because she's so bad-###.