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We’ve just passed the halfway point of the year and already there have been a host of gasp-inducing, screamworthy, jump-out-of-your-chair-a...

The Year's Biggest TV Fireworks (So Far...)

By 14:57:00

We’ve just passed the halfway point of the year and already there have been a host of gasp-inducing, screamworthy, jump-out-of-your-chair-and-fling-your-remote-at-the-screen scenes that remind us we’re in the second Golden Age of Television. So many, in fact, that we can’t wait for December ? here are our 10 favorite firework moments of 2016 so far.

Lexa Is Shot ('The 100')
Lexa was one of a kind. A fierce warrior, she united the 12 grounder clans in an unprecedented coalition and forged a truce with Clarke and the Sky People. Lexa quickly became a favorite among fans, many of whom were happy to see an openly gay character on the show. Her death was shocking and unexpected — by accidental shooting after finally consummating her romance with Clarke. And though fans were in an uproar, Lexa's death was a seismic event with major repercussions on Clarke, on the grounders, and on the entire human population of Earth. — Kelly Woo

(Credit: The CW)

Norman Kills Norma ('Bates Motel')
Sure, you were expecting "Mother" Norma Bates would meet her end at some point in the series, but not now, and not this way! Fed up with their failure to build a happy life running the motel, with his own mental illness, and his mom's new husband, Norman Bates lit the Bates' home's furnace, shut all the vents, and assumed he and Norma would succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. She did; he lived, and this all happened in the penultimate episode of the series' penultimate season. The Season 4 finale, then, confirmed Norma's new death was no storyline trickery? she's really dead, and Norman has already brought her body back to their home, so they can continue to live as (dead) mother and son. We can't wait to see what strange, wonderful, and always darkly hilarious twists the Bates gang cooks up for its final season. — Kimberly Potts

(Credit: A&E)

Battle of the Bastards (‘Game of Thrones’)
Sansa warned Jon that Ramsay wouldn't follow conventional battle etiquette when the Stark forces faced down the Bolton army on the fields outside Winterfell. But did he listen to his sister? Of course not. And Jon's mistake very nearly costs him the fight, until Sansa helps him snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in fist-pumping fashion. We wouldn't have wanted to have been anywhere near that battlefield, but viewed from the comfort of our couches the "Battle of the Bastards" instantly joins our list of Game of Thrones' biggest and best action sequences. — Ethan Alter 


The Slap Heard 'Round the World ('The Good Wife')
Alicia Florrick is ride or die for her family, even her cheating, shady husband. Hey, it's right there in the title of the show! She stood by him during his first scandal, and she stands by him again during the second one (even though their marriage is long dead). There's nothing she won't do to protect her family, even if it means betraying her friend and mentor, Diane Lockhart. In return, Diane slaps her. It's a stunning moment showing just how much Alicia has changed since she was that meek victim in the glare of the cameras. — KW

(Credit: CBS)

White House Down (‘House of Cards’)
Considering his long list of enemies, it's perhaps not a huge shock that someone would take a shot at President Frank Underwood. What is surprising is how close this particular assassination attempt came to succeeding. The bullets fired by disgraced journalist Lucas Goodwin put Frank in a hallucination-filled coma and his favorite Secret Service agent, Edward Meechum, six feet under. Fortunately, POTUS pulled through, which was a huge relief: After all, as much as we're supposed to hate him, we can't imagine an America (or House of Cards) without Frank Underwood. — EA

(Credit: Netflix)

White House Down (‘House of Cards’)
Considering his long list of enemies, it's perhaps not a huge shock that someone would take a shot at President Frank Underwood. What is surprising is how close this particular assassination attempt came to succeeding. The bullets fired by disgraced journalist Lucas Goodwin put Frank in a hallucination-filled coma and his favorite Secret Service agent, Edward Meechum, six feet under. Fortunately, POTUS pulled through, which was a huge relief: After all, as much as we're supposed to hate him, we can't imagine an America (or House of Cards) without Frank Underwood. — EA

(Credit: Netflix)

Duel of the Fates (‘Outlander’)
Visiting King Louis on a mission of mercy –springing Jamie from his jail cell — Claire winds up having to pass judgment on two other men: her friend Master Raymond and her nemesis, the Comte St. Germain. Relying on her quick mind and 20th century know-how, she concocts a fake poison to test their guilt or innocence to the charges of sorcery. But her best laid schemes, to quote a certain Scottish poet, go awry in highly dramatic fashion. — EA

(Credit: Starz)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Horse Sex, But Was Afraid to Ask (‘Silicon Valley’)
Since Silicon Valley's quintet of tech geniuses very rarely get laid themselves (Gilfoyle excepted), the show has to look elsewhere when it wants to, in the immortal words of Borat, make sexy time. And things definitely got X-rated in the second episode when Richard became an accidental witness to an intense horse breeding session. "They cut around even more gross stuff," Thomas Middleditch told us. That means that Silicon Valley could be the first HBO sitcom to win an AVN Award. — EA

(Credit: HBO)

Mike's Punching Bag ('Suits')
When Mike first got arrested for fraud (you know, for being a fake lawyer), it seemed impossible that he'd actually go to jail. Surely, he'd find a legal loophole. Or Harvey would intimidate someone. Or Donna would Donna. But instead, Mike takes a plea deal, against Harvey's advice — though the jury would've found him innocent. When Harvey needles him about how Rachel will fare while he's gone, Mike loses it and POW! He starts punching his mentor, each hit adding to the realization that he's about to go to prison. — KW

(Credit: USA)

Glenn Dies… Oops, No, He’s Alive ('The Walking Dead')
TWD fans were crushed when it looked like Glenn, the beloved former pizza boy who has become one of the series' most consistently selfless, heroic apocalypse survivors, had fallen into a pit of hangry walkers as his thanks for helping hapless coward Nicholas. There was a dumpster nearby, and Nicholas's dead body — after he shot himself — had fallen on top of Glenn? was it Nicholas's body the walkers were chomping on, then? Could Glenn have possibly scooched to safety underneath that dumpster? Viewers treated the "Thank You" episode footage like the Zapruder film, watching and re-watching from every angle, and even measuring the space beneath real-life dumpster in hopes of proving Glenn could have survived. And after nearly a month of speculation, it was revealed Glenn had hidden under the trash bin, he had managed to avoid being chomped on, and the show had pulled off a pretty major cliffhanger. Of course, that only served to fuel viewer disappointment and outrage when the writers went back to the cliffhanger well for the Season 6 finale cliffhanger with Negan, but the Glenn non-death remains one of the year's boldest TV twists. — KP

(Credit: AMC)

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