The latest spate of first-run episodes certainly kicked off 2012 with a bang, and boy have we got a supersized Jukebox for you this week, music fans.
Despite how messy things were on screens, the music underpinning them all ended up falling into fairly neat categories. We’ll start with the juiciest hook-ups from The Vampire Diaries and Body of Proof; unfortunately, every relationship must end, and that’s where Jersey Shore and Californication enter the fray.
Somewhere between all that making out and breaking up, fights raged across the networks on Suburgatory, CSI: NY, Mob Wives, The Game, and Once Upon a Time. Peace was made on How I Met Your Mother, Nikita, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI: Miami. That leaves only Queen V – Victoria Grayson.
The deliciously diabolical Revenge puppet-master belongs in a category all her own. How did music ranging from indie rock to rap figure into all this coming together and falling apart? Keep reading… (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: Ross Copperman, “Holding on and Letting Go”
The episode: “The New Deal” (310)
The hook: Last night’s Coldplay moment between Tyler and Caroline was pretty heart-wrenching, but let’s be honest. Nothing can hold a candle to that kiss from Diaries’ Jan. 5 midseason premiere. It was a moment two and a half seasons in the making, and Copperman’s meditative melody was a stunning accompaniment as Damon finally gave in to his temptation for Elena. The second half of the season opened with a dramatic episode in which several characters nearly died and Elena was forced to tearfully ask Damon to compel her younger brother Jeremy to leave Mystic Falls in order to save Jeremy’s life.
Moments later, Damon comforted Elena on the Gilberts’ front porch and grappled with his own familial guilt about his persistent feelings for her – “his brother’s girl.” It came to a thrilling climax in classic Damon style as he declared, “No. No. You know what? If I’m gonna feel guilty about something, I’m gonna feel guilty about this.” The passionate kiss left Elena happily stunned as Virginia-born Copperman sang, “The quiet rush of one breath is all we’re waiting for/Sometimes the one we’re taking changes every one before/ It’s everything you wanted, it’s everything you don’t/ It’s one door swinging open and one door swinging closed.”
Watch it! The whole sequence begins at 37:33 on The Vampire Diaries’ CW page (though, if you aren’t patient enough to wait, the kiss itself is closer to 40:33). Read Mandi Bierly’s take on the “Finally!” moment, plus her interview with Diaries’ EP Julie Plec.
BODY OF PROOF (ABC)
The song: Ryan Adams, “Do I Wait?”
The episode: “Falling for You” (211)
The hook: There was no brotherly love in Philadelphia on the Jan. 3 episode of Body of Proof. It’s appropriate that a jilted groom ended up being the perp, since a team member’s broken heart set the scene for the ep’s most emotional moment. Endearing oddball Ethan had fallen hard for coworker Dani, only to realize she was just not that into him. Adams’ lulling love song may have played over the scene as Dani made her move on resident ladies’ man Peter, but the North Carolina alt-country crooner’s tune of unrequited amour showed the underpinning sadness felt by Ethan. (Luckily Geoffrey Arend, the actor who plays Ethan, is much luckier in love.)
Watch it! Don’t wait to watch the post-letdown hook-up starting at 39:27 on Body of Proof’s Hulu.
JERSEY SHORE (MTV)
The song: Friends of Emmet, “Coming Apart”
The episode: “Hurricane Situation” (501)
The hook: Sometimes a guido’s just gotta emo it out. When an extremely homesick Vinny spiraled downward and threatened to leave the Shore House, neither Ronnie’s offers of strippers and hookers, nor the promise of Deena’s cuca provided any consolation. The Cali-by-way-of-Dublin outfit was an unusually contemplative choice for the typically beat-beating Shore soundtrack, which made their inclusion all the more effective.
Watch it! Vinny loses it starting around 38:16 on Jersey’s official site. See what Darren Franich made of the fall of the last sane person in Jersey in his recap.
The song: The Doors, “Love Me Two Times (Infected Mushroom Remix)”
The episode: “JFK to LAX” (501)
The hook: Californication’s fifth season premiere was bookended by two transformative moments underscored by the tweaky remix of The Doors’ 1967 rocker. The tune revved up a second time at episode’s end when womanizing writer Hank Moody got a call that his New York apartment was on fire, but it was the episode-opening use of the song that was definitively rock star. The show kicked off with Hank smoking, pacing, and practicing what sounded like dialogue from one of his scripts. In fact, they were the hackneyed lines he would feed Carrie, his girlfriend of a year, as they sat down for a frank talk about their relationship status.
When asked what he saw them becoming, Hank told Carrie, “I see us becoming… incredibly close… great friends eventually….” Yeah, that’s not what you want to hear. Hank called himself damaged, then told Carrie, “You’re amazing, a goddess, a gift from on high. You deserve the white dress and the happy ending. I’m just not the guy to give it to you.” The song, which had faded into the background, now cranked back up, accentuating Hank’s color-by-numbers attempt to let Carrie down easy. She believed the half-hearted shtick about as much as he did and ended up throwing a drink in his face, declaring him a monster to the whole restaurant, giving him a double-barrel flip-off, and storming out as Morrison yowled, “Love me two times. I’m gone away.”
Watch it! Californication’s premiere episode is available for a limited time on Showtime’s official site, and the scene in question starts at right at the top.
NEXT: Brawls from Staten Island to the steam room, Maine to the MMA ring…