Have you found yourself wondering “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite TV shows? If so, we’re here to tell you. Check out our Spotify playlist below and see why these music picks clicked. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
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NEW GIRL (Fox)
The song: Prince, “FALLINLUV2NITE” (Scroll all the way down to watch a video of the performance!)
The episode: “Prince” (314)
The hook: Acting as a soft-spoken life coach, The Purple One gave Jess (Zooey Deschanel) a gloriously velvety makeover to his 1980 hit “When You Were Mine” and taught her how not to be afraid of telling Nick (Jake Johnson) she loved him. Once those three little words had been uttered, Prince strode up to stage on Sunday’s post-Super Bowl ep and premiered this new song on New Girl’s most-watched installment ever.
Read our recap
THE TONIGHT SHOW (NBC)
The song: Garth Brooks, “The Dance”
The episode: “Billy Crystal/Garth Brooks/Final Show” (2277)
The hook: Jay Leno’s emotional end to his 22-year tenure hosting The Tonight Show was packed with musical moments, including a riff on The Sound of Music’s “So Long, Farewell” with punch-line lyrics from Kim Kardashian and Jack Black, among others. But Leno tapped his buddy Brooks for two performances. First, the country megastar crooned Leno’s personal favorite song, 1990’s “The Dance,” a reflective ballad about life’s unexpected endings and the twists and turns that enrich the journey along the way. Later, after Leno said his final goodbye, Brooks closed out the show with his barroom standby from 1990, “Friends in Low Places.”
Watch the video of Leno’s parting words, see how Leno’s competitors bid him adieu, check out Jeff Jensen’s take on Leno’s farewell ep, and count down Leno’s greatest on-air moments with Lynette Rice and Darren Franich
The song: Charles Esten, “Keep Coming Back”
The episode: “Too Far Gone” (214)
The hook: Jukeboxers had double the love for the Music City sudser this week. Late in Wednesday’s ep, Will (Chris Carmack) showed another side of himself, musically, with “Who I Am.” But Deacon’s (Esten) Live at The Bluebird ballad gets the cowboy-hat tip for its emotional and vocal richness. Though he dedicated the song to Megan (Christina Chang) and spoke of his “rough road” up to that point, the understated tune had clear resonances to Deacon’s off-again relationship with Rayna (Connie Britton).
Read Annie Barrett’s recap
HART OF DIXIE (The CW)*
The song: Miner, “Carousel”
The episode: “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” (312)
The hook: Dixie has been known to foretell great talent (they were all over The Lumineers and The Lone Bellow long before the folkies hit it big). Monday, they anointed another folk-rock outfit in Los Angeles’s Miner, who closed out the night with a live performance punctuated by a break-up between Lavon (Cress Williams) and AnnaBeth (Kaitlyn Black), and sealed with not one but two kisses between George (Scott Porter) and Tansy (Mircea Monroe) and Zoe (Rachel Bilson) and Joel (Josh Cooke).
HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)*
The song: Needtobreathe, “The Heart”
The episode: “Na Hala a ka makua (Sins of the Father)” (414)
The hook: A bit of reverie to counteract the stress of an abduction – just par for the course for the Five-0. The South Carolina rocker’s effervescent track made for an upbeat ending last Friday as the team gathered to blow off steam after Danny (Scott Caan) and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) solved a wrong-man case.
THE ORIGINALS (The CW)*
The song: Exit Calm, “The Rapture”
The episode: “Crescent City” (114)
The hook: An apocalyptic song for another step in the witches’ potentially world-ending vendetta against the Original siblings. One sign of “The Rapture”? Blood rain. And on Tuesday, it was coming from the eyes of poor Sophie Devereaux (Daniella Pineda). The fact that her niece Monique (Yasmine Al Bustami) caused Sophie’s demise, however, shows the witches aren’t that different from Klaus & Co. after all. (Bonus: Jukebox fans on Twitter dug a much lighter track – KONGOS’ “Come With Me Now,” which played during a wolf pack party.)
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap and Sandra Gonzalez’s postmortem with showrunner Julie Plec
THE FOLLOWING (Fox)*
The song: Ki:Theory, “Stand By Me”
The episode: “Trust Me” (203)
The hook: Ben E. King’s 1961 classic got a lot of play this week, with Pennywise’s cover appearing in Tuesday’s Justified and closing out Monday’s Following. Playing under crackling flames as Joe (James Purefoy) torched the house of his newest acolyte Mandy (Tiffany Boone), the concept of unwavering loyalty took on a foreboding tenor that was eerily countered by Joel Burleson’s booming, Leonard Cohen-esque bass.
ARROW (The CW)*
The song: Active Child feat. Ellie Goulding, “Silhouette”
The episode: “Heir to the Demon” (213)
The hook: Emo-electronic artist Pat Grossi’s lyrics “You’re home, you’ll never be alone” echoed Sara’s (Caity Lotz) feelings – and, indeed, her affirmation “I’m home” – when she paid a visit Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) lair Wednesday. Despite a bitter reception from sister Laurel (Katie Cassidy), Sara knew she’d returned for the right reasons. As for that “never be alone” part, well let’s just say there was shirtless Ollie and a steamy kiss in the mix….
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap
REIGN (The CW)
The song: Warpaint, “Son”
The episode: “Inquisition” (111)
The hook: Should we be concerned that the L.A. indie rockers’ chorus repeatedly warned “Leave the son alone” as Mary (Adelaide Kane) opened her heart – and her lips – to Bash (Torrance Coombs)? Considering the song’s references to “standing in the garden” (of Eden?) and considering the hour ended with Mary being poisoned, smart money’s on yes. Sorry, Bary shippers!
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap
The song: Jocelyn & Lisa, “Open Wide”
The episode: “Better Man” (1318)
The hook: The Canadian duo’s vulnerable meditation on giving up a bad romance spelled out the struggle Alli (Melinda Shankar) went through Tuesday when she realized she had to break free of abusive husband Leo (Alex Harrouch). Alli may have “closed [her] eyes a million times,” but they were “Open Wide” as she stood in front of a mirror to take in the horrific bruises Leo had given her.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)*
The song: The Bangles, “Eternal Flame”
The episode: “Sunrise” (917)
The hook: Susanna Hoffs’ honeyed voice played out Monday’s HIMYM as Ted (Josh Radnor) made peace with letting go of his on-again/off-again/mostly unrequited love for Robin (Cobie Smulders) – his no-longer-eternal Flame, if you will. The 1989 ballad’s refrain “Am I only dreaming?” was in keeping with the dreamy sight of Robin floating away from Ted like a balloon.
Read Sandra Gonzalez’s recap
THE CARRIE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: Simple Minds, “Alive and Kicking”
The episode: “Run to You” (213)
The hook: Closing out Carrie’s second season, the Scottish troubadours’ 1985 hit proved that failure wouldn’t be the end of life as Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) knew it. As the ep closed out, and Carrie reaffirmed her decision to make a life for herself in New York, singer James Kerr asked, “What you gonna do when things go wrong? … What’s it gonna take to make a dream survive?” For Carrie, the answer was simple: Pull herself up by her bootstraps – fabulous, designer bootstraps, of course.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
The song: Sarah Darling, “Blackbird”
The episode: “200” (914)
The hook: In a refreshingly low-key ending to Wednesday’s literally torturous 200th episode, the BAU gang congregated to celebrate saving JJ (A.J. Cook), and the profiler vowed to be more honest moving forward. The country songbird’s cover of The Beatles’ 1968 strummer offered a note of optimism that, in doing so, JJ might be able to “take [her] broken wings and learn to fly.”
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC)
The song: Jay Pharoah, Kenan Thompson, and Sasheer Zamata, “28 Reasons”
The episode: “Melissa McCarthy/Imagine Dragons” (3913)
The hook: Given the recent dust-up over a lack of diversity in casting, last weekend’s digital-short “salute” to Black History Month (really, an irreverent ode to white guilt about slavery) was an on-point self-skewering that will continue to stand out amid a surprisingly strong season from the long-running sketch show – especially as it featured new Featured Player Zamata, who was hired precisely to address SNL’s lack of diversity.
Read Erin Strecker’s recap
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