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!)
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
The song: Laura Mvula, “She”
The episode: ”Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” (1009)
The hook: Mvula’s “10 steps back and one step forward” appropriately accompanied Thursday’s flashback-heavy episode. In the present, Callie was on trial for malpractice; in the past, personal drama was affecting her performance at work. As these events intersected, Callie found an opportunity to take stock and admit she’s only human. As Callie was acquitted, Mvula sang, ”She’s tired, but she don’t stop.” Battered but not beaten, Callie will have to find a way to take the fragments of her life — her strained marriage, her failed attempt to start a family, her professional embarrassment — and put together a new one in which she can move forward.
Read Annie Barrett’s recap and Samantha Highfill’s interview with Ramirez about the Callie-centric episode
The song: Alex Newell, “If I Were a Boy”
The episode: ”The End of Twerk” (505)
The hook: As transgender high schooler Unique, Newell has proven time and again that he can blow the roof off an up-tempo joint, but this week further displayed the Glee Project vet’s range. Turning in an emotionally rich rendition of Queen Bey’s 2008 meditation on gender bias and unfulfillable longing, the song was all the more poignant given that Unique is (biologically) a boy yet still feels like an outsider looking in on his Y-chromosomed peers. The performance was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the midst of Glee‘s Miley-inspired twerkpocalypse on Thursday. It was also a mandatory low to give Unique & Co. a spotlight as she led off a good, old-fashioned sing-along to The Royal Concept’s infectiously optimistic “On Our Way” — a group number reminiscent of happier days when Glee put a little-known group called fun. on the map.
Read Marc Snetiker’s recap
NEW GIRL (Fox)
The song: Britney Spears, “Work B**ch”
The episode: ”Menus” (308)
The hook: Nick (Jake Johnson) wanted a hot body, so Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) showed him how to work, b**ch. Tuesday’s episode featured a roll-on-the-floor-hilarious (or just roll on the floor, in Nick’s case) use of Britney Jean’s latest club thumper during a workout montage meant to shed Nick’s “boyfriend 15.” If the song and the subject alone didn’t get you, consider this. Case closed — or Coached, as it were.
Read our recap
THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)*
The song: Ben Howard, “Oats in the Water”
The episode: ”Internment” (405)
The hook: As they say, you never forget your first. (Though I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean zombie killing….) With illness overtaking the survivors’ prison on Sunday, bringing a fresh crop of zombies, Hershel (Scott Wilson) had to accept that it was time to put down his first walker. As Hershel put a knife through the head of a man he’d been nurturing just minutes before, Howard sang, “You’ll find loss, and you’ll fear what you found.” Though Hershel has proven surprisingly bold and strong, his theme song played again at the end of the ep as he sat down and wept — for himself and for his lost companions.
Read Maricela Gonzalez’s recap, plus Dalton Ross’s interview with showrunner Scott Gimple and his chat with David Morrissey about what’s in store for The Governor
The song: Half Moon Run, “Unofferable”
The episode: ”Blood Is Thicker” (208)
The hook: Just after Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) disclosed to brother Mycroft (Rhys Ifans) that his Brooklyn HQ with Watson (Lucy Liu) was helping his sobriety, Thursday’s episode flashed to a shot of Mycroft scheming in his bar Diogenes — named after the founder of Cynicism. Turns out, Mycroft has been scheming all along to get Sherlock back to London. The Montreal indie rockers’ p0inted lyric, “Tell me a lie, I’ll be the first to fall,” resonated with the brothers’ fraught relationship: Mycroft’s lies may not have worked this round, but as sure as the sun comes up keep trying to make Sherlock fall.
THE ORIGINALS (The CW)*
The song: The Neighbourhood, “Let It Go”
The episode: ”Bloodletting” (107)
The hook: Starting with a musical bang, Tuesdays’ Originals marked the freshman series’ strongest ep to date. Vampire Diaries hybrid Tyler (Michael Trevino ) abducted pregnant werewolf Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) at the bidding of vengeful vampire Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) as the hip-poppers’ clanging track played and Hayley realized her old pal had betrayed her. But it wasn’t the only clash of the night. In the hour’s first moments, “Let It Go” also played as Marcel reveled in a death match between two inferior vamps. Showing more similarities to his rival — and Tyler’s sire — Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Marcel ultimately, ruthlessly killed the victor. The “struggle” in The Neighbourhood’s song underlined the rancor between the feuding bloodsuckers as tensions worsened throughout the night. It all begged the question: Maybe you should heed the song’s advice, fellas?
Read Mandi Bierly’s exclusive interview with Trevino about heading down to N’awlins
THE BLACKLIST (NBC)
The song: Radical Face, “Welcome Home”
The episode: ”General Ludd” (108)
The hook: ”Welcome Home” made for an ironic, ominous closing montage Monday as Lizzy (Megan Boone) attended the funeral of the man who had adopted her at age 4 and raised her as his own daughter. Though Red (James Spader) — who has positioned himself as Lizzy’s twisted father figure – wasn’t in attendance, it was clear he’s worming his way into Lizzy’s life at any cost. Case in point: Red was, in fact, responsible for the death of Lizzy’s adoptive father. It seems Lizzy’s “Home” is more of a house of horrors.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
The song: The Magnetic Fields, “It’s Only Time”
The episode: ”Platonish” (909)
The hook: The Mother (Cristin Milioti) continued to prove why she’s The One for Ted (Josh Radnor) on Monday, this time by giving Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) a sassy pep talk that made him realize Robin (Cobie Smulders) is his One. The Boston indie-pop outfit’s tinkling meditation on a timeless, marriage-worthy Big Love was a perfect accompaniment for Barney’s epiphany — which just so happened to be the moment when he began to devise The Robin. Well done, Mother.
Read Sandra Gonzalez’s recap
THE TOMORROW PEOPLE (The CW)*
The song: Fink, “Sort of Revolution (The Cinematic Orchestra Remix)”
The episode: ”Sorry for Your Loss” (106)
The hook: Given the growing chemistry between telepaths Stephen (Robbie Amell) and Cara (Peyton List), English singer-songwriter Fin Greenall was voicing not only their longing but also shippers’ on Wednesday as he sang, “All this time, that we’ve waited for it. … And all this time, we’ve been sleeping on it. And who we are, and what we’re going, through.” In the ep’s final moments, “Revolution” played as Stephen and Cara, who’d kissed to hide their faces earlier in the evening, gave in to the momentum of their desire and let the intimacy of tele-sex overtake them.
Read Samantha Highfill’s take on why she’s still hooked on Tomorrow, her investigation into John’s (Luke Mitchell) mysterious special power, and her chat with guest star Aaron Yoo about his upcoming arc
SONS OF ANARCHY (FX)
The song: The White Buffalo, “Oh Darlin’ What Have I Done”
The episode: ”Huang Wu” (610)
The hook: SOA fans on Twitter dug star Katey Sagal’s cover of Jackson Browne’s “For a Dancer,” which opened Tuesday’s ep. Cali alt-country outfit The White Buffalo closed out the hour. The song’s wistful lyrics (“Oh darlin’, darlin’, what have I done? I’ve been astray from you too long, and all my days have turned to darkness. Hell is leavin’ the light on”) seemed especially fitting as Jax (Charlie Hunnam) tucked young Abel in for the night then sat on his own bed — the bed he had shared with Tara (Maggie Siff) before she betrayed him. While Jax tried to fix his father’s beaten-up bike (just about the only broken thing in his life he could fix), Tara learned she wouldn’t be getting protection from the D.A. and said dejectedly, “Nobody can help me.” Suffice it to say, lines like “Blood will spill into the gutters” are not a promising for Tara.
Read Mandi Bierly’s recap
ARROW (The CW)
The song: The National, “Hard to Find”
The episode: ”Keep Your Enemies Closer” (206)
The hook: A man who can save your life and make you blueberry pancakes? Now that’s “Hard to Find.” A gloriously mellow tune from the Brooklyn collective played beneath a sweet, mundane moment between Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) and Diggle (David Ramsey) on Wednesday. They’d just survived a torturous trip to Russia, and the next order of business was… breakfast! Gotta fuel up for all that international espionage and superhero spotting.
WITCHES OF EAST END (Lifetime)
The song: Mecca Kalani, “Feel Me”
The episode: ”Potentia Noctis” (106)
The hook: Looking for a lovemaking anthem? Witches just gave you a little sumpin’ sumpin’ thanks to an orgy sequence on Sunday. The Client List may be gone, but Lifetime hasn’t completely abandoned the sex just yet.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)*
The song: Christina Grimmie, “With Love”
The episode: ”Death and the Maiden” (507)
The scene: We didn’t know how much we’d miss Bonnie (Kat Graham) until we nearly lost her. Grimmie’s piano ballad about “slipping away from myself” played as the between-realms teen witch bid goodbye to her love Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) on Thursday. As it were, a spell returned Bonnie to Jeremy and her friends, and the original by Jersey-born Grimmie — who made a name for herself covering other singers on YouTube — conveyed that the emotional reunion and Bonnie’s resurrection was the result of many kinds of “Love” (and plenty of vampy scheming… but let’s focus on the good stuff, shall we?).
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap
HART OF DIXIE (The CW)
The song: Kylie Rae Harris, “Waited”
The episode: ”Family Tradition” (306)
The hook: Dixie was alive with the sounds of smooching on Monday. Zoe (Rachel Bilson) and Joel (Josh Cooke) got their make-out on to Westlife’s “Safe.” Elsewhere, to Harris’s earthy strummer, George (Scott Porter) finally planted one on not-so-secret admirer Lynly (Antoinette Robertson).
MASTERS OF SEX (Showtime)
The song: Elvis Presley, “Love Me Tender”
The episode: “All Together Now” (107)
The hook: A bit of ironic musical foreplay: The King’s 1956 ballad played over a sequence of “just for research” copulation between Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) and his associate Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan). The question of whether it was, indeed, strictly clinical was up to debate by the end of Sunday’s Sex, but those first few moments were anything but “Tender.”
The song: Lou Rawls, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”
The episode: ”Everything’s Coming Up Mellie” (307)
The hook: Thursday saw major revelations for the Beltway’s own Lady Macbeth. Rawls’ 1976 track played over a White House dinner, which, in the moment, highlighted suspicious glances between Chief of Staff Cyrus’s (Jeff Perry) and his reporter husband James (Emmy winner Dan Bucatinsky). On a deeper level, the tune spoke volumes about FLOTUS Mellie Grant’s (Bellamy Young) limitless devotion to her husband Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) after flashbacks showed she’d leveraged her own rape by the the future president’s father as a means to boost her husband’s confidence and advance his political career. So calculating, so sad, so indispensable.
Read Katie Atkinson’s recap
SUPER FUN NIGHT (ABC)
The song: R. Kelly, “Bump N’ Grind”
The episode: ”The Love Lioness” (106)
The hook: Don’t knock the classics — knock boots instead! After Kimmie (Rebel Wilson) attended a jungle-themed relationship seminar, she decided to head to the nearest bar, embrace her inner “Love Lioness,” and pounce on Parker (Will Sasso). Kimmie turned out to be the prey when Parker invited her back to his hotel room and cued up Kellz’ 1994 slow jam. One “sexy” mating dance later, closet-virgin Kimmie got cold feet, but no one could blame it on a lack of sizzle coming from the sound system.
MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
The song: ”I Want to Know What Love Is,” originally by Foreigner
The episode: ”A Fair to Remember” (507)
The hook: Phil (Ty Burrell) hoped to deliver an unforgettable anniversary serenade to Claire (Julie Bowen) on Wednesday. Instead, he got shown up by velvet-voiced neighborhood pharmacist Harold Grossman (Christopher Evan Welch), who belted out Foreigner’s 1984 soft rock standby. (As Phil jealously put it, “His voice is the drug he should be dispensing — because apparently it’s the cute for everything.”) The Dunphys’ special day wasn’t all for naught, though. “Love” kicked in again as Claire finally got Phil home to see her elaborate anniversary gift — a troupe of Chinese acrobats to commemorate the traditional 20th anniversary gift: China. As the power ballad swelled, so did Phil’s heart.
HELLO LADIES (HBO)
The song: Roxy Music, “Oh Yeah”
The episode: “The Wedding” (107)
The song: When an after party with the girl of his dreams went to pot, Stuart (Stephen Merchant) shared a dance with the girl he should be dating — his snarky tenant Jessica (Christine Woods) — only to be scooped by Jessica’s hook-up buddy/agent Glenn (Sean Wing). Bring on the sad nostalgianthems! With only one more episode in Ladies‘ first season, we seem to have found our hero alone again (naturally).
SUPERNATURAL (The CW)
The song: ”Theme from Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not),” originally by Joey Scarbury
The episode: ”Heaven Can’t Wait” (906)
The hook: Believe it or not, Castiel (Misha Collins) sang the 1981 show tune to his boss’s tot on Tuesday. An unlikely babysitter, an unlikely lullaby. Altogether adorable.
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