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: Aqualung, “Take on Me”
The episode: “Fear (of the Unknown)” (1024)
The hook: Matt Hales covered A-ha’s 1985 synth-pop smash toward the end of Thursday’s farewell episode for Cristina (Sandra Oh). Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) convinced her Twisted Sister to leave Grey Sloan Memorial, kicking off a sobfest of a finale in which our beloved Yang was “gone in a day or twoooooooo!” On a lighter note, Jukeboxers on Twitter appreciated a change of tempo late in the ep, courtesy of a “dance it out” break (and season 1 throwback) set to Tegan and Sara’s “Where Does the Good Go.”
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap and her tribute to Meredith and Cristina’s friendship, plus Sandra Gonzalez’s farewell chat with Oh and creator Shonda Rhimes and her Grey‘s exit ranker, then weigh in on whether Cristina got a proper send-off while watching a supercut of Cristina’s best dance-like-nobody’s-watching moments
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: I Am Strikes, “Love Is Just a Way to Die”
The episode: “Home” (522)
The hook: Delena shippers needed all the tissues during Thursday’s finale — first when Damon (Ian Somerhalder) promised Elena (Nina Dobrev) he would return to her after a risky mission, a moment beautifully underscored by Kelly Rosenthal’s gorgeous track. Then, during the star-crossed lovers’ final(?) exchange, Lucy Rose’s “Be Alright” brought the weeps and segued quickly into a sweeping final moments set to Birdy’s “Wings.” Talk about a triple whammy.
Read Mandi Bierly’s immediate reaction, her full recap, and her postmortem with showrunner Julie Plec, plus Samantha Highfill’s analysis of how TVD‘s finale was a game-changer, then watch Paul Wesley’s Pop Culture Personality Test and find out what the show’s stars hope for in season 6
THE BLACKLIST (NBC)*
The Song: Pearl Jam, “Just Breathe”
The episode: “Berlin: Conclusion” (122)
The hook: Providing nice symmetry after their song “Pendulum” closed out the midseason finale, Eddie Vedder & Co. imparted some much-needed relief as Monday’s Blacklist came to a close. Liz (Megan Boone) and Red (James Spader) wrapped up their life-threatening pursuit of Berlin (Peter Stormare), and EP Jon Bokenkamp characterized them both as “introspective and resolute — steeling themselves for the daunting road ahead,” with Pearl Jam’s track reflecting the calm after a decision made, the calm before a new storm.
Read JoJo Marshall’s recap and her assessment of season 1’s highs and lows
The song: Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen, “It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away”
The episode: “On the Other Hand” (222)
The hook: Though Scarlett (Bowen) thought she’d made peace with leaving Nashville, a serenade by Gunnar (Palladio) lured her back in for a bittersweet duet — their first in a long time — that underscored many stories in Music City on Wednesday night. But will the artistic collaboration last? Please don’t “Throw Away” this storyline, Callie Khouri!
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
The song: Lily Kershaw, “Maybe”
The episode: “Demons” (924)
The hook: A serial killer case came to an emotionally devastating end on Wednesday, leaving members of the BAU in need of “a little saving,” as the Angeleno songbird put it. More optimistically, Kershaw also proposed that, “in tomorrow’s morning light, things will look a lot less frightening.”
THE ORIGINALS (The CW)*
The song: Daughter, “Shallows”
The episode: “From a Cradle to a Grave” (122)
The hook: To protect his child, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) had to accept vulnerability and submit to an unexpected, but deeply rooted, alliance with sister/sworn enemy Rebekah (Claire Holt) on Tuesday. The Euro trio’s emotional meditation on running away and being found built to a lush crescendo that conveyed Klaus’ internal conflict. According to music supervisor Chris Mollere, “The instrumentation and building nature to the song keeps pushing the scenes along while holding the emotion of each moment of its ebbs and flows story wise. ‘Shallows’ has a deeply emotional feel with lyrics that you can feel throughout, which has accentuates all that has happened throughout the season and these moments. There is a feeling of sadness throughout this song, but also a hint of positiveness and change, which in our story we’ve just seen a side of Klaus that we never imagined possible. The lush vocals, acoustic guitars, drums, bass, synth and guitars with lots of delay towards the end of the song especially take us even further to that emotional level that… accentuates everything that happened throughout the episode and season. The haunting gorgeousness of this song added to what was already a heartbreaking scene, as Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Klaus’s baby is having to be taken away to safety for the good of her and many others.”
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap and her judgment of season 1’s highs and lows
REIGN (The CW)
The song: Woodkid, “Boat Song”
The episode: “Slaughter of Innocence” (122)
The hook: “Are we instruments of fate, or we really have a choice?” Yoann Lemoine’s meditation on destiny served as a dirge for King Henry (Alan Van Sprang) Thursday. In his dying moments, the mad king warned his heir Francis (Toby Regbo), “Betraying someone you love blackens your soul. It’s a weight you carry all of your days.” These words hung heavy as Francis emerged from the king’s chambers and literally lifted up his bowing half-brother Bash (Torrance Coombs). Given the brothers’ past schemes, battles, and power plays for the throne, the question of choice was particularly fitting as the reconciliation played out.
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap and her take on season 1’s highs and lows
PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS)*
The song: Radiohead, “Exit Music (For a Film)”
The episode: “Deus ex Machina” (323)
The hook: Thom Yorke’s gradually escalating howl underscored a sweeping, nail-biting conclusion on Tuesday as Finch (Michael Emerson), Reese (Jim Caviezel), and the rest of Samaritan’s targets came literally within a split-second of death.
The song: Violent Femmes, “Add It Up”
The episode: “Stiiiiiiill Horny” (313)
The hook: “Oh, ma-mama, mama-mo-ma-mum, have you kept your eye, your eye on your son?” Indeed, nosy mama Sheila (Ana Gasteyer) got an eyeful on Wednesday as the 1983 alt classic underscored a hot-and-heavy makeout sesh between Ryan (Parker Young) and Tessa (Jane Levy).
The song: “Pompeii,” originally by Bastille
The episode: “The Untitled Rachel Berry Project” (520)
The hook: Though a preexisting two-year pick-up from 2013 means Glee still has up to 22 eps to go, Tuesday’s closing number would have made for an ideal series finale. Before the gang scattered in various directions, Rachel (Lea Michele) led them in a street-closing performance of the English’s rockers’ upbeat breakout tune. Harkening back to better days for the waning series, each character got his or her own spotlight and chance to move on with their lives. If only Fox would let them.
Read Jodi Walker’s recap and Erin Strecker’s tribute to Santana (Naya Rivera)
BONUS! Non-Finale Honorable Mentions –
FAKING IT (MTV)*
The song: Jessy Lanza, “Strange Emotion”
The episode: “Know Thy Selfie” (104)
The hook: All of Karma’s (Katie Stevens) relationships — and our feelings about them — have become very… well… let’s just say complicated. So when the faux lesbian had an almost moment with her crush Liam (Gregg Sulkin) on Tuesday, the moment of (im)pure desire — punctuated by the Canadian chanteuse’s throbbing, synth-sual track — was unexpectedly welcome even as if it’ll ultimate be bad karma for Karma. (Bonus: There was also Twitter love for Now, Now’s “School Friends.”)
THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
The song: Nerf Herder, “You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming to You”
The episode: “The One Percent” (521)
The hook: The Cali pop punkers were commissioned specifically to kick off the season’s penultimate ep on Sunday, which crosscut shots of waiters readying for a business breakfast with those of a pie being lovingly prepared — to go straight in the kisser of corporate bigwig James Paisley (Tom Skerritt).
Read Breia Brissey’s recap
MAD MEN (AMC)
The song: Waylon Jennings, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line”
The episode: “The Runaways” (705)
The hook: Though most of the talk about Sunday’s ep involved the Van Gogh-esque decision by Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) to present Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) with an, um, unusual gift, Don (Jon Hamm) made his own bold move at the end of the hour. Country icon Jennings’ 1968 track — about someone “steppin’ out of line… messin’ with my mind” — worked on two levels, conveying that Don got his swagger back while also voicing the position of Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) and Jim Cutler (Jim Cutler) after Don’s career- and agency-compromising gaffe.
Read Jeff Labrecque’s recap and his chat with Feldman about the nip-snip heard ’round the world
The song: The Sugarhill Gang, “Apache”
The episode: “Last Call” (112)
The hook: If, like the gang on Wednesday, you’ve been prowling for a hook-up all night, and the bartender shouts “Last call!” what do you do? Jump on it!
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