Moments of intimacy punctuated this week’s TV lineup — from a group of weary travelers adjusting to their new home to a fledgling vampire’s taboo feeding ritual.
In between, there was plenty of plotting and mystery, too, of course. It’s all about the mix. So if you’ve been wondering “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite shows this week, we’re here to tell you which tunes really resonated. Check out our picks and the full Spotify playlist below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)*
The song: Marina and the Diamonds, “Fear and Loathing”
The episode: “Memorial” (402)
The hook: Last week’s premiere brought us a stunning Stelena moment, but Delena loyalists got their fill, so to speak, when Damon (Ian Somerhalder) offered a sickly Elena (Nina Dobrev) his wrist to feed. Damon admitted the exchange was “kind of personal.” Showrunner Julie Plec likened it to “vampire naked cuddling.” We called it totally hot. (Another solid “show tune”: The Fray’s emotional “Ungodly Hour” played during a lantern-lighting and letting-go ceremony at the end of the hour, conveying Elena’s bereft state, Damon’s torn emotional headspace, and the feeling of helplessness felt by Paul Wesley’s Stefan.)
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)*
The song: Julia Stone, “It’s All Okay”
The episode: “Love the One You’re With” (903)
The hook: Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” got some love from Jukeboxers on Twitter, but Stone’s propulsive piano track underscored one of the most surprisingly satisfying scenes of a very strong episode. After intern Jo (Camilla Luddington) thought she’d ticked off supervisor Alex (Justin Chambers) and went into full-on meltdown mode, Grey’s proto-McSteamy admitted his perceived rudeness was actually him avoiding flirting with her. In an awesome 180, Jo snapped back to self-assurance and firmly told Alex, “I have absolutely no interest in you since you’ve already screwed every one of my friends.” Boom.
THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)*
The song: Patrick Watson, “Noisy Sunday”
The episode: “Seed” (301)
The scene: Speaking of the apocalypse, AMC’s zombie romp had a first this week, when a duet between Hershel’s daughters Beth (Emily Kinney) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) — to old Irish migration tune “The Parting Glass” — hit iTunes. But even an hour that Darren Franich deemed one of the series’ most “adrenalized” needed a quiet moment or two. Watson’s delicate tune offered a much-needed breather from the blood and guts, almost floating in the air as the survivors paused for a moment to settle into their new home, the prison, taking care of each other — and themselves.
GOSSIP GIRL (The CW)
The song: Charli XCX, “Nuclear Seasons”
The episode: “High Infidelity” (602)
The hook: Many bombshells dropped in the final moments of Monday’s ep, but perhaps the most “Nuclear” was a declaration of war on Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) from her new boyfriend’s prickly daughter Sage (Sofia Black D’Elia). Clearly the 17-year-old isn’t taken with the idea that her pops (Barry Watson) has a live-in lover who’s only a handful of years older. British singer-songwriter Charlotte Aitchison’s song about trudging through a “field of lies” and “burn[ing]… skin in the blaze of glory” set an appropriately apocalyptic tone as Sage plotted to employ the Upper East Side’s own weapon of mass destruction: Gossip Girl.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM (FX)
The song: The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby”
The episode: “Welcome to Briarcliff” (201)
The hook: Buoyant outburst or sinister foreshadowing? When Kit Walker (Evan Peters) belted out this 1959 doo-wopper at the beginning of Asylum‘s premiere, it seemed off the cuff. A few minutes later, Kit’s wife (Britne Oldford) had been brutally and mysteriously snatched away, and an old classic suddenly took on new meaning.
The song: Zoë Keating, “Escape Artist”
The episode: “Child Predator” (103)
The hook: Most viewers probably thought a taut cello solo at the end of Thursday’s second act was a particularly strong bit of orchestration. In fact, it was the work of Canadian-born Keating, whose lush and innovative composition provided just the right amount of tension as Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) realized nearly too late that a presumed serial molester who’d just offed himself during arrest was not the true perp. It was actually his supposed victim Adam (Johnny Simmons), to whom they’d just given an immunity deal. It took some doing, but Holmes masterfully found a way around the deal. “Escape Artist”? Almost!
HART OF DIXIE (The CW)
The song: Zac Brown Band, “Lance’s Song”
The episode: “If It Makes You Happy” (203)
The hook: At the end of this week’s episode, both Zoe (Rachel Bilson) and Lemon (Jaime King) reached turning points. Realized their past experiences and their expectations for the future weren’t syncing up, they’d have to adjust their expectations to put themselves on a fulfilling (but realistic) path. The idea of embracing the present and its opportunities was an especially touching one considering the Atlantan country crooners penned this song in tribute to fellow musician Lance Tilton, who unexpectedly passed away in 2010 at age 29.
The song: Lord Huron, “I Will Be Back One Day”
The episode: “Confidence” (203)
The hook: Snaking underneath a nursery room tête-à-tête between Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) and Amanda Clarke (Margarita Levieva) — the clingy, crafty con artist with whom Emily swapped identities — Ben Schneider’s sinewy tune, particularly its title, served as a reminder that one can never truly escape the past. With lies piling upon lies, the Emandas (Amilys?) are sure to face haunting reminders of their misdeeds and manipulations as the season continues.
90210 (The CW)
The song: Cat Power, “Ruin”
The episode: “The Sea Change” (502)
The hook: If The CW’s still-standing reboot has anything to offer, it’s drama-drama-drama! Chan Marshall’s tale of traveling the world was appropriately epic when a power struggle between Liam (Matt Lanter) and his blackmailer Vanessa (Arielle Kebbel) turned into a physical struggle. Vanessa went flying over the railing of a seaside condo and landed with a thud on the rocks below. The frenetic tick-tick-ticking of “Ruin” played underneath as Liam ran to call 911, only to find Vanessa’s body vanished mere seconds later. It remains to be seen whether the song’s name refers to the crumbled relic of this dysfunctional relationship or the state of Liam’s life when/if Vanessa resurfaces.
UP ALL NIGHT (NBC)
The song: The Cranberries, “Linger”
The episode: “Another Saturday Night” (205)
The hook: TVJ’s Twitter fans dug the “throwback” to 2007 when Chris (Will Arnett) and Reagan (Christina Applegate) recreated their pre-baby days at a Silversun Pickups’s concert featuring “Lazy Eye.” But our ears and hearts went back to a more distant past — 1993 — courtesy of Scott (Luka Jones) and Chris’s impromptu, two-dude car singalong to “Linger.” Show me a person who can resist Dolores O’Riordan’s soaring-yet-plaintive wail, and I’ll show you a liar.
Want to be featured in next week’s TV Jukebox? Tweet your pick using the hashtag #tvjukebox to @EW!