Fall TV is in full swing, Jukeboxers! After the first few weeks, we’ve enjoyed reacquainting ourselves with some of last year’s favorites (hey, Glee! we missed you, Revenge!) and scoping out some new inclusions (welcome to the fold, Elementary and Alphas!). So if you’ve been wondering “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite shows, we’re here to tell you what tunes really resonated. Check out our picks below — and make sure to click through for the full Spotify playlist! (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
The song: Chromatics, “Into the Black”
The episode: “Destiny” (201)
The hook: “Once you’re gone you can never come back.” That line clearly wasn’t about Victoria “Surprise, I’m not really dead!” Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) but rather a warning for the whole gang. As season 2 began, it seemed our favorite Hamptonians might have moved on (to sobriety, romance, domesticity, etc.). In fact, by premiere’s end, it was clear they were being dragged even deeper than before by distrust, dissatisfaction, and yet another impending assassination (this is Revenge, after all). The Portland outfit’s emotive Neil Young cover summed it up best: “There’s more to the picture than meets the eye.”
The song: Yaz, “Only You”
The episode: “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11” (501)
The hook: The backing track may be synthesized, but Alison Moyet’s voice is pure, guttural emotion. Walter Bishop (John Noble) stumbled upon this collision of technology and emotion at a critical moment as he walked through a broken city and discovered art made of CDs. Popping a still-intact disc into a car radio, he heard Yaz’s 30-year-old gem. Then he spotted a flower growing in the concrete — an unlikely, utterly pleasing blend of technology and nature — and proof that he could find hope amid a cold, crushed landscape.
SONS OF ANARCHY (FX)
The song: Greg Holden, “The Lost Boy”
The episode: “Stolen Huffy” (504)
The hook: With his quivering chin, Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) might have seemed vulnerable on the outside at Opie’s (Ryan Hurst) wake, but internally he was becoming steelier by the minute. And so Holden’s powerful lyrics (“I will not be commanded, I will not be controlled, and I will not let my future go on without the help of my soul”) expressed Jax’s growing strength as a leader for SAMCRO.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
The song: Band of Horses, “The Funeral”
The episode: “Farhampton” (801)
The hook: You can’t always predict when magic (be it love or a musical crescendo) will happen, but when it comes… you can’t miss it. Such was the case with the Seattle rockers’ 2006 tune. Its pinging, pendulum-like guitar intro lulls you into an easy comfort until… voilà! The chorus crashes in like a lightning strike — only appropriate considering Ted’s (Josh Radnor) rain-soaked train station connection with the Mother that closed out the Sept. 24 ep.
SUPERNATURAL (The CW)*
The song: Styx, “Man in the Wilderness”
The episode: “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (801)
The hook: As Dean (Jensen Ackles) trekked out of Purgatory and through the wilderness, this moody track from longtime Supernatural favorite Styx set just the right atmosphere. With big changes heading into season 8 (new night, new showrunner), it was good to see some things stayed the same. The Winchesters + classic rock? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
NEW GIRL (Fox)
The song: LMFAO, “Put That A$$ To Work”
The episode: “Re-Launch” (201)
The hook: A club thumper from the chart kings made for a hilarious soundtrack to laid-off Jess’ (Zooey Deschanel) trip into the chaotic life of a professional shot girl on Sept. 25. Even better? Princess Adorkable’s decision not to put her “A$$” to work, but rather her jazz hands, tap skills, and tiny hat.
NEXT: Glee gets emotional, Radiohead goes big band, a cluckin’ good rap jam, and more!
The song: “The Scientist,” originally by Coldplay
The episode: “The Break Up” (404)
The hook: Thursday’s ep was a sobfest, including a beautifully throaty rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Mine”* from Santana (Naya Rivera) to Brittany (Heather Morris). But it was a group take on Coldplay’s emotionally ravaged ballad that really got the tears flowing. Flashbacks to the couples’ relationships in happier times provided an extra punch in the gut. “Nobody said it was easy.” Preach, Chris Martin.
ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC)
The song: Lou Reed, “Charley’s Girl”
The episode: “Broken” (201)
The hook: It remains to be seen what role Michael Raymond-James will play on Once. His character’s introduction certainly did nothing to clear the murkiness, and Reed’s cool, cowbell-punctuated 1975 song added yet more texture to the mystery. Some viewers hear echoes of season 1 dialogue by Emma; maybe he’s Henry’s father? Others point out that Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles; is Raymond-James the White Rabbit? These questions remain unanswered for now, but we’re having a groovy time puzzling them out.
The song: The Hampdens, “Hype V.2”
The episode: “Life After Death” (210)
The hook: Following a major death last week, Monday’s ep offered a much-needed breather. Who did see some action? Rachel (Azita Ghanizada) and John (Steve Byers). Though their fumbling first attempt at lovemaking was anything but instant gratification, the couple eventually found their rhythm, with an assist from a sultry song from Aussie trio The Hampdens.
DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
The song: “Creep,” originally by Radiohead
The episode: “Week 2 Performance” (1503)
The hook: A big-band version of the emo kings’ ostracism anthem shouldn’t have worked. And, well, it ultimately didn’t for Joey Fatone. Whether you agree with that outcome or not, it was a defiantly offbeat choice. If DWTS is going to mess with our minds, this toe-tapper was a much more pleasant means than keeping Bristol Palin around.
The song: Elvis Costello, “Watching the Detectives”
The episode: “Pilot” (101)
The hook: Thursday night’s inclusion of James Mathé’s “Bloodline” was appropriately emolicious for this angsty newcomer, but to start the series off with a zing, they had to turn to Elvis. Costello, that is. After Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) solved a murder, they made their working relationship official at the end of the Sept. 27 ep. More important than the face-value relevance of the song is the fact that it isn’t claiming to watch “a detective.” We’re watching them both. Deduction: There’s a growing partnership afoot. As for the fact that Costello’s 1977 single is about the tension between quarreling lovers? Well, we’ll see….
THE GOOD WIFE (ABC)
The song: Tally Hall, “Mucka Blucka”
The episode: “I Fought the Law” (401)
The hook: Nothing says, “Yes, Officer, I’m a responsible young man — not at all on drugs!” quite like blasting a rap song composed entirely of chicken clucking. Oh wait…. Nice one, Zach (Graham Phillips).
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