By Hillary Busis
Updated September 21, 2013 at 04:00 PM EDT
Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
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Judgment Day is almost upon us.

By that, of course, I’m referring to Sunday, Sept. 22 — when millions of TV viewers will be forced to choose between Dexter Morgan’s last stand, Walter White’s second-to-last stand, and TV’s biggest night.

Dexter‘s series finale begins at 9 p.m. ET that evening. So does “Granite State,” the 75-minute-long penultimate episode of Breaking Bad. By that point, the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards — which begin at 8 p.m. and go until at least 11 p.m. — will be in full swing as well. Just to complicate matters further, HBO is also premiering a new episode of Boardwalk Empire at 9. (There’s also a Sister Wives reunion special on TLC, but somehow I doubt that’s your first priority at a time like this.)

Let’s be real: As much as you may love Nucky, Boardwalk just isn’t as zeitgeisty as its three major timeslot competitors. (To say nothing of Sister Wives.) But even discounting HBO’s drama, TV lovers will have a tough decision to make. Even if you’re planning to stay up until 1 a.m. in order to watch all three, you can’t take in Dexter, Breaking, and the Emmys at the same time. Before making a final decision, let’s weigh the pros and cons of viewing each one live:

The Emmys

Pro: It’s a live event, so you should be there to watch the magic as it happens. Especially because host Neil Patrick Harris might be doing some actual magic.

Con: The show front-loads and back-loads important awards, leaving its middle hour plagued with boring stuff like Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. If you’re going to not watch one hour of the Emmys, it might as well be 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (or 10:15, if you’re choosing to turn into Breaking Bad).

Breaking Bad

Pro: After last week’s insane nail-biter of an episode, how can you not be jonesing to find out exactly what happens next? Plus, this means you won’t have to spend the 9 p.m. hour completely avoiding Twitter.

Con: What if Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn do something awesome at the Emmys during this very hour, and you’re not there to see it live? And you call yourself a fan.


Pro: Finally, the answers you’ve been craving since 2006: Will Dexter get caught? Or will he and his “dark passenger” evade capture til the end? Plus: Closure with Masuka and his daughter, or whatever!

Con: You haven’t really cared about Dexter since Rita died in season 4.

So there you have it. Thoughts?

Episode Recaps

Breaking Bad

Walter White descends into the criminal underworld.

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