In less than 8 hours, it will officially be “Game On!” as BET premieres the fifth season of its record-breaking hit, The Game. So leading up to the start of the new season, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 essential episodes of The Game, for new and old viewers alike. Picking these five episodes was pretty hard given the fact that so much has happened in the show’s four seasons on the air. The selections were mostly based on pivotal moments in the series in terms of storylines and character development, so don’t be upset if an episode that had your favorite Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson) one-liner didn’t make the cut. I also tried to include episodes from each season for good balance.
So here’s the list!
5. “It’s Hard Being Kelly Pitts” (Season 1)
To most people, this episode might be considered just a basic one-off episode for a character who is not on the show anymore (Brittany Daniel, who portrays Kelly Pitts). But looking back at this episode now after everything that has transpired since, you can’t help but pinpoint it as the official starting point of Jason’s (Coby Bell) and Kelly’s marital issues.
4. “When The Chickens Come Home To Roost Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1)
This two-part first season finale set the stage for Melanie’s (Tia Mowery Hardrict) and Derwin’s (Pooch Hall) on and off relationship saga for the next two seasons. Derwin’s lies finally caught up to him and his tryst with singer Drew Sidora was revealed to Melanie, who promptly cut off their engagement. This event lead to Derwin meeting Janay (Gabrielle Dennis), who would eventually become the mother of Derwin’s son, DJ, and the thorn in Melanie’s side.
3. “Parachutes… Beach Chairs Parts 1 & 2” (Season 4)
I know some fans might be scratching their heads and grunting “Huh?!” with this pick, but I stand by my choice. “Parachutes…Beach Chairs” is integral to The Game not just to the storyline, but behind the scenes as well. The episode marked the return of The Game from cancellation after a two-year absence. On January 11th, “Parachutes…Beach Chairs” bowed to 7.68 million viewers, the highest for a cable television series ever. As for the storyline of the show, you can’t tell me that the opening sequence, which showcased how far each character had come since we last left them, didn’t leave you feeling some type of way about the show’s return. That teaser, along with the record-breaking it did behind the scenes, is why I’ve given it the #3 spot.
2. “Baby Come Back” (Season 2)
This second season finale of The Game finally kind of reunited Melanie and Derwin after a season of dating that eventually led the two to the realization that they belonged together. But in the world of The Game, there is no happiness without some messy drama to follow. Just after Derwin professed his love for Melanie, he returns home to find out that Janay is pregnant with his kid. Dun, Dun, Dun!!! Also, Kelly realized that Jason wasn’t going to get his act together when it came to her, and left Jason Pitts looking ike the chump he had become. Also, Malik (Hosea Chanchez) married Robin Givens as a sham, but was really feeling her. The ripples from these two game-changers are still being felt by the characters to this day, making this episode a pretty essential one to the series.
1. “I Want It All and I Want It Now/The Wedding Episode” (Season 3)
The original, unintentional series finale of The Game left fans upset and ready to tear The CW down is #1 for several reasons. First and foremost, Melanie and Derwin finally tied the knot after three seasons of speed bumps and wrong terms that any other couple probably wouldn’t have survived. Secondly, the season also featured the birth of Derwin and Janay’s son, DJ. This could have been the perfect catalyst to see if Davis’ marriage and DJ could coexist with one and other. Finally, this two-parter dealt with the official split of Jason and Kelly Pitts, as well as the demise of Kelly and Tasha’s friendship. In some respects, this two-part episode could have been the perfect coda for The Game, but come on now. The show still had so much to offer as seen in several instances of season four. Hopefully, we can see more of what that entails in tonight’s season five premiere.
So those are the Top 5 Essential Episodes of The Game. I’m looking forward to hearing your top five episodes and comments about the ones I selected. Now go prep and pregame for tonight’s season five premiere of The Game and come back here for a review of tonight’s events. Until then… Boom, Boom, Clap!