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The Best Episodes of Carnivàle

Every episode of Carnivàle ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Carnivàle!

Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. In tracing the lives of two disparate groups of people, its overarching story depicts the battle between good and evil and the struggle between free will and destiny; the storyline mixes Christian theology with gnosticism and Masonic lore, particularly that of the Knights Templar.

Genres:Sci-Fi & FantasyMysteryDrama
Network:HBO

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Carnivàle" is "New Canaan, CA", rated 8.9/10 from 700 user votes. It was directed by Scott Winant and written by Daniel Knauf, Tracy Tormé. "New Canaan, CA" aired on 3/27/2005 and is rated 0.2 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "The Day That Was the Day".

  • New Canaan, CA
    8.9/10 700 votes

    #1 - New Canaan, CA

    Season 2 Episode 12 - Aired 2005-03-27

    Samson tries to stay a step ahead of impending chaos. Stroud does his best to protect Justin. Ben's powers face the ultimate test.

    Director: Scott Winant

    Writer: Daniel Knauf, Tracy Tormé

  • The Day That Was the Day
    8.7/10 788 votes

    #2 - The Day That Was the Day

    Season 1 Episode 12 - Aired 2003-11-30

    A distraught Ben finally meets with Management. In California, Balthus and Justin deal with the tragic undercurrents of their ministry. Stumpy and Rita Sue try to save their marriage. Samson must think fast when the law comes to the carnival.

    Director: Rodrigo García

    Writer: Ronald D. Moore

  • Lincoln Highway, UT
    8.7/10 614 votes

    #3 - Lincoln Highway, UT

    Season 2 Episode 9 - Aired 2005-03-06

    Ruthie's latest vision leaves evidence behind. Lila hasn't given up her search for the missing Lodz. Eleanor goes on a picnic with Iris. Justin's powers calm a chaotic gathering.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: William Schmidt

  • Damascus, NE
    8.5/10 583 votes

    #4 - Damascus, NE

    Season 2 Episode 7 - Aired 2005-02-20

    Stroud is closing in on Ben, who pays a visit to a run-down hotel. Justin and Iris pacify a bishop with a good meal. Sabina shares her secrets with Libby; the troupe is concerned about Sofie. Jones gets a favor from Libby.

    Director: Alan Taylor

    Writer: N/A

  • Outskirts, Damascus, NE
    8.5/10 587 votes

    #5 - Outskirts, Damascus, NE

    Season 2 Episode 8 - Aired 2005-02-27

    A local politician receives Iris and Justin's support. Ruthie tries to hide from her visions. Rita Sue takes charge of Stumpy's debt. Smith sees trouble for Justin. Sofie gets new work. Libby has shocking news for her parents.

    Director: Tim Hunter

    Writer: Daniel Knauf

  • Outside New Canaan
    8.5/10 580 votes

    #6 - Outside New Canaan

    Season 2 Episode 11 - Aired 2005-03-20

    Lila voices her opposition to Samson's itinerary for the troupe. Justin's baptism of the faithful coincides with another tragedy and a startling event in the migrant camp. Libby pleads with Jones to reveal his secret. Sofie sees a familiar face.

    Director: Dan Lerner

    Writer: Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin

  • Cheyenne, WY
    8.4/10 568 votes

    #7 - Cheyenne, WY

    Season 2 Episode 10 - Aired 2005-03-13

    Justin has help avoiding a disaster. Iris locates another branch of her family tree. Stroud tries a strength-in-numbers approach. Libby is cowed by her mother's authority. Ruthie pays another late-night visit to Lila.

    Director: Todd Field

    Writer: Tracy Tormé

  • Los Moscos
    8.3/10 656 votes

    #8 - Los Moscos

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2005-01-09

    The Dust Bowl circus troupe deals with the fallout from a fatal fire and, in California, Brother Justin reaches new converts on the radio. Lila wonders what happened to Lodz. Ben takes off to find Scudder.

    Director: Jeremy Podeswa

    Writer: Daniel Knauf

  • Pick a Number
    8.2/10 811 votes

    #9 - Pick a Number

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2003-10-19

    Revenge-minded carnies practice their own form of retribution. Justin encounters a group of hobos on his journey of self-discovery. Ben returns from another strange experience.

    Director: Rodrigo García

    Writer: Ronald D. Moore

  • Creed, OK
    8.1/10 590 votes

    #10 - Creed, OK

    Season 2 Episode 5 - Aired 2005-02-06

    After a conversation with Ruthie, Sofie reaches out to Ben; Stumpy wagers on an important fight. Dolan puts pressure on Justin, who sees things in a new light after receiving a mysterious gift. Stroud's quest to find Ben continues.

    Director: Jeremy Podeswa

    Writer: Tracy Tormé

  • Babylon
    8.0/10 842 votes

    #11 - Babylon

    Season 1 Episode 5 - Aired 2003-10-12

    Samson tries to improve the troupe's spirits with a night of revelry. Ben has an enlightening experience at the bottom of a mineshaft. A group of miners is anxious for entertainment.

    Director: Tim Hunter

    Writer: Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin

  • Day of the Dead
    8.0/10 704 votes

    #12 - Day of the Dead

    Season 1 Episode 11 - Aired 2003-11-23

    Rita Sue teaches a newcomer a few tricks of the trade. Balthus is nervous about Tommy Dolan's allegations. Lodz gets approval from Management to help Ben.

    Director: John Patterson

    Writer: Toni Graphia

  • Old Cherry Blossom Road
    8.0/10 604 votes

    #13 - Old Cherry Blossom Road

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2005-01-30

    Lila hasn't given up trying to find out what happened to the missing Lodz. Iris begs her brother not to harbor so many secrets. Jones finds new work for Sofie. Balthus sees another display of Justin's power.

    Director: Steve Shill

    Writer: Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin

  • The Road to Damascus
    8.0/10 580 votes

    #14 - The Road to Damascus

    Season 2 Episode 6 - Aired 2005-02-13

    Samson runs into an old acquaintance when the troupe crosses paths with another carnival. Rita Sue's business decisions give Stumpy fits. Justin and Iris struggle with a tough sermon. Libby's honor is in need of defense.

    Director: Tucker Gates

    Writer: Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin

  • Milfay
    7.9/10 1,109 votes

    #15 - Milfay

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2003-09-14

    Ben reluctantly joins the carnival after the bank forecloses on his family's Oklahoma farm. Brother Justin has a bizarre encounter with a poor parishioner. Sofie has a run-in at a small-town gas station.

    Director: Rodrigo García

    Writer: Daniel Knauf

  • Tipton
    7.9/10 856 votes

    #16 - Tipton

    Season 1 Episode 3 - Aired 2003-09-28

    Ben is the main attraction when Samson refashions the carnival as a religious revival to satisfy a town's moral underpinnings. Justin has a powerful ally in a fight against city hall. Sofie accompanies Ben on a journey into his past.

    Director: Rodrigo García

    Writer: Daniel Knauf, Henry Bromell

  • Hot and Bothered
    7.9/10 709 votes

    #17 - Hot and Bothered

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2003-11-16

    Ben and Samson go in search of the mysterious Scudder. Sofie accuses her mother of foul play. Lodz waits patiently for Ben for fall asleep. Justin returns to Mintern with a new plan.

    Director: Jeremy Podeswa

    Writer: Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin

  • Alamogordo, NM
    7.9/10 615 votes

    #18 - Alamogordo, NM

    Season 2 Episode 2 - Aired 2005-01-16

    The troupe sends out search parties when a distraught Sofie goes missing. Justin and Iris welcome a new housekeeper. Samson accuses Stumpy of skimming. Ben visits an old acquaintance of Scudder's in New Mexico.

    Director: Jack Bender

    Writer: William Schmidt

  • Ingram, TX
    7.9/10 619 votes

    #19 - Ingram, TX

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2005-01-23

    Dolan continues his quest to get to the bottom of the Ministry arson. Gabriel gets into the act with Ruthie, who experiences another supernatural vision. Ben happens upon some distant relatives.

    Director: John Patterson

    Writer: N/A

  • After the Ball Is Over
    7.8/10 913 votes

    #20 - After the Ball Is Over

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2003-09-21

    Ben uncovers a piece of his past as a result of Jones' sense of humor. Justin tries to persuade a parishioner to make a deal in real estate. Sofie endures a frightening mishap involving her mother. Samson changes the carnival's course.

    Director: Jeremy Podeswa

    Writer: Daniel Knauf, Ronald D. Moore

  • Black Blizzard
    7.8/10 828 votes

    #21 - Black Blizzard

    Season 1 Episode 4 - Aired 2003-10-05

    Jones looks to management when the crew turns mutinous. Appolonia is displeased with Sofie's romantic tastes. Justin faces a difficult choice between his congregations. Ben is tested by Lodz.

    Director: Peter Medak

    Writer: William Schmidt

  • The River
    7.8/10 732 votes

    #22 - The River

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2003-10-26

    After a recent tragedy, Stumpy and Rita Sue debate their future in the carnival. In her brother's absence, Iris receives help from a radio reporter. Ben helps Ruthie with her act.

    Director: Alison Maclean

    Writer: Toni Graphia

  • Lonnigan, Texas
    7.7/10 720 votes

    #23 - Lonnigan, Texas

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2003-11-02

    Lodz disagrees with Samson's decision to send Ben on a business trip for the carnival. A radio-show host tries to help find a wandering Justin. Sofie considers a career change.

    Director: Scott Winant

    Writer: Daniel Knauf

  • Insomnia
    7.7/10 702 votes

    #24 - Insomnia

    Season 1 Episode 9 - Aired 2003-11-09

    Ben tries to escape his dreams by staying awake. Iris uses a radio ally to help locate Justin. Samson goes back to the drawing board to increase business.

    Director: Jack Bender

    Writer: William Schmidt