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A mixed bag for season finales
May 21, 2014 - Pam Rodgers
The end of May means a lot of things to — graduations, track and field conference/state/nationals meets, slow-pitch softball begins, Memorial Day and last, but not least, the end of network television’s regular season prime time shows.
My shows this season have had a lot of ups and downs, happy moments, sad moments and moments that make you want to hurl something through the television. Come on, we’ve all been there. Or, maybe I just get into this too much. Oh well. We all have our vices.
Anyway, as each show comes barreling down to the finish line, they usually give viewers an idea of where they might leave the season and where next year will pick up. Then it becomes like an off shoot of “Hamlet” — to be a cliffhanger, or not to be, that is the question. A few shows left lives in the balance. Others completed most of the ongoing plot lines but left a few things up in the air with new reveals and such. And finally, some just ended the season with no immediate things to "fix" in the fall. You get the idea.
This blog is long enough already so I’ll get to the point. As with years past, I will hit the highlights of my regular shows and how I felt the season ended. I’ll be as brief as I can. Enjoy! (and if you don’t watch TV you are probably not reading this anyway.)
• Once Upon A Time
This year’s action packed two-hour season finale was a lot of fun. I have to admit, watching this show can be a bit of headache at times, but it all makes sense in the end (most of the time). This year, they had wrapped up the major ongoing plot point, by vanquishing the Wicked Witch of the West of course. So the finale was more lighthearted than others have been. They took two of their characters on a time traveling adventure, “Back the Future” style. Of course, they made it back, but they brought along a few things that don’t belong in this time. One made another character very, very angry. I’m sure more will come on that front. The other stowaway seems to set up the next season’s villain. It will be great to see where they take the story from here and how they work another fairy tale into the mix. Sundays at 7 p.m. on ABC
I can’t talk about this much. The finale disappointed me in so many ways. Castle is my favorite show and it had the worst finale this year by far. It was just so contrived and unbelievable, I couldn’t even try to enjoy it. The show has to redeem itself in the fall. Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC
NCIS went with a no cliffhanger season ender. The finale episode of season 11 paid tribute to Gibbs’ father, Jackson, who was portrayed by Ralph Waite. Waite passed away in February, and the show did a nice tribute to him and what he brought to the show. Overall, I think it was for the best to go this route instead of a traditional cliffhanger. The season had enough to deal with with the unexpected departure of one of its main characters. I think they have done a decent job introducing new cast member, Emily Wickersham’s Ellie Bishop. The didn’t try to replace Ziva, but gave us someone entirely different. I think that helped the transition. It’s still an ongoing process; so, there are plenty of places to go from here, with or without a specific cliffhanger. Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on CBS
• NCIS Los Angeles
NCIS Los Angeles gave us a good old fashion cliffhanger. OK, no one was dangling off a mountain ledge but two team members were in an submarine armed with a bomb. It’s close enough. Another character’s fate was left open as well with the leader of the division called back to Washington, D.C, possibly never to return. The episode was entertaining but not outstanding. It was on par with the rest of the season so it felt like good way to leave this season. CBS is moving the series to Monday nights (ack Mondays!) in the fall to make room for the next NCIS spinoff set in New Orleans. I hope the show remains successful despite the move. I’ve gotten quite used to seeing this team in action week after week. Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS
CSI’s finale was odd. It didn’t really feel like a finale. It seemed like just another episode like the writers got bored and just stopped. I was really surprised by this since it was supposed to be Captain Jim Brass’s final episode. If he doesn’t come back, then his story arc ends with him drinking scotch in his office with a dark theme music playing the background. It confused me. Usually the show gives better send-offs to characters, especially one that has been on the show since its premiere. This is another show on the move in fall. It will go to Sunday nights with a shortened season. After the shorter run, it will hand off its time slot to the new CSI Cyber. I kinda get the feeling that season 15 could end up being its final season. Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBS
• The Big Bang Theory
I love this show. The show is still in a groove seven seasons in. The characters are evolving but they still remain enjoyable to watch and recognizable with the people we were introduced to from the beginning. This year’s cliffhanger has Sheldon feeling overwhelmed by changes and needing to go someplace else to think. So what does he do? He hops a train. Sheldon loves trains. Anyone worried about where he could end up shouldn’t be. My guess is he will eventually find his way back to his hometown in Texas. The one person he can always depend on is his mother. Big Bang Theory will also come back on a different night, but not permanently. CBS had some maneuvering since it has the rights to Thursday night football. TBBT will return on Monday nights until Oct. 17 (or something like that). Then it’s back to Thursdays. It doesn’t matter what day it’s on. I’ll be watching! Thursdays at 7 p.m. on CBS
• Grey’s Anatomy
What an episode. I didn’t think it would be so difficult to say good-bye to Dr. Cristina Yang. Sandra Oh announced before the season started that it would be her last. I had months to prepare, and yet when it came down to it, I didn’t want her to leave. It’s hard to imagine Grey’s without Meredith’s person. I don’t think I can fully understand the new dynamic until the show returns Cristina-less. I got what I most wanted, one final dance out. It was perfect. I honestly don’t want to say anything else about the episode. I’ve talked about it with others, so nothing else needs to be said on my part. There are too many conflicting ideas about what happened after Yang left the halls of Grey-Sloan Memorial (it will always be Seattle Grace to me but I’m trying to go with it). It is very much a “wait and see” story for me. I will still watch the show faithfully, but there will never be any replacement for Dr. Yang. Grey's is moving too, but it's minor in comparison. It will now be on at 7 p.m. making room for an all Shonda Rhimes ABC Thursday. That DVR is going to get a work out next season. Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC
The sophomore season’s finale didn’t have as much punch as its first season’s. Of course my dislike of Sherlock’s brother Mycroft might have something to do with it. This show has quickly been added to my “must watch list.” I was hoping for more out of the final episode then I got. Watson is being short-sided and downright stupid. I get that she need space, but try to compromise a little. Sherlock seems to be on the train to impulsiveville. He's not afraid of drastic measures, but I hope he doesn't go that far. I’m sure it will all work itself out in the end. If not, then there won’t be much of a show to watch. Elementary is also a victim to the CBS shuffle. But unlike Big Bang Theory, the next season will simply premiere after Thursday football concludes. It might work out for the best with fewer random reruns mid-season. Hopefully the show will return to its former glory by October. Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBS
• Reality Short
I also watch Dancing with the Stars and The Voice (thank God for DVRs). Both results were Tuesday. I was happy Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy won. After 13 seasons, Maks definitely deserved to win and he had a very deserving partner. Josh Kaufman won The Voice. I’m happy that he won for Team Usher. My favorites were eliminated before the finale so I honestly didn’t care, which person won this season. And for consistency:DWTS Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC, Voice Mondays at 7 p.m., Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC
Cut! That’s a wrap. Thanks for reading!