Time for part II of my impressions of some of the season finales that aired this year. You can find part I here. As before, I’ll try not to be specific about plot points, but there will be minor spoilers.
Most Likely to be Watched Over and Over: Parks and Recreation, “Li’l Sebastian”
NBC aired the final two episodes back-to-back, but this wasn’t a two-part finale like Community was so I’ll just be focusing on “Li’l Sebastian.” Firstly, poor Li’l Sebastian. He was a true hero to the city of Pawnee and humanity in general. May he rest in peace. Secondly, Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) have one of the best relationships on television right now, comedy or otherwise. If nothing else, they have the sweetest. The finale was everything I’ve come to adore about this show including an unbelievable amount of funny. It also set up next season well by introducing a realistic conflict for Leslie and Ben, a new job for Tom (No Tom! Come back! And bring DJ Roomba with you!), and the incomparable Ron Swanson sans mustache (the horror!) and confronted by Tammy I (the horror!).
Biggest Waste of My Time: Glee, “New York”
Glee‘s never exactly been known for its continuity or realism or, you know, logic of any kind. But I still expect a bit more than what I got in the finale. It really seems like the writers just don’t care anymore. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for such a poorly written episode. This show choir which has been talking about nationals for an entire two seasons finally gets to go and two days before taking the stage they have NO SHOW. They haven’t written a word of their songs, choreographed, practiced anything at all, nothing. The only things to like about this episode were Rachel (Lea Michelle) and Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) fabulous duet (though the circumstances surrounding that scene were equally absurd) and Kurt and Blaine’s (Darren Criss) adorable scene at the end. The rest? Horrible and unexcusable. I honestly didn’t even enjoy the other musical numbers which, let’s face it, are the only reasons I’m still watching. Well, that and Darren Criss.
Most Tear-Inducing: Parenthood, “Hard Times Come Again No More”
Nearly every episode has me close to tears in the best way possible but the finale finally pushed me over into actual crying. Amber’s (Mae Whitman) breakdown and apology to her mother was too much for me. Seeing her so beat up (physically and emotionally) and coming to her Mom for forgiveness after everything she’d gone through this season was beautiful. I’m also intrigued by Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina’s (Monica Potter) storyline for next season which was revealed at the end of the episode. I can’t wait to spend another year crying, smiling, and crying some more with the Braverman’s.
Best Cameo: Cougar Town, “Something Good Coming”
It was an overall solid finale but the absolute best part came early on. Community‘s Abed (Danny Pudi) showed up for a brilliant background cameo. I love the love between these two shows and this moment was perfect.
Most Suspenseful: Castle, “Knockout”
I realize there was no reason to be as stressed during this finale as I was, but I couldn’t help it. Obviously neither Castle (Nathan Fillion) nor Beckett (Stana Katic) were going anywhere, but I knew a major death was coming and any of the other characters were fair game. I was particularly worried for my beloved Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas). And every scene between the leads was full of tension. My favorite was actually not the last scene but rather the argument they had in Beckett’s apartment. Man, was that well done by everyone involved. Note to Bones: this is how you do a compelling season finale that makes measurable progress in the main relationship without upsetting everyone in your audience. Just saying.
There were plenty of other finales that I could talk about but these were the ones I felt most strongly about one way or the other. Were there any finales you thought were exceptional or exceptionally bad? I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks!