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Wednesday, 22 of September of 2021

Tag » Series Finale

Chuck vs My Heart Strings: A Reflection

“Tell me our story.”

Sarah and Chuck talk about their lives together on the beach.

"Does it bother you that, even though we're the stars of this show, Baldwin's going to be the one they demand at Comic-Con?"

I’m not sure I prepared enough. I knew that I was going to watch the final episode of Chuck live (because, basically, the windows deal for the final season, which left episodes off Hulu,, and the WB site) made me. But I didn’t get enough of the essentials to celebrate the end of this series. Sizzling Shrimp and (even if it wasn’t for drinking) Rombauer Chardonnay made their absence felt. I didn’t even get a fast-food sausage or a PinkBerry knock-off.

Snacking through a wake aside, the one thing I did make sure of was to watch this finale alone. Watching it live meant that I wouldn’t be able to rewind, to pause, to walk away (no DVR). I was going to have to stare at this series finale until it was over, commercial breaks being my only respite. I was subject to the whims of this show’s authors, ones that have notoriously (if inconsistently) taken advantage of me emotionally. But I was of two minds approaching the final episode of Chuck.

One was recollecting all the times this show has manipulated my inside feelings with neo-folk soundtracks, a guy debating the same things I debate since we’re of the same age, and a hopelessly romantic (if far-fetched) storyline. The other part of me couldn’t trust this show, not just because of the manipulation but also I didn’t know what to expect because the last three seasons have been so inconsistent (at times, straight up betraying). Even in the episodes leading up to the two-hour finale, I really liked the third-to-last episode but rolled my eyes at the penultimate one. It’s not like I was worried about them tying up loose ends but I was worried that the ending would be so sickly sweet that my inherent cynicism would pile up in my throat and choke any sentimentality I could feel for the show.

So I sat down to watch it, gastronomically unprepared but maybe emotionally over-prepared. After knowing this would be the last season NBC/WB could, in good conscience, support, would this series come up big in the end or did they muster up just enough disappointment to say “screw you” to me one last time? Read more »

Smallville – “Finale”

“I’ll always be there to stop you. Always.”
“Oh I’m counting on it.”

Darkseid’s forces are growing larger and stronger. Old enemies resurface as this new enemy literally hurls Clark’s greatest challenge at him. Everyone has their part to play in stopping this threat and helping Clark become the Man of Steel.

Finales often show us a lot of where we came from before a show takes that final bow. For Smallville that look back was not only cathartic for the audience, but essential for Clark to realize his destiny. He had to realize that moving forward did not mean forgetting his past. He is a culmination of all the experiences he has had and the people he has met. He is a personification if his journey, a journey that we have had the privilege of joining him on for the past decade.

To really understand Smallville, not only in its finale but as a whole, we must do as Clark had to: look at those important to him and the experiences he has had, the hardships he has endured and the trials he has faced that have shaped him into the man he is now and the hero he would become.

Read more »

Sym-Bionic Titan – “A New Beginning”

If I had real eyes, I would cry right now.

So that’s that, the final episode of Sym-Bionic Titan. While the episode description that circulated was about Lance and Illana (somehow) returning to Galaluna and facing off against Modula, the episode served to tie up the plot threads from the past two episodes as the show finished what would’ve been its first season, not its only season. I ended up not reviewing the previous two episodes due to time and health issues, but it’s probably best to address them both here in relation to the finale, since all three are really a set of episodes that should, ideally, be watched together.

Seen in that way, as one chain of episodes as opposed to three individual episodes, the final run of Titan is actually fairly strong, even if “A New Beginning” isn’t too much of a finale and isn’t very aptly named as the episode returned the series to its status quo.

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Lost – “The End” (Karen)

Aside from Noel’s review, each of the writers for Monsters of Television will provide their takes on Lost, from their own perspectives. Below are some brief thoughts about how the series, as a whole, meant for Greeney, our newest writer.

There has been much made of television and its domesticity. Great works of television studies, including Lynn Spigel’s Make Room for TV and Anna McCarthy’s Ambient Television, specialize in a contemplation of space. But equally important is the issue of time. Certainly, long-form narrative is one of television’s specialties, but in particular, I would like to discuss the joy of experiencing a show in tandem with one’s own life. Read more »

Law & Order – “Rubber Room”

A bomb threat is a serious matter. A union lawyer is more serious.”

That “Rubber Room” serves as the (probable) series finale for the Law & Order mothership is, for my money, a good thing. As an episode, it doesn’t hit that L&O bingo I’ve discussed before (no major guest stars or traveling around the city for what I feel is are industrial reasons I’ll get to in a moment), but it does strike that balance between procedural and character that I feel the show does so well. At the same time, “Rubber Room” still feels like the show hasn’t moved out of the late 90s while addressing contemporary issues.

All in all, it encapsulates a standard Law & Order episode, and I don’t think the show should’ve ended with anything else. I’ll give some thoughts about this as a finale at the end, but I still feel the episode itself needs to be addressed as a non-finale, not only since it wasn’t intended as such but because I feel like even an intended finale would still be just anotherL&O episode. Read more »

Lost – “The End” (Nick)

“There is no now here.”

Aside from Noel’s review, each of the writers for Monsters of Television will provide their takes on Lost, from their own perspectives. Below are some brief thoughts about why the ending wasn’t responsible for tying it all up in a pretty bow by Nick.

Half past eleven last night was met with a flurry of questions sent into the ether from the viewing party I attended. They weren’t directed at anyone in particular but they weren’t rhetorical either. And though they weren’t necessarily asking me specifically, I, as keeper of the Island for my small community of friends, felt obligated to come up with answers and felt a little like Jacob trying address loose ends, trying to explain the forest when people only really wanted to know about the trees.

That’s been a running theme for this season, trying to convince an eagle-eye audience, trained to pick up on small clues that have enriched its viewing of the series, to dull their visual sense because it was obfuscating the message, to look through the painting and not at the individual brush strokes. That metaphor of “the house was not built for the murder but tbe clues are in the house” was especially apt. Besides, this was the showrunners’ bus and we were just on it. How many ways am I going to figuratively explain this thing before I get to the point? Just enough for me to get to the jump.

Read more »

Lost – “The End” (Noel)

All of this matters.”

As this season has proved, Lost doesn’t answer questions very well. Either off-handedly provided (the whispers) or just never exactly satisfying (“Ab Aeterno” and “Across the Sea”), the answers seemed not to matter as much. Indeed, Damon Lindelof’s assertion that “Across the Sea” is how the show does answers indicates this. And, if anything, the finale only reasserts the claim that the answers aren’t ultimately what’s important.

Because there really weren’t any answers (except, for maybe, what the flash-sideways were all about), and I suspect that was the point. The answers, ultimately, don’t matter. Why pregnant women die on the Island isn’t answered. What the Others thought they were doing there (because Ben clearly didn’t have a clue) isn’t answered. Why/How Eloise seemed to know, well, everything, isn’t answered. Who was shooting at Sawyer and the gang in the outrigger isn’t answered (I know many of you were looking for that). Those are just off the top of my head.

But the finale provides a sense of closure, and that’s ultimately what finales tend to do (or at least, it would seem, what people expect from their finales). Closure, however, is a tricky thing in a show like Lost where expectations are different, where it means so many things to so many people. Much ink, actual and digital, will be spilled over this finale, concerning what it meant, how it worked, and whether or not it was a satisfying finale, and as a result, the idea of whether or not the show provides a sense of closure will be the debated issue. Read more »

Dollhouse – “Epitaph Two: Return”

“I try to do my best.”

I had an intro prepared for this finale involving a trace of the show’s history. “Epitaph Two” had me delete it though because it didn’t seem to really hold up to this odd little episode. This episode, more than the previous two, is where the narrative compacting the show had to perform, and on the fly with probably no money, really comes through. The in media res of it all didn’t help, and I frequently felt disconnected from the show (perhaps airing this episode at 9 with “Epitaph One” at 8 would’ve solved this…?). This disconnect plagued me for nearly the entire episode as I struggled to maintain an interest. The stakes felt forced and too easily given and achieved. Even the showdown scene had no tension to it, leaving me to wonder why I was watching. Read more »