Season finale roundup

At the end of the TV season, I thought I’d give my takes on all the season finales I’ve been watching. Appropriately, the theme of these reviews turned out to be “Sorry to See You Go”.

Spoilers below the cut. It’s hard to review a season finale without them.

Person of Interest

In one sense, Person of Interest is the anti-Castle. By which I mean that Castle is at its best when doing light, fun standalone episodes and tends to drag when it tries to do Serious Arc Plot (for example, every time the murder of Beckett’s mother comes up). Whereas PoI is a show that gets better in direct proportion to how relevant this week’s episode is to the long-term mythology: when there’s a new revelation about the Machine, or the case of the week turns out to be related to Samaritan’s plans, or whenever Control shows up. Basically, Castle is better when it embraces its procedural nature, and PoI is better when it transcends it. For my tastes, it also doesn’t hurt that PoI tends to play up the sci-fi elements when it does big mythology episodes.

I was going to do a comparative analysis of the way different shows use procedural storytelling as a starting point, but that’s a whole other blog post. The major point here is that, because season finales are all about long-term plots coming to a climax, Person of Interest has really, really good finales.

(The minor point is that I’ve been known to skip one or two of the standalone episodes along the way, which came back on me in the finale when I didn’t recognize a character who was set up in an episode I hadn’t seen. Thank goodness for wikis.)

Anyway, I’m glad they didn’t kill off Reese, because it sort of seemed like the show was foreshadowing his death towards the end of the season. And, awww, the Machine called Harold “Father”. Is it weird to get emotional about a faceless, voiceless, nonhuman fictional character?

Sorry to See You Go: Dominic, who was learning just enough about Team Machine to make him dangerous, and Control, who was learning just enough about Samaritan to question her loyalties. And Shaw, but I live in hope of her being written back onto the show someday.

Revenge

Usually it’s disappointing to see a show come to an end, but actually, I’m kind of ready for Revenge to be done now. Four seasons is a respectable run, and Emily was just too happy and nearly stable towards the end. In keeping with which, the show had a surprisingly happy ending. Maybe kind of implausibly happy, but it’s nice to see all the characters I liked get to ride off into the sunset, even if Emily should almost certainly have done some prison time first. And it’s nice to see Nolan carrying on the good morally ambiguous work, even if he continues to be unlucky in love.

Sorry to See You Go: Like I said, this show was about ready to end, but I am a little sad to miss Nolan’s future adventures in revengering.

Agents of SHIELD

Really, most of what I have to say about Agents of SHIELD comes back to how it relates to the rest of the MCU. Ward is running Hydra now–does that mean he’s going to show up in the movies? Will the case of Terrigen crystals released into the ocean have immediate consequences next season, or is this long-term setup for the Inhumans movie? When are the Avengers going to find out that Coulson is alive???

I would love to see more engagement with the movies, beyond having Lady Sif or Maria Hill pop in for a visit now and then, because Winter Soldier is still the best thing that ever happened to Agents of SHIELD. Maybe they can manage something like that with Civil War or Inhumans. Or at least do a crossover with Daredevil next season. Pretty please?

Sorry to See You Go: Coulson’s left hand, though I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he gets a cool robotic prosthesis. (Paging Tony Stark…) Maybe Simmons, but it’s unclear what actually happened to her, so she might be back. Seriously, what was that? Did Simmons just get eaten by the funky alien monolith?

Arrow

This show has been kind of nuts lately, hasn’t it? The whole League of Assassins plot, really.

The beginning of the finale, specifically the super-long cold open, was a little deus-ex-machina-y (is there a better adjective for that?), what with everyone retroactively having been immunized to the virus and the Flash breaking in to spring the prisoners with ridiculous ease. And we still don’t know when Oliver found the time to nip over to Central City to fight the Reverse Flash. (This is what happens when you cross the streams, guys. You create holes in the fabric of dimensions the plot.) The rest of the episode wasn’t free of contrivance, either–how convenient is it that Damien Darhk just happened to be in Starling City right then, and who does he think he’s fooling by spelling his name with a random h?

Still… Felicity in the Atom suit! And I’m loving Red Arrow/ Speedy. Malcolm running the League of Assassins… well, that’s going to come back to haunt our heroes later, but it’s interesting to have the new Ra’s al Ghul be someone who’s kinda-sorta-not-really an ally.

Sorry to See You Go: I’m sorry to see Nyssa go back to the League, because she and Laurel made such great unlikely partners.

Elementary

Given the information released about the finale beforehand, I was expecting more about Alfredo, instead of Sherlock spending most of the episode with his old dealer Oscar. And then… the ending. Did not see that coming, especially since the writers didn’t play the relapse card two seasons ago when it would have been plot-convenient. It makes me angry that Oscar succeeded in sabotaging Sherlock’s recovery for his own petty satisfaction, but Elementary has always taken addiction far more seriously than, say, BBC’s Sherlock, so I trust the writers with wherever they’re going next.

Sorry to See You Go: Not from the finale, but I miss Kitty, who left earlier in the season. And I’d like to see Moriarty make a comeback. I am not sorry to see Oscar go; I hope Sherlock never hears from him again.

Grimm

OK, Grimm actually eclipses Arrow in terms of nutso soap opera plots. Juliette and Adalind have basically switched sides at this point, which was the most interesting plot Juliette has ever had… until she died, anyway. With the deaths of Juliette, the king, and Prince Kenneth (the most competent person ever to work for the Royals), and Adalind more or less on the side of the angels now, there aren’t many antagonists left. Though who knows what Agent Chavez’s agenda is…

Coming back to Adalind, it’s not clear what happens to her now. Bud asked if she and Nick were going to move in together, and I think I’d like to see that. Not as a couple–that strains credulity–but just Adalind and Nick as platonic, bickering roomies co-parenting a kid. It’s like a sitcom premise: he’s a cop and a Grimm, she’s the Hexenbiest having his baby, they fight crime!

Sorry to See You Go: I’m disappointed that Juliette won’t be an ongoing antagonist, because the history between her and Nick would have added spice to every future interaction.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

The finale was all about Jake and Amy’s will-they-or-won’t-they, which I can take or leave, but I have to say, I cracked up when they arrested the guy. (“NYPD, freeze! We are police colleagues!” “You are under arrest! This is a work event!”) As a sitcom, this show doesn’t have as much serialized plot as the others (even Elementary), but I’m interested to see where they go with the new captain.

Sorry to See You Go: Captain Holt, if I thought for a minute that he was leaving the show for good.

The Flash

All the time travel buildup finally pays off… and Barry doesn’t save his mother! Which, fair enough, his future self told him not to, but now he’s created a giant time anomaly that might destroy the world, so maybe it would have been a better idea not to go in the first place. I wonder if the Legends of Tomorrow spinoff will be all about Rip Hunter and co. cleaning up Barry’s mess. And we never did find out what Barry was doing centuries in the future in Eobard Thawne’s time–presumably that’s where he goes when he disappears in 2020, as foreshadowed by that newspaper from Wells’ secret lair. Now that Thawne has been grandfather-paradoxed out of existence, I suppose we’ll never know. (And hey, if Thawne was never born now, shouldn’t Barry’s mom be alive anyway? Not to mention the real Harrison Wells? And what about the particle accelerator–if Thawne never sabotaged it, should Barry still have superpowers? Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey…)

I don’t want to make it sound like I didn’t like the episode, though! I’m very fond of this show, and there was plenty to love in the finale. Cisco might have latent superpowers! Caitlin and Ronnie get married! This is still one of my favorite new shows of the past year (might have to duke it out with Agent Carter for the top spot) and the finale was a great culmination of the plot threads that had been building all season.

Sorry to See You Go: Harrison Wells, aka Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse Flash. The show will be hard-pressed to find a villain to equal him. Huh… come to think of it, friends-turned-enemies also seems to be a common theme among these episodes. And, surprisingly, I think I’m also going to miss Eddie.

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