And That’s Our Finale Answer

May 28, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Before The Insider snaps into the cold-turkey fetal position because of the sudden drop-off in original programming, she’s going to scribble down a few thoughts about the finales of series she watches. Some were all that fervent fans could have asked for; some were redemptive, come-from-behind three-point shots at the buzzer; and some were, well, not.
There could be no better invitation for the inexplicably uninitiated to join the “Friday Night Lights” fan club than its freshman finale. Before ending with an emotional cliffhanger — Can the coach possibly proceed with his wife’s game plan to have a commuter marriage now that she’s pregnant? — there were wonderful moments for every character we’ve come to know and love and root for.
In its last two hours of a (let’s be honest) hit-and-miss season, “24” struck all the right notes. There was sweat-drenched, clock-defying action; peril to spare; justice for all who had been wrongly dealt with by an incompetent temp president; and an emotional leave-taking (from a sound-asleep Audrey) of the sort that Jack is seldom allowed. Even better, Jack got to throw the switch on his father. (That alone was such an upper The Insider didn’t take her antidepressant the next day.) The only thing missing-and The Insider can’t be the only one who was expecting this for much of the season- was a revelation that Jack is the father, not the uncle, of Josh, who looked eerily like Ricky Schroder’s Doyle. The final scene of an emotionally and physically exhausted Jack staring deep into another existential life crisis was, literally, a cliffhanger.
The last two hours of “Lost” also kicked butt and palpitated the heart. Walt, whose growth spurt since he was last seen on the island has given him the proportions of the late Mr. Eko, talked Locke out of the grisly mass grave and back into action. Sawyer proved he could be the hero we always knew was just beneath his bad-boy surface. For the second week in a row, Charlie reduced The Insider to tears with his leave-taking (and the preparations). Get Dominic Monaghan an Emmy nomination. So satisfying was it when Jack gave Ben the long-overdue beat-down that The Insider dispensed with a second antidepressant in three days. The question(s) left by finale flash-forwards focused on Jack are tantalizing and bittersweet and exactly what true “Lost” fans savor. Now that Jack has told Kate he loves her (on the island) and been rebuffed by Kate (in the flash-forward), the romantic triangle has been re-established. But if it’s Sawyer in that flash-forward casket, The Insider fears she will be doubling the antidepressants at some point in the future.
“Supernatural,” with the heart-breaking return of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Papa Winchester, has raised its own ante for next season, which as of now will be Dean’s last among the living unless he can find a way to break the deal he made with the divamonic crossroads babe to bring Sam back to life.
The Insider’s picks won “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol,” but both shows managed to leach too much emotion out of the winners’ moments by leaving too little time for savoring them. “Idol” did a more entertaining job of filling two hours without teasing viewers to death. Just trot a long list of musical stars out onto the stage to entertain. Watching finalist Blake Lewis beat-box with Doug E. Fresh, making sputtering noises otherwise known as treeps and double flutterblasts, The Insider asked herself, not for the first time this season, (a) how a kid with a puny voice and stage presence could have lasted so long in the competition, and (b) what does it mean that both Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck were rooting for him? Best moment before Jordin Sparks was named the Idol: the return appearance of the African Children’s Choir, with brand new smiles because their permanent teeth had grown in since their appearance on “Idol Gives Back” just weeks before. There’s a great before-and-after fundraising gimmick in here for someone.
Last thought about “Veronica Mars”: It’s a low-down, dirty shame that all of the energy expended on finding so many ways to slap fans in the face couldn’t have been applied to writing a finale true to the founding spirit of the show.


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