Season Finale Round-Up: Our TV critics on 'The Office,' 'Bates Motel,' 'Doctor Who,' 'Arrow,' 'Nashville' and more

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Image Credit: Patrick McElhenney/Fox

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NEW GIRL

The wedding of CeCe to That Guy She Was Always Going To Dump At The Mandap went off without a hitch — which is to say, there was no hitch. But there was high-larious “sabo,” courtesy of a badger set loose in the ceiling. (Don’t cry for the groom: He ran away with Taylor Swift. They are so getting back together.) Who to choose, Schmidt? CeCe or Elizabeth, played by late season scene-stealer Merritt Weaver? Either way, the very choice flatters the shallow prince, who deepened a few inches in the sitcom’s final episodes. For a brief second in the finale, Jess and Nick bailed on their fragile young romance, then came to their senses and made a commitment to each other. Bravo, New Girl, for selling us on this relationship, and not backing down from a storyline that will surely change the show’s dynamics moving forward. That said, I miss — to some degree; not completely — the more whimsical, eccentric Jess others deplore, and I blanch — to some degree; not completely — at this more conventional rom-com heroine that has allegedly made New Girl more “affecting” and “human.” When did dampening your unique personality to become more palatable to the masses become a good thing? GrumbleGrumbleoverthinkGrumble. Anyway, the finale was pretty funny. B (JJ)

ELEMENTARY

When did this modern day Sherlock Holmes saga find the seven-percent solution to getting so addictively good? When did Jonny Lee Miller finally become worthy of The Great Detective’s pipe? The answer is elementary: From the start. The show never changed much; I did. The guy who tried hard to deny this show because he assumed it could never be the equal of BBC’s Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch. But my resistance collapsed when I sampled Elementary at midseason and was impressed by Miller’s prickly-tender portrayal of addiction recovery and Sherlock’s rapport with Lucy Liu’s Watson. The twisty finale flashed to the past to show us a more romantic, vulnerable Holmes, and created a memorable foil for its twitchy-brilliant hero by combining two iconic rogues from the mythos into one: Irene Adler and Moriarty. I’ll be there next season. This time, from the beginning. B (JJ)

HAPPY ENDINGS

It was a perfectly nice finale — it just wasn’t ah-mah-zing. And this very funny show, which has earned its reputation the most underrated comedy on television, deserved a send-off so spectacular, you could give it the Double Snooki Salute. It’s hard to understand why the writers would introduce a whole new character in the final episode (there’s a third Kirkovitch sister?) and I’m not sure I buy Alex and Dave’s reasons for breaking up. But the scene where everyone danced to “For Once in My Life” was bittersweetness at its best. And I’m really going to miss lines like this: “You’re a woman. You should know what part of the butt the baby comes out of.” B- (MM)

REVENGE


Declan is dead!  Nolan was arrested for terrorism and might take the fall for the Carrion blackout! The Initiative mystery has been solved! And, more important, we don’t have to deal with those story lines anymore! Maybe the finale wasn’t as mind-blowing as expected — was anyone else hoping to see at least one Grayson go down in a blaze of cognac-fueled glory? — but at least the show’s spiraling-out-of-control plotlines and ever-expanding cast have been pruned back to focus on what really matters: Emily against the Graysons. Some day soon, she’ll get to shake her expertly manicured fist at the sky and shout, “REVENGE!” B- (MM)

THE MENTALIST

Simon Baker’s carny scammer-turned-supersleuth hasn’t been the same since the fake-out of season three, when the drama led us to believe that Patrick Jane had murdered his serial killer nemesis, Red John, played by Bradley Whitford in a cameo so memorable that the whole thing now feels like a miscalculation. The Red John storyline lost much of its intrigue and menace. Worse, Jane, haunted and heavier, just ain’t the fun-time dick he used to be. The season 5 finale wasn’t as sleepy as recent episodes, but it still reflected the cost of lost momentum. After decoding yet one more cryptic Red John killing designed yet again to prove that the baddie knows him inside and out, Jane revealed his final seven Red John suspects, in a scene that somehow managed to make you shudder and shrug at the same time. I’m too invested to quit; I just wish I was more so now that the endgame is here. But I’m still playing the game. I predict that Red John is two people working together: Malcolm McDowell’s Bret Stiles and Kevin Corrigan’s Robert Kirkland. B-  (JJ)

NASHVILLE


This charming soap has gotten so sudsy, it could wash out every potted plant that Deacon just threw up in. A crazy booze bender, a marriage proposal, a pregnancy confession, and a massive, flip-that-SUV car wreck, all within the final minutes? Thats way more tear-in-your-beer tragedy than you can fit into a standard country song. Yes, the revelation that Deacon is Maddies father could make for extra juicy drama next season, and there was real depth to Hayden Panettieres grief as daughter-in-mourning Juliette, but I was left with too many unanswered questions. Like, what celebrity in her right mind leaves a paternity test just lying around? And why cant Gunner just tell people he’s singing his dead brothers songs? Wouldnt that give him way more cache than pretending to be an outlaw? Also, who will volunteer to gun down Lamar and Tandy, and their respective story lines? Maybe Juliettes mom could do it. At this point, things have gotten so Days of Our Lives-ready, it wouldnt surprise me if someone brought her back from the dead. C+ (MM)

Twitter: @MsMelissaMaerz and @EWDocJensen

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2013 TV Season Finales


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