PRE-FINALE EPISODES | The last batch of 90210‘s episodes were designed to “get these characters to land some place and launch a new life — and to not just do the same push-pull between each other,” reveals co-showrunner Patti Carr. “A lot of things that go to the core of the characters and who they’re going to end up with will get answered, because that’s part of what we were doing with the end of the season” before the cancellation news broke. The series’ penultimate episode, meanwhile, features “a big cliffhanger that effects everybody” and that moves into the finale. Trevor Donovan enjoys his swan song in the same episode, with a story that gives both Teddy’s baby arc and his relationship with Silver some “definite answers and finality.”
MAY 13 SERIES FINALE | “Our finale episode wasn’t originally designed to be the series finale,” Carr confesses, “but we hopefully managed to give the audience a lot of what they’re looking for at the end of five years… There are certainly things that, had we known it was going to be the end, we might have addressed a little differently. But there are some really satisfying moments and things that the fans have been waiting to see for a long time.” On the “satisfying” end of the spectrum, Carr notes, “There are a lot of people who have been looking for Annie and Liam to get it right for a long time, so that definitely plays into the finale,” while there’s also an answer to what the future holds for Navid and Adrianna. Elsewhere, there’s a “really nice scene” between siblings Annie and Dixon and a “good, satisfying” goodbye for Naomi demonstrates “how she’s grown.” And fans frustrated that Silver has dwelled on what might be instead of living for today will be happy to learn she finally comes to that same conclusion.
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | “There are a lot of rifts in these last few episodes,” showrunner Andrew Kreisberg says, teeing up the freshman drama’s final four hours. Among them, Tommy and Oliver are officially at odds, raising the question of “where Tommy’s loyalties lie” as someone who knows Arrow’s true identity and is (unwittingly) sitting at the right hand of the Dark Archer. “There’s a lot of tension to be mined from that,” says Kreisberg. And even within the Arrowcave, “It’s going to get very intense” between Oliver and Diggle as they continue to butt heads over the Deadshot issue. Will either of them have their way, capturing or killing the killer? “I’m not at liberty to say!” Kreisberg hedges. Also on tap in the coming weeks: Tommy shares a truth with Laurel; Roy Harper “makes it his goal” to find and align with The Hood, putting Thea “on a collision course” with her bro’s secret; a flashback episode to Oliver’s billionaire brat days and offering viewers “everything you wanted to know about ‘The Undertaking’ but were afraid to ask”; and a field op for Felicity that cues up one of the adorkable sidekick’s biggest verbal boners to date.
MAY 15 SEASON FINALE | Titled “Sacrifice,” one can’t help but wonder if a favorite character might bite it as Season 1 signs off. “The Undertaking is scheduled to happen in the finale, and stopping it — or not stopping it — will prove to be a monumental challenge,” Kreisberg previews. “I think everybody needs to watch and find out what it will take to stop Malcolm Merlyn.”
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Though Evan is now out of the picture, another guy will raise the hairs on the back of the beast’s neck. “[ADA] Gabe [Lowen] has a connection to Cat that Vincent doesn’t have,” executive producer Jennifer Levin notes, “but it’s not real ‘jealousy’ that Vincent feels. It’s something he can’t quite put his finger on.” On a more domestic note, watch for J.T. to score himself and his bud cool new digs. “It’s not a warehouse, it’s not a tunnel, and it’s awesome,” Levin teases. “We tried to find something that was a place you wanted to be yet felt like a place where they’d be hidden. We hope everybody really likes it!”
MAY 16 SEASON FINALE | Titled "Never Turn Back," the freshman closer will in part deal with the aftermath of a massive reveal made in the penultimate episode. In addition, “Someone's life will be in jeopardy — and it will surprise you who is involved,” Levin previews. “And Cat will discover something about her family that will change everything.”
THE BIG BANG THEORY
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Sheldon and Leonard’s dreams are poised to come true in the May 2 episode when TV icon Bob Newhart shows up as a Mr. Wizard-type kids’ science show TV host from their childhood. “He meant a lot to them. And when they find out he’s still alive and available for bookings, they say, “Well, let’s just hire him to hang out with us,'” says executive producer Steven Molaro. In couples’ news, Howard and Bernadette “are put in a position where she does maybe begin to soften” her opinion on children, Sheldon and Amy have a frank chat about the possibility of nookie and Raj continues to woo Lucy. “He found someone that was even more broken than him, and he finds that attractive in a woman,” Molaro says, laughing.
MAY 16 SEASON FINALE | “Leonard and Penny are in the best place they have been since they started dating,” Molaro says – which makes an awesome overseas job offer he receives in the finale seem a little less attractive. “He’s a little nervous, because he doesn’t want anything to get screwed up.” He adds that our favorite Cheesecake Factory waitress is “generally supportive, but sad;” if Leonard accepts the offer – and Molaro promises we’ll know by the end of the episode — “she is very much going to miss him.”
BODY OF PROOF
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | When a deadly plane crash triggers a blackout in the May 7 episode, Dana Delany’s crack coroner Megan is forced to conduct autopsies in the (gulp) dark. The following week finds M getting a visit from a fugitive (played by Ghost Whisperer‘s Kenneth Mitchell) accused of murder who insists he is being framed.
MAY 28 SEASON FINALE | An exhumation performed by TVLine’s own Michael Ausiello helps Megan get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her father’s alleged suicide. Meanwhile, her relationship with Tommy (Mark Valley) reaches a turning point (hint: a kiss is involved). “It’s an adult moment of two people who have known each other for 20 years,” Delany says of the smooch between the exes. “There’s been a lot of history between them, so it’s not like a young love kind of thing. It’s deeper than that.”
BONES IN FRIDAY ‘GRAVEYARD’? |
Year-in, year-out we grumble about how the MLB postseason disrupts Fox’s fall launches. Well, file that under “Be careful what you wish for….” This year’s seeming solution is to premiere Bones in its most recent Monday time slot… and then, after the boys of summer have hit the showers, relegate it to Fridays. Will this be the first time Fox follows through on the Friday Bones threat?
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Setting the theme for Season 5’s final four episodes (including “The Squab and the Quail,” which already aired sooner than planned), series creator Andrew W. Marlowe notes that Castle and Beckett “have been in a relationship for about a year now, and that’s about the time people start asking questions about where they stand.” Ergo recent guest star Ioan Gruffudd giving Kate some pause, even prompting her to ask Rick, fruitlessly, “Where are we going?” “By the time we get to [the penultimate episode] ‘The Human Factor,'” Marlowe continues, “those questions will aim us towards the complications that come in our final episode, presenting challenges that both characters will have to confront.” But before then, on April 29 fans will get what the show boss hails as “a great gift”-slash-“trip down memory lane” in the form of the episode “Still,” which was postponed a week. A “bonus” episode added “very late in the game” by ABC and fleshed out with clips from many memorable scenes, Marlowe says it turned out “in spectacular fashion” and in real-time offers “a couple moments for our fans to look forward to.”
MAY 13 SEASON FINALE | Explaining the capper’s title, which was conceived by his writer-producer wife Terri Edda Miller, Marlowe says, “Every so often in life, you face a ‘watershed’ moment, and that’s an absolutely perfect title — especially since in our A-case we find a body in a water tank! It speaks to both the personal and professional aspect of the storytelling.” So… what sort of “Watershed” moment is on tap for Kate and/or Rick? “It’s an emotional finale,” Marlowe teases, serving up “a bit of a cliffhanger that I think will propel us into some great, complicated, interesting storytelling as we head into next season — assuming the TV gods are kind and grant us one!”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Severide and Shay’s efforts to start a family aren’t over, despite their recent fight. "It’s going to be an emotional roller coaster for them," teases executive producer Danielle Gelber. "There will be a few more attempts at all sorts of different approaches." But first, paramedic trainee Tara ‘s allegations against the lieutenant will "put him in danger of potentially drastically altering his personal life and his career." Meanwhile, current fire station squeezes Dawson and Mills "are in for some very rocky times, but it’s for reasons that you wouldn’t expect," warns the EP. "That will also affect Casey’s whole situation. And Casey, himself, is going to be facing something in his personal life that will, I hope, shock audiences and also really have an impact on his relationship with Mills on the truck and with Dawson."
MAY 22 SEASON FINALE | The rookie drama plans to go out big with "one, long single call that involves our entire firehouse in a really dire situation," previews Gelber. "It’s going to create a collision between all the emotional tangents that we’ve been playing." On that note, the EP hints that Severide and Shay’s baby drama will end "on a real shocker" and there are "intense cliffhangers across the board." The season ender will also serve as a planted pilot for a potential spin-off about the Windy City's police department, featuring guest stars Tania Raymonde (Lost), Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino), Melissa Sagemiller (Law & Order: SVU) and Kelly Blatz (Prom Night), as well as recurring player Jon Seda as Detective Antonio Dawson.
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | The emotional growth Abed seemed to make in “Herstory of Dance” was “real,” according to EPs Moses Port and David Guarascio, who reveal that “he’ll continue on that path.” There’s also a “hot interaction between Jeff and Annie” on the way, as well as “some implied really hot sex” ahead for Jeff and Britta. (Don’t worry, we’re as confused as you are.) The co-showrunners also warn fans not to assume “someone – or something – is on the other end” of the changnesia-suffering Chang’s phone conversations. “Sure, it seems logical,” they add, “but… this is Chang.” Also ahead for the study groupers: an origins episode, the much-talked-about Freaky Friday-esque half-hour penned by co-star Jim Rash and the resurgence of some paintball fun.
MAY 9 SEASON FINALE | “We never really thought about the finale as a series ender,” Port and Guarascio share. “That being said, if it turns out to be a series ender, will it be satisfying? Yes and no. Yes, because it’s a really good episode. No, because it will be sad and frustrating as it will mean the show is dead.” As for what the installment — which partially centers on the graduation of at least one Greendaler — entails, Gillian Jacobs tells TVLine, "It’s touching, funny and action-y… And we will be the only people on TV doing what we did" in that episode.
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | The crime drama’s May 1 episode, directed by cast member Matthew Gray Gubler, is Reid-centric and will afford some awaited closure on the Maeve mourning/possibly happier times ahead, while on May 15, Alex Blake and her visiting hubby (played by Friday Night Lights’ DW Moffett) discuss making “a very grown-up adjustment” to their long-distance marriage, says showrunner Erica Messer. Before then, the BAU travels to Los Angeles in the May 8 hour to find an UnSub who is targeting nannies.
MAY 22 SEASON FINALE | In the first of finale night’s two episodes, Hotch’s brother Sean gets into a bit of trouble in New York City, and calls his G-man kin for help — “but as the case unravels, Sean is more involved than we’d like him to be,” Messer teases. (Also: Cue a Big Apple visit with Beth, played by Scandal‘s Bellamy Young!) That opening episode closes with a moment that will leave viewers fretting — well, at least over the course of a commercial break — “Oh my gosh, The Replicator’s after one of our characters,” Messer shares. Then, in “The Replicator,” we will learn the identity and the compelling motivation of the season-long baddie that’s been taunting the BAU by imitating past kills. “The [season] premiere introduced a hero in Alex Blake, and introduced a villain in The Replicator — and that was no accident,” Messer notes. “And as the team studies the behavior and does all the math, they realize it all ties back to his introduction to the audience.” All told, expect one fatality and one possible death — one of which is a character played by a series regular — as Season 8 ends.
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | When Season 13 enters its final throes starting May 1, expect “intrigue” to enter Hodges’ unlikely romance “when a surprise visitor from Italy and a surprising revelation about Elisabetta's past surface,” showrunner Don McGill shares. Then, the season’s penultimate hour, “Ghosts of the Past,” is described by McGill as “a pretty fun episode” in which “a killer has possibly come back from the grave,” in turn digging up Greg’s psychic family past. “We learn a bit more about Greg and this part of his life he has long grappled with, being a man of science,” says the EP.
MAY 15 SEASON FINALE | "Skin in the Game” pits the team against “a pretty wily serial killer who is targeting Vegas prostitutes and sex industry workers,” leading one of the CSIs — McGill won’t say who — to go undercover as a pro. All the while, a nosy journalist (played by Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis) tags along on the investigation hoping to dig up dirt on D.B. & Co. Elsewhere in the busy finale, Tim Matheson (Hart of Dixie) kicks off a two-episode arc as a collector of art/”wolf in very thin sheep’s clothing,” while Annabella Sciorra (Law & Order: CI) turns up as as Brass’ never-before-seen ex-wife. Ruh-roh. Explains McGill, “We thought it would be interesting to do a sort of parallel storyline with a family member of one of our team and someone within the team simultaneously left in jeopardy. It seemed like the right way to end a season, exploring all the tension within the CSI family.”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | The hit CBS drama’s season may be winding down, but its mythology is ramping up. First up on April 25, Sherlock tackles a case inspired by a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story. The following week finds the investigator once again crossing paths with hit man Sebastian Moran, which in turn leads Holmes to another one of Moriarty’s agents, The Actuary (guest star F. Murray Abraham, Amadeus, pictured above). “Like Moran, he’s a kind of assassin,” describes executive producer Rob Doherty. “But if Moran was the hammer, [The Actuary] is the scalpel. He’s very meticulous. He does things a certain way.” Finally, the penultimate episode introduces Game of Thrones‘ Natalie Dormer as Irene Adler, Sherlock’s only love. In flashbacks, "We’ll see [their] first meeting," previews the EP. "We’ll see what they were like once they were officially together, and we’ll take it all the way up to her unfortunate demise."
MAY 16 SEASON FINALE | We have three words for you: Moriarty is coming. Here’s some more scoop from Doherty: "The episode that airs before the two-hour finale is something of a cliffhanger. We will have a big reveal at the end of that show that sets Sherlock up for what may be a final confrontation with Moriarty, who is indeed in New York and up to no good." And Holmes may not be the only one to go up against the Big Bad. "We are in the midst of devising a way for Joan and Moriarty to spend some time together alone," reveals the EP. "I think Moriarty would be pretty fascinated by Joan." P.S. – Guess who’s alive!
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | With Regionals on the horizon, American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez makes her debut as Frida Romero, powerhouse vocalist for New Directions’ Indianapolis-based rival, Hoosier Daddies. The season’s penultimate episode, meanwhile, will focus on the music of Stevie Wonder. And look for Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson, Amber Riley and Mike O’Malley to reenter the fray — along with Sons of Anarchy‘s Katey Sagal, who’s been cast as Artie’s mother.
MAY 9 SEASON FINALE | Just because it’s the end of the TV season, don’t assume it’s the end of the school year at McKinley High or NYADA. Ryan Murphy & Co. have been cryptic about their plans, but all signs point to the finale, titled “All or Nothing,” culminating with New Directions’ performance at Regionals — allowing the writers to finish out the school year and delay any pending graduations (Brittany, Artie, Tina, Blaine) until Season 5 (if they so choose). Oh, and speaking of Blaine, he’ll consider following the teachings of the great philosopher Beyoncé — “If ya like it then you shoulda put a ring on it” — and proposing to his estranged love Kurt. An older lesbian couple (The Patty Duke Show‘s Patty Duke and Family Ties‘ Meredith Baxter) will play a role in that story arc.
THE GOOD WIFE
PRE-FINALE EPISODE | In the April 21 episode, Alicia faces off in court against an old rival (the returning Mamie Gummer) at the urging of her mother (Stockard Channing).
APRIL 28 SEASON FINALE | Alicia will finally unglue herself from the fence and make a decision between Peter and Will. “The rollercoaster that has been building reaches a crest,” confirms exec producer Robert King. “At a certain point, even in life, people get sick of the fact that they’re in a triangle and something has to blow. And so something blows.” King says you can also expect resolution for Peter’s gubernatorial campaign (the election serves as the episode’s backdrop) and Cary’s bid to start his own firm. “That is [also] something that is going to blow,” he teases. “There is a rebellious spirit there, and he has some troops behind him.” Could one of those troops be… Alicia? King isn’t saying, but the finale logline CBS released includes this telltale snippet: “Cary is approached by an unlikely source who offers to help him start his own firm.”
MAY 16 SEASON FINALE | When the credits roll at the end of the Season 9 closer, a major character’s life will hang in the balance, series creator Shonda Rhimes confirms. The odds-on favorite would seem to be Mer, whose tumble down the stairs next week sets up some “fairly intense” labor pains in the finale, hints Rhimes. Elsewhere, as a massive storm is straining all of Grey Sloan Memorial’s resources, the unsettled parenting issue between Owen and Cristina “gets forced out into the open,” Callie and Arizona’s relationship is tested by interloper Lauren (p;ayed by Hilarie Burton)— “I think [Calzona fans] absolutely should be worried,” Rhimes cryptically warns — and “Alex is going to be forced to face some things about Jo” in the wake of finding her bruised and beaten. Speaking of which, Jo’s current beau Chest Pecwell may not have been behind the attack. “I think that everyone is assuming that they know what happened,” Rhimes says. “And perhaps they don’t.”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | As Season 2 comes to a close, Nick’s uneasy alliance with Capt. Renard won’t get any simpler. Co-creator and executive producer David Greenwalt sums it up like this: “Your friends become your enemies and the enemy of your enemy is your friend… I mean, Renard did try to kill his aunt.” Speaking of things the royal bastard has done, pregnant Adalind has a “pretty frightening and scary story arc” involving the gypsy Stefania, but the stork won’t arrive (pending the series’ renewal) until well into Season 3. In other otherworldly news, prepare yourself for a new kind of almost-Wesen, crop circles, mutilated cattle and Nick’s new love interest (!). And if that’s not enough, “We tell you why Van Gogh cut off his ear,” co-creator and executive producer James Kouf adds.
MAY 21 SEASON FINALE | A new mystical creature, Baron Samedi from Haitian lore, will be around for the season’s last episode — as will all of Juliette’s lost memories! “She gets everything back, and more,” Kouf previews, with Greenwalt adding, “It’s not like she has a super power or anything… She kind of wants to make up with Nick, but then there are other problems that occur, and her life is actually threatened in the later episodes.” The EPs also confirm that the veterinarian’s infatuation with Nick’s boss has been put to sleep. “They are done with each other,” says Kouf.
MAY 3 SEASON FINALE | Prepare to see a new side of Jane when the third Kerkovich sister Brooke (played by SVU vet Stephanie March) arrives in town for her nuptials to her very own chocolate bear, Elliot (Las Vegas‘ James Lesure). "She out-Janes Jane," previews executive producer David Caspe. "When she’s around, Jane becomes Alex, but Alex stays the baby." The presence of her "perfect" elder sis "sends Jane into a tailspin," while Brad "feels like he’s not getting enough credit as the Jackie Robinson" of the Kerkovich clan. And with wedding bells ringing, Alex and Dave "have a very major revelation" about their relationship.
HART OF DIXIE
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | First a disclaimer from Dixie creator Leila Gerstein: “Zoe is in the middle of a nervous breakdown” — which we’ll soon witness — “since Wade cheated on her. As such, we should be seeing the remaining episodes through the lens of someone who has just had their heart obliterated.” Got it? Good. “Zoe may think that she’s now in love with George, and she may be,” teases the EP, “but don’t think that all hope for Zoe and Wade is lost.” Other Dixie deets of note: Brick’s illness will be unveiled sooner rather than later, “smooth sailing” awaits new loves Annabeth and Lavon and Lemon and Wade will experience more than a few growing pains in their Rammer Jammer venture. As for George and his gal, Gerstein shares, “After things with him and Zoe reach a head, Tansy’s not going to be happy about it — as should be expected.”
MAY 7 SEASON FINALE | “This is 100 percent not meant to be a series ender,” Gerstein laughs. “We leave on a cliffhanger, with everyone being sent off for the summer [and our plans to] pick up in Season 3 after some time had passed.” That said, “The finale is kind of satisfying for everyone,” she promises. The hour will showcase a more “grown up side” to Lemon and Wade — with both (finally) enjoying “a lovely victory in the end.” And, following her breakdown, Zoe will head home to New York — but just “for some distance;” not for good. For all the ‘shippers out there, expect some standout Wade/Zoe, Zoe/George, Lemon/Lavon and Zoe/Jonah moments during the final installment.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Barney and Robin’s road to wedded bliss will hit a few more speedbumps before the pair’s big day. "There’s more trouble ahead with Barney’s bachelor party, and then our second-to-last episode of the season has some pretty earthshaking drama in it," teases executive producer Carter Bays. But there’s good news for the couple, too. "There’s a few really lovely moments ahead that remind us how and why Robin and Barney are kind of perfect for each other. So it’s not all challenges!"
MAY 13 SEASON FINALE | "The majority of the episode takes place a week before the wedding" reveals Bays. So whether viewers will witness Barnman and Robin getting hitched or will meet Ted’s future wife remains to be seen. Whatever the finale holds, "there will definitely be some big changes next year," maintains Bays. "It’ll still be the same show, but kind of a more extreme version." Until then, look for Ted to show off his spruced-up house and for Robin and Barney's relaxing night to be ruined by an obnoxious couple (Happy Endings‘ Casey Wilson and Mad TV‘s Keegan-Michael Key). Elsewhere, "Marshall’s sadistic brother Marcus returns to inflict more bodily harm" on his bro during a trip to Minnesota with little Marvin.
LAW & ORDER: SVU
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Mosh-pit gang rape, comatose victim in a rowboat, drug dealer with a vendetta – the end ofSVU‘s season is serving up a nightmare smorgasbord for its fans. On May 1, the aforementioned assault on a young woman “turns into a difficult legal case that, in many ways, rests on the testimony of an Army vet (Once Upon a Time‘s Eion Bailey) who has PTSD,” executive producer Warren Leight previews. Next, the May 8 episode centers on someone from Fin’s past who’s holding an extreme grudge. “In the teaser, someone takes a shot at our guys and hits,” he says. “It’s a desperate race for 40 minutes to figure out who’s doing it, how they’re doing it, how to get them.” Then, the season’s penultimate outing on May 15 is “a pure mystery” in which an unconscious woman in a rowboat washes ashore next to the mayor’s mansion in Manhattan. “It’s a story about the double lives that people lead,” Leight teases.
MAY 22 SEASON FINALE | Right now, even Leight isn’t exactly sure how SVU will finish its 14th season. What he does know: The finale is about a serial rapist/killer “who’s very lucky and has managed to escape… capture over and over. We call him The Beast.” Olivia decides she’s going to nab the perp once and for all… but her fate ultimately rests in NBC’s hands. “Because we don’t know yet if the show’s coming back or not, we don’t know how the episode ends yet,” Leight says wryly.
THE MINDY PROJECT
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Sweeps picks up with the medical practice – and of course, mostly Danny — reeling from the sudden reappearance of the former Mrs. Castellano (played by Big Love alum Chloe Sevigny). “Christina was so shocked that Danny would reach out to her,” says executive producer Matt Warburton. “What she doesn’t know is, Danny didn’t reach out to her.” Yeah, about that… Morgan loses his job for sending his boss’ private letter, but finds that the rival midwives are happy to add him to their staff. Speaking of the Deslaurier brothers, they compete against Mindy’s practice in a triathlon (four words: Danny in a Speedo). Then, the following week, Mindy “finds out some pretty shocking personal news, spirals out of control and winds up in pretty much the worst place that a 33-year-old OB-GYN should be: a super crazy frat party” with a college student who’s shadowing her, Warburton previews. There’s a stripper pole on the premises; naturally, Dr. Lahiri has “a pretty memorable interaction” with it.
MAY 14 SEASON FINALE | The freshman comedy caps its season with “a massive camping trip, which is the last place that Mindy would ever want to go,” the EP says, laughing. “What we’re going to see… especially in the season finale, is Mindy coming to terms with what kind of person she really is and having to make some big decisions about how she’s going to balance life with this ultimate good guy” – Anders Holm’s Pastor Casey – “and the life that she’s always seen for herself.” Yes, but what Danny and Mindy holding hands (albeit briefly) on the plane home from New Mexico? “It’s ambiguous how big a moment that really was,” Warburton says. And with Casey and Christina in the mix, Drs. Lahiri and Castellano are left with “a lot of room for both of them to over- or under-interpret what that meant.”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Now that Dante has insinuated his way into both Ms. Barnes’ bed and management, “He ends up being a very big deal between Juliette and Jolene,” says series creator Callie Khouri. “Is he around for a while? Yes.” Back in Music City, Scarlett and Gunnar’s new relationship has to deal with two pretty big threats: their hunky (possibly crazy) neighbor Will and Scarlett’s success as a solo artist. Regarding the former, Khouri teases that “we’ll see some uncomfortable moments.” And the latter? Gunnar might’ve imagined achieving fame without Scarlett, “but I don’t know that he imagined that it would be the other way around,” she says. “And yet, he knows what she went through with Avery and doesn’t want to be that guy. So I think he’s going to work very hard not to be, but… he’s a guy.” Meanwhile, if “that guy” Avery gets a shot at playing on the Red Lips White Lies tour, it’ll be a looooong one. Being a roadie, Khouri says, is “not the fastest way to the top.”
MAY 22 SEASON FINALE | Khouri is keeping details about the finale as close as Rayna’s keeping the truth about Maddie’s paternity, but we managed to garner a few tidbits. Deacon will leave the tour and settle down in Nashville… for a while. “I wonder myself how long that would last,” muses the showrunner. “It doesn’t seem like he knows how to do anything else.” Regardless of whether Juliette has her favorite bandleader in tow, Red Lips White Lies will continue for the rest of the season — and probably into the next one, pending the series’ renewal. And Khouri says Rayna’s definitely thinking about informing Deacon he’s Maddie’s daddy — even though the EP previously told TVLine she’d hold that reveal for the future. Might she have changed her tune? “You know what?” Khouri says with a cryptic laugh, “I can’t talk about it.” Yes, but will Rayna?!
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | When last we tuned into TV’s most watched drama, “We discovered that Ziva has been working on her own little investigation behind the scenes,” to hunt down the man who killed both her father and Vance’s wife Jackie, says showrunner Gary Glasberg. Starting April 23, that arc “really kicks off, when we send Ziva off with Tony on a clue trail that leads them to Berlin. The episode is a combination of the [Ilan] Bodnar manhunt and then some really nice Tony/Ziva stuff as well.” Meanwhile back in D.C., Gibbs must contend with new Mossad director Orli Elbaz, played by Star Trek: TNG’s Marina Sirtis. (“In the real world there has never been a woman at the head of Mossad and that was something that we wanted to try,” Glasberg explains. “Marina showed up and just nailed it.”)
MAY 14 SEASON FINALE | Feeling heat from not just the Mossad but his own government, as Ziva and others chase a man some would prefer left alone, Gibbs’ “world gets rattled a little bit at the end of the season,” Glasberg says. And in such a way that he’ll need no ordinary lawyer – cue guest star John M. Jackson, reprising his role as JAG’s A.J. Chegwidden. “There is a case in the finale that turns out to be very significant, that sort of dovetails in right at the end and propels us into the Season 11 opener,” Glasberg shares. “Hopefully we'll deliver a finale that leaves people thinking over the summer, where a lot of questions are left open. We're absolutely looking at decisions that have to be made and situations that leave us asking, ‘How is the team going to move forward? How will Gibbs move forward? And will things change within the team?'”
NCIS: LOS ANGELES
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | The April 30 episode guest-stars Andrea Roth (Rescue Me) as “a part of Hetty’s past that we’ve hinted at before,” showrunner Shane Brennan previews. “You’ll also see something we haven’t seen before [when] something Callen learns about Hetty leads to a moment that is angry. Callen literally just attacks her. It is quite the confrontational scene.” Then on May 7, when Deeks goes undercover with a beautiful woman (CSI: NY‘s Jeananne Goossen), “Of course there is some jealousy for Kensi — especially when Deeks, being the ‘Method’ undercover agent that he is, tries to play it as real as possible! It puts pressure on their relationship and at the same time lights the fuse for the finale.” Speaking of which….
MAY 14 SEASON FINALE | Titled “Descent,” featuring encores from both traitorous CIA vet Isaak Sidorov (Sons of Anarchy’s Timothy V. Murphy) and "The Chameleon" (Highlander’s Christopher Lambert) and necessitating a shuffling of NCIS partners, Brennan touts the hour as “the most powerful finale we’ve done — and we’ve done some pretty powerful ones, so that’s saying something. It’s also the darkest one by a long, long way.” Teasing two possible (and none-too-small) fatalities in the finale, he stresses, “It really ends in a dark, scary place. I’ve warned you!”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Prepare yourself, because you’re about to see the lofties’ deflowering: The April 30 episode, told mostly in flashback, shows how Jess, Cece and the guys had their V-cards punched. Two context-free teases: Jess’ prom dress makes an appearance, and we’ll get to see Nick’s pop (returning guest star Dennis Farina) alive and well. The collection of “really funny, embarrassing stories,” says creator Liz Meriwether “definitely pushed it as far as we could push it with the network.” Nurse Jackie‘s Merritt Wever returns as the first woman to have that relationship with Schmidt’s Little Guy; she joins fellow New Girl guests Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), who plays a pal involved in a new job development for Jess, and Rob Reiner, whose Papa Day has to hang out with a nervous Nick in the May 7 ep. That installment also celebrates Winston’s birthday… if anyone actually remembers it.
MAY 14 SEASON FINALE | Cece and Shivrang’s wedding day arrives in the season closer. Meriwether is tight-lipped about whether the pair actually end up as man and wife (“I think it’s good to think that it could go either way,” she says cryptically), but we can tell you that Schmidt and Winston plot to sabotage the ceremony, pop princess Taylor Swift guest-stars and Nick and Jess have what Meriwether calls “somewhat of a resolution” to their relationship status – “but the deeper problems that they have are still on the table.” Now who wants some cake?
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | “The return of The Shop (aka the organization responsible for Michael’s new hand) factors in largely through the end of the season,” Silverstein reveals. “Our plan was to get Michael his hand back and make it cost something — which it certainly does… He essentially made a deal with the devil.” There’s also Alex’s continued unraveling to contend with, this Friday’s major death and the big Nikita/Alex episode “fans have been asking for.” Owen/Sam, meanwhile, “goes on his own little mission” in the coming weeks, shares his portrayer Devon Sawa. “He’s left on a cliffhanger in Episode 20,” so don’t expect to see the ex-Guardian in the season’s final two installments. (Oh, and you heard about that ‘Mikita’ shower scene, right?)
MAY 17 SEASON FINALE | Details surrounding the finale — which largely revolves around the “destruction of Division” — are scarce, but Silverstein does promise that an “emotional cliffhanger” awaits fans in Nikita‘s third season finale. “We have some pretty big deaths coming up,” he adds, noting that “there’s one in the finale that I think is one of the most WTF shocks we’ll have through the season.” Those who assume the goner will be Big Bad Amanda want to rethink their theory. “I don’t necessarily feel the same way about [killing off] Amanda as I did with Percy [last season],” Silverstein notes. “The trick is to shift her into a new goal, because you don’t want to do the same thing over again — and she does get a new goal near the end of the season. So, it’s scary and exciting.”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES |The Office showunner Greg Daniels approached the series’ final batch of episodes with one goal in mind: to please longtime fans. “The people who are still watching after nine years [must still] love these characters, so we wrote the ending for them,” he tells TVLine. The EP promises that the show doesn’t get “too conceptual or brain-bendery” with the upcoming installments: “There are just a lot of personal stories that are happening [as we move forward]. The documentary is the catalyst for some of them, but not for others.” A few things to look forward to in Dunder Mifflin’s final days: “some good pranks” from a few characters trying to pull their best one yet, a fun focus on Jim and Dwight’s “longstanding relationship,” some “big Erin and Andy moves — though not necessarily together,” the unraveling of Angela and “some great, classic Jim-and-Pam moments” — however, Daniels adds, “We haven’t seen the end of their [marital] problems yet.”
MAY 16 SERIES FINALE | “A remarkable amount of closure” is the name of the game in The Office‘s series-ending installment. “A lot of [the episode] deals with the aftermath of the documentary airing [and] what it does to their world,” Daniels reveals. “That said, there’s also a lot of closure on big characters.” Expect to see Pam’s completed mural in the final hour, as well as a satisfying ending for Dwight. (Fun fact: It’s Daniels’ favorite concluding storyline; when pressed for “Dwangela” scoop, the EP laughed, “I think you’ll be happy.”) There are also “several interesting guest stars” in the penultimate and final episodes, including Ryan and Kelly, who return to say goodbye in the finale — though Daniels is keeping details surrounding their reappearance top secret.
ONCE UPON A TIME
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | As Season 2’s final four episodes continue to unspool uninterrupted, “You’re going to see all of our core characters front and center,” co-creator Adam Horowitz promises. Adds co-creator Eddy Kitsis, “Everything that’s happened to Snow and Charming and Emma and Regina and Rumple and Belle throughout this season… kind of interlocks as we get to the end, and we get to see them rise to some exciting challenges.” Our heroes’ obstacles include Tamara and Greg, whose agenda will soon be spelled out (“We intend to answer that mystery, but it’s really about what it means for Emma, Regina, Snow and everyone,” says Horowitz), a “really big” Episode 21 twist for the reunited Rumple and Bae and a major residency issue, as the magic beans become ripe for harvesting. “Obviously, Charming would like to go back home, but Snow is a bit hesitant because she wants Emma to go with,” Kitsis notes. “So… what will happen when Emma is faced with the option of going back?”
MAY 12 SEASON FINALE | It is Horowitz’s hope that “And Straight on ‘Til Morning” — which leads out of the penultimate episode “Second Star to the Right” — “will deliver on an epic scope of storytelling, but what we’re really excited about is the emotion that were going for between these characters and what they’re about to experience. We’re hopefully pushing them to a new place both emotionally… and maybe literally.”
PARKS AND RECREATION
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | “Career-oriented” Leslie and Ben are going to begin examining their future together outside of the workplace (i.e. baby talk), EP Mike Schur tells TVLine, while Chris and Ann will hit a bit of a snag of their own in the kiddo department. “They go into a delay tactic because it suddenly gets a little bit scary for them to contemplate what they’re doing in this odd way,” he teases. “It’s weird for them to have had an intimate relationship and then now to have a kid in this clinical way.” There’s also a “backroom political fight on a mini-golf course” ahead involving Leslie, Ron and the icky Councilman Jamm.
MAY 8 SEASON FINALE | It’s a baby-bumpin’ mystery, y’all! “The big thing that happens in the finale is that someone finds a piece of evidence that suggests someone might be pregnant,” Schur reveals, “and there are a lot of suspects.” And it’s not necessarily the baby-coveting Ann who’s with child. “We carefully manufactured things over the last few episodes to lead to the point where it’s any one of a number of different women,” says the showrunner. “So there’s an investigation that happens.” Also on tap for the finale is Leslie’s one-year anniversary as a city councilwoman. “She’s taking stock of everything she and the town have accomplished over the past 12 months,” teases Schur. “She holds a big public forum where she asks the same question that Ronald Regan asked in 1984: ‘Are you better off now than you were a year ago?’ Ultimately, it’s a chance for us to go back and revisit all of the big storylines from the previous year and all of the people whose lives she affected, for better or worse.” Expect to see returns from Jason Schwartzman’s adult-video-store owner and “the moral-scold couple who were against Leslie teaching sex education.” Other Parks finale plans include a “huge step forward” for April’s career, Ron “dispensing sage advice to people who seek it,” more Mona Lisa/Tom shenanigans and, overall, promises Schur, “an episode that feels like it’s putting a wrap-up on the season we just did, but that also throws forward to more.”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | The Falcon has landed, and we’re about to learn the nefarious hacker’s identity. “You’ll know who the Falcon is in Episode 19 — and he or she will be integral to the finale,” Revenge boss Mike Kelley reveals. Meanwhile, he says, “Jack is in discovery mode [and] is not going to snap out of the darkness anytime soon… and Nolan’s story with Padma is not over. That does not mean that Padma is necessarily alive; it just means that there’s more to that story.” The mystery surrounding Victoria’s other offspring “will be answered before the end of the season,” he discloses. “It’s a race to see who can find this person first, and when they do, the son will definitely have an opinion or two about his mother.” As for Queen V, Kelley tells us that she’ll “be put in another situation where her fate is in her hands… and she’ll learn something that she was in the dark about regarding the Initiative.” Maybe that development will distract her from this little engagement?
MAY 12 SEASON FINALE | “In keeping with the themes of this season — which were destiny versus free will, and how we shape our story with the choices that we make — Emily will be put in a position to have to make a pretty drastic decision in order to save somebody that she loves,” Kelley shares of the two-hour season ender — which “revolves around Conrad’s election” and is titled “Truth.” Unfortunately, a major player — “one of the nine characters that we began the show with” — won’t make it out alive. And wouldn’t you know, the Initiative is responsible for the impending demise. “You’ll find out exactly what the Initiative does: They profit off of fear. When you can predict how people are going to behave in the wake of a disaster, you can put your money in places where you’re going to make a lot of it… They do something quite terrible in order to profit, and it ends up taking the life of one of our characters.” That said, “We will be resolving the Initiative plot in a pretty profound way,” Kelley reveals. As for our previous report that the finale is Nolan-centric, the showrunner will only tease with a laugh: “Nolan is very front-and-center in the finale — as are Daniel and Jack and Emily. It’s one of those things that tie everybody together in a way that feels very satisfying.”
PRE-FINALE EPISODE | In Season 2’s penultimate hour, airing May 9, “Some pretty complex things happen” in the wake of Fitz “earning” Olivia, and Mellie tattling to the press about POTUS’ infidelity, series creator Shonda Rhimes shares. While “Cyrus finds himself busy defending the White House,” Rhimes invites viewers to ponder “why Mellie did not name Olivia in the interview. That's the big question.”
MAY 16 SEASON FINALE | At the very least, the identity of the mole aka “Albatross” will be revealed. “But even better,” Rhimes teases, “is our ‘Who’s hanging out with the mole’ reveal. The cast went crazy when they found out who the mole was, but they lost their minds when they found out the person who’s with the mole. That twist on the twist is very satisfying for me.” As for Season 2’s final moments, Rhimes says to prepare to be left wondering, “‘What the hell can they possibly do next?! Because I think they just exploded the entire premise of their show!’ But I’m glad we did that. It feels really good.”
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | There might be one more round in the game of musical chairs that’s plagued Bombshell and Hit List this season. The latter production “might have no choice but to continue without one of its core cast members soon,” says showrunner Josh Safran, and it won’t necessarily have anything to do with the fact that Jimmy’s drug dealer Adam has been skulking around the stage door. Plus, Safran promises, that eye-popping cameo from Ellis in Episode 11 was just the first of several appearances by Season 1 regulars.
MAY 26 SEASON FINALE (2 hours) | “Someone is pregnant! Someone is arrested! There is a kiss between a gay man and straight man — who kisses back!” teases Safran of the episode, called “The Tonys.” Plus, expect to see a musical number performed by “the entire principal cast,” the rekindling of a Season 1 relationship (or maybe even two) and “all the loose ends from this season getting tied up — some more happily than others.” In other words, says Safran, there will be winners and losers when the curtain finally closes on Smash‘s fictitious Broadway world.
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Sam may look strong, but he’s at his lowest point. "The further along in the trials, the worse he feels," previews executive producer Jeremy Carver. That "culminating" effect is "explored in more detail as we move forward." The tests also have another unexpected consequence: They’re somehow related — and "not in a very good way" — to several blasts from the past, including the return of Taylor Cole’s art gallery owner Sarah Blake. On the angel front, Cas is back with "protecting the tablet and Heaven very much at the forefront of his mind," while the Winchesters seek the help of Metatron (played by Moonlighting‘s Curtis Armstrong), the reclusive scribe of God. As for Sam and Dean, who didn’t start the season on the same page but became united in their goal to close the gates of Hell, the brothers are "going to start to really ask themselves and deal with all sides of the question of, ‘How far are you willing to go to get revenge?’"
MAY 15 SEASON FINALE | As the boys’ quest and the mytharc escalates, "There are a lot of intersecting plots and personal motivations that are going to come to a head," teases Carver, adding that "several things will be changed forever." Could one new mythology element introduced this season, the Men of Letters, be a part of the finale? After all, it seems Abaddon is back. Plus, Carver tells TVLine, "We will absolutely see the positive and negative effects of being legacies." And yes, there will be "a few" cliffhangers, so prepare yourselves for a long summer.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
PRE-FINALE EPISODES | Bonnie’s storyline with her immortal menace/mentor is "going to explode in the penultimate episode as our characters race to get Silas out of the picture," teases executive producer Julie Plec. "The consequences of his plot and what Bonnie has to do to try and stop his plot then live on in the finale." You can also expect "at least one, if not 10 familiar faces" to pop back up in the process. And for those craving some Originals flavor, the April 25 episode is a planted spinoff set in New Orleans that finds Klaus meeting up with his diabolical former protégé Marcel (Grey’s Anatomy‘s Charles Michael Davis).
MAY 16 SEASON FINALE | Once again, a supernatural crisis gets in the way of what should be a happy occasion: Graduation Day for the Mystic Falls seniors. The cure will be ingested, and "the implications of what that means will be a great story to tell next year," previews Plec, who adds that the hour will close with two cliffhangers that will "send the show spinning in a whole new direction." Change is also in store for the series’ core trio. "We will know, when the finale is over, where everyone stands in the context of the Stefan/Damon/Elena triangle," reveals the EP. "It will definitely set all three of them on a very different and interesting path when we move forward." Lest you think that means the episode is all about heartbreak and breakups, the EP says that "when all is said and done, it’s got some pretty good romantic moments." And some goodbyes? "I cannot comment on permanent deaths, but I will say there will be lots of destruction," replies Plec.