Series of Tubes: 24, Chuck, HIMYM Season Finale Reactions

After all the "Lost" madness, I'm almost season finale'd out, so rather than give each of Monday's finales a separate post, I'm going to combine them and keep my thoughts brief.

I wasn't one of the people who watched this show from the beginning and never got totally invested in it, even when I caught up on all the seasons a couple years back. So losing "24" doesn't have the same impact on me as losing "Lost" does, and I'm not nearly as well-equiped to discuss the finale. I would have liked it if they'd gone all in and burned every bridge, ending the series with Jack killing President Taylor, then Chloe killing Jack, but the ending they came too -- with President Taylor realizing the error of her ways and telling Jack to go into hiding from the Russians -- was satisfying in its own way. It definitely leaves the window open for a potential future "24" movie without leaving too many loose ends from this season. Also, the scene of Jack biting off Reed Diamond's ear was just grotesque and awesome.
Grade: B+

I really want to like this episode -- or, to be more accurate, "these episodes", since it was a two-parter -- but I still have mixed feelings about it. I like what they led into, but there were large parts of the two hours that were just frustrating. The "flash glitch" effect was just annoying, and the storyline itself about Chuck's mind breaking down was frustrating. Then, in the end, they solved it not with the device they'd been touting for two episodes, but with Chuck's mind "rebooting", and him remembering that his first experience with The Intersect wasn't via Bryce Larkin, but in his dad's lab as a child. That pisses me off, because it means that rather than Chuck being a normal guy who was thrust into this life, it turns out that this is the life he's been destined for all along.

Still, the entire episode was salvaged by the big reveal at the end, with the rows and rows of spy research by Chuck's now deceased dad. It provides potential storylines for years, while also introducing the new big mystery of Chuck and Ellie's mom. Two other things I really liked about this episode: Ellie knowing the whole truth (LONG overdue) and the Morgan/Awesome spy scenes. They provided much needed comic relief to what was otherwise a pretty dark episode. Oh, and speaking of comic relief, Jeffster's rendition of "Blaze of Glory" (complete with absurd music video) playing over the Chuck vs Shaw fight was hilarious. And then blowing up the Buy More? Awesome.
Grade: B- (would've been a C+ if not for BuyMoreBoom)

"How I Met Your Mother" 
This episode was legen... wait for it... darily pointless. So Robin chooses love over her career and it comes back to bite her in the ass, giving her all the reason in the world to continue to make poor decisions in the future. And Lily and Marshall want to have a baby, but Lily wasn't ready, but then at the end of the episode ("4 Months Later") she was. Oh, and Ted dyed his hair blonde, which was actually kind of funny, and served to prevent him and Robin from making a horrible sex-related decision at the end of the episode. Look, we're now through five seasons, and we still haven't met the mother. At this point, I fully expect that to not happen until the series finale, which is going to be a lame cop out. On a positive note, Barney Stinson continues to be the funniest character on television. The lines about his blog (which is a real thing on CBS's web site) were great.
Grade: C- (the episode itself wasn't terrible, it just didn't feel like a season finale, and didn't measure up to some of the recent episodes)

For more coverage of the 2009-10 TV season finale episodes, click here. will be sharing thoughts on the finales of nearly 20 different scripted series that have been part of our viewing schedule all year.