With many network TV shows wrapping up their seasons, it's sometimes hard to keep track of all the finales. So we at The Wire have decided to give you a cheat sheet for your favorite shows. What happened? How clichéd were the episodes? Will beloved characters be back next season? Will the show? We will update as more seasons come to a close.
The Big Bang Theory
"The Status Quo Combustion," May 15
Big Moments: Penny and Leonard announce their engagement to the gang, and Raj announces he had sex with Emily. The comic shop burns down. When Leonard and Penny discuss their future married living arrangements, Sheldon has a meltdown.
Flashy Guest Stars: Christine Baranski returns as Leonard's mother.
Finale Clichés: Penny and Leonard get engaged, and Sheldon, unable to deal with change, decides he's leaving on a long trip to figure things out.
Cliffhangers: Where's Sheldon going? Can he survive on his own? When will he get back?
Bubble status: Renewed for three additional seasons. Moving to Mondays for the fall to work around the NFL season.
"Berlin: Conclusion," May 12
Big Moments: The identity of Red's nemesis Berlin is revealed, after Red executes an impostor--it's Peter Stormare, although his motivations for going after the task force as he does in this episode remain unclear. Also, Berlin crashes a plane and cuts off his own hand just to escape custody. Red also drops some hints to Liz about her recently deceased dad not being her real father, but just a nice man that took her in after her real dad burned up in a fire. Or...did he?
Flashy Guest Stars: Alan Alda, Peter Stormare, Matt Lauer (on the teevee)
Finale Clichés: A totally unnecessary and superfluous death befalls poor Meera (Parminder Nagra), just to give the finale some stakes. Liz shoots her traitorous husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) a bunch, but it's unclear whether he bit the dust (which means he probably didn't). Liz says she's going to disband the task force, but then at the last minute she changes her mind, to Red's delight.
Cliffhangers: The mystery of Liz's dad remains--Red insists he died in a fire, but a look at his back in the closing shot of the show reveals a bunch of burns, so you can see where the show is trying to point us. Also, Berlin is out there to cause trouble, but Red promises they'll go get them.
Bubble Status: Renewed, and airing after the Super Bowl next year.
"Charges and Specs," March 25
Big Moments: Jake pursues a drug case against the wishes of the NYPD commissioner and gets recruited by the FBI to go undercover. Meanwhile, the rest of the game helps Boyle get over the dissolution of his engagement. At the end of the episode, he ends up in bed with Gina.
Flashy Guest Stars: N/A
Finale Clichés: Before going undercover, Jake tells Amy Santiago about his romantic feelings for her.
Cliffhangers: Will Jake and Amy ever get together? (Probably yes!) How will Jake's undercover stint affect his relationship with the Nine-Nine? Will Boyle and Gina be a couple?
Bubble status: Renewed.
“Basic Story,” April 10; “Basic Sandwich," April 17
Big Moments: It turns out that the “Save Greendale” committee was actually quite good at its job, because the school was declared satisfactory by an insurance appraiser. That prompts the school board to sell the campus to Subway, who planned to turn Greendale into a Sandwich University. The gang discovered a former computer professor in a secret lair beneath the school and end up saving Greendale after all.
Flashy Guest Stars: Subway's Jared Fogle in part one; Chris Elliot in part two.
Finale Clichés: Since this is Community, of course there were moments that were more comments on finale clichés rather than actual clichés. So Jeff and Britta decide to get married, and then decide to not get married, all the better to riff on the finale marriage cliche
Cliffhangers: Will Troy ever come back?
Renewal Status: Officially canceled by NBC.
"The Untitled Rachel Berry Project," May 13
Big Moments: After learning in the previous episode that a TV network wanted to create a star vehicle for her (totally plausible, Glee), and after singing to the TV executive, they manage to tailor the show to Rachel's sensibility. Great. Sam gets a modeling job that puts his naked torso on a bus, but is tempted by a sexy photographer in the process as he tries to stay chaste to adhere to Mercedes' wishes. Brittany was there. Santana was nowhere to be seen.
Flashy Guest Stars: Kristen Schaal as the TV professional looking to make Rachel the next Lena Dunham. Shirley MacLaine socialite June Dolloway who brings Kurt onstage to sing with her after all.
Finale Clichés: The main characters all go their separate ways at the end of the episode. Rachel has a big life accomplishment: her TV show is going to be made into a pilot. Mercedes and Sam break up. The characters stand around and revisit the previous year, which, admittedly, was a hard one for Glee after the loss of Cory Monteith.
Cliffhangers: What is the final season of the show going to look like? Ryan Murphy has revealed that the show will have a time jump and will not take place in New York.
Bubble status: The show is coming back for a final season, but it's unclear for how many episodes.
"Livin' on a Prayer," May 13
Big Moments: Murray’s high school basketball record gets broken, so he and Beverly go downtown to the ceremony and banquet in his honor. Barry, in a last-ditch effort to woo Lexi Bloom, throws a party while his parents are away. The party gets out of control. Murray and Beverly come home early.
Flashy Guest Stars: N/A
Finale Clichés: Barry gets a kiss from Erica’s best friend.
Cliffhangers: Did that kiss make Lexi Bloom jealous?
Bubble Status: Renewed, and moving to Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. in the fall.
The Good Wife
"A Weird Year," May 18
Big Moments: The decision of whether to merge with Lockhart Gardner has Alicia and Cary practically at each other's throats. Cary finds out Kalinda has been getting close to him to get information for Lockhart Gardner, possibly blowing up that season-long relationship. Louis Canning finally ousts Diane from the firm by threatening to dissolve it if he isn't named managing partner. And so, at episode's end, Diane asks to join Florrick Agos.
Flashy Guest Stars: Nobody hugely flashy or unexpected, but this is The Good Wife, so there are guest stars: Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning doesn't appear to be going anywhere; Stockard Channing was back again as Alicia's hippie mom, as was Nathan Lane as the ever-ethical Clarke Hayden; Tony-winner Christian Borle returned as a rival attorney.
Finale Clichés: Zach graduates from high school and leaves for college (meaning he may not be around as much next year); Alicia faces yet another professional crossroads when Eli takes a flier on whether she'd like to run for State's Attorney.
Cliffhangers: Will Diane really join Florrick Agos? Will Alicia run for state's attorney? And, on a more complicated note, will Cary forgive Kalinda?
Bubble status: Renewed, and it will be back on the impossibly crowded Sunday night schedule.
"Fear (of the Unknown)," May 15
Big Moments: An explosion at a Seattle shopping mall sends dozens of patients streaming into Sloane-Grey Memorial, but that's just a pretext to give everybody something urgent to do while Cristina says goodbye and a bunch of other characters face personal and professional crossroads. Ultimately, Mere and Cristina dance it out, capping what may be the best non-romantic love story on television.
Flashy Guest Stars: Debbie Allen doesn't get a ton to do, but things are always a bit better when she's around. It looks like Caterina Scorsone is poised to join the cast next season as her Private Practice character Dr. Amelia Shepherd. Same for Kelly McCreary, playing essentially New Yang in that she's the new heart surgeon. But you could also call her New Lexie because oh wait, she's the given-up-for-adoption daughter of Ellis Grey and Richard Webber and thus Meredith half-sister.
Finale Clichés: That whole secret-daughter revelation certainly qualifies. Main characters leave: Dr. Ross leaves to go be Cristina's protegee in Switzerland. Dr. Murphy is being cut from her residency and probably won't be back, at least not as a surgeon (nor as a regular cast member).
Cliffhangers: Will Derek still go to D.C. after Meredith put her foot down about uprooting her life for his career? Will Callie and Arizona seek out a surrogate for their second child, as was strongly implied? And what's to come of Cristina's open seat on the board, which Webber promised to Bailey but Cristina gave to Alex?
Bubble status: Oh, it'll be back, though it's moving to 8pm on Thursdays, kicking off an All-Shonda lineup, with Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.
"Cruise," May 6
Big Moments: The gang went on a cruise that Nick and Jess planned when they were still together. Awkward moments abounded as Nick and Jess try to quash their sexual tension, even while getting their money's worth on the ship. Their friends stage an intervention, and then everyone got locked in a single cabin.
Flashy Guest Stars: N/A
Finale Clichés: A grand declaration: Schmidt revealed he is still in love with Cece.
Cliffhangers: How will Nick and Schmidt's bunk-bed arrangement go over in the loft? Will Nick and Jess remain separated?
Bubble Status: Renewed. Plus, Damon Wayans Jr. upped to series regular.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
"The Beginning of the End," May 13
Big Moments: He got charged up with super-soldier serum, but the Agents took down evil John Garrett (Bill Paxton), with help from a deep-cover Nick Fury and a reformed Deathlok (J. August Richards). Grant the traitor, revealed to be part of HYDRA, gets taken down by Agent May and chucked in prison; Fitz and Simmons get blown to the bottom of the ocean but MacGuyver themselves free. Finally, Fury hands the keys to SHIELD over to Coulson, telling him to rebuild the broken organization.
Flashy Guest Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Patton Oswalt (playing a twin of his deceased former character), Bill Paxton (who gets spectacularly exploded at the end)
Finale Clichés: Fitz finally kinda declares his love for Simmons.
Cliffhangers: We get a glimpse at Skye's father, who's some unknown evil dude covered in blood. Also, Coulson is maybe going crazy from being resurrected.
Bubble Status: Renewed, with its own prequel spinoff, Agent Carter, coming next year.
The Mindy Project
"Danny and Mindy," May 6
Big Moments: After Danny tries to catfish Mindy, the two finally got together, meeting on the top of the Empire State building.
Flashy Guest Stars: Recurring guest star Timothy Daly. Sam Page, a.k.a. Joan Holloway's rapist husband Greg Harris from Mad Men.
Finale Clichés: The show's central couple finally gets together.
Cliffhangers: None really, save for the future of Mindy and Danny's romance.
Bubble Status: Renewed, but for now only for a 15 episode season.
"The Wedding Part 1," May 14; "The Wedding Part 2," May 21
Big Moments: Wildfires force Mitch and Cam's wedding to move to a banquet hall, another wedding forces the wedding to move to Mitch and Cam's house, and then Jay moves it to a golf course. Phil officiates the wedding, Jay has a change of heart and walks Mitch down the aisle.
Flashy Guest Stars: Elizabeth Banks until her water breaks, Nathan Lane, Adam DeVine
Finale Clichés: Lots of hijinks at the wedding, Haley (probably) starts to like Andy.
Cliffhangers: What happens with Haley and Andy?
Bubble Status: Renewed for a sixth season.
Parks and Recreation
“Moving Up,” April 24
Big Moments: The hour-long finale was jam-packed. Leslie took the National Parks job, MouseRat reunited, Tom opened his bistro, and Duke Silver revealed himself to the people of Pawnee.
Flashy Guest Stars: Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, The Decemberists, Letters to Cleo, Yo La Tengo, and Ginuwine (the citizens of Pawnee certainly have an eclectic taste in music, don’t they?) as musical guests. Also showing up were pretty much every Parks recurring character you can think of, notably Ben Schwartz and Jenny Slate as Jean-Ralphio and his sister, and Megan Mullally as Tammy 2. Jon Hamm popped up at the end. Oh, and there was a little someone named MICHELLE OBAMA.
Finale Clichés: So many of them, including all those guest stars listed above. This biggest, though, was a time jump to three years later, where we saw Leslie crushing her new job, her triplets already toddlers.
Cliffhangers: Basically everything. Why was Ben wearing a tuxedo? Where was Ron (and everybody else) in the future? Has Tom’s restaurant gone under in the ensuing three years? Will things ever be “calm and normal?”
Renewal Status: Parks was officially renewed for a seventh (and last) season by NBC earlier this year.
"The Price of a Fair and Free Election," April 17
Big Moments: President Fitz wins re-election after his son dies, and Harrison finds out that Rowan Pope had Jerry Jr. killed so he could get his job back. Meanwhile, Olivia gets on the plane to a new life and Huck reunites with his family.
Flashy Guest Stars: N/A
Finale Clichés: One definite death (Fitz's son). One possible death (Harrison, see below). The plot is essentially re-set to how things were at the beginning of the season (Papa Pope is back in charge of B-613).
Cliffhangers: Rowan points a gun at Harrison after revealing his plan, but we don't know if he pulled the trigger, partially because ABC wasn't sure at the time of filming if it was renewing Columbus Short's contract (it's not). Fitz is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and Jake sent David a box of B-613 documents with a note to "go get the bad guys."
Bubble Status: Renewed.
"Mother's Day," May 13
Big Moments: Diane and Jackie dump the kids off on Kate, under the pretext of "giving" Kate Mother's Day, but really they just want to have a getaway by themselves.
Flashy Guest Stars: None. It's enough that Marcia Gay Harden graced the series with her presence for 22 episodes.
Finale Clichés: Family vacation … sort of. (After Diane and Jackie are found out, they feel bad for excluding Kate, and their spa day becomes a family vacation … at a local hotel.) Pete has a heart attack … again, sort of. Turns out, it was just bad indigestion from Pete's horrible diet.
Cliffhangers: Nope. Kate feel accepted into her big, weird family. Pete might quit his job as a lawyer for something less stressful, but no one's on the edge of their seat about it. This episode leaves everyone in a good place.
Bubble Status: Which is a good thing, since it turns out this was the series finale, as ABC declined to pick it up for a second season.
The Vampire Diaries
"Home," May 15
Big Moments: The Other Side, limbo for all the dead supernatural creatures, collapsed, taking Bonnie and Damon with it. This would imply that they're not only dead, but literally don't even exist anymore. Sheriff Forbes helps blow up The Grill (as Matt says, "the only place dumb enough to hire us") killing all the Travelers and ending that plot line.
Flashy Guest Stars: Matt Davis (Alaric Saltzman) made an appearance, and will return as a series regular this fall.
Finale Clichés: A lot of people died. Or, to be more specific, a lot of people who were already dead ceased to exist.
Cliffhangers: Are Bonnie and Damon really dead? It's hard to imagine the show really getting rid of Damon (unless Ian Somerholder has something better to do), but this death seems more permanent than some of the others we've seen.
Bubble status: Renewed for season 6. This show will be around forever.