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TV's shocking season endings

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Spoiler alert!

Parks and Recreation

Big doings in little Pawnee: Five episodes air during next month’s sweeps period, including back-to-back shows on May 12 and a two-part finale on May 19. Exec producer Michael Schur teases that Leslie (Amy Poehler) will match wits with her rival from Eagleton (guest star Parker Posey) and ”try to avoid the inevitable” on a road trip with colleague Ben (Adam Scott). And after a beloved character dies in the finale, Tom (Aziz Ansari) — who’s faced with a major professional decision — oversees the memorial service, which ”becomes much larger and more elaborate than it was supposed to be.” Let’s hope the Snake Hole isn’t catering. (May 19 at 10 PM, NBC)

The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon’s getting a new roomie! In the season 4 finale, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) searches for Roommate 2.0 when Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Priya (Aarti Mann) find a better ”sleeping arrangement,” says exec producer Bill Prady. Perhaps the most unexpected development? Set-in-his-ways Sheldon realizes he may be better off without his slacker friend. ”One of the things that Sheldon will [learn from] his new roommate — temporary or permanent, we don’t know — is just how long Leonard has been skating by,” says Prady. (May 19 at PM, CBS)

The Vampire Diaries

A full moon in the May 5 episode means it’s finally time for the sacrifice ritual. As expected, the loss of life will be both momentous and tragic. More surprisingly, the May 12 finale shows the emotional fallout during…a Gone With the Wind movie night in the town square? ”Damon [Ian Somerhalder], who is desperately seeking forgiveness from Elena [Nina Dobrev], starts to relive moments from past mistakes made with Katherine back in 1864,” reveals exec producer Julie Plec. ”As is always true with these events in Mystic Falls, things go horribly awry.” (May 12 at 8 PM, The CW)

NCIS

The final moments of NCIS‘ eighth season are so shocking, even some cast members are being kept in the dark. Parts of the finale have been deemed ”red-page scenes,” which means only the specific actors involved and a few key crew members get the script. (A previous ”red page” example? The season 2 death of Kate Todd, played by Sasha Alexander.) Exec producer Gary Glasberg says the ”significant change” that occurs will ”affect NCIS in ways people will never see coming.” In particular, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) will be reeling. Glasberg notes, ”His world is about to be rocked both personally and professionally.” (May 17 at 8 PM, CBS)

Grey’s Anatomy

The sexy Seattle Gracers will end their season with that old finale standby: a wedding! Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) will leave their whole musical-episode-car-crash nightmare behind by tying the knot as the seventh season wraps up. The race for chief resident comes to an end as well, while James Tupper returns as dreamy crisis counselor Dr. Andrew Perkins. All in all, ”we’re talking about growth in tremendous ways for our characters,” says creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes. (May 19 at 9 PM, ABC)

Bones

After a dark resolution to the sniper arc in the season’s penultimate episode has someone taking a bullet intended for Booth (David Boreanaz), producers wanted a fun finale. So while Angela and Hodgins have their baby, Booth and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) will go undercover in Brennan’s dad’s bowling league to solve a murder. ”Let’s just say that the FBI has a new makeup artist, and they’ve gone all out with Booth,” says exec producer Stephen Nathan. ”He’s gonna be in his 70s.” (May 19 at 9 PM, FOX)

Community

Take cover: The two-part finale is another paintball extravaganza! Part I (airing May 5) nods to the spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone — and features Lost’s Josh Holloway (inset) as a mysterious student — while Part II (May 12) boasts more of an epic Star Wars-y feel. ”The dean is intent on having this [paintball fight] go more smoothly, but he fails,” hints exec producer Dan Harmon. ”What was supposed to be a smaller, quicker, safer game becomes quite the opposite: It’s bigger, longer, and more brutal.” (May 5 and May 12 at 8 PM, NBC)

Fringe

In the wake of April 15’s particularly peculiar outing, which saw the return of William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), Fringe’s last three episodes (which function as a de facto three-part finale) will have Olivia (Anna Torv), Peter (Joshua Jackson), and Walter (John Noble) — as well as their parallel-world doppelgängers — imperiled by the activation of the First People’s doomsday machine. Which world will die? And whither Peter and Fauxlivia’s newborn love child? Exec producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman say in an email: ”Without giving too much away, the two universes are on a collision course. And one of our lead characters may cease to exist. Is that giving too much away?” If it is, don’t worry: Our heads just spun and then cracked open and then everything you said crawled out and ran away. (April 22, April 29, and May 6 at 9 PM, Fox)

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