By Sandra Gonzalez
November 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST

Happy Thanksgiving, Roomies!

As I’ll likely be in a Turkey coma on Friday, here’s something to be thankful for a little early… Spoiler Room: Special Wednesday/Pre-Holiday/Yay For a Long Weekend Edition! Yup, just a few scoops to take you into your hopefully lovely holiday.

But before the 411 — and at the risk of sounding very sappy — I have to say that I’m very thankful for your readership and highly entertaining comments and questions this year. Here’s to another great one!

On that note, don’t slack! Send questions and ponderings to spoilerroom@ew.com or Tweet ’em to me @EWSandraG. Be well!

‘HIMYM’: ABOUT THE NEXT EPISODE…

The logline for next week’s How I Met Your Mother is incredibly teasey. Observe: When “Robin receives bad news, she decides to lie about it to the gang. Meanwhile, Marshall hangs Christmas decorations on the house in the ‘burbs with help from his neighbor.” But still unsatisfied, I hopped on the phone yesterday with HIMYM executive producer Carter Bays, who talked about the next episode. (To read part of our chat, click here.)

What I left out about the Dec. 5 episode, however, is something that truly sent chills of anticipation down my spine: While Bays said he believes it’s “one of the best episodes we’ve ever done,” he also expressed a little apprehension, saying he hopes viewers will see it the same way. “You know, honestly, I hope people stay on board after the next episode,” he tells me. “I think there’s some incredible acting in it, and it’s a really nicely told story that we’re very pleased with. But… this Barney and Robin stuff is a third rail for our show in a good way. It’s nice to get a little jolt every now and then, but it is so divisive among fans from what I’ve gathered. So hopefully people will enjoy the story for what it is. But yeah, we’re nervous about where the story goes. Excited, and very proud of it, but I hope people stay on board. I think they will.”

Meanwhile, after two separate episodes that centered around Marshall and Lily making the decision to live in the ‘burbs, one would assume the plan was to keep them out there a while. But Bays adds, “They have made this decision and we’ll see where the series goes. Obviously without Marshall and Lily sitting in the bar with the rest of the gang, there’s no show, so, again, the wheel isn’t done turning. I can’t reveal too much more than that.”

Take all that how you will, my friends. Regardless, I think we’re in for another emotional rollercoaster. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. As Bays says, “Our first loyalty is to reality, I think — well, as much as we possibly can in a show where guys wear scuba suits to pick up girls.”

‘CHUCK’ BOSS: CHRISTMAS EPISODE IS ALMOST A FINALE ‘IN ITS OWN RIGHT’

There’s nothing I don’t love about Christmas episodes, readers — except that I often use ugly double negatives when I talk about how excited I am about them. They’re always full of equal parts heart and plot twists, and if there’s one thing (on a list of a million) that I’m going to miss about Chuck when it bows, it’s the show’s Christmas episodes. And this year looks to be no exception. “The Christmas episode works almost as a finale in its own right for the first half of the season,” EP Chris Fedak told me this week. “For all the characters, there’s a lot.”

But before we get to that, last week’s epic ending with Casey must be dealt with, and Fedak promises Casey’s troubles are not to be taken lightly. “You’re going to get that prison episode you always knew you wanted,” he says, laughing. “It’s a big deal. One of the things that we’ve always thought about is when our characters do stuff like shoot a bunch of bad guys, they’re killing people. That is, they are breaking the law. So we wanted to see, in the nature of making Carmichael Industries about the CIA and not giving our guys a Get Out of Jail Free card, we wanted to deal with that. You’ll see next week, they’re going to have to pay the piper.”

The episode will also see the return of Carrie-Anne Moss, who Fedak says is “outrageously awesome” as Verbanski. But while I’ve been fascinated by the past Verbanski shared with Casey, Fedak says we won’t be seeing any flashbacks because “unlike a lot of the women from Casey’s past, Verbanski is very much about the future.” Anyone else smiling right now? I’m smiling.

DAMIAN McGINTY: RORY’S SOMBER CHRISTMAS ON ‘GLEE’

If you thought watching Rory get hit in the face was a dodgeball was tough to watch, wait until Glee’s Christmas episode.

Earlier this week I hopped on the phone with Glee‘s Damian McGinty to chat about the show and his work with Your Dollar Our Future. And during our chat, the Glee Project co-winner told me a bit about the upcoming Christmas episode that will find Rory experiencing a bout of homesickness from his native Ireland. “It’s just all about him growing up at the minute,” McGinty says. “He’s very young compared to everyone — he’s such a kid. So it’s going to be a whole journey for him.”

Surely it hasn’t been easy making the transition to McKinley High, but the actor says newbie syndrome is something lots of kids and teenagers can empathize with. He hopes that Rory’s “sad” Christmas episode storyline further drives home the message. “It’s probably going to relate to a lot of people.”

NEXT: Scoop on ‘Gossip Girl,’ ‘Covert Affairs,’ ‘Hart of Dixie,’ and more

SIDE DISHES

Is there anything you can tell me about Dair? Such as, is Blair going to be revealing any of her own feelings anytime soon? — Anna

Well, if you ask Ms. Leighton Meester, Dair can’t happen fast enough. She told a gaggle or reporters at the Gossip Girl 100th episode party that as much as she enjoys the “ups and downs” of Chuck and Blair, she says, “I think time apart has helped them and helped them grow. It’s helped me grow, too. And I think the one relationship I’d love to see play-out is Blair and Dan, because selfishly I love working with Penn. We’ll see.” Indeed, we shall. And meanwhile, Penn Badgley thinks he’s got the situation figured out. “I think that Dan thinks they belong together, but I think she always belongs with Chuck. I think Dan is Blair’s soul mate, but Blair is not Dan’s soul mate,” he says. Tragic, I told him. “Well, Dan’s a little tragic himself.” To that end, I couldn’t let him go without asking if there was any happy times in Dan’s future (Dair-related or otherwise), considering he’s been so down in the dumps lately. “Not yet,” he said with a chuckle.

Hi Sandra! Hope you have a great time at the party. Can you also shed some light as to why Louis’ family weren’t seen when they were shooting the wedding? Can we hope that Louis will join them in wherever they are any time soon so we can finally get Chuck and Blair together?  Thanks and give them all a hug from me! — Loanna

Sorry, I didn’t give out hugs. I’m pretty sure I would have been arrested. That said, I did relay this question to Roxane Mesquida, who plays Prince Louis’s sister, Beatrice. Sadly, she wasn’t allowed to say much, but she did reveal that Beatrice definitely makes it as far as the bachelorette party. “It was insane. They brought all of Blair’s friends from high school and those were my favorite episodes — the first and second seasons. It was like the old Gossip Girl,” she said. But what about those paparazzi pictures of Blair being cuffed? Mesquida says, “Oh, it’s not crazy, like bad crazy. It’s just a lot of fun.”

Anything on Dair would be amazing! — @Leener

This one comes from up high — EP Josh Safran, who basically spelled it out for us, while still cleverly keeping us in the dark. “The heart has the capacity to have feelings for more than one person at the same time. I feel like that’s where Blair’s going and she’s going to discover that,” he said. So, as you see, if we’re in the dark and this quote is any type of light source, it would be a birthday candle. Good enough for now?

Hi! I’m really warming up to Nate/Ivy, are these two going to hook up for real? — Isabel E.

If you haven’t checked out episode 2 of Spoiler Room: Video Edition, I suggest you do! The lovely Kaycee DeFer weighed in a bit on this issue.

The Middle, please!! It’s my favorite Wednesday night comedy. Would love a little scoop!!!! :) — Mindy

Molly Shannon’s guest spot as Frankie’s sister is absolutely brilliant. The highlight? Seeing Patricia Heaton and Shannon getting into a Turkey Day rough-and-tumble that involves an air mattress. It’s one of my contenders for best fight of the year. (The poor mattress never saw it coming…) Elsewhere in the ep, we learn that the art of striking-out while hitting on women runs in the family.

The Covert Affairs finale is coming up and I’m dying to know what’s going to go on with Auggie and Annie. PLEASE tell me some good news. — Laura

Well, the hour is truly an emotional one for the pair. Auggie experiences a devastating personal heartbreak, while Annie finds herself shaken by an event that takes place in Stockholm while on “vacation.” (Note the quote marks. This girl never quits working.) But the best scene comes at the end, when Auggie gives Annie a truly amazing gift.

Yo Sandra G! Rizzoli and Isles. R&I. Rizzoli and I. Isles and R. However you wanna say it, I frakking love Rizz and Isle so please give me a giant scoop of intel on my two favorite ladies! Kthxbai! :) — Nancy

The season opener is a whopper of an episode, with a great storyline about an informant of Rizzoli’s who dies while in protective custody, leaving her dead-set on tracing his death back to the man whose murder trial her informant was set to testify at. But complications arise. If she’s not being hounded by the asst. DA, who blames Rizzoli for the collapse of the case, she’s being hounded by none other than Bill O’Reilly! I’ll admit that I was skeptical the show could work the pundit into the episode without making it stunt-y, but I think you’ll enjoy it, particularly the scenes that find Rizz hanging up on O’Reilly, believing him to be a crank caller. Also, I like “Rizz.” That might stick.

Hi Sandra, Thanks for the excellent scoop in your latest Spoiler Room.  I know I am probably the only one watching, but I’d sure love some scoop on Hart of Dixie. I am loving the show! Thanks! –Wendi

An upcoming episode (to air in 2012) will find Brick as a patient of Zoe’s — much to his chagrin. And George and Lemon consider eloping. Well, perhaps they more than consider it — they actually put the plan in motion (…but there will be bumps in the road!)

NEXT: Scoop on ‘90120,’ ‘Bones,’ ‘American Horror Story,’ and more

I’d LOVE some 90210 scoop. Ideally something about Liam, who I loved in this week’s Thanksgiving episode. — Kelsey

This week’s episode was pretty good — and if you’re a Liam fan, there’s plenty of fodder ahead, namely a life-and-death situation! When we caught up with Matt Lanter last week at the Breaking Dawn premiere, he dished that the upcoming hiatus will leave Liam’s future in the balance. “Our Christmas break cliffhanger is a huge life or death situation with Liam. We’re not really sure what happens to him or if he returns, how he returns,” he said. Well, actually, it might be safe to put your money on “returns” since Lanter also teased the upcoming introduction of The Vampire Diaries alum Arielle Kebbel’s mysterious new character. “She’s this girl who we’re not really sure who she is yet and it’ll take several episodes to figure out. She may be Liam’s next love interest,” he says. “It’s going to be fun. It’s kind of a mystery.”

90210 scoop please! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve seen any! — CC

Next week’s episode, “Project Runaway,” is hilarious. Well, I don’t know that for sure, but I’m taking Lanter’s word on this one for one reason; say it with me: Blue Steel. “I just did ADR on an episode we have coming up where Liam does his best Blue Steel — well, a more comedic version of a Blue Steel. He is in a runway show [and] there’s some backstabbing that happens at the show. Liam wants to stand up for his friends, so in doing that, he does an over-the-top Blue Steel and kind of ruins the show.”

Can we PLEASE talk about last week’s Big Bang Theory!? It was hilarious and sweet at the same time. Any scoop on my fave TV couple Sheldon and Amy? J — Anne

Mayim Bialik was just as pleased about the developments with Sheldon and Amy as you and I, and even shared that Jim Parsons helped convince her it was the way to go! “I was even surprised where they went. And Jim Parsons was like, ‘Honey we gotta move this thing somewhere.’ I will take Jim’s lead on this one,” she says. “I think they will still dip in and out of relationship territory. That’s the rhythm of the show and Chuck Lorre has shown that he knows how to do that with Leonard and Penny. He knows how to sustain these characters through all the various permutations of their relationships.” In sum, don’t expect a Howard-Bernadette trajectory from this pair. “I don’t think we will do that with Sheldon and Amy. They are not normal enough,” she says.

Sons of Anarchy! PLEASE! I find myself dipping into the wine after each episode just to calm my nerves.

Well, as of now, I know the finale will deal with Jax wanting to finalize the gun deal between the Irish and the cartel. But I also have it on good word that two very important episodes are en route to me as we speak! So send me your questions ASAP.

Hi, do you have any Nate and Sophie info from the winter episodes of Leverage? (Some of us like the Nate and Sophie relationship yet all you write about is Parker and Hardison. They do nothing for me) — Maya

If you love Nate and Sophie (who doesn’t!?), you’re absolutely going to love the Dec. 4 episode, which finds the gang doing a job at a greeting-card company under the watchful eye of a documentary filmmaker (Peter Stormare) and his film crew. While this Office spoof is a total hoot, my favorite parts were the very revealing confessionals. Nate and Sophie’s in particular are quite hilarious because they get a chance to express their gripes about one another under the guise of their fake personas. But let’s be clear, there’s nothing phony about Sophie’s feeling that Nate undermines her. (She’s even been keeping track of how often he does it!)

I want an awesome American Horror Story tease. Read, set, GO! — Andy

You already know that tonight you’ll learn the identity of the Rubber Man. But what you may not know is that you’ll actually see two people donning the suit tonight.

Your chat with Evan Peters was great, but I’m dying to know more about what’s next for Violet and Tate. What’s this secret he’s keeping!? — Jen

Ack. I honestly can’t say a thing about the secret. But if I may counter with another tease, this week, Tate and Violet are going to take a drastic step in their quest to be together. In my chat with Peters, he hinted at this upcoming twist, saying, “We have to be together. So we have to somehow do what we’ve got to do.”

Homeland and Southland are my two favorite shows at the moment. Well acted and well written. Scoop on either would be appreciated! Thanks, Sandra! — Eva

Eenie, meenie, miney… Homeland. I have to agree with you on all accounts, Eva. But if you thought the acting has been superb so far, just wait until you see this week, in which Damian Lewis turns a great performance during an episode that finds Brody re-living part of his captivity. When I spoke to Lewis not too long ago, he coyly mentioned that Brody would soon experience “an increased focus in the act that he may or may not perpetrate.” This week, his tease proves true. And the reason behind Brody’s renewed sense of duty completely destroyed me. Have the tissues ready.

Hi Sandra. I’m loving Bones and Booth as a couple, but are we going to see flashbacks? When they first got together? When everyone found out they were having a baby together? Booth being naked and cooking an omelet?  — Megh

Um, I second your desire for an omelet flashback. Too bad for us, there isn’t one in next week’s episode — but what you will see are some really adorable peeks at Booth’s childhood (which is a flashback of sorts, right)? And there’s more naked-around-the-house talk — but this time it’s Brennan! (Do these people ever wear clothes at home? Is this just something attractive people do? Discuss. Or not… Let’s not.)

I know that the abbreviated Bones season means that we’ll focus on the main characters more, but I’m dying to know if we’re going to see Parker this season. I would love to know his reaction/how he deals with getting a little sister… or have we forgotten that Booth already has a kid? He’s adorable, but even we don’t see him, will this get addressed? Thanks! — Ruth

He’ll be back — but later. This week, however, he does come up in a truly touching conversation between Booth and Pops. In fact, the episode is full of really amazing scenes between them both, as discussion of fatherhood takes center stage after Booth receives some news about his own dad. You’ll be in tears by the end of the episode — as will Booth.

Sandra, I miss the Secret Circle dearly. Some scoop would make this a truly Happy Thanksgiving! — Kelly

As if Charles’s life is wasn’t already about to get more complicated — with the impending arrival of his mother — now his high school-ex his headed to town as well! The show is currently casting the role of Lauren, described as a “haunted” woman with a “dark strength” that lurks beneath her timid surface. And casting scoop indicates she’s not too friendly with Mrs. Meade.

(Carrie Bell, Benjamin Wood, and Erin Strecker contributed to this column.)

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