Fall TV “Preview”: Eight cliffhangers I can’t wait to see resolved

The fall television season is just about to begin! To celebrate, I’ll be doing a series of fun features and previews for both returning and brand-new series. I have not seen any of the new pilots or premieres from veteran series, and thus the quotes around preview. No matter, that won’t stop me from doing these bad boys, so let’s get a-previewin’!

To start things off, let’s discuss some the series with the biggest and most shocking cliffhangers I can’t wait to see resolved in their newest seasons. Maybe I’ll do a little predicting for how said cliffhangers will be resolved as well.

1.) The Vampire Diaries: Katherine!

Pretty self-explanatory here. After one hell of a first season that breezed through major story arcs like they were small-time beats, the series I found myself liking perhaps more than I should when I caught up a few weeks back threw out an insane cliffhanger that finally brought the surely bitchy Katherine back to Mystic Falls, VA. She pretended to be Elena so she could kiss Damon then stabbed John Gilbert. That’s one hell of a re-introduction.

Prospective solution: From everything I’ve gathered (Comic-Con panel, new promos, etc.), Katherine’s going to be around for a while, raising hell and coming between the Salvatore brothers like never before. Considering it’s the second season of an already fast-paced series, I suspect she’ll kill another person or two before episode three.

2.) Sons of Anarchy: The search for baby Abel, Gemma on the lam

FX’s best drama series ended its second season with all sorts of hell broken loose, but the biggest gut-punch involved the theft of Jax’s infant son, Abel, who was surely on his way to Ireland. Jax’s mother Gemma was also on her way out of Charming, CA, but for totally different reasons (murder suspect!). After a season of family turmoil and hostility, having the Teller-Morrow clan separated and broken again was disheartening the best of ways.

Prospective solution: I don’t see there being any way this ends neatly or nicely for anyone. Gemma’s surely to be out on the run for more than episode and the search for Abel will most certainly take up multiple episodes as well. Sons of Anarchy is a series that likes to let its characters marinate in their awful circumstances, so I suspect there will be a lot of anger, sadness, etc. but not as much action.

3.) Community: Jeff and Annie’s kiss

You have to hand it to Dan Harmon and company. The Jeff-Annie relationship was explored both realistically and hilariously early in Community‘s first season and because of the overwhelmingly positive response to the pairing, the series looks ready to actually explore it for more than episode. Despite the age difference (which does add this layer of creepy humor), Joel McHale and Alison Brie have ridiculous chemistry and to watch their characters squirm and carry on after this most recent kiss should be lovely.

Prospective solution: I’m not sure what to think here. I could see the series committing to the pair for the long-term or coming right back to the moment after the kiss and completely abandoning it, at least for a half-season or so. Either way, it will be funny, the result doesn’t quite matter.

4.) House: Huddy!

Though the moment millions of House fans had waited for didn’t quite have the right lead-up aside from the previous 43 minutes of the finale, it’s hard not to be intrigued by House and Cuddy finally pairing up. As a series, House has certainly moved more into a soap-y character drama and away from the medical mysteries, and if that’s the decision they’re going with, they might as well focus on two characters people actually care about. The events of season six did ready House for this sort of relationship, so I’m really excited to see how it plays out in year seven.

Prospective solution: However, I am a little concerned. Fleshing out character beats and long-term, important arcs are not some of the House writers’ strong suits (See: Chase and Cameron’s lack of story post-S3, Cameron’s exit and the aftermath of Amber’s death in early S5). I wouldn’t be shocked to see the writers break up House and Cuddy after episode one, two or three. In fact, I’ll be expecting it from now until the end of the series.

5.) Fringe: Olivia’s trapped “Over There”

The season two finale of Fringe was a glorious extended journey to the alternate universe, and although the cliffhanger there wasn’t revolutionary (it was actually fairly obvious), trapping Olivia over “there” and replacing her with Alt-Olivia is going to have massive consequences for both universes I suspect. It’s especially troubling when neither Peter or Walter seem to be able to tell the difference.

Prospective solution: Having two versions of one person is a nice luxury in the sense that Anna Torv will still get to interact with Josh Jackson and John Noble on the reg, but I’m actually hoping Olivia is trapped for a good long time. We need to learn more about both characters and both worlds and it seems that this woman holds some of the keys to that information. I’m betting she gets out sort of early, maybe even in the premiere, but we see the consequences and events throughout the first 8-10 episodes.

6.) Chuck: What’s up with Chuck’s mom?

I chose not to say “Who’s Chuck’s mom” because, well, we already know who she is: Linda Hamilton. Aside from that, we’re still fairly in the dark about the Bartowski matriarch, but I’m guessing she’ll be able to spin kick and punch people out better than her son. It’s interesting how Chuck has expanded into this family drama about people caught up in the spy life and short of introducing a long-lost sibling, the mother angle could easily (and probably have to) serve as a conclusion to Chuck’s story.

Prospective solution: We’ll meet her early, but this is a season-long arc. Little “major” answers for a good while, me thinks.

7.) Eastbound and Down: Where the F**k is Kenny Powers?

This is cheating a little bit since the first season of HBO’s Eastbound and Down ended in March of 2009, but thankfully, it’s coming back for a 7-episode run this fall. The series left us with Kenny driving alone, perhaps towards Tampa to a pitching gig that doesn’t actually exist or perhaps towards a bender in Panama Beach. We really have no idea. But we do know that once he resurfaces, Kenny Powers is going to be as crude and awful a person as he was right before he kinda-sorta turned his life around.

Prospective solution: News reports say Kenny’s headed down to Mexico to play some ball, and so that’s kind of the answer, I guess. But again, it’s not necessarily about the destination and more the embarrassing, high journey that we’re going to watch Mr. Powers take.

8.) Smallville: Clark’s dead (again)?

The season nine finale of Smallville was one of the best episodes in the series’ history and felt like a real culmination of all the frustrating years spent watching Clark Kent be a big whiny wuss who tended to blame everything on himself. Instead, CK spent the episode acting like a bona fide heroic bad-ass. He was actually…Superman-like. So, of course, he died. I’m slightly concerned another brush with death will make Clark dark and twisty again, but with only 22 episodes to go before the end, I’m holding out hope it’s just the final push he needs to be the real deal Man of Steel.

Prospective solution: Based on all the promo materials, Clark’s obviously going to spend some time in limbo with his dead father Jonathan and there is really no way that’s a bad thing. Pa Kent is a fantastic character and if there’s anyone who will make certain we don’t get an emo Clark, he’s it. But there’s no way Clark stays “dead” for more than an episode.

That’s it! Anything I missed? What are you looking forward to, aside from more of these posts?!

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