Series finale month continues my friends!

Two weeks ago I talked about how a final episode can be huge events, like Friends or Seinfeld. Last week I talked about horrible final episodes of great series like Alf which was painful! Sometimes these finale’s lead to spin-off series which always takes something away from the final episode. See Three’s Company, The Golden Girls, and The Facts of Life as examples of that. But is it possible to have a perfect final episode? An episode that isn’t so big, isn’t over hyped, and feels in step with the series while also giving it a clear sendoff? The answer to that my friends is today’s subject :

“And So We Commence”

This episode aired on April 30, 1992. I already talked about the great opening they used combining all the openings over the years, so why not discuss the rest of the episode?

Plot Summary:Theo is finally graduating from college. Cliff tries to find tickets to the ceremony for everyone while Olivia plans to join her family in Singapore.

Best Line::”How can you expect your father to contain himself? I can’t contain myself, and why should I have to? My baby’s graduating from college.”….Claire in a very good scene

Nitpick of the Episode:One big gripe. Lisa Bonet should have been in the episode, even if it was a two minute cameo. I give the show credit for not ignoring her character, but I think having the entire cast together in the end would have been the perfect icing on the cake. They could have done what they did with Ron Howard in the final Happy Days episode (where he appears only at the very end and had like two lines).  Also, why is Cliff so crazy about getting tickets when he can invite everyone he wants to the party afterwards? It’s a cute story but also kind of silly.

Standout Character:Theo, like last week when I said Darlene was the standout because how she evolved. You have to love the evolution of Theo from slacker kid to responsible college man. The flashback only serves to illustrate that.

Syndication Edit:Not sure since I have mostly only seen the first run version of this episode.

Episode Fun Fact:Here’s a fact that isn’t fun. This episode aired the second night of the LA riots which happened after the Rodney King verdict. Bill Cosby appeared on the local LA affiiate before the episode and asked viewers to ask for calm and told everyone to watch the episode. I feel so old, was that really 24 years ago????

Final Thoughts:Well my friends, this was about as perfect a final episode as this show was going to get. I seriously can’t imagine anything else they could have done (well, ok I mentioned the one thing above). Season 8 wasn’t all bad for this show but I have to admit even I wasn’t watching it as closely. It was time for this show to go out, but I was still sad. When this show came on the air I was in 4th grade. This final episode aired about six weeks before I graduated from high school. I literally grew up with this show! Man the memories…..but let’s talk about this episode.

The episode has Cliff acting nuts because he is proud of Theo. There is a scene early on when Theo holds Cliff’s head and tries to get Cliff to understand there are no tickets left. This is an homage to one of the first episode of the series when Cliff did the same thing to Theo. My how things change. Every major member of the cast are here and they all get a decent line and/or closure. Dense is pregnant, Vanessa is still with Dabnes, Rudy is grown up, and so on. Clair and Theo have a fantastic scene, and Cliff even gets the chance to get in some silliness with Olivia. Both set of grandparents are here and of course Sondra and Elvin’s two kids get a chance to be cute. Kenny appears (why is it he always got more lines than Rudy?). Pam is not forgotten and her two friends Lance and Charmaine manage to get in a quick appearance. Heck, even Kenny’s jerk brother who never actually appeared manages to get a big character redemption moment!

The flashback that takes up the majority of the final scene is nice. By this time the show was syndicated so it wasn’t as if we had literally never seen the scene since the it first aired in 1984. However, and what I love the most, it illustrates the way this episode truly comes full circle from the pilot. In the pilot Theo doesn’t even want to go to college, and here he is graduating with a promising futrure. But The best thing is that final moment. Everyone wondered, how would  The Cosby Show end? They did something which has never been done before or since, it was so unique. Cliff announces he has fixed the doorbell, and when he plays it sweet music plays. Cliff and Clair start dancing to music in a sweet moment like the show has done many times before. They dance, and Cliff dances her right through the 4th wall and off the stage. They exit out the door, and into TV history. Finally, when NBC first aired this they followed the show with a three minute thank you to the audience which still sends chills of nostalgia down my spine.

This is one of those special kind of final episodes that just does everything so great. Staying true to the series and giving the show a great send off. Like Scrubs series finale (or 8th season finale, whatever), The Office last year, 3rd Rock From the Sun, Mary Tyler Moore, Happy Days, or Frasier which had a beautiful final episode. They were all episode that made us say “Aw, I wish it wasn’t over!!!” The Cosby Show will always be my favorite though.

Grade-A+

Next week series finale months concludes as I look at one last final episode. But, will it be a bad one…or a good one?

By richb

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