Discuss and Rate the Last Thing You Watched (non-movies)

Dedtoo

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The books effectively follow a formula from books 1-7, in that it has the formula of "children turn up at place, Olaf turns up, no-one believes its Olaf, Olaf is found out, escapes, kids go elsewhere, rinse and repeat). Books 8-13 change around a bit though - they're more contiguous, formula has changed a bit, arguably become a bit more 'meaty' in terms of theme. I'd say that 7 is the transitional point, in that it starts with the formula, but it's darker in tone, and ends with the kids striking off on their own.
Yeah, the formula is kinda the problem, as it's, ya know, the same idea but in a different setting every time.
And I watched to s2e6, which should be about book 8, and I didn't really notice it there (which was probably why I stopped), other than that Olaf had gotten a new member of his troupe.
It probably didn't help that I had gotten a bit used to the world and people who were weird, I suppose. The more weird you're exposed to, the less weird it seems, making it less interesting.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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I had a very good time with The Brink. The episodes were breezy and the characters had a lot of good chemistry. I’d have liked a second season but probably no more than that.
I'm halfway through. It definitely gets better as the crisis mounts and the storylines start to connect. I think I like Tim Robbins' the best, followed by Jack Black, and I like the fighter pilot the least.
 

Hawki

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Star Trek: Enterprise - Season 4 (4/5)

Season 4 isn't as good as season 3, but it's better than seasons 1-2. Bear in mind that it's been ages since I saw the first two seasons, but if I was ranking them, it would go 3>4>2>1.

Anyway, season 4 is sort of a compromise between the stand-alone format of the first two seasons, and the serialized nature of season 3. Lots of duologies and trilogies of episodes that link to each other within said duologies/trilogies, but not much overall continuity. Granted, there is some foreshadowing (e.g. anti-alien sentiment on Earth at the start of the season becomes paid off at the end of the season), but season 3, this is not.

Anyway, rough thoughts:

STORM FRONT

I generally dislike time travel episodes in Star Trek, and this is no exception. Alien Nazis? Bleh. Thankfully, this brings an end to the Temporal Cold War plot point.

HOME

Stand-alone, very strong episode.

AUGMENTS ARC

Mixed on this. I think this is a case where Star Trek is bound to canon, in that it has to come down against genetic engineering (despite other species having mastered it in the setting) because by canon, the Federation has still outlawed it in the 24th century. It doesn't matter what arguments are presented, this is the foregone conclusion.

The Augments themselves...bleh. They kind of remind me of the Nietzscheans from Andromeda - dressed like space scavengers, have a superiority complex, and like boning each other. On the other hand, having Brett Spiner back is a joy as Soong's ancestor.

VULCAN ARC

Again, mixed. I think it tidies up things way too neatly, but there's good material in here, especially when it comes to Tucker and T'Pol.

DAEDALUS

Bleh. I don't care that the scientist is after his son, but a crewman died! Am I the only one who cares about that?

OBSERVER EFFECT

Very strong stand-alone episodes. I love the organians character hopping, it allows some of the more minor characters to have development (e.g. Hoshi), or even get screentime at all (e.g. Travis), and has sold performances.

ANDORIAN ARC

Mixed on this. It does a good job of laying the groundwork for the Federation by bringing the tellarites in, and I like the fleshing out of the andorians, including the introduction of the aenar. On the other...I dunno, I like how the romulans are stirring up war between the future Federation species in order to keep them disunited, but it seems like a cop-out that the characters never get to see the romulans. And yes, I get it, canon forbids it, but the episode is kind of stymied because of it. It's also a clear setup to the Romulan War arc that was planned, but while this is never followed through, it isn't the arc's fault.

KLINGON ARC

People have pointed out the convoluted scenario that results in the klingons losing their cranial ridges here to explain their absence on TOS (whereas the Doylist reason is clear - lack of budget for makeup), but I don't mind it too much. I actually like this arc. It does a good job of fleshing out klingon culture, and it builds off naturally from the augments arc. It also does a good job of introduction Section 31 (not explicitly named), and giving Reed some character development. However, I wish more reprecussions were felt. Archer chews out Reed for his deception, but there isn't really enough payoff.
 

Hawki

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BOUND

Orion slave girls enslave the Enterprise crew by using their pheremones. Cue whacky shennanigans.

That's it. That's the plot. And thanks, Star Trek, but I hate it.

MIRROR UNIVERSE ARC

Cheese. Delicious, delightful cheese. A duology set in the Mirror Universe as we see evil versions of the cast do evil things to evil people, or at times, innocent ones, who get to die in evil ways. Get everything from evil!Archer losing his sanity, to evilsexy!Hoshi doing evil things, and everyone hamming it up. It's cheese, and I love it.

Also we get to see tholians and an updated gorn, so that's nice.

TERRA PRIME ARC

Mostly positive, but this really feels like it should be a three-parter. Because it's a payoff for the season and arguably the series as a whole, but it doesn't feel like it gets the airtime it deserves.

Anyway, the Federation's precursor (forget its name - it's like a proto-Federation) is about to be formed, but anti-alien terrorists seize control of an array on Mars and demand all aliens leave Sol. It's payoff for the xindi in season 3, and the resulting anti-alien sentiment seen at the start of season 4. It draws attention to how it's mankind at its worst and best, hence one of the episodes being named "Demons." There's some really powerful stuff here, such as Archer's speech at the end, and T'Pol and Trip losing their child (okay, technically not theirs, but a hybrid formed from their DNA, and one they mourn).

On the other, something feels lacking. Again, like it's not fleshed out enough. Again, this is meant to be THE moment that humanity can show its better self to the galaxy, but it's just a bunch of twats being terrorists. But overall, it's mostly solid, if partly due to extremely powerful key moments.

THESE ARE THE VOYAGES

This has been cited as one of the most hated episodes in all of Star Trek. Having seen it, I disagree (it's no Shades of Grey for instance), but it's still heavilly flawed, and as a series finale, you could do MUCH better.

I think the setup is good, actually - Riker watching a holodeck recording of the NX-01's final voyage, and Archer's speech at the declaration of the Federation (not technically the Federation at this point, but in function, if not name). That's a great setup by itself, as it forwards the plot of Enterprise, and shows its weight in the larger Star Trek canon. However, what hinders this is the fluff - in TNG, it's set during the Pegasus episode (which I haven't seen), as Riker is watching events in the past to guide his actions in the present for vaguely explained reasons). Simultaniously, in the past, the crew has to rescue Shran's daughters from space pirates. Both of these elements feel superfluous to the larger plot.

And then there's Tripp's death. Tripp, who kills those pirates by comitting suicide, getting a bit of mourning, and, yeah. Tripp dying in of itself isn't a bad thing, but the way it's done here...it's not one of the worst character deaths in fiction, but it's still pretty lacklustre. I think T'Pol mourned more for her 'daughter' in Terra Prime than she does for Tripp here. And that there's a six year time jump from TERRA PRIME and the two just drifted apart off-screen doesn't help much, when literally the last shot of TERRA PRIME is them mourning their deceased 'daughter' together.

Still, it's got the 'feels' to see the Federation finally established, and the closing shot of the TNG, TOS, and ENTE Entrprises flying through space as the "final frontier" monologue is shared between Picard, Kirk, and Archer...it's beautiful. However, the episode could have been more. I get the sense that this was always planned, and with Enterprise cancelled in season 4, they simply cut to the ending. I don't think that's a bad idea per se, but it could have been done better if the 'fluff' was cut.

So, yeah. Overall, enjoyed season 4. Not as good as season 3, but much better than 1 and 2. It's actually elevated Enterprise as a whole for me, so if I was ranking Star Trek shows, it would go TOS>Enterprise>TNG>Discovery at this point. Granted, Enterprie is now the only Star Trek show I've seen all of, so that could change. But overall? Pretty good. At least if you can slog through the first two seasons.
 

Gordon_4

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Caught myself up on The Book of Boba Fett.

Man this is good stuff. There's a couple of issues like the speeder chase in Chapter 3 sort of....not really feeling fast enough to be a chase. Although that could be because one party is trying to drive a Star Wars idea of a Cadillac though a very narrow bazaar and the other guys are basically on Vespas.

Other than that, its all solid stuff and there are times I'm kind of glad Boba keeps his helmet on when he fights because Temuera really can just bring old 'Jake the Muss' back out and its honestly kind of fucking terrifying when he does.
 

gorfias

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On Hulu: Needed something kind of quick to watch with my daughter and she asked to watch "Brooklyn 99" It is pretty amusing. 2nd or 3rd episode, 1 character pokes fun at another for still using cassette tapes. He asks patronizingly why he just doesn't get an Ipod. It was filmed around 2013.

 

Bob_McMillan

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Other than that, its all solid stuff and there are times I'm kind of glad Boba keeps his helmet on when he fights because Temuera really can just bring old 'Jake the Muss' back out and its honestly kind of fucking terrifying when he does.
I assume this is an Ep 3 thing, which I have not yet watched so no spoilers please, because so far from what I've watched he's almost exclusively had action scenes without his helmet off.

On Hulu: Needed something kind of quick to watch with my daughter and she asked to watch "Brooklyn 99" It is pretty amusing. 2nd or 3rd episode, 1 character pokes fun at another for still using cassette tapes. He asks patronizingly why he just doesn't get an Ipod. It was filmed around 2013.
I got my parents into Brooklyn 99. It took a while, but my dad went from being kind of annoyed that he had to watch it with my mother to staying up late to finish seasons on his own. It's no storytelling masterpiece, but definitely very funny, the funniest sitcom I've watched since Parks and Rec.

OT: Finally finished The Witcher Season 2. After episode 1, everything goes downhill. All they had to was solidify Ciri's relationship with Geralt, Yennefer, and the other witchers so we would care when they are all ripped away from each other for what I assume will be a few seasons. Now, I'm not even sure if the show will get a third season. I would write more but I've spent so much time already ranting to my friends. Blegh. Hope they can turn it around because it's clear that Henry Cavill is very invested in this role.
 
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gorfias

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Station Eleven
Did you finish it? What did you think?
I just read a plot synopsis of the book. Wow, very different from this series. No ambiguity. In it, Tyler is a monster, full stop. In the series, it was more confused. He is afraid of civilization making a return. At times... most times, he is portrayed sympathetically. Yet, didn't he send that guy's own kids back to him baring land mines and murder the 3 of them? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Station_Eleven

Some of the Prophet's actions, and the Air Port people's actions, reminded me of LOST and the Others. But then they revert into apparently OK people.

It did seem a little too in love with the pandemic. Once 99% of the world has died off, the survivors are liberated. The main character is part of a road show. Jeevan wants to be a doctor? In this world, who is to stop him? He just does it. Most of those we see simply start living out their dreams. I don't think it would be anything like that in reality.

In the past, it took some 95 farmers to feed 5 people that could then work on other things. Things would be better in a future that has modern science to help some. But I don't think it would be that easy. They do make an argument for how the air port would be self sustaining. But the Prophet is in the wilderness raising kids... what do they eat?

What about medical problems? Dental and surgical needs? Yet they go on, sort of treating the world like their play ground, without civilization bringing them down.

That aside, so much fan service that I appreciated. Particularly happy that Kirstin and Jeevan do meet again. The days they are stuck with Frank in his apartment was some of the most real feeling parts of this series. I do think things would be like that in the event that this pandemic really happen. Loved everything with Miranda. Fascinating sub-plot.
I'm very glad I watched the series. Ultimately a fascinating and different experience.
 

Xprimentyl

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Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted: Wholesome / Great

World-renowned chef Gordan Ramsay travels to various places around the world trying exotic cuisines and challenging himself to prepare dishes for locals to see if he can't meet their standards with his own personal touches on them.

I never liked Ramsay. Never watched his shows or anything, but knew he had a reputation for being massive dick which was apparently his appeal as people tuned in to see who he was going to cuss out for what next. But this show shows a different side of him, one that's not going for spectacle, rather his genuine curiosity about other cultures and experiences. He actually comes across as a very amicable guy, very sweet with children, and honestly, a lot of fun. It's changed my whole perception on the man. Good show.
 
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gorfias

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Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted: Wholesome / Great

World-renowned chef Gordan Ramsay travels to various places around the world trying exotic cuisines and challenging himself to prepare dishes for locals to see if he can't meet their standards with his own personal touches on them.

I never liked Ramsay. Never watched his shows or anything, but knew he had a reputation for being massive dick which was apparently his appeal as people tuned in to see who he was going to cuss out for what next. But this show shows a different side of him, one that's not going for spectacle, rather his genuine curiosity about other cultures and experiences. He actually comes across as a very amicable guy, very sweet with children, and honestly, a lot of fun. It's changed my whole perception on the man. Good show.
3 season on Disney Plus. Will review, thanks!
 
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Piscian

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Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted: Wholesome / Great

World-renowned chef Gordan Ramsay travels to various places around the world trying exotic cuisines and challenging himself to prepare dishes for locals to see if he can't meet their standards with his own personal touches on them.

I never liked Ramsay. Never watched his shows or anything, but knew he had a reputation for being massive dick which was apparently his appeal as people tuned in to see who he was going to cuss out for what next. But this show shows a different side of him, one that's not going for spectacle, rather his genuine curiosity about other cultures and experiences. He actually comes across as a very amicable guy, very sweet with children, and honestly, a lot of fun. It's changed my whole perception on the man. Good show.
I get impression It mostly stems from the American kitchen nightmares where they asked him to play up that persona, it was so popular that people assume he's a dick all the time. I can't even watch that show it's all screaming and drama for American reality tv fans.

If you watch the original uk kitchen nightmares he acted that way only when he got really frustrated because the point of that show was him seeking out venues he actually wanted to save and when they'd get shitty with him he'd respond in kind.

He's pretty normal on other shows like master chef and the new next level chef. He'll yell at chefs only when it's really deserved and is often the nicer of the head chefs.

The travel shows are most documentary so there no reason for him to play that character.

It's a shame because he's a really good dude and super charitable he's floated lots of people through schools, funded student restaurant ventures and what not, but the screaming Ramsey character is what
sells.
 

Piscian

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Did you finish it? What did you think?
I just read a plot synopsis of the book. Wow, very different from this series. No ambiguity. In it, Tyler is a monster, full stop. In the series, it was more confused. He is afraid of civilization making a return. At times... most times, he is portrayed sympathetically. Yet, didn't he send that guy's own kids back to him baring land mines and murder the 3 of them? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Station_Eleven

Some of the Prophet's actions, and the Air Port people's actions, reminded me of LOST and the Others. But then they revert into apparently OK people.

It did seem a little too in love with the pandemic. Once 99% of the world has died off, the survivors are liberated. The main character is part of a road show. Jeevan wants to be a doctor? In this world, who is to stop him? He just does it. Most of those we see simply start living out their dreams. I don't think it would be anything like that in reality.

In the past, it took some 95 farmers to feed 5 people that could then work on other things. Things would be better in a future that has modern science to help some. But I don't think it would be that easy. They do make an argument for how the air port would be self sustaining. But the Prophet is in the wilderness raising kids... what do they eat?

What about medical problems? Dental and surgical needs? Yet they go on, sort of treating the world like their play ground, without civilization bringing them down.

That aside, so much fan service that I appreciated. Particularly happy that Kirstin and Jeevan do meet again. The days they are stuck with Frank in his apartment was some of the most real feeling parts of this series. I do think things would be like that in the event that this pandemic really happen. Loved everything with Miranda. Fascinating sub-plot.
I'm very glad I watched the series. Ultimately a fascinating and different experience.

I loved it.

I often have highs and lows with shows where I'll enjoy it, but also get bored at points due to meandering story and dialog. I never felt that with Station Eleven. They paid extreme attention to detail on all the storytelling and dialog. Every line of dialog is poignant and meaningful no one tries to be overly quippy or jabbers. Theres a ton of lines I almost wanted on a t-shirt or a poster because they were so poetic.

"I remember damage, then escape"

I think of recent post apocalyptic shows like sweet tooth which have good elements, but fumble with the execution. Station Eleven had none of that, just felt very purposeful, but I think that's the point. It was adapted more like a play with many acts rather than a TV series. No filler, they could have easily made it two seasons and I'm so glad they didn't.

Regarding that particular sort of hypocrisy, theres a line I really like -

"Why are you helping me?"

"Well stabbing you didn't work.."

and I think that sums up a lot. At certain point characters had to stop fighting and just see things through.

I think it's going to be easy for people to write this show off as schmaltzy and pretentious, but I found it extremely rewarding. Rarely am I both sad it's over and glad it's done.


Regarding your gripes, idk I feel like if they took time to explain those kinds of things it'd be 10 seasons long and a slog. In my mind they just "managed" and some got lucky.
 
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Xprimentyl

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I get impression It mostly stems from the American kitchen nightmares where they asked him to play up that persona, it was so popular that people assume he's a dick all the time. I can't even watch that show it's all screaming and drama for American reality tv fans.

If you watch the original uk kitchen nightmares he acted that way only when he got really frustrated because the point of that show was him seeking out venues he actually wanted to save and when they'd get shitty with him he'd respond in kind.

He's pretty normal on other shows like master chef and the new next level chef. He'll yell at chefs only when it's really deserved and is often the nicer of the head chefs.

The travel shows are most documentary so there no reason for him to play that character.

It's a shame because he's a really good dude and super charitable he's floated lots of people through schools, funded student restaurant ventures and what not, but the screaming Ramsey character is what
sells.
Yeah, I gathered as much. He really does seem to be almost the antithesis to what his "reality" shows have shown him to be, and I'm ashamed of myself for falling for the image hyped up by media. He's just an awesome guy in this series, traveling to 3rd world countries and literally biting in with the kind of honesty I myself would be hard pressed to do.
 

Bartholen

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The first 4 episodes of Arcane on Netflix. Hopelessly behind the bandwagon, but still somewhat relevant. And boy, it is pretty fucking good.

Visually this feels like a genuine game changer for animated shows. It literally looks like concept art in motion. Like something animated shows up to this point have only dreamed of. I dare say this feels like what The Incredibles was to CG animated movies at the time: the one that finally nails the visual look. It's all entirely 3D, but it never feels like that. Animated shows have mixed and melded 3D and 2D elements for decades at this point, but in this show they're genuinely indistinguishable. Given the popularity of this, Invincible and the upcoming Legend of Vox Machina on Amazon, it genuinely feels we could be on the cusp of a new golden age of animation for adult audiences.

Storywise it's just great. The trailers made it seem far, far more generic than it actually is. And I'll be honest, that's what put me off watching the show initially, because when a line like "War is coming" is the first thing said in the trailer my eyes just start rolling in my head. But it's genuinely great. It manages to convey a lot of character through just character design and behavior, and despite the quite extensive episode runtime for an animated show, I still feel I could be watching these characters for twice as long. Despite it being full of familiar tropes all the characters feel properly fleshed out, and you genuinely feel like there's history and bonds between them.

I'll have to watch the last 2 5 episodes before the final verdict, but so far I'm enjoying it immensely. The things I'm not too keen on are the occasional pop music inserts which I feel don't fit the whole magipunk (is that a word?) aesthetic, the overly fanservicey female guard outfits, and Jinx seeming like she could be a bit too much of a made in China version of Harley Quinn. At least the show provides ample context for why she is the way she is, and shows that she is genuinely mentally unstable.
 
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Piscian

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Dexter: New Blood

Of course the last season had to be the best one. The ending was perfectly acceptable, but oddly disappointing because it was actually good, like the first great season since maybe the first. Dexter was so bad I barely remember 3 good seasons and the rest of it was meandering nonsense. This season every scene led to something important. It was very compact. A shame it's over. My only editorial complaint I think was that the last episode seems slightly out of character. It doesn't crater the whole season, but it felt like they probably filmed a couple endings and ended up with this one after debate rather than there being proper build up.
 
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Ezekiel

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Dexter: New Blood

Of course the last season had to be the best one. The ending was perfectly acceptable, but oddly disappointing because it was actually good, like the first great season since maybe the first. Dexter was so bad I barely remember 3 good seasons and the rest of it was meandering nonsense. This season every scene led to something important. It was very compact. A shame it's over. My only editorial complaint I think was that the last episode seems slightly out of character. It doesn't crater the whole season, but it felt like they probably filmed a couple endings and ended up with this one after debate rather than there being proper build up.
If I wanted to, could I go from the end of season 1 straight to New Blood without missing anything important? Or is it not that kind of show?
 

Piscian

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If I wanted to, could I go from the end of season 1 straight to New Blood without missing anything important? Or is it not that kind of show?
Season 4 would be the right place. That's both the last good season and essentially the last thing of relevance to this series. After season 4 only the last episode of the series is referenced and even then everything is referenced in brief conversations and flashbacks. To be honest with you I went literally only remembering season 1 and season 4 so yeah honestly you could probably get away with that, but I'd recommend at least watching 4. Admittedly I don't remember what happened in season 2 or 3 and I was fine.
 

Bartholen

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Finished Arcane (final grade 8/10), and not that much more to say about it to be honest. It's fucking great all around. My worries about Jinx were proven wrong; she's how Harley Quinn should be when played straight. Not a quirky, oh so wacky hot topic kooky girl, but a tormented, unstable and dangerous psychopath.

The ensemble structure helps the series greatly. The trailers made it seem like Jinx would be at the center, but out of all the main cast she has probably the least amount of screentime, and her and Vi's relationship plays ultimately a very small role in the larger context. Jayce is closest to what could be called the main character, since it is his actions and choices that propel the story the most.

I honestly can't say enough how great this show looks. Everything from the movements, the cinematography, the designs, the action scenes and the environments is just 11/10. Not once does it dip into the uncanny valley, but stays a consistently perfect level of stylized all the way through. I said it just 3 posts ago, but this feels like a gamechanger for animated shows. My God, just imagining a Berserk adaptation with this level of animation... one can dream.

The one negative constant in this series was the soundtrack in all the big action scenes. Suddenly this orchestral score is traded in for this flavorless mid-2010s pop that sticks out like a sore thumb every time. I could be more kind to it if it was supposed to be diegetic (the bar fight between Vi and Sevika had some plausible deniability), but it's so clearly not. Not that I've ever listened to them, but this series made me absolutely hate Imagine Dragons, the absolute paragons of this bland, featureless pseudo-pop-rock that's simultaneously completely devoid of any identity, yet manages to push all my infuriation buttons.
 
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I watched the final season of the Expanse. it's a bit of an anti-climax.

Although I didn't realise it was actually the final season because of all the new plot elements that got introduced and never went anywhere.