<p>Crystal Bowersox of 'American Idol'</p>

Crystal Bowersox of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Finale Performances: Crystal vs. Lee

Crystal Bowersox dominated Lee DeWyze in the finale, but can Lee still win? Sure!

Wow, kids. We're reached the "American Idol" finale. Or at least we've reached the first-night performance component of "American Idol." Then, after two hours tomorrow night, we'll actually know whether our next Idol is Crystal Bowersox or Lee DeWyze.

But on Tuesday (May 25) night? We're singing. How did Crystal and Lee acquit themselves with their trio of performances? They're singing one song of their choosing, one song selected by Simon Fuller and their first sing (not to be confused with the traditional coronation dud).

Click through for the full recap...

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<p>Evan Lysacek on last week's 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Evan Lysacek on last week's 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Finale Performances

In a disappointing finale, more than one pair botches their routines
Eeeek, it’s down to the final three and I don’t know about you, but for me choosing just one team to root for is like “Sophie’s Choice” if Sophie had three sets of strangely talented conjoined twins and that unfortunate Holocaust theme wasn’t involved. But if I was placing a money bet, that would be easier. I’m putting my money on Evan, unless he throws up on the dance floor or spends his dance time quota making longwinded political statements. From my in-depth and scientific surveying (I talked to my friends), it seems everyone is kind of leaning toward Evan because he’s a little better than Erin but didn’t start from the same high water mark as Nicole. And, if you’re me, you give him a pity vote because his partner seems to secretly loathe him and he’s just so nice and so dull you just want to pat him on the head and give him a cookie. But enough about Evan, it’s time for dancing!

[Full recap of Monday's (May 24) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]
 
Erin and Maks
Make that almost time for dancing. Before Erin and Maks can get to their redemption dance, we have to see footage of Bruno crashing their rehearsal and shrieking “Look at your ass! Look at YOUR ASS!” Which strikes me as being particularly difficult to do, but then I remembered they have mirrors. Anyway, Bruno gives Erin tips on how to make her samba sexier. Erin somehow accomplishes this, which is impressive, given that Bruno usually just sounds a whole hella lotta incomprehensible crazy.
 
The Dance: Okay, the whole ending a dance by kissing Len thing is pretty cliché at this point. But Erin actually seems to be enjoying herself this time around. Her moves are more fluid, there’s no deer caught in the headlights looks, and there’s some of the fire we see between her and Maks in rehearsal actually showing up on the dance floor. Girlfriend’s much more confident this time around, and it makes a big difference. Big enough to beat Evan and Nicole, I don’t know, but she’s definitely up there.
 
Judges Say: Len thanks Maks for keeping his clothes on, then gives Erin props for improving. Bruno, of course, has a fit and tells Erin she’s hotter than noon in the tropics, then begins jerking around like a crazed bobblehead. Carrie Ann thought Erin moved up by three notches. Why three notches, I have no idea. But suffice it to say, everyone thought she did pretty well.
 
Score: 29. I’m a little surprised. Erin danced well, but when Nicole has yet to hit the floor, it’s a little risky to be throwing tens at pretty good.
 
 
Evan and Anna
Len visits Evan and Anna to coach them on the Viennese waltz. Len seems like a very good coach. Maybe Anna needs to spend some time with Len. Or Evan needs to dance with Len. C’mon, it’s the 21st century, it’s time ballroom got with it.
 
The Dance: Oh crap, did I just see skater feet? Obviously, Evan is miles better than he was in week one, but I’m a little worried. At the beginning of the dance, he looked stressed, but loosened up and started smiling in a groom on top of the wedding cake kinda way halfway through. I feel bad for Evan and Anna that they had to dance a friggin’ waltz, which isn’t as fun and sexy as a samba and tends to look forced unless it’s between two professionals. Truth told, this is a little on the dull side, and when you combine a dull dance with a dull guy (sorry, Evan), it’s like television Tylenol PM.
 
Judges Say: Bruno said he liked the connection between the two of them. Carrie Ann says it was an emotional, enchanting dream. Len said Evan collapsed a little bit in his standing at times, but overall did a very good job.

Score: 28. This seems about right, unfortunately. It’s comparing apples and oranges, but for pure confidence and comfort on the dance floor, Erin definitely outshone Evan. Fingers crossed Evan and Anna bring it in the freestyle.
 
 
Nicole and Derek
 
Carrie Ann comes in to coach Derek and Nicole on the rumba. Carrie Ann wants Nicole to connect to Derek and stop worrying about the steps. Nicole is determined to live the dance. Do we even need to see this? Nicole always wants to bring it, Derek always wants to challenge her, yada yada yada.
 
The Dance: Boy, this is a bad cover of “Lady in Red.” Holy crap, Nicole ends the song by propping herself up sideways, holding on to Derek with one leg. How is that even possible? Really, Nicole is in a league of her own in this competition. But the thing is, she’s been in a league of her own since the beginning of the show. She’s improved, yes, but as I recall, her first rumba was pretty good, too. If you listen to Erin and Maks, the point of “DWTS” is to show improvement. And, if that’s really the barometer, Nicole has only been able to add a plus to her existing A grade.
 
Judges Say: Carrie Ann thought it was mesmerizing. Except for the lift at the end. WTF? Okay, yes, technically, Derek picked Nicole up as the music was fading out. But come on! I can’t decide if I’m pissed at Derek for screwing up or Carrie Ann for being such a stickler. Dammit! Len loved the subtlety, but does think she lacked confidence at times. Bruno starts rolling Rs and says it was superlative.
 
Score: 28. Nicole looks like she’s ready to haul off and slug Derek, and I can’t blame her. This would have been, at worst, a 29 if not for the lift. Derek tells Brooke Burns he feels a lot of responsibility, which he should. I mean, they’re just dancing for a stupid mirror ball trophy, not even big wads of money or a trip to Tahiti, but it would blow to lose the whole thing on a technicality.
 
 
Erin and Maks
 
Maks wants to do a contemporary/lyrical freestyle to tell the story of Erin and Maks. Um, this could either be a disaster or R-rated or, perhaps, an R-rated disaster. He asks choreographer Mandy Moore, who has done great things on “So You Think You Can Dance,” to help out. This should be interesting. And you may want to ask young children to leave the room for this one, unless you like explaining the birds and the bees during prime time.
 
The Dance:  The minute I saw that the dance of Erin and Maks had a big bed right in the middle of it, I could not stop laughing. Wow, this isn’t on the nose or anything. There’s lots of rolling around on the bed, which doesn’t look so much like dancing as rolling around on the bed. I’m not sure if this risk pays off, although I think Erin committed to portraying herself as kind of a mattress back admirably. Still, this dance just seems out of place on this show, to say nothing to whole “hey, look, we’re screwing! A lot!” subtext, which is pretty tacky, honestly. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion Len is rolling his eyes on the sidelines, but that’s just me.  
 
Judges Say: Len says they took an enormous risk, then admits he liked it but didn’t love it. Why am I not surprised? Bruno agrees it was a risk, and thinks some of the moves were incredibly well done. Carrie Ann loved it, but thought there was one stumble during the bed tossing. Maks explains it wasn’t the bed they rehearsed on. Which, I’m assuming, was in his apartment. Just saying.
 
Brooke asks Erin what the hell they were thinking by doing a contemporary freestyle, and Erin admits they just wanted to be different than Nicole and Evan. I think they may have been just different enough to get knocked out of the competition, honestly.
 
Score: 26. Not a great score for the finals, I’m afraid.
 
 
Evan and Anna
 
Uh-oh. In rehearsals, Evan wants to take risks. Anna wants to pout and cry and freak out. Anna is having choreography block, which is like writer’s block but involves wearing yoga pants. So, she calls choreographer Bobby Newberry, who has a Mohawk, so he should be all about the risks. Now, Anna and Evan are excited about their freestyle, problem solved, cue the Disney music. Gee, it’s always such a nail biter in these walk-ups, isn’t it?
 
The Dance: Oh no, Evan has that Ed Grimley hairstyle again. Nooooo! And crapballs, what’s with the highwaters and white socks? And the bowtie! Oh ma god, what, is this supposed to be “Footloose” meets “Revenge of the Nerds”? Whatever.

The good news is, this is an upbeat, high energy number, and Evan really comes alive once you pick up the beat. The basic truth is, he usually seems a little miserable doing the pretty dances, but you let him rock out and he’s a happy boy. And, while Evan seems to be having a ball, this is not a great routine. Bobby Newberry and his Mohawk did not deliver. Evan’s moves start to get loosey-goosey halfway through, as if they didn’t have enough rehearsal time, and it’s just kind of a mess that doesn’t seem to have enough structure or, specifically, connection between Evan and Anna. Evan’s just flapping his arms around like he’s being electrocuted, and I think he’d have really benefited from being able to, I don’t know, dance with Anna instead of dance alongside her. I know Anna doesn’t really like the guy, but come on. 
 
Judges Say: Bruno says it looked like Evan had a screw loose, but he went for it. Carrie Ann tells them it was odd, but great energy. Len thought it was the path of least resistance and it wasn’t what he wanted to see. I think Evan and Anna are in big, big trouble.
 
Score: 24. Evan says it feels good to get this rotten score, but he’s got to be kidding, right? This is hugely disappointing. I was sure Evan was going to blow us away in the finale. And now, well, I’m doubting he’s going to make it to the final two.
 
 
Nicole and Derek
 
In rehearsal, Derek is doing lifts he’s never done before. I’m guessing he means lifts he’s never done in this competition, because really, I know Nicole is good, but I wouldn’t use her as a crash test dummy.
 
The Dance: I know it’s supposed to be cute that they’re wearing matching black suits, but Derek, you dumbass, I can’t see what either of you are doing! As ugly as the yellow shoes are, they at least make their feet stand out. Oh, now they’ve stripped down, good move. Still, even though this wasn’t my favorite dance of theirs, it’s pretty great… until the ending, when Derek almost dumps Nicole on the ground in a horribly botched lift. This is nightmarish. Derek, in trying to push Nicole and himself to do more than any other couple in “DWTS” history, has pushed too far. Literally, Derek, not Nicole, is screwing up their chances for a mirror ball left and right. Nicole, you are cordially invited to kick his little blond ass.
 
Judges Say: Carrie Ann says it was the freestyle they’d all been waiting for, but that it killed her when they slipped on the last lift. Len saw the salsa, the jive, the samba and fun. Bruno thinks it was amazing, and said the slip at the end was only because they tried to do what has never been done. True dat.
 
Brooke asks Nicole why the hell she didn’t try hip-hop. Nicole wanted to push herself, duh. Then, Derek begs for votes. Which he should, because he’s the one who messed everything up.
 
Score: 27. Wow, this is one of Nicole’s worst showings, and it’s the damn FINALS. They’re still at the top of the leader board, but only because Evan and Anna blew it and poor Erin thought it was a good idea to roll around on a mattress for her last dance.
 
 
Have to say, I had high expectations for this episode, and I’m sorely disappointed. The worst part of it is, the fault really lies with the pros, not the celebrities, who did their level bests but were either pushed too far, given crappy routines or encouraged to take risks that didn’t pay off. At this point, it seems like Erin might come from behind and win the whole thing, which would be fine if I didn’t feel like her competitors got tripped by their partners on the way to the finish line.
 
Do you think Nicole should have been docked for Derek’s mistakes? Do you think Anna’s bad choreography cost Evan the mirror ball? Who do you think should win – and has your opinion changed?
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<p>Kiefer Sutherland in the finale of FOX's '24'</p>

Kiefer Sutherland in the finale of FOX's '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Series Finale - '2 p.m. to 4 p.m.'

Having learned the true depth of the conspiracy, Chloe stops Jack from starting an international war.

 “24” rode off into the sunset tonight, although the plan is for it to ride right into your cineplex in the not-too-distant future. So our mourning may be muted: yes, we’ll never see another failed perimeter grace our television screens, but the possibilities for Parisian, Peruvian, or Pakistani perimeters being breached on the silver screen are endless! Since it was a two-hour finale, I will waste as few words as possible mulling over the impact of the show now, and will hold off grander thoughts for the end. For now, let’s dive into what went down during the series finale of the show. 

 

[Full recap of Monday's (May 24) series finale of "24" after the break...]

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<p>Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi of 'Chuck'</p>

Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi of 'Chuck'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Chuck' Finale - 'Chuck vs. the Subway'/'Chuck vs. the Ring: Part II'

'Chuck' finishes its third season with comedy, tragedy and a new direction
That was an odd, truncated, bifurcated season for "Chuck," wasn't it?
 
"Chuck" premiered in January with three episodes over two nights. It vanished for the Olympics. It returned and forged ahead through "Chuck vs. The Other Guy," which walked like a finale, quacked like a finale, had webbed feet like a finale, but wasn't actually a finale. Then, after a couple weeks away, "Chuck" returned for a five-week, six-episode mini-season.
 
It's been a scheduling and recapping roller-coaster and for fans, it's been even bumpier. Two months of Shaw and Hannah as impediments gave way to exactly two weeks of happiness before the Intersect started devouring Chuck's brain and it turned out that shooting Shaw multiple times in the chest wasn't actually an effective way of killing him.
 
When Season Three (and Season 3.1) of "Chuck" come out on DVD, the tag should be "Don't get too comfortable."
 
I'm sure Sepinwall will have done an in-depth job of recapping, so I don't know how detailed I'm going to get, plot-wise, but I definitely want to give my reactions to the finale and possible to the season as a whole...
 
Click through for my thoughts on "Chuck vs. the Subway" and "Chuck vs. the Ring, Part II"... Spoilers, obviously...
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<p>Sawyer, Kate, and Claire run for it as the Island collapses around them in the unforgettable finale to the long-running series &quot;Lost.&quot;</p>

Sawyer, Kate, and Claire run for it as the Island collapses around them in the unforgettable finale to the long-running series "Lost."

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' finale 'The End' hits every emotional note right

Season's biggest gamble, the flash-sideways, will remain controversial

Recapping a show is, for me, a very different process than just watching it as a fan.

For the first four years it was on the air, I don't think I wrote more than 500 words about "Lost."  At Ain't It Cool, Hercules the Strong was the TV guy, and "Lost" was a particular favorite of his.

More than anything, I just wrote e-mails to Herc to geek out about the show, which I loved.  Right away.  The pilot had me on a hook.  And I have to say that as I sit here ready to put the show to bed, I love it still.  I think I've got a lot to say about the way they stuck this particular landing, but for the most part... they did it.  I think "Lost" is a show that will have a shelf life.  It's a badass ride.  It's a really, really well-told pulp story.  It's got style and wit and character and big ideas just spilling out of it.  It's overstuffed way past the breaking point.  It's so full of good things that many of them are just dead ends.

That's sort of the nature of TV, though.  TV, no matter how much you plan out where you're going, is going to be reactive to some degree.  And some shows are very, very reactive.  Those shows embrace the notion that community is important for a show's lifetime on the air, while longevity is important for an afterlife.  I think "Lost" is a show that people will watch as an event in the future.  I think it is so much fun as a story when it's cooking along, doing its thing, getting all weird and soapy and throwing SF big idea left hooks and Univision-level shameless soap opera right hooks with the occasional pop culture joke jabs thrown in.  That's the "Lost" that I love, and that's the "Lost" that got its groove on tonight with a vengeance at times. 

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<p>Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad'</p>

Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

Recap: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Fly'

Walt and Jesse deal with a minor annoyance that stands in for some very big problems.

 "Fly" belongs to a club of my very favorite types of TV episodes. They're the types of episodes that feel like small plays, the types of episodes where it seems like the writing staff comes up with a challenge to give themselves and then spends its time trying to meet that challenge. Properly speaking, this is a "bottle show," but it's a bottle show unlike any other. The usual way to do a bottle show on a series like this is to trap some portion of the regular cast in a small room and have a threat pacing around just outside. Think of, say, "Lost's" "Lockdown," which featured Ben and Locke trapped in the Hatch together, or that "24" episode where everyone had to spend their time in one small room because of a toxic attack on CTU. That sort of thing.

[Full recap of Sunday's (May 23) "Breaking Bad" after the break...]

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<p>Leonard Nimoy of FOX's 'Fringe'</p>

Leonard Nimoy of FOX's 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' Finale - 'Over There: Part 2'

William Bell and Olivia desperately try to save both Bishop Boys in the alternate universe.

For about 90% of tonight’s finale of “Fringe,” I wasn’t really buying what the show was selling. Ideas? Crackling. Character work? Top-notch. But the story wasn’t up to par. Obstacles were overcome too easily, with enough plot holes to threaten an additional crack between the two universes. But then the true endgame was revealed, and everything before that moment clicked into place. And that cliffhanger? Well played, show. Well played indeed. 

[Full recap of Thursday's (May 20) "Fringe" finale after the break...]

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<p>Lee DeWyze got to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game. That's cooler than being the winner of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Lee DeWyze got to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game. That's cooler than being the winner of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - 'Idol' sets its Top 2 and welcomes Justin Bieber

With only one week remaining, 'Idol' sets the pairing for its Finale

9:02 p.m. ET Tonight we find out who makes it into the "American Idol" Finale. Or else we're all just waiting around for Justin Bieber. It's all about how you look at it, I suppose.

9:03 p.m. Over 47 million votes came in last night, Ryan tells us. That's the most this season, not that he needs to mention it. We already know. And last year? Same week? 88 million votes.

Wednesday's (May 19) "American Idol" recap and results after the break...

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<p>Jack (Matthew Fox)&nbsp;and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) share one of the last quiet moments of the series in this week's penultimate episode of 'Lost'</p>

Jack (Matthew Fox) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) share one of the last quiet moments of the series in this week's penultimate episode of 'Lost'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' 6.16 'What They Died For' wraps things up in a bloody bow

Locke thins the herd a little more and a candidate accepts Jacob's offer

Well, there we go.  All that's left at this point is the proverbial fat lady.

I find myself of very mixed emotion as we reach this next-to-last episode of one of the only shows I actually bother to watch while it's airing.  There are absolutely other great shows on TV right now.  I recently watched the first two seasons of "Breaking Bad" in a day and a half, and I love catching up with "Mad Men" all at once when the Blu-ray sets are released.  "Justified" is building a real head of steam as it goes this year, and I try to catch up every few weeks via Hulu, which is the same way I watched pretty much all of "Archer" in one fell swoop.  TV continues to offer up all sorts of varied and fascinating entertainment.  But as far as actual appointment television, "Lost" was pretty much the last one for me.

There's something special about certain shows, where they become more than just stories you're watching.  There have been several shows over the years that have become full-blown social events for me and for my friends.  I remember the heyday of "The X-Files," when a group of us would get together each week to watch together, and there was a time when every Saturday night would kick off with a "MST3K" party for me and my roommates.  Even though it's harder these days to plan a big group get-together for any show, "Lost" has been a show that I've watched each and every week on the night that it aired for the full six seasons, and tonight was the last regularly scheduled episode ever.  It's a strange feeling.  I'm excited to see the ending on Sunday night, but I'm already missing this series that has been such a pleasant and rewarding habit for the better part of this decade.

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<p>Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Morrison of 'Glee'</p>

Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Morrison of 'Glee'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - Joss Whedon directs 'Dream On'

Neil Patrick Harris and Idina Menzel guest star on this week's secret-filled 'Glee'

Score another one for the gays! Tonight on "Glee," special guest Neil Patrick Harris showed up as Will Shuester's worst nightmare: his old glee club nemesis, Bryan Ryan, who's now old and bitter and bent on shuttering glee club for good. The good news: Bryan Ryan's thinly veiled anti-glee agenda gave the show a hilarious new way to poke fun at homophobic America, one that doesn't require Kurt to make out with girls and wear flannel just to figure out how much happier he is in his own skin. (Please, let's have no more of that.)

The bad news? Despite being written by show co-creator Brad Fulchuk and directed by the King of Geekery himself, Joss Whedon, Episode 19 felt a little off-balance at times, thanks to an overabundance of Will Shuester-Bryan Ryan frenemy duets and far too fewer scenes of, well, anyone else. Rachel and Miss Corcoran's tear-jerking "I Dreamed a Dream" and Artie's two -- yes, TWO! -- musical numbers were more effective than Will and Ryan's two man-to-man duets, even if Matthew Morrison and NPH did hit those ridiculously high notes during Aerosmith's "Dream On."

And while the main theme (friends helping their friends achieve their dreams) followed NPH's ex-Gleek Bryan Ryan and Rachel Berry's mommy issues, the heart of tonight's episode belonged to Kevin McHale's Artie, whose dream to one day walk and dance again gave us an emotional rollercoaster of a through line. Artie may have risen and fallen a few too many heart wrenching times this episode -- literally -- but we finally delved deeper into the hopes and dreams (and realities) of McKinley High's resident wheelchair-riding Gleek. I can't wait to see how Artie channels Lady Gaga in next week's not-to-be-missed episode.

[Full recap of Tuesday's (May 18) "Glee" after the break…]  

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