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S06.E09: Carpe Diem

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Elizabeth faces a crises when a military conflict spirals to the brink of nuclear confrontation. With impeachment looming Elizabeth and Henry discuss things they would like to accomplish while she's still in office.

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Yay! Finally! Thank you writers for giving me the (fictional) win I’d been waiting for for three years. 
Dammit, though, why is there still no tears-of-joy emoji? Could it be because there needs to be a woman CEO in the emoji division of Apple?

Nice nod to Greta Thunberg at the end —at least that’s how I interpreted the bit about the demonstrations of support starting with a 10-year-old girl. 

Too bad Elizabeth had to throw Daisy under the bus, throw the bus in reverse, and run over her again. Can we get a scene in which Daisy forgives her publicly to prevent riots? *sigh* Maybe it’s better the show is ending before that. 

Loved Elizabeth and Chen together one more time. That should be worked into a spin-off. Where did Bess and Chen have their tête-à-tête?

Most of all, thank you, CBS, for doing what you’re supposed to do this evening for the first Sunday in months by broadcasting over the air here. 
 

Argh. There was one really good turn of phrase I wanted to quote that I can’t recall. 
 

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This episode was the first really good episode of the season. I enjoyed this episode, particularly Bess & Chen meeting up again.

 

2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Loved Elizabeth and Chen together one more time. That should be worked into a spin-off. Where did Bess and Chen have their tête-à-tête?

Bess said she needed them to fire up Marine One so she could meet Chen in NY (presuming NYC)

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I fast forwarded through much of the first 20 or so minutes, thinking "You're going to waste an entire episode on this Stevie-Dmitri drek?"  Well, when we finally got to the impeachment hearing, it got interesting.  Unfortunately, to me Tea' Leoni's voice just doesn't carry enough gravitas, I guess, to project what should be righteous anger at the Congressman's blatant falsehoods and grandstanding.  But, she did a good job of countering his arguments.  So the only way out was for him to go Joseph McCarthy on her, and Congressman Weenie to finally get a backbone and channel his inner Joseph Welch (yes, I had to look it up) and shut him down.

Who else but Henry would know the entire quote in Latin from which comes Carpe Diem?

The military/international incident was fairly well done, including the DEFCON.  Often it's shown as increasing numbers = higher threat.  They did it right, moving everyone to DEFCON 4, and then DEFCON 2.  I do wish they would let an actor finish his or her sentence, though, instead of someone else continuing the thought.  It always seems so staged.

It's so sad that a leader often has to go to war to win the public's adoration.

Edited by Dowel Jones · Reason: Henry.
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So, Stevie and Dmitri have been back together for, what, a month?  Six weeks?  However long it's been is not what I would consider "a while," which is how Stevie phrased it to her parents.  So, basically, they've been back together for 4-6 weeks or whatever, and both are now racing to get engaged?  After Stevie, barely a week ago by the show's own timeline, wanted some space to figure stuff out because Dmitri committed the horrible sin of going on a few dates with some Alaskan woman and not telling her about it (and the addiction thing, which is a bigger deal, to be fair)?  But now everything is great, perfect even, and they're excitedly engaged?  Oooooookay, show.  Sure.

tenor.gif?itemid=5104546

I can't dignify the resolution to the impeachment hearings because it ended in approximately eleven seconds and because the reason basically boiled down to Elizabeth being a woman, which is trite, easy, boring, and deeply unsatisfying.  The writers' attempts at mirroring real life in some tangential way have consumed this season like a mutating virus, and they've sacrificed so many interesting, dynamic characters (and completely assassinated Daisy's character) to do so.  And for what?  Basic, simple, easily digestible sexism?  Absolutely no one was enlightened by this revelation/reason or had his/her mind changed one bit because of it.

At least there's only one more episode of this horrible season, and I'm not going to hold out hope that it will be in any way a satisfying series finale.  I'm guessing Elizabeth will finally receive that Nobel Peace Prize and/or be canonized.

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Henry and Elizabeth are so over the top when it comes to life in general and especially with Stevie's engagement.  Really would like to see the truth behind Dimitri's torture and imprisonment play out.

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I enjoyed watching Elizabeth and Henry draw up their bucket list and then watching Blake swoop in to get the deets on the wedding. 

12 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Loved Elizabeth and Chen together one more time. That should be worked into a spin-off. Where did Bess and Chen have their tête-à-tête?

I don't know NYC. But I see that on the right is the Chrysler building. Looking at this map, it seems that Bess and Chen are on a cross street and bridge of Lexington Avenue or E 42nd Street.

"What, he'd rather blow up the world than back down to a girl?"

chrysler_bldg.png

Edited by mojito
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I have always hoped in the show's future world, after both are retired, that Bess and Chen team-teach a graduate course on diplomacy somewhere. :-)

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I'm watching faithfully until the end and still think MS is one of the best shows on television, but also have to say that overall this season doesn't measure up to previous years.  While I would have liked to see Madam President continue, Madam Secretary was more engaging.  It probably isn't fair to compare five seasons with one shortened season, but this seems all over the place and I believe the writers could have done better.

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Stevie & Dmitri getting together so quickly, surprised me....I thought Stevie wanted some time to think about things.  But, I did get a kick out of the scenes of confusion during the Chinese Restaurant scene & then going back to the White House and the parents congratulating them Before the proposal & then Russell barging in, in the middle of the proposal made me chuckle.   The scene with Elizabeth & Chen talking on the bridge in NYC was very cool. 

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I have always thought this show was well written and the ensemble acting pretty good for network TV. Sadly, CBS has decided to end it and this coming Sunday is the last episode. I will miss it but look forward to seeing all of these actors move onto other shows or movie roles. I had hoped some of the past regulars would have shown up at some point this season but sadly they did not. Goodbye Madame Secretary...gone but not forgotten! 😢

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1 hour ago, mojito said:

I enjoyed watching Elizabeth and Henry draw up their bucket list and then watching Blake swoop in to get the deets on the wedding. 

I don't know NYC. But I see that on the right is the Chrysler building. Looking at this map, it seems that Bess and Chen are on a cross street and bridge of Lexington Avenue or E 42nd Street.

"What, he'd rather blow up the world than back down to a girl?"

chrysler_bldg.png

Thinking closer to the UN.  There isn't a bridge on Lexington and 42.

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I will sorely miss this show.  It was one hour a week to pretend we have a functioning government in the WH.  I already compensate by watching the first 5 seasons on Netflix.  Last night's episode was my favorite of this season so far, because it made me weepy at the end.  Thank goodness the whole impeachment thing is done before the last episode.  Hopefully we will see some former cast members return for the finale.

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11 hours ago, BuckeyeLou said:

But, I did get a kick out of the scenes of confusion during the Chinese Restaurant scene & then going back to the White House and the parents congratulating them Before the proposal & then Russell barging in, in the middle of the proposal made me chuckle.  

I was surprised that they celebrated with champagne concerning Dimitri is an alcoholic/substance abuser. You noticed he toasted with a glass of water. Welcome a new member into the family with a substance that can't drink?

I would love to see a spin-off on Blake. 

Edited by MaryHedwig
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Blake running in to hear about the proposal plans was literally the only part of the episode i enjoyed. If we had a full season, I would be glad we put the impeachment plot behind us, but for it to dominate the last season is sad to me. I thought it must be the last episode and our final scene was going to be that ridiculous protest scene.  I'm glad we have one more, I guess.

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7 hours ago, cameron said:

Henry and Elizabeth are so over the top when it comes to life in general and especially with Stevie's engagement.  Really would like to see the truth behind Dimitri's torture and imprisonment play out.

Clearly they brought Dimitri back assuming that either the audience would not remember his backstory or would accept a retcon, 
and/or maybe the writers tasked with the Stimitri fodder were told not to include what had gone before other than that Dmitri had spied for Spy Daddy to get medical care for his sister. 
The only reason I can see for including the Stimitri arc was to put a couple of fresh young faces with nicely proportioned bodies on the screen for a few minutes each episode. And I am glad it wasn't any longer than that.

10 hours ago, NUguy514 said:

The writers' attempts at mirroring real life in some tangential way have consumed this season like a mutating virus

The writers have been "mirroring real life in some tangential way" the entire series, IMO. Here I think they were rolling impeachment and #MeToo into one arc. 
Kudos to the actor who plays Senator Prison Break for conveying a crap-ton of outrage into a few seconds of nervous hand movements (and kudos to the cinematographers and editors too). 
They did a smooth job of setting up Senator Yinzer of PA to switch from political expediency to moral character and public service. It might not happen IRL these days (or any days), but, like TWW, this show might inspire some to do better.

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Thinking closer to the UN.  There isn't a bridge on Lexington and 42.

I don't know about that, but I wrote Lexington or E 42nd Street. 

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

Clearly they brought Dimitri back assuming that either the audience would not remember his backstory or would accept a retcon, 

I, for one, loved Stevie & Dimitri together from the outset, and I hoped that they would be reunited this season.  Perhaps there were many other fans who felt the same way.  I don't see what his backstory has to do with their relationship.  He did nothing wrong, and he doesn't seem to be holding a grudge.

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I'm waiting for them to get married in the final episode, with lots of tears and happy faces, etc,, etc., and then, in the final scene as they're driving off to Happyland, Dmitri pulls out his cell and quietly makes a call.  "I'm in, comrade.  It's a go."

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1 hour ago, babs1226 said:

I, for one, loved Stevie & Dimitri together from the outset, and I hoped that they would be reunited this season.  Perhaps there were many other fans who felt the same way.  I don't see what his backstory has to do with their relationship.  He did nothing wrong, and he doesn't seem to be holding a grudge.

IMO, Dimitri was an innocent who was loyal to Goodness.
I felt that Spy Daddy having sacrificed Dmitri for the good of the many --resulting in Dmitri being tortured and then addicted to pain killers, as well as living in exile in the far north for 3 f'in' years-- meant that Stevie would never forgive Spy Daddy and Spy Mommy if/when she found out, and that having Stevie not find out would eventually make Dimitri resentful towards her family, including her. 
So I wanted her to have a fabulous wedding with Blake instead.
But, alas, I am not a writer for the show, and anyone in the writers' room who thought like I did was overruled for whatever reason --probably because they wanted Stevie hitched hetero-normatively.

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10 hours ago, MaryHedwig said:

I was surprised that they celebrated with champagne concerning Dimitri is an alcoholic/substance abuser. You noticed he toasted with a glass of water. Welcome a new member into the family with a substance that can drink?

I would love to see a spin-off on Blake. 

I didn't see him take water, but I don't remember him being an alcoholic. I thought he had an opioid addiction.

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32 minutes ago, secnarf said:

I didn't see him take water, but I don't remember him being an alcoholic. I thought he had an opioid addiction.

A lot of addicts won't touch any kind of drugs or alcohol.

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33 minutes ago, secnarf said:

I didn't see him take water, but I don't remember him being an alcoholic. I thought he had an opioid addiction.

My eyes saw him drink a glass of water. Did anyone else see that? Also, any substance abuse program worth their salt is going to not allow people addicted to opioid to drink alcohol.

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6 minutes ago, MaryHedwig said:

My eyes saw him drink a glass of water. Did anyone else see that? Also, any substance abuse program worth their salt is going to not allow people addicted to opioid to drink alcohol.

I didn't notice Dimitri having water, but it makes sense since they did acknowledge that bit of his past.

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I think I heard someone offer Dmitri water.  It seemed a bit insensitive to have champagne instead of, say, sparkling cider that he could drink too.  They could have had a variety of beverages (with and without alcohol) for after the immediate celebration in case there was time.

I would have preferred less Stevie & Dmitri in the penultimate episode.  We haven't even seen Henry do much superhero stuff lately.

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19 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

 Unfortunately, to me Tea' Leoni's voice just doesn't carry enough gravitas

It's so sad that a leader often has to go to war to win the public's adoration.

Maybe if the part of the public could see her as having gravitas she wouldn't need to show it by going to war.... 

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1 hour ago, Driad said:

We haven't even seen Henry do much superhero stuff lately.

I lost track of all the Henry Diplomatic Superheroics --like the episode title reference and the whole bit with the Yinzer forefathers. I'm sure he saved the day with Stimitri too. At least he didn't crash the meet with Bess and Chen.

Edited by shapeshifter
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21 hours ago, NUguy514 said:

At least there's only one more episode of this horrible season, and I'm not going to hold out hope that it will be in any way a satisfying series finale.  I'm guessing Elizabeth will finally receive that Nobel Peace Prize and/or be canonized.

Why would Elizabeth get the Peace Prize or be canonized?

Henry should get both!






(sarcasm, in case you cannot tell)

Edited by bros402
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Oh, Henry.
They have made a few between-the-lines jokes about Henry’s many superhero skills this season. Maybe the finale will have one last, satisfying, toungue-in-cheek, verbal barb tossed his way.

And maybe Daisy can get reinstated and/or exonerated with profuse apologies from Senator Prison Break and POTUS Bess because Daisy’s reasons for lying about hiding information will be recognized as heroically done for the good of the country —but that would be a pretty complex situation/concept to explain in a 42 minute show that needs to wrap up a lot of other characters’ future directions. 
 

It’s kind of sad that my phone has just learned to auto complete Senator Prison Break

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I think the whole Dmitri Stevie thing was thrown in so the last episode can be devoted to their wedding. Then all sorts of former cast members etc can make an appearance 

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15 hours ago, mojito said:

I don't know about that, but I wrote Lexington or E 42nd Street. 

Look up Tudor City Bridge.  Down by the UN Plaza.

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9 hours ago, MaryHedwig said:

My eyes saw him drink a glass of water. Did anyone else see that? 

Yes. And I think I might have heard him ask for water, since I purposely looked to see what he was drinking, but I don't care enough to watch the episode again to be sure. 

And I have to give credit to the writers for creating a conclusion to the impeachment story that both sides of the current political divide could see as a defense of their position. (Although I also enjoyed the comments about the size of the crowd . . .)

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I knew the jerk leading the impeachment inquiry had gone too far when he accused Bess of engineering the standoff with the Chinese to make herself look good. 

Diplomacy is her wheelhouse, and she is known both inside and outside the Beltway for her patriotism, so I knew that would get her into dressing-down mode.

And I loved that the people took to the streets to chant "She's my President!" (...which I think I predicted a couple episodes ago.)

The whole last season has been wish-fulfillment and tying up what loose strings they could.

Also, I don't think Bess threw Daisy under the bus. As has been beaten into us for a couple of years: when another country tries to give you info on the other candidate you CALL THE FBI.

(They actually could have kept Daisy around if she had turned the info over to the FBI and someone there sat on it or leaked to the reporter.)

...and the difference between what Daisy did and Blake's holding onto the flash drive he was given is that it was oppo on Bess, and given to him by an American reporter.

I'll probably cry a few tears next week!

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In keeping with the perspective this show most often has on diplomacy and the political process, it's no surprise that the impeachment hearings got a fairy-tale resolution. We had Henry the Great Wizard speaking to the meek Representative some magic words from his dear Daddy that inspire him to finally do good for the country as a whole. And everyone on the committee sides with him in the final vote, except for the Evil Chairman.

I am surprised that the results of the vote were not conveyed to POTUS by a unicorn farting rainbows.

The sudden mass mobilisation of millions of citizens all over the country was also quite a stretch. A young girl being the catalyst of the movement seemed a clear parallel to Greta Thunberg; I was half-expecting a blurry long shot of a small girl in braids standing in front of the crowd, just to drive the point home.

The Dimitri-Stevie proposal might have led to an interesting parting with tradition, with both would-be fiancés ending up asking at the same time. But no, we had to revert to the stereotypical scene of a male on his knee doing the proposing, with everyone gushing around them. Well, such heteronormative  plot turn is probably to be expected on network US TV, especially if the President is involved as a character. By the way, Dimitri is too good for Stevie.

Poor Blake. His wedding will be eclipsed by the First Daughter's, unless they make it a double ceremony. His barging in to hear the details was amusing, but it may lead to him being written as more interested in her wedding than in his own.

If this was Chen's last appearance, it was a good one, with the actor convering both his serious devotion to his diplomatic duties and his humanity as a family man.

5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

And maybe Daisy can get reinstated and/or exonerated with profuse apologies from Senator Prison Break and POTUS Bess because Daisy’s reasons for lying about hiding information will be recognized as heroically done for the good of the country —but that would be a pretty complex situation/concept to explain in a 42 minute show that needs to wrap up a lot of other characters’ future directions. 

It would also be absurd, at least by real-world standards. She did wrong and betrayed her obligations, no matter how well-intentioned she was; good intentions cannot excuse breaking the law and POTUS can no longer trust her to abide by the rules and to follow the administration's policies should they conflict with her "conscience".

But I would not put it past the writers to try something along those lines.

Edited by Florinaldo
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5 hours ago, Florinaldo said:

I

Poor Blake. His wedding will be eclipsed by the First Daughter's, unless they make it a double ceremony. His barging in to hear the details was amusing, but it may lead to him being written as more interested in her wedding than in his own.

I haven't been following this season that closely - is Blake getting married?  When did that happen, and to who? 

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1 hour ago, 12catcrazy said:

is Blake getting married?  When did that happen, and to who?

Unless I misheard, he introduced his boyfriend as his fiancé to his parents (they had just gotten engaged on the doorsteps to their house), during that flashback to the trip that was fodder for an accusation of bribery or somesuch allegations by Senator Prison Break.

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10 hours ago, cameron said:

Look up Tudor City Bridge.  Down by the UN Plaza.

Off E 42nd Street....right?  Oh. Are you simply refining the location? Okay. Got it. 😊

What is Henry's job this season? Is just teaching now?

The Presidential children are the least interesting thing about this show. Too bad one of them is getting any focus now.

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1 hour ago, mojito said:

Off E 42nd Street....right?  Oh. Are you simply refining the location? Okay. Got it. 😊

What is Henry's job this season? Is just teaching now?

The Presidential children are the least interesting thing about this show. Too bad one of them is getting any focus now.

And they seem to be neglecting their other to. Security for Noodle must be going nuts in Europe.

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On 12/2/2019 at 12:12 PM, cameron said:

There isn't a bridge on Lexington and 42.

I can't think of a bridge like that over any street in Manhattan. And the street itself, with those red strips, is all wrong.

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7 hours ago, mojito said:

What is Henry's job this season? Is just teaching now?

I think he is just First Gentleman.

and the ethics advisor, I think

but if he were a true ethical man, he would not take the position because nepotism

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5 hours ago, Kleav said:

I can't think of a bridge like that over any street in Manhattan. And the street itself, with those red strips, is all wrong.

It's the Tudor City Bridge down by the UN Plaza.  Picture of the same shot on the internet.  Technically it's really an overpass.

Edited by cameron
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On 12/2/2019 at 9:26 AM, mojito said:

I don't know NYC. But I see that on the right is the Chrysler building. Looking at this map, it seems that Bess and Chen are on a cross street and bridge of Lexington Avenue or E 42nd Street.

"What, he'd rather blow up the world than back down to a girl?"

chrysler_bldg.png

Thanks, @mojito et al.!
See also: 
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/east-42nd-street-chrysler-building-new-york-city-picture-id580217035
and:
https://www.123rf.com/photo_76119115_nyc-streets-at-night-midtown-manhattan-42nd-street-with-chrysler-building-.html
--I find Chen and Elizabeth's platonic scenes more romantic (or whatever the right word is) than any other shmoopy bits on the show. 

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What has happened to the dog?  I expect to see him in every episode and then I am so disappointed.  I'm no longer even sure of the dog's name - was it Hope or Faith or something like that.

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What WILL the country do for a national conscience when Bess's term is over? Will Henry rent himself out to other countries???

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4 hours ago, Gizkok said:

What has happened to the dog?

He's hanging out poolside with the two dogs from The Blacklist, just waiting for more calls from his agent.

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Technically it's really an overpass.

Technically, overpasses are bridges, too! 😁

I think this Madame Secretary is bowing out semi-gracefully. It would be nice if more shows would do that and make room for fresher programs. Instead, we get night time soap operas that focus more on "will they or won't they?" than more interesting story lines. I find myself more drawn to books and documentaries these days...

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10 hours ago, mojito said:

I think this Madame Secretary is bowing out semi-gracefully

Yes. At least we aren’t waiting to read if it’s canceled in the same season that it ends. 

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I think the Kings have given CBS enough solid programming that they were granted an exit arc; these days, most long-running series probably have a plan like that.

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