What Was the Best Late Season TV Callback to an Early Episode?
Today, I’m looking for what you think was the the best late season TV callback to an early episode of the TV series.
Pop Culture Theme Time is a feature where I put a question to you to see what you think about a particular theme. I might later revisit the theme for a future Drawing Crazy Patterns or Top Five.
One of the fun things about a show that has lasted for at least five seasons is that you can draw upon the history of the series for stories, because everyone is already invested in the history of your show if they’ve stuck with it for five seasons or more. So what I’m interested in is what do you think was the best example of a late season callback (late season meaning anything after Season 5) to an early season episode (let’s say first two seasons)?
My pick is the penultimate episode of The Office, “A.A.R.M,” where Jim finally gives Pam the note that he wrote to her in Season 2’s “Christmas Party” (and subsequently took back when he chickened out on expressing his feelings to her at that particular moment) when she started to wonder whether Jim was sacrificing too much by deciding to stay in Scranton with her and their two children instead of pursuing his dream of becoming a sports agent. He got the documentary crew to help him by putting together a little package of all of their best romantic moments from the series, along with finally giving her the note he wrote her years earlier. Very cute stuff.
As an alternate, Who’s The Boss?‘s finale did a nice job redoing the iconic opening sequence from the series. That shoe got REALLY bad in its final seasons, so it’s worth pointing out that for a show that had gotten so bad, it did manage to pull off a cool ending in the finale.
That’s my pick (plus an alternate!). What’s yours?
And feel free to suggest future Pop Culture Theme Time topics to me at email@example.com!
4 thoughts on “What Was the Best Late Season TV Callback to an Early Episode?”
The same guy who delivered Martin’s chair to Frasier’s apartment in the Frasier pilot comes to pick it up in the finale.
In the 2020 season of Doctor Who the big Twist was that there were Doctors before William Hartnell, as she realised this they showed a clip of 6 previous Doctors from the episode Brain Of Morbius from 1976, possibly the longest Direct Call back in TV History
I don’t know if this qualifies as a callback, but I’ve always liked the Cheers finale when Sam adjusts the picture of Geronimo — it was a picture that the actor who played Coach had kept in his dressing room and was added to the set after his death.
Also, wasn’t there a nod to Henry Blake in the M*A*S*H finale or am I making that up?
I think the final season of Angel–when they realized they weren’t being renewed–did a lot of good callbacks to previous seasons, but my favorite was when Cordelia returned and found the recording of Doyle and his “our rats are low” commercial. Given that the actor had passed away by that time, it was a nice way of fitting him into the final season without getting too cringe-worthy.