As you saw from our super-handy guide to 2012's May Finales, there are over 50 season and series-enders coming at your faces all month. Having a panic attack thinking about choosing which ones to DVR, which ones to watch live and which ones to skip?
Once again, we're here to help. We've picked through the long list of finales to highlight 12 that are seriously can't-miss. They include series-ending tear-jerkers, episodes full o' death and graduation goodbyes. Ready? Get out a piece of paper and mark these finales down as "Do Not Miss!"
Castle (May 7, ABC): Will they or won't they? We've only been waiting four years for Castle and Beckett to get their Nikki Heat on, so we're hoping for a, um, satisfying conclusion in the season ender.
Desperate Housewives (May 13, ABC): Wisteria Lane is closing! What more incentive do you need to tune in to the final episode of DH ever? Not only will we get a flash-forward to find out how everyone ends up, but we'll more than likely get all the answers we've been looking for concerning Mary Alice Young's suicide.
Fringe (May 11, Fox): It's not the end of series, but it might be the end of the world—as we know it, anyway. While William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) might be resurrected, Olivia could (gulp) die! Do the Fringe writers really hate her—and us—so much? We'll find out next Friday.
Glee (May 22, Fox): With so many storylines jam-packed into the next three episodes (a dinosaur prom, alternate universes and a last chance at nationals) we are going to discover even more about McKinley High's least favorite club. But the finale is going to be the grand tear-filled event for all of our graduating seniors and the juniors they are leaving behind. New York? L.A.? Lima? Break-up? Make it work? Get married? There are endless possibilities for each of our favorite gleeks and we just can't wait to learn them all!
Grey's Anatomy (May 17, ABC): We have a few short weeks to plan our summer-long mourning outfits because a death is coming to Seattle. Death plus filming in Big Bear means it has to be a life ending cougar attack, right? Maybe that's too obvious, but Grey's star Sarah Drew promises a "huge" and "intense" finale that had the whole cast bawling into their scripts. Add tissues to our finale supplies list.
House (May 21, Fox): Maybe it will finally be lupus. Another long-running series ends this month, and now that we know the core couple of the show, House and Wilson, are facing an uphill battle with Wilson's cancer diagnosis, the last episode will surely be a sobfest. And since Robert Sean Leonard dubbed the finale as "apt," you know you can expect lots of shocks and storyline twists, as well as plenty of soul-searching from our title character. Can't House (Hugh Laurie) and Wilson just ride off into the sunset together? We at least can expect the gang to be back together, since Jennifer Morrison is set to reprise her role as Dr. Cameron.
How I Met Your Mother (May 14, CBS): This show is a plethora of puzzling questions and 'neener-neener' teases that will drive you absolutely crazy if you speculate for too long. For the love of Beercules, who is the mother? When is the next slap? And just how on earth did that pineapple end up on the night stand?! But there is one thing that we know for sure: in the season-seven finale we will, without a doubt, learn the identity of Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) bride. Whether or not the wedding happens is still up in the air, but for our sanity it's nice to know that there will be one less question left unanswered.
Ron P. Jaffe/CBS
Parks and Recreation (May 10, NBC): Vote Knope! Well, hopefully the town of Pawnee did because we want to see Leslie (Amy Poehler) get everything she's worked toward. But even if she loses the election, we can count on something big happening in her life. Maybe a ring from adorable boyfriend Ben (Adam Scott)? Or something involving Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd)? Who knew a small town could bring such big drama? At the very least, we'll find out which ending the writers picked, since they shot two of them to avoid leaks and spoilers.
Once Upon a Time (May 13, ABC): We don't really like using the term game changer, but Once Upon a Time's May 13 finale is just that. It's so mind blowing it'll leave you wondering what the show will look like in season two. Consulting producer Jane Espenson warns viewers to expect everything, even an action packed showdown that'll make even the biggest skeptic a true believer. Sounds like magic.
Revenge (May 23, ABC): You know what they say about a show that starts with a bang...it ends with one, too. The ABC hit will wrap up its insane-in-the-membrane first season on Wednesday, May 23 and viewers can expect another death, some would call it a "major" one, to rock the Hamptons before the credits roll.
Smash (May 14, NBC): Will Bombshell bomb? Thus far, it seems like the only way that musical is going is down...and hard. Can the team pull it together while opening night looms? And there's of course the relationship drama that'll only get more sinful: Dev and Karen? Ivy and Derek? Ellis and hopefully a speeding truck? All we know is that the finale will definitely bring some killer musical numbers, and that alone makes it a can't-miss.
The Vampire Diaries (May 10, CW): One of our heroes has become the big bad and he is not messing around. Alaric (Matt Davis) is, in executive producer Julie Plec's words, "a hardcore" villain" and "no one is safe" from his wrath. "The Departed," which airs May 10, will also feature flashbacks to Elena's (Nina Dobrev) life, pre-vampires, which includes meeting her parents (RIP!) and the return of Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning). Candice Accola calls the hour "an emotional roller-coaster."
Which finale are you most excited for, TV lovers? Vote in the poll and let's prep for finale time in the comments!
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)