You touched on all the things I liked (especially the crime in the beginning, which was my favorite scene of the show, & everyone showing up/motel room scene)! I wasn't a shipper, but was, "A-w-w-w-w," at the chase and airplane scene and Lisbon coming in the next morning. To me it was done in a way that suited the characters, the tentative way they each ever exposed their feelings to anyone.
I expect that Penny moves in with Leonard and Sheldon doesn't go anywhere. Actually, the friendship dynamics are such that if Sheldon isn't living with Leonard, he would probably never see any of the others (except Amy). Also it was a big move forward for Raj, but they could easily not bother bringing back Emily next season for somebody different eventually (Emily is the least eccentric character maybe ever on the show).
I didn't care much for the beginning of this season, especially the FBI job -- and then haven't disliked a regular character on any show I can ever remember like I disliked the sudden inexplicable Alexis nastiness. I even didn't watch until the reviews and comments here let me know the Alexis hubris was faded out. My point is that the show since has just been a series of generally fun crime episodes and I like that fine and hope it continues!
A separate thought is that I'm sure Jane and Lisbon will be together next season, but I think the way they are setting it up, they haven't figured out where and how yet. I hope they've decided that Lisbon is being under used on the show and mean to fix it -- but I think the end of this season will be Lisbon going off with Pike to DC and Jane bidding them adieu ... and then they can figure out what they're going to do for next season: like Lisbon could change her mind and be back, or Jane could go to DC, maybe because Lisbon needs him on a case, and he stays on (thus disposing of Abbot and Fisher), or it could be Abbot goes to DC and takes Jane (and Fisher's then gone). Lots of possibilities with little explanation needed for any to be chosen.
Jane sort of owed getting Lisbon a job (and owed getting her out of her dead end small town sheriff position in a town that she wasn't invested in or wanted to be a contributing part of). Jane didn't bring down the CBI, Red John did through the corruption/etc. -- but whereas Cho went on, everyone else was collateral damage and Jane owed it to his good friend and partner Lisbon to set things on the right track for her. And he did.
I don't understand what they're doing with the character of Joan, either. I don't care for her very much lately, but I have liked her enough to keep watching and hoping for the best. Every Watson character in any Holmes derivative has had the same unswerving loyalty and devotion to Holmes of the original (who, even after he was married, was probably with Holmes more than his wife). And I don't want her to move out -- which, again, sharing rooms with Holmes is part of the Watson persona. And why is Mycroft being featured so TOO much?
The Jay and Mitchell fight felt like it was more intense than the sitcom will likely let it. Mitchell's stress level should be going through the roof! Mitchell is waiting on a guest list that hasn't come -- and now he knows why. They screwed up and overextended their plans, since Cam is totally detached from reality in the worst case gay cliché (to where he is unable to even cut down on balloons or center pieces), and Mitchell always knew deep down he could turn to his father to bail him out and he's lost every option but that ... and now can't. None of which even touches on the fact that Mitchell has had a long struggle to even get his father to seem, and obviously only seem to accept him (while his sister continues to be the son and heir Jay wanted).
When I saw the significance of the heart tattoo (in the previews), I immediately guessed (probably wrongly, sure??), "Oh, that's why Daniella was left behind -- because she was selected for heart donation and the others, to my mind, were just going to be sold into white slavery (or why bother going after models).
On the character Lisbon, I want to say on her "He's there for me" comment that the character has had 2 partners who've mangled the law and she's had to cover for both of them (and Jane as a partner has gotten her suspended for what he's done and put her in the spot of having to punch a suspect to get him released on Jane's behalf, even if she was then in trouble with her superiors) -- and maybe she didn't so much doubt Jane's need for her was legitimate as much as beginning to wonder if it couldn't have waited so she could have a life, or is that too much to ask of her partner, especially when this new guy wants to be there for her, not her be there for him!
Jonas: I disagree with you (although I have read books or seen movies or TV shows where I liked different characters better and wanted relationships myself that didn't happen). I'm not always happy with the Penny-Leonard relationship from week to week (and I do agree the writers fall back on clichés too often for the comedy, like Leonard is a no-confidence wuss and Penny's a shallow slut/drunk); however, the original premise of the show, which was what interested me right from the start was the unlikely friendship and love and eventual sex between a wallflower nerd and a shallow fox, which (but not all the time and not enough) changes both of them, but especially the hot chick who (sometimes is actually in love but) can't go back to slutting around with dumb body builder types. That is, Penny is only even friends with any of the others because of how Leonard turned over her world and (the premise is still valid) won her love.
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