Attention: The following story contains answers to some of the just-concluded television season's biggest questions. No kidding, we're talking about major spoilage here, folks. So, if you would prefer to spend the summer agonizing over the fates of Presidents Palmer and Bartlet, then read no further. However, if the idea of waiting 'til fall for news about Sydney's two-year-long nap and Rory's disappearing beaus has you popping Xanax at the same rate you do Tic-Tacs, then we're more than happy to help simmer you the heck down. But please, don't say we didn't warn you. Because we did. Numerous times.
24: Mad bomber Mandy (Mia Kirshner) one of the few, surviving evildoers from Season One resurfaced in the final scene to poison President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) with a biotoxic handshake! Is the commander-in-chief DOA? Fox isn't squealing, but according to Bill Martel, an expert in weapons of mass destruction and a professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., Palmer's odds of survival are good. "It looks like he was [attacked] with a blister agent called Lewisite," he says, adding that the germ can be fatal in the absence of immediate medical attention. "But being the president, he has more medical attention around him than 99 percent of the people on the planet."
Third Watch: Was the grisly death of Alex Taylor (Amy Carlson) in the season ender the final nail in the coffin for the increasingly MIA firefighters? It would appear so. According to exec producer John Wells, Watch will continue to shift its focus to the men in blue. "What the show was delivering before was too diffuse," he says, "and people couldn't get involved enough." In other words, expect to see even less of red-hot fireman Jimmy (Eddie Cibrian) next season.
Buffy/Angel: In Buffy's series finale, Spike (James Marsters) sacrificed himself for his Chosen love (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Won't that make it hard for him to cross over to Angel next season? "The trick is how to bring him back without losing the integrity of what he did," muses exec producer Joss Whedon. Fans are speculating that Whedon and co. will fall back on Shanshu, an ancient prophecy introduced during Angel's first season that says once a vampire with a soul fulfills his destiny, he will become human. "That's an interpretation," he says, "and ultimately, it could become the interpretation if we decide to go that way." For more on the Buffy finale, click here.
NYPD Blue: Lt. Tony Rodriguez (Esai Morales) landed in a coma after getting shot by a vengeful Internal Affairs detective. "Esai will be back," reports exec producer Steven Bochco. And what about Andy and Connie's wedding, which was delayed by the tragedy? "We may marry them at some point next season."
Gilmore Girls: Both of Rory's boyfriends, Jess and Dean, went AWOL by season's end. Have we seen the last of them? Sources say Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) will likely reappear in late fall to set up the launch of his midseason spinoff, but newly-betrothed Dean (Jared Padalecki) is history. Says a WB rep: "Rory has moved on."
The West Wing: In the wake of his daughter's kidnapping, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) relinquished his commander-in-chief post to the speaker (John Goodman) leading some to wonder whether Sheen's political activism finally did him in at NBC. "Martin's under contract," says a show rep. "He'll be back." As a result, Roseanne's former TV hubby shouldn't make himself too cozy in the Oval Office. Says Goodman's spokesperson: "He's only contracted to do one episode in the fall the season premiere."
Friends: Will Charlie (Aisha Taylor) be back for a long-term relationship with Ross (David Schwimmer)? (There was some serious lip-lockage between the two in the finale.) A Friends spokesperson confirms that the former Talk Soup hostess will return, but the length of her stay has yet to be determined. "We'll see her at least long enough to resolve the season finale." And what about Phoebe's main man Mike (Paul Rudd)? He'll be back for as many as 10 episodes next season, says the rep. Translation: That noise you hear is wedding bells, silly.
Judging Amy: Gillian (Jessica Tuck) went into cardiac arrest after giving birth to her son. Although her prognosis appeared grim, a CBS rep assures us that "Jessica will be returning."
Charmed: During the show's final moments, mysterious White Lighter Chris (Drew Fuller) waved his magic wand and had Leo (Brian Krause) sucked into a supernatural vortex. Is Piper (Holly Marie Combs) now a widow? "I'm a firm believer in love conquers all," teases exec producer Brad Kern.
Alias: Sydney (Jennifer Garner) awakened from a deep sleep to discover that she had been presumed dead for the last two years. Where the heck was she? But more importantly, did Vaughn (Michael Vartan) really go off and get hitched to someone else as his shiny new wedding band seemed to suggest? "Yes, he did," confirms exec producer J.J. Abrams, who adds that Syd's mission to retrace those missing years will "definitely be a component" of Season Three. We can't wait.