Spoiler Alert! What's in Store on TV's Most Anticipated Season Finales?

From How I Met Your Mother to Glee and Grey's Anatomy, find out what to expect in the season's last episodes of your favorite shows

It's that time of year, when TV series pull out all the stops for their season finales in the hopes of leaving viewers' jaws firmly planted on the floor. There are births and deaths, breakups and weddings, sad endings and happy beginnings, and (of course) plenty of cliff-hangers. While some shows (New Girl, The Office, CSI, 2 Broke Girls, Parks & Rec) have already had their spring swan songs, others are just gearing up for their final bows now. Here's what's in store in the finales of How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, Modern Family and more. And, just in case you were wondering -- yes, there are SPOILERS AHEAD!

How I Met Your Mother
Finale Date: May 14, 8-9 p.m. on CBS
Here’s what we know for sure: Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) will finally welcome their son into the world. Less certain is whether Marshall and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), who were off getting inebriated in Atlantic City when Lily went into labor in the previous episode, will be in attendance at the birth of the little boy potentially named Hurricane Erickson. Another mystery that promises to be answered in this year’s capper is the identity of Barney’s bride. We’ll flash-forward to the Barn-door’s legen – wait for it – dary wedding day to see whether he marries new flame Quinn (Becky Newton) or perennial torch Robin (Cobie Smulders)... or someone else. And, lest we forget that the overarching premise of the show is the story of how Ted (Josh Radnor) meets the mother of his children, there will be some developments on that tip as well. “Someone from Ted’s life comes back and produces a pretty serious dilemma for him,” series co-creator Craig Thomas teased to Entertainment Weekly. “The beginning of season 8 will pick up with Ted in a suspenseful situation based on a last-minute choice he makes in the finale.” Sounds like Mother fans are finally about to get some answers – and it only took seven seasons!

Gossip Girl
Finale Date: May 14, 8-9 p.m. on The CW
Don’t worry, Upper East Siders, this CW cornerstone’s May 14th ep won’t be the series’ end. It just got picked up for one last season of scheming, drama, love quadrangles, email-blasting and drinking out of really cool-looking CB2 wine glasses. That said, this year’s finale promises some pretty major developments, many of them outgrowths of the recent bombshell that Chuck’s (Ed Westwick) dad Bart (Robert John Burke) is still alive. For instance, that revelation could be the final nail in the coffin for Lily (Kelly Rutherford) and Rufus’ (Matthew Settle) already ailing relationship. And it’s prompted Blair (Leighton Meester) to spend some more time with Chuck, potentially causing her to rethink her budding romance with Dan (Penn Badgley). Still, exec producer Joshua Safran has revealed that one of the last scenes in the episode will involve Blair and take place overseas. Does that mean B will follow Dan to Rome for the summer, or could she be headed to Monaco for a reunion with her princely former hubby? (Fingers crossed it’s the former.) As for Serena (Blake Lively), she’ll have her own issues to deal with, paramount among them grappling with a newly returned-to-power Gossip Girl who’s just a little bit pissed that she had her website hijacked.

Finale Date: May 14, 10-11 p.m. on NBC
The freshman musical drama finishes out its frosh season with – what else? – the staging of the Marilyn Monroe musical Bombshell to which its been building lo these many months. And the big question: -- who will play Marilyn, cutthroat vet Ivy (Megan Hilty) or talented upstart Karen (Katharine McPhee) -- will finally be answered. And let’s just say that nice girl Karen doesn’t play so nice for a change – setting up some big-time fallout that will inform the series’ outlook in season 2.

Grey’s Anatomy
Finale Date: May 17, 9-10 p.m. on ABC
Although the Seattle Grace docs seem to be on the verge of scattering to different jobs in the wake of their medical boards, they’ll have larger problems to deal with in this season 8 closer. Namely death. You see, creator Shonda Rhimes has promised that a major character will meet his/her end in this heartbreaking hour of television. And, considering a plane full of Seattle Grace’s finest -- Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Cristina (Sandra Oh), Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Sloan (Eric Dane) -- was seen crashing in the wilderness (how very Lost of you, Shonda!) in the closing moments of May 10’s episode, Ms. Rhimes doesn’t appear to be joking. So who's headed for the big ER in the sky? Well, since series stars Pompeo, Dempsey, Oh, Justin Chambers (Karev), Chandra Wilson (Bailey) and James Pickens Jr. (Webber), just inked deals to return for two more seasons, we’re pretty sure they’re safe. In other words, May 17 could be a rough night for Sloan and/or Arizona fans.

Finale Date: May 22, 9-10 p.m. on FOX
One might expect Glee’s third season to culminate with the New Directions’ big bid to redeem themselves at Nationals... but one would be wrong. That happens in the season’s two-hour-long penultimate episode, which airs May 15 and (in case you hadn’t heard) guest-stars Lindsay Lohan as a fictionalized version of herself. While it’ll be hard to top that, May 22’s graduation-themed finale sure will try. With the post-McKinley High fate of many of the series’ stars still up in the air, we’ll finally learn how the show plans to keep Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) around (all three have renewed their contracts) and whether the other graduating seniors will even be back next year. And, just in case you think they’ll all be returning, Amber Riley has hinted that she could be done playing Mercedes, and Jane Lynch (a.k.a. Sue Sylvester) has suggested that Diana Agron’s Quinn might be bidding farewell. So expect a fair share of heartache to come with this season’s final dose of Glee.

Modern Family
Finale Date: May 23, 9-9:30 p.m. on CBS
Will Haley (Sarah Hyland) get into college? Will Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) finally get that son they’ve been hoping for? Viewers will learn the answer to the first question, but the answer to the second is less clear, as the finale will see Cam and Mitch rush to a small town on the Mexican border to try to adopt a baby boy. Along for the ride will be Gloria (Sofia Vergara) to act as translator to the Spanish-challenged couple.

Finale Date: May 21, 9-10 p.m. on FOX
Even though Olivia Wilde’s Thirteen is back for the season – and series -- finale, it’s not her battle with Huntington’s that take center stage. Instead, it will be Wilson’s (Robert Sean Leonard) recent cancer diagnosis (man, these doctors sure do have bad luck) that provides the bulk of the drama. Sure, fans obsessed over the will-they-or-won’t-they relationship between House (Hugh Laurie) and Huddy (Lisa Edelstein -- who tellingly won’t be returning for the finale), but the friendship between House and Wilson has always been the true foundation of the show. Who will survive the hour and who won’t? We’re not sure, but hopefully the episodes title, “Everyone Dies,” isn’t too literal.

Finale Date: May 23, 10-11 p.m. on ABC
Emily’s (Emily Van Camp) hunt for the white-haired man (James Morrison) who killed her father in prison will finally come to a head in the season 1 finale. Whether she can kill her dad’s murderer when she does catch up with him is another matter. But since this show has already been picked up for a second season, don’t expect too many tidy endings -- or for there to be a shortage of the titular best-served-cold dish. In fact, the episode will fittingly see another central character, Victoria (Madeline Stowe), embark upon her own quest for vengeance.

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