This is billed as the third season finale, so perhaps the Sci-Fi Channel is finally going to figure out the season designations moving forward. It's hard enough to correlate when investigations were filmed as it is, and tracking production personnel is now a valid consideration. Messing with the season designation may seem a minor point, but it makes it very hard to keep track of the status of the series.
Whatever the case, the network promised around 6 new episodes to round out the third season, and this particular 90-minute "wrap up" show was apparently conceived to allow investigative footage to be held for the fourth season. Obviously, if they have teaser footage, they're holding on to material filmed more recently, and I'm aware of at least two locations that were filmed in September but haven't made it to air. Such production considerations, of course, make it easier for the skeptics.
Nothing in this episode is particularly new or exciting, unfortunately; most of the time was spent showing existing footage or running through information already well-established on the show. I was initially intrigued by the possibility of viewer questions, given some of the debates regarding interpretation of evidence, but it's clear that the questions were screened and sanitized. Jason and Grant weren't challenged in the slightest.
Instead of presenting a hard look at TAPS and the show, as advertised, this was mostly another example of self-promotion. TAPS is lauded for doing something no one else is doing (untrue), and TAPS is referred to on more than one occasion as the "best in the business" (debatable). I would agree that they are the most successful example of a paranormal reality series on the air at the moment, but there are aspects of the show and the organization that could have been explored more thoroughly.
For example, this would have been a good opportunity for TAPS to explain why they interpret evidence as they do, perhaps addressing certain criticisms in the process. Instead, some basic questions were glossed over (especially in terms of the Eastern State footage) with the same general explanations and disclaimers. I found that disappointing because Jason and Grant always speak to authority when footage is challenged, noting how they have a lot of technical people behind the scenes helping them with evidence review. If so, why not summarize the technical evaluations and back up the scientific claims with something of substance?
I'm not just giving voice to the skeptics when I say this; I would hope that the devoted fans and supporters would also desire something with more substance. After all, Jason and Grant repeatedly mention in this episode how the TAPS mandate forces them to find solid, documented evidence of a paranormal claim. If so, why should so much of the evidence be a matter of trusting the member of TAPS on their word? If the evidence is strong enough to meet their stated standard, it shouldn't need TAPS to vouch for it.
This season finale would have been the perfect opportunity for Jason and Grant to dig deeper, to present a new perspective that the original editing wouldn't allow. Instead, it was the kind of shallow recap that will leave the skeptics and naysayers more convinced than ever that the whole organization and show has no substance. For my part, I'm just disappointed that a 90-minute retrospective billed as "revelatory" contained so little revelation.