A show that I've warmed up to since it hit syndication, "7th Heaven" does occasionally veer into soap opera ("Mad TV" parodied it best, showing that the family manages to sit down and work out any problems in just under an hour), but it often manages to be pleasant, inoffensive viewing. Despite the fact that the show is message-driven, the writers have crafted well-defined characters, provide involving situations and throw in occasional instances of warmly funny humor at times. The show's acting was generally pleasant, and the focus - at least early on - was strongly on the main characters.
The show focuses on the "Waltons"-level conservative Camden family, lead by Reverend Eric Camden (Stephen Collins) and wife Annie Camden (Catherine Hicks). In earlier seasons, the series included all their children, oldest Matt (Barry Watson), older daughter Mary (Jessica Biel), middle daughter Lucy (Beverly Mitchell), youngest son Simon (David Gallagher) youngest daughter, Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman) and twins Sam (Lorenzo Brino) and David (Nikolas Brino). Eventually Matt, Simon and Mary only made appearances throughout the series, having the storylines focus more on the other children, as well as new characters who came to the Camden's home to stay.
The Final Season follows up where season 10 left off. There are several storylines to follow that may be hard to pick up on if you haven't been watching the show somewhat regularly. Season 10 focused a lot on Simon's relationship with Rose (Sarah Thompson) and their engagement, which ultimately ends in them not getting married. By season 11, Simon is no longer a core part of the show and the relationship drama has shifted to other characters. Of course, it's not all relationship drama - the series does a nice job continuing to juggle topics from relationships, to responsibility, to secrets, and making life changing decisions.
In season 11, newer additions to the Camden's world - Sandy (Haylie Duff) and Martin (Tyler Hoechlin) - have a child together and while Martin (Tyler Hoechlin) is finally ready to commit to Sandy, Sandy isn't sure she's interested. After Ruthie's year pining after Martin, she decided to go to Scotland through a summer program. The eleventh seasons reveals Ruthie's selfish side after learning some news about her dad and not wanting to come back from overseas, as well as some consequences after getting a tattoo. Meanwhile, Lucy and her husband Kevin (George Stults) are trying to cope after a miscarriage, and Lucy starts to mature even further in this final season. Eric has some health scares in the final season that carry a great deal of the episodes and really does bring the family together. He also draws suspicion after taking the boys out of school and being approached by a younger teacher.
While there are certainly some heavier and more serious episodes and topics in the final season, there are also the enjoyable antics of the Camdens to help balance the drama. Some new additions to the house include Margaret (Andrea Morris), Jane (Sarah Wright) and T-bone (Colton James) to help keep the series feeling fresh, with new stories and characters to follow. Some of the additions are more interesting than others (and there's the fact that I don't think anyone expected a character named T-Bone to ever be on "7th Heaven"), but you can't help but miss the majority of Camdens that are absent for parts (if not the entirety) of this season. While not the series best effort, it does a nice job wrapping up the eleven year family drama in a somewhat surprising way.
This set contains all 22 episodes of the eleventh and final season.
222 11-01 25/Sep/06 Turn, Turn, Turn
Lucy Camden returns to the pulpit too soon after having had a miscarriage. Martin wants to commit to Sandy, while Annie worries about Eric's health.
223 11-02 02/Oct/06 And Tonight's Specials Are...
Kevin tells Martin he should cook for Sandy, but the plan backfires. Lucy pulls away from Kevin by going to the movies alone, where she meets T-Bone.
224 11-03 15/Oct/06 A Pain in the Neck
After Sam and David's teacher propositions Eric, he decides to pull the boys out of their school. Later, Eric learns some disturbing news about his health.
225 11-04 22/Oct/06 Don't Ax, Don't Tell
Annie flies to Buffalo to help Mary, who just had twin girls. Eric learns that home-schooling Sam and David is hard, and tries to keep it a secret from Lucy.
226 11-05 29/Oct/06 The Replacements
Annie returns home and discovers a house full of displaced teenagers. Sandy finds herself torn between Martin and Daniel, a new guy at school.
227 11-06 05/Nov/06 Broken Hearts and Promises
Lucy visits Sandy and considers having more children. Eric keeps his health issues from Annie - until paramedics are called to the house.
228 11-07 12/Nov/06 You Take the High Road
Sandy accepts Martin's marriage proposal, but only to get rid of Daniel. Meanwhile, Ruthie refuses to leave Scotland and lose her newfound freedom.
229 11-08 19/Nov/06 And I'll Take the Low Road
Eric and Annie arrive in Scotland, but Ruthie is not sympathetic to her father's health issues. As Lucy helps out T-Bone, Sandy cancels her wedding plans.
230 11-09 26/Nov/06 Thanks and Giving
After Ruthie makes a comment at the airport, she and her parents are held for questioning. Martin sends his friend Mac to see whether Sandy likes Simon.
231 11-10 03/Dec/06 You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til He's Gone
T-Bone calls Ruthie selfish and obnoxious, but later ends up kissing her. Eric decides he should be brutally honest when counseling church members.
232 11-11 10/Dec/06 Christmas!
Annie worries when Eric doesn't come home from work, not realizing that he has gone to heaven, where he meets several of their loved ones who have died.
233 11-12 14/Jan/07 Can I Just Get Something to Eat
Ruthie and T-Bone get the Camdens involved in their latest school assignment, which deals with the genocide in Darfur. Lucy and Kevin fight over groceries.
234 11-13 21/Jan/07 Script Number Two Hundred Thirty-Four
Annie and Kevin try to figure out why Eric and Lucy are leaving town. While Sandy teaches Lucy's class for teen girls, Ruthie considers having sex.
235 11-14 28/Jan/07 Deacon Blues
The church deacons inform Eric and Lucy that they would like Sandy to give the Sunday sermon. T-Bone regrets asking ex-cop Kevin for driving lessons.
236 11-15 11/Feb/07 Tit for Tat
Eric is afraid the Colonel and Ruth might know of his health problems. Sandy meets a doctor, while Ruthie thinks that she and T-Bone should get tattoos.
237 11-16 18/Feb/07 Gimme' That Ol' Time Religion
The Camdens all have secrets they would rather not reveal - especially Ruthie, who tries to hide her new tattoo from her parents and from her sister Lucy.
238 11-17 08/Apr/07 Small Miracles
Ruthie panics when she loses a diamond from the ring T-Bone gave her. Eric and Annie consider it bad luck when they both spot the same blackbird.
239 11-18 15/Apr/07 Inked
Ruthie tries to get T-Bone to pay for her tattoo removal. Meanwhile, Lucy and Kevin travel to a small town and learn the residents need a new minister.
240 11-19 22/Apr/07 Some Break-Ups And Some Get-Togethers
Lucy and Kevin try to decide if they should move to the town of Crossroads. Ruthie gets a text message from someone claiming to be T-Bone.
241 11-20 29/Apr/07 Nothing Says Lovin' Like Something From The Oven
Lucy wonders if she and Kevin should move, especially if they plan to have more kids. While Ruthie spends more time with Martin, Sandy's boyfriend proposes.
242 11-21 06/May/07 Good News For Almost Everyone
After Eric is admitted to the hospital, the Camdens wait for his test results. Ruthie and T-Bone reunite, but then a new twist develops in their romance.
243 11-22 13/May/07 And Away We Go...
Eric and Annie celebrate Eric's good news and get a huge gift from the Colonel. Later, Lucy, Kevin, Ruthie, and Martin make important decisions about their lives.
VIDEO: "7th Heaven" is presented by Paramount in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. The picture quality remained perfectly fine throughout, and seemed improved a little bit over the first season's presentation. Sharpness and detail were generally good (a little stronger than these episodes look in syndication), although the picture could appear slightly soft here-and-there.
The picture quality does suffer slightly from some minor shimmering and occasional instances of minor pixelation. No edge enhancement was spotted, however, and the elements used seemed free of wear and tear. Colors remained pleasing, looking well-saturated and clean, with no smearing.
SOUND: The show offered a basic Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack, which focused on the backing score and dialogue. Little in the way of ambience or other additional sound layers are present. Overall, basic TV drama audio. As noted on the back of the box, music has been changed.
EXTRAS: Unfortunately, still no supplements for this season of "7th", either.
Final Thoughts: Fans of the series may miss the majority of the Camdens that are absent from parts (if not the entirety) of this season. However, there are some memorable episodes throughout. While not the series best effort, it does a nice job wrapping up the eleven year family drama in a somewhat surprising way.