After 221 shows of family drama, “And Thank You” marked the final episode (unless there’s a last minute resurrection) of the WB’s most popular show, 7th Heaven. It was written by series creator Brenda Hampton and aired on May 8, 2006.
Daughter Mary, played by Jessica Biel who left the show in 2003, makes her first appearance in three years. It’s been said that she became available to participate at the last minute and her scenes were shot after the rest and worked into the episode. It also marks the return of What About Brian star Barry Watson (Matt) and longtime castmember Andrea Ferrell (Heather). But enough set-up, here’s how it all came to a close.
The episode starts the morning after the rehearsal dinner where both Simon and Rose (David Gallagher and Sarah Thompson) expressed their strong doubts about gong through with the wedding. Many members of the Camden family have their doubts as well. Annie and Eric (Catherine Hicks and Stephen Collins) are talking about all of the kids when Simon comes downstairs and announces that the wedding is still on and that they’ve worked everything out. He also tells them that Rose isn’t pregnant and that it’s feels much better to be getting married because they want to, not because they “have to. ” Simon leaves and Eric remembers when Simon really wanted a dog (via a flashback scene from the pilot). The parents agree that neither bride nor groom know what they really want.
After the credits (which, for the first time since the sixth season, features all of the kids), we see moved-away brother Matt (Barry Watson) sneak into the empty kitchen, prepare a large sandwich and try to sneak out. He’s caught by his Dad who wonders where wife Sarah (Sarah Danielle Madison) is. Matt calls for his Mom and both ladies enter simultaneously. On the day before the Matt and Sarah are to become doctors, it’s obvious that a family is in their near future — Sarah is very pregnant. The Camden parents are filled with joy, until the twins (Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino) come downstairs in their tuxedos and with mustaches, hand-drawn in permanent marker.
Rose’s longtime friend, Umberto (Fidel Gomze), is telling her that, if she has the slightest doubt about the wedding, she can signal him during the ceremony and they’ll make an escape together. She tells him it’s not going to happen. He kisses her goodbye tenderly and leaves. Rose is obviously moved and then practices her whistle.
We next see Simon telling brother-in-law Kevin (George Stults) that he’s happy and excited he’s going to be married. Old family friend and recent divorcee Heather (Andrea Ferrell) arrives to give Simon a present, a picture of him and Happy from years past. When Lucy (Beverley Mitchell) enters, they all recall Matt stopping Heather’s wedding at the altar. Heather accidentally spills the beans that Matt and Sarah are in town, staying in the Camden attic.
Lucy and Simon head to the house and meet up with Matt. They end up having a discussion where Simon expresses his doubts and fears yet again. Matt thinks he should follow through on his commitments. Pregnant Lucy counters that if it doesn’t feel right, he definitely shouldn’t do it — and don’t wait until the last minute like Matt did to Heather. It seems like he really loves Rose but does he love her enough?
Sarah goes to visit Rose while she’s getting ready and they have a talk about the wedding. Sarah says that her Mom thinks she can do better than Simon and Rose recalls that her Mom had wished Matt was Jewish. We see Rose give a string of pearls to Sarah and then to Lucy (with plans to give some to the other ladies of the family). When she was younger, both Rose’s parents gave her pearls for Christmas each year, forgetting they had done so each year before. It’s her way of letting go of some of her “baggage.” Annie comes by after that and the two have a nice chat but it’s clear no one’s really sure this wedding should take place.
As Eric is getting into his minister robes, Umberto stops by looking for Simon. Eric tells him that everyone knows he loves Rose and that he hopes Umberto isn’t going to try to talk Simon out of the marriage. Umberto isn’t sure what to do and through the conversation, Eric says that he doesn’t think Simon brings out the best in Rose and that Rose doesn’t bring out the best in Simon either. Umberto says that he and Rose bring out the best in each other and he wants to stop the wedding.
Before the ceremony, Annie and Eric conjecture what could happen. Eric thinks Simon will stop the ceremony at “’till death do we part.” Annie thinks Rose will stop it, knowing that she cares for Simon but that she’s too young to get married and wants a career first.
The two then conjecture that a miracle could happen — Mary could attend and stop the wedding in the middle of the ceremony. She would emphasize that they need to see the world, to live a little first. The parents know in their hearts that Mary won’t be there.
Before Eric and Annie leave for the ceremony, they think back to years past and agree that they would go anywhere or do anything with each other.
Flash forward to the reception. Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman) is sitting with the twins. Her new Scottish friend Paul (Max Roeg) stops by to serve them (since he wasn’t invited). He has a way to remove the moustaches from the twins’ faces and it works.
Several of the men talk about the ceremony being unlike any other and Mary’s husband Carlos is there. Eric asks him if there would be chance he’d be interested in saying those vows again and Carlos says that there might. He says that Mary couldn’t make it to both the wedding and the graduation tomorrow. Eric’s shocked and happy to hear she’ll be at the graduation. Matt and Kevin both knew this already.
When everyone is gathered together, Matt and Sarah finally announce they’re going to have not one, but twin boys. Matt and Lucy announce they’re also going to have twin boys. Then, not able to hold it in, Carlos says that he and Mary are back together and that they’re also expecting — twin girls! Six new children are on the way.
Mary calls Carlos and chides him for letting the cat out of the bag. He didn’t however tell them that she’s graduating from college tomorrow as well. That’s her surprise for the next day.
The wedding singer (Canadian Rita McNiel) invites the bride and groom to the dance floor and sings “Embraceable You” to them. After awhile, Rose switches to her Dad and Simon speaks with her Mom. She thanks him. Then, Umberto dances with Rose. Simon and his parents comment that someday those two will get married.
Members of the family start to dance with one another as Sandy (Haylie Duff) arrives with her baby. Simon is very happy to see them and explains that he and Rose didn’t get married; they never even got into the church. Sandy asks if Rose had said anything about her or the baby. Simon says she didn’t. Sandy then says, looking at the baby, that they need to talk.
The episode happily comes to a close while we see a montage of old and new cast pictures and then, just the Camdens dancing together. The song “Anything You Want” plays in the background; the same music we first heard in the pilot episode. The camera rises up above the sparkly-lit trees, and the lights go down. End of series.
POSTSCRIPT: The series was soonafter renewed for another season so, as nice as this episode was, it wasn’t the series finale.