The original airings initially scored low Nielsen ratings, but subsequent airings have enjoyed improved ratings. Its reruns aired three days before the show won five Emmy Awards out of thirteen nominations (including Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for this episode) in the 1983 Primetime Emmy Awards, and one week before the second-season premiere. Critical highlights of this episode are an unseen appearance by Derek Malone and Sam and Diane's cliffhanger kiss.
Freelance writer Robert David Sullivan in his 2012 blog post ranked Part Two of this episode No. 96 of his top 100 all-time favorite episodes. Sullivan highlighted the cliffhanger kiss as a "landmark" in the increasing sitcom use of cliffhangers, but dismissed the sibling storyline as a cheap ploy to bring Sam and Diane together. Lisa M. Dresner in her 2007 book The Female Investigator in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture also considered unseen character Derek Malone a writer's tool to bring the couple together. David Hofstede in his 2006 directory 5000 Episodes and No Commercials called Sam and Diane's first kiss at the end as one of Cheers' greatest moments. February 2012 reviews of the season finale on The A.V. Club website were positive. Noel Murray praised the episode's four-act structure (two in each part) and its subplots. Ryan McGee cited the concealed appearance of Derek Malone, Sam and Diane's first kiss and their volatile confrontation. TV Guide and Amy Amatangelo of MSN Entertainment in, respectively, 2005 and 2013 called Sam and Diane's first kiss one of their own top-ten kisses. Alan Howell of WhatCulture! in April 2013 ranked Sam and Diane's first kiss third on his list of "[Five] Greatest Sitcom Kisses Of All Time".
In 2009, TV Guide ranked "Showdown" #29 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes. Joseph J. and Kate Darowski in their 2019 book rated Part 1 three out of four stars and Part 2 all four mainly for the Sam-and-Diane moment. In June 2019, Vox critic Emily St. James noted that Part 2's ending inspired onscreen romances and an increase of cliffhangers in later sitcoms.
Molaro also warns that season seven will end with a cliffhanger that has nothing to do with the fate of the core cast, many of whom still do not have new contracts for the recently announced seasons eight, nine and 10.
Over the show's run, multiple episodes from each season had fans a complete mess by the end. From season one's car crash cliffhanger to multiple beloved character deaths like Bobby (Jim Beaver) and Charlie (Felicia Day), Supernatural was a show that proved over and over again just how much they liked to torture us fans.
Season one ended on a major cliffhanger, with Sam, Dean, and John (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jeffrey Dean Morgan) left bloody and unconscious following a demon-possessed truck driver colliding with the Impala. With Dean already severely injured and John shot, their fate remained unknown for five months.
A repeat of the final shot of the episode is shown, which pulls out to show it being watched on a screen by Lord Dominator, who laughs maniacally. This scene is a cliffhanger and resumes in the season 2 opener. 041b061a72