In this incredibly long series of University Challenge, something strange happened.
Alongside the usual tweets about not being able to get any questions right, certain team captains started to develop rabid online fanbases.
Eric Monkman of Wolfson College, Cambridge, became famous for his unending enthusiasm and sheer likability factor (as Louis Walsh would say), while Balliol College, Oxford's Joey Goldman became a 'hate-him-but-love-him' figure for looking bored and interrupting Jeremy Paxman's questions.
As the series dragged on, people wondered if the final episode would actually see these two go head-to-head in a clash of 'good' versus 'not really evil, just a bit annoying', and lo and behold... it did!
That's some anime tournament arc-level stuff, right there.
As expected, it was a tense game. The colleges swapped the lead back and forth, with lots of mistakes being made on both teams.
Viewers at home were hoping Goldman would crumble under the force that is The Monkman, but as their hero completely fumbled a question (much to the audience's amusement), it started to set in that Monkmania may be over...
Wolfson did power on through their second-act-slump that every Hollywood film has, but when the dust had settled, there was another victor:
In what turned out to be a surprisingly emotional final few minutes, the scene cut away from the studio and we saw both teams and Paxo in the presence of none other than Stephen Hawking, who presented Balliol with their prize.
It was a suitably majestic and fitting end to a series that has seen University Challenge become something no-one ever expected: a strange and peculiar yet utterly thrilling drama.
Just speechless. Stephen Hawking presenting the #UniversityChallenge trophy. Iconic UK television moment.- Bobby Seagull (@Bobby_Seagull) April 10, 2017
Monkman may not have won the tournament, but he won our hearts #UniversityChallenge- RJ ~Cokecan (@CaptainCokecan) April 10, 2017
Goldman defeating Monkman is exactly like when Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan. Shocked the storyliners let it happen #UniversityChallenge- Cam (@camashton) April 10, 2017
What Prof Stephen Hawking said, but the Beeb edited out was 'Fuck me! I'm in the same room as Monkman and Goldman!' #UniversityChallenge- Christopher Harris (@iamcjharris) April 10, 2017
We hope you've enjoyed following our coverage as much as we've enjoyed writing it, it's been one weird ride.
By the way, we were always #TeamGoldman.
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