There is no way to give a good non-spoiler review, so this is just for people who have finished the game and wish to post reviews or discuss the new revelations in the game (and there are quite a few).
----Spoilers included, so play the game first-----
I just finished the game and Telltale has truly outdone themselves with this finale. It's the longest of any of the chapters which makes up for having one less episode this season. Many found the previous episode to be the best so far, but this one is the crowning achievement for the series. It's perfectly paced and with brilliant writing and acting. Of course they connect in the "future" from episode 201 where they save themselves from the lava. Some were worried that was going to be a big anticlimatic climax, but it was handled perfectly.
The big reveal of the Soda Poppers as the villians behind the whole season wasn't something that I saw coming, but it makes as much sense as anything, I suppose. When the chair swung around it could have been anyone, but they did have it planned from the beginning where the Soda Poppers were inexplicably standing outside Santa's Workshop. There's probably more clues if I went back and replayed the season.
The other semi-"big reveal" was that Bosco's mother was responsible for his paranoya over for 40 years because her store was vandalized and she hired Flint Paper to find the culprit. ...but doesn't she complain about the store being vandalized to Sam & Max in episode 204 when they time travel back to her store? Wouldn't that mean the incident happened before Bosco was born because they were collecting DNA for the baby-maker at the time? I don't want to nitpick, but maybe I missed something and someone can explain that.
One other slight nitpick, if female Stinky was just a "cake of the damned" and the real Stinky even said she didn't kill him, then she really didn't lie very much to get the coal. She may have cheated at trivia and for some reason the "Sal" she was yelling the orders to doesn't exist, but otherwise she wasn't that bad of a person/cake. So did she deserve a lot of coal in her stocking? or any at all considering she's not even human?
Satan's hints at their involvement in the future which will probably play a big part in season 3. Since the final scene (if you watch past the credits) kills off the annoying Soda Poppers for good, eyeballs floating in the lava and all, their souls are going to be in hell and future cameos are possible, but not outside of hell. I also think that Bosco now (audibly) snapped mind could turn him into a villian somewhere down the road.
Overall the puzzles were intuative, fun and somewhat challenging; not overly easy like the first season. Also the hints that Max tosses off seemed so conversational and vague. From "Let's get out of here" if you're wandering about in the wrong place to "I feel like fishing" followed up by "I can't believe the subway to hell was right under us all along" for solving the puzzle of how to get one of the game cartridges from the other side of the tracks. I really loved the indirectness of the clues because I'm not sure I would have thought of that.
I know the limit for involved puzzles is greatly hindered by the episodic format, so there's only so much that can go into them. They also write the games with no "dead-ends" so it's impossible to trap yourself in a no win situation. So whenever you get something to happen, you know it's right, while in full length games you're always wondering if you did it right or at the right time. It's very user friendly and welcoming to non-adventure game players, but I do miss the deaths and consequences that poorly thought out actions can bring.
My only suggestion would be for a full length game or even a reworking of a full season into one seamless game. Expanding the puzzles adding some scenes to flesh out the game so all the locations of the season are explorable and can be used to create more intricate stories and puzzles. You can tell that I'm missing the old long Sierra and Lucasarts adventure games, and would love to see these snack-size games merged into a giant reimagined feast of an adventure game like the original Sam & Max.
However, for this format the Sam & Max team have hit their stride in the second half of this season and have come a long way in crafting puzzles and stories. I especially like the cliffhanger endings of 203 & 204. Every episode should end with a bit of a cliffhanger leading us right into the next episode. I hope they will from now on.
I'm very happy with the quality of these works long after the adventure game was declared dead. They are only getting better and thank the gods (a.k.a. The Telltale Staff) that the adventure game is back! :)