Verne Gay Verne Gay

Gay is the television critic.

The end. Maybe.

Barbara Walters wraps 50 years on TV Friday morning when she leaves as co-host of "The View," which she founded with longtime production partner Bill Geddie in 1997. Of course, she will not go into the good night quietly: ABC Thursday said the finale will include a "roll call" by Oprah Winfrey of 25 incredible female journalists who were influenced by Walters. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also shows up on Friday's show.

Meanwhile, Thursday's penultimate Walters' broadcast was a roll call of sorts, too, with 11 current and former "View" hosts -- some of whom made news of their own when they departed (often noisily) in years past. Rosie O'Donnell (2006-07) was asked what she missed most about her brief but colorful tenure there: "Fighting with the skinny one," she said, referring to Elisabeth Hasselbeck (2003-13), who's now co-host of "Fox & Friends."

The mood was upbeat -- but then it always is and was -- and you wouldn't even have guessed that many of the 11 had been fired by Walters at one point or another in the contentious past of "The View." Nevertheless, she said, "I love you all. I'm so proud that we are still friends. Not everyone can say that and work with everyone and still love them."

So what about that "maybe?"

Walters, at a Manhattan benefit in her honor Wednesday night, acknowledged what many in the Four Seasons' Pool Room seemed to sense: That she was indeed a little ambivalent about "the end."

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"So I won't say goodbye," she said. "But à bientôt."

In French, that means "See you later."