Cliff, that's a great post.
I do find the question of why this was dropped from mainstream Aikido to be interesting and I wish we could have had that discussion.
is looked at as a "finishing technique," couldn't we see that in aikido, most notably in the finishing pins of ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, etc. And also as the finishing "releases" in movements like kaitenage, tenchinage, irmi nage, etc..
Even in actual practice on the mat, it's a form of corrective energy. The pins, over time, clear blocks and open up uke's energy channels, resulting in less tension and overall better flow - with that translating to better performance in their role as nage as well.
The "releases" allow for the corrective training of uke's ukemi over time. And, again, resulting in less tension and overall better flow - with that, translating to better performance in their role as nage.
If nage is moving corrective energy into uke, it doesn't seem to make a difference whether the outer form is an atemi, pin, release, throw, kiai... They're all the same thing. Meaning, aikido does retain todome at the end of the technique - just with a wider pallet of forms.
Interested in yours and others thoughts.