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Old October 5 2013, 05:49 PM   #1
Joe Washington
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Location: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

In the aftermath of the recently aired Breaking Bad series finale, I composed a list of favorite series finales that I consider more than merely good compared to others. I also listed my reasons for enjoying them so much.

1. Six Feet Under “Everyone’s Waiting”-set the bar for series finales, partially due to its surprising montage of the characters’ future lives and deaths. It helped make the ending of my connection to the show’s characters whom I’ve grown close to easier to bear.
2. The Shield “Family Meeting”-delivered karmic punishment for the remaining members of the corrupt Strike Team that is nearly Shakespearean in scale. The silence of Vic’s final scene was profound.
3. Breaking Bad “Felina”-brought the transformative journey of Walter White and his complicated relationship with Jesse Pinkman to a satisfying conclusion. The song “Baby Blue” will linger in my mind for some time.
4. Babylon 5 “Sleeping in Light”-made me want to cry as I watch John Sheridan’s tragically shortened life come to an end and his loved ones try to come to terms with his impending demise. John and Delenn’s final scenes together were powered by the incredible performance of the actors portraying them.
5. Slings and Arrows “The Promised End”-excelled from its silent opening to Geoffrey and the gang banding together to pull off a rogue performance of King Lear to the joyful series-ending celebration. It was the perfect coda to a show about the dysfunctional theatre world and the lasting importance of Shakespeare’s works.
6. Angel “Not Fade Away”-ended the series on a rousing note as Angel and his friends fight for the good of humanity against the forces that seek to corrupt it. I consider Angel’s “Let’s go to work” line to be one of the most memorable TV lines of all time.
7. Blackadder Goes Fourth “Goodbyee”-warmed my heart with laughter and broke it at the same time as the WWI-era incarnation of Blackadder and his comrades face what might be their last charge into the battlefield. I was touched by the beauty of the war-torn battlefield dissolving into a poppy field at the end of the episode.
8. The Office (UK) “Christmas Special”-carried out the heartbreaking, realistic awkwardness of the series to a poignant conclusion. Brent standing up to Finch and Tim and Dawn’s kiss are cheer-worthy moments in my book.
9. Cowboy Bebop “The Real Folk Blues”-functioned as a moving, inevitable ending to Spike’s tragic arc of long-lost love and revenge. Spike limping down the stairs of the Syndicate building and saying “Bang” with his hand formed into a pretend gun makes me smile for some reason.

What are your favorite series finales that you think are above average and your reasons for thinking so?
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Old October 5 2013, 06:11 PM   #2
bigdaddy
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

I was thinking of starting a topic like this.

The Six Feet Under ending episodes remind me a lot of the Breaking Bad ending, main character dies and we get two episodes of the aftermath. I was watching it a few years ago for the first time and thought "This ending is fine, but no where near amazing", then the music started playing and the deaths started coming and it was just perfect.

And ending to me isn't complete closure, you will never get complete closure unless the planet blows up. You always want more.

And example of that is Breaking Bad, what happens to Jesse and everyone else we left behind, but the show was Walt's and he got perfect closure.Was it shocking and guns ablating? No, but it was perfect.

West Wing had a perfect ending too. You wish you lived in Fringe and could see the other 5-6 seasons of the Santo years, but it ends well, people move on. You can think of where the characters have gone since.

I actually like both ending of Farscape, one is tragic but fitting, the other gives you some hope for the future, while still being sad.

All the Futurama endings have been great, besides the movie one, but it was still decent.

Damages final season was a lot better than the 4th season. The last episode was shocking and you couldn't ever predict there would be more and more murders in a lawyer show, but there were! I didn't like the last few minutes, felt that wasn't needed, but I'd ignore it.

MASH had a finale that was longer than the movie it was based on.

Most comedies in the last decades have been bad. Golden Girls, Seinfeld, Roseanne, Will and Grace. They all don't fit into what the show was. Golden Girls just felt rushed, but that's probably because they wanted an 8th season.
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Old October 5 2013, 06:27 PM   #3
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

I'm having trouble thinking of a lot of really good final episodes besides TNG, DS9, Breaking Bad and B5. Most series I love either got cancelled or they fizzled out and dropped far enough in quality that I quit. I heard Six Feet Under's finale was good but I quit it after seasons three and four both sucked.

I thought House's ending was pretty good, and Futurama.

Community had the perfect ending in season 3, but then they decided to keep going with crappy writing. Stargate had a good series finale in both season 7 and 8, and then decided to keep going with new villains who were so powerful only a bigger red button could possibly defeat them, and replace the best character with a block of wood and an oversexualized harpy exported from Farscape.
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Old October 5 2013, 06:33 PM   #4
Joe Washington
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Community had the perfect ending in season 3, but then they decided to keep going with crappy writing. Stargate had a good series finale in both season 7 and 8, and then decided to keep going with new villains who were so powerful only a bigger red button could possibly defeat them, and replace the best character with a block of wood and an oversexualized harpy exported from Farscape.
Completely agree about Community and Stargate SG-1.
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Old October 5 2013, 08:02 PM   #5
bigdaddy
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

Yeah I feel the upcoming season is going to be weird with all the cast changes happening on Community.

I still like the season 6 finale of Stargate. Seven had promise but Daniel coming back and Jonus leaving and not enough searching for Atlantis... ehhh.
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Old October 5 2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

Blakes 7, Life On Mars (UK), Ashes To Ashes... All great
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Old October 7 2013, 12:05 PM   #7
Starkers
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

Glad someone mentioned Blakes 7!

For me my top four is:

Blakes 7
B5
Angel
DS9
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Old October 7 2013, 04:00 PM   #8
ClayinCA
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

Nobody's going to mention Newhart? Oh wait...I just did.
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Old October 7 2013, 05:33 PM   #9
the G-man
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

1. Six Feet Under “Everyone’s Waiting”-set the bar for series finales, partially due to its surprising montage of the characters’ future lives and deaths. It helped make the ending of my connection to the show’s characters whom I’ve grown close to easier to bear.
2. The Shield “Family Meeting”-delivered karmic punishment for the remaining members of the corrupt Strike Team that is nearly Shakespearean in scale. The silence of Vic’s final scene was profound.
Your top two and my top two are the same. Though I'd put the Shield at number one and 6FU in second place.

ST:TNG would be up there in the top five, along with Newhart.

I liked the Sopranos finale quite a bit but that may be because I accept the "it meant Tony was dead" theory that some viewers reject. It would be in my top ten as well
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Old October 7 2013, 06:00 PM   #10
lennier1
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

Don't forget the two-parter that formed the epic cliffhanger for Space: Above And Beyond.
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Old October 7 2013, 06:45 PM   #11
bigdaddy
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

lennier1 wrote: View Post
Don't forget the two-parter that formed the epic cliffhanger for Space: Above And Beyond.
I bought the DVD for cheap, made it about eight episodes in and just stopped watching. It was a great universe but it was clear they had no clue what they wanted to do for the show.
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Old October 8 2013, 02:16 PM   #12
Avalon
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

LEXX -- the finale was the perfect payoff for the entire series. But man, I've never cried so hard over a tv show in my life. Kai finally got what he wanted, but it was in the most heartbreaking way possible. (But then, that was no surprise.)
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Old October 8 2013, 02:36 PM   #13
Gil T.Azell
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

ClayinCA wrote: View Post
Nobody's going to mention Newhart? Oh wait...I just did.
That was classic, don't think anything could top it for a comedy series ending.
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Old October 9 2013, 07:53 AM   #14
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

Cheers had one of the best endings ever, in that it didn't end, the bar just closed for the night, with Norm the last one out & ya just know he'd be the first one through the door the next day.
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Old October 9 2013, 12:38 PM   #15
the G-man
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Re: Series-Ending Goodbyes (Beware of some spoilers)

The concept of the Cheers ending, and the final few moments,was fine. The flaw was the endless padding to make it an event.
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