Tuesday, August 9

From The Sopranos to Fleabag: 10 of the Best TV Finals | TV

Crazy men

Don Draper has an existential meltdown in a new age healing camp, then closes his eyes, smiles, and makes up the most famous TV commercial of all time. The cynicism is awesome. Draper is lost as a person. Everything around him has been destroyed and he is totally alone in the world. But that’s okay because you’ve discovered a way to sell soft drinks. Money always wins.

Byker grove

In which, after spending a decade and a half as a largely realistic drama about the members of a youth club, the characters suddenly discover that they are fictional characters on a television show and attempt to write their own destiny. After being attacked by a dinosaur, the youth club is equipped with dynamite and destroyed. This is a real thing that really happened.


What makes the Fleabag final so special is its last moment. After the trials of previous episodes (weddings, miscarriages, love affairs, canned gins), Fleabag has a moment of realization. The fourth wall, which she has been relying on since we met her, is holding her back. And so, with a sweet and sad smile, he waved us off.

The oil will be fine ... Larry Hagman as JR in Dallas.
The oil will be fine … Larry Hagman as JR in Dallas. Photography: Lorimar / Kobal / Shutterstock


As in It’s a Wonderful Life, an angel comes to Earth to show JR Ewing how things would be if he had never been born. However, unlike in It’s a Wonderful Life, the angel turns into a bright-eyed devil who starts screaming about how JR should definitely commit suicide. Which, as the endings say, is quite unexpected.

Breaking bad

Some say the ending of Breaking Bad was too orderly: Walter White made his way through their world trying to correct the diabolical actions of his time as Heisenberg before dying saving his friend. But the episode moved like an elegantly designed machine; a fitting ending to one of the greatest shows of all time.

Little house on the prairie

When this quaint little drama ended, the land on which the sets were built had to return to its normal state. This meant the destruction of several buildings. And that’s why, to save on production costs, the Little House finale ended with the characters blowing up their own houses. Totally inspired.

Jurassic five ... dinosaurs
Jurassic five … dinosaurs Photograph: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy


The show that was meant to be like The Simpsons, but with anthropomorphized animatronic dinosaurs, ended with everyone’s deaths. Earl, Homer’s dinosaur daddy, neglected the environment, caused an apocalypse, and had to spend the final moments of the series explaining to his little one that they were all about to be killed. This was a children’s program, remember.

The sopranos

A blackout so abrupt that viewers complained to their cable providers. The ending sequence is based on a silent dread. A family eats in a cafeteria. His daughter struggles to park. A man keeps looking up. What’s wrong with Tony Soprano? Is he assassinated? Condemned to spend your life shooting panicked glances at the door? The show’s creator, David Chase, declines to explain. I hope it continues like this.

The remains

In episode one of Damon Lindelof’s surreal supernatural drama, 2% of the world’s population disappeared. In the final episode, a woman claimed to have answers, but described them so shyly that even she didn’t seem to believe them. That was it. So what happened to the missing? They are dead? In the sky? Sometimes you just have to let the mystery be.


Some people say that the ending of Lost was bad. Those people are welcome to line up and fight me. The episode ended with most of the castaways leaving the island, to finally reunite in a place that existed outside of time and space, in a waiting room for the afterlife. Yes, okay, it looks like pretty crap written. But you weren’t there, man.


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