Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My Top 10 Series Finales

Spoiler warning: If you have not seen the finale of a particular show you plan on watching, spoilers may be given, so just skip to the next one.

10. The Sopranos – “Made in


First I must admit that I was not a regular watcher of this highly-acclaimed HBO series.  However, I think that the way they ended it was brilliant, so I wanted to give it a slot on this list.  Perhaps because I wasn’t such an avid fan, I wasn’t as angered or put off by the cut-to-black ending.  And looking back at certain ideas presented and mentioned in the series, and even in taht episode, we can see that this ending does in fact make sense and give the show some finality.
I will admit that it did catch me off guard when I watched it.  I thought that the cable went out.

9. Flight of the Conchords – “Evicted”

May seem like an odd choice, but I was really impressed with how well they wrapped things up in this last episode after only two short seasons.  I was happy that Bret and Jemaine didn’t make it big; that wouldn’t have suited.  But their ultimate fate was both fitting and funny.  Even Meg and Doug get some closure! This episode was also one of the funniest they’ve had, with the musical and the boys living at Meg’s place as some of the highlights.

8. M*A*S*H* – “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen”

122 Million people tuned in to say goodbye to one of the most popular and acclaimed shows in TV history.  As the war came to an end, the men and women of the 4077th gradually left and said many tearful goodbyes, including the infamous ending shot in the helicopter.  My favourite part is the scene in the operating room where the end of the war is announced.  They all pause for a moment, and then go right back to work.

7. The Wire- “-30-“

In a series where a lot of shocking things happened, the finale itself didn’t really have any, though it did wrap up many story arc, and left others open.  Looking back, the whole fifth season was really the finale and a chance to say goodbye.  What won me over was the ending montage where we see the roles of characters in the series being replaced by other characters.  It tells us that life keeps going and the cycle continues.

6. Alias – “All the Time in the World”

Alias is a show which started off very strong, but midway through its run it just switched over to autopilot.  Infact, I didn’t even bother watching most of the fifth and final season.  However, they managed to really end it with a bang, wrapping up the Rambaldi mystery  in a satisfying way and giving the character’s resolutions which were very fitting.  I was especially moved by Sloan’s ultimate fate and Jack Bristow’s sacrifice.

5. The West Wing – “Tomorrow”

Nothing unexpected happened in The West Wing’s final episode which saw Bartlett ending his presidency and handing the reins over to Matt Santos on Inauguration day.  There wasn’t much in the way of conflict and drama perhaps, but the episode did provide a great forum for fans like myself who have watched and loved these characters for the last seven years to say goodbye.  A classy end to a classy show.

4. The Office – “Christmas Special”

The Office may have only lasted for twelve episodes, but it was so good that fans demanded more.  What they got was a 90-minute special to wrap the whole series up.  We come back tot he workers at Wernam-Hogg three years later with hilarious results.  And we get some  very satisfying closure with the Tim-Dawn storyline.  We even get the impression that David may just be okay and may just start to become a better person.

3. Star Trek: The Next Generation – “All Good Things…”

For a long time I help this finale as the prime example of how to end a series.  This two-hour event saw Picard traveling through various time periods as Q explains to him that the very existence of life itself is at stake.  Through these travels we get to both revisit the crew’s past as well as glimpse into their future.  And exciting, intelligent finale worthy of such an interesting show.

2. Battlestar Galactica – “Daybreak”

This is television at its most epic.  The four-year story of the last of the humans exiled in space trying to find earth comes to a dramatic, emotional, and action-packed conclusion.  It starts off with a desperate showdown with the Cylons and ends with some thought-provoking revelations.  Many people did not like the answers given for many of the questions the show has posed, yet despite that, this was one heck of an ending.

1. Lost – “The End”

I’ve just finished watching this for the second time, now that the last season is on DVD, and that’s what jump started me into making this list.  The ending of Lost provided one of the most emotional and satisfying two hours of television I’ve ever seen.  First off, the island story comes to its prupose and resolution, giving us many exciting moments such as the Locke showdown and Desmond and Jack in the wellspring.

On top of the island story, the flash sideways storyline which confused us all season also came to fulfillment, transcending the usual mysterious parameters of the show and providing us with an existential background over which these events occurred and giving us many, many tearful moments as characters are reunited and remember their island lives.  I honestly don’t believe they could have ended such a fantastic show any better.

4 Responses to “My Top 10 Series Finales”

  1. The series finale of Star Trek the Next Generation is definitely one for the ages. If you’re a fan of sci-fi (seems that you are), I would recommend giving a quick look at the Quantum Leap TV series, if you ever get the chance. Great concept / storyline, as well as quite the epic finale. Thanks for the read.

  2. Good list: Sopranos, The Wire, BSG, MASH, ST: TNG, West Wing. But where are Twin Peaks and the two best of all: The Shield, Six Feet Under finales?

    • I couldn’t get into the Shield. In fact, I couldn’t stand the episodes that I did see.
      Six Feet Under is a show I never really got into, though I have heard from others that it had a great finale.

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