Editorial by Justin
The End. Every series finale carries the responsibility of producing a proper series finale for its audience after years of devoted viewing. Some finales (Breaking Bad, Cowboy Bebop, Angel, etc.) fulfill this expectation while others (True Blood, Dexter, Queer as Folk, etc.) fail to reach it.
The finales that succeed have the following merits:
– Stay true to the characters and the central themes of the show
– Achieve some level of satisfying closure which in nature can be happy, sad, bittersweet, or all the above
– Have a sense of finality
– Know when to stop before the credits
Breaking Bad Finale Spoilers
The Breaking Bad series finale never strayed from who the characters were emotionally. It also never lost focus of the show’s major theme which is that actions have consequences. Both aspects drove the final episode’s throughline. Enough loose ends were tied up to conclude Walter White’s story and his complicated relationship with Jesse Pinkman. Then the finale ended perfectly with Walter’s death; his demise had been a looming eventuality since the first episode.
The finales that fail have most, if not all, of the following flaws:
– Inconsistencies in mythology, character behavior, or both
– A last-minute twist that undoes everything that came before or it (or at least most of it)
– Lack of closure of any kind
– Functioning like a typical episode instead of a series’ end
– Not knowing when to stop before the credits
True Blood Finale Spoilers
The True Blood series finale suffered from a number of these flaws. First of all, it was inconsistent on a character level. Bill asked Sookie to kill him when he could have easily done it himself. His request also contradicted the reason for his death wish which was to save Sookie from the darkness of vampires. Killing him would obviously not be a positive step towards that goal. Then there’s Sookie’s ending. Through most of the series, Sookie had been a fiercely independent woman to the point of overbearing. For her to go from that to a pregnant housewife undermines her as a character. The fact we never get to see the face of Sookie’s husband creates a disturbing lack of closure. In addition to inconsistencies and some non-resolutions, the finale was hindered by its hurried nature. It felt less like a story’s final chapter and more like a patchwork of snippets.
Ending a series should always be handled with a certain level of respect as there’s a thin line between a successful finale and a failed one. That respect isn’t just for the show, but the audience as well who find it hard to forgive a show for falling short in the end.