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How Shows Should Have Ended

Updated on April 1, 2013

Sometimes a show goes on too long and when you look back at it you think, “It would have been so much better if it had ended here, instead.” Had it ended at an earlier date the show might have gone out with some dignity instead of having a mediocre ending. It’s such a case for the three following shows.

Unless you were a LOST diehard fan who thought even when the show laid an egg it was really a gold brick, you had major problems with how the show ended. To this day I’ve got all the episodes on DVD and just the thought of rewatching it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There’s just no reason to rewatch it because it had such a craptastic ending. All the mysteries I spent several seasons trying to figure out the answer to was solved in such and sloppy and unbelievable way there’s no pay-off in watching the show from start to finish again.

When the show’s writers proclaimed they knew how it would end they meant Jack closing his eye; aside from that they knew absolutely nothing, as proved by the hackneyed answers they came up for the big mysteries viewers had wanted the answer to for years. As many viewers had suspected all along they’d been making it up as they went along and when it came the day to finally answer all the fantastic mysteries they came up with they had no idea how to do it. Personally, I always thought they came up with the Jacob’s Cabin mystery because they thought it would be cool to rip-off the moment from the Wizard Of Oz where Dorothy’s house gets lifted up in the cyclone and lands in Oz. They never did come up with an answer for Jacob’s magically moving and invisible cabin. Instead, they just burned it down. Out of sight; out of mind.

The ending might not have been so bad without the addition of the sideways world, which came off as Jack’s every fantasy come true. He’s a great father. He got to have sex with Juliette before Sawyer did and Sawyer didn’t have sex with Kate, at all. And everyone gave up their second chance all to sit in a church and genuflect to the wonderfulness that is Jack. To this day I believe Jack made up the sideways world to make himself feel good as he laid dying. The only way he could let go and die was to fantasize how everyone was genuflecting to him in the afterlife and giving up their loved ones all to bask in his glory.

What was worse is several people got off the island and we never found out what happened to them when they did. We just found out everyone was dead and living in limbo because they couldn’t move on until Jack was ready to accept that he was dead. We don’t know if savage Claire had a happy reunion with Aaron who thought Kate was his real mother. We don’t know if Kate went to prison for violating her parole conditions. We don’t know if Sawyer decided to be a real father to his daughter or if he went to prison for the murder he committed in Australia. And we don’t know if the Oceanic Six’s lies were ever exposed. Or how Richard adapted to the world after finally starting to age.

Supposedly, Darlton claimed if you bought the season 6 DVD set the special features would reveal all the mysteries they left unsolved in the show. I didn’t buy the DVD set. They stole six years of my life I can’t get back, I wasn’t going to give them my money, as well. Besides, if the mysteries they solved was anything to go, the answers they provided would have been lame and so full of holes they weren’t answers, at all.

I’ve seen some fans say it would have been better if the show ended at the end of season 5 when Jack wanted to blow-up the island to reset everything. Others have said it would have been better to end it at the end of season 4 when Sawyer jumped off the helicopter so the others could make it off the island. Whatever the case, this once great show had a horrible ending. How horrible is it? The last season of the show made it virtually unwatchable in reruns. What was the point when you knew what a crappy ending it would have? Rewatching it would just be a waste of time since at the end you never got any real believable answers to all the mysteries the writers created. The only answer that became clear by the end was the writers had pulled a long con on all the viewers when they promised real answers to all the mysteries they created.

Another show that had a bad ending was the gothic daytime soap, Dark Shadows. The show ended with a bunch of strangers in the 1840 Parallel Time story. For all intents and purposes the show viewers loved ended when Barnabas, Julia and Professor Stokes returned from 1840 and walked out of Collinwood with Elizabeth to go and meet up with Quinten and Carolyn and that’s how the show should have ended. Quinten 1 [who seemed to be a past life for present day Quinten] got a happy ending going off to marry his beloved Daphne. Barnabas was cured of being a vampire, and in the tragic bent that was hallmark for his character he realized he’d always loved Angelique but she died before he could tell her. And all was well at Collinwood for the moment. It would have been the perfect way to end the show.

Brothers and Sisters was a good show, but it went on one season too long. Horrible as an ending as it would have been, it should have ended with the mass-car accidents involving the Walker family. It continued on for another season with Robert dead, Holly brain damaged and unable to remember the past, among other awful stories. To make it worse ABC didn’t seem to want to air it half the time. It would be off for weeks and then an episode would air. It was hard to keep up with what was going on. I don’t even remember what the last episode was about or if I even watched it. It was a sad ending to a once great show.

This is why I always respected Sex And The City for knowing it was time for the show to end. They could have kept it going until it was a shell of its former self, but they decided to end it while the show was still on top. And I thought it had one of the best series finales of a show that I’ve seen. [We won’t go into the Sex And The City movies that I like to pretend didn’t happen.] It’s too bad more shows don’t do that, instead of going on way beyond the past due date.

Another show that had what I consider a satisfying ending was Last Resort that got cancelled. They found out about the cancellation in time to come up with a good ending that nearly tied up every loose string. In retrospect, while still being bitter that ABC didn’t give this show a fair chance, it may have happened for the best. Could this show really have sustained the same level it had if it stretched out for several seasons? Wouldn’t it have started to get old them taking sanctuary on the island, while the US tried to stop them? It gives credence to the fact that some shows should only plan to be on for one season. Revenge is a show that would have benefited from a one-season ending. Last I watched Emily was re-doing revenge victims that she’d already avenged herself on and the story was getting more hackneyed with each passing episode.


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