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What are the best, and the worst, endings to stories you've encountered?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Drexlerfan22, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    In particular, what are some shows/books that, in your mind, had endings SO BAD that they almost retroactively ruin the entire rest of the story, because it was leading to this the whole time?
    Conversely, what were some endings so great that they retroactively enhanced the rest of the story?


    THE BAD

    Dexter
    This is the inspiration for this thread. I was recently reminded of this show by a co-worker who brought it up in idle conversation. I mentioned that the ending was so awful that, whenever I think of perhaps re-watching Dexter, the ending tends to flash before my eyes and I opt not to. The only time I started to re-watch since it since the ending, I felt like I was starting to see cracks in the writing and acting that I hadn't seen before, just because I was in a more critical mood. The ending was so awful I just feel like it ruined the show for me.
    Why it was so bad:
    From the very start of the series, most people I talked to figured it could only end one of two ways: Dexter dies, or goes to prison. Either one would've been a satisfying payoff to the series as a whole, though either way I would've liked to see him get caught and fully see the fallout of everyone around him finding out. But what did we get? He becomes a lumberjack and abandons his newfound family. No real closure for any character, and Deb's death felt utterly cheap and meaningless.

    Star Trek: Voyager
    Admittedly this is nowhere near the degree of awfulness as Dexter, but IMO it had a pretty bad case of not-enough-time-spent-on-ending. All those seasons in pursuit of one goal (getting home), and what do we get?
    Why it was so bad:
    ... we get maybe 10 minutes of alternate-future aftermath, followed by 35 minutes of deus-ex-machina "yay! easy insta-travel!", followed by... nothing. It literally ends with the shipping flying towards Earth and them getting a "welcome home" over the intercomm, and that's just it. For such a longstanding show, they need to spend more than 8 seconds on aftermath. And no, alternate-future doesn't count.

    THE GOOD

    The Shield
    Holy balls. It's already apparent when you begin watching it that The Shield is a pretty good show. But the way it ended (and also the other BIG earlier twist, which I won't spoil) just gives you a new appreciation for the show upon re-watch. I don't think I've ever been so emotionally drained/affected by a show as I was by The Shield.
    Why it was so great:
    What made this show so magical, IMO, was the way it made you sympathize with Vic's position, even though the guy is clearly a twisted, evil bastard. It got even more interesting upon watching the special features, when the show creator explained that in season 5, he intended everyone to see Forest Whitaker as the good guy, since he was in charge of investigating Vic's many crimes. But, surprise, the audience almost universally sided with Vic. This seemed almost disconcerting to the writers, who had to make special efforts to get the audience out of Vic's corner in the final season, by making it clear just how evil he was. The look on Ronnie's face when he realized how hard Vic had screwed him over just gives me goosebumps, and Vic's immunity confessions were a jaw-dropping spectacle of how much evil viewers had somehow turned a blind eye to.

    Six Feet Under
    Again: holy balls. I don't think there's ever been a better 5 minutes of TV than the last 5 minutes of Six Feet under, and it makes you want to go back and see how we made it to this point.
    Why it was so great:
    The show in general does a good job spending time on each character as they get to the brink of "the rest of their lives." Nate's death somehow doesn't feel cheap, David & Keith get reasonably settled in both their personal & their business lives, Claire finally goes off on her own, and Ruth finds her peace. But those last 5 minutes go beyond what was already a good ending, not just showing you where the show left off, but where their lives ended, filling in some blanks but allowing the viewer to imagine exactly how the intervening years had gone. And THAT SONG. Damn. I must've re-watched those last 5 minutes 10 times.

    First & Third Elderlings book trilogies, by Robin Hobb.
    What so astounds me about this ending is that, when you get to the point that most other books would've ended things, there's still a full quarter of a large book left to go. Hobb spends TONS of time on the remaining characters just... living. Just about every aspect of any character's life-after-the-major-events that anyone could possibly care about is carefully detailed.
    Why it was so great:
    The Fool being brought back to life seemed somehow credible, and the way The Fool could no longer see the threads of the future by the end of it was a level of closure I'm not sure I ever expected the series to get to. The re-kindling of the relationship with Molly also seemed like to remote of a possibility to ever happen, yet Hobb found a way to let Fitz live a happy life, instead of the far more likely turning-him-into-a-bitter-Chade-2.0. All the detailing of communications between Fitz and Molly's kid's was so lengthy it was like a short book unto itself (in a good way).
    Even further, I never expected Hobb to bring Fitz back yet again, in the new series still being written. It was really cool to see
    his identity finally revealed to the whole world
    . I hope she doesn't manage to spoil her previous, perfect ending for me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. underoverup

    underoverup Member

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    Not a TV show but The Matrix couldn't even finish the last movie it was so bad. :mad:
     
  3. FishBulb913

    FishBulb913 Contributing Member

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    Bad ending - Dexter and it's not even close. I was actually angry I wasted so much time on the show for that.

    Good - Totally agree on Six feet under.

    Second best ending ever is Breaking Bad for me. Wrapped up everything so well.
     
  4. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker Contributing Member

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    Lost just had an awful ending. Some of this was forseeable, because the show seemed a bit like it didn't know where it wanted to go after a while, but the ending was the worst.

    In movies we have two from Star Wars: the Return of the Jedi, and Revenge of the Sith endings were bad. Sith's ending with the Vader NoooOOooOooOoo had more cringe, but the bad was mercifully short. Jedi, about 1/5th of the movie was spent with the bad ending that was the entirety of the Ewoks. You have an epic trilogy about the Galactic war between the Empire and the Rebellion, and they have the fate of the galaxy decided by God damn teddy bears.
     
  5. thejav

    thejav Member

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  6. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    The last one in the Harry Potter series was bad. Rowling did not stick the landing. All the stories arcs converged into a traffic jam, leaving me to try to make sense of it all.

    It is never a good sign when you finish the book and have to google to make sense of it all.
     
  7. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    Best - Breaking Bad
    Newhart - that was just Brilliant

    Worst - Jericho (I get WHY they ended it that way..but it was still way too convenient/easy)
     
  8. marky :)

    marky :) Member
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    Like others have said.

    Worst Show Ending = Dexter
    It was such a good show and the way it ended made me hate the show.

    Best Show Ending = Breaking Bad
     
  9. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    Sopranos!!!

    I agree with "Lost" as well. :eek:
    .......
    .......
    .......
     
  10. Mr. Brightside

    Mr. Brightside Contributing Member

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    The whole purpose of the Dexter ending is so they can resurrect the show 5 years from now.
     
  11. fba34

    fba34 Contributing Member

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    Dexter season 1 was so amazingly well done. Built the miami night scene, built great secondary characters and their stories, last few seasons just kept up with it just for the ending and sure enough like others mentioned here, they screwed us all for the wait so they have an opening to revisit the show if they want to.
     
  12. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    My parents were laughing their ass off at that one, luckily we'd just gotten cable (because they stopped showing Tyson's title fights on broadcast TV) and I'd seen just enough Nick at Nite to know that Newhart had another show beforehand.
     
  13. blahblehblah

    blahblehblah Member

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    Lost, Dexter & battlestar gallactica are three of the dumber ones on tv IMO.
     
  14. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    Dark Tower book series. The last 2 books were almost unreadable.

    Dexter sucked (their fault), Deadwood was not satisfying (not their fault). Treme was meh. Last season of The Wire was meh-to-bad.
     
  15. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Sons of Anarchy -
    Motorcycle Jesus rides into the sunset
    They wrapped up everything so quick it just mad your eye roll how many
    'things fell into place'

    Rocket River
     
  16. CCorn

    CCorn Member

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    Best ending to a completely awful movie is 30 seconds or less. **** had me rolling.
     
  17. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    Good call.
     
  18. Poloshirtbandit

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    Totally agree on The Shield. Probably at the top of my list.
     
  19. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    That's definitely a good one, totally forgot about that. Unfathomable to me that the first movie could be so amazing and yet they blow it so hard on the follow-up.

    Definitely seems to be a consensus on Lost. I haven't seen it, myself.

    That sucks that Battlestar's is bad. Thanks for the heads-up. Now when I finish it I won't have high expectations, so they won't be crushed as hard. :)
     
  20. what

    what Member

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    Lost in translation. The ending is what made this film for me my favorite film of all time. It's a modern day Casablanca.

    The ending of E.T. is great movie-making.
     
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