Thursday Open Thread: Standout Season Finales

We’re coming up on the end of the seasons for many of our shows, and while I’d love to dwell on how these shows might end this year, I’m much more inclined to think about how some of our favorite shows have ended in seasons past. Can this year really match up?

Name some standout season finales from past seasons of TV.

These can be shows that are long gone or ones still on the air, but they’ve got to be ones that stand out in your mind as something great. Something that kept you on the edge of your seat for the entire summer. Something that shows these days might just have trouble living up to.

Of course, the first show that comes to mind is Buffy, which had some spectacular season enders. I’m thinking season 2, season 5, season 6 (oh, season 6!). And even though season 3 wasn’t a cliffhanger, it still stands out as one of my favorite eps of the season. Season 2, with “Becoming,” might be the one that stands out the most, though. Sadly, I wasn’t an avid Buffy watcher at the time, so I didn’t see it live. I can’t imagine what people thought after that episode.

Angel, too, had some goodies. Though, really, the one that stands out the most is when the team returns from Lorne’s home dimension, all happy and giddy, only to find Willow in the hotel waiting to tell Angel about Buffy’s death. There was nothing said, but it still gave chills that reached through the entire summer.

As for other shows beyond the Whedonverse, what about One Tree Hill? OTH has always had some killer endings (yes, really, killer), and the one that stands out the most to me was clearly when the wedding limo goes flying off the edge of the bridge, and Nathan jumps in after it, leaving a screaming and sobbing Haley on the side of the bridge, still in her wedding gown. But does that compete with the complete shock of having Clay and Quinn shot in their own home after such a happy trip to Utah last year? You tell me.

Well, spill yours, or just jump on my bandwagon and share more about the shows I’ve mentioned above. And while you think, why not watch the OTH limo crash I mentioned before. Sure, I would love to post the end of “Becoming,” but I can’t quite find it on YouTube.

Plus, I’m not sure I could handle that kind of emotion in the middle of the day.

Every time I watch this clip, I’m reminded I’m supposed to care about Peyton. Oops.


6 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread: Standout Season Finales

  1. The one that really sticks out in my mind was, I think, the end of Babylon 5 Season 1. Garabaldi finds out about a plot to kill the Earth Alliance President, just in time to be shot in the back. If I remember correctly, he crawls out of an elevator trailing blood behind him to collapse in the middle of the commercial district, right around the same time that the President’s ship is exploding, and then the season ends.

  2. Mister Going-baldy! I remember that show when the hubby watched the DVDs. While it got weird towards the end, it did have its moments.

    I’d have to second many of the Buffy finales. Weeds does finales really well, and Friends had some humdingers (Ross and Julie getting off the plane, Monica and Chandler sleep together at Ross’s wedding). Season one and two of Lost were awesome, before all the weird endging just got annoying. If I had to pick one show that did it really well, I’d have to say Battlestar Gallactica. They knew how to twist the knife very well.

  3. Ooh, yes, I second all of the above. When I watched BSG I was so happy to have the whole series at my fingertips — their cliffhangers must have been agonizing.

    Doctor Who has developed a tendency to go way, way over the top in its finales and specials, but it did produce a couple of really good ones in its first years back on air. “Doomsday” in particular, from season 2, is finely tuned to make you laugh, cheer, and bawl like a baby, pretty much in that order.

  4. Years ago I was flipping channels and stumbled across said limo crash in OTH, and all I could think of was, “How could you do this to your fans?” I imagined them all tortured for a summer, waiting and waiting to see who survived. And then I felt compelled to find out how it turned out. Thus began an embarrassing year of my following One Tree Hill.

  5. Pingback: A Belated Thursday Open Thread: Season Finale Cliffhangers « Raked

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