And it’s closer to right. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/21/disappointing-series-finales_n_5514671.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
I can’t argue with most of the list. The final season of Lost literally destroyed my enjoyment for the years before. Of course, the article makes the popular canard of saying J.J. Abrams was still involved with the show then. He wasn’t. Alias, a show he was involved in the entire run, had a very good finale, IMHO.
What’s the difference? Well, it’s not a matter of difficult mythology. Alias had its Rimbaldi myths, which dominated most of the early seasons, and then slid into the undercurrent of early Season 4, when they rebooted the show. But the finale bathed in it, right down to using Sloane’s quest for eternal life against him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-XJyk6qIos
BTW, Jack Bristow’s line in that scene is one of the greatest lines I’ve ever seen. And he was right, Sloane trapped in Rimbaldi’s tomb forever. Poetic Justice on the ultimate scale. How is that for a perfect finale? Oh yeah. There was still Sydney’s finish. Which was almost as satisfying.
Lost? Well. Not everything can make as much sense. But at least it could’ve answered half its own questions.
But my choice for ‘best finale ever’ has to be Babylon 5’s “Sleeping in Light.” A quiet, emotional piece that even in repeated viewing wrings manly tears from me. The choices they’ve made have consequences that cannot be avoided. But Sheridan, Delenn, and Babylon 5 itself has changed the galaxy in every way they could hope. It is the opposite of the expansive, explosive Alias final act (though the station gets a big boom). And yet no less rewarding.
And that’s why, compared to the ones on the list, they worked. Those finales were honest with their characters, worlds, and the fans who had invested in them. They gave real payoffs in return, and answered the key questions of the story. That’s what a good ending should do. To me, that’s why I’ve never bought the argument against the Scouring of the Shire in Lord of the Rings as a proper ending. The readers don’t see the events of the story through Aragorn and Gandalf’s eyes. But through those of the Hobbits. And we have every reason to see they are capable of solving their own problems now. No longer hiding from the world of men or easily cowed. It’s important to demonstrate the growth of our heroes.
A proper ending provides resolution. If it can leave another story to tell beyond that, all the better.