Recently, my daughter began telling me about her watching of the classic episodes of the Twilight Zone, lamenting that so many of them had endings that were, in her words, “not done yet.” When I tried to explain that the ambiguity was half the fun, she wasn’t entirely sure, and proceeded to try and figure out what would have happened to poor Burgess Meredith, suggesting that he find the nuked optometrist’s store for a new pair of cheaters. While I admit that the child has a point, it got me to thinking about whether or not the nature of those endings was part of the show’s longevity. (Though, I’m sure the superb writing didn’t hurt.) I have often considered whether the syndicated shows of my youth, like Gilligan’s Island and original series Star Trek, didn’t benefit from never having a series finale that wrapped everything up with a big bow, leaving their characters in an endless cycle that occasionally restarts, but never decisively stops.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) likes the ambiguous ending of the short story ‘The Mist,’ while loathing the movie’s last 15 minutes, asking: Does a creator actually need to tie up all the loose ends of a given tales, or can a ‘Twilight Zone’ ending actually be better?