As followers of the Major Spoilers Podcast will tell you, your humble MS-QOTD is still a bit broken up over the events of the final episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ earlier in the week.  As finales go, it went far above and beyond the usual scope of “Everybody gets new job and hugs it out” into a higher level of wrapping it up, and the response from the fans has been, to say the least, mixed.  Many internet wags have already dubbed it “The ‘Lost’ of sitcoms”, while others have begun compiling their Top 10 Worst Finales list, but what’s not really being addressed is the question of how difficult it is to pull of a really successful capstone for any ongoing story.  ‘Quantum Leap’ infuriated me with a single caption, while ‘Blake’s 7’ murdered all the regular cast and a few returning faces who had left the show for good measure.  Shows like ‘Sports Night’ don’t get a finale at all, while ‘M*A*S*H’ took the time to provide an exit for everyone, even the likes of Nurse Baker and Sgt. Rizzo, a successful strategy which leads us to today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced “shur-bot-skee”) has less love for the end of the New 52 ‘Legion Of Super-Heroes’, which basically consisted of a series of grisly murders, a fart noise and Nelson Muntz calling ‘HA-HA!”, asking: What’s the greatest final episode/issue/installment of all time?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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12 Comments

  1. April 2, 2014 at 11:33 am — Reply

    The final season of The Wire was a bit disappointing. Rushed because they only got ten episodes. But that last episode… Wow. In the parlance of the Dude, it really tied the room together. Everything comes full circle, with old characters moving on, and new characters filling the roles of their mentors / predecessors. The more things change, the more things stay the same. The greatest police procedural show ever created ended with a big bang.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT-7LCRpPVQ

  2. Kirby
    April 2, 2014 at 11:44 am — Reply

    In my mind, I have to break this up by genres more or less. For sitcoms, to keep with HIMYM, it goes to the Cheers finale. Yes, some characters get new jobs like Woody & Norm, but this was build up from previous episodes. The final episode keeps true to the tone of the series, gives a nice nod to the cast member who passed, and ends with a nice bookworm to the series.
    [link[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP21b-AAXJk[/link]

    • Kirby
      April 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm — Reply

      *bookend. Also I appreciate that there was no forced lead in to Frasier moving to Seattle.

  3. April 2, 2014 at 11:46 am — Reply

    M*A*S*H is way up there, but my personal favorite is for The Young Ones. It’s like they decided to remember that they were supposed to be college students & go to classes all of a sudden and used that as the hook for an ending involving a successful bank robbery, stealing a double-decker bus, and being betrayed by Cliff Richard. If any show could pull off a “yep, the cast’s dead now, let’s go home” ending, it was this one.

  4. April 2, 2014 at 11:51 am — Reply

    The final episode of “Newhart” took it to a level that has never been topped.

    • starks scraps
      April 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm — Reply

      I was 9 when that aired and even i thought it was epic.

  5. Jacob
    April 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    The West Wing is almost perfect for me. The story has an obvious ending point but the way the characters go their separate ways is special to me. The capstone for me is the president opening the gift that contains Leo’s Bartlett for America napkin. That is the last time TV made me cry until the final scene of HIMYM.

  6. starks scraps
    April 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    The final issue of Transmetropolitan was pretty excellent. As was the last issue of Preacher. I really liked the last episode of Angel as well.

  7. April 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm — Reply

    The MASH finale is great a great ending to one of the best shows ever. I love the end of The Prisoner for its pure mindf**k trippiness.

    But ultimately I agree with Kirby above, the Cheers finale was fantastic. It ended the show with Sam alone in his bar, his one true love. Perfect.

  8. Rob
    April 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    Babylon 5 liked final episodes so much they had two and they are both pretty awsome.

  9. April 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm — Reply

    Final episodes are always tough for writers and viewers. How can you make one episode represent an entire series. Personally, I thought the very recent ending to Breaking Bad was superb.

    But I truly thing the greatest TV finale of all time was All Good Things for Star Trek the Next Generation. It ended the series while looking to the past and to the future. The Captain joining the poker game was perfection.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTQgs2OGVV8

  10. April 3, 2014 at 1:54 am — Reply

    I dont know if its THE best ending ever, but everyone should watch True Detective season 1. I went in not knowing what to really expect, but once it was over, I found myself with probably the best tv I have ever seen. If you liked Twin Peaks, this will blow you away.

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