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Top Ten Tuesday: Best TV Series Finales


There have been some debates series finales in television (like Lost and The Sopranos), but Game of Thrones’ last run is the most controversial. It’s difficult to pinpoint why some fans despise the final episode, but the last chapter of Game of Thrones ranks very high on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday going over the best series finales of all-time. Included are videos with the final scene from each show, and the text summaries are mostly going to avoid spoilers for those that have not watched every show on the list. [NOTE: This list does not include comedies.]

 

10. Twin Peaks (The Return) “Part 18” (aired 2017)

Twin Peaks: The Return could be higher, but this is the finale for the series’ comeback, so they had two cracks at a finale. (And it would not be surprising if David Lynch decides there’s more story to tell and does a fourth season.)

 

 

9. The Wire “- 30 –’’ (aired 2008)

The final scene of The Wire might have been a little cliché, but a story that was scattered throughout different areas of Baltimore for five seasons wrapped about as well as it could have. This was a realistic drama about a city, with a finale that capped it well.

 

 

8. Boardwalk Empire “Eldorado” (aired 2014)

It wasn’t likely that Nucky Thompson would remain a gangster that becomes as successful as the likes of real-life characters like Lucky Luciano, but the ending of Boardwalk Empire was still able to deliver a big twist to cap the series.

 

 

7. Sons of Anarchy “Papa’s Goods” (aired 2014)

The CGI in the final moments of Sons of Anarchy might not have been great, but the show’s last episode followed up an emotional penultimate chapter with an even more emotional ending as Jax Teller tied up all club business.

 

 

6. The Sopranos “Made in America” (aired 2007)

Most The Sopranos fans thought their power went out for the finale, which might have instantly led to some harsh feelings toward how the series ended. But controversy like the hit HBO series received is a good sign in some cases, as it’s probably better than people not caring.

 

 

5. Mad Men “Person to Person” (aired 2015)

Ending a television series that focuses on an ad agency and includes virtually no violence or action can be a tough task, but AMC’s Mad Men did Don Draper justice. “Person to Person” was also the perfect episode title for the show’s conclusion.

 

 

4. M*A*S*H “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” (aired 1983)

The last episode of M*A*S*H was a feature-length film, and a stunning 106 million people watched it.

 

 

3. The Americans “START” (aired 2018)

The Americans series finale could’ve gone a number of ways, and the show was able to make the last few minutes of dialogue an interesting and fitting end for the Jennings. There was also the parking garage scene, and the phone call scene, and the train scene, all helping make “START” one of the greatest finales ever.

 

 

2. Breaking Bad “Felina” (aired 2013)

Breaking Bad had an insane few episodes leading up to the finale, and not everything was simply tied up in a bow (like two key characters not getting a proper goodbye) in “Felina”. But that was realistic for the high-risk, on-the-run life of Walter White. The appearances of a couple of secondary characters was fun, and the primary characters got sufficient conclusions.

 

 

1. Game of Thrones “The Iron Throne” (aired 2019)

While Breaking Bad basically had two or three people you’d consider the main characters, Game of Thrones had a bunch of characters they had to wrap up—and it’s hard to imagine they could’ve done it much better, from the music to the cinematography to the acting. In several months or years, the final episode of Game of Thrones should be one that’s looked back on more favorable than it is right now.

 

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