the-best-tv-finales

3 of the Best TV Finales

Story posted April 14, 2021 in

Send em out with a bang! There are many popular TV shows, but only some shows have a finale so memorable that it carries conversation for years to come. In this listicle, The Arts and Entertainment Department take a look at just three of the best show finales of the past decade.

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"Fleabag" (2016 - 2019)

“Fleabag” ended after two short seasons, but it didn’t change how powerful the finale is for the character. The star and writer of the show, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, took the audience on another hilarious yet emotional journey in the second and final season.

Season two of the show has received numerous awards and accolades because of how the character of Fleabag came full circle since the audience first met her in 2016. When she waved goodbye to the audience at the end, it created a bittersweet moment.

Fleabag has been breaking the fourth-wall since the beginning of the show, and while it was funny, she also uses it as a way to disconnect herself from everyone around her. The finale challenges Fleabag to drop the facade that she has put on (the audience), and open herself to love and be loved.

It’s a powerful and clever use of the fourth-wall that not many shows or movies have ever done, but it makes “Fleabag” one of the most unique shows in recent TV history, and certainly one of the best TV finales of all time.  – Jimmy Lu

“Breaking Bad” (2008 – 2013)

Not only is “Breaking Bad” regarded as one of the best shows in television history, it is also regarded as one of the best endings audiences have ever watched. For 5 years, showrunner Vince Gilligan provided the two best character arcs in TV history and brought them beautiful endings as well.

The “Breaking Bad” finale is titled “Felina,” which is an anagram for finale and is the recipe for the whole series. On the periodic table, Fe is for ron, Li is for lithium, and Na is for sodium, which stands for blood, meth, and tears.

Throughout the entire series, Jessie Pinkman truly was a prisoner of Walter White and Jessie wasn’t free until White’s death at the end. White deleted his existence after the incredible episode “Ozymandias” and left for New Hampshire but returned to free Jessie of his enslavement as a chained-up cook.

The entire last season of “Breaking Bad” is incredible episode after incredible episode, and the finale is the nail in the coffin solidifying it as one of the best shows of all time. – Sam Roberts

“Chernobyl” (2019)

The HBO limited mini-series “Chernobyl” very well could be the best piece of content that HBO was created. “Chernobyl” is a five-episode series that follows the events of the nuclear reactor that exploded in the USSR in 1986 and follows Dr. Legasov as he figures out how to solve the problem.

By the series finale, Dr. Legasov, Boris Shcherbina, and Dr. Khomyukn are providing all the evidence they found regarding the explosion to the USSR government. The evidence they conclude suggests that the head scientist on the reactor the night it exploded ran a test when he knew the reactor wasn’t stable, and that the USSR bureaucrats covered up the whole reaction with lies as well.

Beautiful performances from Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård really carry the finale, and their characters fully came together as allies by the end as well. The finale is an emotional roller coaster that makes the viewer sick with the USSR and the people that were in charge of it at the time.

The story of the Chernobyl disaster is incredibly haunting and was filled with lies, and the series does a fantastic job of uncovering the whole story in just 5 episodes. – Sam Roberts

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu

Sam Roberts is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email sam.robertspsu00@gmail.com.