Essential in keeping viewers’ curiosity high until the following seasonthe final season episodes of TV series are probably even more important than pilot of the same, making a real difference in what will then be the fate of a television serial product. Closing a season by answering a sufficient number of questions but leaving the right amount of mystery that pushes the audience to continue watching is no easy feat; for this reason the creators of the TV series are increasingly committed to bringing the best possible season finales to the small screen, therefore using all the strategies aimed at leaving viewers in suspenseunleashing shocking twists and cliffhangers or driving fans crazy with unexpected deaths of protagonists and essential questions left unanswered.
The ones listed below definitely drove us crazy, but they are undeniably among the best season finales of TV series seen in recent years, becoming true cult episodes of the small screen.
1) Lost (Season 3)
The drama series Lost gave us some of the most emotional season finales in television history; among these, one undoubtedly placed himself above any other. Let’s talk about the episode Through the mirrorwhich closes the third season of JJ Abrams’ series.
Season finale divided into two parts, the episode it condenses all the elements that make the epilogue of a chapter shocking: the death of a main character, the fate of the other protagonists remained unknown and multiple unsolved mysteries awaiting answers. The episode Through the mirror it also radically changes what had been the structure of the show up to that point, passing from the classic use of flashbacks through which we learned about the lives of the protagonists before the crash, to an unexpected flashforward showing the survivors managed to escape the island.
In the present timeline the protagonists are meanwhile engaged in a mission to find a underwater station that will change Charlie’s fate forever (Dominic Monaghan); to discover the meaning of message he leaves for Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) and viewers will, however, have to wait for the fourth season.
2) Breaking Bad (Stagione 5)
Il mid-season finale of the last chapter of the drama series Breaking Bad he saw the most shocking revelation ever.
The episode Gliding Over All (Flying high) he is alone the beginning of the end for chemistry professor Walter White (Bryan Cranston) became the biggest drug lord under the alias Heisenberg. When DEA Agent Hank (Dean Norris) puts the pieces back together by learning the truth about his brother-in-law’s real identity Walter White, the viewer perceives all the heartbreaking, mortifying and disappointing nature of the discovery of the protagonist of the final cliffhanger, who had always lived alongside the most wanted criminal of his division without knowing it.
Hank’s bitter discovery also implies the knowledge that one of the most significant chapters in television history is coming to an end, thus heightening the dramatic nature of the event.
3) Twin Peaks (Stagione 1)
Twin Peaks it’s the TV series that marked a real turning point in television storytelling for its being absolutely innovative and different from what had been broadcast on the small screen up to that point.
Difficultly characterized in a predefined genre, spectators were enchanted by the incomprehensible and dreamlike surrealist images, by the extravagant cast and by the increasingly complex plot which offered, episode after episode, many more questions than answers, further and further distancing the resolution of the brutal murder of young woman Laura Plamer (Sheryl Lee). The finale of the first season therefore truly drove its audience crazy since not even the epilogue of the story shed light on the intricate mystery, leaving the fate of FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) unknown until the following season.
4) Yellowstone (Season 3)
Among the best season finales of TV series it is impossible not to mention the epic episode The World is Purple which closes the third season of the neo-western series Yellowstone.
The powerful Dutton family is grappling with the exacerbation of conflicts with the nearby Broken Rocks Indian Reservation, with various criminal empires and rival politicians; one of the three parts is in fact orchestrating a daring attack addressed not only to the head of the family John (Kevin Costner) but also to his children Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Beth (Kelly Reilly), his daughter-in-law Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and his grandson Tate (Brecken Merrill).
The gripping action offered by the final episode of the third season therefore leaves the fates of many key characters in the story uncertain but, above all, offers a surprising twist regarding the identity of the attackerliterally making viewers jump out of their seats.
5) Game of Thrones (Stagione 5)
The HBO series Game of Thrones has always accustomed the public to expect everything; however the final episode of season five is arrived like a bolt from the blue for those who have not already read the novels of the George RR Martin saga from which the series is based.
Having deviated from the books on more than one occasion, many wondered how similar the fate reserved for the beloved protagonist Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in its television adaptation. The answer came in one of the most painful and best season finales of the series Game of Throneswhich left the question about the fate of the acclaimed protagonist open for more than a year, making fans of the iconic series wait until the second episode of the sixth season to get a definitive answer.
6) The West Wing (Stagione 1)
The gripping political drama The West Wing brought to the stage the turbulent tenure of US President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen), brought to life by Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. The finale of the first season of the series contributed to the enormous success of the following season.
Told primarily through flashbacks, the episode What Kind of Day Has It Been? (The Attack in Italian) opens with the President Bartlet’s preparation for a public appearance, an event that causes considerable concern for secret service agent Toscano (Jorja Fox). Between the frenzy of the moment and the president’s juggling of an international crisis, the episode is about to come to an end when shots are heard in the very last seconds of the season finale. The series then leaves the open question of who was shot and who fired the shotmaking the dramatic conclusion one of the season finales of the TV series that drove its fans the most crazy.
7) Sherlock (Season 2)
The cliffhanger that ended the second season of the BBC series Sherlock it was among the most talked about television events ever and, needless to say, among the best season finales of TV series of the last decade.
The second chapter of the television retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic culminates with the clash between Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his nemesis Moriarty (Andrew Scott) on the roof of a London building. With the lives of his friends in danger, Sherlock then chooses to sacrifice himself in one of the most intense and harrowing sequences shown in the TV series, however managing to survive. Believed dead by all the protagonists of the story, he will remain a mystery to the public until the following season how he managed to escape certain death and to solve Professor Moriarty’s latest enigma, giving life to detailed theories and analyzes on social media that have forever changed viewers’ approach to television products.
8) The Good Place (Stagione 1)
The finale of the first season of the series The Good Place really drove viewers crazy because, although they are the norm in dramatic productions, it is decidedly rarer to witness great twists in the comedy genre.
Series creator Michael Schur said in an interview that he consulted the director of Lost Damon Lindelof to create the best possible season finale, surprising dark comedy fans with a surprising twist. The first season introduced us to the protagonist Eleanor (Kristen Bell), who accidentally found herself in the part of the afterlife reserved for good people. In the course of the story, the young woman understands that she has been mistaken for someone else and that she should be her place in the bad part; however, the final episode overturns all the beliefs of the protagonist and of the viewers themselves, realizing that what had been shown up to that moment was already the bad part.
9) The Walking Dead (Stagione 6)
In the sixth season of the series The Walking Dead zombies are definitely the last worry for the group of survivors protagonist of the storycalled to fight against ferocious tyrants and greedy opportunists.
Among these is the ruthless Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the most diabolical opponent Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group have ever faced. He remained an unknown and menacing presence throughout the seasonis in the final episode Last Day on Earth (The Last Day on Earth) that finally we learn about the psychopath characterwho entered the scene brandishing a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire with which savagely beats one of the protagonists to death in what will be the most violent scene of the entire series. The episode was particularly shocking for the public, who had to wait until season seven to learn the victim’s identity.
10) Friends (Season 4)
The manifesto comedy of the 90s Friends has reserved one of the best season finales of TV series with the two-part episode The One with Ross’s Wedding (Ross’s wedding).
As per the title, Ross (David Schwimmer) is ready to tie the knot with Emily (Helen Baxendale) in London. Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) understands where she is still in love with her friend and therefore tries to prevent him from saying his vows. However, after seeing how happy Ross seems to be, she decides to step aside and peacefully watch the ceremony. However, it is Ross himself who completely reverses the fate of the wedding, saying Rachel’s name at the altar and leaving open to the public the interpretation of what the fate of the couple and the TV series will be from the following seasons onwards, truly driving the fans who have always wanted to see the two protagonists together crazy.