The 15 most surprising TV season finales ever, from Misplaced to 24theinsiderinsight

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Tlisted below are many issues that go right into a memorable season finale: thriller; tempo; character improvement.

As a rule, nonetheless, audiences need a shock – one thing intriguing sufficient to justify carrying on subsequent season.

Among the most surprising moments in TV historical past have come throughout season finales. With one other instalment on the horizon, there’s no want to supply audiences catharsis or decision – if something, the most effective season finales actively deny viewers these emotions. And probably the most straight-forward method of doing that? A very good shock, normally adopted up with a cliffhanger: a one-two punch that ensures return prospects.

Shock worth – whereas not at all times equatable with nice storytelling – will at all times provoke some Twitter dialog in its wake. Take a look at Misplaced… it’s been 14 years for the reason that ABC present got here to an finish however individuals are nonetheless fixated on its a lot derided ending – and the attainable alternate conclusion that would’ve been.

However numerous others earlier than Misplaced have shocked (and dissatisfied) viewers, too. Right here’s our choice of the 15 most surprising season finales of all time…

(As is to be anticipated, MAJOR SPOILERS lie forward! You’ve been warned!)

15) Unforgotten, season 4

Viewers had been left open-mouthed by the conclusion to Unforgotten’s fourth season, which noticed DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) remedy the case of Matthew Walsh’s loss of life, solely to be taught that his associate, Nicola Walker’s DCI Cassie Stuart, had succumbed to accidents she sustained in a automobile accident. Shortly after the episode aired, ITV confirmed that the collection was renewed for a fifth collection, which can see Sunny paired with a brand new associate – Cassie is gone, however actually gained’t be forgotten. 

With Geoffrey Streatfeild in Spooks

With Geoffrey Streatfeild in Spooks (BBC/Kudos/Angus Muir)

14) Spooks, season 10

British spy drama Spooks lastly got here to an finish in 2011, having run on BBC One for 9 years. The season 10 finale featured no scarcity of incidents, however followers will most bear in mind the tragic loss of life of Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker) within the arms of Harry Pierce (Peter Firth). The unlucky and shocking nature of Ruth’s loss of life – being stabbed with a shard of glass whereas attempting to cease Sasha Gavrik from killing Harry – made this finale a savage blow for a lot of Spooks followers.

13) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 5

Buffy was one other present that loved to finish its seasons with a bang. Season two noticed superpowered schoolgirl Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) stab her vampire boyfriend within the coronary heart, whereas season three noticed her destroy her highschool throughout a battle with the city’s demonic mayor. However season 5 stays probably the most surprising finale of all, as Buffy ended up sacrificing her life to save lots of the world. The character was in the end introduced again early within the subsequent season, however ending on the sight of Buffy’s tombstone made this episode a shocker for the ages. 

12) Line of Responsibility, season three

You’re just about assured excessive drama in each Line of Responsibility finale – however the nearer to season three in all probability stands above all of them. An excessive amount of occurred within the episode to aptly summarise right here, however the pleasure peaked when duplicitous DI Matthew Cottan (Craig Parkinson) was caught out by Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), and managed to flee seize – solely to be shot useless by his associates, leaping in the best way of gunfire to save lots of Fleming’s life. This sudden second of redemption capped what is likely to be the best season of Line of Responsibility to this point in gripping, explosive fashion.

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11) Recreation of Thrones, season 5

By the point season 5 rolled round, viewers knew that no character was protected from George RR Martin’s loss of life grip however nonetheless Jon Snow’s homicide got here as a shock. However bar the ending’s shock worth – which followers of the ebook had already anticipated anyway – Jon’s “loss of life” was virtually immediately reversed within the second episode of the subsequent season when he’s resurrected by Melisandre. The occasion ended up having little consequence on the remainder of Recreation of Thrones and really undermined the present’s no-holds-barred strategy to loss of life that it had efficiently arrange in earlier seasons (ahem… The Crimson Wedding ceremony).

10) Breaking Unhealthy, season 4

Breaking Unhealthy’s fourth season noticed the collection’ finest villain – fastidious meth baron and fried rooster restaurateur Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) – meet an appropriately memorable finish. The lethal cat-and-mouse recreation that Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) had been enjoying with Fring all season had one ultimate shock in retailer, because the pair recruit the assistance of the loathsome Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) to blow their nemesis in half. If that weren’t sufficient, the episode additionally deployed a surprising last-minute twist, because it hinted that Walt is liable for poisoning the six-year-old son of Jesse’s girlfriend, Andrea. 

9) Home of Playing cards, season two

OK, it’s not a completely surprising finale however season two can lay declare to one of the vital satisfying ends to any present. The final scene sees Kevin Spacey’s machiavellian Frank Underwood coming into the Oval Workplace, kicking away his incumbent’s chair and rapping his knuckles on the desk. Cliché? Perhaps, however nonetheless gratifying to look at. Extra surprising than Frank’s new presidency, nonetheless, was the prospect of Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) exhibiting any semblance of emotion. The sight of Frank’s ruthless partner-in-crime crying whereas perched on the staircase was the finale’s really surprising second.

(Netflix / Youtube)

8) Misplaced, season three

After three seasons of Misplaced, audiences had grown extraordinarily acquainted with the flashbacks format of the present – so when creator Damon Lindelof flipped the script on us, we didn’t see it coming. The 2-hour lengthy particular interspersed what we thought had been cursory flashbacks, just for them to be revealed as “flashforwards” in a shock twist ending. The flash sequences, through which Jack is depressed, hooked on Oxycodone and wishing to return to the island, tackle a brand new which means on this new, disturbing gentle. Suffice to say, the third collection finale went down with followers rather a lot higher than the present’s precise finish three seasons later.

7) Homeland, season one

All through your entire first season of Homeland, you’re left guessing whether or not or not Damian Lewis’ US Marine Nicholas Brody had in actual fact returned to the US as a radicalised terrorist. Within the high-octane finale, it’s revealed that Brody was in actual fact recruited by al-Qaeda, and had been planning a large-scale assault. A malfunction along with his bomb jacket prevents him from going by way of with it, nonetheless, and the character in the end survives for one more two seasons – earlier than one other surprising finale noticed Brody executed by Iranian authorities.

((Twentieth Century Fox))

6) The West Wing, season 4

Aaron Sorkin went out with a bang on his ultimate episode as author of the political drama earlier than he left in 2003. The hour-long episode sees Bartlet (Martin Sheen) invoke the twenty fifth Modification – through which the vice chairman steps in if the president is unable to do their job – after his daughter Zoe (Elisabeth Moss) is kidnapped. Provided that the VP workplace is vacant on account of John Hoynes’s intercourse scandal, this enables the Speaker of the Home, Glen Allen Walken, to imagine energy, telling Barlet: “You’re relieved, Mr President.” Chills.

5) Battlestar Galactica, season three

The Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica reboot had followers reeling on the finish of its third season, when it was revealed that 4 of the present’s fashionable characters had in actual fact been Cylons (the robotic nemeses of humanity) all alongside. Beforehand unaware of their identities, Chief Tyrol, Samuel Anders, Saul Tigh, and Tory Foster all come to the simultaneous realisation about their identities in a montage set to “All Alongside the Watchtower” – a second that had large ramifications all through the rest of the collection.

4) Dexter, season 4

Essentially the most shocking collection finales typically coincide with probably the most heartbreaking, which was actually true of Dexter’s fourth collection. Followers will bear in mind the scene completely: Dexter comes residence to seek out his spouse Rita useless within the bathtub, murdered by Arthur (aka The Trinity Killer, performed brilliantly by John Lithgow). Whereas there have been a couple of clues interspersed within the minutes main as much as the tragic reveal – the newborn crying, lingering pictures – Rita’s loss of life was one of many greatest shocks to rock Noughties TV.


3) 24, season one

There was hardly a uninteresting second on 24, a viewing expertise that may be in comparison with a day-long coronary heart assault. However out of all of the twists and turns, it’s onerous to stay as much as the bombshells dropped on the finish of its first season. Not solely was Nina Myers, the distinguished federal agent and confidante of our hero Jack Bauer, revealed to be the mole promoting authorities secrets and techniques – however in her makes an attempt to maintain her cowl she murders Jack’s spouse Teri. Cue the hysterical crying. 

2) The Good Place, season one

There are few reveals that really catch you abruptly. More often than not, the viewer has some inkling {that a} twist is on the best way, but it surely’s protected to say that jaws dropped worldwide on the season one finale of The Good Place. We discovered that regardless of appearances, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and her cohort aren’t residing it up in heaven however are literally the victims of a newfangled technique of torture in hell. Even the movie’s forged – minus Bell and Ted Danson – weren’t clued in on the afterlife-altering twist. 

(YouTube / Netflix)

1) Dallas, season three

It was the season finale to finish all season finales. The third season of CBS’s hit Texas cleaning soap opera Dallas concluded with the taking pictures of amoral oil baron JR Ewing (Larry Hagman) by an unknown assailant. For eight months (between the airing of “A Home Divided” in Might 1980, and the beginning of the fourth season in October), the character’s destiny and shooter had been left in limbo. The US was consumed with the thriller of “Who shot JR?” The episode left a long-lasting imprint on popular culture; years later, the well-known cliffhanger was nonetheless being parodied on collection like The Simpsons, which ended its sixth season with “Who Shot Mr Burns?”

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