A frustrating ending to what many considered an already rage-inducing season. Dexter was widely regarded as a series that started out great and progressively declined in quality, so it is perhaps fitting that the finale would cement that reputation. Rather than killing off the titular antihero — which it seems many expected to happen in the finale — the final episode saw him survive and become a lumberjack. What?
Choosing not to include the majority of the main cast of the show in an ending many fans considered bland and untrue to the series’ major characters, the finale of Girls was both more and equally as frustrating as the rest of the series. Many reviewers acknowledged that the episode before this one felt more fitting as a series finale for the show.
Now that there’s a revival, some of the sting of this finale is erased. That said, the original cliffhanger ending left a duplicate Cooper seemingly possessed by an evil entity — and the real Cooper trapped inside the Black Lodge. Had the show not returned for more episodes in 26 years this cliffhanger would have been eternally confusing.
BSG’s finale lands on a variety of lists — sometimes in the “best” category, sometimes in the “worst.” We’re not here to judge, but the finale did leave quite a few unanswered questions that left fans scratching their heads. Why did Kara disappear into thin air? What was the Cylons’ long-teased “plan”? Did everything in the series happen because “God willed it?” While there’s certainly much to love about the finale to the incredible space opera, there was much left uncertain, too.
What just happened? Lost ran the gamut from confusing to fantastic to downright absurd, but it was always interesting. It follows, then, that the finale should be the same; a little fantastic, a little interesting, a little absurd. Like many other unsatisfying finales, it left a host of unanswered questions regarding plot points that were never resolved and characters whose storylines were totally forgotten. Naturally, the one for which the final episode is most known — were they all dead the whole time?
How I Met Your Mother
There’s a reason this one lands on almost every “worst finale” list. How I Met Your Mother refused to acknowledge that its story and characters had grown past the original trajectory its creators had planned, and stuck rigidly to an ending that no longer felt logical or heartfelt. Ted going back to Robin — despite how concretely the series had proved they were totally wrong for each other — was just one sour note; other discordant chords included Robin and Barney’s breakup and, of course, the mother’s death.
Probably one of the strangest finales in memory, the way Seinfeld ended frustrated many longtime fans and critics in choosing to end the show with the core group in prison for not helping a man they saw getting carjacked. Though it featured many characters who hadn’t been seen in seasons, that wasn’t enough to erase the bad taste in fans’ mouths when the credits rolled.
For better or worse, show finales are often the thing fans remember most about a once-beloved show.
A good finale can live in fans' minds and hearts for years; a bad finale can be a source of anger for decades to come (just ask the cast of Seinfeld).
Here's a look at seven TV finales we still find frustrating, years later.