I heard something rather funny the other day. You can either go out like Breaking Bad, or wait around long enough to become Dexter. It may not make sense at first, but it is actually a movie reference from The Dark Knight. I believe the original quote is: You either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain, and that pretty much sums up the difference between a good finale and a bad finale. There really is only one thing you need to do for a good finale, but most people seem like they are not ready to hear this.
For a good finale, you need to kill your main character. I know you may think that sounds insane, but look at all the finales we have seen over the years. Which ones have really resonated with us, and which ones left us with bad tastes in our mouths. Think about a show like Dexter or Sopranos, those were endings people hated. They hate them because they were not really endings. They gave us years with characters, and then gave them no kind of real closure. Now think about Breaking Bad. The main character dies (as well he should have) and the show forever goes down in the pantheon of great TV endings. Make a note of that, people. It is not a coincidence.
The trick to a good finale is an actually finale. As an audience, we need closure, and there is no better way to ensure closure as killing off someone and leaving no loose ends. Keep in mind, this article is aimed at drama and thriller shows. Killing off the cast of The Big Bang Theory to end that show in a few years might not be the brightest idea. Good bring some real irony to that name, though.
[Photo via Ursula Coyote/AMC]