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12 TV Dramas That Foreshadowed The Ending Early On

List RulesVote up the series finales that ended with eerie callbacks to earlier seasons.

Not all shows come "full circle" by the end of the story, but it's so much more rewarding when the ending feels earned - rather than forced. TV finale foreshadowing can come in a number of ways, usually through callbacks to earlier seasons or even the pilot episode, but the TV finale callbacks are often more successful when the writers actually laid out the groundwork long in advance.

Connecting the dots between the series finale and earlier episodes is a way to make the viewers more engaged and feel like watching the series was worth their time, even if the final season was a bit of a disappointment. 

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  • Photo: AMC

    Jesse often doesn't get enough credit for his bright ideas in Breaking Bad. After all, Jesse is the one who thought of using magnets to destroy the hard drives in police lockup. In the show's second season, Jesse brazenly asks Walt to build a robot after the RV breaks down, trapping them both in the hot desert, to which Walt scoffs. Eventually, Walt is able to jumpstart the battery using his vast knowledge of science, and the two escape to live another day. 

    Flash-forward to the series finale, Jesse is being kept in captivity and forced to cook meth by Jack and his crew. Walt, being just one person, has to think outside the box for a way for him to take on a whole crew of thugs. Lo and behold, Walt actually builds a robot to shoot up Jack's compound and save his former partner. Of course, Walter took a fatal bullet in the process, but his robot was the key to Jesse's escape. 

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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation went out not with an epic space fight or alternate dimensions, but with a simple game of cards between friends. Earlier in the series, Data learns to play poker, which he equates to being human, as one cannot rely solely on statistics or probability to win - but also on human instinct. Bluffing and poker faces are not something that can be computed, which leads to Data's better understanding of the game and humans in general. 

    Though the Enterprise poker games seem like a brief break in the story, they actually contain a lot of symbolism that would eventually pay off in the series finale, "All Good Things..." At the end of the episode, Picard stumbles upon the crew playing a friendly game of poker, and surprisingly, he asks to join. The crew happily makes space for the Captain as Picard explains he should have joined them a long time ago. Through the "human" act of playing poker, Picard has found a way to bond with his crew in a more profound manner than leading them through space encounters.  

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    In 'Twin Peaks,' Laura Palmer Says 'I'll See You Again In 25 Years,' And The Show Actually Ends 25 Years Later

    Photo: ABC / Showtime

    Leave it to Twin Peaks to take foreshadowing to its highest possible level. Nobody knows if David Lynch and Mark Frost actually planned to wait 25 years, or just picked a random number out of a hat, but Twin Peaks: The Return is set almost 25 years exactly from the date the original series was unjustly canceled by ABC. In the finale, "Beyond Life and Death," Cooper meets Laura in the Black Lodge where Laura eerily proclaims, "I'll see you again in 25 years," before ominously screaming into the darkness. 

    When Cooper and Laura meet again in Twin Peaks: The Return, Laura has made good on her promise since it has really been just over 25 years (although time is unreliable in the Black Lodge, so who knows how "long" Cooper was really in there). We can't assume David Lynch really planned to bring back Twin Peaks over 25 years later, but you have to admit, the timing is one hell of a coincidence. When Cooper and "Laura" finally meet outside of the Black Lodge, the story accelerates into a confusing, beautiful, and horrifying ending that raises more questions than the previous cliffhanger that was sitting in the balance for nearly three decades. 

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  • Photo: HBO

    The Sopranos may end with an abrupt cut to black, but we have a pretty good picture of what happened. Although the famous cut-to-black ending seems odd, David Chase had been laying the groundwork for this ending throughout the entire series. In the fourth season premiere, "For All Debts Public and Private," Tony says to Dr. Melfi that there are only two possible endings for a guy like him - dead or in jail. Although we don't get to see what happens to Tony after the series ends, we can safely assume he's been whacked thanks to some other subtle hints throughout the series.

    Earlier in the final season, Tony has an exchange with Bobby Bacala about what it might feel like to get whacked. “At the end, you probably don’t hear anything, everything just goes black," Bobby says. Later, the series cuts to black while Tony is having dinner with his family - no sound, no slow-motion, just black. Even if the cut-to-black ending doesn't signify Tony's demise, Tony would have ended up in jail at one point or another. 

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