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.
- 1Photo: 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.Cool foreshadowing?
- 2Photo: 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.Cool foreshadowing?
- 3Photo: FX
Every minute detail of Sons of Anarchy's final episode was foreshadowed right from the beginning of the series. The show ends with Jax Teller committing suicide by way of the road, the same exact way his father, John Teller, went out many years before. The end was fitting, yet inevitable if you've been following along the whole time, especially since the show is a parallel of Shakespeare's Hamlet. As a refresher, Jax, a young "prince," is haunted by the ghost of his father, who was slain by his mother and stepfather (Clay and Gemma) in order to take over the hierarchy - and if you remember anything about Hamlet from school, it ends in tragedy for the eponymous character.
If that wasn't insightful enough, a one-off interaction between Jax and Clay in the pilot episode foreshadows the entire final season of the show. In the episode, a more laidback and optimistic Jax says, "It ain't easy being king," to which Clay responds, "You remember that." The final season sees a darkened, more apathetic Jax succumb to the power at the head of the table and the horrible things he had to do to earn that spot, resulting in his own demise.Cool foreshadowing?
- Photo: The CW
The reveal that Dan Humphrey is the eponymous Gossip Girl may have come as a shock to many, but looking back at the beginnings of the series, it may not be such a surprise after all. Although fans (and even cast members) passed off the reveal as an arbitrary pick, there are some major clues that point to Dan being Gossip Girl, dating all the way back to the pilot episode.
If you were paying attention, Dan seemed to randomly appear wherever the main characters were hanging out, in a stalker-ish fashion. At one point, Chuck even asks Dan if he's following them after Dan is caught eavesdropping on their conversation. Another instance is during the initial reveal of the Gossip Girl website, which coincidentally, happens to be narrated over a scene of Dan sitting alone in his apartment, hovering over his laptop. The only way that Gossip Girl would focus on a complete nobody like Dan would be because Gossip Girl is Dan.Cool foreshadowing?