The series finale is the most sacred thing there is when it comes to television - and the more emotional they are, the better. A show could have 10 brilliant seasons, but if the writers don't stick the landing, all that goes down the drain (just ask Game of Thrones). TV finales don't need to make us weep to be considered a "good" finale, but bringing us to tears is a great way to prove how connected we were to that story and the characters.
The final scene is usually reserved as an epilogue to a big climax. It usually isn't action-packed or dense with plot, but it's a bridge to wrap up any last thoughts or moments that will prepare us for the end. Whether they use that final moment to say their goodbyes or answer one last question, these series all did it right. It makes it so much easier to go back and binge through our favorite show when we actually look forward to the ending.
- Photo: AMC
In Breaking Bad, Walt's demise shouldn't come as a surprise considering he's been slowly dying the entire series (and certainly brings much of it upon himself), but it's still emotional to see Walt finally bite the dust. In a final act of absolution, Walt breaks Jesse out of captivity just before taking a bullet to the stomach from his own contraption. As if seeing Jesse stand up to Walt one last time and drive off into the sunset weren't satisfying enough, we finally get to see how Walt goes out.
What makes the last scene so touching is the fact that Walt is surrounded by the thing he truly loved - the meth lab. All the time he spent worrying about his family had long gone out the window as Walt grew his empire and realized what he was missing out on the entire time. Walt was once a family man who was driven by academia and devotion to his kin, but he breathes his final breaths accepting the fact that becoming "Heisenberg" was truly the thing that brought him to life.Emotional ending?
- Photo: FX
Yes, a show about criminal bikers made us cry... many times. By the end of Sons of Anarchy, Jax has caused so much destruction that he figures the only way to restore balance is to end his own life. In true biker fashion, Jax hops on his motorcycle and waits for the road to take him, just like his father. It's a tragic end for his character, but somewhat inevitable considering how much he's changed for the worse since losing everybody he once loved.
In the final scene, Jax blissfully closes his eyes (as he steers right toward a truck), knowing the madness is about to end. The scene is set to a beautiful original song by the White Buffalo & the Forest Rangers titled "Come Join the Murder," the last song of the series. After Jax collides with the truck, his blood spills out onto the same road where his father ended his own life. We love Jax, but he got what he deserved.Emotional ending?
- Photo: CBS Television Distribution
What was so touching about the Star Trek: The Next Generation ending was how simple it is. The final scene didn't require explosions, aliens, or space fights to have an impact; it was just a small interaction between Picard and his crew that made us tear up. In the final scene, Picard stumbles on his crew enjoying a friendly poker game, and they stop in fear that they've upset their superior. But to their complete surprise, Picard decides to join them.
As they happily make room for Picard, he becomes sentimental and says, "I should have done this a long time ago," to which Troi replies, "You were always welcome." If that scene doesn't make you tear up, you may have missed the point of the series. Star Trek wasn't just a show about protecting the galaxy; it was really a deeper story about comradery and friendship.Emotional ending?
In the final moments of HBO's funeral home drama Six Feet Under, the main characters all die. No, not like Game of Thrones, but in a moving flash-forward montage of their futures. For a show about struggling with our own mortality, jumping to everyone's moment of passing seems like a rather grim decision, but it plays out rather beautifully, set to "Breathe Me" by Sia. If you have seen the finale, that song will make you cry 10 out of 10 times as a Pavlovian response.
The show wraps up exactly how real life will, with the people we love slowly leaving our lives one by one. It's a terribly tragic but poignant ending that is regarded as one of the best TV finales of all time.Emotional ending?