Stick the landing!
Endings are hard.
As proof, I’ll pick one of my favorite sci-fi franchises of all time (and definitely one of the most enduring), Star Trek. I loved all of the incarnations of the series… and only one and a half times did they end well.
Anyone who’s seen Turnabout Intruder, the last episode of the Original Series, knows what I’m talking about. That series, while flirting with greatness plenty of times, ended like a driverless car slowly rolling into a low-speed collision with a telephone pole. It wasn’t just that it was a poor episode on which to end the series — it was just kind of a poor episode of Star Trek in general.
Next Generation did their series finale quite well, though one could argue they completely cocked up that ending by continuing to make movies. Deep Space Nine got away OK. Voyager and Enterprise recalled the Original Series ending by not being particularly great episodes of great series, last episode or not.
It holds true outside of Star Trek (the Battlestar Galactica reboot) and even outside of sci-fi (Dexter, anyone?). When a series is so strong (as all the above were), is there ever really a good way to end it?
What were the best endings to series you’ve ever seen? What one stands out in your mind as the worst?