It's season finale time! I love this time of year. When all of our favorite shows present us with really kickass episodes to wind the season down. Now, a good season finale isn't all that hard to do. It should consist of a great storyline that ties up most, if not all of the loose ends that happened throughout the season but at the same time creating a whole new set up, with fresh storylines for the following season. If it's done right, it can be wonderful and by the end of the episode you should be left wanting more and frustrated that you have to wait however many months until the next one. I LOVE when it's done right. It makes me so happy and it makes me feel like I haven't wasted countless hours investing in a silly television show.
So far, this season finale.. uhh season has had a couple really great episodes and a couple of duds that have left me disappointed and angry. The ones that have left me angry inspired me to ask "what makes a really great season finale?" and to think about the episodes in the past that have left my mind blown or my jaw on the floor from shock. It happens rarely and that is what makes them stand out even more. When I sat down and actually thought about what my Top 5 Best Season Finales of all time are, there were only a handful to choose from.
I'm going to list for you my most favorite season finales of all time. With #1 being the best of the best. The usual SPOILER ALERT applies here.
5.) Dawson's Creek Season 3- True Love
After a season of trying to deny her feelings for Pacey in order to spare Dawson's feelings, Joey chooses who she wants to be with. Pacey is planning on leaving for the summer and wants Joey to go with him. Dawson wants her to stay with him. She chooses Pacey and fangirls abound rejoiced. The pair literally sail off into the sunset together:
The episode was real emotional and had you wondering up until the very end if she was going to pick Dawson or Pacey. It left me feeling happy, so happy ( I know it's dorky but I embrace my dorkiness). The episode also gave us the infamous Dawson Cry-Face and there was another scene where Pacey had written on Joey's wall (he had bought her a wall earlier in the season, to paint and she could never think of anything to cover it with), telling her to ask him to stay. It was cute and romantic and my geeky, girly heart loved it.
4.) The Office Season 2- Casino Night
Ohhh, I loved this episode. Dunder Mifflin holds a Casino Night in the warehouse to benefit charity. All the employees dress up and attend. There was a whole thing with Michael having two dates there (Jan and Carol) but what I loved the most was the flirting between Jim and Pam. She was engaged to that tool, Roy and Jim was toying with the idea of transferring to the Stamford office. There is a moment where he tells her he wants to talk to her and you think he's going to tell her about the transfer, but instead, INSTEAD! he does this:
When that happened, I literally gasped. It was so unexpected and so fantastic that I actually got choked up. The audience had known for so long that Jim loved Pam that to actually hear him say it out loud to her was so refreshing. It was like everyone was letting out a collective sigh. It is one of my most favorite TV moments ever.
3.) Grey's Anatomy Season 6- Sanctuary/Death and All His Friends
This episode. This episode was just wow. This episode was 2 of the most stressful, intense, crazy hours of television I have ever watched. Gary Clark (the disgruntled husband of a patient who had died earlier in the season) shows up at Seattle Grace with the intention of shooting Derek (whom he feels is responsible for his wife's death). Everyone he encounters gives him the brush off, so he gets angrier and angrier with each scene. He shoots Alex, he shoots Reid, he shoots Percy (the latter 2 end up dying). The hospital ultimately goes on complete lockdown. Over the course of the episode, everyone is hiding or taking cover and basically scared out of their minds. We also find out that Meredith is pregnant. Her and Cristina are hiding out in a utility closet when they see Gary approach Derek. Meredith tries to run after him but Cristina holds her back. Gary shoots Derek. Boom. The end:
Dawn and I watched this episode together. It had us holding our heads. Our hands were sweaty. We kept holding our breath. We kept gasping. By the time it was over, I was completely exhausted. It was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. One of the few times I can actually say that Shonda Rhimes did a brilliant job (unlike last night's finale which I will not go into because I am too upset over it).
2.) Alias Season 2- The Telling
I've talked about this episode on here before, so I'll keep it short. It was the first time I had watched a show and stared at the TV in shock when it ended. Completely shocked. It was so awesome. Sydney finds out that her mom has double crossed her. She finds out who the doppelganger is. She has the most epic of all epic fights with Fake Francie in her apartment. She wakes up in Hong Kong and finds out that she's been missing for two years. Oh and she finds out Vaughn is married now. That all rolled into one giant "WHAAAAT?!" moment. There was so much to process and so much speculation leading into the next season that it had us talking about it all summer long. It was so great.
(I will give a special shout out to the Season 4 finale and the insane car crash that followed "My name isn't Michael Vaughn". That one had Carrie and I shouting at our tv's in unison. So awesome)
1.) Lost Season 3- Through The Looking Glass (Part 1&2)
How does one pick a favorite Lost season finale? When I was discussing it with Jeff, we literally could have picked any of them (he picked Season 5... poor Juliet). I went with the season 3 finale because of how drab and frustrating the entire first half of the season was. Now, I was pregnant and tired and very, very cranky during this time so that may have played into it but I think if you ask any Lost fan what the weakest season was, they will say 3. Even Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse recognized that they needed to do something to make the fans fall back in love with the show. See, most of the season was SO slow and we spent a good majority of our time watching Sawyer and Kate (ugh) in cages. We were all just waiting and waiting for something to happen and then this episode aired. it starts out with the island survivors planning to kill a bunch of The Others and Charlie diving into the water to get into the looking glass (a Dharma research station) to try to disable the system jamming outgoing transmissions. They wanted to try to contact Naomi's (the woman who showed up on the island an episode before, who Desmond was convinced was sent by Penny (his lady love) to rescue them) people and hopefully get off the island . Once Charlie un-jams the frequency, Penny shows up on the screen and tells them that she doesn't know Naomi and the boat that's out there is not hers. As Charlie is in the station, one of The Others (Mikhail) blows open the window, filling the station up with water. Just before Charlie drowns, he writes "NOT PENNY'S BOAT" on his hand and shows Desmond through the glass.WHOSE BOAT IS IT THEN!?
After all that happens, Jack is able to get service with a walkie talkie and calls Naomi's boat. The fella on the other end (Minkowski), informs them all that they are about to be rescued. Hooray!/What?! Throughout the episode, in typical Lost fashion, there are what appear to be flashbacks of Jack with an awful beard, working at a hospital, super depressed, taking pain killers. Then you see this:
It is done so perfectly that unless you were paying attention to specific details (the cell phones), you would have no idea that these were actually flashforwards. FLASHFORWARDS! Which left me (and the entire Lost world) saying "HOLY CRAP, THEY ACTUALLY DO GET OFF THE ISLAND!!?!?!?!" It was asbolutely, positively brilliant. BRILLIANT. It completely reinvigorated the series and made the fans ecstatic and so unbelievably excited for the next season. THIS is how you do a season finale. Lost has set the bar so insanely high that much like the show itself, I doubt any other season finale could come close to it. And that, my friends, is one of the many reasons why Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are geniuses.
So, what did I miss? I thought about putting the Buffy season 5 finale (where she sacrifices herself for Dawn) but I feel like it doesn't count in my case. I watched the show too late and was able to watch the next episode right away, so it didn't have the same impact as it should have. I could also put this season's Vampire Diaries in there because it was phenomenal. Also, the Friends episode where Ross says Rachel's name during his wedding to Emily. Oh, and the 90210 season 4 finale where Brandon goes to Washington DC and Kelly surprises him.
Those are my favorites. What are yours?