TV Series Finales

This post is inspired by the highly controversial finale of How I Met Your Mother that aired on Monday night. I didn’t actually watch the finale since I’ve only seen a handful of episodes, and I won’t spoil you all on here, in case you’ve somehow managed to avoid spoilers and don’t want to know the end, but I can certainly understand why after years of character development, fans of the show would be upset with the ending.

This led me to think about the finales of the various series I’ve watched, the finales where they knew it was their finale and had the chance to plan properly for it. Here’s my ranking of eight TV show finales, all from TV shows I watched from beginning to end, staring with my favorite going down to my least favorite…

1. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “What You Leave Behind”

ds9-vic-loungeWhen I watched this finale and saw the above scene at Vic’s, it felt so right. It was exactly the sort of note Deep Space Nine needed to end on after the turmoil of war the characters had gone through. It’s hard to get a much better finale than Deep Space Nine, I think, and the only way it really could have felt more complete was if they actually made movies afterward to follow up what happened, because even though it was closure enough, it definitely left an open door and a desire for more. There are books that explore what happens next, which I might get around to reading one day. But sometimes it’s also fun just to imagine for myself.

Story Closure Satisfaction: 4.5/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 4.5/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 5/5

The more things change, the more they stay the same.” – Quark

2. Fringe, “An Enemy of Fate”

fringe-my favorite thingIf  you ever binge watch Fringe, just be sure the tissues are ready when you reach the end because HOLY GENE (that’ll make sense if you watch the show ;)) the feels are real. Unfortunately, Fringe never answered all the questions I wanted them to and some of the finale lacked logic to me, but it was still really satisfying, especially emotionally.

Story Closure Satisfaction: 4/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 4.5/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 5/5

“You are… my very favorite thing.” – Walter Bishop

3. Babylon 5, “Sleeping in Light”

babylon6-finaleLike most finales, Babylon 5’s was very bittersweet. It was sad, but I don’t think it could have really ended any other way. And it was a pretty powerful conclusion for the grand story arc J. Michael Straczynski had planned (errr… minus a lot of season 5). This is only #3 on the list because the two before it are so strong, but this one really was too.

Story Closure Satisfaction: 4.5/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 4/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 4.5/5

“A toast… to absent friends, in memory still bright.” – John Sheridan

4. The West Wing, “Tomorrow”

west-wing-tomorrowWest Wing ran for seven seasons, which means we got to see most of President Bartlett’s two term Presidency, and fittingly, the last episode is him and his crew leaving the White House to make way for the new President. In this episode there’s a lot of reminiscing and a lot of having to show the new folks the ropes for when they take charge. From this list, this is the finale I saw longest ago so it’s the foggiest on my mind, but I do remember being very satisfied overall with the conclusion.

Story Closure Satisfaction: 5/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 4/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 4/5

Man: Hey, you work there?/ C.J.: Pardon?/ Man: I said, do you work up there? In the White House.C.J.: No. I don’t./ Man: Oh, sorry./ C.J.: No problem.Man: Must be something, huh?/ C.J.: Yeah. Yeah, it must be something.

5. Star Trek: The Next Generation, “All Good Things”

tng-pokerThe closing scene of “All Good Things” is perfect, and while there is some callback in the episode that is nice, it also involves a lot of Q. I’m not a big fan of Q (John deLancie, yes, Q, no) and his antics, and especially his antics from the first episode of TNG, which unfortunately is where a lot of the callback in this episode comes from. It also shows some of the future, and all I remember from that is one thing that left me disappointed. Still, I think that future never really comes to fruition anyway, and we see more of the characters in the movies (though let’s not talk about Nemesis being the end for it all… sigh…). I do remember enjoying this finale pretty well though.

Story Closure Satisfaction: 4.5/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 4/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 4/5

So, five-card stud, nothing wild… and the sky’s the limit.” – Captain Picard

6. Star Trek: Voyager, “Endgame”

voyager-endgameThe ship Voyager spends seven seasons in another quadrant of the galaxy, trying to make its way back home, and so of course for the finale, everyone wants to see Voyager make it home. But how will it happen? How long will it take? I don’t want to spoil what happens, but let’s just say that maybe this wasn’t the best execution of the idea. But not the worst either. It was just a little more convoluted than I prefer. They also made an interesting choice with a couple of characters I didn’t really see coming, and I didn’t love it or hate it, but now that I know the real life back story of why it happened, it seems kind of lame. But overall, it’s a pretty good finale.

Story Closure Satisfaction: 4/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 3.5/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 4/5

Set a course… for home.” – Captain Janeway

7. Chuck, “Chuck Versus the Goodbye”

chuck-goodbyeThe Chuck finale was good for the secondary characters. If I were to rank my satisfaction for that part of the finale alone, the numbers would be higher. But for our two main characters, Chuck and Sarah, completely different story. Again, without spoiling anything, all I can say is it does feel like an undoing of previous character development, and that was frustrating and heartbreaking both. I mean, it could have been worse, but it was more than bittersweet.

Story Closure Satisfaction: 2.5/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 2.5/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 2.5/5

“… tell me our story.”  – Sarah Walker

8. Star Trek: Enterprise, “These Are the Voyages…”

These_are_the_VoyagesSorry for the butt shot, but almost every picture I found for this episode was a major spoiler. This episode is truly the sorriest excuse for a finale or a “Valentine to the fans” (as Rick Berman and Brannon Braga called it… gag me…) EVER. Which is so disappointing because to this day, it’s the last episode we have of Star Trek ever, and the episode before this one was really quite good and would have made a fitting finale. But this is terrible garbage. The premise is ludicrous, what happens to some of the characters is inane, and it just made me ANGRY. I’m giving story closure a rating of .5 only because we see the beginnings of the Federation. That was the ONE good thing that happened. I really enjoyed Enterprise overall but this finale was truly the biggest disappointment for a TV show ever, and from what I gather, nearly every Star Trek fan agrees.

Story Closure Satisfaction: .5/5

Character Closure Satisfaction: 0/5

Emotional Satisfaction: 0/5

Here’s to the next generation.” – Captain Archer

What are your favorite and least favorite finales? (And please avoid spoilers, unless you’re talking about the aforementioned shows.)

Advertisements

Memorable Characters of Sci-Fi

I am almost a bit intimidated by the topic I chose for today’s sci-fi month post. Memorable sci-fi characters?! Where do I begin?!

I think one of the misconceptions about sci-fi is that it is all boring science babble and space battles, but as most you are probably aware (because I think I have pretty intelligent and awesome readers!), it really explores humanity in a way no other genre does, and it does this largely through its characters. There’s no way on Earth I could create a list that would true justice to all the fabulous characters in science fiction, but I’m narrowing it down to 2 characters from each of my top 3 sci-fi series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Firefly, and Babylon 5. These aren’t necessarily my favorite characters, just ones that I find extremely memorable and extremely interesting in their character arcs.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Elim Garak

Bashir_and_GarakGarak is in an enigma, which is what makes him such a great character. The first time I saw Garak, the Cardassian tailor exiled on board Deep Space Nine, I found him extremely odd, and in a more annoying way rather than an interesting way. But after the first season episode “The Wire,” which I won’t give away for those who have yet to see the show, everything about him made so much more sense, and I liked him so much more afterwards. Is he telling the truth? Is he on your side? Just how many back-up plans does he have? Garak is true Cardassian, sneaky and smart, and he never ceases to amaze me with his spy skills.

“Truth is in the eye of the beholder, Doctor. I never tell the truth because I don’t believe there is such a thing. That is why I prefer the straight line simplicity of cutting cloth.” – Garak

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dukat

dukatI really hate Dukat, which is exactly why is the perfect villain. He’s creepy and manipulative, always striving for a position of power. He’s a complex character who goes through a lot on Deep Space Nine, and though I always saw him as evil, he certainly presented himself to others in shades of gray, but I don’t want to get into spoiler territory so I’ll leave it at that. He’s exactly the sort of character you want to see go down at the end of the day. 

“One man’s villain is another man’s hero, captain.” – Dukat

Firefly: Shepherd Book

shepherd-bookShepherd Book is such an interesting character because he’s a preacher who lives on board a ship with criminals and a companion (essentially a prostitute, more on that later), and while he doesn’t agree with what they do and they know it, he doesn’t condemn them for what they do. He’s an interesting man who clearly has a past apart from the ministry that unfortunately, we never learn. What we do know is that he is a man of conviction and a man who loves people, the way I think we all should be.

“When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I’m talking about God?”

“I don’t care what you believe in, just believe in it.” – Book

Firefly: Inara Serra

inara-serraInara is a companion, which in the world of Firefly, is basically a high-class prostitute, a part of an elite group who go through training and screen their clients. Inara also clearly cares for the Captain of Serenity, Malcolm Reynolds, even though she claims she doesn’t. But a large part of the reason why I chose Inara for this list, and it might be cheating, is that I learned that if we had gotten more Firefly, we would have learned that she actually had an incurable disease that she was dying from, which of course shapes her. What the what?! So fascinating. It’s too bad that, like Shepherd Book and the rest of the Serenity gang, we did not get to know them as well as Whedon had intended for us to.

“A companion chooses her own clients, that’s guild law. But physical appearance doesn’t matter so terribly, you look for a compatibility of spirit.” – Inara

Babylon 5: Londo Mollari

londo2I was continuously floored by Londo’s development throughout Babylon 5 as I watched it. I can’t even scratch the surface of his development in this short paragraph. When we first meet Londo in Babylon 5, he just seems silly, and he somewhat reminded me of Quark on Deep Space Nine. Then things took a turn for the serious. His drive for power, greed, and his hatred for the Narn drove him to make poor choices that went from bad to worse and took him down a dark path. He does find some redemption, but there is no easy out for Londo, and he does get a lot of what he deserves. To sum up Londo’s character development = WOW.

“The quiet ones are the ones that change the universe… The loud ones only take the credit.” – Londo

Babylon 5: Alfred Bester

b5-BesterBester is one of the best villains ever in my opinion. Though he is only in twelve out of 110 episodes of Babylon 5, he goes through quite a lot and we learn a lot about him, about his past and what drives him. He’s frustrating to deal with, he hurts a character on the show that you will love so much more than him, but he has a story too, and that’s what I love so much about the characters on Babylon 5: they have amazing stories. You’ll never root for him, but by the end of the show, you do understand him better than you did at first sight.

“…you’re curious. Kill me and you’ll never know what brought me all the way out here. I think if you weigh that against the brief satisfaction of blowing me out of the sky, you’ll do the right thing.” – Bester

(BTW, you need to read Lianne’s post about why you should watch Babylon 5 if you haven’t already!)

As mentioned before, this list could go on! So tell me, who are your most memorable sci-fi characters?

scifipostheader2

Sci-Fi Month Intro Post!

It’s November, which means it’s Sci-Fi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads! I was very excited when I found out about this event, as the sci-fi genre has been creeping into my life in the form of movies and TV for well over a decade now. It all started with…

star-warsOf course! I thought it was a lot of fun! And then one day I caught a marathon on TV of this show…

The-Twilight-ZoneAnd fell in love with this particular kind of science fiction that examines humanity. Then while dating my husband he introduced me to…

Star-Trek1We watched the original series while dating, and after TRYING to watch the first few episodes of The Next Generation (those first few episodes really are pretty bad), we put the rest of the series on hold until after we married. But now I’ve seen it all and love them all! But in the meantime, we were introduced to…

fireflycastSuch a unique and awesome (but sadly short-lived) series! Then after we finished Star Trek, we watched…

babylon5It’s crazy underrated. I mean seriously, how many TV shows do you know of where the creator/writer of the show had the entire series plotted and planned out beforehand? Amazing story and character arcs in five seasons (or four… the fifth season sadly didn’t live up to the rest of the show in terms of great stories). And currently we’re watching…

Fringe-season2Most of these movies/shows will come up again in my posts this month! And now I’m starting to gain interest in sci-fi books as well, though I think the only true sci-fi book I’ve read so far is Ender’s Game. I liked it pretty well and I’m planning to check out more sci-fi books! But since I will not be reading anything new this month due to NaNoWriMo, I will have no new reviews of sci-fi books to share, and will be focusing exclusively on the movies and TV shows that made me fall in love with the genre over time. Here’s my personal schedule of posts that you can look out for:

November 7: Elements from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine I Want to See in Books

November 11: Ender’s Game movie review

November 18: Memorable Characters of Sci-Fi

November 22: Science Fiction World Building

November 27: My Top 3 Earth-Bound Sci-Fi Movies

And since I love to share Trek with all and didn’t want to re-write the post for Sci-Fi month, I thought I’d take this chance to refer anyone new to my post from several months ago about how to dive into the world of Star Trek, Your Star Trek Introduction, in case you’re interested!

If you’re participating in Sci-Fi Month as well, leave a comment and let me know! And if not, I hope you’ll enjoy some of these posts!

What’s your favorite element of science fiction? 

scifipostheader2