TV Article

Dead Ending

What are your picks for worst series finale? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own

David Duchovny | 'X' MAN David Duchovny
Image credit: David Duchovny: Fox
'X' MAN David Duchovny

What are your picks for worst series finale?

I thought the X-Files series finale was a big letdown. What are your picks for worst finale? — Sarah M.
The X-Files' ending was a murky mess, although considering that show's intricate mythology, few resolutions would have felt satisfying (even the talked-about second film couldn't have answered all our lingering questions). Seinfeld's clumsy send-off, which used a silly court case to trot out just about every bit character who ever scored a laugh line, landed with a thud. Where you stand on St. Elsewhere's end depends on how you feel about big twists: I loved Newhart's it-was-all-a-dream finale because stodgy old Bob sold it with a beaut of a reaction, but I'm less inclined to buy an autistic child imagining, say, prison rape while gazing at a snow globe. Finally, some ends you dislike purely because of where they leave the characters. I seethed to find all four Sex and the City ladies neatly paired off (particularly independent Samantha with her bland blond) because it violated the show's men-ain't-everything spirit; and I'll never forgive Oz for leaving Tobias Beecher stuck in jail. Never.

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Originally posted Dec 13, 2004 Published in issue #797 Dec 17, 2004 Order article reprints