We were inspired to compile this list after the second series finale of X-Files. Note that this is not the WORST story endings so much as the ones that built up our hopes to impossible levels, only to let us down completely.
It should go without saying that this list will contain spoilers. Consider this your last warning.
As always, let us know what we forgot or got wrong. That’s what the internet is for!
X-files … twice.
Original ending of The X-Files: Oh, shit. Mulder is coming back for the season finale? The title of the episode is called “The Truth”? Hell yes! Answers! Nope. It was basically Mulder on trial for some shit, some more vague shit about alien colonization, and Mulder beginning to embrace religion.
Season 10 of X-files, a whopping 6 episodes, concluded on February 22, 2016. It got off to a shaky start but ended up delivering some of the absolutely BEST moments of the entire show.
We all watched S10E6 with great anticipation. As far as mythology episodes go, it was pretty great – an epidemic sweeps across the country quickly and Scully is the only hope for human salvation. And then, at the final moment… a cliffhanger. Seriously? Why bother bringing it back just to leave us hanging?
Fool me once, Chris Carter, shame on you. Fool me twice … seriously go fuck yourself.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
The television ending to Star Trek: TNG was perfect. It brought the series full circle with references to the first episode, “Encounter at Farpoint,” and showed Captain Picard finally joining his friends at the poker table. Afterward followed a series of four movies that ranged from lackluster to “that felt like a big budget TV episode.”
The final movie, Nemesis, bombed in the box office and is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of the entire franchise. As discussed on a recent episode of Dork Trek, people were just tired of the TNG crew and the movie was conflicting – somehow both good and bad at the same time. To add insult to injury, the final scene of the saga shows the mighty USS Enterprise, bruised from war and sitting in space dock. No epic space scene of the ship flying off toward new adventures or cven Captain Picard chilling out in his robe on Risa. Just a busted ship.
The first two or three seasons of Lost set up some really brilliant writing, interesting characters, and mysterious mythology. It was shaping up to be one of the best TV shows of all time. But at some point in season 6 it was absolutely clear that they’d been making it up all along and had no idea how to finish the story.
Whether they were in purgatory or not, there were too many mysteries left unexplained in this series. And the mysteries that were explained were not worth the journey. What’s the deal with Hurley’s numbers? Oh, they’re the assigned numbers to be the new Jacob. Huh? What’s the smoke monster? Oh, it’s Jacob’s brother who actually has a good reason to be upset. What’s the purpose of the island? Magical life or some shit.
The finale of Dexter has become the new standard for shitty endings. No one should have been surprised after a lackluster (at best) final 3 seasons, but did anyone expect him to fake his death and become the Brawny man ? We’re all for unexpected endings, but the logical conclusion of Dexter would have been him facing the consequences of his actions, like being put on death row (which is what the seasons 1-4 writers had in mind).
Let’s just ignore the fact that Vampire Bill has been a villain for the past 3 seasons and has repeatedly tried to kill the main characters and have Sookie fall in love with him because reasons. And let’s have the most badass character on the show be in an infomercial at the end. At least we got to see Eric naked.
The Dark Tower Series
Though the series itself only contained 8 books, Stephen King’s epic saga created an underlying mythology for many of his other stories. Started in the late 70’s the 8 books were released sporadically over a 25 year span. The suspense was palpable as you read about the heroes working their way toward the mythical Dark Tower.
And yet, suddenly in the last chapters of the final saga, you can almost tell the exact moment at which Stephen King gave up. “I just want this damn series over with already,” he seemed to say, as he cavalierly killed off the ubiquitous Randall Flagg with a virus and revealed the mighty Crimson King as a screeching monkey-boy who hurls exploding Golden Snitches, unceremoniously killed by a brand new “hero” introduced in the final chapters . There’s no epic sword battle, no philosophical throwdown as in IT. The hero literally erases him from existence with a magic eraser.
The ACTUAL ending, in the epilogue, is actually perfect though. It leaves the reader to speculate about the nature of Roland’s quest and the Tower itself. I just can’t pretend like the previous chapters never happened. Since this was the basis of his grand mythology, this pathetic ending ruined several of his books for me and I haven’t read another since. Hell I didn’t even finish Tommyknockers.
Rumor is that Sony is currently in production of a Dark Tower movie or miniseries with Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, and will absolutely watch it. Hopefully they can improve it a bit and I can find closure.
The series ran for four years, and was full of the typical family sitcom tropes, a cute little alien. ALF (short for alien life form) was cuddly, smart-assed, and loved eating pussy. I mean that literally; he enjoyed eating cats. Since the show was mostly for kids, it would seem appropriate for it to be wrapped-up with a standard happy ending, but the writers had something else in mind. Rather than returning to his home planet of Melmac, at the last second, ALF is intercepted by the government. Just in case there was any question about what a top secret government agency might do to ALF, the clip below is pretty clear. The Cigarette Smoking Man probably has something to do with this.
The Walking Dead
We’re just disappointed this one hasn’t ended yet. It’s like, we get it. Zombies.