From the moment a show starts, it has many goals and objectives to fulfill before it reaches its end but one of its top objectives? To end on a high note. Over the years, there have been thousands of shows that have tried to create the perfect series finale, with the top spot belonging to Breaking Bad.
Yet while Breaking Bad owns the title of “greatest finale” for most, there are some who feel that there are other series far more deserving of the title. Here are five reasons why Breaking Bad has the greatest series finale and five alternatives.
Greatest Finale: The Truth About Heisenberg
When Breaking Bad first began, audiences were drawn in by the pretense that Walter was creating meth for his family, to provide for them when he was gone. Even after all the terrible things he did, they were under some belief that Walter’s actions were for his family’s benefit.
Then, after returning home in the series finale, Walter revealed the truth: everything he’d done, every act he’d committed, was for him. It’s a moment that blew many fans away, changing both Walter and the show.
Alternative: The Clone Wars
Let it be said, kids shows done right can have some of the best content around. Sure, a lot of kids shows today tend to lean more into the childish side of their material, gearing it specifically for kids. Yet when The Clone Wars finally reached its conclusion, the series finale was anything but childish.
Although the show began geared for younger audiences, it grew as time went on. Visually stunning, emotionally scarring, and deeply satisfying, this is one kid show that went out pleasing both kids and adult fans.
Greatest Finale: Full Circle
From its beginning to the final shot, every show is trying to bring everything full circle, to either showcase the complete decline or incline of a character. Sometimes, shows don’t always accomplish this but most of the time, the goal is accomplished.
Breaking Bad managed to bring everything full circle in a unique way, by fulfilling the promise they made for each character. With Walter embracing Heisenberg and Jesse breaking free of his old life, each person managed to complete their character arc and bring everything full circle.
Typically, one wouldn’t consider sitcoms to have worthwhile or even emotional endings. It’s simply not really in their nature, shows filled with laugh tracks and comedic timing that’s just meant for audiences to enjoy themselves, and yet, it happens more than one would think.
Cheers, the now-iconic show about a place where everybody knows your name, is one such series. Although filled with jokes and fantastic bits, Cheers ended its run on an almost bittersweet and emotional episode, filled with callbacks and an ending line that still gets people.
Greatest Finale: Walter’s Wrath
It’s almost funny to think of Walter White, a mild manner science teacher, becoming a drug kingpin. Yet, as the five seasons wore on one wafter the other, fans came to both fear and even admire Walter’s growing strength, power, and even wrath
Following his defeat of Gus in brutal fashion, many wondered if the show would ever top that bloody moment. In the final episode, Walter went on a horrific, brutal, and strangely satisfying rampage, threatening, poisoning and finally killing in a way only Mr.White could pull 0ff.
Heroes, villains, usually those terms mean something in a series or film but for shows like Breaking Bad and Hannibal, those terms are simply arbitrary. Although the Silence Of The Lambs prequel/spinoff is far more brutal than Breaking Bad, it carried the same antiheroic themes.
Throughout Hannibal, audiences watched as the titular character, Hannibal Lecter, and profiler Will Grahm formed a disturbing bond. A bond that was showcased in the bloody series finale when Hannibal and Will went over a cliff face together in a disturbing yet intriguing ending.
Greatest Finale: Jesse and Walter
Ever since it began, the relationship between Walter White and Jesse Pinkman grew and changed as the series progressed. The pair went from unlikely allies to somewhat close partners to, by the time the show started moving towards the end, bitter rivals.
It all came to a head in a heart wrenching and bitter standoff, where the recently freed Jesse violently confronted Walter, with Walter simply accepting his fate. In a stunning character moment that defined the show and cemented each character in their own way.
Sometimes, the best shows don’t need a great number of seasons to become the best that they can be. All they need are four to five seasons to end on an amazing note, a fact proven by the critically-acclaimed series, Mr.Robot.
What began as a show focused on hackers took on a shape of its own in a mind-bending final episode that made viewers question their own identity. Rife with amazing writing and acting, Mr.Robot, although shortlived, made its mark in only four seasons with one phenomenal finale.
Greatest Finale: Felina
Since it started, no one knew how Walter or Jesse’s lives would turn out and how the show would end. However, as the series continued, the outcome became more and more clear, with each action sending the character tumbling deeper into the abyss.
By the time Walter arrived at the compound, everyone knew how the show would end and wasn’t disappointed. Watching Walter reminiscence over his accomplishments as he succumbed to his wounds as Baby Blue filled audiences’ ears was a bittersweet yet satisfying end to a fantastic show.
Alternative: The Sopranos
Now, when ending a series, it’s difficult to leave all fans satisfied or feel like the show has earned it’s ending. So, is there another way to end a series? Well, in the case of The Sopranos, simply cut to black to the sound of don’t stop believing.
In a move that left many fans wondering if the power had gone out, the show masterfully managed to ambiguously end the show in a way that hadn’t been done before and may never be done again, making for one impressive finale.