It's the final ever episode of Sons of Anarchy tonight, and while many people are hoping for specific things to happen - and some are simply hoping for Kurt Sutter to change his mind and keep the show going - I hope for only one thing: that it isn't disappointing. We invest a lot of time into television shows (perhaps more than we should) and get attached to the characters, and while we can't always get the happy ever after ending that we might want, we at least expect that the ending will respect us as viewers and give us some kind of satisfying closure. Unlike...
Dexter - Really? There is an interview with the writers in which they talk about how pleased they are with the ending of Dexter, and the only question I have is: what drugs are you on??? Don't get me wrong - I do get it. Throughout the series Dexter Morgan struggled with the fact that he had attachments, people who relied on him. In the final episode he was presented with a set of circumstances that finally allowed him to be free of them all. His sister, Debra, was dead. His wife, Rita, was long dead. Stepchildren Cody and Astor were living with their grandparents, and he had found Hannah - a woman who knew everything about him and who had always wanted, above everything else, to have a child of her own - who he could entrust his son, Harrison, to. Leaving him free to go off and be the person that he truly was without being tied to anyone. Perfect. Except that it was the perfect ending for the Dexter Morgan of Season 1, Episode 1. The viewers, on the other hand, had spent eight seasons watching Dexter grow as a person and experience real feelings for the people in his life; to start to question who he really was. And then we're expected to buy that at the end of all of that he hasn't grown at all but simply came to realise that he is exactly who he always thought he was. And I could have, except for one thing: that cliché of him having run off to the wilderness to do manual labour. Is that who Dexter Morgan really was? If that very final scene had have been of him stalking a victim, or with someone strapped to his table, THEN I might have accepted that that final scene existed at all.
True Blood - Actually I found the whole final season of this one disappointing. It never really built to anything, but just plodded along with a thin thread of storyline, leaving me a little bit apathetic about the whole thing. There was much made of Bill's death but I didn't really care about Bill by then. It was nice that Hoyt and Jessica got back together, but Hoyt had already left the show so I wasn't really invested in that either. I WAS glad that Hoyt's mother was killed. There may have even been a fist pump for that one. Honestly though, by the time Sookie ended up with the faceless man at the end of the final episode, I didn't really care that we never found out who he was. He was some human man she met that she could live a normal life with, and good for her. I guess.
Lost - Of course. For six seasons this show gave us mystery upon mystery and led us to believe that there would be some big revelation at the end about what it all meant. And then it didn't. What it did was drip feed us the answers throughout the series in a way that was completely unsatisfying. At least I assume that's what it did. I didn't really notice at the time and I don't feel any inclination to go back and watch it again to find out. I'm pretty sure that they weren't dead the WHOLE time. But they could have been. It doesn't really matter either way. They were all dead in the end, and I was left feeling that a show that I really enjoyed and thought was truly original television turned out to be stupid.
And then there are these two, that I didn't find disappointing, though I do understand why many did...
How I Met Your Mother - I get it. I know why people hated the ending and how it could be unsatisfying, but to me it made perfect sense. For nine seasons Ted Mosby told a story that was supposedly about how he had met the mother of his children. Except OF COURSE it was about Robin. The whole show started with him meeting Robin and continued to focus on his changing relationship with her and the fact that he was in love with her. Right up until the final season he was still in love with Robin! And the only thing that was stopping them from being together was the fact that he wanted kids and she didn't. And we already knew that problem was solved.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I'll admit I was initially disappointed with this one. The final scene of the final episode felt very anticlimactic. But it made sense, and really it was the perfect ending. Buffy saved the world, as usual, with a little (lot) of help from her friends, as usual. All the potentials in the world became slayers, which meant the entire burden was no longer on Buffy and she could actually live a somewhat normal life. Which is all she had ever really wanted. And Sunnydale fell into a big hole. Where it belonged.
And then there's the perfect ending....
Offspring - I have mixed feelings about Offspring ending - on the one hand I'm disappointed that there's no more Offspring, on the other hand it ended perfectly. After losing Patrick, Nina found the potential for love again in Leo. We don't really need to see anymore. We've already seen it.
Obviously I don't expect Sons of Anarchy to end like Offspring. It's an entirely different type of show, and even if Jax doesn't end up dying in tonight's ending, there's still very little chance of any kind of happy ever after for him. I just hope that when the final credits roll, I can sit back and think, 'yeah, that ended how it should'.