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8 TV shows that absolutely nailed the show's ending

Check out the best TV show endings - from Succession to Breaking Bad 


Roman in the Succession finale© Home Box Office
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
May 30, 2023
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TV shows rarely have a perfect ending. Maybe they have gone on for so long that the ending feels like a relief, maybe the writers had flat ran out of ideas by the time of the season finale, or maybe the show’s conclusion just didn’t live up to expectations from fans. For whatever reason, it is evident that sticking the landing while tying up all the ends over the years is a tricky thing to do. However, some shows have totally nailed it. See our favorites here… 

Succession 

A tragic, deeply unsatisfying yet logical and frankly tremendous ending that fans’ll be talking about for years saw all three of the Roy siblings left without the keys to the Kingdom, letting their desires and foibles get in the way of their ultimate goal of taking over their dad’s company. While Roman returns to his carefree, drinking ways with a wry, heartbroken smile, Shiv is left as the wife of the CEO rather than the CEO herself, while Kendall is left bereft and alone. 

WATCH: Succession ending on a tragic note

This show was always headed for tragedy, and we couldn’t see it ending in any other way than leaving everyone not quite happy. Except Tom. Tom’s delighted. 

Marvelous Mrs Maisel 

After five seasons of watching Midge attempt to break into stardom, the finale at long, long last sees her take her place as the star she was always meant to be. Scoring an appearance on the Gordon Ford Show, Midge breaks the rules, grabs a microphone and delivers a flawless stand-up routine to a delighted crowd. The tearful look that passes between Miriam and her manager Susie says it all. They finally made it - and as the show skips forwards a few decades, they are still laughing together. 

Miriam finally gets her big break in the finale© Philippe Antonello/Prime Video
Miriam finally gets her big break in the finale

The Good Place

Although the show got a little tired in places, the finale gave every indication that the writers knew exactly what was going to happen from the beginning. The final outing for Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason saw them finally enjoying their afterlife in the good place, before all individually deciding to go on, and be at peace. The surprisingly poignant finish made this comedy into an all-time great. 

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good place
Did you like the Good Place finale?

The Americans 

After six seasons, the finale of the sleeper Russian agent spy thriller saw the Jennings’ cover blown - with an outstanding face-off with their friendly neighborhood FBI agent, Stan. On the run back to safety in Russia, Elizabeth and Phillip have to sacrifice everything to make it back there, including ever seeing their children again in a bittersweet end for the ruthless pair. 

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in The Americans© Rex
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in The Americans

Parks and Recreation 

As Leslie Knopp prepares for her future, we see exactly what happens to the Parks and Recs crew and their futures, which are funny, sweet and entertaining - including a major hint that Leslie one day becomes the President of the United States. And we wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

ben parks and recreation© Photo: Getty Images
Parks and Recreation ended with a glimpse of the characters' futures

Breaking Bad 

Breaking Bad’s ending was inevitable - but oh-so-satisfying. After saving Jesse Pinkman by taking out Jack and the neo-Nazis, Walter White AKA Heisenberg is left to die in the meth lab that started it all - while Jesse finally managed to get away for good (well, until the first spin-off). 

breaking bad walter jessie
Breaking Bad ended with Walter's death

Happy Valley

After three seasons, Happy Valley ended on a perfect - albeit firey - note after Catherine finally confronts her nemesis Tommy Lee Royce, only to discover that despite her deep rooted hatred of him, he is just your typical moronic criminal - even setting fire to himself like a local man threatens to do in season one episode one, and finally giving Catherine closure following the death of her daughter - and the fears that her grandson Ryan might take after Tommy in some way. Finishing up her service before retirement, she casually solves the season's sub plot, before taking a trip to the Himalayas. 

The final season of Happy Valley aired in February© Screen Grab
The final season of Happy Valley aired in February

The Wire

The Wire was an iconic series, and the finale did not let it down. While McNulty is forced to retire from the police force somewhat in disgrace for faking a serial killer, he enjoys his retirement party before reconciling with Beadie, with his intense passion for his job finally concluded. 

dominic west
Dominic West played Jimmy McNulty in the hit show

However, other ends are less pleasant, showing how Baltimore’s crime problem will never end as young Michael picks up with Omar left off, robbing a stash house, while Dukie descends into addiction, imitating Bubbles’ lifelong addiction issues. The most hopeful moment of the finale, though, is seeing Bubbles finally break free of his addiction, holding down a job while being an active member of narcotics anonymous. Throughout the series he is occasionally helped by his sister, who won’t let him upstairs from the basement when he stays at her house. However, at the end of the finale, she opens the basement door, welcoming him back into her life again. 

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