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7 TV Show Endings With Disturbing Implications You Totally Missed

Who doesn’t love a good happy ending (no, not that kind)?

Sure, the movie, TV show, video game or whatever needs to earn it, but when done right, and if the series calls for it, then there’s no viewing experience more uplifting than when it all comes good at the end.

The hero saves the day, the ultimate villain gets defeated, the will they/won’t they couple finally get it together, and life has seemingly worked at pretty well, allowing them all to ride off into the sunset with the TV show able to rest in peace and going out on the terms both creators and fans wanted.

Of course, some TV shows couldn’t possibly end on a high note. It wouldn’t be true to form for The Sopranos to suddenly finish on a positive, or for Twin Peaks to bring us closure. But others, say a Spaced or a Parks & Recreation, needed to leave audiences satisfied in the way only a happy ending could.

But then there are the TV shows where the endings seem at best joyous, and at worst fine enough, but are really hiding some dark truths underneath the surface (it goes without saying, but spoilers from this point on).

7. Chuck – Sarah’s Memories Might Not Be Restored

NBC

Although the relationship between Chuck and Sarah didn’t start off as the show’s central focus, it was the most pressing question by the end. The final season saw her memories wiped due to a faulty upload, which the finale then attempted to put right.

The episode ends with the pair kissing, implying that her memories have been restored and all is well. However, there’s really no confirmation that this is the case, and there’s just as much of a chance that Sarah’s memories aren’t back.

That, in turn, would mean the pair would need to fall in love all over again, except this time Sarah would have to combat the fact that Chuck possesses knowledge she doesn’t, and there’s nothing to guarantee that things would happen the same way, or that her memories would ever be returned.

6. Lost – What Happened Before They Died?

ABC

Although certainly divisive among fans, Lost’s ending is intended to be something of a happy-ish one, with the characters at least finding a sense of peace. And for the most part, ignoring how it’s achieved, they do accomplish that.

However, while the characters would all be reunited in the afterlife, it’s what comes before that’s in question. Since we see them all back together, there’s an implication that, although many of them would go on to lead full lives, they never made other connections beyond those with the people from the island.

Obviously the Oceanic 501 crash was a huge moment in their lives, but the finale marks it out as the single most important experience they’d have, and that it’s the people they met there and relationships – both friendly and romantic – formed that are all that really mattered to characters such as Sawyer and Kate, while also implying that Christian had a lot of control over their fates too, so what the show is saying is that while they could have had decades to live beyond that moment, they achieved very little of note, met no one and loved nothing enough that it meant more to them than the crash. Which is pretty sad, when you think about it.

5. Breaking Bad – Jesse Will Be Caught

AMC

The finale of Breaking Bad pulled off a near-impossible feat, somehow bringing to a close the crime epic in a way that felt satisfying to the vast majority of viewers, and found a way to have Walt claim a last victory before dying along with providing ‘happy’ endings for the others that would give them the chance at a fresh start.

The only trouble is that’s much easier said than done. Jesse was a key part of the Albuquerque meth empire for years, and with police swarming the area it’s highly unlikely he’d actually be able to escape (as Vince Gilligan himself has suggested), and instead he’d face a hefty prison sentence.

Even if he did get away, though, there’s no guarantee for a fresh start, and much the same can be said for the White family. Skylar has to live knowing what Walt did, so too – to an extent – does Walt Jr, and Holly will grow up without a father, and if she’s ever told the truth it’ll be downright horrible to learn, no matter how much money he left behind. Walt may be gone, but the scars left behind will run deep.

4. Frasier – He Might End Up Alone

NBC

Frasier wraps-up with the Cranes finding a sense of fulfilment. Niles and Daphne have their first child, and Martin and Ronee get married. Everyone is getting what they wanted, except, it seems, for Frasier himself.

While it initially seems as though he’s going to go through with moving to San Francisco, where he’d be the host of his own TV show, the ending instead reveals that he’s gone to Chicago to be with Charlotte, a woman he’s only known a few months.

This is, of course, hinted at by the poem he reads as a farewell speech, to which he adds “while it’s tempting to play it safe, the more we’re willing to risk, the more alive we are. In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took.”

That explains why he took the risk, but it also undercuts the perceived happiness of the finale. There’s no evidence that Frasier and Charlotte will work out, and indeed they seem quite opposite to each other, and instead it seems more like he’s given up on a dream job to chase something he wants because those around him also have it, meaning he might be destined to end up not only alone and without a real place in life.

3. How I Met Your Mother – Ted And Robin Don’t Work

CBS

How I Met Your Mother’s finale is pretty widely hated by fans, not just for the fact that it reverts to Ted and Robin but the way it skips over his time with the Mother – and her death – so quickly. Despite that, though, the writers obviously wanted this to be a fitting, emotionally satisfying conclusion for the show.

Despite that, though, there’s not much to suggest that it’s going to work out. Obviously Ted and Robin are at very different points in their lives than they were during the timeline of the show, but over the course of nine seasons we were repeatedly shown how they didn’t work as a couple, and on top of that Ted has two kids. It’s one thing being cool Aunt Robin, and a completely different prospect being a step-mother.

It’s also worth remember that the final scene with Ted telling the kids was shot way back in Season 2, meaning that, despite all that was going to happen and the different paths characters were going to go on, it was always going to come back to this, no matter how little sense it might make or how much investment viewers – and Ted’s children – had in the story. So Ted spent nine seasons telling his kids about how he wanted to sleep with their aunt, in a relationship that probably wouldn’t work out.

2. Friends – Everyone Gets A Happy Ending, Except Joey

NBC

When it comes to sitcoms, Friends has one of the happiest of endings. Ross and Rachel are finally, properly together again, Monica and Chandler have their children and are ready to move into their new house, and Phoebe’s married everyone’s dream man Paul Rudd, finding a family life she never had growing up on the streets. It’s pretty much perfect.

But what about Joey?

Although not the smartest of people, Joey was the nicest person among the whole group, and yet as they all go off to their happily ever afters and new lives, he’s left alone. He may not want to be the woman-chasing, ‘how you doin’?’ Joey of years-gone-by, but he also doesn’t have too much of a chance for change. All of his closest friends are moving on with their lives, and he’s standing still.

And that’s before you get into how disturbing it is that he’d end up in the spin-off Joey.

1. Mad Men – Don Draper Just Goes Back To Normal

AMC

The Mad Men finale is a brilliant ending for the show, with a sense for closure for all the characters and the likes of Joan, Peggy, and Roger ready to embark on exciting new adventures. But ultimately, it all comes down to Don Draper.

Don went on a hell of a journey of self-discovery in the show, as he attempted to come to terms with his past and his identity and find some inner-peace for his damaged soul. And in the closing moments, as he sat at a yoga retreat, it looked like he’d achieved that.

But then it transitions into an advertisement for Coco-Cola, and we realise this is what Don’s truly found. And yes, it may be a great advert, but it also means that for all he’s been through, Don hasn’t really changed all that much. He’s still the ad-man, a ‘Mad Man’, the guy who invented love to sell nylons.

“You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget.” Don’s still alone, love is still just a concept to sell nylons, and we the consumers are there buying it all up.

 

 

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