50 best season finales in TV history
When it comes to television, wrapping up complex seasons—and entire shows, in the case of series finales—in a way that does justice to their complex characters and lengthy storylines can be difficult to accomplish.
This is especially true when the final episode of a season hinges on a major reveal, like Kendall Roy betraying his father at the end of “Succession” season two; ends on a cliffhanger, such as the season four finale of “Supernatural”; or the ultimate fate of an iconic protagonist—think Walter White in the “Breaking Bad” series finale.
When done well, the final episode of a season of television can be a rewarding climax that offers a cathartic end to a gripping installment in a favorite TV show. Perhaps even more importantly, the good or bad buzz surrounding finales can ultimately convince potential viewers to begin or skip a television series that is dominating the current pop culture conversation. The series finale of “Game of Thrones” is a negative example of this. But how can audiences determine which finales, and by extension, shows, are most worth their time?
To find the best TV finales, Stacker compiled data on every TV finale with more than 750 votes on IMDb, then ranked them according to IMDb user score. Ties were broken by the number of votes, and miniseries and documentary series were not included. However, midseason premieres that were followed by large gaps in their air date, such as “Mad Men” season seven, were included.
This data, compiled by Stacker on Sept. 15, 2020, includes 50 episodes from 35 different television shows. So sit back, grab a refreshment and some popcorn, and read on to see if your favorite season ending made the list. Beginning at #50 and counting down to #1, here are the best TV finales of all time.