The Most Confusing TV Series Endings Explained

The Most Confusing TV Series Endings Explained

Series finales can be tough to pull off for
even the best TV shows. They have to wrap all of the show’s plotlines
and character arcs in a way that is satisfactory and sensical. Sometimes, that means a show will close on
a question mark to allow fans their own interpretations or perhaps even room for a spin-off. And while that might work with some programs,
an open ended finale can often seem so unfinished that fans are left clamoring for answers years
after the fact. To help resolve some of the most frustrating
show endings, here’s a look at what showrunners really meant for fans to take away from these
confusing conclusions. Lost For a show that was already redefining weird,
Lost’s last episode really went off the rails. The fifth season ended with Jack and the crew
setting off a hydrogen bomb on the island while visiting the 1970’s, so the sixth and
final season picked up with two separate timelines: one where the survivors are still stuck on
the island in the present, and another where the plane seemingly never crashed. This alternate timeline soon revealed itself
to be much different than the original, and many of the characters were living completely
different lives. The final episode revealed that this timeline
was actually the afterlife. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof later explained
that the afterlife plotline was supposed to demonstrate how the events on the island weren’t
purgatory, as many suspected. Unfortunately, the message was so, well, lost
in the chaos of the sideways world exploration that even they couldn’t really explain all
the finite details. The Sopranos The fade-to-black finish for The Sopranos
was so unexpected that many viewers thought their cable feed had been interrupted when
it happened. Fans of the show had spent months and months
speculating about what incredible drama would befall Tony Soprano and his family to close
out such an eventful show, but … none of that happened. Instead, Tony, his wife Carmela, and their
kids met up for dinner — after an excruciatingly drawn-out parallel parking job by Meadow. With Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” blaring
out over all the inaction, Tony noticed a suspicious man lurking around the diner and
… “(Ding)” “Don’t stop” According to series creator David Chase, the
ending implied that Tony was always going to be paranoid as a result of his mafioso
history and that endings for guys like Tony tend to happen just that quickly and unexpectedly. Thanks to some frame-by-frame analyses after
the fact, it’s pretty clear that the guy Tony was eyeing, who went to the bathroom nearby
his table, probably ended his life right then and there. But the fact that Chase chose not to actually
show his death was irritating, considering the show wasn’t shy about showcasing some
serious brutality before. Parks and Recreation The final season of Parks and Recreation jumped
forward in time a few years to 2017, in which Leslie Knope has become a regional director
of the National Parks Service. But if that time-tripping wasn’t enough, the
series finale skipped even further ahead to detail the next few years in the lives of
all the main characters, particularly Leslie and her husband, fellow Pawnee government
worker Ben Wyatt. Both are approached to run for governor of
Indiana, with Leslie said to have served two terms in the post, while Ben went on to serve
in Congress. “Joe Biden knows his way around a seafood
risotto.” Then, much farther along in the future, they
attend the funeral of Jerry Gergich with a Secret Service detail in tow. That means either Leslie or Ben is President
of the United States, but who is it? Show creator Mike Schur, inspired by the ambiguity
of the finale of The Sopranos, says he felt “there was room for one big question mark.” Schur told Variety that he “wanted people
to be able to fill in their own blanks and make up their own minds.” Considering the fact that Leslie Knope always
had Oval Office ambitions, it was probably her, but the fact that we didn’t get to find
out for sure meant fans had to order extra waffles to cope. 30 Rock NBC’s 30 Rock seemed to have a relatively
straightforward finale, going full meta by having their faux show, TGS, wrap in conjunction
with the real show’s end. But there was one element of the big finish
that was extremely odd. In the very last scene of the show, which
takes place several generations in the future, Liz Lemon’s granddaughter is all grown up
and is pitching a show about her grandmother to the new head of the network, who just so
happens to be… an apparently immortal Kenneth? Throughout the show, Kenneth was an NBC page
who was painted as something of a simpleton, but in retrospect, the show might’ve been
building to the reveal that Kenneth was a timeless creature all along. After all, how many references did Kenneth
make to old actors and songs that were so obscure even those in the entertainment business
around him couldn’t keep up? “I was pretty addicted to coke back in my
Wall Street days.” Mad Men After nearly a decade of failed marriages,
salacious affairs, a bunch of booze, and a deep dive into his abandoned identity, Donald
Draper escaped his life as a snazzy Madison Avenue executive and sought solace in a hippie
commune. His journey to rock bottom was the very fabric
of Mad Men’s seven seasons, so when he showed up at a California hideaway desperately weeping
over his mistakes and emotional disconnections, it seemed like Don might finally change his
ways. But that final shot of him peacefully meditating
en masse was not the end-all be-all for the creative genius’ days in the sun. The series ended with a credits cutaway to
the famous 1971 Coca-Cola commercial of a cross-cultural singing group chanting about
wanting to buy the world a Coke and indicated that Don’s take away from so much self-discovery
was really just another awesome ad idea. Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner later agreed
that Don indeed remained an ad man to the end, as the commercial suggested, saying,
“Why not end this show with the greatest commercial ever made? I am not [into] ambiguity for ambiguity’s
sake. But it was nice to have your cake and eat
it too, in terms of what is advertising, who is Don and what is that thing?” As a result, viewers were left thirsty for
more, so the choice of a soda ad was certainly inspired. Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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100 thoughts on “The Most Confusing TV Series Endings Explained”

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  • Lost had a confusing ending? I called it halfway through the final season, though I was binge watching it like many other commenters on here.

  • Eclectic Reader says:

    I figured as much that Lost was the afterlife. I pieced this together once the wheel chair guy could walk again. The black smog that killed some people, I saw to be as a demon.

  • I definitely don't agree with all you say or do but alot of it is completely accurate your videos are awesome and well done keep it up

  • THEY are your most confusing? LOST was extremely straight forward and telegraphed so much going into it. thank god dont know awesome shows like The Leftovers exist. They might make your head explode.

  • I really don't understand the confusion about the Sopranos. Tony said in one episode that there is no afterlife. If you die it all becomes black and that's it. Come on. He said it himself! How much clearer can it be??? The diner scene also give a lot of clues with even references to the murder scene in the godfather. I think that the audience just couldn't live with the fact that Tony died.

  • Tesseract Pleiades Orion says:

    Biggest 'Jump the Shark' episode in TV History: last one of 'Battlestar Galactica', or 'Lost'? Hmmm… I loved 'Lost' until that final cop-out when it was revealed the writers were just making up stuff on the spot and didn't have any explanations for the 'scientific' shenanigans that made the show interesting. We can blame Damien 'The Omen' Lindyhop for that. Just my opinion….

  • How I Met Your Mother had such a bad ending that CBS scrapped How I Met Your Father. yet, two days ago CBS stated they are initiating another attempt at How I Met Your Dad, but most fans of the first show I know said even if it does make it out in 2018, they won't waste their time. I'm imagining a one season and done. It's hard enough to get a spinoff of a great show to work, but for a show that pissed off all its fans would be pretty hard to get a strong following. Another show that screwed the fans was Dexter which WAS one of my all time favorites until the ending. I hate the fact I watched almost all these shows which ended up a huge waste of time. I would say Sapranos was my least favorite ending and pissed me off the most. I too thought there had been something wrong with my cable when it went to black. A lot of profanities were let lose and even more came out when I realized that is how it was planned.

  • The Mad Men ending wasn't that confusing if you're weird like me and looked up the ad and noticed it was made by McCann-Erickson (obviously the firm where Don worked).

  • What about the ending for arrow though because I was a huge fan of that show and the ending left a huge space to be filled in. If anyone has ideas I'd like to hear them

  • Lost was the best named TV series ever, after the initial awesome show of a bunch of plane crash survivors on an island it completely lost the plot with time travel and crap…

  • The first 4 seasons of Lost is the greatest t.v. ever. The filler and incohesiveness in the last 2 seasons knocks it down a couple spots.

  • Moopy Hedgehog says:

    the only ones confused by the ending to lost were the ones who didnt pay attention to wth was happening and being said. after several seasons of the show hammering it to us that if you didnt pay close attention youd lose track of some important detail or w/e everyone should have been doubly prepared to be vigilant. everything that happened was explained in plain english.

  • It wasn't just the alternative timeline in Lost that was the afterlife. They ALL died in the plane crash and the entire series is just them not knowing it and whenever one of them "dies" they just go to the waiting room where they met at the end. It's stupid, and I would have preferred they just don't finish it, and make it end on waiting for a real final season that will never be made.

    I haven't seen any of the other series to comment on them.

  • The night "30 Rock" aired it's series finale, I got to interview Judah Friedlander, as he was performing a comedy show at my college. His limo took him right from Rutgers to join the rest of the cast in NYC afterwards. Pretty cool he spent that night hanging with us! If you look at his Instagram(Jan. 31, 2013), you can even see a photo I took with his phone during the show! #myonlyclaimtofame

  • I only eat Brains, Dummy says:

    Just wanna say, thanks for the video. And I'm leaving here only slightly less confused than I was when I came here.

  • Re: the 30 Rock ending, Kenneth being immortal was a running gag throughout the entire series. It's not even ambiguous. At one point, his mom staight up says " I remember the day he was born. He looked up at me and he said “Mama, I am not a person. My body’s just a flesh vessel for an immortal being whose name if you heard it would make you lose your mind.”"

  • Orfeas Damanakis says:

    I know for a fact that astrophysics and quantum physics etc. are confusing and require a lot of time to process. But if you watch Lost altogether and really focus on the story you'll figure out what it's about. After the endless struggling on the mystery island, the flashbacks from the characters' past, the rescue of the Oceanic 6 and their return to the island and the slow process of unraveling all the mysteries of the island, one can assume that the most basic goal of pretty much each character in Lost was to find peace (of course with of the Man in Black). So I think the concluding remarks visualized through the flash sideways in Season 6 gave them just that – a peaceful glimpse of their afterlife.

  • I think the disappointing ending to LOST made sense if you think about it. The ending IMO made more sense than a lot of the events leading UP to the ending.

  • The ending of Lost was depressing when thinking about it…really sad when Katie said to Jack, “I really miss you…” WHo knows how long Katie had to live out her life just to see Jack in the afterlife who had died many years on the island

  • i was fine with the end of lost, until i found out it was supposed to be the afterlife. after they dropped the nuke into that dwell i thought it was a parallel universe (which wouldnt be that exotic for lost standards) and all we see is what happens if the plane doesnt crash, and somehow fate brought them altogether even in that parallel universe. the afterlife idea made it so religious that it just didnt fit with the series that played with ideas such as biomagnetism and timetravel.

    what i dont get right now is, wouldnt be the end of the whole series when they dropped the nuke?, all that stuff with locke being the monster and so on wasnt even real right?

  • Nayvio Campbell says:

    I'm sorry but you have to be a utter moron to not understand the ending of LOST. Christian Shepard literally explains it in the episode.

  • Gabriel Paulino says:

    When I first watched Lost I was really pissed of. It was my favorite show so far but the finale left a bad taste in my mouth. Then, last year I decided to re-watch for pure nostalgia and I have to say that I love the finale now. People (and I) were expecting a sci-fi oriented finale, because the show had some sci-fi elements, but watching it again made me realize how the show was much (much) more focused on the philosophical, religious and dramatic subjects since the 1st episode. I'm so glad I gave it another chance, because it is one of my favorite shows ever. Ending included.

  • So used to seeing comment sections filled with moronic ideas, racist vitriol, sleazy misogyny, and blatant homophobia, I was pleasantly surprised to read the majority of comments by fellow LOST fans. Simple minds should stay away from LOST, Westworld, and Mr. Robot. Stick to Michael Bay, Zack Snyder, and Ayn Rand, if you prefer (stylized) mindless drivel.

  • So the alternate reality where they survive and the crash never happened it was just the afterlifes/gods way of giving them a sense of bliss in heaven…. and so the real living reality was that they all did end up crashing and trying to survive on the island only for them all to die anyways at the end of the show?

  • Richard Thigpen says:

    I though the ending to the Sopranos was brilliant! Because of T's sociopathic & narcissistic disorders, his death dictates an immediate ending. To him, nothing else matters, thus, end of story.

  • The ending of Parks and Recreation was AMAZING! There was nothing confusing about it. All the characters had their futures shown and there were really no loose ends. I never even questioned who the Secret Service was for, to me it was always Leslie.

  • I love how LOST was so confusing that even the "explanation" given here doesn't actually give you any answers. Too funny!

  • luis hernandez says:

    My name is earl why the fuck would you cancel a tv show whe a plot twist is going on at least solve the mystery

  • Chase never actually explained the ending of Sopranos so I whonder how Looper draws this conclusion – because of a fan made analysis?

  • In regards to the Sopranos ending, You forgot to mention that when Tony walks into the dinner he see's himself already seated. The camera shot is from Tony's point of view from the doorway, And you see his seated self look up from the table. This means Tony is in Purgatory, reliving the final moments of his life.

  • I'm still lost about Lost. But in the ending of the Sopranos tony was definitely killed. That's why the music stopped. He guy came out of the restroom and shot him in the side of the head while he was distracted looking at his daughter. She's the last thing he sees before dying and his whole family watches him get assassinated. The music stopping signifies he died because the show revolved around him. He was the alpha and omega of the show. The beginning and the end

  • 0:37 I loved lost!!! My fav tv show ever aired. It was a bit of a mind fuck though but then again I really wasn't paying too much attention. You'd really have to binge watch it because everything was really explained if you paid attention. Me? I just watched an ep or two every two or three days.

  • TheDoctorwho747 says:

    It still amazes me that here are so many people who still say "oh the ending of lost sucked they were dead the whole time it was all just a dream" like how did so many people just completely tune out to what Christian tells jack at the end that the events on the island happened and they were only dead in the flash sideways. It's one thing if you understood that and didn't like it that's fine, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but for fucks sakes it's like they thought this show with so many ambiguous mysteries to it thought the final episode would be like "oh this is what the island is" spoon fed to them when there were answers to what it and other mysteries were along the way, not all but most of them but it's like they tuned that out too.

  • TabalugaDragon says:

    LOST finale wasn't confusing. You pretty much ONLY NEED TO LISTEN to what Christian says to Jack near the end to understand it. Everything that happened on the island was real, and the flashsideways in the final season were afterlife.

  • Christopher Nash says:

    You guys got Lost wrong! The alternate timeline was not the afterlife. It was another life like reincarnation. They showed clues of this throughout the show. The purpose of the alternate timeline was to show why it was important to destroy the monster. The monster was like Satan and wanted to take everyone to hell

  • misterlobsterman says:

    People who didn't understand the Lost finale, didn't really pay attention to the show. Lost was not a show to have on in the background, and still completely understand.

  • But that’s the thing the lost ending is not confusing in fact I felt it was very satisfying.I don’t see how people can get confused when his father says “the most important thing you did in your life was meeting these people” if you all died then what does he mean?? The time you spent riding with them on a plane doing nothing. Honestly I think most people just shut of there brains after he said that he was dead

  • The problem with lost is that most people watched week by week which probably is a diffrent kind of torture if you binged it you'd see every question was answered and it wasn't confusing

  • at the starting of 6th season i was almost convinced that flash sideways are of the new timeline created by some extraordinary plan of Desmond and Danieal….but they blew it just like GOT….i mean who are even interested in afterlife….origin story of island would have been more interesting.

  • Savannah Adkins says:

    Me and brother were binge watching lost and we just finished it,
    I think when Desmond turned the key after Locke destroyed the computer they died. It kinda makes sense because they said the key would make everything go away, the island, the hatch, it didn’t seem like it did but maybe it did. It shows later that the man in black did die after Jacob put him in that cave, maybe it was some sort of hell, and the man in black wanted to leave so he could go back to live maybe? Idk, the ending don’t really make sense, they were in a world where the plane crash never happened but then it turned in a sort of heaven because they were all dead, that’s what I consider it as anyway. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the show, like the numbers, the polar bear, why pregnant woman die, how the island heals people, why Jacob choose everybody, what did Hurley and Ben do after, and a whole lot more.

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