Thursday, February 25, 2016

Finale

5:57 AM

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All good things must come to an end. Here's a list of series finales that hit us. Hard.

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All good things must come to an end.

Or so they say. Regardless, revisiting the things we loved and how they finally came to a close is never an easy task. But all stories do end, and much of what makes a good one – incredible, magical, unforgettable – has a lot to do with how they took that bow.

The Thing and our contributors got around to racking our brains despite the haze of pain and denial and lack of closure to compile a list of endings that break our hearts, over and over again.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Spoilers ahead for Legend of Korra, Supernatural, Hunter x Hunter, Pokemon Black, and Merlin. Scroll down at your own risk.

1. THE LEGEND OF KORRA - “The Last Stand”


WHAT WENT DOWN: After a journey of self-discovery, Korra recovers from her debilitating trauma and manages to move Kuvira into surrendering after understanding her in a moment of vulnerability while in the spirit world. No fists or showy bending. Just empathy.

The episode closes with a moment Korra has with Asami, one of her best friends. Korra laments that she's exhausted, and Asami agrees. They decide to explore the spirit world together, and as the episode draws to a close, the two girls walk to the spirit portal hand in hand, beginning a romantic relationship together.

OMG, KASI: This marks an ever-so subtle but crucial turning point in a "children's show." Not only do they give us a female protagonist who grows from an angry teenager to a woman who knows when to admit her own weaknesses, but also an LGBT cast.

“The fans are now speculating the other characters sexualities, though I know the creators have revealed at least two others that fall under the LGBT umbrella,” Nikki writes.

The decision to close the series, a Nickelodeon show, on a picture of two young women of color holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes as the frame dissolves into light is - besides being beautiful beyond words - an incredibly significant moment in cartoon history.

2. POKEMON BLACK


WHAT WENT DOWN: It’s the final battle against N – the hero of truth chosen by legendary Pokémon Reshiram. N wants to change reality: to free Pokémon from humans. Naturally, you are Zekrom’s hero of ideals trying to keep Pokémon and people together.

You battle. You beat him. Then Ghetsis, N's father, reveals that he's been using N and his dream to gain power. You battle and beat him. In the aftermath, N realizes that everything he's worked for and believed has been a lie.

So N decides that he needs to find a new truth. He says this to you: "You said you have a dream… That dream… Make it come true! Make your wonderful dream a reality, and it will become your truth! If anyone can, it's you!"

And then he's gone.

OUCH, KASI: The finale of this story tells you the entire game’s message, said by N himself: “It's not by rejecting different ideas, but by accepting different ideas that the world creates a chemical reaction. This is truly the formula for changing the world."

3. SUPERNATURAL - “Swan Song”


WHAT WENT DOWN: "Swan Song," or Episode 22 of Supernatural’s fifth season, is obviously not the current series finale (as the show now boasts a total of 11 seasons). It is, however, arguably the high point where the series should’ve ended.

After Dean allows Sam to take the role of Satan’s meatsuit, the Winchesters let themselves get captured and brought to Lucifer. The Plan? Stop the Apocalypse.

Said Plan goes awry, and Dean comes to the rescue. The whole thing gets ugly: Lucifer decimates Castiel, kills Bobby, pummels Dean into the hood of the Impala and – right before the final blow, Possessed! Sam gets a glimpse of the plastic army man he’d wedged into the ashtray long ago.

Cue montage of brotherly memories spent on the road. It’s enough to snap Sam out of it, and for a moment, he has Lucifer under his control. With the key, he opens Lucifer’s cage, and falls into the void.

Dean goes back to Lisa, the woman he loves - all to fulfill the “apple-pie life” he promised his brother he’d have after he was gone.

OUCH, KASI: When you think about how this episode was originally intended by the creator to be the real series finale, this episode’s about as final as it gets – as if the utterly pain-inducing montage we’re treated to beforehand wasn’t enough to hit home that this is it. The end of the line. No more adventures.

With Sam trapped in a Lucifer-sized cage and Dean left to satisfy a promise to live a normal life — the story of the Winchester brothers on the road is finally over. Ouch.

4. MERLIN - “Diamond of the Day: Part 2”


WHAT WENT DOWN: After five seasons of holding our breaths, Merlin finally tells Arthur he has magic – just as Arthur’s dying from a wound, courtesy of the druid Mordred, just like the prophecy foretold. “I’m a sorcerer. I have magic... and I use it for you, Arthur. Only for you,” Merlin says.

Arthur replies, with his last breath: “I want to say something I’ve never said to you before... thank you.”

So Arthur dies. Kilgharrah the Great Dragon declares that one day, Arthur will wake again, at the time of Albion’s greatest need. So Merlin waits. And waits. Centuries later, now a graying old man, he is waiting still, by the lake where Arthur sleeps to this day.

OUCH, KASI: Arthur’s death not only means the loss of Merlin’s king, his friend, and his other half (they’re called “two sides of the same coin”) but also Merlin’s own failure. Merlin threw his entire life into protecting Arthur – but looking back, this paves the path to Arthur’s inevitable demise.

The only good thing? We see Merlin and Arthur’s relationship finally reach its peak. After the reveal, they can look at each other and see the other man for all he is, without secrets.

Erika writes, “It proved that the story was really about Merlin and Arthur, and romantic or platonic, everyone knows that their bond was unlike any other. (Soulmates!) Would the show have left a lasting impact had it not ended so tragically? I honestly don't know.”

5. HUNTER x HUNTER - "Until Now x and x From Now"


WHAT WENT DOWN: After the devastating events of the Chimera Ant Arc, Killua goes to dangerous measures to save his best friend Gon, who is on the verge of death after losing himself in self-destructive, grief-stricken rage. Killua does save Gon, but the events of the horrific Chimera Ant Arc are seemingly put aside.

Gon apologizes, blithely and thoughtlessly, and Killua plays it off as though it were not a big deal. Just like that, they part ways with a smile, saying “they'll always be friends, no matter how far apart they are.” But their expressions as their backs turn reveal just how much has yet to be resolved.

OUCH, KASI: The Chimera Ant Arc left characters and fans a complete wreck. In the beginning, Killua and Gon are two eager, bright-eyed children off to explore the world.

In the end, they are still that: children. Children thrown into a world with no room for the unfailing optimism of our “plucky shounen protagonist” Gon. And when this naivete finally turns on him, no one is there to save him. “Because since when does the hero ever need saving?” writes Isa.

Which makes the offhanded “resolution” of the series all the more painfully unsatisfactory. They bid farewell, but as they part, strained frowns cloud the smiles they so easily wore moments ago. Nothing’s actually resolved.

They know this, we know this. But just like that, the show ends.


Article compiled by Andrea
With stories from Patricia Chong, Erika Rosales, Isa de Vera, Nikki Santos-Ocampo, and Andrea Lopez
Art by Justine and Chuu
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Andrea is a 19-year-old communication junior. Part meme supreme, part pretentious literary hoe, she's always cooking up something good.
Justine is a small human who likes watermelons and is able to quote Spongebob on a daily basis. She draws and animates in her free time and is probably watching Agent Carter right now.
Chuu is a Visual Communication student, currently blundering her way through university. Future food illustrator. She enjoys garlic bread and things.

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