It’s season finale season, which means many of our favorite shows will be wrapping up for the summer. I love this time of year and in a way, I hate this time of year. Season finales often serve to wrap up some of the major conflicts and story arcs and if done right, can deliver a satisfying conclusion to the show’s season that makes all of the build-up from previous episodes worthwhile. The downside to a good season finale is that it will often leave us wanting more. Instead, we have to wait months to get more new episodes of our favorite show.

So here are some of my favorite season finales that aired within the last decade. I picked one from each year starting with 2001:

SPOILER Warning – this list contains spoilers about various shows so if you haven’t seen but intend to see any of the shows I have in this list, be warned, there’s some major spoilage in here.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Season 5
Episode: The Gift Aired: 2001
Buffy proves once again that she’s willing to give her life to save the world. Rather than chucking Dawn into the big portal in an effort to close it, she sacrifices her own life. The season ended with Buffy dead and buried and her friends devastated. If you want to watch the last ten minutes of the episode, click here. Below is a music-video montage that captures the highlights of the final battle and Buffy’s inevitable death:

24 - Season 1
Episode: 11:00 pm – 12:00 am Aired: 2002
The season finale of the first season of ‘24’ was amazing. Everything gets wrapped up and Jack figures out that Nina is the mole. He has the opportunity to kill her but doesn’t. The episode ends with Jack finding his wife Teri dead. Nina killed her just before she tried to escape.

Alias - Season 2
Episode: The Telling Aired: 2003
The episode was titled “The Telling” but in my mind, the real title is “Francie Doesn’t Like Coffee Ice Cream.” In the episode, the ice cream is what caused Sydney to realize the Francie she’s been living with for the past few months isn’t the real Francie. Will is bloody and dying in the bathtub while Sydney and Francie fight to the death. The house sets fire at some point and both end up half-dead and unconscious. When Sydney wakes up, she’s in China and its two years later.

Angel - Season 5
Episode: Not Fade Away Aired: 2004
Ok, so technically this was a series finale but you have to admit, it was an amazing ending to the series. The gang rallies together to kill all of the members of The Black Thorne, thus justifying spending the entire season working for the enemy. What I loved about the finale was that while some of the main characters did die, the series ended with Angel, Gunn, Spike and Illyria all still alive (though Gunn is badly injured) and about to face an onslaught of demons. Their chances of survival aren’t great but because we don’t actually see them get killed, the writers left it for us to decide what happens next.

Here’s a fan-made trailer for the episode:

Veronica Mars - Season 1
Episode: Leave It To Beaver Aired: 2005
Veronica finds a bunch of sex tapes that Lilly had hidden and it is revealed that her killer was none other than Aaron Echolls. Logan’s dad and apparently, one of the guys Lilly was secretly sleeping with. The father/daughter moments in this episode were fantastic. The hug they share when Keith tells her that he’s definitely her father was tear-worthy and then at the end when Veronica hugs him and tells him she knew he would save her. There was something so dramatic about seeing Veronica, usually so cool, calm and collected, screaming for her father to help her that really got to me. Overall it was just a fantastic finale to a great season.

The Office - Season 2
Episode: Casino Night Aired: 2006
Who didn’t love this episode? Aside from the fact that it was full of hilarious moments, it had that amazingly heartfelt scene at the end where Jim finally confesses to Pam how he feels about her. The episode ends with their kiss.

Battlestar Galactica - Season 3
Episode: Crossroads (Part 2) Aired: 2007
Granted, it may be premature to declare this season’s finale of ‘Battlestar’ as my favorite finale of 2007 but with the exception of maybe the ‘Heroes’ finale, I cant imagine any of the upcoming season finales managing top ‘BSG’ this year. The last few minutes of the episode when Tigh, Chief, Tory and Anders realize what they are, Tigh’s speech, the music and the return of Kara was just… mind-blowingly great.

Which TV Finale Are You Most Excited About This Season?

What to Watch (5/13 to 5/19)

’Desperate Housewives’ (ABC) 9:00 pm
What Would We Do Without You? (New!)– Lynette has a health scare. Meanwhile, Gaby’s working on her wedding plans with the mayor who’s turning out to be kind of a jerk.

’Enoutrage’ (HBO) 10:00 pm
The Resurrection (New!)– Eric and Vince continue to try to get Medellin off the ground. Meanwhile, Turtle meets a girl who loves sneakers as much as she does and Drama’s TV show is set to premiere.

’How I Met Your Mother’ (CBS) 8:00 pm
Something Blue- (Season Finale!) – At Marshall and Lily’s wedding reception, Barney learns that Ted and Robin are keeping something from the rest of their friends. Let’s see… the episode is titled “Something Blue.” Perhaps Robin took a test that came out blue? Hmmm.

’24’ (Fox) 9:00 pm
3:00 am – 4:00 am- (New!) – We should hopefully get to see whether the blonde woman was able to successfully fool the guy whose leaking information to the Russians but judging from the promos, things don’t go as planned.

’Heroes’ (NBC) 9:00 pm
Landslide - (New!) – George Takei is back in this episode as Hiro gets some more information about his family. Meanwhile Peter and Ted try to leave New York to avoid the explosion. Good idea. I doubt it’ll happen but at least they’re trying since it does seem like the most obvious solution.

’American Idol’ (Fox) 8:00 pm
(New!) – Blake, Melinda and Jordin compete for a spot in the final two.

’Veronica Mars’ (CW) 9:00 pm
I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer (New!) – Parker is sad when she finds out Logan is going away for the summer with Dick on a surfing trip. Mac isn’t sure Max is the right guy for her and Veronica gets hired to help a Ugandan native who thinks his son might be a student at Hearst.

’American Idol’ (FOX) 9:00 pm
(New!) – Somebody gets voted off. My money’s on Blake getting the boot.

”Lost” (ABC) 10:00 pm
Greatest Hits (New!) – Jack has a plan to take down The Others. Charlie might die again… this time for real though… maybe.

’Ugly Betty’ (ABC) 8:00 pm
East Side Story (Season Finale!) – What’s in the love dungeon? Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and the original Ugly Betty, Angelica Vale (La Fea Mas Bella) guest star.

’The Office’ (NBC) 8:00 pm
The Job (parts 1 & 2) (Season Finale!) – Michael, Karen and Jim head to New York to interview for the job at corporate. Dwight is left in charge while they’re gone.

’Grey’s Anatomy’ (ABC) 9:00 pm
Didn’t We Almost Have It All (Season Finale!) – Cristina and Burke’s wedding day arrives. George and Callie make a decision about their future, a new Chief is named and the interns get the results of their exams (one day later?? Whatever.)

Painkiller Jane (Scifi) 10:00 pm
Breakdown (New!) – Jane and Maureen question a bunch of psychiatric patients who are all sharing the same nightmare.

Erin Brakovich (TBS) 8:00 pm
This is one of those movies I can watch maybe once a year. Julia Roberts won an Oscar for the role of this cleavage-flaunting pushy broad who helped win a major lawsuit against a giant corporation.


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