Cliffhangers aren't just for finales.
Recent shows as different as "24" and The Collected Works of Shonda Rhimes have proven that if you drop a cliffhanger on a weekly basis, audiences will keep coming back, while soap operas have been doing almost daily cliffhangers for decades.
But the season-ending cliffhanger is a particular creature. Producers know that they have to drop narrative bombs big enough to carry audiences across not just a couple weeks, but several months of anticipation and speculation.
There's a reason why "Who shot J.R.?" and "Is Buffy Dead?" and "Wait, that was a Flash-Forward?" are questions that instantly bring back memories of both the finales in question, but also the months of pondering and waiting.
With so many of our favorite shows signing off for the season, we put our heads together to list some of our favorite season-ending cliffhangers and pay tribute to them.
OBVIOUSLY there are spoilers here, but mostly just for older shows and we didn't spoil how most of the finales resolved.
Check out our list and chime in with some of your favorites!
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
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