We all like our favourite shows to finish on a high, or at least by tying up all those annoying loose ends that come up over the course of a show’s lifetime. Increasingly this has seen networks commissioning a shortened version of a season for this specific purpose, with the much loved Person of Interest heading that way this year.
However not all shows make good use of this fate. They either stretch too far, run out of ideas, or try to close everything in a convoluted way. Seriously Battlestar if you’d just not had the primitive Earth humans and have the entire human race on Earth be the descendants of the Colonials and Cylons alone it’d have been so much better.
For me though the show that most screwed up the final season has to be the spy-comedy series Chuck. After a long battle where the show was under threat of cancellation since the middle of season 2 it was a lucky surprise we got seasons 3 and 4 at all. The fact that season 4 in particular was so good, with a great storyline focused around a complex tale of subterfuge going back 30 years and incredible casting in the forms of Timothy Dalton as Alexei Volkoff/Hartley Winterbottom and Linda Hamilton in the form of Mary Bartowski, made the trainwreck that was season 5 all the worse.
Set up in the season 4 finale, fans expected a final story of why everything seemed to revolve around Chuck without him knowing. Instead we got a 13 episode run, most of which barely connected, where the big story set up boiled down to a couple of episodes where they brought back season 3 villain Shaw who had been trying to wreck Chuck’s relationship with Sarah and that finished halfway through the run.
Instead a good deal of the season revolved around Morgan as the new intersect but instead of being the Morgan who grew and matured over the years they brought back season 1 Morgan, the jackass barely anyone liked. To put it bluntly this was a season where the Buy More subplots, always the home of the more zany aspects of the show, were miles more interesting than the main story.
However the season itself ended abruptly with introducing and then killing off a new main villain in the last 3 episodes, giving the audience zero time to learn who he was or what his goals really were. Instead, just like Shaw, he suddenly fixated on Sarah and Chuck’s relationship, which brings me to the season’s strangest decision.
Mind-wiping Sarah and making her lose all of her memories from the entire span of the show.
Not only did this take away most of her characterisation and development over the course of the show where we saw her grow from a cold secret agent into someone who struggled with her lack of family and having to deal with the fact she now had in-laws and pressures to have a child, but it also completely destroyed the main focus of the entire show which was her relationship with Chuck, which by the end of season 4 saw them married, gifted with incredible wealth, Chuck without the intersect hanging over him, and hope for the future as they were finally let go from the spy life, which had been Chuck’s (and later Sarah’s) goal from the start.
Instead we got a gloomy future where they sit on a beach, Chuck once again given the intersect, Sarah without her memory, and a montage set to the usual happy guitar music of the show, before ending with them kissing hoping it’ll jolt her memories. It goes for happy but just feels empty.
That’s my personal worst last season. Please share what you think is the worst last season below.