It was a satisfactory ending, but was it a good one? Very minor spoilers ahead for the Fringe finale.

I feel pretty much exactly the way CJA felt about the ending of Fringe. What got to me about it was that the showrunners seemed to feel like it had to have a traditionally happy ending. To me, the happiest ending would have been seeing Ourlivia happy with John Scott and Peter happy with... someone? Alternate Lincoln Lee would have ended up with Fauxlivia, maybe, had fate not intervened. That's the happiest, truest ending; all that pain, all that death, all that heartbreak never happened at all.

And yet, while that ending would have been truer to the science aspect of the show, it would have rung completely false with the core themes of the show - family, fatherhood, love, obligation, consequences, redemption, and the very good reasons for the seperation of the laws of God and Man. 

We see this a lot in genre fiction. My very favorite epic fantasy similarly soft-pawed the ending down from, "and the hero died horribly as was meet" to "and they all lived happily ever after!" This ain't romance, childrens. SFF fans don't have to have the HEA, as they call it. (Take the ending of Banks's Use of Weapons, for example. That may be the harshest ending I've ever read.)  So, why do we keep getting it?

Of all the genre series I've watched, I liked the ending of Stargate SG1 the best. Life went on. The world continued. Our characters endured. It was business as usual except we just stopped seeing it. I know a lot of people were unhappy with that, but I loved it. The idea that we'd just seen a chapter of their lives and the book didn't stop when we quit reading made me very happy. I don't want my beloved friends to die when this particular story ends. I don't need my characters to depart to the Grey Havens. I don't require that everyone live happily ever after.

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I want the end makes sense to both the story and the themes, in whatever way that's accomplished. Fringe had a short time to do what it needed to do and it went with the latter to the detriment of the former. I can't fault it. But it's a just satisfactory ending for great characters, and I wished for a little more for everyone.