End Game: TV's Best and Worst Series Finales

From 'Lost' to 'The Sopranos,' these are last episodes that got it right — and very, very wrong

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Best: 'The Sopranos'
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James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Robert Iler, in the last episode of 'The Sopranos.' HBO/Everett Collection19/19

Best: 'The Sopranos'

This is the big one. When the final scene of the final episode of the show that launched the New Golden Age of TV abruptly cut to black — without revealing if mob boss Tony Soprano lived or died, and without letting Steve Perry finish the chorus of "Don't Stop Believing" — the result was, in the words of Paulie Walnuts, "fuckin' mayham." Was Tony executed by the mysterious man in the Members Only jacket? Did he finish his meal and continue his life of depression and paranoia, always wondering when his rivals would dump him in the Pine Barrens? Is it a bleak statement on life as purgatory of uncertainty, led by people who can never change? Is it a hopeful plea that despite it all, we should never stop believing? Every possible answer has its passionate partisans even now, and the eight-year-old episode is still obsessed over like it was the Zapruder film. The Sopranos' finale took a midnight train goin' anywhere, and we’re all still along for the ride.

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