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These are the most disappointing season finales in TV history

John StirzakerJohn Stirzaker · Oct 2, 2020

So much relies on TV series’ final episodes. Some story lines should be tied up, others blasted open, but overall viewers should feel satisfied yet intrigued enough to want to tune into the next season.

To find out which series nailed it and which missed the mark, we’ve used movie database IMDb to analyse thirty of the most popular TV shows to find audience ratings and reviews for each episode, and the all-important season finales.

After sifting through thousands of reviews, seven shows were highlighted as having the most disappointing season finales. These episodes were rated at least 1 star lower than the average rating for all other episodes in the season, or were just the lowest rated episodes overall.

Amongst them are seasons of The Walking Dead and Power, but the lowest rated finale is House of Cards’ last ever episode with a measly 2.5 out of 10.

Hot on its heels is the infamous Game of Thrones season eight finale that aired last May and scored just 4.1 from a whopping 224,000 reviews. Despite the fact that every one of its season finales before it achieved ratings of at least 9.1 and above, nearly a quarter of a million people logged into IMDB to vent their fury and devastation with ‘The Iron Throne’ and the episode ended up with a dreadful 4.1 star rating. If the writers planned on leaving the show on a high note, they couldn’t have got it more wrong!

And although the rest of the episodes in Power season six achieving an average rating of 8.3 out of 10, its final episode falls short by nearly three points, with a score of 5.4.

Some of the series we looked at hit the nail on the head. Breaking Bad’s last two season finales achieved near perfect scores of 9.9, and Stranger Things’ three season finales have all scored 9 and above.

With so much riding on the final hurrah, the pressure is on for producers to get things right. Our research shows that sometimes no matter how well received and successful a show has been, it can be hard to please loyal fans.

House of Cards – Season 6 finale
  • Av. episode rating for the rest of the season: 3.7
  • Finale rating: 2.5

The entirety of season six is rated significantly lower than its previous five seasons, with reviewers deeming it “utterly boring” and “a complete let down”. Still, the final episode received the worst rating, and is in fact the lowest rated finale of any of the thirty shows that were analysed in this data.

Game of Thrones – Season 8 finale

  • Av. episode rating for the rest of the season: 6.9
  • Finale rating: 4.1

With so much riding on the season eight finale, which was also coincidently the last ever episode of fan favourite Game of Thrones, the writers and producers had a tough job on their hands. Still, no one was expecting it to be enough of a shamble to warrant a measly 4.1 rating – the lowest rated Game of Thrones episode ever.

Dexter – Season 8 finale

  • Av. episode rating for the rest of the season: 7.8
  • Finale rating: 4.6

The ratings for the final episode of Dexter season eight plummeted from an average of around 7.8 leading up to it, to a shocking 4.6 out of 10.

Power – Season 6 finale
  • Av. episode rating for the rest of the season: 8.3
  • Finale rating: 5.4

Power season six’s finale rating fell significantly from an average of 8.3 for the rest of the episodes, to a very mediocre 5.4.

American Horror Story – Season 6 finale

  • Av. episode rating for the rest of the season: 7.9
  • Finale rating: 6.3

Each American Horror Story season stands alone and is independent from the rest of the series, but it looks like the story behind My Roanoke Nightmare just missed the mark with most fans. Its finale pulled in the lowest rating from all the seasons.

The Walking Dead – Season 6 finale

  • Av. episode rating for the rest of the season: 8.5
  • Finale rating: 6.5

Despite the season’s reviews starting out strong, the finale is rated a whole two lower than the average for each episode before it and is the lowest rated episode of the entire season. It’s also the lowest rated finale of all of The Walking Dead’s nine seasons.

Westworld – Season 3 finale

  • Av. episode rating for the rest of the season: 8.3
  • Finale rating: 7.3

Westworld only has three seasons thus far, and it’s the last episode of the final season that’s been rated the lowest out of all the other episodes. Hopefully this hasn’t set the precedent for the fourth season, which was announced in April and likely has a 2022 release date.

Check out the full data here:-

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