Images Source: Mutant Enemy
Here’s a list of all of the Whedon finales ranked from worst to best. Yes, I know Agents is more Jed than Joss but hey; it’s still a Whedon.
17) Tomorrow (Angel Season Three Finale)
The fact that I’m not the biggest fan of Tomorrow is probably heavily due to the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of Season Three of Angel. It did really delve more into heavy and dark storylines but the focus was on characters I didn’t care too much about. The Angel/Cordelia romance always seemed off to me, Connor and Holt’s relationship was frustrating to watch unfold and I was completely and totally on #TeamWesley. Though Tomorrow had some HUGE moments that will have an impact for seasons to come; this season finale lacked a lot of the usual aspects we yearn to see in a Whedon finale.
16) Prophecy Girl (Buffy Season One Finale)
To be honest; there’s really nothing wrong with Prophecy Girl. It’s a fun and action packed hour of television to solidified Buffy continuing on to a second season. When you watch the first season of Buffy, you’re watching a show really trying to find its footing. Prophecy Girl is the first time you really the kind of writing chops Joss Whedon truly has. Though it may not be as epic as some of the other Buffy finales; the showdown between Buffy and The Master was enough to make us want more.
15) Home (Angel Season Four Finale)
A lot happened in Season Four of Angel. I mean A LOT happened and most of it was very confusing and a whole lot to take in. After catching our breath and finally being able to process exactly what happened; Home was a welcome slower paced episode that perfectly set up Season Five. Angel now has control of Wolfram & Hart (which we all know is going to have its consequences) and we’re all a little nervous about what might happen next as our team of heroes head straight into the lion’s den. Plus, my girl Lilah came back in style and was the perfect guide to Angel in his inevitable descent into hell.
14) Restless (Buffy Season Four Finale)
In a show where the finales are almost always a final showdown between Buffy and whatever the season’s Big Bad happens to be; Restless was well…..different. Let’s be honest; Restless is one of the strangest hours of television we’ve seen in a while. But it’s still an amazingly written piece of work. It’s actually one of my husband’s favorite episodes of the entire series. We take a walk through the dreams of the Heart (Xander), the Mind (Giles), the Spirt (Willow) and the Hand (Buffy) while the essence of the First Slayer tries to destroy them all. It’s bizarre but Whedon’s charm and excellent writing skills still bring a lot to the table in this confusing tale.
13) To Shanshu in LA (Angel Season One Finale)
Even though the majority of the first season of Angel is comprised of a lot of stand-alone episodes; it still remains to be one of my favorite seasons. This is probably because the season ended on a high note with its finale. Wolfram & Hart are coming at Angel with everything they got….going through Wesley and Cordelia which could be considered Angel’s only weak spots. This episode also perfectly showcased the ongoing rivalry between Angel and Lindsay of which Angel clearly got the upper hand. Bahahaha! Get it? Upper hand??? I crack myself up.
12) Objects in Space (Firefly Season One Finale)
We all know if Firefly was on the air longer….it would have many episodes that top this list but alas we only have one finale to work with and it’s a pretty damn good finale. It doesn’t have a certain epic flair most Whedon finales are drenched in but it definitely delivered as being a great hour of television. Jubal Early has a mission and it’s to get River Tam. The success of Firefly is heavily tied with the success of having a cast of very strong and amazing characters but the success of this finale was a very charming and disturbing villain. River finally proves her worth on the ship and all seems right in the world of Serenity.
11) Epitaph One (Dollhouse Season One Finale)
Whedon loves to reinvent himself as much as possible. The Epitaphs of Dollhouse were not expected by any means but they were some of his best work. At the beginning of the episode all we can think is “Who are these people?” but our quick questions turn into “Oh my god! I love these people!” Whedon takes us way into the future to give us a glimpse into what actually lies in store for our favorite characters….and it’s not good. The world is in ruins. Tech is everywhere and who knows who survived? This finale not only got us amped up for the second season of Dollhouse but got us insanely connected to Mag and Zone. Where is their spinoff?????? Where?????
10) The Beginning of the End (Agents of SHIELD Season One Finale)
We’re really getting to the point of the list where literally every episode could be considered number one depending on who you ask. The Beginning of the End is probably one of my favorite episodes of SHIELD ever. John Garret is crazy and he needs to be stopped. This finale had literally everything; some great action, emotional moments and a showdown between May and Ward. This really was the episode that convinced everyone that SHIELD is a show that can stand on its own two feet and would not be considered a failure in the Marvel universe.
9) Becoming Part 2 (Buffy Season Two Finale)
There are some fans who would absolutely hate me for putting this episode so low on the list. And I definitely agree that this finale was brilliant but if you don’t particularly like Buffy and Angel together….it doesn’t have that same emotional punch. That being said; the second season of Buffy put us all through a rollercoaster of emotions. It was a big old metaphor about life can kick you in the teeth and take no prisoners. Buffy finally musters up the courage to finally take down Angel after he deliberately targets her friends and family. And her only ally in the fight? Spike. What on earth could go wrong?
8) There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb (Angel Season Two Finale)
If you were to ask me which episodes of Angel I watch over and over again; it’s the Pylea episodes. I can not get enough of the hilarity, epicness and emotional turmoil that place had in the world of Angel. The Season Two finale brought the team back together after a season of very frustrating betrayal and pain. Pylea was a nice change of pace even if it wasn’t all kittens and roses. But of course in true Whedon fashion; the last shot was enough to tear all of hearts apart.
7) S.O.S Part 2 (Agents of SHIELD Season Two Finale)
The season two finale of Agents of SHIELD was the ultimate example of a big payoff. There were a lot of questions looming in the air. Is Ward really evil? Will Skye choose the Inhumans over SHIELD? Can the two SHIELDs work together? And my god will Fitz and Simmons ever realize that they love each other? The Season Two finale answered all of our questions a huge battle between the Inhumans and SHIELD still making things more complicated than ever. Also, it ended on that insane cliffhanger that had us holding our breaths until the next season started.
6) Chosen (Buffy Season Seven Finale/Series Finale)
Chosen was a perfect end to a perfect series. So many times we watched series finales and feel very let down. Sometimes they don’t really encompass what the show is really about and sometimes they try some new twist that leaves us all scratching our heads. In the series finale of Buffy; it was a full on battle between Buffy’s army of slayers and the First’s army of Ubervamps. I can’t really think of a better way to send the show out. We got some painful moments saying goodbye to some beloved characters and also a pretty epic one where Willow finally becomes a goddess. There was so many great moments and lots of hidden Easter Eggs for the big fans of Buffy but no matter what; anyone can enjoy the finale and it luckily got to send Buffy off on a high note.
5) Epitaph Two: Return (Dollhouse Season Two Finale/Series Finale)
Dollhouse is one of the most underrated TV Shows of all time. It’s easy to get placed in the shadow of Buffy, Angel and Firefly in the Whedon fan community. But Dollhouse really excelled at one thing; it’s finales. Its finales took place way into the future of the show….where the world has gone to complete shit. We watch our beloved become shells of who they used to be (ironic huh?) along with some other badass companions that have showed up along the way; they try their best to save the world. The series finale of Dollhouse had its fair share of deaths…and of course they were sudden and shocking. It completely highlights the very real fact that there will always be consequences to your actions..no matter how much you can try to fix them.
4) Not Fade Away (Angel Season Five Finale/Series Finale)
Trust me; the more you watch the series finale of Angel; the more you’ll like it. When it first aired; it got a lot of fan backlash and for good reason……right as our heroes are gearing up for the final fight against the truly unspeakable terrors Wolfram & Hart has unleashed on them; Angel leads the charge and then cut to black. What???? What happens??? Who lives??? Why?????? But the whole point of Angel is that there’s no win….there’s just the fight. And you have to keep fighting no matter who many big wins you get. In the fifth season finale; Angel got a huge win. He and his team were able to take out every member of the Black Thorn. Every single member gets showcased as they show why they make such incredible assets to the team as they take out some of the head honchos of Wolfram & Hart. Of course, this isn’t one without a price (I still cry every time I watch it) but the real scene stealer? Lorne of course….doing one last job for Angel.
3) Grave (Buffy Season Six Finale)
Season Six of Buffy is known as the dark season of Buffy. The really, really dark and why on earth is everything so depressing season. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse; Joss brought us Seeing Red which changed the whole game and turned two of the biggest fan favorites in Buffy history (Spike and Willow) into some god awful people. Grave was different from every finale because it wasn’t really about Buffy defeating Willow. It was about what it actually takes to survive. How do you get the will to survive? And how do you get the will to move on? Each character was put through the ringer in Season Six and they all had a lot of growing up to do. The Season Six Finale brought their pain to the forefront and exposed it to the world. So many heartbreaking moments, so many bittersweet moments and at least to me; the best written scene in Buffy history consisting of two best friends and a broken yellow crayon.
2) Graduation Day Part 2 (Buffy Season Three Finale)
And you thought Part 1 was insane? After the showdown between Buffy and Faith; there is very little hope for our Scooby gang. And it doesn’t help that the episode starts with Angel draining Buffy of her blood and hospitalizing her. But the magic of this episode is directly tied to the entire class of Sunnydale High finally rallying behind Buffy and becoming her army against the Mayor. The Season Three finale really set the standard for the rest of the finales to come. Sure, when you watch it now….the graphics of the Mayor turning into a big snake aren’t the best but the epic moments of Sunnydale High’s final battle really outshine and lack of budget for the special effects. The show becomes a very different animal moving forward so I’d like to think of Graduation Day as the end of a pretty awesome first era of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
1) The Gift (Buffy Season Five Finale)
Season Five is one of the best seasons of Buffy…and that’s quite an accomplishment seeing as it was the season that introduced the show’s most annoying character. Sorry, Dawn. The show got back on track with a very credible and hilariously overconfident threat in Glory. But she was a threat nonetheless. She was a god. Talk about really meeting your match? The whole Season Five finale was perfect. We know what needs to be done and everyone is doing their part. Each member of the Scooby Gang does their part in a fight that has them as the underdogs. The beauty of this finale is the little tidbits of episodes earlier on in the season making a reappearance for this fight. There’s Olaf’s Hammer, the Dagon Sphere and of course the line we can’t get out of our heads; “Death is your gift”. This finale packs a huge emotional punch as we see what giving the ultimate sacrifice really means for our hero.