1990s TV Show About A Space Station er, I mean, both Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine had very satisfying endings. B5’s feels especially pertinent here because it came at the end of a disappointing season. As I understand it, it went something like this:
B5 was planned to last 5 seasons from the beginning. It wasn’t renewed for a 5th season, so they crammed two seasons’ worth of plot into the 4th and filmed a series finale that they thought would air at the end of that season. The show was saved at the last second, but there wasn’t much left to do, so the 5th season meandered and was kinda bad, but ended with the finale they’d already shot, which was very good.
I have less to say about DS9’s finale, because the last time I watched it in its entirety might have been when it originally aired.
It didn’t feel great at the time, but if we’re doing 90’s SF, we can’t not talk about Farscape. Twice.
Farscape was also cancelled after a fourth season, but unlike B5 they did not get a chance to rework their ending, so the season ends as follows:
The two leads are in a boat on a peaceful looking water word.
They’re going to have a baby, and they’re going to get married after about four seasons of will-they-won’t-they.
And then an alien ship we’ve never seen before shoots them with a weird gun that disintegrates them into a pile of loose spheres about the size of marbles. And these two piles just sorta slump into the boat and out onto the water.
At the time I was devastated, but in hindsight if that had been the last we ever saw of Farscape, I would be forced to admit that it had been an unforgettable finale.
Then, a few years later, the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries (what would have been season 5 condensed into about 4 hours) proceeded to break my heart (into small, marble-sized pieces) all over again.
I think a lot of Anime I’ve seen sticks the landing? I remember liking the end of PLANETES. If Gainax/Trigger stuff is your cup of tea (and if it’s not I completely understand) TTGL, Kill La Kill, and Space Patrol Luluco turn all the knobs to 11 and somehow also end up feeling earned and satisfying?
Finally, I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t mention Utena. Haven’t seen the movie (yet), but the end of the TV show is a tour de force.