Are you concerned about the amount of time you have left on this plane of existence? Have you begun to notice strange signs that you’re reaching the end of your narrative structure? Are you, right this moment, racing to a final confrontation with a life-long adversary? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you just might be trapped in a series finale.
Diagnosing the problem
The first step to dealing with the impending end of your fictional universe is to confirm that you are, in fact, in a series finale. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you been experiencing meaningful, relationship-summarizing, one-on-one conversations with all the important people in your life?
- Do you find yourself having intense moments of reflection on how far you’ve come since this crazy adventure began?
- Has a long-lost character that was important to your initial growth recently returned for a short and sappy reunion? Perhaps your dead grandmother returned in a dream sequence or you’ve experienced a sudden chance encounter with your first love.
- Have you recently visited a location that was once a base of operations for you and your core friend group? While at said location, did you find yourself staring at walls and specific set pieces thinking to yourself “if these walls could talk…”?
- Have you suddenly jumped five to ten years into the future where everything is so neatly wrapped up it might as well have a bow on top?
- Has someone important to you suddenly and heroically martyred themselves?
- Are you currently listening to everyone that you’ve ever mocked testify against you in a nonsensical court case?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are trapped in a series finale. Please remain calm. Panic is a sure-fire way to end up on a “Worst Series Finales Of All Time” list, and do you really want the best and most thrilling years of your life to be remembered for that one time right at the end when you did something completely out of character? Of course not. So take a breath, relax, and prepare yourself for the end.
Say your goodbyes
Remember, if you’re already in the finale, it’s too late to make any sort of meaningful preparation for the end. By this point all of your big character growth moments have come and gone. All you have left now are the long goodbyes, epic showdowns, and final twists.
Before taking on your climactic moment, make sure you fit in all of your important one-on-ones. Once the climax is over the credits could start rolling at any time so be sure to get all your housekeeping finished first. Not your literal housekeeping of course, tomorrow your home won’t even exist, so don’t bother spending time cleaning it.
The key to good final moments with your fellow cast members loved ones is the self-homage. Make as many references to past in-jokes and key moments as you possibly can. Just self-homage all over that sucker. If at all possible, subtly recreate a scene from the first time you met. Nothing says “look how far we’ve come” like directly referencing the series premiere.
Things to avoid
It’s scary, I know. Your entire fictional universe is about to end. But the last thing you want to do now is ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for over the last six-or-so years. Here are some things to avoid:
- The worst thing you could possibly do right now is make an incomprehensibly uncharacteristic decision. Yes, the impending end of everything you’ve ever known is enough to make anyone leap off the rails but keep your head about you! I promise, there is no reason for you to run off to the woods to become a lumberjack.
- Do not, for the love of god, end up in jail at the very end. Just don’t do it.
- Death at this point is pretty much inevitable. But there’s no reason for every single person to die. Make good choices.
- Have you spent your entire time being alive talking about a significant other that you will eventually meet and start a family with? Try not to shit all over that.
Yes, the end has truly arrived. But, who knows? Maybe one of your friends will be lucky enough to get a spin-off that you can visit if their ratings are starting to dip. Or perhaps there will be enough of an outcry from your fans that you’ll even get a movie. Probably not, though. No, it’s much more likely that you’ll have your final showdown with your big obstacle (whether it be an inner or literal demon), the music will swell, the credits will roll, and your whole world will suddenly blink out of existence. At this point, all you can do is hope that you’ll get some sort of satisfying conclusion instead of everything suddenly ending mid sent–