2022’s Shows That Ended On Their Own Terms

Spoilers

Let’s admit it; saying goodbye is hard.

But it’s even worse when you don’t get an ending that offers closure for characters you’ve come to know.

Sadly, we said goodbye to plenty of shows in 2022, and many didn’t get the chance to have a proper series finale.

But there is good news, and the TV Fanatic staff has rounded up the shows that ended with a conclusive series finale.

Check out our thoughts below.

Animal Kingdom (TNT) 

Whether you loved it or loathed it, Animal Kingdom went out the same way the Cody boys lived their lives: on its own terms.

The final season delivered some incredible performances from the cast as the season revealed the original sin that changed everything.

While it’s still debated whether or not it was the perfect ending for this series, the finality of it and the intent to wrap up the journey in an authentic way is abundantly clear.

It’s not a show we’ll soon forget.

Better Things (FX)

Better things was one of the best shows on TV for five seasons.

It was less than 30 minutes of joy, heartache, comedy, and drama following three generations of women who spoke their minds and opened their hearts.

Not one of the women depended on a man for their self-worth, and the finale even found Sam (Pamela Adlon) joking about a marriage she didn’t need and would never happen.

The Fox women needed only each other, and all the love they could muster, which was more than most of us will ever have.

Killing Eve (BBC America)

Killing Eve dazzled us with spycraft, mysteries, and seduction for an incredible four seasons.

While the Killing Eve series finale divided many fans and ultimately wasn’t as satisfying as people wanted, the show got to end on its own terms.

The show teased the lack of happy endings throughout the entirety of its run and then brought that to reality with a devastating major character death in the final five minutes.

Whether or not people were happy, the show certainly went out with a bang and ended the way it wanted.

Dead to Me (Netflix)

Dead to Me was a no-holds-barred look at grief through the eyes of female friendship.

The first two seasons established Jen and Judy as friends after Judy killed Jen’s husband in a hit-and-run accident.

It seemed impossible, but anyone familiar with female friendship knows those established against all odds can be the strongest and most fulfilling.

The third season toned down the wacky as the women once again found themselves on death’s doorstep, and the result was a perfect, full-circle exploration about learning from your mistakes and processing grief with grace and compassion through a once-in-a-lifetime friendship.

The Walking Dead – (AMC)

The end is just the beginning of The Walking Dead. We have at least three more spinoffs on the way that will focus on various characters we’ve already met.

The final season wasn’t as good as the two before it, but it wasn’t bad. If anything, it could have benefited from another six episodes to slow down the pace.

However, the series finale was one of the better in recent memory.

With such a big cast, it’s hard to serve all of the characters, and what we got was a nice end to a chapter that gives the sense that life will go on for everyone.

In the Dark (The CW)

One can never say that In the Dark didn’t end on its own terms. In the Dark was such an unexpected hit on The CW, growing into a massive one thanks to Netflix.

It had such a unique premise unlike anything we’ve seen, creative and original as we followed of the most complex female characters of the 21st century, Murphy Mason, down a comical and dark path into crime along with her friends, love, and trusted guide dog, Pretzel.

The series weaved a complicated web over four seasons that had everyone on the edge of their seats in anticipation of how it would end.

To the relief of devoted fans, we learned that two different endings were filmed to accommodate the cancelation. While it’s still up for debate if the ending we got was satisfying, there’s no denying they went out the same way they existed — full of surprises.

Motherland: Fort Salem: (Freeform)

Motherland: Fort Salem ran for three seasons, and Freeform gave the series an extraordinary ending.

During the final season, the Bellweather unit with Scylla and Nicte was on the run from the Camarilla.

Throughout the season, more allies merged together, including a resurrected Sarah Alder.

Aldi, Abigail, Raelle, and Scylla finally got the happy ending they deserved.

Derry Girls (Netflix)

The characters in this North Irish time capsule don’t just talk with a distinct brogue: They embody a distinct place and time.

More importantly, the preciousness of adolescence in all its beautiful disasters. 

Rather than let the teenagers age out of our interest, Derry Girls concluded its third season at the teens’ graduation with a hint that their imperfect youths are going to shape them into promising young adults and active citizens in the political sphere.

Black-ish (ABC)

The Johnsons exemplified the complexities of multigenerational family dynamics, as every member excelled within their own arena and had very different approaches to the world, but they always had each other’s back when it counted.

Over eight seasons, we saw the kids grow up, the parents evolve, and the grandparents — dare we say it? — mature. As the oldest, Zoey truly left the nest with her college life spinning off into the Freeform series Grown-ish in 2018.

As the curtain set on Grown-ish, both Andre and Bow are reevaluating their lives and choices, widening their horizons as most of their kids prepare to step out into the world on their own.

Ruby and Pops literally sailing off together is a most fitting conclusion, especially considering their history with boats. It was a finale in keeping with the show’s consistent theme of personal growth, leaning into relationships, and optimism for the future.

His Dark Materials (HBO)

With three books in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, it made sense for the series to only have three seasons, one for each novel.

His Dark Materials Season 3 had the difficult task of concluding the story in a narratively satisfying way within the eight-episode structure but still including enough of the book to keep fans happy.

Luckily, the team behind the series has done right by the books at every turn, and the ending is no different.

Major characters get proper narrative sendoffs, there are redemption arcs, character growth, magic, love, and heartbreak. We couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff.

Claws (TNT)

The engrossing dramedy was another victim of the pandemic. It was two years in between Season 3 and its final Season 4, and any buzz the show had fled during that hiatus.

Still, that unplanned break allowed creator Eliot Laurence to craft an engrossing final season, in which the manicurists of Nail Artisans of Manatee County cleverly outfoxed the criminals and the cops that had been attempting to ensnare them.

But who knows what Claws could have become without that interruption?

Wouldn’t it be great to see Niecy Nash again as mastermind Desna Sims rather than as an older but new FBI agent on The Rookie: Feds?

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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