Back in the day, television shows ran from September through May. Occasionally, there were reruns, but we watched until the season finale. Now, over the last couple of years, network executives have come up with the idea of the midseason finale, which is meant to keep you hooked until your show returns.
Is this effective? It depends on the show. Here’s my look at some of the midseason finales for shows that I watch.
First up is The Vampire Diaries. In the midseason finale, Stefan saved Elena from Wes’s clutches. However, they didn’t kill him, which makes absolutely no sense to me. Wes was torturing vampires and almost turned Elena into a crazed vampire who would have thirsted for vampire blood. The only plausible reason for keeping Wes alive is so the writers can continue to torture us with the Augustine storyline during the second half of the season.
Damon also went down the self-destructive road again and broke up with Elena because, of course, no one could possibly love Damon. Maybe I would have cared if I could see Damon and Elena together. But it’s obvious Elena belongs with Stefan.
It also appears that we will say goodbye to Katherine in the 100th episode. I don’t believe it. There’s still the traveler’s spell so I believe Katherine will live on in someone else.
Was this midseason finale enough to bring me back in January? If I were a new fan of the show, probably not. I’ll be watching in January simply because I’ve watched the last four seasons.
Reign left us with many questions. At the end, Mary rode off with Sebastian because of Nostradamus’s vision. Was Nostradamus right or did he incorrectly interpret his vision? After all, while he saw that one of Mary’s friends would die, he didn’t see that it was Clarissa who would kill Aylee. Even though he said that Mary would be the death of Francis, could his vision have meant Francis would die if Mary left?
Now that Mary took off with Sebastian, will they end up together? They did kiss and Mary didn’t seem completely opposed to the idea of Sebastian, even though she claims she loves Francis.
The Queen successfully got Mary out of the picture for now. The Queen will definitely be up to no good during the second half of the season as she sets her sights on getting rid of Kenna. She failed at poisoning Kenna during the midseason finale. What will the Queen do next?
Was this enough to bring me back in January? Yes. I’ve been hooked on Mary and Francis’s love story from the beginning. They keep me coming back week after week. I can’t wait to see if they get back together during the second half of the season.
Now we get to my favorite midseason finales.
Arrow ended with Barry Allen being turned into The Flash. We also saw that Oliver’s friend from the island, Slade, is still alive and is Season 2’s villain. As if that wasn’t exciting enough for one episode, Roy Harper was injected with the serum that either kills its subjects or makes them super strong. It appears Roy will be super strong, setting him up as Oliver’s sidekick. Additionally, Oliver got his mask.
What does this mean for the second half of the season? I think it’s a great set up. Oliver will face his friend in what I’m sure will be an epic fight. Barry Allen’s role is left open. Will The Flash have a role in Arrow or have we seen the last of him?
Of course, we can’t forget that Malcolm Merlyn is alive. Oliver believes he’s dead. Will Oliver find out the truth or will that be the showdown for Season 3?
Was this enough to make me eager for Arrow’s return in January? Most definitely. This is how midseason finales should be done. I’m excited for Arrow’s return.
Once Upon a Time had me hooked from the beginning with Pan’s evil plan to unleash the curse over Storybrooke again. How could they stop the curse? Well, in the first five minutes of this show, Pan’s shadow was destroyed, Tinkerbell’s wings were restored, and the Blue Fairy came back from the dead. Then they had to return Henry to his body, which Rumpelstiltskin took care of in hopes of killing his father, Peter Pan. Only, Rumpelstiltskin discovered that to kill Peter Pan, he would have to sacrifice his own life, which he did in the most shocking moment of the show. I was glad to see Pan go because I was over Pan a few episodes ago, but I was sad to see Rumpelstiltskin go.
Finally, to save everyone from the curse, Regina had to say goodbye to Henry. That was Regina’s price to pay. The curse required everyone to go back to where they came from, except Emma who had to stay behind to take care of Henry because he was born in the real world and couldn’t go back with everyone else. Because of the curse, Storybrooke was destroyed and Emma’s memories were wiped clean. Regina gave Emma fake memories so that Emma and Henry would believe that they had always been together.
In one last surprise, the show jumped ahead one year with Emma and Henry living in New York. Hook showed up at their door and told Emma that her family was in danger. Emma didn’t remember him and thought he was just some crazy guy. How did Hook get back to the real world? I hope that’s answered when the show returns because, according to Regina, no one would be able to return.
Will I be watching when Once Upon a Time returns in March? Yes. Again, this is a great example of how a midseason finale should be done. There were surprises along the way and a great set up for the second half of the season.
So do I like midseason finales? Yes. I think they can be exciting if done well. It beats going through the entire season with intermittent reruns until you get to the exciting episodes in May.
What was your favorite midseason final?
One thought on “Are Midseason Finales Effective?”
I agree with everything you said. For me, Once upon a time keeps my interest going and cannot wait for the next season to begin. The writers are very clever at adding fairytale characters and making the plot work. It’s never boring! Another show that does this very well is Sleepy Hollow. It just keeps getting better and better. These two shows have it all, mystery, drama, fantasy and suspense. I have watched Reign, but, since I know English history, it just doesn’t keep to the true facts. It, at times, is boring for me! As for Arrow, it’s a good show, too, but, I do think that Once upon a time and Sleepy Hollow are better.