Episode 19: Endings – good, bad and terrible

This episode is all about endings. We contemplate finishing moves – what makes good endings, and why are so many ending so very bad.

We discuss our favourite endings, and why they work for us. And then look at the bad – and the terrible – to work out why they fail to engage with audiences.

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.


  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:41 – Start at the End
  • 3:28 – What makes a good ending?
  • 36:08 – Every bad ending is bad in it’s own way
  • 54:35 – Sequels and serials
  • 1:17:06 – Final thoughts
  • 1:25:03 – Wrap up & Outro

Books we discuss

  • Cixin, Liu. The Three Body Problem
  • Cixin, Liu. The Dark Forest
  • Cixin, Liu. Death’s End
  • Haldeman, Joe. Forever Free
  • Heyer, Georgette. Envious Casca
  • Heyer, Georgette. Behold Here’s Poison
  • Heyer, Georgette. Unknown Ajax
  • Heyer, Georgette. Venetia
  • Hughart, Barry. The Bridge of Birds
  • Rothfuss, Patrick. The Kingkiller Chronicles.
  • Stephenson, Neil. Snowcrash
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings

The very best endings only partially offer closure and leave you with a lingering desire to remain in the world of the story, but no ability to do so.


Movies & TV shows we discuss

  • Alien
  • Aliens
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • The Big Sleep
  • Breaking Bad
  • Casablanca
  • Dallas
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Enemy
  • Evangelion
  • Fight Club
  • Game of Thrones (tv)
  • Hero
  • Inception
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Jessica Jones
  • The Last Jedi
  • Mad Men
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Orphan Black
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • Rogue One
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Star Wars
  • The Usual Suspects

Games we discuss

  • Knights of the Old Republic
  • Knights of the Old Republic 2
  • Jade Empire
  • Mass Effect
  • Monkey Island 2

Other Resources

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