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Week In Review: Finales, Come They Will

The first week free from college....
Only for a few more weeks until one of my summer classes starts up.

I have totally done this!
Credit: Anne of Green Gables 
When my advisor told me I should take summer classes to fulfill the last two requirements for my psychology minor, I was all for it.  Relieved, even, that I could do so online.  But now that it's sunken in that I'm wasting a summer on schoolwork....Nope. 

Currently Reading: Umm...nothing much this week.  I've still been too busy.

Current Projects: I came up with some short story, novelette, and poem ideas for various projects that I only have inklings of plans for, and I came up with some fresh continuity choices for my two main series.

Current Bible Verse: Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice (alt: laugh) in the time to come.  (Proverbs 31:25, NKJV).  

And a special verse for all the college and upcoming high school grads out there: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV).  Congratulations on your hard work and best of luck for your future!  (If any of you guys are graduating this year?)    

And it's season-finale-season.  The time when absolutely nothing is on TV and I have to be a productive human being (or just binge-watch whole seasons...) Not to mention, apparently this time around, it seems like "death and disappointment" is the theme for everyone's finales?  Wow.
Credit: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 // Tumblr
However, I think dissecting the finales for their storytelling impact is a great idea.  So if you watch NCIS, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or The Blacklist and haven't seen the finales yet, don't read any further.

In the episode-before-the-finale, NCIS took away two fantastic characters: Abby Scuito and Clayton Reeves.  The latter was killed protecting the former, but only after developing his character.  Reeves was a suave, albeit minor, character until a few episodes ago, when they expanded his character and gave him a background.  Real sob-story; he lost his mother and ended up homeless with his sister, and planned to open up a homeless shelter in honor of his mother.  When he died protecting Abby, she chose to accompany his body back to London, then finish the work he'd begun with building a shelter...this time in his honor too. The episode was so very impactful because, not only because a character who starred in the show for the past fifteen seasons was leaving, but also because of the selfless acts of Reeves paired with his saddening background.
Tip: give your characters backgrounds; give the readers time to love them before you do something horrible to them.

In the season finale of The Blacklist, a shattering plot twist came about: the man claiming to be the main character's a dangerous impersonator (Raymond Reddington).  Not only that, but it was revealed that many of the deaths of people close to Liz (the main character) were a result of this secret.  This was very artfully orchestrated throughout the entire series: everyone thought the big secret about the impersonator's identity was his relation to Liz.  As it turns out, the big secret is that he isn't Raymond Reddington at all.
Tip: purposefully mislead your readers with simple ambiguity.  Bonus points if you rip their hearts out along the way, I guess...and to top that off, make sure you bring back a beloved character only for a dream sequence or a "I wish you were here" scene...

And finally, in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the whole team is given the task of ensuring that the world....doesn't blow to pieces.  (It's sci-fi.)  Choices had to be made including the worth of life: should the team save their leader's life and fulfill a prophecy about the apocalypse, or should the team let him die and change time itself?  Honestly, it makes a lot more sense if you've watched the show.  But anyway, the leader -- Agent Coulson -- ended up making the decision for the team, choosing to die slowly and leave his beloved and his team, one practically being an adopted daughter.  They ended the episode tastefully: he visits Tahiti, which watchers of the show recognized as a place that had reoccurring themes in the series.  Finally, with the altering of time came the altering of some lives: the star-crossed lovers and newlyweds, Agents Fitz and Simmons, end up separated.  Their motto throughout the series?  "I'm never leaving your side."  It's natural that they are split up during a mission and Fitz ends up dying without her by his side.
Tip: Rip your readers' hearts out and stomp on them by killing all of their OTPs at once  Build your characters into a lovable team.  Give them difficult choices that will divide them to show that family is stronger than arguments.  Give them devastation and leave a small window of hope that time itself can be changed once again.

Welcome to the 4077 • Posts Tagged ‘Charles Emerson Winchester III’
Credit: M*A*S*H 
Any thoughts on TV finales and what writers can learn from them?  How did your week go?  Sound off in the comments! 

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