As the writers of Game of Thrones know all too well, it's difficult to write a final episode that satisfies everyone. It's especially difficult in an age of instant reaction on social media and endless fan theorising. The response to Line of Duty's finale was similarly hostile. The question of H's identity had become such a big deal in the popular imagination that their eventual reveal was felt to be a damp squib, despite it staying true to the series' original themes. Endings are always disappointing, it's why Larry David spent a whole season of Curb Your Enthusiasm trying to address criticisms of the Seinfeld finale.
It's one thing to disappoint an audience, but it's quite another to throw narrative curve balls that catch viewers completely off-guard. Sometimes this is the result of a last-minute cancellation, like when Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd discovered they were characters in a TV show called Moonlight. Other times a weird ending is an indulgence on the part of the writer, like when Chuck Lorre dropped a piano on Charlie Sheen.
This list collects ten of the weirdest endings for much-loved TV series from the US and the UK that delighted, flummoxed, and horrified viewers.
10. Riker and Troi Upstage the Crew of the Original Enterprise
Enterprise is often cited as the show that killed the Star Trek franchise. Whilst poor ratings led to its cancellation, it's more likely that the burgeoning "Abrams-Trek" universe made commissioning new TV series' more complicated. Whatever the truth, 2005's finale was the last Star Trek episode to air on TV for twelve years. Due to a strange decision by writers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, it was received poorly.
In a well-meaning but ultimately misguided attempt to lovingly bring the franchise full-circle, they decided to write the finale as a "lost" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. To help him make an important decision, Will Riker seeks inspiration from a simulation of Captain Archer's final mission.
The episode disappointed fans and irritated members of the cast, including the ship's Captain. "It was the only time Scott Bakula was mean to me" Braga later told a convention audience. It's not hard to see why everyone was frustrated. After spending four years with the crew, we say goodbye to their holographic echoes rather than the characters themselves, whilst simultaneously being reminded of a superior Star Trek show!