Cliffhangers aren't just for finales.
Recent shows as different as “24” and The Collected Works of Shonda Rhimes have proven that if you drop a cliffhanger on a weekly basis, audiences will keep coming back, while soap operas have been doing almost daily cliffhangers for decades.
But the season-ending cliffhanger is a particular creature. Producers know that they have to drop narrative bombs big enough to carry audiences across not just a couple weeks, but several months of anticipation and speculation.
There's a reason why “Who shot J.R.?” and “Is Buffy Dead?” and “Wait, that was a Flash-Forward?” are questions that instantly bring back memories of both the finales in question, but also the months of pondering and waiting.
With so many of our favorite shows signing off for the season, we put our heads together to list some of our favorite season-ending cliffhangers and pay tribute to them.
OBVIOUSLY there are spoilers here, but mostly just for older shows and we didn't spoil how most of the finales resolved.
Check out our list and chime in with some of your favorites!