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  1. #1
    nsfw pilcrow's Avatar
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    How much does an episode's ending affect your overall opinion of it?

    Donnie Fatso got extremely negative reviews, with almost every review citing the fourth act Fit-Fat Tony plot twist as the reason behind their low rating.
    Sorry to put you on the spot, but Financial Panther's infamous hate for Lisa the Iconoclast seems to be centered around the ending more than anything else.
    "It was all a dream" cop-out endings (rightfully) get criticized on here.

    Conversely, a lot of the praise for Mother Simpson comes from its ending.
    Likewise for And Maggie Makes Three, Lisa's First Word, Lisa on Ice, and so on.

    When an ending sucks, it's not enough to lower my opinion of the episode too much. The episodes I truly hate are almost always bad from start to finish. I think Donnie Fatso is actually really good up until the introduction of Fit Tony, so I don't hate it nearly as much as a lot of people on here. I despise "it was all a dream" cop-out endings (especially when they are done unironically), so those lower my opinions of episodes a fair amount. Those suck even more when the writers realize that because it's a dream, they can go crazy with the plot. Nightmare Cafeteria suffers from this a little, but the ending is done ironically, the rest of it is great, and Treehouse of Horrors aren't supposed to be canon anyway, so I don't dislike it at all. While I do praise Mother Simpson for its beautiful ending, the rest of it is nearly flawless as well, which is why it's my favorite episode.

  2. #2
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    @pkkao do you like lisa the iconoclast, and by extension, the ending?

  3. #3


    A great ending is definitely important -- but it's not enough to save a bad episode, and a bad ending doesn't sink a good one.

    For instance, I've always felt that the ending of Last Exit to Springfield was pretty dumb (even though it's intentionally dumb), but I still agree with the consensus that it's one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- episode of all time. Likewise, the ending for Cape Feare isn't my cup of tea, but I couldn't care less, since that episode is hilarious. On the other hand, the lovely epilogue of The Man Who Grew Too Much doesn't do much for an otherwise so-so episode.

  4. #4
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    i think the great money caper is an excellent episode, that some people i feel don't like solely because of the cop-out ending

  5. #5
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    A proper resolution is important, but not having one wouldn't completely ruin an episode for me. An entire act might, though, if it is bad enough (such as Donnie Fatso and The Scorpion's Tale. On the other hand, if the rest of those episodes was really good, it might not ruin it as much as it does).

    If it is just a single scene (for example, Mother Simpson, Lisa's First Word, etc) then it wouldn't normally affect my opinion on the episode at all (the same goes for episodes than end on scenes I don't like, but none is coming to mind at the moment). That is, unless those scenes are actually a part of the plot resolution (for example, The Great Money Caper), in which case it would affect my opinion of an episode (not very much, though, as I said above).

  6. #6
    nsfw pilcrow's Avatar
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    I like Lisa the Iconoclast. The Simpsons were never one to use perfect happy endings (Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy, for one), and Lisa the Iconoclast is a good example of that.

  7. #7
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkkao View Post
    I like Lisa the Iconoclast. The Simpsons were never one to use perfect happy endings (Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy, for one), and Lisa the Iconoclast is a good example of that.
    For me, the problem with the ending to Lisa the Iconoclast was that it was TOO happy due to the horrible truth being hidden from the town.


  8. #8
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    par for the course d'ohmer

  9. #9
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    About Donnie Fatso, I don't hate it just because of the ending. I thought the episode was terrible right from the beginning. It had terrible jokes, the plot was very poorly-executed and the way they killed off Fat Tony was just depressing and not in a good way. The ending just made that episode even worse than it already was.

    Anyways I don't let an ending affect my opinion too much as long as the rest of the episode was good. I was loving The Frying Game until it was revealed that the whole thing was a reality show. I didn't really hate the ending, but it felt like a cop-out and I think the episode would've been perfect if it wasn't for that ending. I love Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore, but I didn't like how it ended with Isabel Sanford saying how sappy the ending was and then I think she did a weird dance or something. Seriously! The episode could've ended with Lisa and Bart hugging and then the credits roll, but instead they had to kill the moment, but I didn't take away points from the episode just for that because it's really short and the ending was more weird than insulting. I loved Mona Leaves-a during the first two acts, but when the James Bond plot started it did do some damage to the episode and the song at the end sounded way too happy. It's still a very good episode, but it could've been great if it wasn't for that James Bond third act.

    I do think every episode should have a good ending, but if a good episode has a not-so-good ending then I don't let it bother me too much.
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  10. #10
    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    Like you, it can affect a bit, but not too much and I can't think of any episodes that are "ruined" or "saved" by endings. They just enhance the episode (or detract from it).

    "We're on the Road to D'ohwere" for example is an entertaining funny episode, despite its wacky unresolved ending. Doesn't bother me. I'm not a huge fan of the ending of "The Great Money Caper", but the rest of the episode is good (in my opinion) and the sub-par ending doesn't ruin it for me.

    Obviously episodes like "And Maggie Makes Three" are known for their endings, but the rest of the episode is good too!
    "Your tears say more than real evidence ever could."

  11. #11
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    I think an ending can ruin an episode more easily than it can save it. I hate Separate Vocations and Lisa the Simpson because of their endings alone. However, a good ending can still improve an episode, just not to the extent that a bad ending can ruin one.


  12. #12
    nsfw pilcrow's Avatar
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    Oh, Mona Leaves-a is a good example. I ranked it as mediocre for the late Jean era because it actually had a lot of good things going for it, despite that out-of-place James Bond parody.

  13. #13
    Executive Vice President Financial Panther's Avatar
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    I feel that the ending is one of the most important parts of the episode. It's the last part of the episode you see, so it's often what one remembers most immediately after the episode, and it can greatly affect how I see an episode. Separate Vocations is a pretty funny episode, but I just can't get over the ending. Plus, there is nothing after it to make up for it. If the beginning is poor, there is the rest of the episode that can make me forget about it. But if the ending is bad, it's ingrained in my head because nothing later in the episode can fix it.
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  14. #14
    withered gas station rose Bart's treehouse's Avatar
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    The only endings in the classic era i don't really like are Homer's Night Out and When Flander's Failed. Neither really damage the episode too much. Homer's Night Out will always be trash and When Flander's Failed will always be an average episode. The surprising thing here is that Dohmer and FP still misinterpret the endings of the two of the show's best episodes(Iconoclast/Vocations). I guess once you've dug deep enough it'd be hard to admit you're wrong.


  15. #15
    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    Yeah, I still don't see what's wrong with "Vocations", but not really in the mood for an argument right now.

    I guess if an episode depends on an ending, then that episode can be ruined by it. "Lisa the Iconoclast" is one that hinges on the ending; throughout the episode, you want to see if the truth is going to be revealed. So the writers made the wrong choice, according to many.

  16. #16
    nsfw pilcrow's Avatar
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    The question now is, if you think the writers made the wrong choice, how much does that affect the overall episode? The ending is a big part of that episode, but I don't think it's enough to warrant a massive grade drop.

  17. #17
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    i think if they made the wrong choice, it would greatly reduce the grade of the episode, because if the whole message is supposed to be taken in stride in the ending, and it's done wrong, then it doesn't work

     unfortunately lisa the iconoclast and separate vocations are both fantastic episodes with equally fantastic endings 

  18. #18
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    How else were they supposed to end Separate Vocations? This isn't some show where everything is always perfect and there is a nice little moral to each episode. Sometimes its value comes from being realistic. Lisa is flawed just like anyone else, and if she sees an opportunity to weasel out of something she did that would surely impact her future in a bad way, why wouldn't she take it? The reason I love that episode in the first place is that it does a completely flawless job of showing Lisa's faults. As for Lisa the Iconoclast, Lisa had been pestering people about the fact that someone they all looked up to was a fraud, and she knew that she was getting on people's nerves. I realize that in later seasons she can be irritatingly assertive, but she used to possess some timidity. After realizing what Jebediah Springfield really means to her town, in addition to the fact that she is standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people about to say something that is going to piss them all off, it probably makes more sense for her to decide not to say it. That is my interpretation of these episodes, anyway.




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