Analysis

Star Trek Series Finales From Worst to Best

The Enterprise viewscreen showing two other Enterprises.

Endings are hard, especially endings for a long-running series. A lot of expectations get built up along the way, and how well you meet those expectations will determine whether audiences remember your story fondly or are just glad it’s over. Classic Star Trek varies wildly … read more »

The Good and Bad Climaxes From Marvel’s Phase Two

A helicarrier rising up next to a flying city.

I won’t sugarcoat it: going through the MCU’s phase-one climaxes was a real slog. The action and quips might be top notch, but the climaxes are limited to nonsense deductions and meaningless sacrifices. Fortunately, there are way more of these movies to look at. Specifically, … read more »

Five Stories With Anticlimactic Endings

Kvothe looking at a city far off in the distance.

The meaning of “anticlimactic” is refreshingly simple: the climax is a disappointment. We might call a story anticlimactic if the main villain is defeated too easily, if a major story arc just disappears without explanation, or if the throughline isn’t properly resolved. The story’s climax … read more »

The Nine Star Wars Movie Climaxes, Compared

Being a blockbuster juggernaut, Star Wars is where a lot of storytellers get their inspiration. Lots of writers want to emulate the trench run’s intense excitement or the emotional pathos of Luke confronting Kylo Ren on the salt planes of Crait. As such, today we’ll … read more »

Five Cool Storylines That Went Nowhere

Cordelia and Angel

We’ve all had the experience of reading a book or watching a show only for our favorite storyline to disappear without any resolution. Crafting a compelling plot requires an intriguing hook, strong stakes, and exciting conflict, so it’s weird when storytellers throw all that work in … read more »