For those who have devoted countless hours of their lives to a long-running TV saga, the final episode is always likely to be a somewhat regretful affair.
But some endings are more disappointing than others. And they can leave the audience feeling angry and short-changed.
We asked members of our TV Facebook discussion group Screen Babble to share the most crushing small screen conclusions they've suffered through.
What followed was a litany of let-downs.
Lost the clear 'winner'
Of all the shows held up as shining examples of how not to end a beloved television drama, island thriller Lost stands out as the one viewers most love to hate.
Steve Wilkins describes its finale as "an utter cop out", while Simon Scott feels it was "one of the biggest anti-climaxes in TV history".
Alice Foster notes far too much was "left unexplained", especially for a show that had based so much of its initial appeal on mystery. Deb Aldred meanwhile suggests its writers "got so mixed up in the last few episodes...it just didn't make sense."
"For me it has to be Lost," adds Keely Davison. "I know people have their theories and conclusions as to what the ending was all about, but I still have absolutely no idea! Such a huge disappointment, so many unanswered questions."
For Eadie Mac, things were even simpler: " One word. Lost."
Some disappointing endings have been a sore point for viewers for a long, long time.
Gus White points mournfully to late '70s, early '80s sci-fi show Blake's 7: "As a 10 year old it was the first ever shock ending I'd ever experienced... It hits you hard at that age..."
Chris Swann meanwhile has his own childhood hang-up: "As a kid I remember a sci fi show called Space Precinct. It was cops in space...only had one season but ended on a cliffhanger. I still want to know what happened next 28 years later."
The cast of Firefly (Photo: Fox)
As for Howard Aitchison, he echoes the feelings of many Joss Whedon enthusiasts with his lamenting of a prematurely cast show.
"Firefly. It should never have been cancelled so early."
Gutting, frustrating and just plain bizarre
With some shows, it was the nature of the climax rather than its execution that hurt.
Steven Chisholm feels Life on Mars fits that bill "not because it was bad, but because I was genuinely sad at the outcome."
Similarly, Jo Mawer Donaldson sums up Six Feet Under's finale as "not so much disappointing as gutting".
Other programmes, however, have utterly baffled long-time devotees at the end.
In the case of the new Battlestar Galactica, Grant Cruickshank suggests "the scriptwriters were making it up as they went.
"Those last few episodes rank among the worst, most frustrating things I've ever watched. They couldn't even keep characters consistent. At its height it eclipsed the old series. That just made its eventual fall into disgrace all the sharper and harder to bear."
Twin Peaks: The Return came to a stunningly ambiguous finale (Photo: Showtime)
Other shows that ended in weird ignominy, according to Screen Babble members, were Dexter ("a bizarre last series in general - but the final episode was just daft", according to Paul Eyles) and Twin Peaks: The Return ("even by David Lynch’s standards it left my brain fried", says Lauren MacAskill).
Is disappointment inevitable?
As Ben Garnham puts it: "I find that most people are disappointed their favourite show is over, so naturally just don’t like the ending of it."
More disappointment awaits
Recent shows certainly haven't been free from angry finale reactions.
Mark Dunford feels The Replacement on the BBC wrapped up in poor fashion last year (we agreed).
"[The] first two episodes set it up perfectly, but the final episode was a complete mess."
Elsewhere Lois McGilligan aims a jab at Channel 4's recent drama Kiri ("nothing resolved") - and the truth is there are still likely to be many let-downs to come.
Can they possibly get this right? (Photo: HBO)
Stuart Chandler's take on Doctor Who is sobering: "I've got a nasty feeling that I'll be long departed before it actually finishes in a definitive way... I've said before that my epitaph will be, 'So what happened in the end...?'"
And it seems one fantasy show could provide the mother of all disappointments, as well as dragons.
"Ask the question again after the final episode of Game of Thrones," suggests Karen Dunn.
• Join the discussion now on Screen Babble, the TV chat group on Facebook.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, iNews.