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What's next? 9 of TV's most jaw-dropping cliffhangers

Unless you’re binge-watching a series, the endless months between season finale and season premiere can be positively brutal—especially when you’re left with a game-changing mystery or a shocking revelation.

It’s finale season. Appropriately, the EW Community would like to share with you some of our all-time favorite season finale cliffhangers. Let’s go!

Alias, The Telling

Alias, Season 2, Episode 22, “The Telling”

“You’ve been missing for two years.”

After killing Francie’s impostor, Allison, in one of the BEST fights I’ve ever seen on TV, Sydney (Jennifer Garner) wakes up in Hong Kong, disoriented and alone. She finds her way back to the CIA and Vaughn, only to find out it’s not been a few hours since she killed Allison … it’s been two whole years. When the reality of the situation hits—everyone she loved assumed she was dead, a heartbreaking pause on Sydney and Vaughn’s just-started love story, the mystery of “What in the world HAPPENED?”—it’s beyond tragic. Until you hear those words and realize Vaughn is wearing a new, very visible wedding band … then the whole thing becomes catastrophically devastating. Brandi McCormick

Gilmore Girls, A House is Not a Home

Gilmore Girls, Season 5, Episode 22, “A House Is Not a Home”

In the weeks leading up to the season five finale of Gilmore Girls, there were some pretty good indications that Rory’s college career was starting to run off the rails. But in a show rooted so deeply in getting Rory to college so that she could become the next Christiane Amanpour, it was pretty surprising to find out that Rory would be leaving Yale to reorganize her life with her grandparents.

It was the first time Lorelai and Rory had really fallen away from one another, but even in the most troubling of circumstances, fans could have never called what happened next: After storming into Luke’s and sending him into a spiral with the news of Rory dropping out of Yale, Lorelai ends the entire season with five shocking words: “Luke, will you marry me?” —Justin Kirkland

The Change in the Game

Bones, Season 6, Episode 23, “The Change in the Game”

The tail end of Bones’ sixth season was bittersweet. Favorite squintern Vincent-Nigel Murray was killed in the penultimate episode (leading Booth and Brennan to comfort each other in the aftermath). But in the finale, Hodgins and Angela welcome their healthy baby boy. As Booth and Brennan leave the hospital together, Brennan seems preoccupied. Booth talks about how babies are a good thing, and Brennan drops a bombshell: “I’m pregnant. You’re the father.” Booth smiles, Adele is singing “Make You Feel My Love,” and fans spend the summer wondering when on earth B&B finally sealed the deal. Samantha Swank

Breaking Bad, Season 5 (Part One), Episode 8, “Gliding Over All”

For four and a half seasons, Breaking Bad fans waited for Hank to discover what was right in front of him the whole time: his meth-cooking nemesis, Heisenberg, was actually his brother-in-law, Walt. There were several near-misses throughout the series, moments where it seemed inevitable that Hank would put it all together, only to be blinded by his love for his family.

As the first half of the final season came to a close, though, Hank stumbled across evidence that he couldn’t miss. Seeing the familiar inscription to “W.W” finally put everything into focus for Hank. The season ended with the audience realizing that Hank now knew Walt’s secret. Now what??? Tamar Barbash

Dallas, Who Shot JR?

Dallas, Season 3, Episode 25, “A House Divided”

There are cliffhangers, and then there’s “Who Shot J.R.?” J.R. Ewing was a polarizing and ruthless character, epitomizing the “me” decade of the 1980s. Try to think of another cliffhanger that was quoted in presidential elections, earned the show lead a 200 percent raise, and incited a marketing frenzy. Eight months later, approximately 76 percent of U.S. viewers turned in to find out the answer: his sister-in-law, Kristin Shepard, did it. As for her fate, check out the fourth season finale! —Karen Belgrad

Dexter, Season 4, Episode 12, “The Getaway”

Dexter walks into the bathroom to find his infant son, Harrison, sitting in a puddle of his wife’s blood. The Trinity Killer murdered Rita just before Dexter killed Trinity. It left us with so many questions: Would Dexter be prosecuted for his wife’s murder? Would baby Harrison turn into a Dexter-esque killer? Was this proof that Dexter could never truly live a normal life?

More than that, we wondered where the next season would start: Would they fast-forward a few months? Years? The writers took a risk and started the next season the same night Dexter makes the discovery … which was just the start of the downward spiral for a once great show that turned into a treadmill-memed trainwreck. Morissa Schwartz

Lost, Through the Looking Glass

Lost, Season 3, Episodes 22 and 23, “Through the Looking Glass”

The season three finale has plenty to make this one of Lost‘s best episodes, even without the shocking final four minutes: a bloody battle of Survivors versus the Others, Rousseau meeting her long-lost daughter, and the death of fan-favorite Charlie, who heroically saves Desmond and passes along a crucial piece of information—NOT PENNY’S BOAT—before drowning.

But the scene that blew everyone’s mind is when we slowly realize that the heavily bearded Jack’s flashbacks—in which he’s addicted to alcohol and Oxycodone and hell-bent on destroying his career and ending his life—are actually flash-forwards, and our story’s hero is himself utterly lost. “We have to go back, Kate!” he pleads. Of course, how they returned to L.A. from the island is a mystery left for season four. Wendy Hathaway

Scandal, Season 2, Episode 22, “White Hats Back On”

Season two of Scandal is probably its best, and the finale was the perfect ending. In the second half of the season, there was one question on everyone’s mind: Who is the leader of B613, and what’s his interest in Olivia? The finale already had one big cliffhanger, when Olivia was swarmed outside her apartment by reporters asking if she was indeed having an affair with the president. Shonda Rhimes took it a step further, however, by having the head of B613 rescue Olivia himself. The episode ended on Olivia asking one simple question: “Dad?”

People everywhere spilled their wine and dropped their popcorn. “He’s her father?” screamed fans. “We have to wait how long until next season?” Now that’s what you call a cliffhanger. Zakiya Jamal

Being Human Ruh-Roh

Being Human (U.S.), Season 3, Episode 13, “Ruh-Roh”

Season three of Being Human proved to be the show’s strongest, introducing new characters and storylines that spiraled into the finale. As Aidan dealt with abandoning his vampire son, a woman with a remarkable resemblance to his long-dead wife stepped out of a cab. Sally was dragged into a strange underworld by witch/foe Donna. Josh, having been turned into a werewolf again, prepared for his first re-turn with wife Nora. But when sunrise came, he was stuck in his predator form. These anxiety-ridden cliffhangers set up the stories that would become part of Being Human‘s ambitious, bittersweet final season. —Erin Resnick

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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