(Spoiler warning for the season finale of Traveler. I know most people have either seen it or don't care, but it wouldn't be fair to not stick this in.)
Okay, I don't know if anyone but me followed Traveler with an obsession that bordered on scary fangirlism, but if you've seen it, hopefully you agree that it was a fantastic show. The premise is that two guys are framed for a terrorist bombing by their housemate, Will Traveler. Through the eight--just eight--episodes, the two mains, Tyler and Jay, have run all across New England, visiting Tyler's father, evading a number of people (including FBI) who have tried to kill them, and looking for evidence that Will Traveler was really behind it--and, for that matter, exists at all.
The conspiracy behind the bombing runs incredibly deep. Higher-ups in the government are involved. Only one FBI agent, Jan Marlow, seems interested in discovering the truth, and her boss is getting angrier and angrier with her all the time.
Fast forward to the last episode. Kim, Jay's girlfriend, is in FBI custody; Will has met up with Tyler and Jay, helped them out of a tight spot, and kind of gotten them to trust him. We know the head of Homeland Security, Freed, was in on the bombing, that he actually ordered it; we know there are several dangerous members of the gang behind it are on the loose, not the least of whom is Will, but at least he's not interested in terrorism anymore.
This is the last episode. As far as we know, there won't be a season two. This is it.
It ends with Kim in immediate danger, Marlow having just found out her boss ordered her murder, and Will, Tyler, and Jay getting ready to turn in Freed so that they can get their lives back, because they're dangerous fugitives that no one's too fussed about keeping alive.
Freed makes one last plea: set me free and you find out the truth about everything, he says. Make that phone call and the truth stays with me.
They look at each other, tempted, but eventually get out of the car and cross the street for the pay phone.
At which point Freed blows up the car, with him in it. The leads' only chance at a clean record, totally obliterated.
What kind of crap ending is that?!
I hate cliffhangers. Hate them. They're not quite Devices Moste Foul when I know there's a second (or, more commonly, third) book coming, but I still resent the author for pulling them on me. I hated having to read The Lady and the Tiger, and I knew it was coming. In this case, when the series was too short anyway and I was already going to have issues with it ending, when there's no next episode, no next season in sight...I'm sorry, but that's just cheap. Seriously, what does that accomplish? Would someone care to enlighten me on this? What is it? Shock value? Artsy "open-endedness"?
GAH. I want closure!