With the recent announcement of a new Daredevil series in development and the premiere of the first episode of Ms. Marvel, it has been an eventful few weeks for Marvel fans. The first wave of MCU Disney+ shows has ended, leaving fans time to reflect on past projects and prepare for future ones.
The most anticipated episodes of every television series are arguably the pilot episodes and the finale episodes. For these Disney+ shows, sometimes the finale episodes deliver, and sometimes they don’t. Some finales perfectly tie up the series while others fall flat and the finales of the MCU’s plethora of TV shows range from brilliant to lackluster. The absence of Netflix’s Jessica Jones, The Punisher, The Defenders, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage should be noted, as they have not yet been officially made canon in the MCU.
8 What If…?
As the only non-live-action MCU Disney+ show, What If…? sometimes gets overshadowed. What If…? is in no way bad, with stunning visuals and an interesting concept, but its finale left viewers confused.
The finale of What If…? is strange, considering the show is made up of different stories about different characters; some episodes relate to others but don’t have one continuing plot line. This means the final episode arguably feels rushed and is strangely paced. The entire show and the finale in particular fails to evoke an emotional reaction from viewers, something that Marvel is usually good at. Although packed with cool visuals and plenty of high-quality jokes, it’s an unsatisfying ending to the show.
The first season of Loki was very well-received by Marvel fans, earning a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. For most, seeing Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, a deeply beloved character, get to be the lead of his own television series was a dream come true.
That being said, the season 1 finale of Loki is one of the more controversial episodes of any of the Disney+ shows, with some fans liking it and others hating it. The finale introduces a variant of Kang the Conquerer in an underwhelming manner, failing to establish him as a notable character and killing him off quickly. In addition to that, the controversial romantic interest between Loki and one of his variants, Sylvie, is set in stone, with the two kissing. Aside from the last scene of the episode, the finale of Loki fails to answer important questions. While the second season will likely answer these burning questions, a season finale should still offer closure and end the season well, instead of leaving too many open endings.
While dealing with important topics, Hawkeye is one of the more lighthearted Marvel shows. It takes place during Christmas, it has a pizza dog named Lucky in it, and the bad guys are a gang that wears tracksuits. Even though Hawkeye is a fun show and the finale is still an enjoyable episode, it misses the mark by just a little.
The main flaw in Hawkeye is its villains and how they are handled in the finale. In the fifth episode, it is revealed that the villain is Kate Bishop’s mother, Eleanor, and she is working with the infamous Kingpin. The excitement at Kingpin’s reveal is quickly diffused when in the finale, he fights Hawkeye and Kate and appears to be killed off. It is an underwhelming official MCU debut for such a pivotal character, especially one who is so well done in Netflix’s Daredevil series. The redeeming qualities of this finale are Yelena and Clint’s heart-to-heart and some cool shots of best friend duo Clint and Kate shooting down Tracksuit Mafia goons.
5 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is probably one of the shows that is the most important to the future of the MCU, second to WandaVision. The show explores real topics like systematic racism, income inequality, and the dangers of nationalism, and it also follows Sam Wilson in his journey to becoming Captain America.
Even though the finale offers inspiring moments, like Sam’s impassioned speech regarding equality, it’s predictable while somehow also introducing strange twists. The main villain, Karli Morgenthau, is killed off in a rather underwhelming manner by Sharon Carter, who makes an unprecedented reappearance. John Walker receives an unearned moment of redemption. It’s a finale that technically checks all the boxes, but it leaves viewers unsatisfied.
Daredevil is the only one of Netflix’s canceled Marvel shows that ends on a satisfying note. While the season 3 finale sets up another season that sadely never came to fruition on Netflix, it still works as a series finale. With mesmerizing and visceral fight scenes, impeccable performances from Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio, and incredibly realistic storylines from the Daredevil comics, the show is considered by many to be the best live-action Marvel show so far.
The third season of Daredevil is a strong point of the show, but the set-up of the finale and the finale itself are some of the weaker aspects of the season. The appearance of some new plot holes and the failure to address those plot holes mar the final episode, distracting viewers from the story. Even though there are some issues with the unintended series finale of Daredevil, most agree that it wraps up the show well.
3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the advantage of longevity over other MCU TV series, particularly the more recent Disney+ releases. Running for seven years, the show is able to tell complete stories in an appropriate amount of time, as opposed to being condensed into six episodes.
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale is a great one, even though the show has gone through rough patches. It ties up loose ends, offers emotional moments, and fulfills redemption storylines. The best part is a final moment of gratitude between Phil Coulson and Daisy Johnson. The seventh season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of the weaker ones, but ultimately, the finale wraps up an incredibly successful show by respecting its legacy.
The very first of the Marvel Disney+ shows, WandaVision was a bonafide hit, capturing the audience’s attention from the very first episode. With its sitcom-inspired style, beautiful cinematography, and emotional acting, the show kept viewers on their toes.
WandaVision plays with the limits of television and defies expectations. As one of the strongest Marvel shows, WandaVision also has one of the strongest finales. It ties up the story of Westview in a heartbreaking way, acting as a prequel to Wanda’s origin as a villain in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The finale hits all the most important points: a great final fight, Wanda finally becoming the Scarlet Witch, and heartbreaking goodbyes to Vision, Billy, and Tommy. The only negative thing about this finale is that it is somewhat predictable. That being said, it couldn’t have ended any other way, and that’s why the WandaVision finale is one of the best.
1 Moon Knight
Moon Knight may be the only Disney+ show that doesn’t feel rushed. It took Marvel a few tries to get the pacing of their six-episode shows exactly correct. Though fans wish they could have learned more about Harrow and Layla, as a whole, Moon Knight does an amazing job at telling a well-paced story.
The finale of Moon Knight checks all the boxes while tying up loose ends and masterfully setting up the second season. The villains, Harrow and Ammit, are defeated after a beautifully choreographed fight in which Moon Knight, Mr. Knight, and Layla all show off their impressive skills. The beauty of the finale, though, is the fact that it ends the first season essentially where it started. The first episode of the show starts with Steven in his apartment, unaware that Marc exists and unaware that Khonshu is in control of him. The last scene of the finale ends with Steven and Marc in their apartment, oblivious to the fact that Jake Lockley exists and that Khonshu is still in control. It’s a full-circle moment, and the credits scene where Jake kills Harrow for Khonshu is the perfect cliff-hanger. There are so many things to love about the finale of Moon Knight and virtually nothing to hate.
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