ByDavid Opie, writer at
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David Opie

Sense8 is no stranger to breaking the rules. From the show's innovative portrayal of sex to its miraculous comeback after just 29 days of cancellation, this Netflix original has renewed hope that there can be life after death for our favorite TV shows. While we don't know whether the upcoming Sense8 special will explore everything that the show's writers originally intended to cover in Season 3, fans are still fortunate enough to have been given a second chance. Not all viewers are as lucky, though.

Like the writhing orgies in Sense8, some things just end too soon, and that sadly includes some of our favorite TV shows. However, while we're unlikely to see programs such as Firefly and Agent Carter return to our screens anytime soon, we can still find out how each of these shows were originally supposed to end before the TV gods passed their cruel, cruel judgement.


How Firefly Ended:

After River finally took her rightful place as a member of Mal's crew at the end of Season 1, the story of Firefly continued in feature film Serenity, which did its best to tie up loose ends. During this final outing, Wash died in a particularly harrowing scene, but on the plus side, the Alliance's hold over the galaxy was loosened after everyone discovered that the evil organisation had inadvertently created the cannibalistic Reavers.

How Was Firefly Supposed To End?:

Season 2 would have Adam Baldwin's character Jayne fulfill his dream of piloting his own ship, one that would even rival the Serenity. Other main developments we would have seen include the birth of Zoe's child, another baby born from the loins of Simon and Kaylee... oh, and the unnecessary rape of Inara as she died from a terminal illness.

Yep, during an interview with io9, executive producer Tim Minear revealed that Joss Whedon pitched a rather dark episode for Season 2 that would have turned Inara into a drug-using rape victim, finally forcing Mal to stop slut-shaming her:

"She had this magic syringe. She would take this drug. And if she were, for instance, raped, the rapist would die a horrible death. The story was that she gets kidnapped by Reavers and when Mal finally got to the ship to save her from the Reavers, he gets on the Reaver ship and all the Reavers are dead. Which would suggest a kind of really bad assault. At the end of the episode, he comes in after she's been horribly brutalized, and he comes in and he gets down on his knee, and he takes her hand. And he treats her like a lady."

Fortunately, Zack Whedon's comic book sequel — Leaves In The Wind — didn't veer in this direction, instead focusing on how the events of Serenity sent the political landscape into disarray.

Freaks & Geeks

How Freaks & Geeks Ended:

In the final episode of the short-lived series, Daniel Desario started to finally become friends with the freaks after being forced to join their audio/visual club, and Lindsay turned down an academic summit so that she could follow the Grateful Dead with Kim Kelly.

How Was Freaks & Geeks Supposed To End?:

While we know what most of the breakout cast have been up to since the show ended, we're fortunate enough to also know what would have been next in store for each of their characters too — and that's all thanks to creator Paul Feig, who revealed the fate of each Freak and Geek during an interview with Vanity Fair.

  • Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) — "I just knew she’d probably end up at some point in her twenties in Greenwich Village as a performance artist, and after that she’d probably become a lawyer—a human-rights lawyer."
  • Sam Weir (John Francis Daley) — "Sam’s future was going to be drama club. I thought he’d be more on the stage crew than actually performing, just because that was kind of interesting, the guys that were keeping it together from behind the scenes".
  • Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) — "Another burning desire I had was to get Neal into swing choir... I always thought that would be a funny world for Neal to go into. We figured it could be his outlet while his parents are going through a really horrible divorce."
  • Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) — "With his mom dating Coach Fredricks, Judd and I liked the idea of Bill slowly becoming a jock—that he turned out to be good at basketball and started to get into it... Which would create an odd little rift with him and the other geeks."
  • Daniel Desario (James Franco) — "Daniel’s such a drifter. I always liked the idea that eventually Daniel would probably end up in jail... Having lost Kim, there would be a weirdness between them."
  • Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps) — "I wanted Kim Kelly to be pregnant, but it wasn’t necessarily going to be Daniel’s... So maybe it was a chance for Daniel to become a young teen father... And Kim and Lindsay—that would become a true friendship."
  • Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) — "I liked how we were kind of moving Nick towards having to go into the army, because of his badass dad... but he would be desperately trying to avoid it."
  • Ken Miller (Seth Rogen) — "Ken’s such an enigma. I think he’s the guy that just kind of hangs around town. My instinct is we would have had the most fun searching for what his life would be. We liked to surprise people with Ken’s character."
  • Millie Kentner (Sarah Hagan) — "We had actually thought about trying to turn Millie into a burnout at some point... It would have been really fun to twist where she was going."
  • Cindy Sanders (Natasha Melnick) — We ended with Cindy as such a hardcore Republican. I liked her being a weird nemesis for Sam—I would have loved seeing them run against each other for student-council president."

Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies [Credit: ABC]
Pushing Daisies [Credit: ABC]

How Pushing Daisies Ended:

Although the Season 2 finale wasn't originally intended to be the final episode of Pushing Daisies, Pushing Daisies did manage to wrap up a surprising amount of plot threads, including Penny's return to Emerson and the Aunts' trip to Europe. However, we still need to learn more about Chuck's father, and Ned's father too.

How Was Pushing Daisies Supposed To End?:

During an interview with Syfy, series creator Bryan Fuller revealed how Season 3 of Pushing Daisies would continue in comic book form:

"We've arced it out. The dangling threads from the series with Chuck's father and Ned's father and the pocket watches are all dealt with, not secondarily, but there's a whole new story that happens when there is a flash flood in the cemetery and all the bodies wash past Ned, and it's Ned versus a thousand corpses. That's the story of the comic book."

Sadly, this never came to fruition. Instead, we were just left with a 14-page story that explored a new case without answering the burning questions left over from the TV show.


How Dollhouse Ended:

Forming a sequel of sorts to the 'Epitaph One' episode from Season 1, the Dollhouse finale threw us back into a future where the imprint technology has turned the world into zombies. At the end though, everyone is "reset" and Echo returned to sleep in her chamber with Ballard's imprint, allowing them to remain together still in some form.

How Was Dollhouse Supposed To End?:

Executive producer Tim Minear explained to Assignment X that knowledge of an impending cancellation actually helped pick up the pace of Season 2 towards the end. In the last four or five episodes, the showrunners crammed in most of their ideas for Season 3, lending Dollhouse more momentum in its final moments.

However, Minear still took the chance to predict how Season 3 of Dollhouse may have developed had the show been given another chance:

"I think what you would have seen in Season Three is [a series] a lot more embracing of its mythology and turned into more of a superhero show. It would have been a little bit more like Buffy in some ways."

Following a rocky start, Dollhouse evolved into one of the smartest shows on TV and almost certainly would have grown a following beyond cult status if these parallels to Buffy had been developed.

Veronica Mars

How Veronica Mars Ended:

Although fans were finally treated to an official ending of sorts with a movie that jumped forward in time, the end of the TV show saw Veronica Mars return to outcast status at school, although there were hints that the titular detective still had feelings for her ex-boyfriend Logan.

How Was Veronica Mars Supposed To End?:

Although Veronica Mars chose law as her profession in the movie finale, creator Rob Thomas explained to Flavorwire that Season 4 would have moved out of the classroom and into a FBI training academy. While it would have been a shame to jettison the cast of Neptune High in favor of new characters, it would make far more sense for Veronica Mars to continue throwing herself into the thick of things, solving cases from the ground up.


'Hannibal' [Credit: NBC]
'Hannibal' [Credit: NBC]

How Hannibal Ended:

After chasing circles around each other for three seasons, Will and Hannibal finally embraced the darkness together, taking joy in a shared murder that spins their whole dynamic out of control. Naturally, they then decide that this would be the perfect to tumble off a cliff together.

How Was Hannibal Supposed To End?:

Speaking to Variety, show creator Bryan Fuller discussed how the post credits scene starring Gillian Anderson (Bedelia Du Maurier) intentionally hinted at a fourth season before Hannibal was tragically cut down in its prime:

"I’m always up for more Gillian Anderson, as much as I can get, however I can get it, so we absolutely would’ve seen what happened before and after that stinger in season four."

Along with a detailed explanation of the final moments from the Season 3 finale, Fuller also revealed how the promise that Hannibal made to Alana would play a key role in Season 4:

"It certainly was going to be a part of season four, and I actually was really excited about exploring the Margot/Alana relationship and how they were going to dismantle all of the Verger slaughterhouses and turn them humane. She was going to completely undo the evils of her family with Alana, like a Joan Crawford sitting at PepsiCo’s table saying “don’t f–k with me, fellas.” I was really excited about that story for Alana and Margot and seeing more of them, and also seeing what it would be like for them to realize that Hannibal might be coming back into their orbit."

Unfortunately, ultimately joined the ranks of other Bryan Fuller shows cancelled too soon, including the likes of Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies.


How Carnivale Ended:

Ben and Brother Justin finally met in a biblical clash of good vs evil which left both men almost fatally injured. The carnies struggled on as best they could, but the odds are tipped against them once they lose Sofie to the dark side, whose burgeoning abilities could bring about the end of the world as we know it.

How Was Carnivale Supposed To End?:

Few shows are as gloriously detailed as Carnivale, so it's no surprise that series creator Daniel Knauf had plotted out the first five seasons before his project was unfortunately cancelled after Season 2 aired.

While speaking to AV Club, Knauf mapped out the fates of our favorite carnies, explaining how Season 3 would kick off during the events of World War II. In the build up to the final episode that Knauf originally planned, there were a number of new developments, including;

  • Jonesy survived his gunshot wound and pitches for a professional baseball team.
  • Ben and Samson work at a new carnival, still looking for Management.
  • Brother Justin becomes a politically influential preacher on the radio.
  • Iris and Sofie fight over who controls Brother Justin.
  • Sofie has a child, but its unclear whether the father is Ben or Brother Justin (Sofie's actual father)

In order to fight the threat of Brother Justin, Ben would assemble all of the carnies who had gone their separate ways, Avengers-style. Knauf explained that:

"In the third season, we were sort of reassembling, and then the following season, the carnival would go on tour. That tour would take them through places where they’re gathering things they need in order to go to battle... going to Europe to try to acquire these documents… I knew they were going to be talismans... Then there’d be a confrontation of some sort at the end of season four."

This confrontation would ultimately lead to the genesis of the Manhattan Project and Ben's plan to prevent atomic annihilation.

"In Ben’s mind, detonation of the atom bomb is the end of the world. What he doesn’t realize is that it’s just the end of his world... But he’s misinterpreted it. He thinks he’s saving the world, but what he learns before the end is that, “I have to let this happen, because if I don’t let this happen, mankind will remain in a state of adolescence.” He learns that’s really why Sofie is called the Omega. She is the only female, the last Avatar. What it’s all leading up to is two Avatars, she and Ben having this child. They actually have to sacrifice this child in the blast."

An ending of this scale not only draws the notion of good and evil to its most dramatic conclusion, but also provides a unique look at what many regard as the birth of modernity in all of its terrifying grandeur.

Agent Carter

Agent Carter [Credit: ABC/Marvel]
Agent Carter [Credit: ABC/Marvel]

How Agent Carter Ended:

Peggy may have finally hooked up with Daniel Sousa, but the rest of the Season 2 finale left a number of threads dangling, including the contents of the S.S.R. file, the whereabouts of Dottie Underwood and that cliffhanger ending regarding Jack Thompson's fate.

How Was Agent Carter Supposed To End?:

Executive producer Michele Fazekas revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Peggy's hookup with Sousa may have not lasted long, had there been a third season of Agent Carter:

"We're certainly not saying that this is definitely who Peggy Carter ends up marrying. They established in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that she ends up getting married at some point down the line. I would be interested to see Peggy in a relationship. She doesn't seem like a woman who would just kiss a guy like that and things wouldn't change. She's committed to trying to actually be in a relationship with Sousa."

The villainous Dottie would have also returned, potentially taking a larger role depending on whether actress Bridget Regan would be available:

"We will put Bridget Regan in as many episodes as she wants to be in. She has like two other jobs. [Laughs] But I know she has said that she has now put it into her contract that she can work on Agent Carter whenever it fits into her schedule. So we will use her as much as we can."

During a recent talk at the London Heroes & Villains Fan Fest, actress Hayley Atwell also shed some further light on how Agent Carter would have continued, explaining that Peggy's relationship with the Jarvis family would have been developed further, while also hinting that the identity of her husband would be eventually revealed.

While it's reassuring to have some idea of how our favorite cancelled shows were supposed to end, some of these future plots suggest we ought to be careful what we wish for. However, there's always hope that some will be revived — this is the one case where Hollywood's seeming lack of ideas may actually work in our favor!

Which one of these canceled shows deserves a second chance most? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

(Sources: AssignmentX, AV Club, Flavorwire, Hollywood Reporter, i09, Syfy, Vanity Fair, Variety)


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