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Book Ends: Live-Action TV
There's almost always a first and last season for a series.

Note that some Book Ends can be a spoiler, so beware.
  • In the episode "Teenage Mutant Ninja Roomates" of Workaholics, it begins with the guys all arguing and yelling at each other at the same time, only to stop and share a few contented bites of food, at the beginning, it's pizza, then at the end, donuts.
  • Sleepy Hollow season 1 began with Crane digging himself out of a hole and ended with him getting Buried Alive.
  • Happy Endings The first season begins and ends with the central cast at a wedding, one of which is marginally more successful than the other.
    • The "Year of Penny" begins at the start of the first episode of the second season and officially ends in the last episode of the season.
    • The series itself both begins and ends with Alex and Dave breaking up.
  • One Thousand Ways To Die has a rather beautiful one: Number 1 - Ichiboned. Number 1000 - Premature Endings. While these didn't show at either the start nor the end of the series, they are the stand alone deaths due to how they end - with respect.
    • The message from the announcer at the end of Premature Endings lends itself well as does the message in Ichiboned.
  • Every Season of Charmed begins and ends with the door to Halliwell Manor being closed by magic. Though one season ended with hospital doors being closed instead.
  • The first shot of the first scene of LOST is Jack's eye opening. The final shot is his eye closing.
    • More than that. The last few shots are Jack retracing his steps back through the bamboo grove he runs through in the Pilot. He even passes the shoe tangled in a bamboo tree. He lies down and faces right, and Vincent comes running out of the jungle. It was one hell of a bookend.
  • Used in many episodes of Third Watch, often with the same song playing at the beginning and end of the episode.
    • Not only that, the entire series: The first sequence in the first episode concludes with Sully's trademark "Crap". The last scene in the last episode does, too.
  • In the Greys Anatomy episode "(As We Know It)", a scene with George viewing Christina and Izzie washing 'splodey bits of bomb-squad-guy Dylan out of Meredith's hair was a bookend for the opening scene of the two-part episode — wherein George has a wet dream of the same three women showering together.
    • Also, one episode opened with Meredith dreaming of a threesome with her two love interests ended with her and her two friends lounging on the bed eating ice cream. Another started with McDreamy pulling Meredith out of a bathtub, which turned out to be foreshadowing for a dark and dramatic ending.
  • Especially well done in Mash "A War for All Seasons." The episode opens with a boisterous New Year's Eve party, which turns quiet when Col. Potter makes his toast. "Here's to the new year: may she be a damn sight better than the old one, and may we all be home by the end of it." The episode takes place over the course of a year, and ends with the next year's New Year's Eve party. Poignantly, Col. Potter makes the same toast he did at the previous party.
  • Homicide Life On The Street begins and ends with a conversation between two detectives just as they're about to perp sweat a suspect. The conversation is the same in both cases ("If I could just find this damn thing, I could go home...") and one of the detectives appears in both.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday": "This is the story of how I died...".
    • The TV movie begins and ends with the Doctor sitting in the console room of the TARDIS reading H. G. Wells' The Time Machine and listening to a jazz record, before the jazz record abruptly sticks and jumps. The first occurrence was a moment of sinister foreshadowing; the second is lampshaded ("Oh, no — not again!").
    • The Tenth Doctor, having just regenerated, lands in the Powell estate with Rose at the end of 2005 in "The Christmas Invasion". And in "The End of Time", after being exposed to deadly radiation, he finds himself dying at the Powell Estate at New Year 2005 before going back in the TARDIS, taking off and regenerating, making Rose the first and last person Ten ever saw.
    • Series 5 uses the same shot and scene of little Amelia Pond praying to Santa in "The Eleventh Hour" and "The Big Bang" — only the second time, there's no Doctor and no TARDIS crashing into the shed anymore.
    • After "A Good Man Goes to War", it is apparent that Amy hitting the Doctor with a cricket bat and handcuffing him to the radiator in "The Eleventh Hour" is the front book end to River Song punching him and handcuffing him to a pipe at the end of "Forest of the Dead".
    • "A Christmas Carol" has scenes near both the beginning and the end where Kazran just barely holds himself back from backhanding a small boy. The first scene is what convinces the Doctor that Kazran is redeemable; the second one — where the small boy is Kazran himself as a child — leads to his redemption.
    • "The Impossible Astronaut" starts with Amy and Rory at home, followed by the Doctor's death and "The Wedding of River Song" ends with the Doctor's "death", followed by Amy and Rory at home
    • The Third Doctor's run begins and ends with The Doctor stepping out of the TARDIS and collapsing.
    • Donna Noble's first appearance is right before her wedding. Her last appearance is after her wedding to a much nicer man.
    • In "The Sunmakers", the first man they meet on Pluto is about to throw himself over the edge of building. At the end, we have a Disney Villain Death.
    • The first words the Doctor heard River Song say was "Hello, Sweetie." The last words he hears her say are "Goodbye, Sweetie.
    • The Eleventh Doctor begins by meeting Amy Pond. Before he regenerates he hallucinates young and old Amy.
    • The regeneration into the Eighth Doctor happened after the Doctor had died. The regeneration of the Eighth Doctor again happens when the Doctor has just died, though the Sisterhood of Karn resurrect him long enough to regenerate. Also when he first chooses his clothes he takes a Wild Bill Hickok costume and discards the gun-belt. After he regenerates into the War Doctor he puts on a Badass Bandolier.
    • "The Tenth Planet" goes out of its way to have the First Doctor dress in the same outfit — a long cape, black hat and a scarf — that he wore in his very first appearance on the show, just before his death scene.
    • "Fury From the Deep" begins with the Doctor using his 'sonic screwdriver' (introduced in that episode, long away from becoming the Iconic Item it would later be) to unscrew a wall panel. It ends with the Doctor using a scream-based 'sonic laser' to shake a seaweed monster to pieces.
    • Both the first and last stories of Season 5 feature the Cybermen - "Tomb of the Cybermen" and "The Wheel in Space".
  • The very first episode of Seinfeld began with Jerry commenting about the second button from the top on George's shirt being in an odd place. At the end of the series finale, as the group sits in their prison cell, Jerry once again brings up the shirt button and quotes verbatim the first lines of the first episode. Larry David mentioned that he wanted the show about nothing to end right where it began, therefore going nowhere.
    Jerry: You think?
    George: I think we have.
    Jerry: Yeah, maybe we have.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The pilot features a final scene in which Buffy, Xander, and Willow walk off exchanging light-hearted banter, followed by Giles commenting "The Earth is doomed." The series finale features a scene in which Buffy, Xander, and Willow walk off exchanging light-hearted banter, followed by Giles commenting "The Earth is definitely doomed."
    • In this scene (as Buffy and friends prepare to make their final stand at Sunnydale High) she sends off each of her allies to their posts until she is completely alone. The order in which all the others depart is exactly the opposite order in which they first appeared in the series (Andrew first, Xander last).
    • Angel's departure in the last episode, where he disappears into the shadows, was also deliberately made to mirror his entrance into the series.
    • Also, season 6. Opens with Buffy climbing out of a grave, alone, into a hellish burning Sunnydale being invaded by a demon gang. Ends with Buffy climbing from the earth, with her sister, to see the world as a beautiful place worth living in.
    • A subtler and possibly unintentional one from season four: in the premiere, Sunday gloats about breaking Buffy's arm, only for Buffy to reveal it's not broken. In the final battle against Adam, Buffy breaks the retractable arm spike he's been using in all his fights, only for Adam to reveal his other arm turns into a machine gun and grenade launcher.
    • The episode "Lessons" beginning and ending with the line "It's about power." The first time spoken by Buffy, the second by, well, The First (appearing as Buffy).
      • It also ends with the First taking the appearances of each of the previous season's villains, starting with Warren, then Glory, then Adam, then Mayor Wilkins, then Drusilla, and finally the Master.
    • The finale's conversation happens in more or less the same place and in much the same manner as the pilot's, with Giles trying to talk about the upcoming end of the world and Buffy, Xander, and Willow ignoring him and wandering off. (There was some Lampshade Hanging by Giles who remarks that he is once again, "invisible to the naked eye.")
    • Season 2 began with Buffy arriving from LA and ended with Buffy leaving for LA.
    • At the start of Season 2, Joyce says she hopes Buffy can make it through the school year without getting kicked out. At the end of the season Buffy does get kicked out.
    • In the "Graduation Day" two-parter, the teacher prodding his students to play "Hangman" is the same guy from the season premiere urging everyone to "be somber" now they've returned to school.
    • In "Lie to Me", Ford arranging a "surprise" date with Buffy is eerily reminiscent of the scene between Angel and Drusilla at the beginning of the episode, and conveys the same sense of battle lines being drawn.
    • In the same episode, Buffy says she's done with being lied to by her friends, but Angel tells her that some lies are necessary — which is a nice setup for the Title Drop at the end of the episode.
    • When Buffy reawakens in the hospital in the Season Three finale, she approaches Faith's bed and returns the forehead kiss that Faith had given her in "Enemies."
    • Principal Snyder is killed by being eaten. Ironically, this is after Snyder made such a big deal back in his first appearance ("The Puppet Show") about how former Principal Flutie got devoured by hyenas because he was too soft on kids.
    • Willow suggested to Buffy in "The Harvest" that one way she could get out of school would be to "blow something up." Guess how Season 3 ends.
    • In his earliest canonical appearance, Spike (under his human identity, William) recites a bad poem to his crush and gets shot down ("Fool For Love", Buffy S5). Spike delivers the same performance at a poetry slam in the Series Finale of Angel; this time, the whole audience applauds and cheers.
  • The first season of The Wire ends with a sequence showing that despite Avon and D'Angelo getting arrested, nothing has really changed in the projects, including Poot passing on D'Angelo's advice to separate payment and delivery.
    • The entire show ends with scenes showing that nothing has changed.
    • The first season intro song is used in the final montage.
    • And a specific episode example: season 1 episode 6 opens and closes on the same image: Brandon's dead body displayed on the hood of a car, the beginning on the real thing, and the end in the photograph on Lieutenant Daniels' desk.
  • Star Trek has played with this a lot.
  • House
    • A subtle version of this happened in Season Four. In the beginning, Wilson tries to mess with House's head (stealing the guitar and making him believe he's hallucinating the cottages) so he can do his lecturing thing. At the end of the season, Wilson literally wants to mess with House's head so that House can save Wilson's dying girlfriend. As you can probably tell, one is sadder than the other.
    • A much less subtle one happened in Season 5, again with Wilson.
    • The first and last episodes of Season One end with the song "You Can't Always Get What You Want".
    • There's one that encompasses the end of season 4, the entirety of season 5, and the start of season 6. All of the events leading up to the mindscrew that is the season 5 finale and House's stay in the mental institution begin at the end of season 4, when House rides the bus that crashes and results in Amber's death. When it seems that House is finally cured of all the things that had been plaguing him since then in the season 6 premier, the episode ends with him riding a bus away from the mental institution.
    • The Pilot episode is called "Everybody Lies". The series finale is called "Everybody Dies".
  • The fourth season of 24 began and ended on the train tracks.
    • The first and final episodes of the series feature just five main cast members each.
  • The Prisoner ended with... the opening credits.
  • Cheers began the series with Sam Malone coming out of the back room, turning on the lights and opening the bar. The series ended with Sam locking the bar, turning off the lights, and strolling back into the back room.
  • Roswell started and ended with Liz introducing herself.
    Pilot: "I'm Liz Parker and five days ago I died. After that, things got really weird."
    Last episode: "I'm Liz Parker and I am happy."
  • The O.C. ended with Ryan asking a down on his luck kid if he needed help, the same thing Sandy asked him at the beginning.
  • The pilot of Supernatural starts with Sam's mother pinned to the ceiling on fire over Sam's crib. The episode ends with Sam's fiance in the same state over his bed.
    • The fourth season of Supernatural has a subtle example. The first episode is "Lazarus Rising", the last is "Lucifer Rising".
    • The first episode of the first season concludes with the brothers standing over the trunk of the Impala. Sam picks up a gun and says "We've got work to do", referring to them hunting down Azazel. In the last scene of the season two finale, they're again standing over the Impala, and Dean drops the Colt, which is out of bullets (having used the last to kill Azazel into the trunk and says the same line.
  • The title of both the first episode and The Movie finale of Firefly are both titled Serenity.
    • The first episode (after the battle of Serenity Valley) opens with a man floating through space, the final episode also ends with a man floating through space.
    • Subverted slightly in the episode "Out of Gas." The first spoken words in this episode come from Mal's flashback "if you buy this ship, and treat it right, she'll be with you the rest of your life." The voiceover makes it sound as though the used-car/spaceship salesman is talking about Serenity. The last scene features the exact same quote, but with the context that was left out of the first scene. The salesman is indicating some other ship, as Mal looks longingly at the firefly class "deathtrap" that he later names "Serenity." This scene made me cry manly tears.
    • The episode "The Message" begins and ends with Tracey's recorded message.
  • Malcolm in the Middle concludes both the first and last episodes with the background song "Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)" by Citizen King.
    • Also, Lois gives Malcolm very similar speeches in both the pilot and finale, insisting that he live up to his potential and telling him that not many people get the kind of leg up in the world that his genius has given him.
    • In the pilot, there is a gag where Malcolm directs the camera to give him an overhead shot, revealing that the crowd around him has given him a wide berth so that he is sitting in the middle of a wide circle of emptiness that shifts a few inches whenever he shifts a few inches. In the finale, an identical gag is used, with everyone at the high school graduation giving Malcolm and his family a wide berth due to the stink bomb they got doused in recently.
  • The Noah's Arc TV series opens and ends on the beach (with the beach not being seen all too frequently in between). Theres a definite juxtaposition between the happy, carefree nature of the start of the first episode, and the end of the last episode being packed with so much drama.
  • The West Wing did this a few times - for example, in "17 People," which begins and ends with the sound of Toby bouncing his rubber ball.
    • Also, the entire storyline begins and ends with Josh springing Sam out of a meeting of lawyers to come work for the president, and Sam promptly lampshades it:
    Sam: Your showing up does have a nice nostalgic symmetry.
    Josh: Style points...
    Sam: ...if nothing else.
    • However, this is only an instance of bookends in-universe; actually the first scene was shown in a flashback in the second series opener, and the second in the last episode but four.
  • The pilot of Leverage has a scene where the team (minus Sophie, who had not been introduced yet) started out standing in a circle, but then walking away, with an overhead shot. The episode ended with the team (included Sophie this time) standing in a circle and not separating. The season ended with an overhead shot of them (again in a circle) going their separate ways.
    • The Grand Finale has another overhead shot, only this time only Nate and Sophie walk away, leaving Parker, Eliot and Hardison. The last shot of the Grand Finale is the same as the last shot of the Pilot, only with Parker in the armchair as Mastermind instead of Nate.
  • Battlestar Galactica episode "Revelations" starts with Kara and Lee looking at an illustration of the Temple of Aurora, supposedly located on Earth. The episode ends with all the characters trudging through whats left of a major city on Earth following a nuclear war. Their main camp is located near the ruins of a domed building that used to be the Temple of Aurora.
    • The TV-Movie The Plan has this in two ways. First, the film opens with a shot of the two Cavils from "Lay Down Your Burdens" about to be airlocked. The rest of the film consists of flashbacks, ultimately leading up to the point where they stand in front of the airlock.
      • The second book end is a more meta example. The Plan ends with an altered version of the opening theme of the show. Since The Plan is the very last Battlestar episode to air (excluding spinoffs), having the opening theme as the last thing the audience hears has a certain meaning to it.
  • Angel:
    • The episode "A Hole In The World" begins with a flashback of Fred preparing to leave for LA. The following episode "Shells" ends with another flashback of her getting into her car and driving off to LA.
    • In his earliest canonical appearance, Spike (under his human identity, William) recites a bad poem to his crush and gets shot down ("Fool For Love", Buffy S5). Spike delivers the same performance at a poetry slam in the Series Finale of this show; this time, the whole audience applauds and cheers.
  • The first episode of ER begins with an ambulance full of patients and a lagging Dr. Carter. Dr. Greene calls out to him, "Dr. Carter, you coming?" The final episode ends with an ambulance full of patients and a lagging Dr. Greene (the daughter of the man in the pilot). Dr. Carter calls out to her, "Dr. Greene, you coming?"
    • And both the pilot and the finale begin with a similar shot of Greene/Carter asleep and then woken up by the same exact nurse.
  • The original V miniseries begins and ends in the mountain camp of two different resistance groups.
  • Episodes of the Discovery Channel series American Guns often begin and end with Rich Wyatt and his family firing guns together.
  • In the pilot episode of Heroes, Peter catches a cab driven by Mohinder. Peter asks Mohinder if he ever had the feeling he was meant to do something special, and a conversation about destiny and natural selection ensues. In the first episode of Volume Four, after an adventure that put both of them in a bad light (and made plenty of heroes turn on each other), Peter again catches a cab driven by Mohinder and, laughing, asks the same thing. Mohinder says he had the feeling, but was proven wrong.
    • The last scene in Volume Five also reflects the pilot, when Claire goes public.
      Claire: My name is Claire Bennet and this is attempt number ... I guess I kinda lost count.
  • The first and last episodes of Arrested Development intentionally mirror one another, with a very similar occasion (an announcement on a boat) and often identical lines at certain critical moments, although sometimes flipped to different people saying them.
    Buster: (Pilot) They [The SEC] have boats?
    Buster: (Finale) They still have boats?
  • The Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "Vehicular Fellatio'' begins with Larry trying to open a vacuum-sealed package and failing, eventually screaming in frustration. He buys a knife for opening packages. At the end, when he needs it, he finds that it's in a vacuum-sealed package...
  • At the beginning of Lexx, Kai and some other Brunnen-G pilot outmatched fighters against the Divine Order's flagship, the Foreshadow. With no other means of causing damage, Kai deftly weaves his fighter around the ship's structure, crashes into the bridge just as it seals itself off, and is thrown from his cockpit to the deck. At the end of the series, Kai is using a moth from the Lexx, a small, unarmed transport, to drag a Doomsday Device into the center of an alien spaceship; being at the center of the blast would not normally harm the undead Kai, but Prince appears at the last minute, restoring Kai to true, mortal life. The camera work as Kai makes his run on the alien ship is identical to the first scene, and it ends with Kai crashing and being thrown from his cockpit in the exact same way before dying once again.
  • The first aired episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured the movie, "The Crawling Eye". In the last episode, the movie is once again featured, with the crew noticing that it seems familiar.
    • Interestingly, none of the people in that scene did the actual riffing of "The Crawling Eye". By the end of the show, Mike Nelson had replaced Joel Hodgson ("Joel Robinson" as the character), Kevin Murphy had replaced J. Elvis Weinstein as Tom Servo, and Bill Corbett had replaced Trace Beaulieu as Crow T. Robot. The book ends are not just for the movie on-screen, but for the cast as well.
    • Tom Servo also has the first riff in the first episode and the last riff in the final episode.
  • The Middleman opens with Wendy on the phone with her mother complaining about her job and life; it ends with Wendy on the phone with her mother telling her how happy she is with her job and life.
  • Life On Mars didn't quite open with the line "Word in your shell-like, pal.", but they are the first words spoken by Gene Hunt, upon meeting Fish out of Temporal Water Sam Tyler as he arrives in a new, confusing world. They're also the final words Gene Hunt speaks in Ashes to Ashes, to the new arrival in CID who's ranting about his iPhone, after Gene's helped Chris, Ray, Shaz, and Alex cross over and remembered what his true role is.
  • Every episode of Criminal Minds begins and ends with a quote that parallels the case and the action surrounding it.
    • Subverted with the Season 4 finale, which was largely a Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story. Instead of famous quote, it's merely Hotch lamenting the pointlessness of it all.
  • Nip/Tuck begins with Christian meeting Kimber in a bar, who is uninterested until he reveals that he's a plastic surgeon. The final scene of the series has a similar scene with similar dialogue with a similar woman in an airport bar.
  • At the end of the final episode, Dale "Smithy" Smith has the last line in The Bill with "Yeah, come on. Let's do it", pretty much identical to the opening line of the show's first.
  • The 10th Kingdom begins and ends with a shot of New York and the voice-over "My name is Virginia, and I live at the edge of the forest."
  • The "Whodunit?" episode of Connections 2 starts its daisy-chain of historical innovations with a billiard ball, and ends with another billiard ball.
  • In the live action drama of Nodame Cantabile, the first song the group plays as an orchestra was Beethovan No. 7, being conducted by Chiaki for the first time. At the last episode, the song they played before they all graduated was Beethovan No. 7, being conducted by Chiaki as his last performance with them.
  • Gilmore Girls begins and ends with the protagonists having coffee at Luke's diner. The finale ends with a shot of Rory and Lorelai as the camera fades out. This scene is not only from the very first episode of the series, but is an echo of the shot that end of the credits for every season.
  • The first and last pricing game played with Bob Barker as the host of The Price Is Right was Any Number.
  • Smallville season 10 begins and ends with planets falling from the sky
    • Lazarus: Night time, the Daily Planet globe falls to the street below and is caught by Clark, who super jumps and takes it back to the roof, wearing his dark trench coat costume.
    • Finale, Part 2: Day time, Apokolips is falling to Earth and Clark, now flying and wearing the Superman costume, pushes it back into space
      • The finale episode itself may count, as it both begins and ends (not counting an obligatory scene) with Chloe telling the story of Superman to her son.
  • The Masters of Horror episode "Jenifer" begins and ends with a man dragging a tied up Jenifer to a seemingly secluded location so he can hack her to death, only for an armed stranger to notice their struggle and shoot the man before he can swing the blade. Her rescuer rushes over to her just in time to hear her would-be killer say her name with his dying breath. In the beginning, the protagonist is her rescuer. In the end, he's the one trying to kill her.
  • Played with in a major Stargate SG-1 storyline. The Season Eight episode "Threads" ended the series whole Myth Arc (thus far) and the last scene of the episode was a Dénouement at Jack's cabin by a lake. It was followed by a two-part episode where the team went back in time five thousand years, revisited the universe's first and (thus far) biggest enemy, created an alternate timeline, and then fixed it. The two part episode ends with them all going to the lake and revealing that the universe is just a little bit different from the one in "Threads", but it's no big deal.
    • The eighth season finale "Moebius", was this to the shows first eight years; through time travel, the main characters end up fighting Ra again, and in an altered timeline, discovering the Stargate and being brought together to form the Stargate program, and even recruiting Teal'c again.
  • NCIS does this briefly in monotone at the start & end of each show as well as before & after commercial breaks.
  • The Friends episode "The One with All the Haste" begins with Rachel angrily yelling at a man who sings right outside her window early in the morning. The episode ends with Joey singing along happily with the man, after the boys and girls have switched back apartments.
    • Friends season 5 began and ended with Ross getting married.
  • Stargate Atlantis, the first and last person we see firing one of the Ancient's drone weapons is Dr. Beckett. Also in the pilot Dr. McKay in essence complaining about not having the ancient gene and thus not being able to use the chair and in the finale that he has a lower aptitude for using the chair.
  • The first and last episodes of Dinosaurs actually both end with Earl Sinclair telling Baby "Dinosaurs have been on this planet for about 150 million years."
    • And the first and last shots are of news reporter Howard Handupme.
  • The first scene of the sixth season premiere and the last scene of the sixth season finale of How I Met Your Mother are two halves of the same flashforward to a wedding in the near future. Also, the second scene of the season premiere and the second-to-last scene of the season finale involve Barney expressing surprise that a woman is wearing a sundress, since he thought it was too late in the year for it (the season finale was set at the end of August 2011 even though it aired in May).
    • Likewise, the seventh season premiere opens with a flashforward of Ted talking to the groom at the wedding it's Barney, and Word of God has said that the season finale will end with a flashforward to Ted meeting with the bride, revealing her identity. It's Robin.
    • The episode "Tick Tick Tick..." both opens and closes with the sound of a ticking clock.
    • The first episode of season 8 ended the moment before Ted met the Mother. The last episode of season 8 ended with us meeting the Mother.
    • The series starts with Marshall happily showing Ted an engagement ring he will give to Lily. The season 1 finale's closing shot featured Marshall tearfully showing Ted the same ring disowned by Lily (They eventually got better). Further, after the proposal and before the break-up, Marshall and Lily had sex, while it also involves Ted riding a cab going to (Pilot) and leaving (S1 finale) Robin's apartment.
    • The ending of the entire series exactly mirrors the ending of the very first episode, but 25 years later.
  • In the first episode of Sanctuary, Helen offers Will "a chance to explore a world that you've been trying to understand on your own … with very little success" and the second episode ends with Magnus saying "Shall we begin?" In the series finale, Magnus says "What if I offered you the chance to explore a world that you've been trying to see since you were a child?" The last words of the episode are Magnus once again saying "Shall we begin?" to Will.
  • Nikita: Percy begins season 2 locked up in a prison cell at the bottom of a missile silo, having been deposed by Amanda. In the season finale, Nikita drops him down that silo, and he ends up smashing right into the cell.
  • The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Kiss Kiss Bye Bye" begins with vintage black and white footage of Las Vegas transitioning to color with a Frank Sinatra song. The episode ends with the Vegas footage reverting to black and white, while another Frank Sinatra song plays.
  • The very first episode of Zoey 101, "Welcome to PCA", has Chase falling down stairs while on his bike, then when Zoey sees him, she asks him if he's okay, and tells him that his arm is bleeding. In the series finale, "Chasing Zoey", he falls down the stairs shortly after she sees him again (this time back from England), and the same thing occurs.
  • The first TV role for game show host and announcer Art James? Announcing Concentration in the late 1950s. Last role? Filling in for Gene Wood as announcer on the 1987-91 revival Classic Concentration. (Though he did make a small appearance in Kevin Smith's Mallrats, appropriately enough as the host of the in-universe game show Truth or Date (though he can't stop T.S., Brodie and the others from taking control and wreaking havoc.)
  • Eureka: In the pilot, Carter and Zoe are driving into town when they pass another version of themselves driving out. In the series finale, Carter and Zoe are driving out of town and pass alternates driving in.
  • The pilot episode of The Firm opens with Mitch McDeere carrying a briefcase while running from someone, before flashing back to "six weeks earlier". At the end of the episode it flashes forward again to show a bit more of the chase scene. This is continued in subsequent episodes, but eventually the timeline of the episodes catches up with and passes the events shown in the bookends... and then the final scene of the first season finale flashes forward to "six weeks later" to show him fleeing a building with a different briefcase.
  • Shown in "The Liberian Candidate" episode of Unnatural History.
  • The X-Files:
    • The pilot episode and season 7 finale "Requiem" which was written as a possible ending of the whole series bear several touching resemblances. Mulder and Scully go back to Oregon which was the place of their very first assignment. They saw a faded X sign on the road which Mulder painted there to mark an anomalous electrical disturbance in the pilot and they also meet again the same people, some of which are multiple alien abductees.
    • The pilot and the finale both have a touching scene in a motel room. In the pilot it was a place where they bonded for the first time, and in the finale the reminisce about their lives.
    • Episode "Fire" from season 1 features Phoebe Green, a Scotland Yard inspector and Mulder's Old Flame from Oxford who requested his help on a case. She sends him a tape at the beginning and at the end of the episode. This is what Mulder says both times:
    Mulder: Ten-to-one, you can't dance to it.
    • In addition, the pilot and season one finale both end with the Smoking Man putting away a piece of conspiracy-related evidence in the Pentagon.
  • In Once Upon a Time, The Dark Curse begins and ends with Regina losing someone named Henry.
    • In the pilot, the clock strikes 8:15PM when Emma decides to stay in to Storybrooke. In the final episode of season 1, the clock strikes 8:15AM just as magic has been returned to Storybrooke.
    • Also the first episode begins with Prince Charming awakening Snow White with True Love's Kiss. The season finale ends with Emma kissing her son Henry in farewell after believing he was dead.
    • In the pilot episode, Rumpelstiltskin was in jail, trapped by Snow, Charming and Cinderella. In the first episode of season 2, he is in another jail, none other than Storybrooke itself.
    • Season 2 begins and ends with people being kidnapped/sent off into another world.
    • The first half of Season 3 begins and ends with Emma giving birth to Henry.
  • Person of Interest: The first and last episodes of the first season ("Pilot" and "Firewall") both involve a female POI who turns out to be the perpetrator, and both end with Reese looking into the same security camera.
  • Episode 10 of Simon Schama's A History of Britain ("Britannia Incorporated") begins with an image of a clock symbolising tight government control. Near the end we see the same clock but now it symbolises Adam Smith's vision of a perfect world run by a benevolent creator God.
  • Cold Case sometimes begins with a shot of a box of an unsolved case file being put away and ends with that same box, now marked "closed", being put away again.
  • Game of Thrones began with a glimpse of a White Walker. The season 2 finale ended with the viewer seeing not one but a horde of White Walkers.
  • In the production of I Dream of Jeannie, Barbara Eden was pregnant when the show began and near the end of its run, but the former was a case of Hide Your Pregnancy and the latter ended in a miscarriage.
  • The Arrow pilot began with Oliver being rescued from the island and ended with the flashback of him arriving in the island.
  • The first episode of Red Dwarf and the final episode of Season X both end with a character declaring "The slime's coming home!" The first time it's Lister, in reaction to Rimmer's claim he's primordial slime, the second time it's Rimmer, acknowledging that he's Not So Different from Lister. Also, over the course of the series, "home" has gone from Earth to the titular ship. Also, the first episode is titled "The End" (with "The Beginning" appearing onscreen at the episode's ending) and the last episode is titled "The Beginning."
  • In somewhat of a reverse Book Ends, the famous "Cataracts?" chain on Harry Hill's TV Burp ended with Noel Edmonds on the set of Deal Or No Deal saying "Cataracts?" after getting a phone call from the banker. In the sequel, "Ear Cataracts?", the chain starts with Harry Hill calling the banker, who calls Noel.
  • The first and last episodes of season 1 of Scrubs begin with JD saying "Ever since I was a kid, I've been able to sleep through anything...last night, I didn't sleep". In the first episode, it's because he's excited about his first day as an intern. In the last, it's because it's his last day.
  • Sherlock:
    • Season 2 begins and ends with a confrontation between Sherlock and Moriarty where the Bee Gees plays.
    • Season 1 opens with John speaking with his therapist just before Sherlock enters his life. Season 2 ends with John visiting her again, 18 months after his last appointment after Sherlock's assumed death.
    • The first case of the series involved apparent suicides without a note. In the season 2 finale, Sherlock leaves a "note" saying "This call is my note. That's what people do right?" before committing suicide.
  • Oz: The episodes begin and end and with Augustus Hill narrating on some philosophical topic, which is usually the theme of the episode. This is notably subverted however in the season 5 finale, where Augustus Hill dies. The final shot of the episode is of his empty chair, symbolizing that the voice of Oz is truly dead.
  • The Henry VIII miniseries (starring Ray Winstone) starts and ends with a dying king giving last instructions to his heir.
  • The original version of Survivors begins and ends with a man and woman eating dinner by candlelight.
  • Season 4 Burn Notice begins and ends with Michael meeting a new handler.
    • The last lines of the series are the opening lines of every episode, "My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy...", only spoken by Fiona.
  • Many an episode of Takeshi's Castle has a starting challenge that takes place near the castle itself.
  • The pilot episode of Elementary ended with Holmes and Joan on the rooftop at nighttime. The finale ended with the two of them on the rooftoop during the daytime.
  • America's Next Top Model has a knack on this.
    • Right after the pilot's OBB, the first and second contestant the audience will see will eventually be crowned as the (inaugural) winner and runner-up, respectively.
    • The Season 3 winner is the last girl called to be a finalist during the season premiere.
  • The Blackadder series began with the first Edmund (alias the Black Adder) plotting to become king thanks to mistakenly receiving a prophecy that he'd be king. In the final special, his descendant Edmund Blackadder uses time travel to become king.
  • When the Brazilian MTV shut down as a broadcast channel in 2013 (before changing to satellite\cable channel), the last two VJs who talked before a montage were also the first two in the initial broadcast in 1990.
  • Castle: In the Season 4 premiere "Rise", Beckett is sitting on a swing, explaining to Castle how she had placed a wall around her heart after her mother's murder. In Season 4 finale "Always", she is sitting alone on that swing, having resigned from the NYPD after her suspension, looking at the empty swing next to her and thinking of Castle, as the last remnants of the wall around her heart are washed away in the rain.
  • Frasier: The man who delivers Martin's chair in the first episode is the same one who removes it in the final episode. He even tells the moving man the same thing: "Be careful with it!" It's an Ironic Echo since when Frasier said it in the pilot, he was upset that the mover was damaging Frasier's furniture with it. In the final episode, Frasier cautioned him warmly not to damage the chair.
    • In an even subtler example, Frasier bitterly tries to get Martin to say "thank you" to him in the pilot episode. Martin does accomplish this by the episode's end... but he also repeats the phrase - with greater sincerity - in the series finale, as now he's truly grateful to his son for 11 years' worth of experience and love. It's part of the final conversation that the two share in the series.
  • American Horror Story:
    • In Asylum, Kit's story arc begins and ends by being abducted.
    • The next series,Coven uses this trope several times.
      • "Bitchcraft" begins and ends with Zoe killing boys with her vagina - the first time by accident during sex, the second time by rape as revenge for Madison's gang-rape.
      • "The Replacements" begins and ends with Fiona killing a fellow witch for her own Supremacy, at first with Anna Leigh to gain it, and then Madison to keep it.
      • "Fearful Pranks Ensue" begins with Marie Laveau sending zombies after the lynch mob in 1961, and closes with her sending zombies against the Robichaux girls.
      • "The Axeman Cometh" opens with the Axeman entering the Academy in 1919 and ends with him finally leaving in modern times.
  • The first episode of Brooklyn99 deals with comical police detective Jake clashing with his new, serious captain, mainly by refusing his order to wear a tie. The season finale ends with Jake being fired from the police, tossing his tie away and telling the captain to shove it... as part of an elaborate ruse the captain himself helped devise, showing how they've come to work together.
  • Season 3 of Scandal starts out with Eli pressuring Olivia to get on a plane that will take her to a new life away from everything. One season full of drama later, and she takes him up on the offer at the end of the season finale.
  • "Any Number" was the first pricing game ever played on The Price Is Right. Bob Barker's final episode on June 15, 2007 appropriately ended with a playing of the same game.
  • Cosmos, both the the 1980 series with Carl Sagan and the 2014 revival with Neil deGrasse Tyson begin and end on the rocky coastal cliffs at Big Sur, California.
  • Zoey 101: In the first episode, when Zoey sees Chase for the first time after he falls off his bike, she asks him if he's okay and notices that his arm is bleeding. In the series finale "Chasin' Zoey", when he falls down the stairs she does the same thing.

Then again, when you have a series that's almost Crack Is Cheaper, why have a final season?
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