Why 'Life Sentence' REALLY Shouldn't End Season 1 On A Cliffhanger

The CW

Fans of The CW's Life Sentence got unfortunate news when they learned that the series' first season would also be its last. It's a sadly ironic fate for a show about expecting to die — only to be given a new lease on life. Since Life Sentence will not return for Season 2, the Season 1 finale, which airs on The CW on June 15, 2018, will have to serve as a makeshift series closer – but will this story about new beginnings have a happy ending?

The entire premise of Life Sentence seems to lie in the moments immediately after dozens of other stories. Taking inspiration from fictional stories about "living life to the fullest" in the face of a chronic disease and exploring what happens when life goes on, by the end of its run Life Sentence will have dedicated 13 episodes to what happens when Stella's friends, family, and husband stop being polite to someone diagnosed with cancer and start being real to someone who has survived cancer. While Stella has watched the lives of those around her fall apart – or learned that those closest to her were hiding their pain for her benefit – the series finale could leave those in Stella's life with a happy ending.

Following the cancellation, the show's star Lucy Hale posted an emotional note about the show on her Twitter, speaking about what the cancellation means to her. Hale wrote "Sometimes things don’t resonate with the audience, and shows just don’t work but I’m so proud of what we accomplished & for the experience I had. Life Sentence was a show that a lot of us needed, and I am beyond grateful for those who gave our show a chance." Unfortunately, what the note didn't mention was whether or not the show would end on a note of closure or one of the most loathed occurrences in all of story-telling — a cliffhanger.

The promo for the show's final episode seems to indicate that the budding crush between Stella and Dr. Will Grant will come to a head, forcing her to choose between Will or to take a chance on her complicated marriage with Wes — a marriage that was meant to last for the rest of Stella's life... when her life seemed like it would be a lot shorter. Between this love triangle, a health scare of Peter's own, and Aiden's quest to be something more than an attic dweller, the Life Sentence finale seems to be tackling quite a lot of story in its final episode. This final episode could leave the characters making the choice to try and live their lives a little differently, and end ambiguously so that fans can imagine where these characters end up should the series have gone on for three or four more seasons. Sure, it may not be as great as more seasons of Life Sentence, but there's something to be said for getting a happy ending to a story sooner rather than later.

Lucy Hale's return to television after Pretty Little Liars may have been short lived, but is seemed to leave quite an impact. An Instagram post the week of the Life Sentence finale mentioned that "This show changed my life and helped me to rediscover my love for what I do. I’m grateful for every second of it and to everyone who was involved." Whether or not the show ends in a way that ties up the story, Life Sentence will go down as a testament to how complex, confusing, and beautiful living can really be.