A common cinematic technique is "bookending," where the beginning and end of a film mirror one another. This is also common in TV shows. Here are some great examples of TV programs with book ends.
In Season 2, the first scene deals with a poisoning -- an event that nearly kills Cardinal della Rovere. By the end of the season, the tables have turned; the Pope has been poisoned, thanks to a plot put in motion by della Rovere.
In the very first episode, Jerry cracks wise about the placement of a button on George's shirt. In the show's final episode, the whole gang is sitting in a jail cell together. Jerry makes the same remark about the button on George's shirt, prompting George to ask, "Haven't we had this conversation before?"
Dr. Mark Greene was the central character of "ER" during its first eight seasons. In the show's very first episode, one of Mark's first patients is an older woman who wants him to remove a hangnail, despite the fact that it will cost her $180. During his final day working in the ER, a cancer-stricken Mark's last patient is the same older woman. She once again asks him to remove a hangnail, and he tells her never to come back to his ER.
The pilot and finale episodes are strikingly similar. Both take place on a boat, both revolve around Michael's expectations about his role at the Bluth Company, and both end with the SEC arriving on boats to bust up the party. Both episodes also feature identical lines to further the bookending.
This beloved series opened with a shot of Jack's eye, up close, opening. In the final episode, Jack retraces his steps through the same bamboo grove he wandered through in the pilot, lies down, and closes his eyes.
The two-parter that starts with "It's the End of the World" and ends with "As We Know It" has a very interesting bookending moment that foreshadows the end. The first part opens with George having a dream about Meredith, Izzie, and Cristina taking a shower together. A scene in the second part hearkens back to the shower dream: Cristina and Izzie must help a shell-shocked Meredith wash bits of a man's exploded body from her hair.
"The Price is Right"
It's not just scripted TV that uses bookending: Some game shows use it, too. Case in point: Bob Barker of "The Price is Right." The very first pricing game Bob ever hosted on "Price is Right" was Any Number. When the time came for Bob to retire, his final pricing game was also Any Number.
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- Cardinal della Rovere