25 of the most heartbreaking TV finales that make us cry every time

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M*A*S*H followed the lives of soldiers during the Korean War. The ending of the show really shows the effects that war has on veterans, especially in regards to Hawkeye Pierce. Played by Alan Alda, the character typically was known for cracking jokes and having a good time while still understanding the implications of war.

It was a show that managed to balance both the high stakes of combat with a light-hearted friendship between fellow soldiers and war doctors. What made it work was how the show would hit you with the reality of Korea and what was happening to soldiers and civilians alike. Sure, you could laugh along with Radar and Trapper, but when things go wrong, M*A*S*H  knew how to remind you that war is a very real thing that ruins lives.

In the finale, the show reminded us of this fact by showing the mental effects war has on Hawkeye. Trying to say goodbye to the war and those friends he had isn’t easy and Hawkeye has to stop repressing his memories in order to leave the compound.

By the end, B.J, who has annoyed Hawkeye throughout the entire episode with his inability to say “goodbye” finally bids farewell to the life they’ve known and the show ends with them flying away from their station.