Stories that wrap everything up in a bow are my favorite kind of endings. The conclusion of Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls does just that. This is one of the few times where I can honestly say that the mystery plot of a story is executed perfectly. I’ve said before that it’s hard to pull of a mystery in an audio drama, because of the lack of visual. The only way to mention something as being a clue is to hang a lantern on it. The screenwriting term: “hanging a lantern on it,” in terms of audio drama is basically playing an episode of blues clues with the listener. It’s so painfully obvious that it’s a clue.
I think what made the ending so successful was the fact that it made a promise to the listener that they didn’t know was being made. The concept of “surprising, yet inevitable.” I’ll try not to spoil too much, but a character who has very little backstory turns out to be someone important. It references the opening in that the listener should go: “oh that’s right” and think: “How did I not see the coming.” That reaction, for me, is what makes an ending truly great.
I can’t stress enough how cathartic the ending was to me. So you’ll just have to use the information in the paragraph above to determine that.