Talbot, who won his semi-final, had a superb start and stormed round the bend but wilted towards the end as he recorded a time of 20.95, outside of the Olympic qualifying standard but enough for a medal.
Favourite Churandy Martina of Netherlands won in 20.42 with compatriot Patrick van Luijk taking silver in 20.87. Britain's Chris Clarke finished in sixth place.
In the women's 200m final, defending champion Myriam Soumare of France prevented a Ukrainian one-two-three as she claimed bronze to relinquish her crown to winner Mariya Ryemyen, who stormed home in 23.05. Hrystyna Stuy took silver and compatriot Viktoriya Pyatachenko came fourth.
Britain's Lawrence Okoye trailed in last in a field of 12 in the men's discus final with a disappointing best throw of 60.09.
Okoye broke the British record with a throw in excess of 68 metres earlier this year but could not find his form on a wet evening in Helsinki.
Robert Harting, who just missed out on gold in Barcelona two years ago, added the European crown to his world title with a throw of 68.30. Estonia's Gerd Kanter took silver with 66.53 and Hungary's Zoltan Kovago took bronze with 66.42.
After seeing Great Britain's women suffer disappointment when being disqualified in the 4x100m relay earlier in the day and miss out on the Olympics as a result, it was surely no doubt a relief to see the men win their 4x400m semi-final.
Luke Lennon-Ford, Michael Bingham, Conrad Williams and Nigel Levine produced a time of 3:05.50, which was the third best of the night behind Belgium and Czech Republic, who competed in the other semi-final.
The British women also progressed to the final of the 4x400m relay after finishing second behind France in their semi-final. The team of Eilidh Child, Kelly Massey, Nicola Sanders and Shana Cox came home in 3:29.96.
With Phillips Idowu opting not to take part in Helsinki, a huge opening jump of 17.63 was enough for Italy's Fabrizio Donato to take gold in the triple jump, with European Under-23 champion Sheryf El-Sheryf of Ukraine claiming silver and Belarus' Aliaksei Tsapik in third.
Mo Farah - winner of the 5000m final - opted out of the 10000m race, leaving the door open for Polat Kemboi Arikan to win in 28:22.27 from Daniele Meucci and Yevgeniy Rybakov. Britain's Keith Gerrard could not keep up with the leading pack with around eight minutes to go and dropped off the pace, eventually finishing in ninth.
Ida Antoinette Nana Djimou took heptathlon gold for France, with Turkey's Gulcan Mingir winning the 300m steeplechase final for Turkey and Czech Republic's Jirina Ptacnikova triumphing in the pole vault.
A third gold medal of the evening was Turkey's when Nevin Yanit retained her title in the 100m hurdles final with an impressive time of 12.81. Belarus completed the medal positions with Alina Talay second in 12.91 and Ekaterina Poplavskaya third in 12.97.
In the men's hammer, a dominant performance from Krisztian Pars won for Hungary, his fourth throw of 79.72 putting him well clear of the field. Russia's Aleksey Zagorniy was second with a throw of 77.40 and Poland's Szymon Ziolkowski came third with 76.67.