It’s no secret that sometimes I get a little emotionally attached to TV shows. And as much as I hate to see a beloved character go, I love a good plot twist in which a character dies and I didn’t see it coming. Here are five TV deaths that had me scrambling to hit the rewind button.
Did they? Did he…? Is she…?
Yup. They did. He did. She is. Dead.
Note: If you care about spoilers for The Wire, Game of Thrones, Dexter, Battlestar Galactica, or 24, then read no further.
Omar Little – The Wire
I really shouldn’t have been surprised that a Baltimore drug dealer who consistently robbed (and humiliated) other drug dealers would meet an untimely end, but it was the way Omar died that shocked me.
He was in the corner store, getting his Newports, when he took one to the dome at the hands of a kid no older than 10. As much as I loved The Wire, I was more than a little shitty that a character as badass as Omar was given such an undignified end, even if it did perfectly show how Omar’s (and the other dealers in the neighborhood) behavior and influence shaped the kids who idolized and feared them. Omar’s death was the epitome of senseless violence.
One might argue that he had it coming. But not to his face.
Anastasia Dualla – Battlestar Galactica
For years, you’ve been on the run from a race of homicidal cyborgs intent on wiping out mankind. You travel across space, searching for a mythical planet called Earth with the hopes that you and the slightly-less-than 50,000 other colonists you’re running with can find salvation there. When you finally reach Earth (after finding out people you trusted and worked with were really cyborgs), you find it completely decimated by war at the hands of another race of cyborgs similar to the ones you’re running from. But after all of that, you agree to a date with your handsome ex-husband, and it seems that you’re willing to look past the fact that your marriage ended because he cheated. He wants to try again. Things are looking up. So, when he walks you to your quarters aboard your spaceship and bids you goodnight, you probably lull yourself to sleep with positive thoughts of new beginnings. Right?
Wrong. You take off your jewelry, fondly look at a picture of you as a child from much happier times, smile at yourself in the mirror, and then blow your brains out.
I was sure this meant she was the final Cylon when I first saw it. I was wrong.
Teri Bauer – 24
In 24‘s first season, right after a harrowing day of fighting terrorism, rescuing his wife and daughter, and pretty much saving the world, Jack Bauer thought he could go home with his family and take a much-deserved vacation. Not so fast, Bauer.
Turns out, his co-worker Nina was really a mole. After Jack’s wife Teri overheard Nina’s escape plans, well, just call her Loose End.
Check out this alternate ending where Teri survives.
I really wanted his daughter to die. Every season.
Rita Morgan – Dexter
Dexter, the serial killer who kills other serial killers, finally disposed of serial killer Trinity (played wonderfully by John Lithgow) in the season 4 finale. His wife and kids are on their way to Disney World. Yay! All is right with… oh, come on! Have you not been paying attention to what this list is about. Dexter walks into his house and listens to a message from his wife Rita in which she says she forgot something at the house and had to come back for it. He calls to tease her about her forgetfulness and the ringing of her cell phone fills the house. Then he hears his son crying somewhere in the house. He finds Rita dead in their bathtub, having been murdered by Trinity before Dexter could get to him, and their baby boy crying in a massive puddle of blood on the floor.
Heart-fucking-breaking. And I didn’t see it coming at all.
Ned Stark – Game of Thrones
If you hadn’t read the books before watching the first season of Game of Thrones (as I hadn’t), you would think Ned Stark (Sean Bean), noble lord of the north, was the hero of this tale and it would only be a matter of time – at least a season or two – before he delivered comeuppance to the evil Lannisters.
You would be wrong.
In the penultimate episode of season one, Ned gets his head cut.the.fuck off.
What the fuck just happened? Did that really just happen? WHY? That can’t be right! Tell me this is a dream! Am I dreaming? – Me, upon watching Game of Thrones S1E9.
Then I read the books and quickly figured out that George R.R. Martin just kills motherfuckers off for fun. That’s how he rolls.