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Monday, March 26, 2012

Why There is Nothing Better Than A Shocking TV Death.

I just wrapped up the second season of Walking Dead and if you have not seen it yet, either don’t read ahead, or sit down. After a weak start to Season 2, Walking Dead returned after a break to not only finish the season in style, they finished in blood. In the span of 3 episodes, 2 Major and 2 Minor characters were killed by the Zombie hoards.  With the deaths of both Dale and Shane in back to back episodes followed by the death of two of Hershel’s family, The Walking Dead was relentless in its pursuit to shock its audience and it succeeded in doing just that. The amazing thing about TV Deaths, especially ones you don’t see coming is that unlike a movie, TV shows don’t end at the episode. You have to come back for another episode or season and realize that character you loved so much is just gone. There were times where I saw some of these deaths coming and others where I was completely shocked (see the top of my list). The shocking end to the season had me thinking of the best and most shocking TV deaths. Here are my top 10 TV Most Shocking Deaths in order.

10.          Omar Little (The Wire- 2008)
Omar little was the bad guy of all bad guys ruling the streets of Baltimore in this fan favorite show. The Wire is no stranger to killing of its characters in dramatic ways but having the ruthless street thug shot in the back of the head by none other than a young teenage boy was simply riveting and horrifying. It certainly earns a place on the list.

9.            Jimmy Darmody (Boardwalk Empire 2011)
Another HBO series is at work here with a climactic season 2 finale would give us one of the year’s most shocking deaths. After Jimmy (awesomely played by Michael Pitts) failed in his attempt to overthrow  Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), Jimmy saw his end at the hands of the Atlantic City Mob Boss. Many saw this coming but it was still quite awesome as Nucky established who was boss and Jimmy went swimming with the fishes.

8.            Terry Crowley (The Shield 2002)
The Shield is a show that not everyone has seen but should see. The show’s brutally honest and gritty portrayal of the cop world was quite entertaining. But the show set its tone at the very beginning with the murder of a young cop. Vic Mackey the polarizing star of the show killed his partner to cover up his tracks. With all the hype prior to the show, no one saw this coming, which made it all the more entertaining.

7.            Lucy Knight (ER 2000)
I am not the biggest of followers of the show ER but I did have my stint where I enjoyed and within that span I painfully watched the death of one of my favorite characters. Lucy Knight played by Kellie Martin was always a fan favorite but her being stabbed to death and subsequently bleeding out on the floor was a heart wrenching scene. ER was always good for some dramatic moments. This death may have been its best.

6.            Dee Dualla (Battlestar Galactica 2009)
If by now you don’t know it, I love this show and recommend it to everyone. The show was not amazing at everything but it sure understood drama and was very good at digging deep into its characters. Dee was always a solid character, a moral compass of sorts on the show has long struggled with her failed marriage with Lee Adama. Clearly troubled by all she had gone through, the crazy reversal of being happy was astonishing as Dee looked in a mirror, grinned, then shot herself in the head.  Sad, so very sad.

5.            John Locke (Lost 2009)
I have to admit I was not a crazy fan of the show. I enjoyed the drama but I didn’t like my writers making stuff up every season as if they didn’t expect there to be another one. One of the better moments was certainly the death of Mr. Lock at the hands of Ben Linus. Lock and Linus were awesome characters on the show and a death of such an important character is always shocking. Too bad he didn’t stay dead.

4.            Adriana La Cerva (The Sopranos 2004)
For a show about a Mob family you expect there to be some classic deaths and The Sopranos didn’t disappoint. One of their best has to be that of Adriana who was betrayed by her fiancé Christopher who had made his choice and stuck by the family. As she was driven into the woods to meet her demise, we all knew what was coming, and it made it all the more shocking.

3.            Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones 2011)
Without a doubt the most discussed TV death of 2011 was that of the leader of the Stark Family. Once again, HBO Does a great job here and is merciless as the shows lead character and hero is slain, proving that there is no lead character and no hero in the Game of Thrones. Though copying the novels, the show’s fan base goes beyond the George R.R. Martin readers and this death still came as a shock to all watching. Additionally, the show’s creators deserve props for how agonizing and painful the death was.

2.            Teri Bauer (24 2002)
It’s a good thing the writers took such a drastic plot twist in the first season, I only watched two of them. Teri, wife to the one and only Jack Bauer shockingly saw her life come to an end right before her reunion with Jack after the family’s day from hell. Jack saved the world (the first time), Teri escaped her captures, and all was well, unfortunately the Mole didn’t get the memo.

1.            Rita (Dexter 2009)
In one of the greatest seasons in TV history, came the most shocking TV death of all time. The entire season of Dexter was perfectly done and could not have ended better. Dexter had just come back from killing Trinity (the award winning and awesome John Lithgow) and with his wife and kids away on vacation, Season 4 was poised for a calm and satisfying ending. Unfortunately for Dexter but fortunately for us TV loving people, the last few moments of the season were its best. Dexter arriving home, calling Rita’s cell only to realize her cell was in fact home threw a wrench in the perfect ending. Then as Dexter made his way to bathroom the reality for him and his viewers began to settle in. I was shocked and left with my mouth wide open as Dexter found his wife murdered and left in a bath of blood with his son left in the pool of blood all alone. The death angered me, thrilled me, and had me begging for more. Dexter, bravo, that’s how it’s done.

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