11 Television Characters We Are Still Gonna Miss in 2018
*Spoiler Warning Y’all! for Television Shows in 2015-2016-2017*
I’m the type of television viewer who gets really attached to characters. The plot might be shaky and weird at times, but if I love the characters and actors I will remain loyal to the bitter end—even if it is very bitter. So when a show kills off a character I love for plot reasons, character reasons, or external contract issues it can cause a multitude of reactions from me. As I enter the year of our lady 2018, there are still some character deaths from the past few years in television that have stuck with me. Some for good reasons and some for angry what the hell were you thinking reasons. Here are the characters I’m still holding onto in 2018.
Again. Since this is a death post SPOILERS for viewers who don’t want to anything about the following shows: [Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, Lost Girl, Last Tango in Halifax, Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, Nashville, GoT, Reign, The 100 and This is Us]
1: Abbie Mills (Sleepy Hollow):
Sleepy Hollow‘s failure is a bitter wine that I have gladly drunk. Not only did Sleepy Hollow decide to go from having a pretty solid season one with a strong, vibrant fanbase to a basic-mess in season two, it made the grand decision to kill off it’s co-lead, Abbie Mills at the end of season three. Now, if you know anything about black twitter and television shows, you know that if y’all mess with our people we will drag you–ask Twisted. Many black fans, including myself, were pissed that the show made this choice after sidelining Abbie in season two and not giving her better storylines in season three. So this was just an extra slap in the face. The show then also had the gall, the utter gall, to replace Abbie with another WOC in season four. Well, it was too little, too late and the transparent reach to try and keep fans failed and the show was canceled this year. Moral of the story: don’t mess with Abbie Mills. Sleepy Hollow, congratulations, you played yourself.
2: Tasmin (Lost Girl):
Tam-Tam was not my favorite character on Lost Girl–Team-Lauren all day. However, the way she went out was a huge disservice to the character. Not only was she the victim of magical rape, followed by magical pregnancy, but her story was capped off with death via pregnancy…because that’s just what happens to Valkyries apparently even though that wasn’t established at all. Her arc from antagonist to anti-heroine/love interest after coming in the third season was impressive to watch and the fanbase she established in the Lost Girl fandom speaks for itself. Her story was just not satisfactory and despite the show having many queer women on the character roster, the cliche and reductive nature of her death still stand out as a low-point in the series writing choices along with Hale’s death the season before. If you are a women-positive-leaning show, you don’t kill off your queer leads with rape plots and magical pregnancy. That should just be off the table of every writing room from now on.
3: Lexa (The 100):
The tasteless death that launched a movement. What was so spectacularly harmful about Lexa’s death on The 100 was the complete and utter ignorance of the writers about what the problem was. Not only had they teased Clexa stuff to happen further along in the series, but they went out of their way to promote the couple online. So when Lexa was murdered to free the actress to pursue Fear the Walking Dead it was a gut punch to all the loyal queer women viewers who supported the show. Plus, they apparently had no idea that the way Lexa was killed was problematic. Not only because it was a lesbian woman killed by a father-figure, and the fact that it happened right after Clexa had sex, but how similar it was to the murder of Tara from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. If you don’t know something so basic about the history of “Bury your gays” in genre shows, especially a show like Buffy, maybe you should give the wheel to someone else.
4: Rayna James (Nashville):
You might not have guessed it, but I love country music. Well, more so female country music: Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, etc. So I have been faithfully watching Nashville since it first started on ABC and then when it was picked up by CMT. Rayna James played by actual human queen Connie Britton was always my favorite character. I know people loved the drama that Juliette Barnes brought, but I found Rayna’s personal domestic struggles to be extremely poignant. Her speech at the “CMA Awards” is one of my favorites. Her death gutted me, even though I know it was rumored that Britton wanted to leave for a while. Still, I wasn’t ready. The show will be coming back for a sixth season and while I’m curious to see how they wrap things up, there will be a Rayna sized hole in my heart.
5: Mary Queen of Scots (Reign):
Now, seeing as how this is a show about Mary Queen of Scots, we always knew that Mary was going to die and it was expected that in this final season her execution was going to be a big part of the show. Except it wasn’t. The main reason I’m going to miss Mary is because the final season of Reign shortchanged the character so badly I wanted to fling my remote at the tv when the ax finally landed on her head. You spend all of these seasons making extremely cute, but period inappropriate gowns and you can’t even have the decency to give Mary her iconic drama queen martyr dress? It was literally the least you could do. Mary was imprisoned in England from 1568 to 1587, nearly 20 years, was the subject of many plots and it is treated with a…time skip. You don’t even get to see Mary escape from Scotland to England. For a show that felt the need to spend it’s time with corny romantic plot lines and drama that dragged out the inevitable, I was disappointed that they copped out at showing any part of the latter half of Mary’s life. Considering she died at 44, 20 years is a long time. Still, I supposed they couldn’t show Mary having sex or falling in love with a random brunette so they figured what was the point. Adelaide Kane did amazing work on the show and while she’s now on the sinking ship that is Once Upon a Time, she’ll always be Queen Mary to me.
6: Olenna Tyrell (Game of Thrones):
We may not cover Game of Thrones anymore on the site, but it still a part of the pop culture world. A lot of people die on the show, but none have come close to going out in the flame of glory that was Olenna Tyrell. Not only does she manipulate Jamie into killing her a much softer way than Cersei would have preferred, but she spends her last moments on Westeros dragging Jamie to the dark place where all the season one wigs from the show have gone. The Monday after she died all anyone could say was “Tell Cersei it was me.” Olenna we miss you and we want you back, please! Olenna the White Walker!
7: Mrs. S (Orphan Black):
Maria Doyle Kennedy has owned a piece of my heart ever since her turn on The Tudors as Katherine of Aragon. Probably the best brunette to fill the role. A huge part of the reason I was excited to watch Orphan Black in addition to all the other amazing reasons, was because Mrs. S aka Siobhan Sadler was a total badass. Both as a foster mother to the clone girls, but also as a fighter in her own right. I screamed when she was shot and I have to confess I still haven’t finished the series because I have yet to fully process all the feels.
8: William Hill (This is Us):
I’m gonna admit, I was late to the This is Us game and I am still catching up on the series bit by bit because I don’t want to be constantly blotting my eyes with tears. Probably of all the storylines that made me weep the most was William’s storyline. It was a beautiful exploration of a man whose life was filled with promise that was ruined by addiction. Yet, it humanized him and asked the audience for empathy. Nothing about William was simple or stereotypical. His scenes with Sterling Brown will make you cry, especially in their final episode together before William passes away due to cancer. You know that there are many things he wishes he could have done differently, but his last months alive were spent with the son he loved and his sons family. He got to die as a beloved father and grandfather. Excuse me, I need to blot my eyes again.
9: Poussey Washington (Orange is the New Black):
Yeah, still mad about this one. Orange is the New Black had the best of intentions when it came to their desire to have a Black Lives Matter storyline, but for me and many other black viewers, it fell short and only left us down one more amazing black lesbian character in media. What sucks about Poussey’s death and why it ultimately doesn’t work as a “Black Lives Matter” story is because they constructed Poussey to be the perfect victim. Her crime was non-violent and petty, she was super intelligent, had a good romance going, has an optimistic future ahead of her. I mean she was going to have a real job after prison. Plus we know she was 100% innocent in her death. That’s not a good BLM story because being the perfect victim or exceptional shouldn’t make her death more meaningful than if it was Black Cindy or Janae Watson. (I’ve always held that Watson should have been the character they picked for this SL because she is probably the least liked in that core black-group and her death wouldn’t have been something fans could have really conversed about because she is not likable at all whereas everyone loves Poussey). There is no such thing as a perfect victim and painting Poussey as one does nothing to teach people about racism. In the end, her death has been the big thing that has kept me from watching the newest season of OITNB. I don’t want to watch a show where Piper is still around and kicking, being the worst, while Poussey was gonna to tell a storyline that in the end didn’t teach me anything I didn’t already know.
10: Kate McKenzie (Last Tango in Halifax):
For the two people here who might know about Last Tango in Halifax, hey guys! To everyone else, go watch it on Netflix. The first three seasons are up and it is probably one of the best British comedy-dramas out. However, there is one thing I was extra-extra unhappy about on the show and that was the death of Kate McKenzie. Kate was a black lesbian woman who was the love interest of main character, Caroline Dawson. After two seasons and much fuss, they get married and decide to have a daughter together. (You know how babies love to ruin lesbian storylines.) Then in the third episode of the third season, Kate is in a car accident and dies, while their daughter, Flora is safely delivered. Now, let me be clear to you all about something. In this third episode, Kate and Caroline exchange vows in the same episode in which Kate dies. The same episode. This decision was made in order to create a reconciliation between Caroline and her mother Celia, who hadn’t come to the wedding. Now, I call bullshit on this because not only did they use the only queer character of color as an emotional device for her white partner’s development, but they decided that Caroline having a relationship with her mother, who did not attend her wedding, was more important than her being in a happy lesbian relationship. That’s gonna be a no for me dawg.
11: Laurel Lance (Arrow):
Yep, still bitter about it. I think I will always be bitter about the treatment of Laurel Lance on Arrow. Not only is Black Canary one of my favorite comic book characters, but every lazy stereotype about CW female characters was present in the way she was shortchanged not only as a female character but as a female heroine. From the way her fighting abilities were retconned from season one to later and to when people would gang up on her for being pissed about being lied to, it was clear the show wasn’t good at understanding her. When the character was killed off writers said it was because they had no more stories for her. Yet they have kept bringing back Earth-2 Laurel aka Black Siren and felt the need to bring in Dinah Drake to fill in the Canary spot. So why was Laurel killed off again? Oh right because you guys suck at this. That’s why it took four seasons for you to properly integrate Iris West into the narrative and have it not just be about Barry all the time. Ugh.
What are the character deaths that you have refused to let go of?
(via , image: NBC)
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