Writing about ‘satisfying deaths’ in any forum a few decades back was a taboo, because death was always handled in a somber way regardless of how an individual lived his or her life. In previous years, the death of TV characters was not a cause for celebration. In fact, instances in which characters actually died were much fewer and farther between than they are in the 21st century.
TV productions today are going out of their way to compete with the movies in terms of creating heroic characters and psychotic villains. We fall in love with TV series because of just how unique a plot is, the sympathy or love we have for the protagonist, and at times, just how badly we want to see the villains face the law. Although we know that the characters we do not like much are important for our favorite series to continue, that knowledge does little to help us tolerate them.
We find ourselves wishing that the bad guys suffer a terrible fate, owing to their level of brutality, psycho behavior, criminal activity, or just the fact of them standing in the way of our heroes. Our hatred can at times be manifested in how we shout at the screen whenever they interfere with the plot, or how happy we are when they finally meet their death. Here are 15 characters in our favorite TV series whose deaths came as a very welcome and exciting surprise, tempting us to pop that bottle of champagne that we have been saving for a very long time.
Obvious Spoiler Alert: Proceed at your own risk!
15. Steve Newlin: – True Blood
Finally, Steve Newlin “met the sun.” The fact that he was manipulative, unfaithful, annoying, unstable, and a hypocrite made us wait for his death for too long. The interesting thing is that fans saw his death as a hilarious ending of this vampire’s life, despite thinking that he was going to be stronger in the future. Eric denied Steve an opportunity to drink Billith’s blood by holding him by the throat in the sun, yet the blood had the power to help vampires to survive out in the sun.
14. Lester Nygaard – Fargo
Lester was one of the most innocent looking villains of all time, and we were tempted to feel sorry for him to the extent of excusing him for his crimes. However, regardless of how bad his wife was to him, he had no right to kill her. He even went further, framing his brother for the murder, and started to grow even more evil with time. When Lester finally falls through the thin mountain ice to freeze to his death, we feel much better because Lester was an evil man who deserved to pay for his crimes.
13. Dr. Robert Romano – ER
It is wrong to hate doctors because these people save lives, right? Well, the hating part does not apply to Dr. Robert Romano. You can rightly call him a boss straight from hell, the mega-hostile and nasty Romano, or the most annoyingly sarcastic doctor in ER. His exit from the series was such a welcome step that the episode containing his demise attracted more viewers than the show had in years. His death resulted from a helicopter landing on him after losing control and crushing into a building.
12. Keith Summers – Bates Motel
Keith’s first appearance in the motel gives us the immediate impression that he is bad news, and we have no soft spot for him. Showing his dislike for the new owners of his once family-owned motel, he confronts Norma and Norman and tries to belittle their abilities to run their own business. Our hate for Keith escalates when he breaks into Norma’s house and rapes her. Norman comes back to the house and knocks Keith out, and later Norma stabs Keith to death. Though we did not know much about Keith, the little we knew was that he was bad and his death came as a relief.
11. The Reaper – Criminal Minds
If you are a fan of Criminal Minds, then you have seen some psycho characters that deserve nothing more than pure hate. However, you can agree with me that The Reaper should be at the top of the hate list. In addition to being a bother for several episodes, he climaxed his ruthless acts by killing Hotch’s wife. The only reward for us as viewers was to see Hotch beat the Reaper to death with his bare hands. Had it gone any other way we probably would have broken our TV screens attempting to kill the Reaper ourselves.
10. Peter Russo – House of Cards
We have mixed feelings about the death of Pete Russo. We are excited that he is gone and we still feel sorry for him because the worst villain of House of Cards was responsible for his death. The reason we were so happy for his death was that he never took his relationship, family or job serious enough because he was always greedy and easily tempted by drugs, sex, and alcohol. Our sympathy for him just does not equal our dislike for him, so his death was an awesome thing for the series.
9. Viserys Targaryen – Game of Thrones
Viserys Targeryen might have been a contender for the iron throne, but his ‘Iron Crown’ fit him just right. He was a very spoiled and self-centered prince who was willing to let anyone rape his sister if it served his needs. He would have killed her unborn child, or even kill his own sister just to be the only living Targaryen fit for the throne. When Khal poured molten gold on his head, we all felt relieved and at peace. The crowning could not have come at a better time.
8. Nina Myers – Twenty-Four
Twenty-Four has seen numerous villains, who were all brutal killers and passion driven terrorists, but Nina Myers was in her own league. Nina started off alright, which is why her death in the hands of Jack Bauer was so sweet. It felt as if we were all taking revenge on this woman who managed to deceive Jack, kill his wife, and turn to become a terrorist when she was supposed to be fighting them. The worst news is that even though it took just 24 hours to take most other bad guys down, it took a very long time to take Nina out.
7. The Governor: The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead lost two main characters in one season, but we celebrated the death of one of them in joy and jubilation. Finally, the self-appointed governor who was both ruthless and mad, faced his death in the hands of two women; one that he hated stabbed him, and one that he loved shot him. That was a good punishment for being a brutal and insane murderer who constantly came into conflict with everyone.
Honorable mention goes to Andrea’s death, as many viewers couldn’t take her stupidity any longer and were happy to finally see her go.
6. Ian Reed – Luther
Deputy Chief Inspector Ian Reed was a good person, and was Luther’s closest friend. However, when an officer starts compromising and taking bribes, he quickly falls out of favor with the audience, and that is exactly what happened to DCI Ian Reed. His attempt to cover his tracks by killing everyone including Luther’s wife and attempting to kill Luther, makes his death from a bullet shot by Alice Morgan a very sweet one.
5. Red John – The Mentalist
Patrick always had a score to settle with the man who killed his wife and son, a grudge that we have waited for over five seasons to witness be settled. Red John was a sharp serial killer mastermind who deserved far much worse than life behind bars or even the electric chair, and not knowing who the serial killer was all this time made us fear and hate him all the more. Patrick choked Red John to death after chasing him for a while, a moment where a sigh of relief was the only appropriate action from every viewer who was waiting for such a moment.
4. Arthur Mitchell (Trinity Killer) – Dexter
Arthur Mitchell got his nickname as the Trinity Killer from his habit of employing a pattern of three killings following a particular fashion. Despite hiding behind the role of a Christian family man, his serial killer lifestyle made us hate him so much. We were all hoping that Mitchell would have been brought to justice earlier because his ruthless killings were very disturbing. Dexter killing Mitchell with a hammer was one of the best scenes of season four, especially after discovering that the Trinity Killer was responsible for Dexter’s wife’s death.
3. Gus Fring – Breaking Bad
Gustavo Fring is a devious hypocrite who, on one hand, pretends to be a model citizen by donating handsomely to the DEA’s Albuquerque office as well as being a member of the Hospital board, while on the other hand operates a drugs business. This ruthless and inhumane meth distributor was willing to kill his associates, rivals, and anyone who would stand in his way. The homemade bomb that took Gus out was a work of genius and many people found themselves rewinding that scene several times, as they celebrated the end of their worst nightmare.
2. Joffrey Baratheon – Game Of Thrones
Game of Thrones is one of those addictive TV series that has so many characters we love to hate. However, one character that everyone is justified in hating is Joffrey Baratheon. The reasons to despise Joffrey included the fact that he had Ned Stark beheaded even after promising that he would pardon him, he treated Sansa Stark cruelly all the time, he shamed Tyrion Lannister with every opportunity, he was full of himself, and the list continues. His death by drinking poisoned wine, while shocking, was clearly the best thing that happened to the series, and that is a feeling that many people share.
1. Lorne Malvo – Fargo
Talking of evil villains in any setting would demand the mention of Fargo‘s Lorne Malvo. Malvo was either too good for the authorities to get him, or luck was simply always on his side. Although we would have wished for detective Molly Solverson to be the one to take him down, the fact that her husband ended his life was good enough. Having in mind that the series was a reenactment of actual events that took place kept us wishing for Malvo to die very early in the series.