As we all know, while watching any show, there are times that call for a suspension of your disbelief, and that especially rings true for certain genres, such as science fiction or fantasy. But even after suspending your disbelief a reasonable amount, there still remain shows with gaping plot holes. Some have many, some just a few, but almost every show you can think of has at least one. It would be difficult, after all, to create a completely fictional world without any oversights or mistakes. So I am here to point them out to you when it comes to some of HBO’s most popular hits.
A “plot hole” is defined by Wikipedia as a “gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot. Such inconsistencies include such things as illogical or impossible events, and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.”
Art, like life, is full of imperfections, and nowadays with people jumping all over every little deviation from the plot, mistake, oversight, or factual error on television, the plot holes are everywhere. Are you observant enough to have noticed? I will jump on the calling-shows-out-for-mistakes bandwagon and do just that. Following is a list of 15 plot holes you probably missed on HBO shows.
15. The Wire
The 2002 show The Wire tells the story of law enforcement officers and drug dealers amidst the Baltimore drug scene. It was a popular crime, drama, and thriller series that ran for five seasons from 2002-2008 on HBO, but despite its popularity, there were some unarguable plot holes. Many are quite minor, so much so that most people probably missed them (for example, why would Frank Sobotka have gone willingly to his own death, knowing that this would not save the union and for that matter, why would the Grek bother killing him knowing full well it would lead to a federal investigation?). Speaking of federal, where was the FBI and DEA through all of this, when the Barksdale Organization transported drugs from New York to Baltimore, making the case federal, not local? Things like these are the little plot holes that you may not have thought about while watching The Wire. The biggest plot hole agreed upon by fans of the show was, in fact, the experimental Hamsterdam, which in a show that explains most of the plot holes quite well, is a stretch. However, most fans seem to be ok with it since everything else is pretty real.
14. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is arguably one of HBO’s most popular current shows, a fantasy/adventure about families fighting for control over the mythical lands of Westeros. No matter how great it is, though, it is not without its plot holes. One of them is the fact that the red priestess Melisandre took off her necklace in the 2016 episode “The Red Woman”. Removing the pendant revealed her true form, which is a pale, ancient woman very different than the beautiful red-head that is Carice van Houten, who plays her. What is troubling about this is that previously, she had taken it off in the episode called “Mockingbird” earlier in the season while taking a bath. Then, nothing happened, so…?
A relatively new show, Westworld premiered on HBO in 2016, and season two will come out next year in 2018. It is a show about a futuristic theme park themed like the wild west. But there is more to it than that; the hosts are robotic, and the guests live out their fantasies through artificial intelligence. It sounds like a recipe for plot holes, if you ask me. One of those plot holes that fans have taken issue with is with the character of Maeve, and her level of control. She was able to change the storylines of the techs by the power of suggestion alone, something not even Dr. Ford can do. The question has now been posed that why would Dr. Ford need all the scientists and storytellers if he could create new storylines using only his voice? Storylines, as fans know, must be carefully programmed, and this has been consistently reinforced throughout the show. To be able to change one so easily and seemingly out of nowhere is quite a hitch in the plot, and makes little sense.
12. The Sopranos
The Sopranos ran for six seasons on HBO, and this show about New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) has a much-deserved 9.2-rating on IMDB. But even television’s highest-rated shows are susceptible to a plot hole here and there, especially when they run as long as The Sopranos, which has been called the greatest series in the history of American television by some critics. So did you notice that it seems more than a little strange that Tony Soprano and the New Jersey organized crime syndicate usually were the ones holding all the power, even when it came to New York City? It would make more sense that New York would be the more powerful gangsters and organized criminals, but in the world of The Sopranos, somehow Jersey trumps the Big Apple.
11. True Blood
Supernatural sex and violence made up the fantasy series True Blood (2008-2014), but it also opened it up for some major plot holes, of course. But there is such a thing as taking things too far, even with science fiction and fantasy. The idea of vampires “coming out” and living amongst humans- ok, I could see that. My brain can understand that, no matter how unlikely it is to happen. And with that are all sorts of storylines for telepathic waitress Sookie and her clan to experience. But when the show threw out the storyline of the books it was based on, they threw out all semblance of any sort of reality, at all. The plot got progressively nuttier until it was all sex. Bill was God with a bunch of naked chicks covered in blood all over him. Tara was a cagefighter, everyone was possessed by ghosts, vampires could also be fairies, Sookie was a princess, and basically the whole thing post- season four was one big plot hole. I am very sure you did not “miss” all of the above, but you probably had not considered it a plot hole since it was, well, the plot.
The depiction of a gold rush town in 19th century South Dakota, Deadwood aired on HBO from 2004-2006. It was by all means a great show, and is considered universally to have ended too soon (despite seasons two and three not living up to the first). In terms of plot holes, one scene that did not make much sense and can thus be considered a plot hole, happened in season two. Pussy disappeared to Puerto Rico, but upon returning, was (albeit grudgingly) accepted back into the fold. His story checked out, but many say that there is no way this would happen. He would never be trusted again. Some people explain it is indicative of Tony’s reluctance to do what is necessary, and he knows subconsciously that Pussy is compromised. Still, it does not make sense when you consider what would have most likely happened in that situation.
9. Boardwalk Empire
Another great HBO show is Boardwalk Empire, which aired from 2010-2014 and told the story of an Atlantic City politician playing both sides of the law during Prohibition. I have found that despite the show’s popularity, there was a rather large plot hole in the series finale. It seems that while a five-year-old Tommy had no clue who his grandmother Gillian was, in the last episode when Tommy is seen as a teenager, he somehow remembered her talking about Nucky, the corrupt Republican politician, gangster, and protagonist of the show. When Winter says Tommy grew up hearing about Nucky and Jimmy, it makes no sense because Gillian was locked away in prison, there is no way Richard opened his mouth about Nucky, and Julia did not know him. In the end, there is no way (well, no plausible way) that Tommy would first of all know things about Nucky, but more than that, that he would have such a deep hatred for him- enough hate to shoot him in the face, which as we know from crime shows is a passionate crime committed by one close to the person.
8. Game of Thrones Part 2
According to the basic laws of physics, it would have been impossible to cook Viserys Targaryen’s brains with a pot of gold. To melt gold, a fire has to be 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, yet the average cooking fire, for example, is only 700 degrees Fahrenheit. That is a huge difference. Still, somehow, Khal Drogo manages to melt five gold medallions from his belt into molten liquid within mere seconds in order to murder Daenarys’ brother. I call B.S. The moment happened quite quickly, so it is understandable if you missed it. But gold melting that fast is impossible, and Game of Thrones has been called out by multiple sources for the oversight. Daenerys gives Khal Drogo the go-ahead to kill her brother, and after her brother dies in agony, she becomes rightful heir to the Targaryen throne.
7. Sex and the City
It is hard to believe it has been 13 years since the sex-coms to end all sex-coms, HBO’s Sex and the City, ended. It is true that we have since had two movies out featuring Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, but it is not the same. Even with how beloved the show was, though, it still had its inevitable plot holes. One of the worst that you may or may not have noticed came in the fourth season, and involved pretty much everyone. Now I am all for having friends that stick with you through thick and thin, but Carrie’s actions in this episode call into question her true character, and it is a wonder that everyone- let alone anyone– would stick by her afterward. Carrie makes every effort to come up with the down payment money for the adjacent apartment she was to share with Aiden before he moved out (her fault). Despite the fact that Charlotte is recently divorced and jobless, Miranda is pregnant and alone, and Samantha is going through some serious emotional sh*t, Carrie does not care and makes her personal problems the center of attention, throwing a melodramatic tantrum like usual. She even freaks out on Charlotte, who ends up giving Carrie her old engagement ring, presumably to pawn for the cash. Carrie is kind of a terrible person, if you haven’t noticed, but somehow, her gal pals always end up backing her up, which aids her in never growing up, or having any financial responsibility, whatsoever.
One major plot hole of the HBO show Rome (2005-2007) is the inconsistent ages of the children. Rome is a show following the lives of Romans rich and poor in the last days of the Roman Republic, and it does a pretty good job of not having plot holes. So did you notice this one? It really doesn’t make sense. Other than tons of historically inaccurate errors, the ages of the kids are all over the place. The show begins in 50BC, when Octavia is 12, Lucius is a baby, and Vorena is at least eight. Three years later when Caesarion is born, Octavia is 19, Lucius looks four but should be seven, and Vorena still looks eight but should be in her teens. In 32 BC (18 years after the first episode), Octavia looks about 30, which would be correct, but Lucius looks seven (should be 18), Vorena looks like a pre-teen (should be 26), and Caesarion looks around eight, but he should be 15.
5. The Newsroom
Starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer, The Newsroom aired for three seasons on HBO and was a show about, well, a newsroom and the people working in it. One of the biggest plot holes here is with the character Maggie, a member of the News Night staff, played by Alison Pill. She, nor her storyline, are the most believable. It is unrealistic that she receives so much attention from the opposite sex, as it is that by the end of the show, she has become a big wig of sorts (a producer). I say this because she was an absolute mess in the beginning of the show, and on top of that, she has only had the job for about three years before being promoted to producer. In addition, she had a mental breakdown a la Britney Spears before the start of season three that saw her chopping her hair all off and dying it crazy. It does not seem like in real life, Maggie would be successful in her job, and definitely not to the point of becoming a producer that quickly.
4. The Night Of
There are a couple of gaping plot holes so far in the new-ish show on HBO, The Night Of. Its premise is central to these plot holes, which- gaping or not- you may not have noticed. The story is about a man who wakes up to find the girl he was partying with stabbed to death. Naturally, he is charged with her murder (but despite there being blood everywhere, as is typical with this kind of killing, his defense never once brings up the point that he had no blood anywhere on him). However, much of what follows makes no sense. He is jailed at the notorious Rikers Island, New York City’s main jail complex on the city’s East River. Viewers have pointed out that as an accused murderer, he would not be out of handcuffs unless he was in his cell, nor would he be mixed with a population of inmates charged with lesser crimes. These are mostly factual errors, but the biggie that you may have overlooked is the glaringly obvious fact that he had no blood on him and no one on his defense team thought to question that.
3. Big Love
Big Love is the fictional, HBO-version of TLC’s reality show, Sister Wives. Both shows follow the lives of a polygamous family made up of a husband, multiple wives, and their children. From 2006-2011 we watched the Hendrickson family live their unique lives, although plenty of people deemed the show’s storylines too “busy” (how could it not be with such a big family?). This, of course, left plenty of room for plot holes. Besides the implausible scenarios and the lack of any realistic conversation, there is the fact that at one point in season four, polygamist patriarch Bill just waltzes onto Hollis Green’s compound, despite them knowing that he is coming, and when he is coming. Also, in the time it took Bill to drive to the compound (24 hours), way too much happened for it to have really only been 24 hours. For example, Ana and Goran got three visits from various Hendricksons, started packing to leave the country, got the marriage proposal from Margene, considered and decided to do it, took holiday photos, and somehow had time for the wedding.
2. The Sopranos Part 2
Another plot hole in The Sopranos can be seen with the show’s main character, Tony Soprano. He is the boss of the DiMeo crime family, and would thus understand the mafia’s priority of making money. Given this fact, he would have never killed Ralph. He beat him and strangled him to death based on suspicion that he had caused a fire that killed Pie-O-My. After he is dead, Ralph is dismembered and decapitated (his death was ruled accidental by the insurance company). But the murder makes no sense because Ralph was the highest-earning member of his crew, and obviously, money is what drives the mafia. Between Ralph’s vehement denial of any wrongdoing, Tony’s general nature, and the fact that Ralph earned more money than anyone else, it is implausible that he really would have killed him. However, since he did kill him, he concocted a story about how Johnny Stack killed Ralph over a business deal gone wrong.
1. Game of Thrones Part 3
While, like I said before, Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on HBO, it is also likely the culprit with the most plot holes. One that may have not occurred to you is… where the hell is Gendry? The skilled blacksmith and bastard son of King Robert Baratheon escaped the island of Dragonstone, but it is like he vanished into thin air, because as far as the world knows, he is still rowing away. For all we know, he will return someday, but for now, Gendry is just a big blank in the storyline, and a major hole in the plot. He was once a pretty significant part of the show during its first few seasons, but after his escape, with the help of Ser Davos Seaworth, the last we saw of him was as he rowed away from Dragonstone toward King’s Landing, and that was quite awhile ago, as in a few seasons ago.