Death is a pretty regular occurrence on TV shows. It is used to boost ratings for sweeps or to increases interest in a waning show, or just because some creators like to rip the hearts out of their viewership (condemning side-eye in your direction GAME OF THRONES!). Sometimes these deaths are so amazingly written, acted and produced that they propel the show into storylines that create wonderful TV like The death of Mrs. Summers in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER or Col. Blake on MASH but then there are the deaths that seem to be the results of bad writing or a show that has become creatively bankrupt. These bad deaths result in horrible episodes of what were previously wonderful shows. And it is with this thought in mind that I give you my list of the 5 Suckiest Deaths in TV History!
5. Rosalind Shays (Diana Muldaur) – L.A. LAW
Rosalind Shays was a great character, she strolled into the offices of McKenzie in a smart business suit and some sensible pumps with one goal in mind: taking over as senior partner of the firm. Roz usurped power, backstabbed, lied and was just an all around pain in the keister for all of the fan favorite lawyers on the show. Over time she began to soften up, mainly because of her relationship with senior partner Leland McKenzie. The two seasoned attorneys made a pretty good couple so it was a bit of a surprise to watch as Roz and Leland were having a discussion while waiting for the elevator, the doors open and in steps Roz into an empty elevator shaft where she ended up falling to her death.
Why did it Suck?
Rosalind Shay’s death sucks because not soon after her demise the show jumped a great white shark. Sure a lot of that can be attributed to show creator David E. Kelly leaving not soon after writing Shay’s death but I think that by losing Rosalind the show lost what had been its best antagonistic character.
4. D.L. Hawkins (Leonard Roberts) – HEROES
D. L. Hawkins was a rarity in the TV show HEROES, he was a sane super-powered person who not only was adept at using his abilities (he could turn intangible) but he seemed to enjoy it. A reformed ex-con and husband of the brain addled Niki and father to precocious Micah, D.L. was put through the ringer dealing with Nikki’s split personals and the revenge minded Mr. Linderman even taking a bullet to save Nikki’s life before killing Linderman himself. The guy was a bonafide hero on HEROES. But his death was so lame and anti-climactic. Nikki goes on another one of her Sybil episodes so D.L. tracks her down to some dive bar where she was being all skanky with some random himbo. D.L. beats the guy up and procedes to take Nikki home when the himbo shoots him in the chest, killing D.L. dead.
Why Did It Suck?
Now I understood D.L. not using his phasing abilities to protect Nikki during the fight with Linderman but to have a freaking day player shoot a man with the ability to become intangible is just plain stupid. And then once D.L. dies Nikki follows him not long after (being replaced by a long lost sister who was all sorts of fail) and little Micah was relegated to almost guest star status on the show. Killing D.L. was the dumbest character death on the show and considering how many deaths on HEROES were mishandled that is saying something.
3. Anya (Emma Caufield) – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Anya was the bee’s knees. She was a reformed demon, with a great wit who feared and hated those scourges of the Earth known as bunnies. So in the last episode of the BTVS series during a battle against a bunch of uber vampires as part of a truly convoluted and terrible storyline, Anya met her end fighting the valiant fight to save Sunnydale and the rest of the world.
Why Did It Suck?
Now I wouldn’t be annoyed by her dying if her death wasn’t handled in such a shoddy way. I loved all of the other Buffy deaths (except for maybe Kendra’s who I thought had a lot of untapped potential plus Bianca Lawson is gorgeous) from Ms Calendar to Buffy’s mom. But poor Anya’s death was so quick and shot in such a way that I initially didn’t even realize she had been killed. I had to rewind a few times to make sure that she was actually bumped off. And then to add insult to injury her body was just left inside the high school to be sucked into a giant hole in the Earth and not one member of the Scooby Gang even noticed she was gone till a little while after. And even when they realized she was dead it didn’t seem like any of the Scoobies were really all that choked up about it. The insensitive bastards.
2. The Tailies: Ana Lucia/Eko/Libby (Michelle Rodriguez/Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje/Cynthia Watros) – LOST
The Tailies were the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 who happened to be sitting in the back of the plane. When the plane split in two, The Tailies ended up on a far less hospitable side of the island than Jack and his crew did. The Tailies were subjected to constant attacks by The Others and by the time the two sets of castaways were reunited there were only four Tailies left: Ana Lucia, Eko, Libby, and Bernard. Of those four only Bernard made it past Season 3. Ana Lucia and Libby both were shot by Michael in the last episode of Season 2 and Mr. Eko got taken out by the Smoke Monster in episode 5 of Season 3.
Why Did It Suck?
It sucked because it made Season 2 seem pretty damn worthless. We spent a boatload of time getting to know these characters and I personally started to like the remaining Tailies more than some of the regular castaways; I definitely liked all of them a hell of a lot more than that overrated dick Sawyer. And what does LOST do? Kills them in pretty rapid succession. A couple DUI’s and homesickness may have been contributing factors but there had to be better ways to handle these characters than what the show ended up doing.
1. Omar Little (Michael K. Williams) – THE WIRE
Omar was my third favorite character on THE WIRE (after Stringer Bell and Prop Joe) but I was prepared for him to die since the character lived a life that pretty much preordained a violent end. Omar spent the entirety of THE WIRE robbing the various drug lords in the show. The fact that he did so with a certain panache that stood in stark contrast to the grittiness of the show made the character even more likable. So in the final season of the show Omar had upped the ante in his war with top drug boss Marlo Stansfield after Marlo tortures and kills Omar’s friend and confidante Butchie. Omar goes on a rampage killing and robbing many of Marlo’s lieutenants while calling Marlo out for a face-to-face confrontation. I was really looking forward to that because the show had built Marlo up to an almost mythical level where no one could touch him, not the cops, not other criminals and not even Omar. So imagine my disappointment when Omar is shot and killed in a convenience store while buying a pack of smokes by the absolute worst character in the history of the show…Kenard!
Why Did It Suck?
Having one of the best characters on the show killed by the absolute worst is bad enough but to have it happen in a way that prevents a final showdown between Omar and Marlo was what really pissed me off. Removing that confrontation from the ending of the series made the finale of THE WIRE far less satisfying than I wanted it to be.