Best of 2013: Top Five TV Deaths


The last year was surprisingly weak for small-screen deaths - yet the good ones went big. Really big. The Vampire Diaries went soft this last year. True Blood is usually a good source for bloody nonsense, but with the absence of showrunner Alan Ball, I guess we know who brought the red stuff. And I have pretty much blocked the final season of Dexter from my memory.

Yet those that made the list are the kinds of things that stick with you for awhile. They may not involve buckets of blood or dripping entrails, but they are unique and upsetting. These are TV’s best deaths.

The Walking Dead Episode 316: “Welcome to the Tombs”

The Walking Dead is always known for gruesome and gory deaths - of both people and zombies. There are certainly plenty of amazing deaths, but the one that sticks out in my mind is the season finale, in which the Governor shoots everyone. Literally. In his frustration with the prison group, he just mows down dozens of his own people. It was a war atrocity, pure and simple. It wasn’t the gore or violence that stuck with me; it was the cold brutality of the kill.

The Following Episode 103: “The Poet’s Fire”

This is possibly the most disgusting suicide I could ever comprehend. Carroll conspirator Jordy is shot and in police custody at the hospital. He realizes he has said too much and needs to kill himself in shame. But he’s cuffed. The only thing he can reach is the gauze covering his bullet wound. And he can only reach it with his mouth. So he gnaws on the bloody, scabby, pus-soaked bandage until he literally suffocates on it. I cannot think of anything more vile.

American Horror Story Episode 309: “Head”

Hank strolls into Marie’s shop and starts shooting people left and right. This is not what makes it one of the best deaths of the year. It is Hank’s death that wins. Queenie, having been shot in Hank’s rampage, is alive but not terribly mobile. She grabs one of his discarded guns, but can’t get a good angle on him. So she does something even better, and more guaranteed: she puts the gun in her own mouth and pulls the trigger. Queenie is the human voodoo doll. Anything she does to herself can be transferred to another person. So when she shot herself in the head, nothing happened to her - but Hank’s brains were sprayed out all over the shop.

Hannibal Episode 102: “Amuse-Bouche”

We don’t see the actual attack - all the violence comes from the description of how tonight’s victims died. They were put into diabetic comas, buried in shallow graves, and force-fed a sugar solution to keep the bodies alive long enough to grow special mushrooms. It is such a fascinatingly complex process that could only be pulled off by a mad genius. The victims weren’t  actually killed; that was just a byproduct of using them as mulch.

Under the Dome Episode 101: “Pilot”

I was not a fan of this show, but I was a fan of death-by-dome. While trucks and planes crashing into the invisible dome were cool, the shining moment of this series was the poor cow who was caught by the dome when it dropped. It was cut lengthwise, right down the middle, like a very disturbing science project.