Six TV Characters Who Left Their Shows Way Too Soon
I’ll admit it. I get selfish and possessive when it comes to my favorite characters of television. We invest so much energy in getting to know these “people” that we’re oftentimes left feeling shafted when they’re shipped off into the abyss that is that strange black hole where the dead or done-with characters go. Of course, good writers in television know when it’s time to pull the plug on a character’s story arc, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t complain! We’re viewers with an inflated sense of entitlement! For those of you who’re way behind in your watching, spoilers ahead. I’m never letting James Darmody go, Boardwalk Empire. You might have dug up his crusty remains on the Season 4 finale, but now I’m simply waiting for you to write in that zombie invasion of the A.C. pier. In my opinion, here are six TV characters that left their shows way too soon, but I can’t watch everything. Who are some characters you shamelessly miss from some of your favorite TV shows?
In no particular order:
1. Quinn Fabray – Glee
I get it. Glee is a show about a high school show choir. High school students graduate. Still, ever since this show divided its cast between Lima and New York City, there’s been a little something missing. Dianna Agron’s Quinn was the original Glee mean girl, but she evolved into something so much more over the course of the series’ first season. Her ever-growing friendship with Rachel Berry was one of the show’s driving relationships for several seasons, but it seemed to come to an abrupt end as Fabray headed off to Yale without much fanfare. Quinn and Berry exchanged train tickets with plans to visit each other following graduation, but this proved to be nothing more than an unexpected and abrupt farewell to one of the show’s original leads. Sure, we’d see Quinn again, but her appearances throughout future episodes were sparse. I’m hoping Glee allows Quinn, who’s scheduled to appear for the show’s 100th episode, to have her moment to honor Finn Hudson.
2. Celia Hodes – Weeds
Many fans of the Showtime series argue that Weeds jumped the shark once Nancy Botwin and her family hightailed it down the shore for Season 4. Sure, there was no real comparison to the three seasons spent in the very suburban Agrestic, but I don’t think the show ever really spun out of control until Elizabeth Perkins was written out. There’s no real telling whether Perkins left completely on her own accord or because the show was simply out of options for Celia. Granted, her character had dwindled into a shell of the once quick and cunning Celia Hodes, but the sheer presence of Elizabeth Perkins was missed in the years that followed her departure.
3. Alaric Saltzman – The Vampire Diaries
Was this all about Matthew Davis’ impending leading role on Cult? According to an interview with TV Guide, that wasn’t the case. The Vampire Diaries had simply decided that good ol’ Ric had come to the end of his rope. Isn’t it kind of sad that we rarely get a good and decent sendoff with these supernatural series? It seems like any character we invest time and emotion in gets dragged through hellfire before getting inevitably snuffed out for good. Granted, watching Saltzman spiral into insanity before becoming the season’s “big bad” was unexpectedly awesome. Losing Alaric, the boozing buddy to Damon and heartfelt guardian of the Gilberts, was not.
4. Cordelia Chase – Angel
Getting pregnant as an actress is always a bit of a sticky situation, but on a supernatural television series, it usually spells trouble. Cordelia went from hilariously bitchy head cheerleader (Fun fact: Charisma Carpenter based her portrayal on Elaine from Seinfeld!) to total champion in her own right when she ventured over to Los Angeles along with Angel on the good vamp’s titular spinoff. As usual in these situations, the true nature behind writing out the popular main character remained a mystery. Some have speculated that Joss Whedon wasn’t happy with the unexpected pregnancy of his leading lady on a television series that was substantially packed with action, an otherwise happy event that would require a complete retooling of the direction of Angel. In the end, Carpenter returned for the series’ 100th episode, “You’re Welcome,” in spirit form, reminding Angel of his true calling and solidifying her love for him before disappearing into the ether of the Buffyverse. Don’t shed too many tears over the death of Cordelia Chase. Future Buffy/ Angel lore has revealed that she is, finally, working as a higher being.
5. Jimmy Darmody – Boardwalk Empire
The death of Jimmy Darmody was the moment that solidified Boardwalk Empire as great dramatic television, but in the wake of the shocking death of Nucky Thompson’s protégé, we actually had to lose Michael Pitt! There were a few nasty rumors swirling around at the time of Pitt’s departure from the HBO series, but once things settled it became clear that it was simply time to realistically write Jimmy out. From what I recall, Boardwalk Empire never really intended for Jimmy to go the long haul at Nucky’s side. “You can’t be half a gangster” came to define the show in the seasons that followed. I’ll be honest. I didn’t need to see Darmody’s skeletal remains, complete with the bolts in his bad leg, drudged up from the pits of the Season 2 finale during this past season’s closing episode.
6. Sister Mary Eunice – American Horror Story: Asylum
Okay, so the seasons of American Horror Story function as miniseries, but after building up so much drama surrounding the possessed Sister Mary Eunice, wasn’t it sort of jarring to have the fantastic corrupted nun abruptly snuffed out in the show’s tenth episode? We’d invested so much time in the demon’s plotting and scheming that the means in which she was written out kind of made it seem like all of her work was nothing more than chaotic play. I guess that would be how a demonic nun would function? Still, I was personally hoping for a greater purpose to be revealed behind the ways of Sister Mary Eunice. I was guessing that there would be more social commentary than there ended up actually being. Plus, we were served three final episodes of Asylum without the amazing Lily Rabe. Now that’s blasphemy!
Are you still mourning the loss of a favorite TV character? Have you let Jimmy Darmody go? Are you doing just fine without songbird Quinn Fabray? Were you happy the demon possessing Eunice was sent back to Hell when it was? Did Angel ever really survive the loss of Cordelia?