Without a good plot twist, TV would be incredibly boring and predictable. The best shows are the ones that weave intricate webs only to shock you at the most unexpected moment with a big fat juicy twist and turn. Usually, surprises can ruin your favourite character, develop the plot but most of all, they turn the tables upside down. Literally, in some shows. Here are some of my favourite plot twists on TV.
The Bad Place on The Good Place
No one expected that a lighthearted comedic show featuring a bunch of characters who have died and entered ‘The Good Place’, a form of heaven for people who have been good their whole lives to have a surprising plot twist. But it did. The first season finale saw lead character Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) figure out that the four main characters had really been in The Bad Place, an equivalent for hell, the entire series. This changed the entire tone and trajectory of the show, making the show all the more interesting by adding a depth of layer to the story.
Mr. Robot on Mr. Robot
Not knowing what’s going on in Mr. Robot is to be expected from the show but I was definitely shook when it was revealed that Mr. Robot was a construct of Elliot Alderson’s mind. Taking the form of Elliot’s father who died after Elliot pushed him out of a second-story window, Mr. Robot’s identity reveal was a big shock at the time. While showrunners have said they made this Fight Club-esque twist obvious, I did not see it coming and it definitely surprised me to learn Elliot was pushing himself off of railings and fighting himself. It’s a lot to take in and it definitely makes the show a lot harder to follow. This isn’t the only twist and turn the show has either – when it turns out he hasn’t been in prison the entire time? Please writers, give my brain a break.
Ward as a HYDRA Agent on MARVEL’s Agents of Shield
HYDRA’S infilitration of S.H.I.E.L.D in The Winter Soldier had a knock on effect on the show Agents of Shield with the writers making sure that every piece and puzzle was connected from film to show. As a result, fans beloved character Grant Ward who we had grown to love and cherish through the show revealed himself as a traitor. For me, this was heartbreaking as he was my favourite character and was building a relationship with Daisy (Skye at the time). However, some think this made the character more interesting, giving the actor something more to do rather than being a bland and noble warrior. Grant was the last person viewers suspected would be an enemy and that’s why it worked so well.
Everything that ever happened on Orphan Black
Orphan Black was a series that for five seasons thrived on twists and turns – enemies became partners, every single character had a secret, there were conspiracies left right and centre. Amongst the shows shocks are the deaths of Dr. Leekie, the reveal that Delphine, Donnie and Paul were actually monitors, the fact that Mrs. S knew everything from the start. Even from the very beginning, the show’s central premise lies in that the lookalikes, all played by Maslany, were clones, part of a massive experiment. Like Mr. Robot, this show will fuck you up – but in a way that is brilliantly thought out from start to finish.
The Red Wedding in Game of Thrones
Death in Game of Thrones is expected, however for those who haven’t read the book, the slaughter at the red wedding was NOT expected. In a breathtakingly, shocking betrayal, Robb Stark, his mother, his wife and unborn child are all led into an ambush at his uncle’s wedding reception. Robb’s allies and men are slaughtered alongside the feast and wine. It’s a beautiful moment that lasts all of a few moments but upsets the balance of the war for the Iron Throne, limiting the numbers of the Stark Family to less than none. The Red Wedding confirms that my favourite characters are always the ones that get killed. It also revealed a deeper conspiracy at play. It was possibly one of the most stressful and distressing hours of television but it was beautifully executed in all its inexorable pain.
Meyer Offerman’s true identity in Hunters
With a total of 10 episodes and starring the wonderful Logan Lerman and Al Pacino, Hunters follows a bunch of Nazi Hunters as they attempt to get revenge on those that persecuted the Jews during the war. It also has two of the biggest WTF moments in television history. The entire season follows Meyer Offerman as he attempts to find The Wolf, the Nazi surgeon who committed heinous acts in the Holocaust and for the entire last episode, we’re led to believe that Friedrich Mann is The Wolf. However, after Meyer Offerman kills Mann, Jonah susses out what’s really going on: The Wolf is actually the character we’ve come to know as Meyer, whose been living in disguise for over 30 years since the end of the war, who we’ve loved and cherished for welcoming Jonah into the family. When you go back to watch the show again, the twist is pretty predictable and is set up firmly by episode 5’s ending. At the time, however, it’s unbeknown and it’s a really nasty twist that’s bound to be divisive as The Wolf tries to justify his logic and make himself the victim. It’s a horrific act of appropriation that ends the season with a big moment. Oh, and Hitler is still alive in Argentina