The 2014-15 season of TV was a landmark one for superhero TV shows! To celebrate, AP2HYC is hosting its first annual TV Awards. Make sure you vote for your favorites at the end of each article and keep checking back to see who wins!
Death comes for us all, whether we are real or fictional. Why is it that fictional deaths hit us so hard? It’s not like the actual actor or actress died, so there’s no real need to be upset, right? But we invest so much time and emotion into getting to know these characters that we truly feel like we’ve lost someone close to us whenever they die. On the other hand, we’ve seen just how vile and despicable a few people can be, so we can’t help but cheer whenever we watch them bite the big one. That being said, here are our nominees for the best (fictional) death of 2014-2015.
Featuring contributions from writers: Ryan Fitzmartin, Jason Wong, Eric Dodds, Brian Corliss
1. Antoine Triplett – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Antoine Triplett’s death is another sad casualty in the bloody Joss Whedon legacy of killing fan-favorite characters. Triplett died both tragically and heroically while destroying a dangerous alien artifact. It’s a well-written and -acted death. The last thing Triplett saw as he died was his friend Skye turning into stone. Its tragic, but it’s far from meaningless. Triplett’s death fractures Agent Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. team, and is an important plot point moving forward. Killing a beloved character should never be done lightly, and should always have consequences. Triplett’s death might have upset fans, but it served to drive the story forward.
2. James Wesley – Daredevil
Slimy and unlikeable at first, James Wesley turned into a character I would’ve liked to have as my own right hand. Layers of Fisk’s character were revealed through Wesley’s acts of loyalty towards him; acts that go beyond proxy threats and enforcement. Delivering Vanessa at a time he correctly felt his boss needed her the most demonstrated how well Wesley understood Fisk’s mind and heart. What makes his death spectacular is the height of tension of simultaneous events during that scene: the unwavering, unnerving calm of Toby Leonard Moore’s Wesley, Deborah Ann Woll’s exceptional performance, and both the surprising suddenness and finality of it. Even if Karen could conceivably murder someone, she fired the seven shots in such a dramatically rushed, interrupting fashion that the shock was reminiscent of Ned Stark’s decapitation in Game of Thrones‘ first season.
3. Anatoly Ranskahov – Daredevil
Ever go on a bad date? It happens to the best of us. Sure, we get angry, and sure, we may get upset, but have you ever been so mad that you bashed a guy’s head in with a car door? Anatoly Ranskahov’s death proved to us one thing: you don’t EVER interfere with Wilson Fisk’s dates. No matter what, his love life is always paramount. This death I feel is important for the character of Kingpin as it shows just how much you don’t want to make this guy angry. I mean, he bashed the Russian’s head into a car doorframe many times, and why? The guy embarrassed him in front of his date. This was the first time we saw Fisk’s rage. We knew he was such a big baddie, but we didn’t understand just how far he would go if you crossed him the wrong way. With Anatoly Ranskahov’s death came an important message: Don’t mess with Kingpin.
4. Fish Mooney – Gotham
Fish Mooney’s death is great for one reason and one reason only: it shows how much power Cobblepot has gained. Think back to the beginning when he was this really meek guy, hardly able to stand up for himself, and by the end of it all, he fights back against the very person he was afraid of and takes her life. The other thing to take away from this death is that it was slightly ambiguous. For all we know, Fish MIGHT have survived, but could’ve been mutilated or disfigured beyond recognition. She comes back with a vengeance and to reek havoc on Gotham, seeking out those responsible for her plight. This one death could set forth a chain of events that would eventually lead to the hardcore corruption of Gotham City, thus provoking Batman’s emergence in the future.
5. Eddie Thawne – The Flash
Eobard revealed to Eddie that they are in fact related–Eddie being the grandfather from over several Thawne broods, which explains why Reverse-Flash didn’t out-right murder him during “The Man in the Yellow Suit” episode, calling him his “insurance policy.” The season finale to The Flash was spectacular, from the emotion to the action, although the latter graciously kept tame to provide the former to have proper screen time; Barry and his mother, the wedding between Caitlin and Ronnie, Eddie finally on the up-and-up with the re-blossoming of his relationship with Iris. Head-to-toe, the finale was an emotional swing, all the way to the last act. Now, with all the talk about different timelines and pulling-apart of plot lines with what-ifs, there’s legitimate debate to Eddie’s rationale that sacrificing himself was the only way to stop Reverse-Flash. Eddie reacted on instinct and died an actual hero–he stopped a madman–though the reopening of the wormhole is a bitter punctuation to the tragic character he was the entire season. In my opinion, it’s the best death because it is truly sad, and martyrdom in superhero lore is aggrandized as heroism. Eddie was a human who made a choice to save those he loved, and as far as we know, it only half-worked. Depressing, as death oft so.
6. Danny Pink – Doctor Who
Danny Pink was one of the saddest deaths this year. It all started with a tremendously shocking car accident, one which shatters the heart of his girlfriend Clara, and leads her to do bad, bad things. This is a terrific moment, and leads Doctor Who to its strongest, most dramatic scenes in years. It was horrifying, it was unexpected, and it was absolutely perfect. Danny is later turned into a zombie Cyberman by Missy. From beyond the grave, Danny leads an army of CyberZombies into saving the Earth from Missy. He gives up the chance to return to earth and instead allows a young child that he killed to return instead. Pink’s death is a terrific television arc because it feels so real. It’s beautifully acted all around, and leads to so much character improvement. It also lends legitimacy to a show like Doctor Who, which is generally averse to killing off characters in a meaningful and permanent way. Danny Pink’s death is poetic, surprising, and very, very effective.
Honorable Mention: Nobu – Daredevil
NINJA ON FIRE!!! Ninjas of The Hand are known for turning into smoke when terminated but Nobu did so quite literally. Note that Murdock was losing. A desperation dropkick forced Nobu into the puddle of flammable chemicals. It’s debatable whether or not the critically injured Daredevil even knew he was going to deflect Nobu’s chained sickle into the overhead light that ignited the costume. Sure, the enhanced senses would’ve smelled the flammables and felt the hot light bulb easily enough, but to either aim to electrocute or toast the enemy means our vigilante hero intentionally murdered somebody, so let’s assume self-defense or fluke. It didn’t even end there! Nobu continued to attack in flames until Daredevil tripped him into the corner to fry. As far as deaths go, this one’s on fire. FLAMING NINJA DEATH! COME ON!
Who do you think had the best death this season? Cast your votes below!