Thursday, February 28, 2013

TV Obituaries, Vol. 2: February 2013

Spoilers follow for Justified, Nashville, Revenge, ScandalSpartacus, The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead.

List is ranked according to what percentage of the show's total episode count the deceased character appeared in at the time of their death, starting low and counting down to high.

R.I.P. Sabinus (Spartacus)

Died: Season 3 Episode 4 - "Decimation"

Episode Count: 4 / 33

Cause of Death: Executed by beating for military insubordination

Obituary: One of Spartacus' many Romans to fail to live past the single-digit episode count, Sabinus was actually marked by unusual honor and genuine nobility for a Roman on this show. He was loyal and brave and, while he wanted to defeat Spartacus on the field of battle, didn't seem to have a genuinely malicious bone in his body. So, naturally, he was the first major Roman to die this season.

R.I.P. Atticus Shane (The Vampire Diaries)

Died: Season 4 Episode 15 - "Stand By Me"

Episode Count: 11 / 81

Cause of Death: Killed by the vampire Silas

Obituary: Despite his relatively high episode count, Professor Atticus Shane was more plot device than true full-blooded three-dimensional character. He had a token tragic backstory about his dead wife, but really existed as a means to introduce the season's villain Silas and to get our resident witch Bonnie addicted to dark magic (ala Willow in Buffy season 6). Then he died. Few tears were shed.

R.I.P. Nate Ryan (Revenge)

Died: Season 2 Episode 14 - "Sacrifice"

Episode Count: 7 / 36


Obituary: Nate Ryan spent this season of Revenge working on his evil plan to depose likable everyman bartender Jack Porter from the Porter bar/home so he could, I don't know, develop evil real estate on the docks or something? It was all pretty vague and stupid. He then took Jack and Jack's wife Amanda hostage on their boat and accidentally blew himself up.

R.I.P. Jason Scott (Nashville)

Died: Season 1 Episode 14 - "Dear Brother"

Episode Count: 3 / 14

Cause of Death: Apparently beaten to death offscreen by someone he crossed in prison

Obituary: This one was a little strange, for its offscreen nature, extreme suddenness, vagueness, and for the fact that, up to this point, Nashville didn't really seem like a character death type of show. Can't really say I'll miss him or anything, though.

R.I.P. Helen Crowley (Revenge)

Died: Season 2 Episode 13 - "Union"

Episode Count: 8 / 35

Cause of Death: Gunshot to the chest

Obituary: This death was amusing, if only because all season Helen Crowley, a high-ranking member of the evil Americon Initiative, was characterized as this all-powerful shadowy behind-the-scenes figure with infinite wealth and infinite connections who had nothing to fear from anyone. So it was pretty funny when Victoria Grayson just suddenly decided "no," pulled out a gun, and shot her dead.

R.I.P. Axel (The Walking Dead)

Died: Season 3 Episode 10 - "Home"

Episode Count: 8 / 29

Cause of Death: Gunshot to the head

Obituary: Probably the most shocking thing about prisoner-turned-Team-Rick-member Axel's death was looking the actor up on IMDb before writing this and discovering that he appeared in just shy of a third of the entire series of The Walking Dead before being murdered by the Governor. This probably speaks to how little impact he made and how little I cared about him. Sorry, Axel.

R.I.P. Arlo Givens (Justified)

Died: Season 4 Episode 8 - "Outlaw"

Episode Count: 22 / 47

Cause of Death: Stabbed in prison, died at hospital later that day

Obituary: Now we're up to the big deaths of February. And it don't get much bigger than the father of the main protagonist of one of the best dramas on TV. Small-time criminal Arlo was always such an enjoyable bastard to watch and continually entertaining as a thorn in his lawman son Raylan Givens' side that, while I can't go so far as saying I'm saddened by his death, I will miss his scoundrel/asshole presence.

R.I.P. Verna Thornton (Scandal)

Died: Season 2 Episode 13 - "Nobody Likes Babies"

Episode Count: 10 / 20

Cause of Death: Asphyxiated by the President of the United States

Obituary: Supreme Court Justice Verna Thornton, one of a small cabal of people involved in rigging the last presidential election, got cancer, grew a conscience, and hired an assassin to take out President Grant, hoping to free the nation from its false leader. When that didn't work, she revealed on her deathbed to Grant her intentions to tell the press the truth before she died, so he calmly pinned her arms down, removed her oxygen mask, and watched her die. Oops. Shoulda kept quiet, Madam Justice!

R.I.P. Amanda Clarke aka Emily Thorne (Revenge)

Died: Season 2 Episode 14 - "Sacrifice"

Episode Count: 23 / 36

Cause of Death: Injuries sustained in the same boat explosion that killed Nate Ryan

Obituary: Now this one was actually pretty sad! Amanda – born Emily Thorne – was a former delinquent who switched names with titular revenger Amanda Clarke when they were in juvie together, thus providing Emily with the alias she needed to go on her revenging spree. Amanda has always been a great wildcard – sometimes a pawn, sometimes a player, sometimes in the dark, sometimes in on the scheme, usually an ally of Emily's but occasionally an antagonist, too. Ultimately, they were sisters bound in secrecy, and Amanda's final moments were fittingly spent in Emily's arms.

R.I.P. Jeremy Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries)

Died: Season 4 Episode 14 - "Down the Rabbit Hole"

Episode Count: 65 / 80

Cause of Death: Drained of all blood via the neck by the vampire Silas

Obituary: This is a big one. In terms of sheer episode count, I'm willing to bet the demise of Jeremy Gilbert will be one of the top two or three TV deaths of 2013. Jeremy has worn several hats through the series, from doofus in the dark to all supernatural happenings to a witch's love interest to a superpowered vampire hunter, but all the while his key role has been protagonist Elena Gilbert's brother, the last family in her life. I haven't always loved every story Jeremy's had, but his is clearly a death that will be felt and impact the series for probably all the years left in its run.

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