Twin Peaks: “How’s Annie?”
Let’s start with the Daddy of plot twists (the Leland Palmer of plot twists, if you will). After a nightmarish stint in the Black Lodge we think good ol’ Coop has returned to us unharmed. Of course he hasn’t, this is David Lynch after all. He keeps up the masquerade, surrounded by friends, until he enters his bathroom. Seeing Bob’s face staring back at Cooper in the mirror is one of the most shocking and heart-breaking moments of television.
Game of Thrones: “Hold the door”
Finding out Hodor’s true purpose was desperately sad. Here was one of the few truly innocent and good-natured characters in the series and his entire life had been pre-determined for him. It was a tragic yet fitting end for one of the undisputed good guys of the series.
Dexter: “Rita meets Trinity”
The fourth season of Dexter was one of the real highpoints of the somewhat uneven show. When the show was good it was better than anything else on television and Rita’s tragic end was a perfect example of this. Trinity was a real threat to our beloved Dexter and the repercussions of his actions echoed for seasons afterwards. The image of Rita bathed in blood with Harrison by her side perfectly mirrored Dexter’s own tragic childhood and it was a harrowing scene to stumble upon.
When the show was good it was better than anything else on television and Rita’s tragic end was a perfect example of this.
Star Trek: TNG: “Picard becomes Locutus”
‘The Best of Both Worlds’ remains a classic cliff-hanger in television history; it set a precedent for modern televisual drama that is still being utilised today. Back when The Borg were still a genuine threat, before they were overused in Voyager, seeing Picard assimilated was unexpected, distressing and left viewers eagerly awaiting the next season. It’s a two-parter that is arguably better than many of the Star Trek films and well worth a watch, even if you’re not a ‘Trekkie’…
The Simpsons: “Who shot Mr Burns?”
Oh come on, we couldn’t have a list of the best plot twists in television and not include this little gem. This was another end of season cliff-hanger and an ambitious piece of television with its tongue planted firmly in cheek. The first episode of Season 7 documents the search for and discovery of the assailant. We
finally discover that the shooter was in fact Maggie Simpson, it’s funny and ridiculous. It’s The Simpsons at its best.