Shocking TV

Fans of Game of Thrones have been crushed by the events of the latest episode. Here, we take a look at other television shows that shocked us.

Nina Kenwood on Dexter


The last scene of Dexter’s season four finale goes down as one of my most shocking moments in TV history. (Disclaimer: major spoilers ahead!)

Season four of Dexter featured John Lithgow as the very creepy Trinity serial killer. A season-long game of cat and mouse built to an epic showdown between Dexter and Trinity in the final episode, with Dexter predictably emerging as the victor. This was the typical Dexter narrative formula and after Trinity’s death, I expected a short Dexter monologue wrapping things up and then the credits to roll.

Instead, the final scene followed Dexter as he returned home to find his wife Rita brutally murdered in the bathtub and his infant son sitting on the floor in a pool of her blood. The image was so stark, gruesome and shocking that I was disturbed by it for days. I truly wasn’t prepared for such a bloody, awful end for Rita, a character I had grown attached to, and it upset me on a very personal level.

Other shocking TV moments that come to mind include the season three finale of Breaking Bad that featured (SPOILER) poor, dear Jesse being forced to shoot Gale. It was an utterly heartbreaking moment that stayed with me for a long time afterwards and I still can’t watch it without crying. Also, (SPOILER) the season two episode of The Walking Dead when the barn doors were finally opened and Sophia’s terrible fate was revealed.

And I can’t write about shocking TV moments without mentioning The Vampire Diaries, which managed to make every single episode of season two enjoyably shocking in some way, with stabbings, neck snaps, doppelgangers, deaths and almost-deaths abounding.

Bronte Coates on Twin Peaks


My housemate introduced me to Twin Peaks a few years back when I was dealing with post break-up blues. The theatrical appeal of the show - the music, the stagey dialogue, the emotional melodrama - was perfectly suited to my highly-strung-out state. I was relieved to be absorbed into this bizarre soap-opera-like world David Lynch had created.

As with any show I develop a relationship with, the fictional characters inevitably became real to me. I simply adored Audrey and the idea of BOB freaked the hell out of me, keeping me up at night. Once, after watching an episode home alone - the couch scene! - I had to shower with the door open. And all the while I was majorly crushing on Special Agent Dale Cooper. Suave, strange and with excellent theme music, I was in love from the very first moment we meet him in the pilot.

During the middle of season two, the show’s sharp focus faltered and realising I was just watching the show as a formality, I considered turning the box-set off, especially when others told me they’d never actually finished the season. But I persevered, perhaps out of loyalty or perhaps because of a certain FBI agent’s winning smile.

And then the finale happened.

To say I was utterly, totally gutted by what happened to my beloved Special Agent in this episode would be an understatement. I felt empty. I felt like all the good in the world had been torn from me. I felt like someone had wrung my heart clean out. I desperately needed someone to turn to in my time of solace but unfortunately I’d watched the show about fifteen years later than everyone else I knew and so instead of calling a friend, I turned to the internet for solace.

And so my advice for any GoT fans currently suffering similar agonies, let me recommend this article from Joe Concha which I feel sums up my own feelings on the Red Wedding incident.

As in, ‘murder a defenceless animal that doesn’t look much different from Lassie’ and our relationship is probably over.