Every year we think we’ve seen it all and nothing on TV could possibly shock us. Luckily, we’re proven wrong time and time again. 2016 was full of some really unexpected moments on television that we did not see coming. From those jaw-dropping final four words of Gilmore Girls to that big timeline reveal in This Is Us, here are 11 of the most surprising moments on TV in 2016.
Warning: This article contains spoilers from Better Call Saul, The Flash, Game of Thrones, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, House of Cards, Mr. Robot, The Night Of, Orange Is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, This Is Us and Westworld.
Have Your Favorite TV Characters Been Naughty or Nice in 2016?>>>
1. Hanna’s Car Accident, Pretty Little Liars
We were on the edge of our seats hoping that the Liars would catch up to who they then thought was Elliot Rollins, so they could save Alison before he likely murdered her. Ali managed to escape from his car on her own, and while he chased her down, he crossed in front of Hanna’s speeding car. Elliot (aka Archer Dunhill) went flying into the windshield and died staring the Liars in the face. This was not at all how we saw this chase winding up.
2. Rory’s Pregnancy, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
The final four words of Gilmore Girls have been a well-kept secret by creator Amy Sherman-Palladino for the better part of a decade. Fans have been dying to know how she intended to end the show in the original run, and the Netflix revival finally gave us that answer. Still, when the moment actually happened, we weren’t ready for it. The series wrapped with an exchange between Rory and Lorelai: “Mom?” “Yeah.” “I’m pregnant.” With that, our jaws dropped right along side Lorelai’s and the credits rolled. After everything we had seen go down in the final installment, there was no way to predict this was even a possibility. Still, when we heard it, so many things made so much more sense. Such is the genius of Sherman-Palladino.
3. Chuck’s Setup of Jimmy, Better Call Saul
Chuck and Jimmy have always had a strained relationship. The reveal that Chuck never really believed Jimmy could be a good lawyer was heartbreaking, but still not the most shocking moment on the show. Season 2 saw Jimmy embrace his criminal side a little more and become overcome with guilt when it led Chuck to have a breakdown. After he admitted everything to Chuck in an emotional scene in the season 2 finale, he left and Chuck revealed something that took the wind out of all of us. He had recorded Jimmy’s private confession, thus fully betraying the brother who has had nothing but adoration for him.
4. The Truth About Hodor, Game of Thrones
Hodor was always the heartwarming relief of Game of Thrones. His loyalty to Bran and simple mind kept a very dark show at least somewhat light. It was gut-wrenching to learn that it was Bran’s meddling in the past that caused Hodor to lose his mind in the first place. While trying to save his life in present-day, Hodor was holding the door closed from White Walkers. Meanwhile, Bran’s mind was in the past, where a young Hodor could hear the command being told to him in the future: “hold the door.” This phrase scrambled his mind and became shortened to the only thing he was able to say, “hodor.” It was tragic to learn that this phrase was also the last thing he would ever hear, as Hodor died saving Bran’s life. All around, it was one of the most shocking and heartbreaking scenes we’ve ever witnessed.
5. Bernard Is Artificial, Westworld
Bernard Lowe had always felt like the foundation and one thing we could count on in this always-shocking HBO drama. However, even Bernard didn’t see this secret coming. The head of Delos’ programming division revealed to us that he was in fact artificial himself when his programming forbid him to see a certain door. The show then leaned in to this reveal when Robert Ford ordered Bernard to kill his partner Theresa. This sad truth was hard to watch and left us wondering how we didn’t notice the truth about Bernard earlier.
6. Frank Gets Shot, House of Cards
It’s no secret that Frank Underwood has gathered a lot of enemies over the years. He’s turned on people very quickly in House of Cards, with little to no remorse about it. Still, something about Frank has always felt untouchable. Maybe it’s because of how easily he seems to remove any immediate threat from his life (RIP Zoe Barnes). At the end of the day though, he’s still a mere mortal, and we were reminded in season 4 that he can actually bleed. Maybe it was because we were too focused on his rivalry with Claire or maybe it was because we thought he had beaten any backbone there was in Lucas to make him a threat, but the assassination attempt was something no one could have predicted. The way this scene was shot made it so that Frank’s drop to the ground was as surprising to us as it was to him.
19 Major TV Deaths of 2016>>>
7. Elliot’s Time in Prison, Mr. Robot
This series is no stranger to misdirection. Its first big reveal, of course, was that Mr. Robot was actually the alter ego of protagonist Elliot Alderson and not a real person. We thought the show couldn’t possibly get another one over us now, we were watching all the signs. But no, in season 2, Mr. Robot got us again. The “perfectly constructed loop” that Elliot had concocted was done from behind the bars of a prison cell. The show dropped this mind-blowing revelation that, once again, made us question everything we had seen.
8. The Cat’s Survival, The Night Of
In a show full of twists and turns that were generally not positive, we weren’t expecting much of a happy ending with The Night Of. The tiny glimmer of joy in this show was embodied by the orphaned cat of the murder victim which attorney Jack Stone went back and forth about taking in. Finally, his allergies forced him to return the cat to the shelter in the finale, where he knew he would likely be put down. As he sat and watched that tear-inducing ASPCA commercial which makes us all quickly change the channel to avoid a breakdown, Stone looked overcome with guilt. That is, until the camera pulled back to show more of Stone’s apartment, where the cat was trotting around. He decided to keep his furry little friend after all. This was a touching moment of happiness on an otherwise pretty bleak show.
9. Daya Turns the Gun on the Guards, Orange Is the New Black
When her mother was released and Daya was looking for a group to belong to, we worried what kind of trouble her new friends would get her in to. Meanwhile, when Taystee caused an uproar after she learned the prison was lying to the public about Poussey’s death, we also worried what kind of trouble she would get into. In a shocking turn of events, the inmates’ scuffle led to a loose gun in the prison, which each character had motive to pick up and use. Still, we would never have thought it would be Daya who would pick up the gun.
10. The Connection Between the Characters, This Is Us
Throughout the whole pilot of This Is Us, we’re led to believe that we’re watching three different storylines about individuals of the same age — a new set of parents, a pair of twins and a man reuniting with his biological father. The ending scene of the episode reveals that all of the stories are connected. The new set of parents are the parents to the twins and their adoptive son, the one who is currently reuniting with his biological father. This is not three different stories about a group of strangers, this is the story of one family being told in different points of their lives. This was one of the most surprising and beautiful TV moments in a long time.
11. Barry Saves His Mom, The Flash
Barry has always been a stand-up guy who learns some hard lessons about life throughout his heroic acts. One of the biggest things we love about him is his selflessness. That characteristic is probably what made his actions in the season 2 finale feel that much more out of left field. We had thought Barry finally had closure over the loss of his mother and was accepting that certain things in life (like the loss of a loved one) are simply out of our control. He can’t play God. But no. Incidentally, Barry hadn’t learned this lesson, because the final scene of The Flash season 2 showed Barry traveling back to that fateful night he lost his mother and actually saving her life. Fans were reeling about how this huge turn of events would alter his life as we knew it.
10 Sexiest Female TV Characters of 2016>>>
Can you think of more unexpected moments on TV this year? Share them with us in the comments below!
For more TV news, follow BuddyTV on Facebook!
(Images courtesy of The CW, Freeform and NBC)