In this day and age of television, character deaths are a strong form of currency, and one that inflation has affected many times over. We usually see them during season finales (or midseason finales), which gives fans long hiatuses to consider how the writers will resolve the ramifications of the deaths. But some characters don’t require major episodes for their demises, and they just need to get off of the show as quickly as possible, for any number of reasons.
As such, we’ve put on our most morbid thinking caps and have come up with 10 characters who absolutely need to meet their makers in the very near future. Or at least by the time 2015 comes to a close, for shows that are caught between seasons at the moment. May they all rest in pieces. (Also, be wary of some plot spoilers for some of the shows discussed.)
Laurel Lance (Arrow)I’m fairly certain that if Arrow found a way to kill off Katie Cassidy’s Laurel, she would die with the most emotionally fraught look on her face, and the writers would figure out a way to show her in the afterlife, whining and complaining about her own death. Beyond her overall annoying presence – which isn’t a knock on the actress, Internet jerks who like to troll performers – Laurel’s problems can generally be sourced back to her own actions, which isn’t the best way to keep one’s narrative importance very high. Kill her off and let the more interesting characters get more story time.
Fish Mooney (Gotham)By being one of the few characters in Gotham who didn’t come from the DC Comics universe, Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney wasn’t destined to be long for this world. She hasn’t exactly been a fan favorite while caught up in the Penguin/Falcone/Maroni battle for supremacy in the criminal underground, and when you take into account that Smith isn’t signed up for Season 2, she definitely seems destined to face a one-eyed death by the time the finale rolls around. Kill her off and leave Gotham to the characters fans have been enjoying for decades.
Louis Canning (The Good Wife)Far be it for us to wish death upon a character who is already dying…Wait, no, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Louis Canning, a character who has earned Michael J. Fox three Emmy nominations over the years, suffers from tardive dyskinesia, and he has had no problem using this to his advantage over the years, ruthlessly yanking sympathy from everyone in his court-appointed path. It’s no shock that a lawyer would be guilty of stretching the truth to his advantage, but Louis has been doing it for too long and hasn’t suffered enough for his actions. Kill him off and let the firm move on to new battles.
Joe Carroll (The Following)The Following has gotten increasingly more ridiculous since its uneven first season, and a lot of that has to do with Joe Carroll still living and breathing. While it’s fine that The Following doesn’t go all procedural by giving Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy an endless line of cult leaders to track down, James Purefoy’s Joe Carroll not only faked his death in a should-have-killed-him explosion in Season 1, but he survives Season 2 by having Ryan’s conscience (and general cop nature) stop him from shooting Joe in the head. And then Joe goes to jail again. Yawn. Kill him off and let Ryan find another interesting maniac to hunt.
Ramsay Bolton (Game of Thrones)Call him Ramsay Snow or the more proper Ramsey Bolton if you want, but we’re calling him a wrecklessly sadistic son of a bitch. Played with wide-eyed mania by Iwan Rheon, Ramsay has basically one redeeming value in the Game of Thrones universe: that he is just as killable as anyone else. Many viewers enjoyed wishing for Joffrey’s demise, but he was just a petulant child in comparison to the hyper-violent Ramsay, who spent Season 3 torturing Theon Greyjoy – and lopping his penis off – until he’s a loyal, brainwashed pet called Reek. Kill him off and let Theon return to the life he once knew.
Boyd Crowder (Justified)Few characters on TV have been as verbally graceful in their villainy as Walton Goggins’ Boyd Crowder, and his absence from my TV will be missed when Justified ends next week. But after six years of giving Raylan Givens and Ava Crowder all the hell that they could handle – not to mention putting bullets in plenty of other characters – Boyd doesn’t just get to end the series in a jail cell with a fat stack of money waiting for him in an undisclosed place in the outside world. Kill him off and let Raylan ride off in Elmore Leonard’s sunset.
Teddy Conrad (Nashville)Good characters come full circle in their own story arcs, learning something along the way. Terrible characters, like Eric Close’s Teddy Conrad on Nashville, only go half-circle and become the very things that they stood against when the series started. Teddy is now just like his late ex-father-in-law Lamar Wyatt, going down a dark path of blackmail, bribery and prostitute-dating that the mayor of a city should have nothing to do with. Now that he’s lost basically everyone in his family, it’s time for him to go. Kill him off and have Rayna write an amazing song about it.
Fitz Grant (Scandal)Tony Goldwyn’s President Fitz Grant rigged his first path to the White House on Scandal, and only made it to a second term because his son Jerry was killed. Fitz’s decision-making skills are awful at best and downright moronic at worst, using his infatuation with Olivia Pope as motivation to free terrorists and a reason to attempt to divorce his wife. Not to mention his fling with Olivia is what caused her father to have Jerry killed. Oh yeah, and Fitz is also a cold-blooded murderer. Kill him off and let Susan Ross cause some of her own havoc in the Oval Office.
Barbara Kean (Gotham)I know it seems like cheating to add two characters from the same show on here, but Erin Richards’ Barbara Kean is a blight on the comic character and is easily one of Gotham’s most one-dimensional characters, offering viewers little more than the jealousy that comes with visiting her amazing apartment. She and James Gordon have zero chemistry, especially now that he’s with Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Her weird potential friendship with Selina Kyle and Lil’ Poison Ivy went nowhere. And I’m not sure I want to live in a world where the future Batgirl is birthed from this empty soul. (Assuming they go with the original version of the character.) Kill her off and give audiences a shock while giving Gordon further reason to become a more vindictive cop.
Carl Grimes (The Walking Dead)I have rarely wished death upon a character the way that I’ve wished death upon Chandler Riggs’ Carl Grimes on The Walking Dead. Though his death right now would just cause Rick to go through yet another “my grief has made me insanely crazy” phase, Rick’s probably due for that anyway. Carl has added nothing to this series in five seasons, other than being the person who killed his own mother, and someone else could have done that. If anything, he’s become even more of a background character now that they’ve hit Alexandria, where other teenagers are there to make him look ultra-dull in comparison. (Is “ultra-dull” hip slang yet?) Kill him off and let Baby Judith be the heir to the Grimes throne.