With two recent surprise deaths (R.I.P., Derek and Kutner), we were inspired to look back at some others that caught us off-guard in the same way. We're not talking J.R. Ewing (who lived, anyway) back in the day, or even Adriana on The Sopranos -- these are the recent out-of-left-field deaths that surprised us so much we had our jaws hanging on the floor. In some cases (Prison Break, 24 and Lost) we could practically have created 10 "wow" deaths from each show, that's how much they like blindsiding fans. (Not nice, for the record.) But we decided to spread the wealth as we present our list of the most shocking deaths of the last few seasons. Fair warning: There might be info that some of you may consider spoilers, if you aren't caught up on your TV viewing.
1. Amber (House)
With the dream sequences and the shocking bus crash, we were floored when we found out that House's hallucinations were clues to Amber being the injured passenger. And the fact that her death was from flu meds, compounded with House's drunken stupidity, was a twist we didn't see coming. We didn't even know her real name for half the season, but we were still as stunned and angry about it as Wilson.
2. Libby and Ana-Lucia (Lost)
We knew from the get-go that Michael would do just about anything for his son Walt, but killing Ana-Lucia in order to free Ben? Wow. We didn't think he had it in him. And poor Libby was just collateral damage, walking into a bad, messed-up situation. This one-two punch made our jaws drop.
3. Bill Buchanan (24)
If Bill had to go down, at least he got to go down swinging. This show's good guy was taken hostage and then decided to sacrifice his own life by tackling a terrorist and setting off an explosion in order to save others... including Jack Bauer. The unstoppable Bauer had planned to risk his own life to take down the bad guys.
4. Cally (Battlestar Galactica)
If the exhausted and depressed Cally had killed herself and her kid after finding out that her husband was a Cylon, we wouldn't have been that surprised. Sad, but not shocked. But factoring in the badass Tory, who so desperately wanted to save the (presumed) hybrid child that she talked Cally down from the ledge, took her baby and then shot her out of the airlock? That was cold and shocking and made us question everything we knew about Tory.
5. Derek (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
While so many deaths on this show are a long time coming, and well-deserved, Derek's happened in a split-second. One minute the Connor clan is trying to protect a girl from a Terminator, and a moment later Derek's lying on the ground with a bullet hole in the middle of his head. And with danger imminent, we weren't even given a chance to mourn before the Connors were on the run again.
6. Tosh and Owen (Torchwood)
Who would have guessed that in an ensemble show with only five characters, two of them would end up dead and gone within minutes of each other? Owen had been technically dead (or undead) for a while when he wound up inside a radioactive nuclear power plant without any hope of escaping, but that being paired with Tosh's nearly simultaneous death from a bullet wound (caused by Capt. Jack's brother) made the whole thing heartbreaking. At least they went down trying to save the world and their team members.
7. Shane (The Shield)
We'd barely gotten over Shane shockingly killing Lem when the sociopathic cop decided to take his own life. We could have coped with his loss -- this is a gritty crime drama, after all -- and we didn't expect everyone to survive the final season, but when he decided to poison his whole family before shooting himself? That was a breathless twist that we didn't see coming, and still has us reeling.
8. Kutner (House)
We didn't see Kutner's suicide, only his body. This completely random death was something that seemed to happen out of thin air and without any warning. No Kutner being mopey and depressed for episodes on end. Just one sad-looking picture -- that was the only evidence that this world had become too much for the doctor and caused him to take his own life.
9. Donna (Sons of Anarchy)
Again, like The Shield, we sort of expect some casualties on a show coping with such dark and twisted subject matter. But to see the innocent Donna go down by accident, when the biker gang were really gunning for her husband, was a brutal way to go.
10. Elle (Heroes)
Sylar kills people all the time, but he almost developed a sweet relationship with the electric Elle, who taught him how to take powers without slicing heads open. And when an eclipse knocked out their powers, he was nearly a changed man. But when his powers returned, his dastardly side returned as well, and it was murder instead of sex on the beach for Elle.
The guy who Tyra killed on Friday Night Lights -- If only because the subsequent storyline was so random for that show.
Layfayette on True Blood -- Well, we think he's dead, given all the evidence that has piled up and based on the source material for the show. But we're still holding out hope that maybe we're wrong.
John Winchester on Supernatural -- This one was a bit of a surprise, but in a war against demons, someone was bound to die, and it wasn't going to be one of the two leads. Besides, Jeffrey Dean Morgan does good death scenes.
Sarah on Prison Break -- This show kills people constantly, but seeing Sarah's head in a box was a real stunner. Too bad it all turned out to be a fake.
What are the most shocking recent deaths that had you staring at your TV in disbelief?
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