This past year has seen many shocking revelations, betrayals and heartbreaking deaths — and that’s in real life. And when it comes to television, 2016 was an equally shocking year, doling out plot twists like nobody’s business. Take a look at 12 TV moments from the last 12 months that made our jaws drop. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!
How To Get Away With Murder: We find out whose body is under the sheet
The first half of HTGAWM‘s third season had everyone guessing: We knew that Annalise’s house had burnt down, and that someone was dead, but who? The mid-season finale finally revealed that it was none other than Wes, whom Annalise had taken under her wing since the beginning of the series. So what went wrong? We’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out.
Westworld: “What door?”
Many viewers suspected that at least one of Westworld‘s supposedly human characters would turn out to be a robot. But it was still shocking when Bernard – who seemed to be the human who simply empathized with the robots – was suddenly unable to see a door that was right in front of him, showing that he’d been programmed to ignore it.
This Is Us: The true connection is revealed
The pilot for This Is Us initially seemed to just focus on four people who happen to have the same birthday. It’s not until the end of the episode that we find out that expectant father Jack’s storyline takes place 36 years in the past, and that Kate and Kevin are his surviving twins, while Randall is his adoptive son. It was a brilliant twist that kept viewers coming back.
Game of Thrones: “Hold the door!”
All GoT fans have wondered for years why Hodor could only say his name. As it turns out, in the GoT universe, time isn’t quite linear, and through some supernatural time-twisty shenanigans, the Hodor of the present who is trying to hold the door against the white walkers projects that garbled thought into his younger self. Confusing? Yes. Heartbreaking? Definitely.
Stranger Things: Eleven says goodbye
The pre-teen romance between Mike and lab-subject Eleven was one of the sweetest parts of Stranger Things’ first season. Which was why it was so shocking for Eleven to realize that she was the only one who could stop the Demogorgon. With a terse but meaningful “bye, Mike,” Eleven then used her powers to kill the monster, destroying herself (we think) in the process. Sniffle.
Gilmore Girls: Emily Gilmore says “bullshit”
Fans of GG spent the lead-up to the Netflix revival betting on Rory’s romantic future, but the show gave us what we really needed: Emily Gilmore finally tiring of the catty politics of the DAR and declaring the entire venture “bullshit!” After telling off all of her frenemies (and swearing several more times), Emily strutted out of the room and into our hearts.
Mr. Robot: The diner shootout
Mr. Robot knows how to build tension, and this scene was no different. As Darlene and Cisco eat at a local diner (unaware that Cisco’s face is all over the news), FBI Agent Dom confronts them – only for agents of the Dark Army to show up and shoot up the place. The camera keeps its distance during the whole ordeal, keeping viewers guessing about who survived for another week.
The Good Wife: Diane slaps Alicia
The series finale of the long-running law drama saw several mirrors to the first episode, but the most out-there of them all was in the final scene. Having just made Diane’s husband look bad in court, Alicia accidentally approaches her in a back hallways – only for her boss to slap her across the face, much like Alicia did to her husband Peter in the pilot. So much for a happy ending.
Scandal: Olivia kills Andrew
Any Scandal fan knows that anything can happen, but Olivia always seemed like the one character who would never do anything, like, really bad. Welp, turns out even Olivia can break bad, as she beat her kidnapper Andrew to death with a chair, granting her admission to the “powerful people who murder” club with several of her friends.
Better Call Saul: Chuck gets his revenge
Over BTC’s first two seasons, we learn that the well-respected but possibly mentally ill lawyer Chuck is frustrated and disgusted with his ambulance chaser brother Jimmy. But we learned just how far he would go to take Jimmy down, as he overcame his fear of electronics to record his brother’s confession to illegal acts. Legally, he’s in the clear, but morally, Chuck’s kind of a jerk.
Orange Is The New Black: Poussey dies
It’s no surprise that Poussey was one of the most beloved characters on OITNB, and much of season four showed the inmate falling in love and making preparations for life on the outside. But, tragically, during an altercation in the cafeteria, Poussey is accidentally killed by a guard kneeling on her back, prompting the prisoners to riot. It was a tragic but important end for for the Litchfield prisoner.
The Walking Dead: Negan kills…?
Fans of the “Walking Dead” comics knew that bad guy Negan was going to kill a very specific someone with his barbed-wire baseball bat, but no one knew if the TV show would follow suit. Everyone eagerly awaited the reveal in the season finale, only for the episode to end on a cliffhanger. People were outraged, and by the time TWD’s new season revealed who died, most people were too annoyed to care.