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15 Best TV Plot Twists of All Time

October 7, 2017
12 min read

Plots and screenplays are catalyzed by twists. They not only serve the purpose of taking the plot forward but also increase the interest factor for the viewer. A good twist is not one that is placed for the sole purpose of having one. It should be natural, understandable but at the same time be unexpected. Here is a list of greatest plot twists in the TV shows that you never saw coming. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

15. How to Get Away With Murder – Frank Killed Lila

How to get away with murder is not the best show dealing with law. It is not the thriller show either. But , what it does is it merges these two genres effortlessly (At least in the first season). The best plot twist of this show was Frank killed Lila. Yes. Frank killed Lila. Lila went to the roof of the Sorority house and called up Sam and accused him of not loving her back and not wanting her child. Sam then calls Frank and asks him to kill her. I won’t say that this was out of the blue. There were lot of theories speculating almost everyone that they had a reason for killing her. This is the sort of a twist that some would’ve predicted and it pissed them off. But they would ‘ve been more pissed had it been another person who killed her.

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14. Westworld – Theresa’s Death

Written by Jonathan Nolan, Westworld was HBO’s magnum opus after Game of Thrones and had high expectations. You may like this how or hate it but you can’t certainly deny the fact that it had a lot of impressive plot twists and deceptions. And when I’m talking about the best twist of the show, I’m not talking about the revelation of Bernard and Arnold being the same person or the death of Ford. I’m talking about the Theresa’s death. Theresa was one of the show’s most complex characters and we were just warming up to watching her and her death by the hands of Bernard(who is also revealed to be a robot) and Ford erasing her from Bernard left us spellbound. It’s after all true that every show has its “Red Wedding” moment.

13. Prison Break – Not brothers

Prison Break made all the heads turn with a phenomenal first season. The story of a structural engineer going to prison , which he designed in order to save his not-so-smart elder brother from death sentence was an intriguing plotline. But somehow it lost its steam and magic in the second season. Prison Break may not be an Oz but an area where it mastered was with interesting twists and turns. And the most mind f**king twist of them all was they were not brothers in the real place. It is revealed towards the end of the final season (Season 5 is another separate series). Well there were enough hints already like their obvious difference in IQs and their different surnames, but the truth is no one saw this coming.

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12. House of Cards – Frank Underwood Resigns

“The deck is stacked .The rules are rigged. Welcome to the death of the Age of Reason. There is no right or wrong. Not anymore. There is only being in and then being out.” This is arguably the best Frank Underwood monologue of the show. What does Frank Underwood want? Why did he kill two people? Why did Frank Underwood betray a seemingly innocent Garret Walker? The answer to this question and many such questions is “PRESIDENCY”. But I was stunned when I saw this man give away whatever he has wanted so far in his life. What would be so Underwood-esque than going in front of a committee and stating that he is going to resign his post and informing that “I’ll be taking any further questions you may have”.

11. Lost – Season 3 Finale

Lost had a fantastic opening season followed by a not so impressive second season. The season 3 was fantastic. Especially the finale. Throughout the season we had seen flash cuts of Jack not in the island. It was generally assumed that it was from a flashback as Lost had shown us several sequences of the survivors’ life before they have crashed. But in the finale it is being revealed that Jack’s sequence was a fast forward. It was an ending that forever changed the way Lost was going to proceed from there on. The finale left the fans both surprised and perplexed and it is undoubtedly one of the best endings of a season finale ever.

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10. Sons of Anarchy – Jax “Rat” Teller

The best episode of Sons of Anarchy is the finale of the third season where the VP of the club makes a deal with the FBI that he’ll rat on the club and the IRA for reduction in sentence of the club and his mom. But situations turn ugly when Agent Stahl reveals to her club that Jax is a rat. What follows is a series of emotional events when every member pledges that they are gonna kill Jax. When Stahl is leaving the with Jimmy Phelan, Unser stops her and separates her from the rest of the officials before the rest of the club stepping in and killing Stahl and Jimmy. The news is passed onto a set of newbies who honk their bikes and the arrested members know that Stahl and Jimmy are dead. What follows is a series of laughter while Jax looks seriously at the camera. The best part of this sequence is the music which has always been the backbone of this show. If you have some time to kill get some popcorn and dive into the BluRay collection of Sons of Anarchy. You won’t regret it for sure.

9. Twin Peaks – Killer is revealed

Long, Long ago when the golden age of television was considered a myth a genius named “David Lynch” decided to make a crime drama. The rest is history. Twin Peaks , though made 25 years ago is one of the most intriguing and fascinating crime dramas ever made in the history of television. Though its plot is filled with a lot of twists and turns none of it comes close to revelation that Leland Palmer is actually been possessed by Killer Bob. So under Bob’s possession Laura is molested, raped and finally killed. This twist was not only shocking but also highly disturbing.

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8. Homeland – The Terrorist

Homeland might have lost steam right now, but nonetheless it had a brilliant first couple seasons. Damien Lewis is stunning as Nick Brody and it is a fact that the show couldn’t recover without him. In the first season every episode has some new revelation in one form or another and the most important one is when Carrie and Nick go camping and that’s when Nick realises Carrie is suspecting him. Carrie is immediately revealed that the turned PoW is not Nick but his partner Walker is the terrorist. But again it is revealed that they both are in it together and Walker is just attracting the spotlight so that Nick can kill the Vice President in suicide blast, which Nick couldn’t because of the minimal amount of humanity present in him.

7. Sherlock – Season 4 Finale

Sherlock season 4 aired three years after its previous season. Yet, those three episodes were worth the wait. In the first episode Mary has died. The second episode showed that Sherlock actually had a sister Eurus (Yes, you read that right). Well, but actually those weren’t the biggest twists of the season. The finale saved the best for the last. It was Eurus who was behind Moriarty all the time and Sherlock’s childhood dog “Redbeard” was actually his childhood friend who was killed by Eurus. Sherlock may or may not return for another season but I’d say the splendid writing of the last season has created some insanely unmatchable standards.

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6. Game of Thrones – Death of Ned Stark

“I like Ned Stark very much. I hope he ends up in the iron throne”. “Oh my sweet summer child”. There isn’t a week that passes by where I don’t see the above meme in social media. Ned Stark was the favourite of most of the viewers in the first season. He was loyal, just and most importantly good. But Game of Thrones was never the same after episode 9 of season 1. It went on to prove that this show is beyond comprehension. There is not going to be one character who is safe and that is what made Game of Thrones one of the greatest shows in the history of Television.

5. Dexter – The elder brother

The truth is Dexter never really recovers from the fantastic first season. One of the main reasons for that is a brilliant antagonist in the form of Ice Truck killer. We as audience are shown who the Ice Truck Killer is far earlier than Dexter does. So there is not going to be a final twist in store when Dexter meets Rudy. You could not be more wrong. We are in for a roller coaster of twists and turns and the two most important of them being Harry was having an affair with Dexter’s mom and Rudy is Brian Moser who is the elder brother of Dexter Morgan. Yes, you read that right. Dexter had an elder brother who was not shown visions of his traumatic childhood that appeared countless times in the season. We are left as shocked and surprised as Dexter is and this stupendous writing is one of the reasons why Dexter is one of the most celebrated TV shows of this century.

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4. Breaking Bad – Death of Jane

Walter White had killed several guys earlier. Most of them were bad or he did it for his defence. But the moment Walter breaks bad is when he lets Jane die. While waking Jesse up, he inadvertently flips Jane onto her back and she starts asphyxiating on her vomit due to an overdose. Walter could’ve saved her. All it could’ve required was for him to wake her up. But he stands there doing nothing. He lets her die because it could help him gain full control over Jesse and also stop Jesse from doing drugs. She was innocent and Jesse was fully in love with him. He lets her die just because she was a threat to his business. This twist in character of Walter not only sends Jesse down a spiral it formed a basement for other cruel, spineless deeds that Walter was going to commit.

3. Mr. Robot – Hallucination

I’m committing a sin here. I’m considering these two mind blowing twists as a single one. Mr.Robot is a computerised version of Fight Club, Agreed. You could’ve seen it coming right from the first episode that Mr Robot was indeed a hallucination and was no one real, Agreed. But the fact that Mr.Robot’s hallucination is just the residual version of the memories of his father was fascinating in itself. To it add another twist that Darlene was actually his sister. Hands down, this was the mind f*cking series I have ever seen.

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2. House of Cards – Death of Zoe Barnes

Okay, wow many of you honestly saw this coming? Yep, Frank Underwood is ruthless. Yep, He doesn’t tolerate anyone who is a threat to him. Yep, He has killed someone before. But, this one really caught us off guard. Kate Mara was shown as one of the central characters of the season in the promotions. In the first episode of the second season Frank Underwood asks her to meet him at a railway station. Everything goes well until, out of where Frank pushes his in front of the train. That was the moment when House of Cards earned a reputation as one of the greatest shows of all time, because it not only showed how crazy this show will be, it set the mood right for the entire season 2. This may sound partial but killing of one of the three main character in the first episode of a season requires guts that even Game of Thrones doesn’t have.

1. Game of Thrones – Red Wedding

What other twist can top this list? No character in Game of Thrones is safe (Yep, I said it earlier). Ninth episodes are known for unexpected twists and turns in Game of Thrones. So, how did we miss this? We had seen some unexpected, surprising and shocking deaths earlier in the twenty-eight episodes. So how could this be better? The answer is one man George RR Martin. It takes extraordinary writing skills to write a twist that will take the viewers by surprise but it takes more to write something that is so unexpected and also makes perfect sense if they rewatch the previous episodes. A wedding turned to a massacre, A pregnant woman stabbed in the belly, A mother of five killed by slitting her throat, A king killed after hearing “The Lannisters send their regards” and to top it all the creepy “Rains of Castamere” playing in the background. If Ned Stark’s beheading caught us off guard then the Red wedding caught us by our balls.

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