Modern television shows has brought a lot of memorable and unforgettable characters to our screens that a lot of us couldn’t help but love. The thing however is that some television shows gave viewers a shocking and unexpected ending. Some of the television shows ended as a result of scheduling conflicts, budget limitations or personal gripes during shooting or the early departure of a central character which all led to a change in the story lines at the last minute.
Here are five television shows that ended in an unexpected manner in which viewers never saw coming due to the absence of a character.
Mr Eko – Lost
Mr Eko was a fan favourite on the television show, Lost and show producers say his death was planned from the beginning. The drug runner who had under the guise of being a priest was one of the many characters of the show who met his demise in the hands of the mysterious smoke monster.
Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje made it known that he asked to leave, saying he felt “the character was complete”. Although, executive producer Carlton Cuse admitted he wanted the character to stick around for longer, but Akinnuoye-Agbaje had to go, becoming the fifth central Lost survivor to die.
Tuco Salamanca– Breaking Bad
The erratic and intense energy of drug lord, Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) in the first season of Breaking Bad made him a terrifying antagonist that viewers of the show could not help but love. The drug addiction kingpin who continually used his own supply of drugs was initially meant to be the main villain of the show but had to be written off due to scheduling conflicts.
According to show creator Vince Gilligan, prior commitment of the actor meant they had to change their original intention of making him the main bad guy. Nonetheless, viewers got a good dose of another villainous character in the person of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) who brought with him a fastidious edge as the central villain.
Caitlin Todd – NCIS
A tough shooting schedule led to Sasha Alexander leaving NCIS and allowing the writers to come up with a worthy storyline to not only replace her, but to provide the rest of the characters of the show with some form of motivation.
Alexander’s character of Agent Caitlin Todd was killed off through assassination by Mossad double-agent Ari Haswari. The death of Todd in the second-season finale meant the remaining cast had something to avenge, resulting in the television show taking a new course.
Dr Lawrence Kutner – House
The fourth season of the medical drama, House saw the addition of a new member to the Doctor’s diagnostic team, who unfortunately didn’t stay past the next season of the show. Dr Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn) was billed to assist House with his medical mysteries in season four, episode nine, before dying by suicide in season five, episode 20.
The character had a very short run but was able to have a huge impact by providing some sort of humble levity for the show. The departure of Kutner from the show was based on actor Penn joining the administration of then US president, Barrack Obama as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.
The writers ultimately decided to kill of Kutner’s character by using his death as one mystery that even the previously infallible House (Hugh Laurie) couldn’t solve.
Jason Gideon – Criminal Minds
Perhaps one of the biggest shock on criminal minds was the departure of Mandy Patinkin’s during season three, especially since the show had revolved around his character of Jason Gideon. Patinkin had left the show abruptly due to his feeling uncomfortable with the gruesome subject matter, saying the show was “destructive to his soul.”
He added that he was unaware the writers were going to “kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year”. He went ahead to find success in the series, Homeland, following the killing of his character by the writers of criminal minds almost eight years after writing him out of the show.
Gideon got a look alike replacement in David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), while Thomas Gibson became increasingly prominent as Aaron ‘Hotch’ Hotchner. The departure of Patinkin however led to Criminal Minds becoming less of a show based around a particular star, which allowed the series survive the departure of Gibson later on.