TV's Most Satisfying Death Scenes

Spoiler alert (with many more to follow): Once upon a time, death on television was often intro'd with a somber, "Tonight, on a very special episode of…" and then handled with gravitas. It was often due to a rating's ploy, an actor leaving the dregs of TV behind, or to tug at the audience's heartstrings. But now, with television just as compelling as film, and this being, perhaps, the golden age of network dramas, death is a way of wrenching us out of our TV expectations. "You think so-and-so is safe? Just wait until next week."
While anyone familiar with Game Of Thrones knows that death comes for all men (and women), last night's termination felt, well, deserved. Heck, it was downright celebratory. Yes, it does suck to desperately want someone to kick the bucket, but when you have such nuanced (and evil) characters, the payoff for a viewer can be quite sweet. So, while a certain despot may be the one everyone is talking about today, here are some other deaths that almost felt as gratifying. Almost.
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Photo: Courtesy of AMC.
The Governor, The Walking Dead
This one-eyed bandit terrorized our group of zombie-apocalypse survivors for two seasons on AMC's smash hit, so when the brooding warrior Michonne finally plunged her trusty sword through her mortal enemy's chest, we all rejoiced. Now, about those zombies...
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Trinity Killer (Arthur Mitchell), Dexter
After watching a full season of John Lithgow playing the Big Bad, seeing Dexter give him a taste of his own medicine was morbidly satisfying. Though, what happened afterward is, well, pure evil some brilliant storytelling.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Ralph Cifaretto, The Sopranos
There was no character on HBO's seminal gangster saga who was more reviled than this petulant snake, and on a show about criminals, that's saying something. So, when Tony beat his woman-abusing, horse-killing friend to death, it was one murder we could all get behind.
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Photo: Courtesy of AMC.
Gustavo Fring, Breaking Bad
Everyone knew Walter White would eventually get the better of this New Mexican drug lord. What we didn't expect is that Gustavo's demise would involve a wheelchair, a homemade bomb, a bell, and one of the most shocking images in the history of television.
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Photo: Courtesy of Syfy.
Cally, Battlestar Galactica
Okay, okay: Cally wasn't bad. She's no Gus Fring or King Joffrey, but she took a pretty strong departure from her season one badass ear biting to become an intense nag who seemed to hamper The Chief's character development, with her complaining and skulking around. So, to see her go out the airlock added a delicious twist to Tori's motivations, freed up Tyrol, and also took care of an, ahem, annoying character. Anyway, she let Tyrol think the baby was his. Which was pretty rotten. Maybe not airlock rotten, but we weren't sad to see her go.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Woman At Country Club, Arrested Development

In its desperate ratings ploy (or at least, making fun of its desperate ratings ploy), AD promised that, in the next episode, "ONE OF THESE PEOPLE WILL DIE." It just happened to be a tiny cameo by an elderly racist woman who choked on Buster's thumb. Best. Dinner. Ever.
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