10 Best TV Show Twists You Never Saw Coming
These TV shows pulled off masterful sleights of hand nobody expected.
TV's great advantage over film as a medium is that storytellers can weave a more involved narrative across a much larger canvas spanning multiple years, even allowing them to set up mind-blowing plot twists which pay off episodes or seasons later.
As with a movie, a TV plot twist can either elevate a show into the upper echelons or ruin it entirely - get it right and it's an all-timer, but screw it up and the public perception of the series is forever tainted (looking at you, How I Met Your Mother).
These 10 TV shows, then, all delivered stunningly unexpected revelations that left fans completely agape and unable to process what they'd just seen.
From wildly shocking death scenes to context-shifting reveals, devious sleights of hand, and everything in-between, these twists got everyone talking and left them unable to stop.
This isn't to say that all of these twists were universally beloved at the time of their original airing, but for the most part the fanbase today has embraced them for their creativity, intelligence, and yes, their shock value.
If you claim you saw these twists coming, well, you're probably lying...
10. Trinity Kills Rita - Dexter
It's generally accepted that Dexter began its brutal decline in quality following the season four finale, which ended with such a game-changing shocker of a twist that the writers seemingly struggled to know where to go next.
Season four saw serial killer-killer Dexter (Michael C. Hall) face off against the vicious, psychotic Arthur Mitchell aka the Trinity Killer (a brilliant, Emmy-winning John Lithgow), which culminated in Dex catching and killing him in the finale.
Dex then decides he's going to stop killing in order to truly settle down with his wife Rita (Julie Benz) and son Harrison, but upon returning home, discovers that Arthur murdered Rita before Dex caught him, leaving her bloodied corpse in the bathtub.
Worse still, Harrison is sitting in the bathroom in a pool of his mother's blood, just as Dexter did with his own mother as a child.
As twists go, this was as poetic as it was shocking, completely upending the series' formula in a totally fascinating and unexpected way, even if it also inadvertently signalled the series' downfall. Until it sort-of rebounded with the recent Dexter: New Blood, at least.