9. Cooper Is "Absent" For 16 Episodes - Twin Peaks: The Return
The belated third season of Twin Peaks was quite unlike anything else in the history of TV - an impossibly anticipated pop-culture event which debuted in the summer of 2017 with only the vaguest, most information-devoid of marketing.
All the same, fans quite reasonably assumed that Kyle MacLachlan would be returning to play FBI Agent Dale Cooper, who at the end of 1991's second season appeared to become possessed by the malevolent spirit BOB.
And though MacLachlan appeared in each of the third season's eighteen episodes, for the majority of the season he actually played several doppelgängers of Cooper, including the evil, BOB-possessed version and another duplicate by the name of Dougie Jones, rather than the real Coop.
Most fans surely assumed that the real Cooper would return after a few episodes, but Lynch committed fully to stringing the audience along for almost the whole season, waiting to see when Cooper as we know him would finally re-emerge.
Ultimately Cooper didn't return until episode sixteen, a bold gamble on Lynch's part which undeniably frustrated some fans.
However, given the numerous doubles MacLachlan spent the rest of the season playing, he certainly wasn't left wanting for work - enough that it netted him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
Still, after over 25 years of waiting, many fans understandably expected more than a mere two-ish hours of the original Cooper on-screen.