Nothing gives the viewer an emotional jolt quite like the sudden death of a well liked character. As long as these moments are done with some emotional resonance, and not just for the sake of shock value, these scenes can become the highlight moments of their respective shows. The most gut wrenching scenes of Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead, for example, have to do with the loss of a favourite character.
Of course the downside is that the character is supposedly gone for good, outside of a flashback or dream sequence. That's unless viewers keep complaining or the show desperately needs to drum up ratings, in which case a dead character can find themselves with a new lease on life.
The most enjoyable aspect of these miraculous comebacks is just how stupid will the explanation be? Often the characters were killed off in a very definitive way, and the poor writers have to jump through some ridiculous hoops to make their resurrections seem credible. And more often than not they’ll fail, as most of the examples here will show. It's a bad sign that a year long shower is one of the more credible explanations on offer.
And just be warned folks that generous SPOILERS lie within.
10. Tony Almeida Was Saved By A Missed Artery - 24
Tony Almeida was Jack Bauer’s trusted partner for five seasons of 24. He was a loyal friend and a brave agent, but even he couldn’t avoid the season five character cull.
He Was Dead...: Halfway into the season a complicated series of events finds Tony with a syringe full of poison, standing over the unconscious body of his wife’s killer Christopher Henderson.
Tony can’t bring himself to be a murderer though, which gives Henderson time to wake up and stab him in the heart with his own needle. Jack arrives in time to cradle his friend as he dies.
...But He Got Better: Fans complained that Tony didn’t get a silent clock - a sign of respect for a deceased character – and argued he must be alive somehow. In season seven they got their wish and Tony returned as an ally/villain.
It's explained that Henderson intentionally missed Tony’s artery so he could recover his body and brainwash him against Jack somewhere down the road. Some mercenaries secretly revived him minutes after his death, and after Henderson’s death they adopted him into their team.
It’s a daft explanation and “Missed the artery” would become 24’s equivalent of “Nuked the fridge.”