20 Most Shocking TV Character Deaths EVER

19. Reverend Smith - Deadwood

This Is Us Jack Death

Reverend William Smith (played by the ever-brilliant Ray McKinnon) was doomed to a horrible fate as soon as he first fell unconscious in the Gem Saloon, stricken by a brain tumour that would spend the next several episodes consuming his once strong and hopeful mind. 

Deadwood's voice of morality and love during its otherwise gritty and nasty first season, Smith offered a reprieve from the show's darker impulses, his preaching and selflessness - such as when he helps the camp deal with the plague outbreak, despite his own fractured health - a sight to behold in a world so cruel. 

It was inevitable, then, that something would come to snuff him out, but who would have expected something so horribly heartbreaking?

Watching the Reverend succumb to his disease, his senses and faculties weakened irreparably, was a deeply tragic turn, and his final fate - eventually smothered by Al Swearengen in an act of violent mercy - was both bleak but also hauntingly beautiful, a balancing act Deadwood controlled impossibly well.

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I get to write about what I love, so that's pretty cool. Every great film should seem new every time you see it. Be excellent to each other.