[Editor's note: There are a ton of spoilers in this post, obviously. If you haven't seen last Sunday's Mad Men yet, move on. If you are planning on eventually catching up on several seasons of LOST, Grey's Anatomy, ER, The Wire, The West Wing, Dexter, The O.C., or Good Times, you should probably know there's a statute of limitations on these kinds of things. Especially Good Times.]
I’m far too emotionally attached to fictional characters. I admit it, and I really make no apologies for it. Relationships, weddings, divorces, births, near-death experiences. They all affect me—deeply.
And don’t even get me started on the deaths because I have even, in the past, gone so far as to quit a show for killing off a beloved character (I’m looking at you, ER and your stupid Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version of “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World.”) And then, you know, there was the very first character death I can remember—Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street. (May he rest in peace.)
So, when Mad Men, in its 5th season penultimate episode, went and killed off the likable and super complex Lane Pryce, a character who I have grown to appreciate and love, I was devastated. In fact, I’m still thinking about it today. I am still shaking my head in complete disbelief.
And I’m still thinking about these ten devastating TV character deaths—days, weeks, months, and even years later.
1. Dr. Mark Greene, ER.
5. Mrs. Landingham, The West Wing