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Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:37 AM

Name a Time When the Death of a Fictional Character Really Threw You [Assume Spoilers Ahead]

For me, the death of Wash in Joss Whedon's 2005 movie, Serenity was pretty upsetting.

This does not mean that I was unmoved by Shepherd Book's demise earlier in the film. But Book was no longer living with the group by the time of the movie's events, so I had an inkling of what might happen. His character was older, as well, but most significantly, I had watched enough of Whedon's work to come to expect that there would be some sort of sacrifice.

Whedon had a habit of killing off beloved characters and I accepted that as part of his story-telling repertoire. For the story to have impact, a price must be paid by the heroes. (I was totally expecting Pepper Potts to be killed off in the first Avengers movie.)*

When Wash was killed, the moment felt real and disturbing and traumatic. I had one work-friend who had only just discovered Whedon's Firefly " 'Verse" and he declared that he would never forgive Whedon for killing off Wash that way.

What about you guys? Any fictional character deaths that you did not see coming, or just couldn't accept?

* I may not dislike Gywnneth Paltrow as much as others do, but it sure wouldn't have broken my heart to see the last of her in that particular movie franchise.

75 replies, 1926 views

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Reply Name a Time When the Death of a Fictional Character Really Threw You [Assume Spoilers Ahead] (Original post)
Collimator Dec 2020 OP
mucifer Dec 2020 #1
Lochloosa Dec 2020 #2
Collimator Dec 2020 #6
SCantiGOP Dec 2020 #70
AngryOldDem Dec 2020 #72
Maxheader Dec 2020 #3
Walleye Dec 2020 #4
yellowdogintexas Dec 2020 #35
hlthe2b Dec 2020 #5
50 Shades Of Blue Dec 2020 #7
Collimator Dec 2020 #8
50 Shades Of Blue Dec 2020 #9
AmyStrange Dec 2020 #10
Xipe Totec Dec 2020 #11
Chin music Dec 2020 #13
yellowdogintexas Dec 2020 #36
NewJeffCT Dec 2020 #41
exboyfil Dec 2020 #12
redstatebluegirl Dec 2020 #14
AirmensMom Dec 2020 #30
redstatebluegirl Dec 2020 #32
Collimator Dec 2020 #33
A_Woman_from_MI Dec 2020 #57
AngryOldDem Dec 2020 #73
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2020 #15
Earthshine2 Dec 2020 #17
Mike 03 Dec 2020 #21
Earthshine2 Dec 2020 #16
Collimator Dec 2020 #34
sinkingfeeling Dec 2020 #18
AirmensMom Dec 2020 #31
yellowdogintexas Dec 2020 #37
Nevilledog Dec 2020 #56
gay texan Dec 2020 #19
sakabatou Dec 2020 #39
gay texan Dec 2020 #50
sakabatou Dec 2020 #54
July Dec 2020 #20
tblue37 Dec 2020 #46
bluedigger Dec 2020 #22
electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #59
llashram Dec 2020 #23
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2020 #24
flotsam Dec 2020 #48
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2020 #49
RobinA Dec 2020 #68
Shrek Dec 2020 #25
Phoenix61 Dec 2020 #29
Name removed Dec 2020 #26
Volaris Dec 2020 #27
Ferrets are Cool Dec 2020 #28
NewJeffCT Dec 2020 #38
sakabatou Dec 2020 #40
Smickey Dec 2020 #42
zanana1 Dec 2020 #43
Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #44
Midnight Writer Dec 2020 #45
adamas Dec 2020 #47
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2020 #51
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2020 #52
electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #53
Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #55
electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #61
Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #62
electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #63
Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #67
A_Woman_from_MI Dec 2020 #58
consider_this Dec 2020 #60
leftyladyfrommo Dec 2020 #64
Wounded Bear Dec 2020 #65
Collimator Dec 2020 #66
avebury Dec 2020 #69
Totally Tunsie Dec 2020 #71
AngryOldDem Dec 2020 #74
musette_sf Dec 2020 #75

Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:42 AM

1. MASH Henry Blake. They just didn't do that in comedy shows back then. It was done soooo well.

IMO much of MASH doesn't hold up well. Some episodes are better than others.

But, killing off Henry Blake was the best decision they could make for the actor's departure.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:49 AM

2. Beat me to it.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:53 AM

6. Yes, sometimes the emotional impact and honesty

is worth the sense of loss.

I felt that way when Sweets died in Bones. It was heartbreaking. But it felt believable and worthy of the story being told. And they continued to honor the character in other ways as the series continued. I really appreciated that.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 10:38 PM

70. My girlfriend at the time was furious

I thought it was necessary to remind people that, despite all of the comedy and good feelings among the MASH staff, it was still a war story and the purpose of war is to kill people.
That and the fact that it was obviously about Vietnam, even though set in Korea, made the death of one of the most likeable characters especially dramatic.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 30, 2020, 03:34 PM

72. Not even the cast knew until Gary Burghoff walked into the OR.

That explains the genuine — and realistic — reaction to the death.

I was 13 at the time, an avid fan, and I still remember being stunned that a character would be written out that way. Very pointed commentary on the waste of war, a subtlety the show lost in its later seasons.

(McLean Stevenson made perhaps the worst career decision ever, but I digress.)

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:50 AM

3. Ole Yeller




"The movie went on to become an important cultural film for baby boomers, with Old Yeller's death in particular being remembered as one of the most tearful scenes in cinematic history. "

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Response to Maxheader (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:51 AM

4. Yes that and Bambi. I won't watch movies were animals die to this day

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Response to Walleye (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:04 PM

35. same here. If a movie features an animal I will ask if the animal dies

if not, then I will watch it. Ole Yeller traumatized me big time.

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Response to Maxheader (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:52 AM

5. The two that immediately came to mind already here: MASH's Col. Blake and Ole Yeller

I've scarcely been able to watch a movie with a beloved dog since--I try to check to make sure there is not a sad ending. It just makes me recall too intensely the loss of some of my own.

As for MASH, they handled it so well and it was so appropriate for the show's themes, that I can still watch the episode. Even though I cringe when I see Radar step out and then return.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:00 AM

7. Beth... Little Women

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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:06 AM

8. I expected someone to bring her up.

Remember on Friends how upset Joey got when Beth started to feel poorly during his reading of Little Women?

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Response to Collimator (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:22 AM

9. Yes! And when Rachel so callously spoiled the ending for him, lol.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:28 AM

10. Yes, when Stephen King killed off the main character's girlfriend in...

 

-

Salem's Lot.

In an introduction to one of the many editions of this particular title, he explained that he was following in the tradition of Bram Stoker, but I thought it was totally unnecessary.

I've read just about every one of his books, and I love his characters, but a lot of his endings are just plain lousy.

Anyway, I'm glad I read all those other books before that one, because I haven't read one since.
============

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:32 AM

11. Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Tywin Lannister, ... Pick any Game of Thrones Character

Fall in love with the character.

Watch in stunned silence while George R. R. Martin utterly destroy the character.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:09 PM

36. NEVER fall in love with a George RR Martin character.

with few exceptions, your favorites will die. The remaining Starks, Samwell, Tyrion and Ghost in the series come to mind.

As for the books, time will tell - I hope

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Response to yellowdogintexas (Reply #36)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:18 PM

41. I think the main characters will generally end up how they did on the TV show

since they were working with what Martin gave them for the ending.

That said, I think the path to get to their end points will be more tortuous than what happened on the show (they seemed to rush through the last 3 seasons, IMO)

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:34 AM

12. Corum in Michael Moorcock's two trilogies

The Swords and The Silver Hand.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:44 AM

14. West Wing Mrs. Landingham....

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:43 AM

30. Yes!

Although I admit I enjoyed watching Debbie, her replacement.

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Response to AirmensMom (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:04 AM

32. I liked Debbie too

but wow I did not see them killing off Mrs. L.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:46 AM

33. A friend of mine was so upset

by Mrs. Landingham's death, that he comments on it every time he sees the actress in a different role. I think that it helped him to watch--[looks up actress on line]--Kathryn Joosten--accepting death with settled peace in another role on the show, Scrubs.

Oh, that reminds me. Ben Sullivan on Scrubs-- I was starting to get attached to the character. Though, the reaction of Dr. Cox to his death was very powerful and meaningful to me.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:57 PM

57. Yes!

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 30, 2020, 03:34 PM

73. Yep.

Driving her new car.

ON EDIT: That led to one of the many powerful scenes in that series, when after her funeral, Jed stays behind in the cathedral, rubs out a cigarette on the floor, and cusses out God in Latin.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:03 AM

15. Garp. Affected me for days.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:06 AM

17. +1 for Garp. Great pick!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:47 AM

21. "In the World According to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

I had read the novel. It was the first novel I read because I wanted to rather than it being assigned in school. That last chapter is simply devastating. He tells you how Helen dies too. That is heartbreaking. He lays waste to all his characters, and I know that is how Irving sees life. He does almost the same thing in Hotel New Hampshire.

So I knew what to expect in the movie, but I remember the audience reacting to that last scene in the helicopter.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:05 AM

16. Wash's termination gives exact meaning to the term "sudden death."

He was killed so unceremoniously and unnecessarily.

More than mourning Wash, I mourned the loss of the Firefly series. It was one of the very best.

I mourn the death of Justice League at the hands of Joss Whedon. He was great for the Avengers, but awful for Superman. I'm glad HBO is going to erase Whedon's JL as if it never happened, and resurrect Zack Snyder's version.

Cap't Kirk is my favorite fictional character of all time, since I was 4. I was strangely not moved by his death in ST:Generations.

I was really depressed by the (glorious) destruction of the Enterprise in ST:III.

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Response to Earthshine2 (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:57 AM

34. Ah, yes. The Death of Captain James T. Kirk.

It was kind of underwhelming giving the the status he held within his fictional universe as well as our cultural one.

I think that part of the problem was that Shatner had begun playing Kirk as a caricature of himself. If you watch the earlier episodes of ST:TOS, Kirk seems less exaggerated in his mannerisms and you think, "Huh. Shatner was good."

And, yes, the destruction of the Enterprise was a real blow to those of us her loved her without having ever served upon her.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:18 AM

18. Murder of Dobby in Harry Potter, even though I'd read the book.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:45 AM

31. Same here.

It still surprises me every time I watch it. Only read the books once.

And Dumbledore.

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Response to AirmensMom (Reply #31)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:11 PM

37. don't forget Hedwig, Harry's owl.

I hated that

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Response to yellowdogintexas (Reply #37)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:55 PM

56. I'm still not over that one.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:18 AM

19. Spike from Cowboy Bebop n/t

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Response to gay texan (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:16 PM

39. "Bang."

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Response to sakabatou (Reply #39)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:33 PM

50. YES!!!!

I walked around in a daze for weeks after that. I mean we all knew he was going to go out that way. but we hoped he'd get away with it.

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Response to gay texan (Reply #50)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:24 PM

54. I think episode 24 hit me harder than 26.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:30 AM

20. Jo, the boy street-sweeper in Bleak House. nt

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Response to July (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:24 PM

46. "Move along there, toughie." I could tell he would die. _ Bleak House_ is my favorite Dickens novel

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:48 AM

22. Boromir in Lord of the Rings.

My 11 year old self did not see that coming.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 12:33 AM

59. That was so sad!


.
.
.
.
.
and he partly redeemed himself right at the end.
(sniffles)

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:49 AM

23. Ruth, last show

MI-5-Spooks

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:52 AM

24. Wilbur Larch. Owen Meany. John Irving knows how to rip your heart out

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:25 PM

48. And never forget Fuzzy Stone...N/T

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Response to flotsam (Reply #48)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:48 PM

49. Fuzzy. of course.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 10:13 PM

68. With John Irving

I always tell myself to expect at least one violent, “bolt from the blue” death. Wait for it.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:54 AM

25. The kid in "Pay it Forward"

Did not see that coming.

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Response to Shrek (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:05 AM

29. Yep, walked out of the theater like WTF was that? nt

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Response to Collimator (Original post)


Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:22 AM

27. Aeris Final Fantasy VII. Because, like superheroes, theres always a way back.

Not that time. It was exceptionally well done, and coined a new phrase in our pod...'that ones DEAD dead.'

Well played, Squaresoft.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:36 AM

28. Your choice is a really good one. I am going to go to a lesser known series/characters.

The ending of Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom had me in tears. The "ending" of Reiji was so unnerving.

But, the end all, be all of tear jerkers was during Assassination Classroom. I bawled my eyes out during that last episode. I was so attached to Koro-sensei. He was definitely one of the most endearing characters ever created.

Nice topic.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:12 PM

38. Ned Stark in Game of Thrones

I had grown up reading fantasy & science fiction - hundreds of books over the years from the 70s, 80s and 90s: The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings, anything related to King Arthur, The Sword of Shannara and sequels, Raymond Feist, the D&D Dragonlance books, and into the 90s, the Wheel of Time series. If it was epic fantasy & came out in the mid 70s through the late 90s, I probably read it or had it on my bookshelf "to read soon."

To me, Ned was the idea centerpiece to an epic fantasy series - brave, noble, honorable, etc. Plus, a plurality of chapters in that first book were Ned/Eddard chapters.

Then, he gets killed off and I was stunned. However, because so many Ned chapters had dream sequences (flashbacks to the death of Lyanna Stark and events surrounding it), I had to re-read the Arya chapter where Ned died and also the previous Ned chapter several times apiece because I kept thinking it wasn't real.

to me, that said this was a completely new way of writing epic fantasy. A real "game changer" for me and my expectations.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:18 PM

40. Pyrrha Nikos in RWBY

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:29 PM

42. Lonesome Dove. Deets and Gus.

"its been quite a party"

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 02:25 PM

43. The many women Little Joe was fond of.

In Bonanza, every time Little Joe had a major crush on a woman, I thought "She's gonna die".

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 02:34 PM

44. Luther Mahoney, on Homicide: Life on the Street.

I think my jaw was on the floor for an hour.
Never saw that one coming. To this day it still blows my mind.

He was a really rotten person. So you assumed at some point he was going to get it.

But the WHO, what, when, where and why, well-written!

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:00 PM

45. Other than Bambi? Another Joss Whedon character, when Angel killed Gile's girlfriend in Buffy.

I was in love with Ms. Callendar.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:54 PM

47. Yondu Odonta

Guardians of the Galaxy II

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:47 PM

51. When Billy (Sam Bottoms) was killed in The Last Picture Show

Sam died of the same kind of brain tumor that John McCain had. He was only 53.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:04 PM

52. John Hurt's character in Alien

The theater was packed and my boyfriend and I were sitting in the front row. When that thing popped out we were like HOLY SHIT!

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:15 PM

53. Oh, yeah, several....





Babylon 5
.
.
.
.
Kosh (1)



Person of Interest
.
.
.
.
.
Ms Groves, John Reese



SW
.
.
.
.
.
Luke & Leia



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Response to electric_blue68 (Reply #53)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:26 PM

55. Person of Interest.

Broke my heart!

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Response to Dem2theMax (Reply #55)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 12:57 AM

61. Would u (at your leisure) be up to chatting...

about POI for a bit in DU?

On line I'm in a SW group, a Trek group, a LOTR group (least active of these 3)

But (I haven't looked in a while) not any active post series broadcast fan groups for POI. Never seen any.
Sure it's over but it's such a stellar and rich show between discussing it in all it's aspects, speculation of the characters futures, playing with alt scenarios...?

My sib who watched every season - we talked every week about it - never saw the last season! She and a different friend were sitting teary eyed at dinner after S4 last ep - that wild set up to compress The Machine to save it, Harold talking to The Machine 'I failed you, father..." etc Root & John trying to keep them safe. Samihn still in Samaritan clutches etc

Had it on their DVR for years, then system had glitch and they lost it! Arrrg!
I have to check and see what channel is still streaming it. Could watch it when they get to S5.

Give it some thought, and let me know. 🙂

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Response to electric_blue68 (Reply #61)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 01:51 AM

62. I would need to re-watch it to have a proper discussion.

It is on Amazon Prime. Will cost a bit but would be worth it. Anyone know if it's on Netflix? It would be a lot cheaper to watch it there. I was given a gift subscription for Netflix but have not activated it yet.

I didn't know very many people who were watching POI when it was on originally. So I didn't have many people to talk to about it.

I can warn you I'm not the deepest thinker in the world, but I absolutely loved that show.

I know someone who can check the Netflix listings tomorrow. If they have it I can start right away. Otherwise, probably take one season at a time. Binge watch here I come!

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Response to Dem2theMax (Reply #62)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 03:17 AM

63. Don't want u spending money in these

difficult times! 😲

Think about it...

I have Hulu, CBS All Access ( the cheap price w ads)

Peacock (free)

Haven't checked in a while but it wasn't on any of them previously.
Don't have Netflix.

I'll check let u know Weds or Thurs if I've found anything.

I'm a pretty deep thinker at times in certain ways, but I'm also an easy & relaxed thinker, and I love comedy, too. And POI had it's share. 👍
I have friends who can really parse a story! I'm happy when I occasionally reach their level. LOL

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Response to electric_blue68 (Reply #63)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 03:20 PM

67. I checked Netflix, and POI was there until the end of September.

Would cost $125 to watch it on Amazon Prime. How do they get away with this stuff?

I don't have Wi-Fi, so it has to be something I could watch on my computer. If CBS All Access has it, that would be great.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 12:01 AM

58. Gandalf

I mean, like, I know he came back later, but that Moria shit was harsh! 💔

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 12:49 AM

60. Spock, in The Wrath of Khan.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 07:15 AM

64. Easy Rider - the end haunted me for days. nt

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 10:22 AM

65. NCIS Season 2 Finale...when they shot Caitlin in the head...

Helluva way to transition to Ziva in Season 3.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #65)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 11:09 AM

66. You have to give the writers credit for the misdirect.

Damn! Was I surprised! And I watch so much (far too much) TV and movies that I am rarely surprised by most plot reveals. I can usually spot them coming a mile off.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 10:29 PM

69. Shenandoah, movie with Jimmy Stewart

Watching the impact of the Civil War on his family (spoiler more than one family member is killed off). It is kind of heart breaking. One of my all time favorite movies.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Wed Dec 30, 2020, 10:28 AM

71. Edith Bunker

Who didn't love the dippy Edith? Just the idea of putting up with "Aaa-cheeee" all those years made her a saint.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Wed Dec 30, 2020, 03:36 PM

74. Emma in Terms Of Endearment

The scenes of her saying goodbye to her boys, and her death...it was a long time before I could watch that movie without breaking down.

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Response to Collimator (Original post)

Wed Dec 30, 2020, 05:12 PM

75. Most recently, Kate McKenzie out of Last Tango In Halifax

We just watched all the shows over November and December. I felt it was kind of a cop-out to have her killed off on the day after her wedding to Caroline.

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