Between Agents of SHIELD exploring Life Model Decoys, Daenerys arriving on the shores of Westeros on Game of Thrones, and a cheating scandal that expelled one of the lead designers on Project Runway, 2017 was a dramatic year for television. Let’s take a look at 10 of the of the most shocking TV moments from 2017.
SHIELD in Space
Agents of SHIELD took a lot of risks this year. They introduced a Spirit of Vengeance from another realm with Ghost Rider. Then they brought AI to the small screen with the creation of AIDA, a sentient robot bent on destroying SHIELD. Then they created the Framework, a digital world where Hydra won and half the cast were bad guys. As if those storylines weren’t crazy enough, they kicked off Season 5 with a plot almost too far fetched to believe: Our beloved SHIELD agents have been kidnapped into space and launched hundreds of years into the future. Oh, and Daisy is a world killer.
Welcome to Westeros
Every single moment of Game of Thrones Season 7 was a shocking moment. Seriously. The season began with Dany arriving on the shores of Westeros. This was a moment fans had been waiting for since Season 1. By Episode 2, Jon Snow was meeting Dany and her dragons for the first time. By the final episodes we knew that Cersei was pregnant again and was unwilling to fight the White Walkers. Season 7 revealed that Ser Jorah was still alive, thanks for Sam’s help. This season also consummated Jon and Dany’s budding relationship, confirmed Jon’s parents as Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (R+L=J!), and showed the White Walkers breaching the wall.
Oh, and the biggest shocker of all: Viserion was killed and resurrected as an un-dead Ice Dragon! Seriously, we can’t wait for Season 8!
The Walking Dead aired two seasons this year, the second half of Season 7 and the first half of Season 8. A lot of crazy things happened during most of these episodes, like the death of Sasha, the death of Shiva, and Eugene becoming a Savior. The worst shock — of possibly the entire series — was the reveal that Carl Grimes, son of leader Rick Grimes, was bit by a walker. Fans were shocked at this revelation, especially since Carl is still alive in the comics. Why are they killing off Carl?!?
Wake Up, Will
Stranger Things returned for a second season this year and with it came a new monster that terrorized Hawkins and Will Byers. Will was mostly absent in Season 1, so it was with great shock and surprise that he was so closely tied to this season’s storyline. Mainly, when the Shadow Monster possessed him and began to use him against his friends. Eleven‘s return was also a shock because she was not in the Upside Down as many fans had thought, she was staying in Hopper‘s cabin in the woods for almost a year! Her takedown of the monster and Will’s subsequent exorcism were two of TV’s greatest moments in 2017.
If every episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 contained a shocking moment, it’s safe to say that Twin Peaks: The Return did as well. 18 episodes of “pure heroine,” David Lynch and Mark Frost gave fans a glimpse into the dark, spooky, lively, and mysterious world of Twin Peaks after 25 years. Dale Cooper‘s expulsion from the Red Room, his doppelganger‘s nefarious plans, Ed and Norma’s love story resolution, Episode 8’s atomic explosion, Becky’s drug trip — every detail of the series was off the wall crazy. The biggest shock, if that can even be measured on a show like Twin Peaks came during the series finale, when Dale Cooper went back in time and saved Laura from being killed. The final scene concluded with Dale and Laura in the street, Dale asking “what year is this” and Laura screaming that blood-curdling scream. Boom, what a way to end The Return.
After many years off the air, Star Trek returned to us this year. Star Trek: Discovery premiered in September and introduced us to an entirely new space epic. The show began on the bridge of the USS Shenzhou, which was under the command of Captain Philippa Georgiou. All of that changed when First Officer Michael Burnham mutinied against her captain, started a conflict with the Klingons and got Georgiou killed. The two-hour premiere sent fans reeling, since there had never been a main character mutiny on Star Trek before. The shocks continued with Michael’s arrest, her court-martial and the ignition of the Federation-Klingon war.
Redrum in Riverdale
When Riverdale premiered in January, fans of the Archie comic book series weren’t quite sure what to expect. Would she show be cheese fest focused on love triangles? Not quite. Instead of being just a sweaty teen drama (which it can be) the show set itself up as a murder mystery. The premise of Season 1 was the death of Jason Blossom and the revelation of his murderer was straight out of Twin Peaks. Archie sleeping with his teacher, Betty falling in love with Jughead, Veronica and the gang uncovering two murderers (Clifford Blossom and the Black Hood) kept Riverdale full of shocking moments this year, especially when Cheryl threw herself into Sweetwater River, Archie broke his hand saving her and Fred Andrews was shot by the Black Hood in the Season 1 finale.
This next one is definitely the most heart-breaking shocker of the year. If you’ve been watching Jane the Virgin, you know that Jane has gone back and forth between Michael and Rafael for years. When she finally picked Michael, all the Jane and Michael fans rejoiced. Their ending was not so happy, however, as Michael died suddenly after recovering from his gunshot wound. The show then flash-forwarded to the year 2020 and picked up many years after Micheal’s death. After all the “will they, won’t they,” after all the make ups and break ups, Michael was dead and Jane was left a widow. [INSERT UGLY CRYING GIF HERE.]
One of the biggest shocks of the year had to be the reveal of Savitar. This super speedster showed up during The Flash Season 3 with the taunt and promise of killing Iris West. This threat hung over Team Flash for months. Finally, Savitar unmasked himself, revealing the face of Barry Allen! Savitar was not some distant villain with an axe to grind like Zoom or Reverse Flash. Savitar was a speed remnant that Barry created when he went back in time to save Iris. The death of Iris was the only thing that could create this remnant, so he decided to create himself by killing her. He was a sick, sick villain and played brilliantly by Flash actor Grant Gustin.
Last but not least, Project Runway debuted its 16th Season this year, celebrating a “sweet 16.” The year was not so sweet, however, for contestant Claire Buitendorp. Claire and her twin sister Shawn competed and both advanced pretty far. Shawn made it to Week 7 (quitting in a face-off against her twin) and Claire was poised to go even further until she was disqualified for cheating. The disqualification came as quite a shock, not because Tim Gunn or a judge caught Claire cheating, but because she was outed by a fellow contestant. Claire admitted to measuring clothes during off hours, which is a Project Runway no-no.