The 12 Worst TV Twists of 2013 ('Dexter's a Wha?!)
There's nothing better than a killer television twist. And, in today's golden age of television, our favorite shows are constantly pulling us in new directions to keep us on our toes. When that "Oh My God, Did That Really Just Happen?" moment finally goes down, it's all we can talk (and tweet) about for days on end.
Of course, not all television twists are created equal. In order for a twist to really blow us away, it has to be both surprising and lead the show into a cool new direction. Fail to surprise us, and we're bored. But shock us and then spin the show in a new, terrible direction? Well, that's no fun either.
This season, we've seen some twists and turns that are more "meh" than "wow." What shows tried to amp up the excitement but ended up flatlining? Here's a list of the TV twists that 2013 didn't get right. (Warning: Spoilers a-plenty!)
'Pretty Little Liars': Alison is Alive!
Pretty Little Liars began with two simple mysteries: Who is 'A' and who murdered Alison DiLaurentis? By Season 4, Pretty Little Liars had about a million more questions to answer and a very tangled web to unravel. In this season's Halloween special, one of our initial questions finally got answered. Alison DiLaurentis was never murdered! Instead, Alison faked her own death in order to get away from a mysterious stalker.
A character faking her own death would be exciting... if Pretty Little Liars hadn't been dropping major hints for four seasons. While we're excited to find out who Alison was so afraid of, we would have been more surprised if Alison turned out to be dead, after all.
Image: ABC Family
'Gossip Girl': Lonely Boy is Gossip Girl!
This twist came just days before the end of 2012, but it's so terrible, we felt the burn straight into the new year.
For six years, we watched as Blair Waldorf and Co. had every juicy detail of their scandalous lives documented by an anonymous blogger named Gossip Girl. The series finale promised the reveal of the elusive Gossip Girl, leaving fans everywhere to hedge their bets on the various characters who could be behind the keys of the malicious site. Was it Dorota, Blair's faithful maid? Eric van der Woodsen, Serena's brother?
Nope. The Perez Hilton of the Upper East Side turned out to be none other than Dan Humphrey, the self-proclaimed outsider and once moral center of the show. Dan revealed that he became Gossip Girl to write himself into the story of the Upper East Side. That, of course, meant spreading rumors about his supposed friends, girlfriends, and even sometimes his sister. We could sort of believe that Dan was really a huge jerk the entire time, but we can't quite wrap our heads around how he could have logistically been the blogger. (Umm, Dan always looked pretty darn surprised whenever Gossip Girl sent out a blast about him.) If Gossip Girl was looking for a last-minute OMG moment, they totally got it. Too bad it made about as much sense as Chuck's Season 1 wardrobe decisions.
Image: The CW
'New Girl': Nick and Jess 4Ever
I'm so totally about the sexual tension between Nick and Jess. I am so NOT about Nick and Jess as a couple. But towards the end of Season 2 — when Jess was dating cute Doctor Sam and Nick was bouncing from hot girl to hot girl — it became obvious that Nick and Jess had developed romantic feelings for one another. Why is this such a terrible twist? Not that we don't love Nick and Jess, but their couple status totally sucked all of the delicious will-they-won't-they drama out of the show way too early. At least CeCe and Schmidt still have their bickering.
'The Vampire Diaries': Surprise, More Doppelgängers!
The Vampire Diaries has some great mythology (you know, for substance between all of the sexy vampires), but the latest twist had many fans groaning. It turns out that the biggest bad-guy of last season, Silas, was actually Stefan's doppelgänger — and had a great love affair with one of Elena/Katherine's doppelgängers. This twist would be cool if we hadn't heard the word doppelgänger about a billion times throughout the course of the previous two seasons. The entire twist felt very done. The whole body-impersonation thing? So Klaus/Tyler. Plus, Delena fans didn't need yet another reason why Stefan and Elena could be endgame.
Image: The CW
'Glee': Unique is Ryders' Catfish
For weeks on end, Glee played up an exhaustive plot point about Ryder having an online relationship with a fantasy girl named Katie, who was very obviously catfishing him. Later, after Ryder spilled his deepest, darkest secrets to "Katie," it was revealed that the person behind the keyboard was fellow Glee-clubber Unique. Unique is gender-fluid (at least, that's what we can assume — Glee hasn't done a very good job at giving Unique a solid platform to talk about her gender identity, unless you count having her sing Madonna covers and wear fabulous outfits) and knew that Ryder wouldn't like her back romantically if she revealed her feelings.
On its own, this twist could have been interesting. Unfortunately, Glee went about the issue on a pretty one-dimensional level. Not only was Unique's reveal unsurprising, but it should have brought up issues about trans teens that it simply didn't follow through with.
'Mad Men': Bob's Disappointing Reveal
Bob Benson was one of Man Men's most ambiguous characters. So ambiguous, in fact, that fans began theorizing about who Bob Benson could really be. A CIA operative? A time-traveling Don Draper? (Yes, this is still a period show about an advertising agency). But it turns out that none of these twists were correct. Bob's major secret? That he was a gay man. We couldn't help but be a little disappointed by the normalcy of it all.
'Nashville': Teddy Knocks Up His Mistress
Nashville started out strong in Season 1, but steered a little heavy into the politics of Nashville towards the middle of the season. Do we really care about Teddy's mayoral candidacy? No. We're watching Nashville for the music, cat fights, and smoldering looks from Deacon. So we cared not-at-all when we found out that — surprise! — Rayna's ex Teddy got his mistress pregnant. Not only has this twist been done to death on shows like Scandal (the only ABC show where we really want to be embedded in the world of politics), but we don't really care that much about Teddy in general.
'Revenge': Aidan's Back
Betrayal, lies, hot people with secret agendas... that's basically the formula for every episode of Revenge. And while we're thrilled that Emily is back plotting her personal vendetta against the Graysons, we could care less about her ex-boyfriend, Aidan's, involvement in the plan. First, Aidan returns to the Hamptons to "team up" with Victoria in order to "take Emily down once and for all". But, SHOCKER! Aidan isn't trustworthy, and he's been working for Emily this ENTIRE TIME. Did we see this coming? Yes, obviously. And it was annoying because Aidan was annoying. The only person Emily should be teaming up with in the future is Nolan, anyway.
But, credit where credit's due: We are simply thrilled that Season 3 called off the whole Initiative plot line.
'American Horror Story': Frankenstein Frat Boy
Evan Peters is one of the strongest young actors to have been in all three American Horror Story series. Which is why we were highly disappointed when his character, Kyle, died in a bus crash in the first episode. When the witches were able to bring Kyle back to life, we were thrilled that we'd get to see more of Evan Peters (yay!) Then we got hit with a major twist: Kyle would be condemned to live as a Frankenstein-type monster — not speaking, or really behaving very human-like at all. We still have the rest of the season to see if Kyle's, umm, health turns around, but it's more likely that he'll stay mum for the rest of the season. Disappointing.
'Happy Endings': Alex and Dave Break Up... Again
Happy Endings began with Alex leaving Dave at the alter, so it was pretty surprising when Alex and Dave decided to give their romance a do-over at the end of Season 2. By the middle of Season 3, we actually started liking Alex and Dave in couple-hood. Then, in the Season 3 finale — and, unfortunately, what ended up being the series finale — Alex and Dave called it quits. Not only was their break-up totally out of left field, but it was we had a hard time buying that these two could really be friends again after they put one another through the romantic ringer twice over. Of course, we would have settled for Alex and Dave as friends if it meant having more episodes of Happy Endings (may it rest in peace).
'Bates Motel': Sheriff Romero Kills Jake Abernathy
Bates Motel, the very cool modern-day prequel to Psycho, had a lot going on in its first few episodes. (Bates Motel was used a sex-trafficking center! White Pine Bay has an underground drug economy! Crazy stuff, people!) Unfortunately, one of the biggest plot points on the show got resolved in a twist that made us go, "Wait, really? That's it?" When evil-doer (read: sex-trafficker) Jake Abernathy begins to threaten Norma for use of her motel, we were convinced that we would have a serious power struggle throughout the rest of the first season and into the second. Yet in a strange, quick-solution twist, Sheriff Romero does something surprising (not to mention illegal): He shoots Jake dead. And, uh, no one cares. Because he's the sheriff of a town that doesn't even seem to really have laws.
So, problem solved, right? Uh, maybe, but this twist just sort of left us scratching our heads and wondering just exactly what this show would be after removing the main conflict.
'Dexter': Dexter Fakes His Own Death
Here's how not to end an uneven-at-best show: by having your character become a lumberjack. After Dexter says goodbye to Deb, Dexter takes his boat into the middle of a storm, presumably to die. But Dexter doesn't die — instead, he fakes his death and ends up working as a lumberjack . The biggest twist on Dexter? That the finale was so completely underwhelming.