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Another One Bites the Dust: The Best and Worst TV Deaths and Resurrections of 2012

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Dec 03, 2012 | 6:30am EST

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The Best and Worst TV Deaths of 2012

Best AND Worst: Alaric Saltzman on The Vampire Diaries

How he died: After being turned against his will into an Original vampire/vampire hunter with his life tied to Elena’s, Elena drowned. Alaric died, and came back as a ghost to say goodbye to Jeremy.

Why it worked (by Sydney Bucksbaum): There was some debate of whether Alaric’s death worked or not. I believe his death worked because it still gets me in tears thinking about it, it worked so well. The entire goodbye scene both in the cemetery before he turned into an Original vampire/vampire hunter and as a ghost with Jeremy after he died, and then his surprise cameo as an unseen ghost with Damon in the cemetery all was so moving and it never got cheesy or bad. It was a beautiful send off for a fan favorite. So I ultimately decided it was a best, not because we wanted to see him go but because the way TVD did it was good and right.

Why it didn’t work (by Jean Bentley): Sure, it was a beautiful sendoff for a fan favorite character, but that doesn't make the sting of the vampire hunter/history teacher/father figure's loss any less horrible. Even worse: Matt Davis left to star in The CW's worst show of 2012-2013, Cult. At least TVD is a supernatural show, so there's a chance Alaric could grace us with his presence again, and not just in a touching graveside/barside chat with Damon.

<a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/6732929/">Do you think Alaric Saltzman's death worked?</a>

Worst: Elena Gilbert as a human on The Vampire Diaries

How she died: Drowned after her car went off a bridge, but had vampire blood in her system and transitioned into a vampire

Why it didn’t work: While it completely changed the format of the show in a good way, Elena has become the whiniest, most annoying vampire ever. Seriously, will she ever stop crying or complaining? We get it, you are a vampire, but there are some serious advantages to your new lifestyle. Take advantage of them! And now there is talk of her being sired to Damon? Come. On.

Best: Lori Grimes on The Walking Dead

How she died: Giving birth to daughter Judith via C-section without painkillers, antiseptics, or doctors

Why it worked: Lori had made amends with everyone, and knew the only thing left to do to redeem her past transgressions was to give up her life for her daughter’s.

Best: Dale on The Walking Dead

How he died: Pissed at his group, he wandered off into the night right into a walker that tore into his major organs

Why it worked: It was so shocking. Out of nowhere, a walker just jumped on him, even in the safety of the farm. It proved that the Grimes gang wasn’t truly safe anywhere anymore.

Best: Lexie Grey on Grey’s Anatomy

How she died: Crushed under debris from a plane crash

Why it worked: She had finally gained closure with Mark, professing her love for him. They talked through how the rest of their lives would be, together, even though they knew she wasn’t making it out of there alive. It was beautiful, moving, and had us in tears.

Best: Mark Sloane on Grey’s Anatomy

How he died: Complications from injuries and surgeries following a plane crash

Why it worked: He achieved closure with Lexie, professing his love for her. After she died, he clung to life long enough to make it back to Seattle Grace Mercy West to say goodbye to his daughter and all of his friends. Then, he joined his soul mate in death.

Worst: Dan Scott on One Tree Hill

How he died: Taking a bullet that was meant for his son, Nathan

Why it didn’t work: The fact that everyone praised Dan for being a hero for saving Nathan seemed to cause an amnesia epidemic. Did we all forget this man murdered his own brother in cold blood? Good riddance.

Best: Renly Baratheon on Game of Thrones

How he died: Melisandre’s shadow baby spirit appeared out of nowhere to assassinate him the night before a big battle

Why it worked: On a show where you constantly fear for every character’s death, it takes a lot for a death to come completely out of nowhere and surprise you. His death also changed the course of the final battle of Season 2

Worst: Percy on Nikita

How he died: Nikita dropped him down 3 stories

Why it didn’t work: For two seasons we were operating under the known fact that Percy could not be killed or else hundreds of dirty government secrets would be released to the public, causing mass outrage and panic. And in one minute Birkhoff was able to hack into the black box and contain the information, when he was never able to even entertain the idea that he could? It seemed a little too easy, neat, and tidy to me.

Best: Sammy the dog on Revenge

How he died: Old age

Why it worked: While incredibly sad, Sammy’s death broke down the walls between Emily and Jack, and allowed them to have their first real kiss, which Daniel saw, leading him to break off his engagement to Emily.

Worst: Lane Pryce on Mad Men

How he died: Committed suicide in his office

Why it didn’t work: Fans had theorized that there would be a suicide in Season 5. That the falling man from the opening credits would turn out to be the shadow of slimy Pete Campbell, or even Don Draper. Lane Pryce didn't plummet to his demise (in one of the series' grimmest images, it’s revealed that he hung himself on his office door) but it was the death fans knew was creeping at every corner of the show. An absolute heartbreaker.

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