10 TV Characters Whose Fates Were Never Resolved

TV showrunners and writers always do their best to wrap up each character’s arc as perfectly as possible. The endings can be good or bad, but fans are mostly assured that they can be provided with information regarding what happened to every character. Surprisingly, there have been a few times when some of the individuals in the story disappeared or were ignored, never to be seen again.

Several factors contribute to a TV show character’s fate never getting resolved. Sometimes there are bigger stories to tell, hence time would rather be allocated to angles that matter more. On other occasions, it’s a deliberate “cliffhanger” move to get fans talking, while, on rare instances, it’s simply a case of a show’s writing team forgetting about one character because there is so much happening. Whatever the reason, fans would wish to know what happened to some fan favorites. Here are 10 TV characters whose fates were never resolved.

In recent years, Donald Glover has been known for his role as the music producer, Earn, in Atlanta, but back in the early-2010s, he was Troy from Community. An ever-curious and adventurous character, Troy left Greendale Community College to travel the world on a sailboat, only for Professor Buzz Hickey to see a news segment about the popular student getting captured by pirates. What happened next is a mystery.

Why It Harmed the Show

Troy is widely considered Community’s most intriguing character, hence if there was someone fans needed details about, it was him. Regrettably, that never happened. What’s worse is that his friends neither talked about him at all, nor made efforts to have him rescued. This was weird, considering how much they cared about him. Even Professor Hickey ought to have done something about the situation, but he surprisingly moved on after watching the news. Stream on Netflix

9 Jack Bauer — 24 (2001-2012)

Since leaving 24, Kiefer Sutherland has starred in similar shows, namely Designated Survivor and Rabbit Hole, but fans wouldn’t mind knowing what happened to his iconic character, Jack Bauer, at the end of 24: Live Another Day. In the finale, Russian authorities were calling for the Counterterrorist Unit agent’s head because he killed several of the country’s diplomats, so he gave himself up in exchange for his best friend Chloe’s freedom.

Why It Benefitted the Show

While it would be nice to know whether Jack was tortured and killed by the Russians, or whether he escaped, like he did many other times on the show, this particular outcome was good because it was the ideal punishment for the reckless life Jack lived. As resourceful as he was, he lived very dangerously. It was only going to be a matter of time before his past caught up with him. The ending also keeps fans invested, and if the rumored 24 revival were to ever happen, they would gladly tune in again. Stream on Hulu

8 Thorunn (Þórunn) — Vikings (2013-2020)

When the shieldmaiden, Thorunn, discovered that her husband, Bjorn, was frolicking with a new woman in Vikings, she decided to depart from the show’s main setting of Kattegat. Some of the characters tried to persuade her to stay, but she left anyway, never to be seen again.

Why It Harmed the Show

Thorunn’s decision soiled the feminist theme that the show was known for. Most women characters never allowed their fates to be sealed by their men’s actions. For example, when Lagertha learned that Ragnar was seeing another woman, she left him and built a new life for herself elsewhere before morphing into a queen. Thorunn, on the other hand, just gave up on everything, left, and didn’t go on to do anything meaningful with her life. Worse still, she left a child (whose fate is also unknown) behind. Stream on Prime Video, Hulu, or Peacock

Related: 10 TV Show Characters That Were Introduced and Then Quickly Written Off

7 Tony Soprano — The Sopranos (1999-2007)

Towards the end of The Sopranos, Tony’s DiMeo crime family from New Jersey lost a few of its key members because of the war with New York’s Lupertazzi crime family. Peace eventually came when the Lupertazzi Don was gunned down at a gas station. In the final scene, Tony was preparing to enjoy a meal with his family at a diner. However, he suddenly looked sideways (seemingly spotting an attacker), before the screen cut to black. It’s, therefore, unclear whether someone shot him or not.

Why It Benefitted the Show

Several years after it aired, “Made in America” remains one of the most divisive series finales, but the fact that events played out the way they did is one of the reasons The Sopranos is still held in high regard. The ambiguity means that fans get to pick whichever ending they prefer. Some picture an ending where Tony gets gunned down. After all, this had been hinted at when a mysterious man walked into the diner earlier and stared at him. Others picture an ending where Tony gets to enjoy the meal and then goes home. Stream on Max

6 Flynn — Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

In Breaking Bad, Walter White had a very rocky relationship with his son, Walter Jr., aka Flynn. At one point, he was getting a new Dodge Challenger as a gift, and the next moment, he was cursing at his father. Things became worse towards the end of the show when Flynn discovered his father was a drug dealer. He yelled at him on the phone and cut off all contact. Walter White, on the other hand, was eager to make sure the $9.72 million he had made went to his son. Since Flynn wouldn’t meet him, he blackmailed two of his former friends (The Schwartzs) into handing over the money when the time was right.

Why It Harmed the Show

As a character who suffered a lot throughout the show (mainly because he suffered from cerebral palsy), Flynn deserved a happy ending. Moreso, Walter White suffered a lot for his money, so it would only have been fair for it to all end up in Flynn’s hands. However, there is a likelihood that the Schwartzs didn’t hand over the money. They not only hated Walter, but they were also the kind to get easily spooked and run to the police. It would have been better to know that Flynn and his mother got to leave a happy and opulent life after all they had been through. Stream on Netflix

5 Caitlin — Heroes (2006-2010)

Heroes didn’t always appeal to all superhero fans, but there are a few things about it that were undeniably good, notably its romance arcs. One of the fan-favorite pairings was that of Peter and Caitlin. The lovebirds found themselves in an alternate apocalyptic reality. Strangely, enough, Peter escaped from the parallel New York and left Caitlin behind.

Why It Harmed the Show

The outcome was annoying because Peter made a move that didn’t align with his personality. Fans cannot help but wonder why he never bothered to save a woman he loved, or why he later erased the alternate universe without caring to think that Caitlin was still in it. Whether she survived the erasure is unknown. According to series creator Tim Kring’s interview with THR, a rescue plot could not be explored because of the 2008 writers strike. Still, it would have been better to have Caitlin escape with Peter. Stream on Peacock

4 Gabe — Six Feet Under (2001-2005)

Gabe from Six Feet Under was the kind of boyfriend every parent warns their daughter against. He was erratic and enjoyed smoking crack cocaine. After years of pulling Claire into his bad habits, she eventually made up her mind and dumped him. However, confusion emerged as to what exactly happened to Gabe, especially because Claire had a vision of him and his brother, Anthony, in the afterlife.

Why It Harmed the Show

Claire’s vision suggests that Gabe died, but if such is the case, fans would be interested in knowing exactly how he died. As annoying as Gabe was, he was a key character whose arcs needed to be wrapped up perfectly. Most importantly, Claire needed to know what happened to him to find closure. Sadly, no information was ever provided, leaving everyone guessing that Gabe might have been killed during one of his crime sprees. Stream on Netflix or Max

3 Marlo — The Wire (2002-2008)

Despite only debuting in Season 3, Marlo Stanfield quickly became one of The Wire’s deadliest villains. He was eventually arrested and jailed, but when it emerged that the surveillance used to convict him was conducted improperly, he was released. His final season showed him contemplating whether to go legitimate or whether to return to his former life.

Why Benefitted the Show

Among the reasons The Wire is considered one of the greatest shows of all time, is because it gave an accurate picture of what life was like in the projects. For many youngsters from minority groups, there is always a dilemma about whether to take the easy route (crime), or whether to do something more meaningful. Such is the dilemma that plagues Marlo after he is given a chance to start over. Whether he has changed or not is something viewers are left to determine for themselves. Stream on Max

2 Dr. Pulaski — Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)

There is always the feeling that something is off whenever a recasting is done, so some showrunners normally make the better choice of replacing the character with a new one. This kind of substitution happened in Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation when Gates McFaden was no longer able to continue playing Dr. Beverly Cusher. A new character, Dr. Pulaski, was introduced as a replacement. Surprisingly, Dr. Cusher returned in Season 3, and when that happened, Dr. Pulaski was ignored.

Why It Harmed the Show

Dr. Pulaski was a very good character. It could be argued that she was even better than Dr. Cusher. She was charming, and her phobia of new technology made her distinctive in a show where most of the Starfleet’s crew members appeared to share the same beliefs and principles. Keeping her on the show in a minor capacity would have been good, and if that wasn’t possible, fans ought to have been informed about what happened to her. Stream on Paramount+

Related: 10 TV Characters With the Most Satisfying Redemption Arcs

1 Syrio — Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

Syrio Forel from Game of Thrones was an expert sword-fighter and tutor hired by Eddard Stark to impart the necessary skills to his daughter Arya Stark. Today, it remains unclear what happened to him after his fight with Meryn Trant. In the scene, he had a broken wooden sword, meaning he was at a great disadvantage, but his fate was never disclosed.

Why It Harmed the Show

Game of Thrones was known for its brutal death scenes, so denying fans the opportunity to see another one was unfair. If Syrio did indeed die, viewers deserved to know how that happened and see the mistakes he made during the duel. There is also a chance that Syrio survived, given how good he was with weapons. If that was the case, viewers deserved to see how he pulled off a mighty win, yet he had an inferior weapon. Stream on Max


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