Getting around spoilers in 2017 has been harder than avoiding the plague in the 1300s — if a shock like the seventh season finale of “Game of Thrones” could kill you. But that’s just how it goes with TV cliffhangers this year. Here’s a look back at all the ways you’ve been duped, bamboozled and left twisting by 2017’s biggest shockers. And by the way: SPOILER ALERT.
“Dark” — The first season the Netflix sci-fi series ended with bang, when a character somehow broke the show’s seemingly-ironclad rules of time travel. For the fans’ sake, here’s hoping it gets renewed.
“Stranger Things 2” — And you thought everything was all fine and dandy once Eleven and Mike kissed at the dance, right? Of course you did! And of course it wasn’t! As the final episode closes, we travel back to the Upside Down to see the Mind Flayer hovering over Hawkins Middle School. Because we can’t have nice things.
“House of Cards” — The show’s 5th season ended on a pretty serious cliffhanger as newly-installed president Claire (Robin Wright) appears to go back on her promise to pardon Frank (Kevin Spacey). That twist that was only topped by the IRL cliffhanger: the dismissal of Spacey following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. Season 6 will now focus solely on Claire, but we’ll have to wait to see how they write Frank out.
“Game of Thrones” — There were a lot of shocks in the penultimate season of HBO’s powerhouse series, but the biggest by far was when The Wall came tumbling down in the final moments of the finale. The Night King conquered the behemoth with the mighty breath of his reanimated dragon’s icy blue flames, allowing his army to pass into Westeros. Oh, and you remember how that dragon was Daenerys Targaryen’s first, right? Just making sure you understood the gravity of this situation.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” — It looked like this Fox comedy’s fourth year was gonna wrap up nicely when Detectives Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) were about to get off the hook for a crime they didn’t commit after trying to infiltrate a dirty squad. But at the last minute the witness they had hunted down to testify on their behalf backed up the bad guys instead, leaving Jake and Rosa in the clink at the beginning of Season 5.
“Veep” — Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) spent all of Season 6 exploring life outside the Oval Office. But in the Finale’s final moments, our favorite VP got the one thing she’s always wanted: another shot at the presidency. However, Jonah (Timothy Simons) is also running. Oh, and Amy (Anna Chlumsky) is pregnant.
“Doctor Who” — Wait, we’re getting a new Doctor? We’re getting a thirteenth Doctor? We’re get the first female Doctor? *faints*
“Riverdale” — The CW’s reimagining of the Archie comics gave us not one, but two huge cliffhangers in 2017. The first was whether to Archie Andrew’s (KJ Apa) father Fred (Luke Perry) would live after he was shot in Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe by the Black Hood at the end of Season 1. He did, by the way. The second was who that masked man is, which was revealed in the Season 2 winter finale. Oh, it was the janitor Mr. Svenson. Wait, you knew that right? But, at the last minute it looked like Betty (Lili Reinhart) might be considering taking up some kind of crusade herself? Uh-oh.
“Walking Dead” — Carl Grimes. Got. Bit. Y’all. Yeah, that’s the bombshell AMC dropped on fans at the close of the first half of Season 8 of “The Walking Dead.” Naturally, no one was happy about this. Especially people who like shouting CORAL.
“Scandal” — After Shonda Rhimes spent an entire season of “Scandal” driving fans crazy teasing who assassinated Frankie Vargas just minutes after he was elected president, the showrunner threw Gladiators a curveball by revealing it was his wife. But it also wasn’t. In the closing moments of the penultimate season’s finale, Cyrus (Jeff Perry) revealed to Olivia (Kerry Washington) he was the one who orchestrated everything. Of course we all thought this from the beginning until they convinced us it wasn’t. Ugh.
“Once Upon a Time” — Fans knew going into the Season 6 finale that the show was losing most of its major players and planning a reboot come the fall. However, figuring out just how the writers were gonna pull this off was harder than following a trail of breadcrumbs. The show’s finale saw everyone get their “happy ending,” before jumping to the future, where a grown-up Henry (Andrew J. West) has a little girl show up on his doorstep claiming to be his daughter — just like he did to Emma (Jennifer Morrison) in the pilot.
“Supernatural” — Season 12 of The CW’s long, long running fantasy series saw Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) send Lucifer (on purpose) and their mother (by accident, duh) to an alternate universe and the birth of the devil’s son. Oh, and Satan’s baby popped out of his mom as a teenager with glowing yellow eyes. This was definitely a shocker for fans, which is saying something for a show that’s been on for thirteen years.
“This is Us” — The winter finale of Season 2 of NBC’s tearjerker ended with Kevin (Justin Hartley) driving off drunk — without knowing Randall’s daughter Tess was in the backseat. Though it looks like everyone is still in one piece, we can’t say that Kevin will be come the back half of the season.
So those are the moments that shook us the hardest in 2017. Of course, with plenty of big shows returning in the new year, like the sophomore season of HBO’s epic sci-fi series “Westworld,” we can guarantee next year’s list will be even longer.