TV fans know what it’s like to have their hearts ripped out, as evidenced by the gut-wrenching deaths that took place on the small screen in 2019.
Veronica Mars returned for a fourth season in the form of a Hulu revival. Viewers were thrilled when the titular character (Kristen Bell) and Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) finally tied the knot after years of turbulence in their relationship. So their wrath-filled reaction was fair upon watching the groom die in a car explosion just moments after the nuptials.
Bell, 39, admitted exclusively to Us Weekly in July that she was “in mourning” over the twist. According to the actress, she ended up “somewhere between shock and understanding” as the cast and crew wrapped filming for the revival.
Chicago Fire employed a similar tactic in its season 8 premiere. Otis Zvonecek (Yuriy Sardarov) was discovered burnt and unconscious in a blaze that ultimately took his life. “We decided we should do it,” co-creator Derek Haas explained to Us in September. “We should make this one really have consequences that set up the new season and have characters having to now deal with the death of a colleague in their own ways.”
Meanwhile, Riverdale had the particularly difficult task of writing out Fred Andrews after the death of his portrayer: Luke Perry. The actor died in March at age 52 after suffering a stroke, but the CW drama opted to wait until the season 4 premiere in October to say goodbye to his character.
The episode, which saw Fred killed in a hit-and-run car accident, provided the cast with an outlet to heal together. “I think everyone was really proud to gather to tell this tribute to Fred and to Luke, and I think everyone was, I don’t want to say happy to have a catharsis, but I think we’d been, when [Perry’s death] happened, we were all scattered, so there was something really special when we all gathered to do the table read that was cathartic,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told reporters in October. “But we knew it was going to be hard and it was.”
Watch the video above to relive the most heartbreaking TV deaths of 2019, from All American, Orange Is the New Black, The Walking Dead and more shows.