21 Crazy Movie Twists Spoiled In The Trailers (And 4 That Stayed Hidden)

Very few moviegoers enjoy having films spoiled in advance. While it’s fun to speculate about the next big blockbuster, nobody likes knowing everything about a film before entering the theater. With this in mind, a film’s marketing has to perform a balancing act. How can trailers entice viewers to see the movie without revealing too much? Sometimes it works out, but often a movie’s biggest twists can show up in trailers and ruin the whole thing! For this list, we’re going to take a look at popular movie trailers and see just how much they spoil.

Well-constructed trailers only tease at the best parts, but some trailers might as well show you the whole movie! There are plenty of exceptions to this, but you’ll be surprised to see just how many mind-blowing twists trailers spoiled ahead of time. We aren’t drawing the line at plot twists either — any movie that reveals too much in trailers is fair game for this list. Of course, this means that there will be major spoilers below for films new and old alike. You’ve been warned, but if you somehow haven’t seen these movies, the marketing already spoiled them anyway.

Sometimes spoilers hide so well in trailers that you’ll miss them if you blink. Other times, a misguided marketing team will blow the movie’s best moments on a commercial that spans less than a minute. Whether through disregard or desperation, these movie twists just couldn’t stay under wraps. Here are 21 Crazy Twists Spoiled In The Trailers (And 4 That Stayed Secret.)

25 Spoiled: The Terminator Is A Good Guy (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)

Back in 1991, audiences loved Arnold Schwarzenegger’s villainous Terminator. However, trailers for Terminator 2: Judgement Day ruined the best aspect of the sequel. The T-800 is no longer hunting the Connor family — he is protecting them instead.

While the trailers spell this out plainly, the movie treats it like a massive twist. The iconic scene where the T-800 saves John Connor likely shocks audiences more today than it did back then, since younger viewers wouldn’t have seen those trailers. The Terminator franchise has a history of putting spoilers in their marketing material, but thankfully this instance is the least damaging. T2 is a classic for a reason.

24 Spoiled: Wonder Woman And Doomsday (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice)

This is the least of Batman v Superman‘s problems, but it still irked fans at the time. The film that was supposed to be the start of a successful new franchise spoiled two character reveals way before the official release.

Doomsday’s early reactions were divisive, mainly for its odd design and unnecessary inclusion in the marketing. The other reveal was Wonder Woman — a beloved take on the character now, sure, but her crowd-pleasing entrance would only please those who didn’t see it coming.

Aside from those moments, the marketing featured too much footage in general. You would think that marketing a movie with both Batman and Superman in it wouldn’t require so much effort.

23 Spoiled: Harry Lives (Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle)

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a pleasant surprise back in 2014, while the sequel wouldn’t fare quite as well. The first film features a sad end for Harry, Colin Firth’s suave spy mentor. He is shot in the head by the villain at point blank.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has the gall to bring him back halfway through the film — a twist that appears in the trailers and ruins the surprise! The movie wasn’t received well by critics anyhow, but this reveal would have landed better with everyone if it had just been kept a secret.

22 Spoiled: Hulk’s Entrance (Thor: Ragnarok)

The main selling point of Thor: Ragnarok would have made for a crowd-pleasing twist… had it been saved for the actual film. The first trailer revealed that Thor would encounter the Hulk in space as a combatant in a gladiator match. His entrance is a total surprise, especially since Hulk’s whereabouts are left a mystery at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Showing Hulk’s appearance makes sense from a marketing standpoint — the Thor films aren’t the most successful, so teasing Hulk might entice more moviegoers. While this spoiler doesn’t ruin the film, it simply would have been a nice surprise for Marvel fans to experience in the theater and not months earlier via trailers.

21 Spoiled: Chuck Survives (Cast Away)

The trailer gives away more than just the ending. It features every narrative beat of the movie in chronological order.

As a matter of fact, Cast Away‘s trailer sells an entirely different movie — one that appears to focus on the aftermath of Chuck’s survival, rather than the act of surviving itself. Not only does the trailer breeze past his time lost in the Pacific, but it shows him back home as a changed man.

You could say that it’s about the journey, not the destination… but you’re wrong. This movie is very much about the destination. The trailer is essentially the whole movie.

20 Stayed Hidden: Han’s Son (The Force Awakens)

Star Wars is always the subject of rumors and fan speculation — The Force Awakens especially, since it was such an event. One twist that managed to stay under wraps (despite some fans who might’ve guessed) is Kylo Ren’s lineage.

The masked villain Kylo Ren is actually Ben Solo, son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. He’s part of the Skywalker family — knowledge that Supreme Leader Snoke drops without any fanfare in the first act. The movie delivers this information like it’s a minor detail and not some massive reveal. That’s pretty cool, considering it caught so many Star Wars fans off guard. Good job hiding your twist, Star Wars.

19 Spoiled: Marcus Is A Terminator (Terminator Salvation)

Terminator is on the list again? This franchise has a bad habit of giving away the twists in marketing, and Salvation is no different. The movie’s only real surprise (besides a cameo by a terrible CGI Arnold Schwarzenegger) is that the protagonist is a Terminator. Marcus Wright (played by Sam Worthington) is a human-Terminator hybrid — something every trailer spoils for no good reason.

The first trailer features the big reveal, when Marcus sees his cyborg skeleton. Another trailer has John Connor speak to Marcus as if he is the enemy, without specifically calling him a Terminator. Either way, the trailers spoiled the twist, and arguably one of the best parts of an overwhelming bland movie.

18 Spoiled: Hulk Saves Tony (The Avengers)

You’re going to see a lot of Marvel films on this list. They have a bad habit of spoiling things ahead of time. The second official trailer for The Avengers features a very minor spoiler, but thankfully it’s less jarring out of context.

At the end of the film, Iron Man steers a nuclear missile into a portal to space, hoping to stop an alien invasion, He loses consciousness once he makes it through and falls back to Earth.

The movie treats this as a tense moment. Will Tony wake up before he hits the ground? The Hulk catches him in mid-air, but if you noticed that in the trailer, you wouldn’t have been surprised.

17 Spoiled: This Is No Game (Ender’s Game)

Ender thinks his training is just that — training to prepare for intergalactic battle. He doesn’t know that his virtual reality “training programs” aren’t virtual. They’re showing him actual, real-time space combat.

The finale of Ender’s Game has Ender take one final VR test where he must destroy an alien fleet. After going a step farther and wiping out an entire alien race, Ender learns the truth and is horrified at his actions.

Trailers don’t actually reveal this moment, but the movie’s tagline is much less subtle. The phrase “This is no game” was scrawled all over the movie’s marketing. Naturally, it appears on the official poster (as taglines usually do) and in the trailers. It’s not technically a spoiler… but technically it’s a spoiler.

16 Spoiled: Most Of The Movie (Speed)

As with many of the industry’s worst movie promos, the trailers for 1994’s Speed reveal pretty much everything. While there is no particularly crazy plot twist to speak of, the trailers show way too much of every major sequence.

The trailers do more than explain the premise of the film.  The movie’s tense runaway bus sequence even has its climax spoiled, as the trailers show it explode at the Los Angeles airport. The other major action beats make an appearance as well, and anybody willing to try could probably piece the plot together from the trailers alone.

There are worse trailers on this list, but Speed‘s trailer tries way too hard to sell the film.

15 Spoiled: Feuding Predators (The Predator)

A lot seemed to go poorly for 2018’s The Predator. Between behind-the-scenes controversy and a divisive portrayal of autism, the movie had plenty on its plate before it even hit theaters. It doesn’t help the only real twist was spoiled in the first trailer.

In this reboot-sequel, the Predators are looking to evolve and become better hunters. Instead of keeping this under wraps, the trailer gives a glimpse at a showdown between a classic Predator and a bigger, more vicious one known as the Ultimate Predator. The trailers even spoil an action sequence that is interrupted by the feuding aliens. Couldn’t this have stayed secret?

14 Spoiled: Vision (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for secretive marketing nowadays, but earlier films in the series weren’t so careful. For instance, trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron featured an unnecessary character reveal way in advance.

Casual fans of the movies had no idea who Vision was at the time. However, the end of the trailer gives audiences a look at Vision without any context.

It’s not necessarily a twist, but it’s an example of poor marketing. Vision is a purple robot with a glowing gem in his head — only fans of the comics would have any idea who he is at a glance. Couldn’t this have been saved for the film? It’s a reveal that only satisfies a select few, and confuses most others.

13 Spoiled: Gandalf The White (The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers)

Anyone with prior knowledge of Tolkien’s work knew all about Gandalf’s fate, but when he bites the dust in the first Lord of the Rings film, he left a lasting impact on audiences. Aside from countless memes and sheer iconic nature of the character, Gandalf is simply one of the likable members of the Fellowship.

So perhaps it is understandable, yet all the more unacceptable, that trailers for The Two Towers spoil his resurrection in all its glory. Although shots of the final battle do contain brief glimpses of him, Gandalf appears at the end of the first trailer without a hint of subtlety.

12 Spoiled: John Connor Is A Terminator (Terminator: Genisys)

Ugh, Terminator again? In typical franchise fashion, the trailers spoil Terminator: Genisys‘s biggest twist without any remorse.

John Connor, this time played by actor Jason Clarke, sends Kyle Reese back in time to save his mother from the Terminator. However, in this sequel, John turns out to be a villainous Terminator himself. It’s another twist that would have went over much better in theaters if it had been kept a secret.

The film didn’t get any love from critics or fans regardless, but can’t the Terminator films just save one secret for the theatergoers? Just once? Please? Oh, they also spoil the fight between old Arnold Schwarzenegger and the younger, CGI Arnold Schwarzenegger. You know, just in case you decided to actually see the movie.

11 Stayed Hidden: Liz’s Dad (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

One of the best scenes in Spider-Man: Homecoming just managed to survive those pesky trailers. The film’s twist comes in the third act when it’s revealed that the villainous Vulture is the father of Peter’s love interest, Liz Allen.

When Peter goes to pick up Liz for prom, Adrian Toomes answers the door. Peter knows him as the Vulture, but Toomes doesn’t know Peter. This leads to a sequence where Peter must stay calm in the presence of his unknowing enemy. Vulture even drives the couple to the prom, where he realizes that Peter is actually Spider-Man.

It’s an intense moment that stayed under wraps despite the rampant speculation around every Marvel movie.

10 Spoiled: Freeing Willy (Free Willy)

What more needs to be said? Sure, Free Willy doesn’t exactly hinge on some majestic twist, but any movie that spoils its ending in the trailers is fair game for this list.

In this case, perhaps it is about the journey and not the destination. Is there any question that Willy won’t be freed? Probably not, no. Still if anybody with a shadow of a doubt happens to see the trailer, it’ll make things pretty obvious.

We should take a moment to acknowledge that movies, generally speaking, are predictable. Especially with high profile blockbusters, it’s rare that there isn’t a happy ending somewhere down the road. Regardless, giving away an ending hardly helps with suspending disbelief.

9 Spoiled: Most Of The Movie (Spider-Man 3)

Here’s another case of a movie’s marketing giving everything away. The Black Suit, Venom’s origin, the new Green Goblin — it’s all there, ready for audiences to dissect before even walking into the theater. Even the Comic-Con trailer for Spider-Man 3, as older fans might remember, reveals the sequence of the symbiote bonding to Topher Grace’s Eddie Brock.

Yet again, there’s no real twist to speak of. Just another trailer that shows way too much. It even reveals minor plot twists, like Sandman’s connection to Uncle Ben’s mugging. Aside from the action sequences and some silly dancing, there was little that audiences couldn’t learn about Spider-Man 3 ahead of time.

8 Spoiled: Cloning Blues (The Island)

Michael Bay movies are hardly subtle, but this sci-fi thriller’s big mystery is spelled out in the trailers. After escaping a mysterious compound, the protagonists of The Island find out that they are part of a massive illegal cloning operation. They’re being kept from the real world so that they never discover the truth.

There’s little else to know, and the trailers don’t hold back. They explain this in detail alongside brief glimpses or action sequences. This movie is more about the bombastic action than unraveling the mystery anyway, but this still spoils the most interesting aspect of the plot.

7 Spoiled: Wolverine’s Cameo (X-Men Apocalypse)

It’s no secret that the X-Men franchise is struggling to stay afloat. Especially now, with the Disney-Fox deal in place, the X-Men are likely going to get a time-out for a few years. However, even back in 2016, Fox didn’t have enough confidence in the franchise to market it without major spoilers.

How does Fox get butts in seats for X-Men: Apocalypse? With the promise of Hugh Jackman, of course! Trailers for the film spoil Wolverine’s brief cameo appearance, which is easily the best sequence in the film. Rumors indicated that he would play a part in the movie, but did we really need to have this spoiled for us?

6 Spoiled: The Identity Of Cassius (The Double)

This forgettable spy-thriller is all about catching Cassius, an international assassin and fugitive. The plot mostly consists of government agents (Topher Grace and Richard Gere) trying to discover Cassius’s true identity. They probably should have just watched the trailers though, because they reveal that Cassius is Richard Gere. So much for that.

To be fair, The Double reveals this information very early on, but maybe this would feel like more of a revelation if it had been spelled out for audiences to see before they even purchased a ticket. Well, there goes all the tension in the first half of the movie.

5 Stayed Hidden: The Shyamalan Twist (The Sixth Sense)

Director M. Night Shyamalan is famous for his crazy plot twists. Many of them fall flat or fail to satisfy audiences, but one has remained famous. The plot twist in The Sixth Sense was rightfully kept out of trailers.

The film follows Bruce Willis as Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who must uncover the mystery of young Cole’s delusions. Cole famously tells Malcolm that he sees ghosts, which should be a red flag to audiences. The end of the film reveals that Malcolm was a ghost the entire time.

The marketing for The Sixth Sense explains the supernatural premise but does little to hint at any shocking twist. This is how you do it, people.

4 Spoiled: The Ending (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

Sony Pictures has a bad habit of spoiling their Spider-Man movies in trailers. Homecoming managed hide the Vulture’s true identity from audiences, but even most of that movie made it into commercials. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t fare much better, as it fell victim to revealing trailers and promos.

Not only did it telegraph the demise of Gwen Stacy, a famous event from the comics, but the trailers even reveal the last few shots of the movie. While the latter isn’t particularly a spoiler, it does seem odd to reveal the literal end of them movie in the marketing.

3 Spoiled: Tony’s Cameo (The Incredible Hulk)

The Incredible Hulk is a film that most Marvel fans have already forgotten. However, even at the time, the marketing gave away the only scene that tied the film to the rest of the Marvel universe. At the end of the movie, Robert Downey Jr. appears as Tony Stark to tease Hulk’s inclusion in the Avengers.

Mid-credit and post-credit scenes are staples of Marvel films. Spoiling these scenes in any way is pretty criminal — even the ones that aren’t that important. However, the post-credit scene for The Incredible Hulk showed up in the trailers.

The Avengers was hardly a secret production, but did this scene really need to be spoiled so early?

2 Spoiled: Insanity (Shutter Island)

While the trailers for Shutter Island aren’t outright spoilers, they do a bit too much to telegraph the film’s big twist. DiCaprio stars as Teddy Daniels, a detective investigating the disappearance of woman named Rachel Solando. He heads to Shutter Island, home to the insane asylum where he conducts much of his investigation.

Although the trailers do promise a noir-thriller, it reveals a few to many of Daniels’ surreal experiences. Right away, viewers can narrow things down to two options. Either the film has supernatural elements, or Daniels is crazy.

The end of the film reveals that he was a patient the entire time, and that he had been role-playing his mania with consent from the hospital staff.

1 Stayed Hidden: Thanos Wins (Avengers: Infinity War)

Nowadays, event films like Avengers: Infinity War have to be marketed very carefully. Marvel Studios played it close to the chest to avoid hinting at the depressing ending. Sometimes heroes don’t always win.

Fans of the comics might have guessed that Thanos would be victorious, but the marketing for Infinity War suggested that this was the true finale to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some people were certainly aware that it wasn’t the end, especially since a sequel was set for a year later, but the marketing treated Infinity War like it was the end of everything.

This makes it all the more emotional when the movie ends with Thanos eliminating most of the superhero cast. So much for a happy superhero ending?


Have you ever seen a trailer that spoiled a movie for you? Let us know by leaving your picks in the comments.

2019-04-22 08:04:49

Jonathan Figueroa

None of Glass’ Many Twists Actually Make Sense

David Dunn Death in Glass

There is little rhyme or reason to the twists in the climax of Glass. The fact that an M. Night Shyamalan film should contain a twist ending is hardly a revelation or a spoiler, given that most of his movies to date have featured an 11th-hour surprise that changed the meaning of the movie. Unfortunately, with three twists in Glass, it seems that Shyamalan has finally run out of tricks.

Shyamalan first found fame in 1999 with his third film The Sixth Sense. It was a critical and commercial success, earning six Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director), as well as making Shyamalan an international sensation overnight. The Sixth Sense became particularly famous for its twist ending, which has gone on to become one of the most famous in film history. Shyamalan enjoyed similar success with his following films, such as Signs, most of which also employed twist endings to increasingly diminished effect.

Related: Do You Need To See Split & Unbreakable To Understand Glass?

Sadly, Glass seems to have proved the critics, many of whom concluded Shyamalan was a one-trick pony, correct, which is clear by Glass‘ brutal reviews. The film seems to be trying to build on the success of Shyamalan’s last film, Split, and cash in on the popularity of superhero movies that has swelled up in the two decades since Unbreakable. The end result is that there were three twists in Glass‘ ending, but none of them are surprising or well-executed.

  • This Page: Glass’ Train Crash Twist
  • Next Page: Glass’ Clover Group & Ending Viral Video

Glass’ Train Twist Is A Fan Theory

Bruce Willis as David Dunn in Unbreakable

The first twist in Glass comes near the end of the climactic battle between The Beast (James McAvoy) and David Dunn (Bruce Willis). After engineering their escape from the psychiatric hospital where they are being observed by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) informs David of his intention to let The Beast loose at the grand opening ceremony of a new skyscraper, as well as his plan to blow it up. This spurs David to escape from his own cell, using his super-strength to breakdown a reinforced steel door and give chase to the two supervillains, fighting The Beast on the hospital lawn as Mr. Glass watches.

At one point, as The Beast is moving in to continue the battle, David’s son, Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark), runs up and tells The Beast that Mr. Glass is responsible for creating him. It turns out that the father of Kevin W. Crumb – the young man who developed The Beast along with several other distinct dissociative/split identities after years of abuse at the hands of his mother – was killed by the same train crash that Mr. Glass engineered in the hopes of finding a super-strong and invulnerable person like David. Without his father around to protect a young Kevin Crumb, there was nobody to stop The Beast and his Horde from being born. This knowledge leads to The Beast turning against Mr. Glass and inflicting the injuries that ultimately kill the mastermind villain.

Related: Glass Returning Cast & New Character Guide

This might be a stunning twist worthy of a super-villain team-up from the comics, except for one small problem: the twist only confirms a fan theory that has existed online for years. Most of Shyamalan’s movies are set in Philadelphia, and it was established in Split that Kevin Crumb’s father died in a train crash when he was a child. When it was confirmed that both Split and Unbreakable were set in the same universe, it was a simple matter for fans to count the years between the train crash and the events of Split to guess that both train crashes were one of the same. Besides, everyone knows comic books thrive on this kind of coincidence.

Page 2 of 2: Glass’ Clover Group & Ending Viral Video

Sarah Paulson as Ellie Staple in Glass

Glass’ Clover Twist Has No Set-Up

The second twist in Glass comes later, as the authorities finally swarm the scene of the fight. After Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) is able to calm The Beast and let Kevin’s personality reassert control, he is shot in the stomach by a police sniper. As David is recovering from having been tossed into a water tank, he has his face forced into a puddle and is drowned by a SWAT officer. Both police officers, along with Dr. Staple, are revealed to have the same tattoo of a three-leaf clover on their wrist.

Before David dies, Dr. Staple allows him to touch her hand, triggering his power to see what evil things a person has done. He experiences a vision of Dr. Staple at a clandestine meeting of several people. We don’t learn much about this “Clover Group” beyond the fact that they have been secretly hiding the existence of superhumans for ten-thousand years. She also speaks to Mr. Glass as he is dying, telling him to take comfort in the fact that he was right about people with powers existing, though the comic books had it wrong when it came to the secret societies – her group goes after both heroes and villains to maintain the balance and protect the status quo.

Related: Does Glass Have A Post-Credits Scene?

This revelation comes completely out of left field and breaks the pattern of Shyamalan’s earlier movies. In the past, whenever Shyamalan employed a twist ending, he would leave the viewer a chance to piece together the mystery before the big reveal, such as in The Sixth Sense, when none of the characters interacting with Malcom Crowe apart from Cole Sear is a hint that Malcolm is a ghost but doesn’t realize it. There’s barely any indication anywhere that a secret society like the Clover Group exists in Glass before it is revealed during the climax.

The goals of this group and the limits of their power are also ill-defined and illogical. It seems that Dr. Staple is trying to enact alternatives to killing superhumans whenever possible, either by convincing them they are just imagining their powers or developing treatments to keep them from accessing their abilities. Yet the group doesn’t hesitate in killing Kevin W. Crumb and David Dunn, who were successfully pacified until Mr. Glass acted. The idea of trying to persuade people they imagined their superpowers doesn’t scan either, as Dr. Staple’s scientific explanation for David’s evil-detecting touch is that he has a talent for cold-reading people like Sherlock Holmes. Ignoring how this was blatantly contradicted by multiple events in Unbreakable, being that good at deduction is a superpower unto itself, as Mr. Glass himself seems to prove.

The Clover Group also seems incredibly blasé about the witnesses of their actions, allowing Joseph, Casey, and Mrs. Price (Charlayne Woodard) to go free after killing their loved ones, apparently confident that no one will believe them if they try to talk to the press. Yet as powerful as the Clover Group apparently is, they weren’t able to capture David for the 19 years he protected Philadelphia as The Overseer, despite there being countless videos, photos, and fan pages promoting his existence online.

Glass’ Big Twist Makes No Real World Sense

Glass Ending Scene

The third and final twist in Glass comes after Dr. Staple has met with her fellow Clover Group members in Philadelphia and assured them that the situation with The Overseer, The Horde, and Mr. Glass has been contained. While visiting a comic book shop, Dr. Staple overhears two fans discussing one villain’s scheme and enthusiastically declaring that criminal masterminds never let you know their real intentions and that they employ misdirection like a master stage magician. This leads Dr. Staple to the discovery that Mr. Glass hacked the hospital security system before he and The Beast made their escape attempt and arranged for all the camera feeds to be live-streamed to a secret server.

Related: Glass Is Full Of Unanswered Questions & Plot Holes

Glass‘ final scene takes place in the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, as Mrs. Price, Casey, and Joseph meet and wait. We find that all three of them were e-mailed the footage of the fight between The Beast and The Overseer, showcasing how both men really did have superpowers, and agreed to post the footage online in the hopes that it would go viral. Glass concludes as audiences see people all around the terminal looking at their phones and their tablets in astonishment, as Mr. Glass’ actions reveal the existence of superpowered people to the world and prove that he was right all along.

Ignoring how Mr. Glass’ final actions are a rebuttal to the Clover Group, he should have had no idea existed, there is no way this ending works within the context of the world of Glass. We already know from earlier in the movie that The Overseer had a considerable online presence, with hundreds of eye-witness accounts over two decades of David displaying superhuman strength and invulnerability. Given that, a new series of viral videos are not going to sway the cynical public and magically convince everyone that superpowers are real in the “fake news” era, even if the Clover Group doesn’t have the ability to keep the videos off of the major national news networks. In the end, this twist breaks the story of Glass as if it were made of the same substance.

More: Glass Needs A Sequel: What’s Next For The Unbreakable Universe?

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2019-01-24 02:01:01

10 Plot Twists That Hurt Marvel Movies (And 10 That Saved Them)

Well, Marvel seems to have figured out the formula to a successful movie. That continued success was not always the case though, and it was touch and go there through the years. Marvel and the studios that it worked with did not always make the best stories. However, when the stories worked well they were amazing.

A lot of superhero films (and movies in general) rely on effective plot twist. A plot twist can make or break a film. Some of the best scenes in Marvel films have a twist incorporated with them. So, although not every aspect of Marvel movies have been perfect, when the creators are able to nail the plot twist their films tend to fare better.

With this in mind, this list sets out to find the plot twist that helped Marvel films, and the plot twist that made them worse off. To be clear, a plot twist is being defined as a turn in the plot that changes the direction of a character’s motivation or the structure of the plot. Plus, “saving” a film merely means helping the film stand and pull off the story. Saving the movie does not mean the movie was a complete success. Similarly, hurting the movie means the plot twist did not work well, but the movie could still be successful overall. Also, the list focuses on earlier Marvel movies not included in the MCU (they need some love too).

Here are 10 Plot Twists That Hurt Marvel Movies (And 10 That Saved Them).

20 Hurt: Harry Osborn Discovers The Green Goblin Liar

Look, Spider-Man 2 is an incredible movie. Seriously, go back and watch it. It holds up. That being said, this final plot twist to set up the sequel was filled with so much melodrama that it made many viewers cringe.

Harry Osborn works tirelessly to uncover Spider-Man’s secret identity. When that intense moment finally comes he is unable to end him. Now, that detail would be fine on its own, but the additional twisting of the plot gets a little dicey and hurts the ending. Osborn starts hallucinating and hearing the voice of the Green Goblin, his father. He argues with the spirit (how exactly he starts hearing the spirit is unclear), and throws an object at the spirit causing the mirror it was in to break. The broken mirror turns out to actually be the Green Goblin’s lair and this plot twist would go on to flatten one of the most promising character arcs in the trilogy.

19 Saved: Ben Grimm Turns Back Into The Thing

Superhero movies need heroic moments, and Fantastic Four lacked those moments almost entirely, with the exception of this one plot twist. Ben Grimm returning to save the team by turning back into The Thing was a fist pumping moment, even the harshest critics can admit that.

Grimm is abandoned by his wife and scorned by the public. He went from lovable friend to monster, while his team also got powers without altering their looks. It made sense that he would seek Doctor Doom’s help in returning to his normal appearance. So, when Grimm decides to reverse the effects that make him normal it’s the kind of heroic sacrifice that makes a movie worth viewing. Sadly, the rest of the movie, including the third act action piece, do not hold up alongside this great moment.

18 Hurt: Darwin’s ending

X-Men: First Class is filled with some great  moments. Writing Darwin off at the turn of the second act is not one of those moments. In fact, it pissed a lot of viewers off to see it happen.

To be fair, the moment is meant to add stakes to the conflict and highlight the villains power. However, the end result feels like a bit much. Darwin dying feels like the cherry on top a crap sundae. The plot twist was overkill. Sebastian Shaw had already displayed immense power, and Angel Salvadore could have turned anyway. The stakes were already high, so this move felt like too much and left viewers disappointed.

17 Saved: Mary Jane Gets Engaged to John Jameson

Losing out on the love of your life is a hard pill to swallow. When Mary Jane accepts John Jameson’s proposal fans feel Peter Parker’s heart sink. It is a surreal moment in the Spider-Man 2 storyline.

After all, no one likes losing out on the chance to be with the person you love. However, what makes this plot twist stick is the context around it. The fact Parker is losing his powers and now his crush feels deafening. It shows the shaky confidence our hero is displaying at the moment. It is the exact emotional weight the story needs to build up to an emotional third act.

16 Hurt: The Caretaker is Carter Slade

Oh, Ghost Rider, what a wacky, wild ride this film turned out to be. Nicolas Cage is an all-star actor (he does have an Oscar after all), but this film’s plot is  what dragged it down. Johnny Blaze, the new Ghost Rider, is charged with finding the Contract of San Venganza because apparently the antagonist wants to use the 100 souls the contracts holds to make himself super powerful.

Where things get real dicey is with this plot twist. The Caretaker is the character who explains the history of the Ghost Riders to Blaze, and explains that the previous Ghost Rider, Carter Slade, hid the contract. Well, about that, you see, it turns out The Caretaker is Carter Slade. That’s right, the dude who explains the quest to Johnny Blaze knows where the contract is the entire time. Viewers were left wondering why The Caretaker makes it such a task to find it. The worst kind of plot twist are the ones that lead to plot holes.

15 Saved: Pyro Switches Sides

Nothing builds up interest like a good old fashion rivalry. So when X-Men 2 writers had Pyro (Aaron Stanford) switch to Magneto’s (Ian Mckellen)  side it bolstered the film and pushed on a theme of mutant ideals that went underrepresented to that point in this film.

Magneto is technically on the hero’s side for this film, but seeing him still be able to warp a student of Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is astounding. The move also sets up the clash between Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro for later down the road. It is the kind of conflict fans were itching to see play out as the tension built between the two characters and their representation of the next generation of mutant hopes. It is a bummer that the third film did not pan out as well.

14 Hurt: The Fantastic Four have to Work with Doctor Doom

Talk about taking ten steps back. In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the Fantastic Four are forced to team up with Victor Von Doom (whose injuries from the previous film are healed thanks to an encounter with the Silver Surfer). Since Doom is familiar with the Silver Surfer and a brilliant scientist he apparently has to be on the team.

Now sometimes villains teaming up with the heroes makes sense, but this is not one of those times. Doctor Doom tried to end them all in the previous film, that is hard for someone to ignore. This plot twist felt forced and inauthentic. Overall, is was a glaring misstep for a movie that was already doomed from the start (pardon the pun?).

13 Saved: Jean Sacrifices Her Life

One more time for the people in the back: heroic moments make superhero films. Here is another one of those plot twist that worked to perfection. This time it comes from a solid film, X2: X-Men United.

As the Quinjet is set to take off they are overcome by the water surge from the dam that just exploded. The entire team will not survive if nothing is done. So, in a sincere moment of pure heroic courage, Jean Grey uses her abilities to hold the water just long enough so that the jet can escape. It is a climatic moment that emphasizes the sacrifice it takes to be a X-Men. Without this moment, the movie loses a lot of the emotional baggage it carries.

12 Hurt: Elektra’s ending

Okay, every fan of Daredevil knows this: Elektra is a badass, but she also has to pass at some point. So when the Daredevil movie came out and fans saw Elektra go so soon in the film it felt wrong.

Now, sure Bullseye does take her out, so she does not go at the hands of some scrub. Still, she passes so quickly. Fans barely see enough of her character for her motives or abilities to be fully appreciated. Her passing is the second act plot twist, but her characters potential made her way more worthy of a later third act ending at the very least.

11 Saved: NightCrawler Was Being Controlled

Phew, what a scene the opening to X2: X-Men United is. Fans lost their minds seeing Nightcrawler as a villain making his way through levels of White House security to threaten the president. However, it made viewers worry that Nightcrawler was going to be a full-on villain in the film.

Luckily it is revealed that William Stryker is actually controlling Nightcrawler during that seen. The twist makes Nightcrawler’s actions more forgivable and sets him up for his redemption arc. Even more useful, the twist illustrates the strength of Stryker’s mind control serum and gives validity to his evil plot.

10 Hurt: Flint Marko is the Real villain

Now see here, the Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) turns into Sandman scene is one of the only bright spots in the entire Spider-Man 3 film. It gave weight to Marko as a character and just looked amazing for the time.

However, the twist that led to the conflict between him and Spider-Man felt unnecessary. The writers reveal that Flint Marko is the robber who actually took out Uncle Ben, and Peter Parker went after the wrong guy. Not only does this twist push away Marko’s sympathy points and feel illogical, but it also weakens the first films dramatic confrontation.

9 Saved: Magneto’s Heel Turn

Michael Fassbender is a godsend as Magneto. Still, it felt odd to many fans to see him play the reluctant hero in X-Men: First Class. This was a character that does not always play face so directly. So, when Magneto put on his signature helmet and ends Sebastian Shaw, many viewers likely felt a satisfying feeling of balance.

Magneto’s heel turn is an excellent third act twist that built slowly throughout the plot. The kind of tension the writers slowly lay under the main conflict makes the betrayal worth every moment of heroic posturing by Magneto. The film is definitely better off for it.

8 Hurt: Fisk Discovers Matt Murdock’s Secret Identity

Every fan gets it, writers on superhero films want to set up the plot for the next film. The creators want you excited for the possibilities that might happen in the next movie. They want the buzz. Sadly, that kind of twist did not work in Daredevil.

For starters, it seems like everyone and their mother finds out Daredevil’s secret identity in this film. So the rush to set up another Daredevil film by allowing Wilson Fisk the opportunity for revenge because Fisk overpowers Murdock and uncovers his identity. The whole scene feels lackluster because everyone seems to do it in this film and, on top of that, Murdock claims it won’t matter because Fisk cannot admit to being beaten up by a blind man. Yeah, the film is that silly, not kidding.

7 Saved: Ajax Reveals there is No Cure

Deadpool is an easy anti-hero to root for, and fans had no trouble doing that in his first feature length live action movie. Still, a quality plot twist that builds sympathy for an unstable person like Deadpool will still go a long way. That is why the plot twist at the end of Deadpool really solidified the film’s character arc.

The fact that Ajax is lying to Deadpool the whole time may seem obvious to some. However, the fact there is no cure for Deadpool’s disfigurement symbolizes much more than the villain being a bad guy. Wade Wilson now has to confront the woman he loves knowing he can never be the same man he once was, and that plot twist of there being no cure adds another layer to their confrontation at the end of the film. Without it, the film misses some key sympathy points for its protagonist.

6 Hurt: Magneto Abandons Mystique

Deep breaths, people. X-Men: Last Stand sucked. There is no other way to say that, sorry. However, the most irredeemable moment is when Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) sacrifices herself to save Magneto only to be abandoned because the dart she took for him made her human.

It was a cold moment for the writers to pull on the viewers. Mystique is a staple to Magneto’s arsenal. She rescued him from prison and kept his plan alive through two films. Mystique carried the team! The character decision in this plot twist makes no sense and its service to the plot is minimal. Mystique turns to the good side because of it, but there were so many other ways the writers could get that information to the protagonist. Overall, it was a terrible decision made by storytellers.

5 Saved: Professor X Shuns His Powers

This entry is heavy. Professor X (James McAvoy) is an aspiring and confident leader in almost all the films. Fans do not normally see him at a low point. So, when X-Men: Days of Future Past depicted a broken, defeated Charles Xavier fans were stunned in a good way.

The decision to make Professor X a failed man who could not complete his dreams resonated with the audience. Suddenly, the film added additional rooting interest outside the main plot. It was a risky plot twist but it worked to perfection. The empathy created by the decision locked viewers into the story and kept them on track with the plot throughout the film. Not to mention it helped make the story actually work, because Xavier could not locate Mystique as easily.

4 Hurt: Magneto’s New Family

Leave Magneto alone! Poor Michael Fassbender has been through a lot during his turn as Magneto, and this was the culmination of some sad moments. The reason this hurt the film is it felt just as sudden as the family’s introduction.

Look at it this way, if writers are going to introduce new characters and create a new life for Magneto all in one moment, they should at least hold on to it for two acts of the film. Nope, instead the writers end both Magnetos wife and child in a first act plot twist to give Magneto the motivation to turn evil, again. The plot twist felt cruel and unusual and only hampered the story as it struggled to an ending.

3 Saved: Quicksilver is Magneto’s Son

So, remember that last entry, well it was at least saved by this moment a little. Magneto appears to lose everything in the first act of the movie, but the confrontation between him and Quicksilver feels a bit redeeming.

However, the writer’s never have the two characters address this head on, but the feeling between them is enough to keep viewers holding onto the moment. One of the biggest flaws in X-Men: Apocalypse is that it lacks earned emotional moments. This is one of those view earned ones in the film, and that saves the movie from falling into the realm of Last Stand bad. So, at least the plot twist gives audiences hope for further development in the two characters and a chance to redeem Magneto in the last film.

2 Hurt: Weapon XI

A decision that will live in infamy. X-Men Origins: Wolverine made awful decisions. Fans have forgotten many of them thanks to time, but this one will never be forgotten. The decision to turn Wade Wilson into Weapon XI (Ryan Reynolds) is one huge head scratcher. Not only to the merc with a mouth no longer have a mouth, but his character design sucked.

Note to all superhero movie writers: if your third act plot twist is going to include a big villain reveal, then that villain needs to look cool. Weapon XI drained all the cool traits of Deadpool from the character and turned him into a mindless, traitless machine. It was devoid of inspiration and the plot twist completely sank a movie that was on its last leg heading into that finale anyways.

1 Saved: Peter Parker Loses His Powers

Everything was pumping along smoothly in Spider-Man 2 (has it become clear yet that this movie is pretty amazing). Peter Parker is a the hero viewers expect him to be and the plot seems to be a straight forward action movie. However, everything changes when the plot reveals that Spider-Man is losing his powers.

This is the kind of plot twist that can elevate a whole story. Sure, many fans came in expecting this to happen, but the turn still raised the stakes in a positive way. All the sudden an internal conflict presented itself and the film developed layers that many superhero films still have not come close to. This plot twist worked so well because it exposed unfamiliar themes of lost confidence and questionable motivation to the superhero genre.

Which of these Marvel plot twists were your favourite? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-12-05 04:12:18

13 Canceled Finale Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shows (And 7 That Would’ve Saved Them)

One of the main things that separates television series from movies is TV’s season-based structure. Even when a show has an overall ongoing plot, the pacing is designed so that things ramp up over the course of a season, reaching a climax with the finale. It didn’t take long after the innovation of this structure for writers to discover that finales should have some sort of unexpected twist that either keeps viewers hungry for the next season, or leaves them with mouth agape over the surprise(s) that wrapped up the entire series.

Needless to say, it’s not easy coming up with a great finale twist. Writers have to walk a fine line between surprising viewers in a compelling way, and a twist just for the sake of a twist. People can often spot the latter from a mile away, and cry foul at what they feel was a cop-out, intentionally controversial twist. Those cheap twists are just one of many ways of framing a finale that hopefully get weeded out by cooler heads, though it doesn’t always work out that way.

In the following examples, we have divided up planned but scrapped twists into two categories: ones that they were right to nix, and ones that they would’ve been better off sticking with. In some cases, the canceled twists were actually shot before they were changed, and you can watch them online or in DVD special features and make the call yourself as to whether the correct decision was made.

Here are 13 Canceled Finale Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shows (And 7 That Would’ve Saved Them).

20 Hurt: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

One of the reasons why Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is so popular is the many ways that it broke with convention– being set in a space station rather than the Enterprise or another single starship, adopting cast members from another series (TNG), and having the first black captain.

It’s that last point that comes into play here, as it led to contention over DS9‘s planned twist. It was originally intended that Captain Sisko wasn’t going to live to see the end of the finale, but actor Avery Brooks objected to the first black Star Trek captain being the first that doesn’t survive his series. Brooks had a good point, and it’s better for Sisko’s legacy that things didn’t play out that way.

19 Hurt: 13 Reasons Why

Based on the popular book of the same name, Netflix’s adaptation of 13 Reasons Why focused on a teenager named Hannah who takes her own life and leaves behind tapes for her classmates that explain why she made that fateful decision. The writers almost had an unexpected season finale twist that would’ve been even more earth-shaking, even for a show about such a dark topic.

The idea was floated out that the season finale reveal Hannah had in fact survived her attempt on her own life, with season two dealing with the aftermath of that. It would’ve certainly been a surprise, but it would’ve also completely betrayed the emotional heft of the show. It’s debatable whether or not having Hannah return in season two as a ghost was a great call, but having her survive would’ve definitely been worse.

18 Saved: Lost

Few finales in television history were as baffling as Lost‘s. In fact, even the most hardcore fans have trouble making much sense out of the show’s entire last season or two. Lost is definitely a case study for what happens when you try to steer such a complicated show without already having a clear road map.

In one of the more well-known abandoned finale twists ever, Lost was originally going to end with an elaborate setpiece involving Jack and the Smoke Monster (in the form of Locke) having an epic battle in the island’s referenced (but never fully explored) volcano. Fans are divided over how they feel about this planned ending, but one thing is for sure– it would’ve been much more exciting, and less obtuse, than the ending we got. Ultimately, the grand volcano battle was deemed too ambitious and expensive.

17 Hurt: The Magical Black Hole – True Detective

Like a lot of the best dramas surrounding a hard-to-solve case, there were many mystical elements hinted at in the first season of HBO’s True Detective. Sometimes those elements are revealed to be real within the fiction of a given universe. Generally speaking, however, such things are usually shown to be a misdirect of some sort, often involving a twist near the end. That is how True Detective season one wrapped up.

It almost went in the opposite direction. The original idea was to have the detectives find an actual magical black hole of sorts in the middle of the maze at the bad guys’ compound, and be sucked into it, never to be seen again. It was ultimately decided to have the show stay grounded in reality, and the magical hole was never seen instead.

16 Hurt: Anya loses her life in The Gift – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

You could probably fill an entire book with the ideas that Joss Whedon has had for his various television shows that he ended up scrapping. In order to make a show as creative and original as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was bound to be a whole lot of shaping and cutting that had to happen in order to get the version we actually got to see.

Buffy is one of those shows where almost nobody is safe, so to speak, and even major characters can meet their end. This was almost the case with Xander’s fiancee, Anya, who was intended to meet her end during “The Gift”, the very same season finale where Xander first popped the question. Whedon and his team liked Anya and her actress too much to let her go, and we got to enjoy her until the series finale.

15 Saved: Dexter’s punishment – Dexter

Whether you actually “rooted” for Dexter’s titular character or not, it was hard to imagine any fate for him except having to pay for his many, many crimes. Even if you take the stance that he mostly took out bad people, that doesn’t change the fact that the guy needs to be locked up and kept away from society.

As we now know, that wasn’t where he ended up. Nor did he end up on the receiving end of an injection, as was the plan of Dexter’s writers. For whatever reason, Showtime wanted Dexter to survive the finale, so instead of him getting any sort of legal comeuppance, he just escapes to live on the run in the woods. It’s hard to imagine a more anticlimactic end to the show.

14 Hurt: A modern crash – Battlestar Galactica

There was no other feasible way that Battlestar Galactica could’ve wrapped up other than to have the ill-fated ship at the center of the show meet a tragic end. From the very beginning, the series had a very grim tone and a happy ending just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

However, while the Galactica crashing was in most plans for how the show could end, there was one variation that would’ve been downright weird. Creator Ronald D. Moore says that they considered a finale-ending twist that would’ve had the Galactica crash land on Earth and be discovered during our present day, buried in South America. Moore and his team realized that this had too many implications and caused too many issues with the show’s timeline and universe in trying to tie it into our own, and left the show set in an entirely separate reality.

13 Hurt: Ephram bails on the Ferris Wheel – Everwood

Here is another example of a show that didn’t know if it was just ending its season or its entire run. In this case, the creative team behind Everwood had an idea that both of those possibilities were on the table and decided to plan accordingly.

Had the season four finale just been a season-ender, the twist was going to be that Ephram never made it to his Ferris wheel reunion with Amy because he changed his mind after getting a call from his ex-girlfriend en route, leaving Amy waiting on a guy that never shows up. When the team were informed that there wouldn’t be a fifth season, they didn’t want to end the show on a sour note and so they had the Ferris wheel date go off as planned and left fans feeling satisfied with the happy ending.

12 Saved: Neither Damon nor Stefan survived – Vampire Diaries

It’s hard to know how long a show is going to be on the air. Sometimes, writers come up with a general idea for how a show is going to end, but its popularity keeps it on the air longer than expected and that causes things to change over the course of the series’ run.

That is what happened with Vampire Diaries, with co-creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson having to change course after losing one of the main components of their finale plans. The original ending twist was that both Damon and Stefan would meet their end in trying to jointly save Elena. Nina Dobrev leaving the show before it ended meant that we only got Stefan sacrificing himself. It definitely wasn’t as satisfying the tragic end for both brothers.

11 Hurt: The Janitor isn’t real – Scrubs

Scrubs is one of those shows that always seemed to be teetering on the brink of cancellation but had just enough fan support behind it to keep it on the air.

Fitting with the show’s theme of focusing on the imaginations of its characters, Scrubs’ wise-cracking janitor was actually conceived of as literally just a figment of J.D.’s imagination– as evidenced by J.D. being the only one to interact with him in the early episodes. This reveal was left in the writers’ back pockets in case of cancellation, but he turned out to be too good of a character to be limited in that way, and was made “real.”

10 Hurt: “Archer” is crazy – Star Trek: Enterprise

When even the person who writes a finale later refers to it as “a slap in the face,” you know you are dealing with a finale that has some issues. Star Trek: Enterprise was always one of the more troubled versions of the brand, but it still had its fans and they deserved to see the show have an ending that was actually about the show itself– not just be a glorified lost episode of TNG.

If you can believe it, the original finale twist that they didn’t end up going with would’ve likely incensed fans even more. Not only did it also tie into another Star Trek series– only this time, it would’ve been the less-liked Voyager— but it was going to insinuate that all of Enterprise was a delusion of a sick man who may or may not have been Jonathon Archer at all, being treated by Voyager’s doctor.

9 Saved: Charlie returns – Two and a Half Men

Two and a Half Men was a ratings juggernaut for years that made enough money to justify Charlie Sheen’s paycheck growing to almost $2 million per episode at its peak, but also a show that few people were willing to step up and proclaim their love for.

We won’t retread Sheen’s very messy, very public exit from the show, but suffice it to say that things were still so tense on his end that he refused an offer to cameo in the show’s finale. Him making a surprise appearance at the end that poked fun at his real-life troubles would’ve been much funnier than how the show actually ended– with a piano falling on series creator Chuck Lorre.

8 Hurt: Carrie ends up with Petrovsky – Sex and the City

Although series creator Darren Star has said he isn’t fond of the original ending where Carrie ends up with Mr. Big in the Sex and the City series finale, it’s the ending we got, the ending most of us loved, and the ending that paved the way for the first, awesome Sex and the City movie– the lest said about the sequel, the better.

We have to imagine that Star would’ve hated one of the original planned twists even more: the one where it would’ve ended with Carrie announcing to her friends her engagement to Alexandr Petrovsky, the ballet dancer who was even more selfish that Big.

7 Hurt: Dawson and Joey get back together – Dawson’s Creek

While the romance between Dawson and Joey dominated the earliest seasons of Dawson’s Creek, the time that the characters actually spent in a relationship together was fairly brief in the grand scheme of the show’s six seasons. Their long and brief courtship was eventually replaced with Joey and Pacey getting together, setting off something of a Team Dawson vs. Team Pacey dynamic among Dawson’s Creek fans for whom should win Joey’s heart.

Most fans saw the finale’s flash-forward, where Joey ultimately chose Pacey, coming from a mile away, and it made the most sense given the events of the most recent season. The show very nearly ended with the twist that Joey had in fact reunited with Dawson for good, which would’ve certainly delighted some fans but would’ve betrayed the show as a whole.

6 Saved: “Will they live?” Cliffhanger – Castle

Unfortunately, the creative team behind TV shows don’t always know for sure if they are getting another season or not. Worse, oftentimes they have to have a season finale written and even filmed with the possibility that a network will change its mind and decide it is actually a series finale.

This was the case with ABC crime dramedy Castle, with the writers believing they had a ninth season on the way, but being later told that wasn’t the case. As such, season eight was to end with a finale that was ambiguous about the fates of its two main characters. While open-ended series finales aren’t always popular, it would’ve at least been better than the cheesy, tacked-on ending that was added to Castle‘s finale; a flash-forward to Castle and Kate married with children.

5 Hurt: Dick steals Mary – 3rd Rock From The Sun

3rd Rock From the Sun hearkened back to the days of silly, extremely gimmicky sitcom premises like Gilligan’s Island and Hogan’s Heroes. It worked, thanks in large part to the performances of the brilliantly over-the-top John Lithgow, the always-reliable Jane Curtain, and a charming up-and-comer by the name of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Nobody could’ve expected the show’s surprisingly poignant finale, where Mary changes her mind at the last minute about returning to the aliens’ home planet and Dick has to erase her memories of him entirely. It was a perfectly bittersweet ending that was almost ruined by the planned twist of having Dick return again to abduct Mary, even though she has completely forgotten about him and would’ve been scared by this alien stranger abducting her.

4 Saved: Jack sacrifices himself – 24: Live Another Day

From almost the very beginning of 24’s run, protagonist Jack Bauer was portrayed as basically a superhero who could escape and survive a dozen situations per episode that should’ve made short work of a mere mortal. Things only escalated as the show went on, with Jack was making it out of increasingly absurd situations.

That being said, both Jack and the show itself had to eventually have their luck run out, and comeback season Live Another Day is thus far the final appearance of the character. It would’ve been fitting to have Jack Bauer end his time as a glorified supersoldier with some spectacular act of self-sacrifice, and that’s what producers wanted. Ultimately, they just couldn’t go through with it, and instead left him captured instead, where he indefinitely remains.

3 Hurt: Sam Gets Sick – Cheers

Few people dispute Cheers’ standing as one of the great sitcoms of all time. It is among the few TV shows that stayed on the air for 10+ seasons, and remained a critical and ratings darling for its entire run. Like most great sitcoms– with the possible sole exception of Seinfeld— it dealt with plenty of heavy topics and had its share of more serious episodes and plotlines.

That said, there was one storyline that was deemed too dark for Cheers’ standards. The show’s sixth season was going to end with Sam finding out that one of the girls he had been with was HIV positive, prompting him to face the very real possibility that he may have the virus as well. Not sure how to find any humor whatsoever in that scenario, the writers decided to cut it.

2 Saved: Smithers shot Mr. Burns – The Simpsons

One of the biggest events in the history of The Simpsons was the season six cliffhanger, “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” A parody of Dallas’ famous stunt involving the character J.R., both the fictional townspeople of Springfield and viewers of The Simpsons were tasked with solving the mystery of who tried to take down power plant-owner Mr. Burns.

To have the perpetrator be none other than Burns’ only real friend, Smithers, would’ve been a twist for the ages, and that was the original plan. Producer James L. Brooks said that it had to be a member of the Simpson family since they are the stars of the show and all. Instead of making one of the Simpsons clan out to be a cold-blooded criminal, they cooked up a ridiculous idea where Maggie accidentally pulls the trigger– a silly conclusion that the show itself would later mock.

1 Hurt: Walter White becomes Rambo – Breaking Bad

During Breaking Bad‘s run, creator Vince Villigan often spoke of how he wasn’t sure how to end the show, and it was clearly a source of stress. While no finale is ever going to please everybody, it’s hard to find much fault in the way the show ultimately wrapped up, with one of the most acclaimed series finales in modern television.

Once Breaking Bad ended, Gilligan opened up about the various other twist endings that were bandied about, and one in particular would’ve definitely been the wrong move. This ending would’ve been something of an amplified standoff that wiped out basically the entire cast in a single, violent scene. There are few cheaper ending tropes than that, and it’s a good thing such a groundbreaking show didn’t go that route.

What twist would you have liked to see? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-12-02 08:12:56

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Interview – R.L. Stine

Halloween is just around the corner, and to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year there’s a new Goosebumps movie arriving in theaters – Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. The movie features a new cast of kids – played by Jeremy Ray Taylor (IT), Caleel Harris (Castle Rock), and Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) – who discover a lost Goosebumps book in a hidden room and unwittingly unleash a new season of terror, as Slappy the Dummy brings Halloween costumes to life and wreaks havoc on the city.

Jack Black reprises his role as Goosebumps author R.L. Stine in Haunted Halloween , so to celebrate the movie’s release, Screen Rant spoke to the real R.L. Stine to find out about the new monsters on parade, and ask whether Black’s curmudgeonly portrayal of the author is accurate.

Related: Watch the Trailer For Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

I have to ask, because the movie’s about a secret Goosebumps book hidden in a box – is there actually a secret Goosebumps book somewhere out there?

R.L. Stine: No. I wish [laughs]. I wish there were some extra ones somewhere that I could pull out. No, no secret book… But it’s kind of creepy, these two boys go into this house and knock over something and find this book and it’s locked, and they unlock it. And that starts all the action. All the horrible action.

Are there any Goosebumps monsters in this movie that we didn’t see in the last one?

Stine: Well, there are gummy bears [laughs]. They didn’t have gummy bears. After the first one I said, “How will we ever do a sequel? You used every single monster in the first movie!” There was nothing left. But yes, there are some. There’s an ogre, for one thing. We didn’t have an ogre in the first one. And my very favorite scene is the one with the gummy bears. Cute little gummy bears and then they turn into monsters.

But they’re so cute, what harm could they possibly do?

Stine: Well, they grow teeth for one thing. And then they all stick together and become a huge blob and attack people. It’s a wonderful scene [laughs]. Very proud of that!

It seems like there aren’t a lot of scary movies aimed at kids, since so many horror movies involve blood and gore. Is there a special trick to terrifying kids?

Stine: No, it’s the same as for grown-ups, I think. I think it’s surprise, it’s travelling into the unknown where you don’t really know what’s next and you can’t see what’s coming up, and it’s a lot of twists and turns. I think it’s the same as doing horror for adults.

There’s a whole new cast of kids in this movie. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Stine: Well, there’s a delightful boy who’s building a replicas of Tesla’s lab, because Tesla’s real lab is actually in their town. And he’s fiddling with the electricity and he keeps blowing out all the electricity in the house, but he’s determined to do it. And his doing this leads to an amazing scene near the end at Tesla’s real lab. It’s a real Frankenstein type lab. I went to Atlanta, where we filmed the film… and they showed me these sets. These guys are geniuses! They built this amazing Frankenstein’s lab… I couldn’t believe what these guys could build. It was incredible.

So Slappy the Dummy is the ringleader in this movie again. What is it about Slappy that people love so much?

Stine: I don’t really get it [laughs]. I don’t know why a dummy coming to life is so scary. But people are really frightened of him, and he’s so popular now that every other Goosebumps book has to be a Slappy book. I think I’ve written about fourteen of them [laughs]. It doesn’t get any easier to think of plots about a dummy coming to life.

Maybe it’s also because he likes to insult people. People like comedy roasts, so maybe that’s why they like Slappy.

Stine: Well that’s why I like to write him – he’s really an insult comedian. That’s why I love writing him, because he’s so rude!

Do you think kids are easier to scare than adults, or harder?

Stine: Probably easier. Probably don’t have to work as hard to scare them. But you know, my audience – seven to twelve year-olds – I get them the last time in their lives they’ll ever be enthusiastic. And then when they turn twelve, they have to be cool… and they’re gone. But before then they love writing to an author, they love reading, they love hearing from you, they love going to things… it’s just the best audience.

Was Jack Black’s portrayal of you in the first movie accurate?

Stine: I love Jack. Not accurate at all! Nothing accurate. But he’s a great guy, I thought he was wonderful. He flew to New York in a blizzard to meet me, to try to figure out how he was going to play the character. And we had lunch and he was like, looking at me, right? [Laughs] And then he said, “Bob… what about the script is true about you?” And I said, “Nothing, not one thing, none of it’s true!” And he said, “I’m going to be a sinister version of you.” And that’s what he decided to do.. And then when it started filming he started talking like Orson Welles, right? He does, in that first film, and I said, “Jack, I’m from Ohio, I don’t sound like that!” But I thought it was really fun. What a weird thing, to be a character in a movie.

Seeing as, unlike Jack’s version of you, you don’t hate kids – is there a favorite interaction with a young fan that you’ve had?

Stine: I’ve had way too many. I’m just so lucky. Because I go out, I really talk to kids, I go to schools, and I really do like kids. And you know, I have a son and I have a grandson, who’s four and hilarious. And he’s taking after my son, he won’t read my books. That’s my son’s claim to fame, he never read one. Isn’t that horrible?

Does he tell you that all the time?

Stine: He bragged about it, how he never read one!

You should write him into a book so that he has to read it.

Stine: I did! I made him the star of a Fear Street book, it was a vampire book, and he was the star and he didn’t read that one either. In the very last paragraph of the book he gets bit in the neck. [Laughs] I got my revenge!

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween arrives in theaters this weekend.

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2018-10-11 04:10:45 – Hannah Shaw-Williams

20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore

The horror anthology hit TV show American Horror Story just might be the magnum opus of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. Scarier and more riveting than any of the duo’s other projects, the spine-tingling series features a new theme and characters every season that are all still linked to each other’s universe. From the casting announcements to the series hints, theme reveals, and each season’s unique introductory visuals, it’s riveting entertainment all around. Even so, some seasons fall further off the mark than others, with many episodes barely even registering on the “horror” radar while others left us scratching our heads wondering what the heck just happened.

The thing is, we tend to give glaring errors, plot flops, and other things wrong with the show a pass because we love it so much. From intriguing horror to irresistible characters, from unexpected plot twists to some of the best storytelling on TV, American Horror Story keeps us coming back, not because it’s flawless but because it’s still addictive despite, and sometimes because of, its many flaws.

We might love a character and conveniently forget that he or she is a monster. We’ll keep tuning in even after an entire sequence left us feeling disgusted, embarrassed for the actress who had to play out the scene, or even angry at the creators themselves. It’s just that addictive.

We love it and we’ll keep coming back for me, even with these 20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore.

20 Some Seasons Aren’t Scary

With a name like American Horror Story, you might expect every episode to be a scream-fest. That’s just not the case, especially in seasons four and five. While there’s no shortage of horror-inducing characters in these seasons, they didn’t really give us nightmares like previous and subsequent seasons were able to do.

Were we jaded from all the mutants, ghosts, zombies, and other creatures in previous seasons?

Both Freak Show and Hotel fell short on promises of terror, often vying for more intense drama (a calling card of Falchuck and Murphy) instead. While we still received interesting stories, Gaga’s vampire and Twisty the Clown just weren’t all that scary.

19 There’s No Reason Given For All The Hotel Vampire Kids

In season five, Hotel, Lady Gaga’s character, The Countess Elizabeth, is a little less fabulous than we expected her to be. Perhaps she couldn’t live up to the Gaga we all know and love already. One of the things that just made zero sense about the character was her propensity to collect children and turn them into little vampires. Does Elizabeth have an old woman in the shoe complex? Is she just that bored? What is the point?

Here’s the thing about kids in horror movies: they add instant scare-factor. Take a look at most scary film kids, from Village of the Damned to The Others and you’ll see the scariest moments. The fact that the vampire kid collection wasn’t even scary was a pretty big letdown.

18 Teeth Fall From The Sky For No Reason

Season six of AHS, Roanoke, was able to recover some of the lost ground from the previous two less-scary seasons but still suffered from the lack of the one and only Jessica Lang. The season saw a return to the haunted house theme, always popular in AHS history, and wove in some new elements, like the whole “based on a true story” theme.  Between Deliverance-like hillbillies and more incredible Kathy Bates, Roanake was much better-received than Hotel, but it had some weird unexplained moments, like teeth randomly falling from the sky.

Not only do the teeth inexplicably fall while Matt is at work, but they also disappear.

The reason why is never given, prompting us to chalk this one up to “random scare tactic.”

17 Queenie Tried To Hook Up With A Minotaur

While we definitely applaud Murphy and Falchuck’s use of mythology throughout American Horror Story, it often makes no sense. Gabourey Sidibe was fantastic as Queenie, the young and lonely witch who gave as well as she got, used LaLaurie as her own personal racist slave, and really deserved main credits billing. But there was that one time she tried to hook up with a grotesque Minotaur…

While the inclusion of adult content is pretty standard in AHS, getting involved with a man who has bull’s head sewed over his own is pretty far out there. It didn’t make any sense, nor did Queenie’s own survival following the incident (or anything else including the Minotaur, really), so we just move along and say that there’s nothing to see here.

16 Zoe’s Hell Is Just Life Without Kyle

Zoe Benson, portrayed by Taissa Farmiga, starts out as a compelling character in the third season of American Horror Story, Coven. She has unique powers that pay homage to classic horror and a long journey ahead.

Tossing in a love interest is a great way to derail a personal growth story.

That’s what happened to Zoe with Kyle, her resurrected boyfriend played by Evan Peters. While we’re glad that Murphy and Falchuck used Kyle to illustrate that mothers can be abusive to their sons just as much as fathers can, “life without Kyle” as Zoe’s own personal hell is really stupid and overly angst-ridden.

15 Aliens In Asylum Makes No Sense

When it comes to American Horror Story, many fans reacted to the inclusion of aliens in season two, Asylum, in the same way that fans of Indiana Jones reacted to the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For many horror fans, aliens don’t enter the territory without very specific rules, and you certainly don’t add aliens into an already-existing story for a scare factor.

The aliens of AHS also just weren’t scary. Sure, they made Pepper more interesting and gave convenient explanations for a few weird happenings, but at the end of the day mixing aliens in with mutants, a mean nun, demons, and war criminals just doesn’t work. It’s a hodgepodge of plot devices tossed together like a salad with too many kinds of dressing. Sometimes simpler is just better.

14 The Musical Sequences

We get that Sister Jude is losing her mind in this tenth episode of season two, Asylum, but must we lose ours as well? The episode itself was gripping, but watching Jessica Lange sashay through “The Name Game” wasn’t nearly as eerie as it should have been. It played off as more of an homage to the creators’ Glee in a way that didn’t work.

While some critics enjoyed the mind-boggling number, many of us like to pretend it never happened.

It’s not the last time the showrunners implemented a bit of music and dance, either. Season four, Freak Show, featured several ditties, including a rendition of “Come As You Are” by Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, and Lange singing David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”.

13 What Happens To Dr. Arden’s Experiments?

The mutants created in Dr. Arden’s horrific experiments are the stuff of nightmares, and they definitely present an interesting side story among the rest of the godawful happenings at Briarwood Manor in season two of American Horror Story, Asylum. Their issue, of course, is that they disappear off the radar without much of a peep.

Once turned into a mutant and taken to a hospital, Shelley, played by Chloë Sevigny as a homage to the many women unjustly committed to asylums throughout history, seems as if she may be able to lead the authorities toward Arden, but alas, Joseph Fiennes’ conflicted yet greedy Monsignor Timothy Howard takes her out instead. We don’t hear much about them afterward. What happened to the mutants?

12 The Messed-Up Historical Figures

Anne Frank was lobotomized by the evil Dr. Arden from Briarcliff Manor in season two, Asylum. Not only does this make zero sense, but it also really does a disservice to Anne Frank’s memory. There is a lot of artistic license taken with historical figures throughout American Horror Story, from Delphine Lalaurie to James March. Even characters used as backgrounds for new characters, like Nellie Bly’s inspiration for Lana Winters, often seems a bit much, especially when the representation is so loose.

The misrepresentation or grand re-representation of historical figures is nothing new.

Our own history books present complete falsehoods about everyone from Christopher Columbus to Paul Revere. Perhaps it’s just so glaring because we acknowledge that now, particularly during an age of “fake news” awareness.

11 The Opening Sequence And Spoilers Promise More Than We Get

One of the most exciting elements of a new season of American Horror Story is always the opening sequence and the slowly-revealed spoilers. Cast announcements and cool visuals trickle in until we finally get to see that first episode with its incredible casting graphics. The creepy opening sequence does much more than announce the cast: it revs us up like the announcer for a really scary joust about to take place.

The only problem is that it often goes downhill from there. While season 1 typically delivered, the casting graphics in seasons like Freak Show were actually scarier than the episodes themselves. That’s a real problem if we are supposed to be watching a horror program.

10 We Have No Idea What Happened To The Pig Boys

They were a successful execution of “the scary children” in a way that the little vampire entourage of the previous season just couldn’t seem to manage, so maybe that’s why Murphy and Falchuck decided to never let the “pig boys” of season six be seen again.

Aside from the fact that the boys could have made for some truly scary storytelling, the problem here isn’t just that they had no deeper involvement in the story than “check out these creepy kids” but that they don’t even have a resolution. Why the kids say, “Croatoan!” and why they drink pig milk remains unknown, and we may never know what happened to the charming little tykes.

9 No Consequences for the bad things the “good guys” do

As fans of American Horror Story, we sure do forgive a lot of murderers, don’t we? When someone bad finally goes good, all of their wicked deeds don’t seem to be as problematic. Even sweet Nan takes out Joan. Misty Day, otherwise a kind hippie, offs a couple of guys with alligators.

Were these warranted attacks? Maybe, but that doesn’t erase the fact that many characters end the lives of others and we pretty much turn a blind eye toward it like we wouldn’t if they occurred in real life. Of course, from people returning from the grave to mutant attacks near an asylum, there’s really not a lot in the show that applies to real life.

8 There’s Really No War Between The Coven And The Voodoo Witches

During season three, Coven, there’s a big build up about an oncoming war between the coven and the voodoo witches of the area. Both are led by powerful women, and who wasn’t excited to see Fiona, played by Jessica Lange, and Marie Laveau, played by Angela Bassett, go up against one another?

While there was plenty of tension and a zombie attack, it pretty much stopped there, especially after the witch hunters came to town.

AHS often builds up to something we’re expecting and completely abandon it for another plot instead. While we get that they want to keep us on our toes, broken promises do leave us unsatisfied and underwhelmed.

7 Zoe And Madison Gave Their Souls To Azaezel And It Never Came Up Again

When the bus full of frat boys who assaulted Madison wrecks, taking out all of the monsters on board on Madison’s whim, it’s satisfying. Even seeing Kyle taken out doesn’t bother some of us, given that we’ve already seen Evan Peters return from the grave before and wouldn’t be surprised if he returned. He may have stopped his “brothers” but he certainly tried to help them not get caught, making him complicit in the attack.

When Zoe and Madison decide to put “boy parts” together to resurrect Kyle as the perfect Frankenstein boyfriend, they sell their souls to Azaezel in order to do so, and yet it never comes up again. Given that both girls bite the dust during the show, shouldn’t that at least be an issue?

6 Roanoke’s Reality Show Inception

It was one of the most pointless plot points to ever be inserted into a season of American Horror Story. During season six, Roanoke, we’re treated to a reality show type of setting where re-enactors help us understand what happened to the Millers in “My Roanoke Nightmare”, an obvious play on so many other popular reality-based ghost hunting and experience shows. That’s an intriguing concept that works well for much of the season, but then we’re hit with reality-ception.

Getting all of the actors and people involved in actual events together for the blood moon event is one thing, but what about the disclaimer that nobody even survived the ordeal? If that’s true (which makes sense, since this is Roanoke), how did we get the footage in the first place?

5 There’s No Point To Scathach

Scathach, the mythical warrior from the Isle of Skye in Irish folklore, is an incredible character. It’s too bad we didn’t really get to know her in season six, Roanoke.

Lady Gaga’s Scathnach has a plethora of powers, is said to be the first Supreme and yet has no real point in the series.

The witch does a few nefarious things here and there, from purchasing souls to rendering people evil and insane, but in the grand scheme of things she has no real point except to serve as one of those random elements of horror woven in to just be spooky. Given the history of the traditional character, it would be amazing to see Murphy and Falchuck to use this as a tie-in for a more myth-heavy season.

4 People Are Constantly Offed Only To Be Brought Back

Character losses in the American Horror Story realm are pretty much like those in any comic book series: you don’t ever count them as permanent. Even when an entire series ends and you believe a character to be truly gone, they may return in another season! It’s definitely not a new tactic to have characters return from the grave; it’s a strategy used in everything from Dallas to Supernatural.

It makes us feel a little more jaded and a little less invested when tragedy does strike.

Oh, Fiona is sick? Oh, Ethel’s not going to make it? It’s too often meaningless. We want to feel affected, and we can’t help but worry a bit because we do love these characters, but deep down we’re always still wondering when they’ll return.

3 Twisty’s “Resolution” Is Basically A Deus Ex Machina

Season four’s big villain, Twisty the Clown, turned out to be much more Bozo than Pennywise. Sure, he was scary-looking, and he had the tragic backstory to boot, but Twisty’s crimes felt more garden variety scary movie than the monstrous panache we’d expect from AHS.

Twisty, played by John Carroll Lynch, even had a disappointing resolution as a character. Not only was he never really sorted out by a main character or a victim bent on revenge, but he was literally yanked out of the show to join Edward Mordrake’s nightmarish troupe, collecting the clown’s soul after hearing his tale of woe.

2 Misty Day Was Unjustly Lost

One of the characters fans most resonated with in season three, Coven, was Misty Day, played by the talented Lily Rabe. Misty’s character screamed Supreme, from her unique abilities to her lack of really caring about the position.

Misty was all about fairness, being kind to animals, and protecting the vulnerable, making her a fantastic character to root for.

Unfortunately she was also a red herring. Falchuck and Murphy offed her in such a terrible way in a Hell made up of her own personal vivisection nightmare, which made zero sense given her ability to bring things back to life so easily. Misty didn’t deserve her ending, but neither did Nan and many other characters.

1 Tate Is A School Shooter

Tate Langdon is one of the most romanticized characters in the history of AHS. The season 1 character is a doting friend, devoted boyfriend who would do anything for Violet, and speaks volumes of teen angst to many a smitten heart. It doesn’t hurt that Evan Peters, who plays Tate, is easy on the eyes as well. Is that why it’s so hard to remember that Langdon is such a deplorable character?

Tate is a school shooter. He took the lives of several classmates and should represent what we most despise and do not condone in this nation right now. He also assaulted Violet’s mother, Vivian, causing her to become pregnant with his Antichrist baby. How can anyone still crush on this guy knowing what harm he’s done?

What other problems with American Horror Story do fans overlook? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-10 08:10:37 – Sara Schmidt

7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

It’s been over twenty years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s groundbreaking pilot hit TV screens and it remains one the most beloved and influential shows of all time. The series subverted expectations, in the process shattering illusions of what people thought television was capable of. It forever altered the pop culture landscape, introducing audiences to a feminist icon they could truly identify with. The show popularized serialized storytelling at a time when TV programs were largely episodic and even changed the way that viewers talked by introducing them to “Buffy speak.”

By taking the idea that high school is Hell quite literally, Joss Whedon was able to use werewolves, witches, and vampires to explore themes of desire, female empowerment, and addiction. The writers personified feelings such as isolation, alienation and humiliation, using them to ground fantastical situations in those very real emotions.

Buffy was praised for a great many things, from snappy dialogue to clever plotting. However, one of the most vital elements of Whedon’s magnum opus was undoubtedly the amazing characters with which he chose to populate this world. These players were as lovable as they were relatable and the series continues to resonate with viewers of all ages. However, not all characters introduced to the series could be as awesome as Buffy, Willow, or Xander. While certain new additions had an undeniably positive effect on the series as a whole, there were also a few that BtVS would’ve been better off without.

Here are 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It).

20 Saved – Spike and Dru

Sunnydale got its very own Sid and Nancy when Spike and Drusilla showed up in season 2 episode “School Hard”, quickly establishing themselves as the new Big Bads in town. They were never meant to last as long as they did, but stellar performances from James Marsters and Juliet Landau gave both characters a stay of execution. These two didn’t just shake up Sunnydale, but the show’s entire mythology. They were living proof that vampires were capable of genuine emotion. Their intense bond and amazing chemistry made fans fall hard for the couple. 

Spike, of course, went on to play a much larger role in the series as a whole. Writers kept finding new ways to justify his continued existence and fans never complained, because no one wanted the vampire gone.

19 Hurt – Riley

Buffy needed to move on from Angel, but did she really have to take up with “Captain Cardboard”? Riley Finn (Mark Blucas) first appeared in the season 4 premiere, “The Freshman”, and went on to hurt the show in ways almost too numerous to list.

With him came the Initiative, which remains the storyline that most BtVS fans would rather forget.

Even after the organization was no longer part of the narrative, Riley continued to overstay his welcome. Viewers were forced to deal with his constant whining and eventually, his infidelity. These were all plot points that the show could’ve done without. It was sad when Riley helicoptered out of Buffy’s life, but only because we care about her feelings. Ultimately, no one really missed him.

18 Saved – Tara

Now this is how you create a new love interest. Oz and Willow had become one of the show’s most beloved couples and fans were as heartbroken as she was over his sudden departure. Replacing the werewolf was going to be just as difficult as finding a way for Buffy to get over Angel. However, the show chose to go in a new direction entirely with Tara Maclay, who debuted in season 4 episode “Hush”. Not only was she a woman, but she also complemented Willow in very different ways than Oz had.

Not all viewers embraced this storyline initially, but Amber Benson’s performance quickly won most of them over. Before long, fans became incredibly invested in Willow and Tara’s relationship. In many ways, they became the show’s central couple, as well as its emotional anchor.

17 Saved – Anya

Much like James Marsters, Emma Caulfield earned more time on the show through her impressive performance. Her arc wasn’t meant to last much past her first appearance in season 3 episode “The Wish”.  Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins went from human to vengeance demon and back again. She was over 1100 old, but had completely lost touch with her humanity before meeting the Scoobies.

It was more than Anya’s evolution that made her special, though. She was the character who posed the questions that most people want to ask but think that they shouldn’t. Whether ruminating on love, loss, or the simple cold truth of mortality, Anya always said exactly what she meant. Even her lack of tact was charming. The former demon brought a different perspective to the group, as well as some undeniable humor.

16 Hurt – Dawn

This is kind of a tough one, because the storyline surrounding Dawn’s existence was one of the show’s best. Her introduction in the season 5 premiere, “Buffy vs. Dracula”, was particularly genius. Dawn was dropped into the series as if she had always been there, leaving viewers wondering if they had missed earlier clues of Buffy having a sister.

Dawn herself was always little more than an annoyance to most fans.

It didn’t help that Michelle Trachtenberg played the character as younger than she was. This wasn’t all her fault, as Dawn was initially meant to be portrayed by a younger actress. The main problem wasn’t season 5 Dawn anyway. In later years, writers clearly weren’t sure what to do with her, giving Buffy’s sister one ludicrous plot line after another: “Dawn’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

15 Saved – Glory/Ben

Glory is one of the greatest Big Bads ever to appear on BtVS. Debuting in season 5 installment “There’s No Place Like Home”, she brought the season-long threat to a whole new level. Glory wasn’t just another demon. She was a literal god, just trying to get back to her home sweet Hell. However, it was more than just sheer power that made Glory such a great villain. Clare Kramer’s manic performance is what really set her apart.

Introduced an episode before Glory, Ben (Charlie Weber) was serviceable enough.

What really brought depth to the kind doctor was the revelation that he and Glorificus were sharing a body.

This was one of the show’s most successful twists. Seriously, no one saw it coming.

14 Saved – Wesley

While it can be argued that the character of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was utilized far better on Angel, there’s no denying that the stuffy new Watcher was another great addition to the cast of BtVS. Debuting in season 3 installment “Bad Girls”, Alexis Denisof imbued Wesley with undeniable heart and humor, despite the character’s uptight personality.

Aside from Wesley himself, it was the dynamic between him and Giles that helped to elevate the series during season 3. We got to explore a whole new side Buffy’s Watcher. It was one thing to know about his “Ripper” past, but it was the juxtaposition of Rupert and Wesley that truly proved how awesome Giles actually was – not that we didn’t love him already.

13 Hurt – Warren

The Trio is kind of everyone’s least favorite Big Bad. However, while Jonathan and Andrew were both worthy additions to the series, Warren never had any redeeming qualities. He first appeared in season 5 episode “I Was Made to Love You” and proved himself a total creep immediately.

Although Warren started out as a punchline, he turned out to be a misogynistic monster.

Adam Busch did an excellent job of making the character incredibly unlikable, but it was Warren’s cruelty that brought season 6 to the lowest of places. “Dead Things” was one of the most brutal episodes of BtVS, and not in a good way. Plus, no Buffy fan will ever forgive him for firing the gun that took Tara’s life. Warren did a lot of damage and his character was never compelling or likable enough to outweigh that fact.

12 Saved – Oz

Fans fell in love with Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green) around the same time that Willow did. From the moment he appeared in season 2 episode “Inca Mummy Girl”, he was pretty much smitten with her – even in her Hallowe’en costume. Unlike Xander, Oz actually realized how awesome Willow was and fans were overjoyed to see her finally properly appreciated.

Oz was so beloved, in fact, that even though he left under truly awful circumstances, many viewers were still torn when he came back for Willow. A lesser character could never have remained in fans’ hearts after such indiscretions. In the end, the writers found someone even better for Willow, but it speaks volumes that so many viewers were willing to forgive Oz after he locked himself in a cage with Veruca.

11 Hurt – Veruca

Veruca (Paige Moss) made her first appearance in season 4 episode “Living Conditions”. Oz may have thought that she was pretty cool, but viewers noticed that something was off about her.

Most Buffy fans are pretty protective of Willow and no one liked seeing her relationship with Oz threatened.

It’s not that it makes no sense that something would break up Willow and Oz. They dated in high school and many such relationships do not survive the transition to college. The main issue was the werewolf herself. Veruca was kind of over the top, from her musical performances to her evil machinations. Perhaps she was meant to be a two-dimensional mustache-twirling villain. Regardless, no one mourned Veruca after Oz ended her life.

10 Saved – Mayor Wilkins

Fans were introduced to Mayor Richard Wilkins in season 3 episode “Homecoming”. Sure, he was a major Big Bad whose ascension plans would’ve left the world in ruins, but he was also incredibly polite. BtVS has often excelled at creating villains that fans still kind of rooted for. The Mayor was one of the best, and not just because he was such a formidable opponent.

Richard’s relationship with Faith gave his character real depth. Much like the love that Spike and Dru shared with one another, the Mayor’s affections for his protégée made him much more human, which in turn made viewers care more about him. Plus, Harry Groener’s pitch-perfect performance made it impossible not to enjoy Mayor Wilkins.

9 Hurt – Kennedy

Kennedy was as much of an epic fail as Riley. The writers proved that they could craft more than one great love interest for Willow, so what happened with her? Introduced in season 7 episode “Bring on the Night”, Kennedy (Iyari Limon) was spoiled, argumentative and honestly, kind of bland. The key to a great TV relationship is making both characters compelling in their own right.

While fans came to love both Oz and Tara rather quickly, you’d be hard pressed to find many Kennedy fans out there.

There was nothing about Willow’s new girlfriend to even distinguish her from the other Potential Slayers, save her bad attitude. Willow deserved better and so did fans.

8 Saved – Faith

Shaking up things from the moment she arrived in season 3 installment “Faith, Hope and Trick”, Faith Lehane was Buffy’s dark reflection. The Slayers were incredibly different from one another and yet, undeniably two sides of the same coin. Eliza Dushku’s magnetic performance brought so much passion and energy to the role, and she had no trouble fitting in with the rest of the cast.

Faith provided new depth not only for the slayer line, but also to the idea of what it actually means to be Slayer. Before Faith’s arrival, fans had never seen a Slayer go rogue. However, it didn’t matter how far Faith went. Viewers were always hoping that she could somehow redeem herself. Thanks to her time on Angel, she was given that chance.

7 Saved – Robin

Robin Wood’s (D.B. Woodside) debut in season 7 premiere “Lessons” initially painted the new school principal as another villain lurking in the shadows. However, much like the rest of the characters on BtVS, appearances are often deceiving. Not only was Robin one of the good guys, but he was also the son of New York-based slayer, Nikki. The series teased this out slowly until fans realized the truth shortly before it was revealed.

It was a pretty genius move.

Although it’s easy to hate on Robin for his sneak attack on Spike, the vampire did off his mother, so his frustration can be understood. In the end, Robin turned out to be a great addition to the Scoobies, bringing both new perspective and an actual bag of tricks to the mix.

6 Hurt – Adam

Buffy almost always managed to deliver the goods when it came to the season-long Big Bad: compelling characters, with humor and even a bit of heart. The series excelled in that moral grey area, making viewers sympathize with villainous even as they committed unforgivable acts. Sadly, Adam (George Hertzberg) was a giant exception to this success.

The ersatz Frankenstein’s monster – or Walsh’s monster, as the case may have been – first appeared in season 4 episode “A New Man”. The only cool thing he ever really did was skewer his creator, Maggie, who was also not a great addition to the series. All in all, Adam was very powerful, but a boring villain. Defeating him required a major deus ex machina, which would’ve been fine if he had been a better character in the first place.

5 Saved – Andrew

Andrew Wells, aka Tucker’s brother, initially seemed as irredeemable as Warren Mears. When we met him in season 6 episode “Flooded”, he was a whiny coward with nothing even resembling a moral compass. After Andrew returned the following year, the first thing he did was take his best friend’s life.

Most fans weren’t happy to see him again, but somewhere over the course of season 7, this changed.

Like BtVS has done with the best of its characters – most of whom, let’s be real, have done some terrible things – the show found a way to endear him to viewers. Andrew may not have exactly been instrumental in Buffy’s battle with the First, but the former villain definitely brought some levity to a fairly dark season. He also provided an excellent example of the power of compassion.

4 Saved – Kendra

Interestingly, Bianca Lawson was originally cast in the role of Cordelia Chase. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the actress was forced to take a smaller part in BtVSIf we can all just put aside her painfully awful accent, everyone can probably admit that Kendra herself was a pretty cool addition to the series.

Fans were introduced to the other slayer in season 2 installment “What’s My Line Part 1”. She appeared initially to be another enemy, but instead proved vital in saving Angel’s life. Kendra’s existence answered important questions about the slayers and it was this new line, beginning with her, that later allowed for the introduction of Faith. The juxtaposition of Kendra and Buffy was also quite interesting, as they each approached their calling so differently. She also helped Buffy see that slaying was more than just a job.

3 Hurt – Forrest

Another irritating and useless season 4 addition, Forrest Gates (Leonard Roberts) was introduced in “The Initiative”.

He was little more than a foil for Riley and Buffy’s relationship.

Forrest’s feelings for his fellow soldier bordered on obsession and there was nothing interesting about him in his own right.Riley’s other pal Graham may have been boring, but at least he wasn’t so annoying. Forrest was self-righteous and obviously had very little going on in the way of an actual life. No one mourned him after he his passing. The worst part about Forrest’s demise was that it wasn’t even the last we saw of him, because Adam chose to reanimate his husk. Even then, he was still a total drag.

2 Saved – Jonathan

Jonathan Levinson (Danny Strong) had a continuing presence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years after his first appearance in season 2 installment “Inca Mummy Girl”. He was always on the periphery, being picked on, rescued or taken advantage of. Prior to joining the Trio, Jonathan was at the center of season 3 episode “Earshot” and season 4 installment “Superstar”. The former was incredibly poignant and the latter, a hilarious change of pace.

Many fans were surprised to see Jonathan pulled by the dark side, but he never fully committed like his cohorts did. Less obviously evil than Warren and not as easily manipulated as Andrew, he eventually saw the error of his ways. Sadly, by the time Jonathan made an effort to redeem himself, it was too late. That opportunity was stolen from him by his best friend.

1 Saved – Angelus

None of Buffy’s greatest Big Bads were quite as personal or painful to witness as Angelus. Aside from the unfortunate implications of essentially punishing Buffy for being intimate with her boyfriend, there is no denying that the second half of season 2 was the show at its best. This was due in large part to David Boreanaz’s villainous turn.

Two people who were so in love destroying each other was utterly brutal and completely gut-wrenching. It also led to some of BtVS’s most empowering moments. Buffy was just a teenage girl shouldering the weight of the entire world. Feeling as though she had lost everything led to the epiphany that she still possessed what mattered most. Much of the series is about surviving life on life’s terms. More than just enduring this pain, Buffy managed to recover from it.

What new characters do you feel hurt or saved Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-06 04:10:54 – Jamie Gerber

10 Plot Twists That Hurt Star Wars (And 15 That Saved Them)

The Star Wars movies have captured the hearts and imaginations of movie-goers for more than 40 years. The galaxy far, far away is full of compelling characters, fantastic locations, and epic battles between good and evil. Fans have fallen in love with the stories of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Rey, and so many others that inhabit that world. Their struggles to realize the good in themselves and save the galaxy keep fans coming back.

Stories are built on characters, but they also require some plot points and playing on the audiences expectations to be truly memorable. If a story plays out exactly as the audience expects it to, it wouldn’t be very interesting. Some of the best stories have mysteries to keep the audience on edge until the answers are revealed – or they have twists and turns that keep raising the stakes or changing our understanding of the characters and the conflict.

Star Wars is no exception. In fact, the Star Wars franchise has some of the most famous twists and turns of any movie series. There are mysteries about events leading up to the original trilogy that fans waited decades to have answered in the prequel trilogy. Even the original trilogy itself had game changing twists about the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist – and the sequel trilogy is continuing the streak of playing with audiences expectations.

However, not all the twists and turns have served the movies well. Some seem poorly thought out or poorly executed.

Here are 10 Plot Twists That Hurt Star Wars (And 15 That Saved Them)!


Rey learns a lot from Luke on Ahch-to. One of the mysteries that she hopes to find answers to is how Ben Solo fell to the Dark Side. When Luke first tells her about it, he makes it sound like Snoke had turned Ben before Luke could stop it. Through her mysterious connection to Kylo Ren, Kylo says that Luke tried to snuff out Ben prematurely.

The harsh truth is that Luke momentarily meant to end his nephew and Ben saw Luke’s drawn lightsaber before Luke could reconcile the situation.

This revelation makes Luke so much more flawed and complex than the legend that Rey grew up with. It also makes Luke’s redemptive sacrifice more heroic.


Perhaps this reveal would have worked better if Episodes One, Two, and Three hadn’t been prequels. However, most Star Wars fan already knew that Ian McDiarmid’s Chancellor Palpatine would become Emperor Palpatine and that Anakin Skywalker would fall to the Dark Side.

So watching Palpatine chew the scenery, tempting Anakin so obviously, is a hard sell. It’s also hard to believe that the Jedi were suspicious of Palpatine but never suspected that he could be the Sith Lord that they were warned about. Who else could hold sway over hundreds of senators?


When Snoke casually reminded Kylo Ren that Han Solo was his father in The Force Awakens, it was a pretty big reveal to the audience. We had no idea what sort of relationships any of the new characters may have with the Original Trilogy veterans.

Kylo Ren’s parentage was further evidence of how strong the Force was in the Skywalker family. It also set up a dramatic contrast between Kylo Ren, the Force-sensitive son, and Han, the non-Force-sensitive father. Kylo Ren got one hell of a villain establishing moment when he suddenly ignited his lightsaber into his father’s chest.


Darth Maul was such a popular character in The Phantom Menace that the franchise had to bring him back. Most of his subsequent appearances have been in the Star Wars  animated shows, The Clone Wars, and Rebels.

Maul had never reappeared in the movies, as the sequel trilogy took place long after his time. 

However, the Star Wars Story films could find a way to bring Maul back to the big screen. It must have been quite a treat for Clones Wars and Rebels fans to see Maul as the true head of the Crimson Dawn, even in hologram.


Star Wars fans surely wondered where the clones in the Clone Wars came from. It was a mysterious even that the prequel trilogy promised to explore. While the clones are militant and inscrutable in and of themselves, their origins are still a bit confusing.

It all has to do with Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. When Obi-Wan arrives on Kamino, they tell him that Sifo-Dyas commissioned the creation of a clone army for the Republic. It’s treated like the audience should know who Sifo-Dyas is just from the movies, but he was never mentioned before that moment.


In The Last Jedi, Luke struggles to measure up to the role of mentor for Rey. Right at the moment when he seems bound to fail her, Luke’s own old mentor reappears through the Force to knock some sense into him.

Yoda is just as mischievous and wise as we remember him from the original trilogy. First, he pranks Luke by burning the ancient Jedi tree library himself. Then, Yoda tells Luke that instead of wallowing in his faults and failures he can learn from them. “We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”


Why did George Lucas make such egregious changes from what he already said happened in the original trilogy? In Return of the Jedi, Leia says her real mother passed away when she was very young and Luke says he has no memory of his mother at all. However, in Revenge of the Sith, Luke is actually born first and we see him interact with his mother, however briefly, more than Leia.

It was enough of a noticeable difference to distract fans from what should have been part of the emotional climax of the movie.

The cheesy explanation that Padmé succumbed because she “lost the will to live” also took away from the film.


Obi-Wan tells us in A New Hope that Darth Vader helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. However, we could have known the shock and horror of actually watching the Great Jedi Purge.

Each of these Jedi, seen throughout the prequel trilogy, are suddenly betrayed by the clones they led into battle.

The clones’ true loyalty had been predetermined long before they ever fought for the Republic. Their loyalty to Palpatine, Chancellor or Emperor, was absolute. The violent images and the operatic music make Order 66 one of the most powerful emotional moments in the whole franchise.


In the second act of Empire Strikes Back, the Millennium Falcon evades the Empire repeatedly. They lose their pursuers in an asteroid field and trick their Star Destroyers into thinking they vanished. However, they weren’t clever enough to fool Boba Fett.

We see Boba trail the Falcon, and we get hints that something is not right on Cloud City. However, it was still quite a shock to see Darth Vader right on the other side of that door, for the audience and the heroes. Vader flexed his Force powers and proved that he was one step ahead this time.


Solo is as iconic as any character name in the Star Wars franchise. His enemies call him by it. The name carries a reputation for luck, skullduggery, and a heart of gold. However, did you ever think that “Solo” might not be Han’s real name?

At least according to the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story, Han didn’t have that name when he started out. Some imperial recruiter thought it up when Han had no surname to enter in his application. There is a precedent that great legends start out as unceremonious or random details, but this origin of the name Solo feels like a letdown.


The Rebellion put a lot of effort and resources into uncovering the secrets of the Empire’s second Death Star. Many Bothans sacrificed their lives to let the Rebels know the Death Star II’s location, and that the Emperor was personally overseeing the project.

Luke and the Rebels believed that they had to upper hand in the fight this time, but they were mistaken.

The Emperor had deliberately let the Rebels learn the Death Star II’s location. He kept the Imperial fleet and army lying in wait to ambush the Rebels. These were appropriately dire stakes for the climax of Return of the Jedi.


A lot of fans have complained about the dynamic between Vice admiral Holdo and Poe Dameron in The Last Jedi. The movie paints Poe as reckless and naïve about the role he has to play in the Resistance. However, Holdo really doesn’t take the best course in alleviating Poe’s concerns.

She doesn’t tell him that they aren’t just blindly running until they are caught, and she doesn’t tell them about leaving the cruiser behind while the Resistance sneaks away on board the transports. That might have stopped Poe from staging a mutiny while the First Order was on their tail.


A lot of Star Wars fans didn’t know what to expect from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The movie introduces a whole cast of characters with a wide range of backstories and moral stances. However, they all come together to win a farfetched victory against the Empire.

It doesn’t come without a cost, though. Throughout the whole battle of Scarif, one hero after another sacrifices themselves to achieve a crucial objective for the mission. Even after Jyn and Cassian get the Death Star plans to the Rebel fleet, they are trapped on the surface as the Death Star fires upon the base. It’s a bold, unusual, dramatic move for a Star Wars movie.


Even in The Force Awakens, there was some tension between Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke. Dark Force users have always plotted against each other. Snoke heavily implies that Kylo is an unworthy apprentice in the first half of The Last Jedi.

A few factors make Kylo Ren’s turn on Snoke stand out. He takes down Snoke right at the moment when he’s expected to take down Rey instead.

However, it’s not really a turn for him. He doesn’t suddenly decide to save the Resistance fleet like Rey pleads with him to. He immediately seizes more power for himself and urges Rey to join him.


For most of The Phantom Menace, the audience is lead to believe that Queen Amidala is played by Keira Knightley (yes really, remember that?). In the meantime, we got to meet one of the Queen’s unassuming handmaidens, Padmé, played by Natalie Portman.

When the Naboo seek out the Gungans, Padmé reveals herself to be the real Queen of Naboo. Keira Knightley’s Sabé was playing a decoy to keep the Queen safe during the invasion by the Trade Federation. It’s a little hard to believe that not even Qui-Gon Jinn or Obi-Wan suspected the true Queen’s identity.


Luke first hears about Yoda from Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan described him as the Jedi master who instructed him. The audience had only ever met Obi-Wan as a Jedi Master. You could expect Master Yoda to be impressive and dignified, even more so than Obi-Wan.

The first person Luke actually meets on Dagobah is a tiny creature with a cane, a strange way of speaking, and no sense of personal space – and this doddering little thing is the great Jedi Master Yoda? He totally subverts Luke and the audience’s expectations. Yoda’s great wisdom is just as memorable as his funny quirks.


The fact that DJ wasn’t the code breaker that Rose and Finn set out to enlist makes the Canto Bight storyline feel random. It also cheapens the only plot point that Maz Kanata appears in the movie for. She couldn’t do it herself and Finn and Rose couldn’t even get the guy she recommended. So the movie introduces this random new character.

Then he turns on Finn and Rose to save himself.

Not only that, but he exposes the Resistance transports. Finn, Rose, and Poe got most of the Resistance taken out because their ad hoc plan back fired.


Han never had any great loyalty to the Empire. However, they seemed the only ticket in town for making a life for himself as a pilot. When he got stuck in the infantry, he tried to blackmail his way into the criminal gang led by Tobias Beckett. This backfired and the Imperials threw Han in a cage with a “beast,” as the Imperials expected Han to get eaten.

However, this beast was none other than the Wookiee Chewbacca. Thanks to a little Shyriiwook, Han convinces Chewie to team up with him and escape. It’s a simple but effective subversion of expectation to introduce the audience to an old friend.


Galen Erso was a brilliant scientist and expert on kyber crystals. He had studied and began his career during the days of the Republic. When the Republic transformed into the Empire, Erso’s colleagues pressured him into joining the weapon development programs. The crown jewel of their research would be the Death Star, and orbital battle station with enough power to annihilate an entire planet.

However, Galen Erso would not let his morals be totally compromised. Thinking of his beloved daughter Jyn, Galen built in a secret flaw in the Death Star’s design – aflaw that would let a single light fighter destroy the entire station. It wasn’t hubris, it was a father’s love.


Rather than sticking with the Imperial Army, Han Solo talks his way into Tobias Beckett’s crew. Beckett’s two partners are Val, played by Thadie Newton, and Rio Durant, an Ardennian voiced by Jon Favreau.

Val and Rio were each interesting, unique characters, but the movie cuts them off on the very first assignment that Han has with the gang.

If they had stayed, it would probably have been too many characters in the second and third acts. However, we should have gotten to know at least one of them a little better somehow.


All hope seemed lost for the remnants of the Resistance on Crait. Kylo Ren and the First Order were closing in. However, out of nowhere, the legendary Jedi Master Luke Skywalker returned to confront Kylo Ren.

Luke does a masterful job of taunting and toying with Kylo. He stalls Kylo and forces him to come forward and face Luke one-on-one, and just when it seems like Luke is prepared to accept a final sacrifice to buy the Resistance time, Luke has one last trick to play. He was never there at all. Kylo Ren wasted his chance to finish the Resistance by fighting a projection of his hated uncle.


The reaction to Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace was immediately vitriolic. Whatever plans George Lucas may have had for the character in the rest of the prequel trilogy, fans will likely never get to see them.

His one major contribution in Attack of the Clones was to convince the Senate to give emergency powers the Supreme Chancellor. This let Palpatine take one step closer towards becoming the Emperor. Not only that, but Jar Jar’s actions go against Senator Amidala’s stances on the military creation act and she trusted him to act in her stead.


The original Star Wars trilogy trained us to expect secret familial connections between the main characters. Why else would Luke’s family lightsaber have called out to Rey? By the events of The Last Jedi, it becomes clear that the old paradigm of monastic, diametrically opposed Force orders doesn’t have to be the rule.

The Force can manifest in anyone – including an in-universe scavenger who happens to be in the right place at the right time.

Rey is more interesting because of the connections she makes to the original trilogy characters herself.


The first act of Empire Strikes Back hinted that a romantic relationship may be developing between Luke and Leia – or maybe Leia just kissed Luke in front of Han to annoy him or make him jealous. Then, in Return of the Jedi, Obi-wWan confesses to Luke that he and Leia are twins.

What was George Lucas going for when he wrote this romantic undertone to Luke and Leia, knowing that they were twins? Some fans were still probably hoping that Luke and Leia would end up together before Obi-Wan told Luke the truth.


The most iconic twist in sci-fi movies certainly helps The Empire Strikes Back itself. Luke had been lead to believe that Darth Vader betrayed and took down his father. However, Vader laid an expert trap for Luke on Cloud City to confront him with a terrible truth.

Vader, the main antagonist of the Star Wars trilogy and embodiment of the dark side, was actually Luke’s father. This one revelation totally transformed our understanding of the characters and relationships in the Star Wars franchise. It brought the themes of family and redemption into focus for Return of the Jedi and it was an unforgettable movie moment.

Are there any other twists that hurt or saved Star Wars? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-03 03:10:28 – Michael Graff

A Simple Favor Ending: Disappearance Reveal & The Many Twists Explained

MAJOR spoilers for A Simple Favor ahead.

Paul Feig’s latest, A Simple Favor, is a crime thriller that features plenty of twists and reveals as one woman investigates the disappearance of another – now we break down that ending. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively star in the movie as single mom Stephanie Smothers and fellow mother Emily Nelson, respectively. The two become friends when their sons spend time together outside of school. However, when Emily mysteriously vanishes, Stephanie takes it on herself to investigate her friend’s disappearance. Along the way, the secrets both women have kept hidden for years are revealed.

Adapted from the book of the same name by Darcey Bell, A Simple Favor is a crime thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train – both of which were adapted to film to varying success. Trailers for A Simple Favor teased another such twisty mystery, but with Feig behind the camera – who’s known for his comedies Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters – viewers knew to expect plenty of humor, too. Now, we focus on the twists and reveals featured in A Simple Favor and break down everything that happens.

Related: Screen Rant’s A Simple Favor Review

Starting off with Emily, she disappears after asking Stephanie to pick up her son from school, while her husband Sean (Henry Golding) is in London visiting his mother. After days of searching, Emily’s body is seemingly found in a lake at a camp in Michigan. However, it’s later revealed that the body doesn’t belong to Emily, but Emily’s twin. Emily and her sister grew up at their parents’ home, but set fire to it when they were teenagers, killing their father and running away to avoid consequences. Their crime is why Emily doesn’t like to have her picture taken, she’s perpetually on the run from her childhood. The twins split up to avoid detection and when they were meant to reunite and start a new life together, Emily’s twin didn’t show. Instead, Emily started her own life, but Emily remains angry at her twin for leaving her.

Emily’s disappearance is the result of her twin showing up out of the blue and asking Emily to meet at the camp they both attended as children – the one in Michigan. Emily’s twin is a poor destitute drug addict who’s preparing to turn herself in for the fire, taking Emily down with her. She pleads for money and Emily seemingly agrees, but it’s a ploy because Emily can’t let her twin destroy her new life – the life she built when her twin left her alone to fend for herself. The two go for a swim in the lake for old time’s sake and Emily drowns her sister. Then, Emily makes the body look like hers (the two have matching tattoos they got after running away) and fakes her own death so that Sean can get the payout on the life insurance policy. Sean, meanwhile, had no idea about Emily’s plan until she shows up later and tells him.

As for Stephanie, she’s a single mother who was widowed when her husband and half-brother died in a tragic car accident, and she’s only able to support herself through her husband’s life insurance (Stephanie telling Emily about the life insurance is what inspires Emily’s plot to help her own family get out of debt by faking her death). However, as Stephanie slowly reveals to Emily over the course of the movie, she slept with her brother Chris when they were younger and it’s implied they continued sleeping together. Later, Stephanie reveals that her husband was always suspicious with her relationship with Chris, and accused their son Miles of actually being Chris’s biological child. In a drunken rage, Stephanie’s husband drives off the road with Chris in the passenger seat of his car, purposefully killing them both. When Emily asks Stephanie who she misses most, Stephanie is unable to choose, implying she loved Chris just as much if not more than her husband.

All these twists and reveals lead to the grand finale of A Simple Favor, in which Stephanie, Emily and Sean get together – with Stephanie aiming to get Emily to admit to what she’s done while Emily wants to kill Stephanie for everything she’s uncovered, as well as for sleeping with Sean when they thought Emily was dead. However, Emily killed the bugs the police placed in the home to record her confession. But in one final twist, Stephanie reveals she has a small camera on her shirt that streamed the entire interaction live to her vlog. As a result, the police have the confession and Emily goes to jail.

Altogether, A Simple Favor features a lot of twists and reveals – some that are easier to see coming than others – and it makes for an exciting ride. Whether the movie is as good as others in the genre is up to the viewer, but A Simple Favor is certainly entertaining.

Next: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

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2018-09-14 03:09:22 – Molly Freeman

12 Canceled Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shondaland (And 8 That Would’ve Saved It)

Shonda Rhimes has made a name for herself as the most astonishing showrunner in television.

Grey’s Anatomy is about to enter its fifteenth season. The longevity of Rhimes’ most successful show is due in large part to its surprising character demises, which allow new characters to add their stories to the series’ canon.

Scandal lived up to its name, as its leads regularly revealed horrible acts they had committed and secrets they had hidden from even their closest confidents, whether it was election rigging, covert operations, or secret affairs.

How To Get Away With Murder was filled with so many twists that it is nearly impossible to follow half of the time, and most interviews with the showrunner sound like he knows about as much about the answers to the series’ big questions as the viewer does.

Even Shondaland’s short-lived projects like The Catch, For The People, and Still Star-Crossed surprised viewers with their hidden love affairs and last-minute plot twists.

Not all of the biggest twists and turns in these series made it to air, however. Some were relegated to deleted scenes, while others were scrapped by the writers before filming even began.

These changes could have drastically altered the worlds in which Shondaland shows reside, some for the worse and other for the better.

Could Scandal’s low ratings in the final season been changed by just one plot twist? Would Grey’s Anatomy still be breaking records if just one key character had returned or new relationships had been formed?

Read on to learn the 12 Canceled Twists That Would’ve Hurt Shondaland (And 8 That Would’ve Saved It).

20 Hurt: Quinn Was the Lindberg Baby (Scandal)

Who is Quinn Perkins? That was the question that plagued fans during the summer of 2012 after Scandal’s first cliffhanger-filled finale.

While we know now that Quinn’s former life involved being unlucky enough to become collateral damage in an election-rigging plot, getting framed for an explosion that claimed the life of her ex-boyfriend, and waking up with a new identity provided to her by OPA, a writers’ roundtable revealed that even Shonda Rhimes didn’t know what Quinn’s identity would be when she wrote the season one finale.

The writers explored making Quinn the Lindberg baby, an abducted infant found deceased in 1932.

This would have been a dark revelation, even for Scandal, and a stretch, considering that the Lindberg baby was male.

They also briefly considered making her Russian, but decided against it when her “real” last name was inconveniently long.

19 Hurt: Derek Had A Teenage Daughter (Grey’s)

In the original pilot for Grey’s Anatomy, not only was Derek Shepherd married, but his secret past had the added baggage of a teenage daughter living in Seattle.

In addition to making Derek and Meredith’s one-night stand meet-cute even more messed up, this revelation would have completely changed the tone of the series moving forward for the worse.

Meredith was barely able to keep it together for her own sake for most of the series.

Adding in the potential of becoming the step-mother would have made it more difficult for our commitment-phobic heroine to choose Dr. McDreamy, and she was so irresponsible that she would’ve been a horrible role model for a teenage girl.

Meredith’s self-destructive tendencies are a part of her charm, but they wouldn’t have been quite as cute if they were negatively affecting the life of a teenager.

18 Saved: Wes Wasn’t deceased (HTGAWM)

It’s a risk to cut off your central character. Shows have done it before and succeeded — Game of Thrones being a notable example — and the star of HTGAWM is unarguably Viola Davis as Annalise Keating.

However, Wes was the viewer’s surrogate into her world and the moral compass of the show.

Showrunner Pete Nowalk changed his mind a million times when deciding who would be the body under the sheet in the middle of the third season.

It was the most surprising decision, which was entertaining at the time, but HTGAWM’s numbers have floundered since then.

The show seems to have lost its way, and Wes’s passing was the likely the catalyst.

17 Hurt: Meredith and Burke Were Going To Date (Grey’s)

It’s hard to imagine Grey’s Anatomy without its central couple, Meredith and Derek. Their names even rhyme, Mer and Der, like they were fated in the stars (or meticulously planned by the writers).

Instead, Meredith’s love interest was ultimately going to be Isaiah Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke.

Because Ellen Pompeo is married to an African-American man, she didn’t want her love interest to also be a black man because it was too similar to her personal life.

This ended up being a lucky move for the series, as the chemistry between Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey was a major draw for viewers and Isaiah Washington eventually left the show for using a homophobic slur again T.R. Knight, who portrayed George O’Malley.

16 Hurt: If Fitz Never Knew About Olivia’s Abortion (Scandal)

Olivia Pope had an abortion because she did not want a child. A controversial and grounding element of Scandal’s episode centering around the defunding of Planned Parenthood, six months passed before Fitzgerald Grant learned that his then-girlfriend had aborted their unborn child.

Actually, those six months passed before Olivia’s pregnancy and abortion were even mentioned again onscreen, and many viewers wondered if Fitz would ever learn about Olivia’s choice.

In March of that year, Rhimes still hadn’t decided whether Fitz would learn about the abortion, asking if he really had to know because Olivia had made her own choice about her body.

When Fitz does learn about the abortion from a medical file, it allows for a powerful moment in the series where the leader implicitly reveals that he is pro-choice.

Through clever storytelling, the writers managed to include Fitz’s reaction without compromising their desire to show that Olivia had no obligation to tell Fitz about her decision.

15 Saved: If Justice Wasn’t Served In “The Lawn Chair” (Scandal)

Scandal received mixed reviews for its Michael Brown-inspired episode, in which a plotline revolving around an unarmed black teenager being taken down by a white police officer echoed the events of the 2014 shooting of Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Unlike in Ferguson, where Darren Wilson was not charged for claiming the life of Brown, Scandal’s episode showed an officer being brought to justice through due process.

Rhimes explained the “wish fulfillment” storyline as a decision to choose hope after a huge debate between the writers.

As Ava DuVernay pointed out, an episode like “The Lawn Chair” isn’t easy to create, and the effort to make it was a victory in itself.

However, critics questioned some audience members’ abilities to separate fiction from harsher truths and saw a missed opportunity to explore the mechanics of institutionalized racism and the intricacies of prejudice.

14 Hurt: Katherine Heigl Wanted To Come Back (Grey’s)

After publicly shading the writing of Grey’s Anatomy in 2008 when she withdrew from Emmy consideration, Katherine Heigl took multiple leaves of absence and quit the show in 2010 on bad terms in pursuit of a movie career.

Two years after her departure, Heigl said she wanted to return to Grey’s and Shonda Rhimes politely declined (although she would later essentially call Heigl an “a**hole” in an interview about Scandal).

In 2012, Grey’s was in its eighth season, exploring Alex Karev’s status as a social pariah for snitching on Meredith, who had altered her Alzheimer’s trial, and ending with the tragic plane crash that informed much of the emotional subtext of the next season.

Reintroducing Izzie’s character during one of the most heartbreaking plotlines of the show would’ve undermined the social dynamics that the show had finally built and deepened after losing so many of its principal cast.

Her return would have been artistically ill-advised, regardless of whether she was hard to work with or not.

13 Hurt: Scandal Originally Ended With Mellie Becoming POTUS (Scandal)

Bellamy Young, who portrays former leader Mellie Grant, revealed in an interview that Shonda Rhimes planned Scandal’s final moments to include Mellie being sworn in as POTUS.

Instead, Rhimes used the show’s final season to explore gender politics in relation to the current climate.

When Scandal began, the first black leader was in charge and the escalation of the alt-right that occurred during the 2016 election was an unthought-of nightmare for much of Scandal’s creative team.

It’s only natural that Scandal altered its plans to react to the world we now live in, even if by that time the show itself had devolved into a repetitive spy-drama.

12 Saved: Tom Was Going To Pass Away (Scandal)

Tom is kind of the worst. He seemed like a kind, loyal, and boring Secret Service agent until season three when he takes the life of the leader’s son as an undercover agent for B-613.

He thought it was a good idea to follow Rowan, then Jake, and shows that he has horrible taste in men when he starts a relationship with Cyrus Beene.

Yet, Shonda Rhimes and the Scandal writers loved him too much to cut him off during the series, even though they wrote his demise into multiple scripts.

He never seemed entirely necessary to the show, and furthering his story in season five without being committed for taking the life of of Jerry Grant Jr. doesn’t make much sense in a show that revolves around bringing people to justice.

11 Hurt: Ethan Was A Doomed Villain (The Catch)

Ethan Ward’s character arc was altered drastically after the production team developed an affinity for the actor who portrayed him, Warren Christie.

Originally the Big Bad of season two in addition to Mockingbird, Warren’s chemistry with Mireille Enos, who played his ex-fiancé Alice Vaughan, changed the course of the season.

As a villain, Ethan would have been sent to jail by Alice’s private investigation firm AVI. Instead, he tried to win back Alice while investigating his then-fiancé Gretchen’s fashion business before having his money laundered by Mockingbird and helping Margot and Tessa escape the FBI through the use of his own personal jet and airport.

Ethan’s addition to the cast deepened the love stories in The Catch by being revealed as the inspiration for Ben’s fiancé character when conning Alice and creating the Casablanca parallels in the series’ final episode.

10 Hurt: Cristina’s Father Was A Major Donor To The Hospital (Grey’s)

Cristina Yang’s relationship with her family is strained. Her mother is only seen three times in a show that has lasted for over a decade, and she is depicted as a vapid, nagging woman who just wants her successful surgeon daughter to be a stay-at-home mother.

Her father passed away with his heart in her hands when she was nine, and her step-father, Saul Rubenstein, is rarely mentioned and never shown on-screen.

It’s hard to imagine a world in which Cristina becomes embroiled in scandal and her father subsequently becomes a major donor to Seattle Grace, but before Shonda Rhimes shuffled around plotlines for the second season of Grey’s, this was almost the case.

Thankfully, Cristina is an independent woman whose success comes from hard work and ambition, not family money.

9 Saved: Callie Was Returning (Grey’s)

Jessica Capshaw, who portrayed Dr. Arizona Robbins on Grey’s, departed the show earlier this year without her ex-wife Callie Torres, disappointing fans and Shonda Rhimes, who seems open to her return at any time.

While the characters still reunited over text during Arizona’s last episode, apparently it was rival network CBS who prevented the on-screen reunion.

The actress who plays Callie, Sara Ramirez, is under contract with CBS for the show Madam Secretary.

Rhimes also wants Kate Walsh’s Dr. Addison Montgomery back on the show, which has been thwarted by Walsh’s lack of availability.

Having Callie return would have been the proper way to say goodbye to Arizona, and bringing back either beloved former cast member could have perked up fans after losing Patrick Dempsey’s character a season before.

8 Hurt: If Tessa Was An Impersonator (The Catch)

Teenaged troublemaker Tessa Riley was an important part of the second season of the short-lived Shondaland drama The Catch.

Tessa had an intimate relationship with a lieutenant at the Kensington firm and hired The Hammer to take down Margot Bishop, her biological mother, before working with Felicity to take down her own family.

She then unexpectedly betrayed Felicity and fled from the FBI with Margot.

It was a lot of deception to cram into seven episodes, but initially, Tessa was meant to have an even shorter arc on the show as a 32-year-old who was impersonating the daughter of Ben and Margot.

She would’ve been a loyal follower of Felicity and would’ve been taken down by Margot, in a turn of events that would have somehow been both more and less confusing than Tessa’s canon plotline.

7 Hurt: Laurel Shot Annalise (HTGAWM)

Showrunner and mastermind behind HTGAWM Pete Nowalk really thought that Laurel Harding shot Annalise Keating.

HTGAWM’s second season first asked the question of who shot Annalise, followed by the question of why.

Wes shot Annalise as part of an elaborate cover-up, because the characters on HTGAWM really seem to only have one hobby, but only attempted to make the shot fatal after learning that Annalise lied to him about his girlfriend Rebecca’s demise.

This chain of events makes the most sense and sets up the secondary mystery of the season regarding Wes’ family history, so altering it to make Laurel the shooter would have involved creating a more improbable explanation.

Overall, this would’ve been much less fun.

6 Saved: Cristina’s Ectopic Pregnancy was meant to be an abortion (Grey’s)

Cristina Yang did eventually have an abortion in season eight of Grey’s Anatomy. It had been discussed in Grey’s before, both with Cristina in season one and when Addison Montgomery was pregnant with Mark’s child.

By finally going through with the storyline in season eight, Shonda Rhimes was able to discuss a woman’s right to choose four years before she would revisit it in less depth on Scandal.

However, Cristina’s season one ectopic pregnancy was conceived as an abortion.

At the time, Rhimes faced push back from the studio. Seven years later, Grey’s had reached a level of success that she didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission.

It seems unreasonable that a focused doctor like Cristina would become accidentally pregnant not once, but twice. Too many characters in Shondaland suffer from accidental pregnancies when birth control is both legal and accessible.

5 Hurt: Russia Was Going To Hack Season 6’s Election (Scandal)

Scandal’s sixth season already hit close to home in its depiction of Frankie Vargas narrowly defeating Mellie Grant in its election.

The season’s subsequent storyline followed Olivia Pope realizing that the government of Russia had tampered with the US election.

The plot was abandoned after the writers learned that Russia may have actually interfered with the US.

Because the issues within our current climate have been aggravated by the sheer amount of false information circulating, fictionalizing the interference in an election for entertainment would have only made it more difficult to separate fact from fiction.

4 Saved: Original Cast Members Could Have Returned For The 300th episode (Grey’s)

Grey’s Anatomy recently celebrated its 300th episode, a feat reached by only six live action scripted series in the 21st century.

Executive producers asked multiple original cast members to return for the event and not even one made an appearance in the episode.

They tried to still incorporate them through the use of doppëlgangers in the episode paying tribute to Cristina, George, and Izzie.

However, paying tribute to these characters was just a reminder of how far the show has come since its original cast members were all onscreen, and not necessarily in a good way.

The current season wasn’t strong enough to simply reminisce on the glory days without actually revisiting any of the characters.

3 Saved: Marcus Becomes An Official (Scandal)

First introduced in “The Lawn Chair”, activist Marcus Walker was a surprising but welcome addition to OPA and Scandal during its last three seasons.

Eventually becoming a love interest actually worthy of Mellie Grant during the end of season five, he became the Press Secretary, then ran Fitz’s foundation.

A deleted scene from the final episode shows that Marcus becomes a U.S. official.

Marcus deserved the opportunity to succeed by his own merit and not due to the intervention of the Grant family, and ending the series with him using his talents as an individual and an activist to create real change would be a more respectful end for a respectable character.

2 Hurt: Cristina Was Going To Have Izzie’s Biggest Plotline (Grey’s)

Cristina’s dramatic storyline in Grey’s included her falling in love with a patient who had one foot in the grave. It’s safe to assume this patient would pass away of a stroke following a heart transplant that was put into motion when Cristina cut his LVAD wire, prompting her to quit the surgical program.

Yes, Cristina almost had the plotline that won Katherine Heigl her Emmy Award.

The chemistry between Heigl and Jeffery Dean Morgan, who portrayed Denny Duquette, led to a realistic and beautifully acted depiction of love and loss.

Cristina’s breakdown after being left at the alter by Dr. Burke is one of the most iconic scenes in the series, and would have never happened if she was dealing with the fallout from losing her fiancé during that season.

Everyone ended where they needed to be.

1 Saved: Huck Tortures and Probably claims the life of Cyrus (Scandal)

If Tom is kind of the worst, Cyrus Beene is the absolute worst. His unbridled ambition led to the dissolution of his marriage to a wonderful man who he nearly claims the life of, the demise of Amanda Tanner, the near-demise of Hollis Doyle, the impeachment of Mellie Grant, and the demise of David Rosen, the only morally stable character in the series.

At worst, he’s a serial assassin. At best, he’s a mildly unsuccessful serial assassin.

In another deleted scene from Scandal’s finale, Huck arrives at Cyrus’s home with his torture toolbox at to get justice for David, presumably taking down Cyrus in the process.

This would’ve been a more fitting end for the character than living to fight (hopefully leader) Olivia Pope another day.

Can you think of any other canceled plot twists that would’ve hurt or saved Shondaland? Let us know in the comments!

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