“The Walking Dead” (Season 4, ep. 14 “The Grove”)
A mercy killing homage to “Of Mice and Men,” a young girl who had lost her mind during the zombie apocalypse and killed her baby sister was eventually put down. Although by no means graphic, given the victim and the fact that she was so young, it was startling.
“True Detective” (Season 1, ep. 8 “Form and Void”)
The show’s elusive serial killer was traced to his lair, where Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s troubled detectives confronted him. Much bloodshed (and a particularly brutal stabbing for McConaughey’s Rust Cohle) ensued before he was taken down with a kill shot that even the so-called “Spaghetti Monster” couldn’t walk way from.
“Justified” (Season 5, ep. 10 “Weight”)
While Ava Crowder was serving time this season, fellow inmate Judith did her best to make Ava’s life a living hell, but Ava soon balanced the cosmic scales. A confrontation between the pair in the prison chapel saw Judith hitting Ava with a steel chair and attempting to choke her before receiving a shiv in the stomach as payback. If she’d lived, she might’ve had a lucrative career in the WWE.
“House of Cards” (Season 2, ep. 1)
There’s getting burned by your sources and then there’s what happened to Zoe Barnes. Like the wide-eyed horror movie victim who enters a haunted house alone, the ambitious, incessant cub reporter should have thought twice about confronting her ex-paramour/favorite government insider near the subway tracks late at night. Them’s the breaks, Zoe. Too bad that Metro train didn’t have better ones.
“Homeland” (Season 3, ep. 6 “Still Positive”)
Forget Brody’s unfortunate demise and the end of season three of “Homeland.” At least he died on his own terms. The family of Iranian intelligence officer Majid Javadi weren’t so lucky. After casing the joint while relishing his cheeseburger, he bludgeoned his estranged ex-wife with a wine glass and took his son’s wife out with a bullet to the head.
“Game of Thrones” (Season 4, ep. 402 “The Lion and the Rose”)
Joffrey Baratheon, the most hated character in Westeros, received a fittingly disturbing send-off. The bloodthirsty boy-king spent his wedding day mocking his uncle, Tyrion, before some well-timed poison left him choking on his own blood in front of his horrified guests. Tyrion got the blame, but the manipulative Petyr Baelish wound up being the true culprit.