They Had a Point…
We all love a good villain; an antagonist who affects us in ways that the hero can’t thanks to how dark their deeds are. Sometimes, the bests ones just so happen to be those who are causing carnage for a reason that we can’t help but sympathise with…
“The 100” (2014-)
Ah, the double-edged sword of artificial intelligence. It can make our day-to-day lives easier, or it can start a nuclear war and destroy the world. “The 100” is full of villains with viewpoints that are understandable if not always acceptable, like Cage Wallace’s attempts to cure his people, but it’s truly A.L.I.E. that takes the cake in this regard, simply because she never had a choice. Her programming was to improve life for humans. Reducing the population was the most logical way to do that, and to A.L.I.E., that meant a lot of us had to go.
“Once Upon a Time” (2011-18)
To its credit, “Once Upon a Time” managed to turn a creepy fairy tale imp into a sympathetic villain with a tragic backstory. Rumple, or Mr. Gold, is tricked into accepting the corrupting powers of the Dark One, and if that wasn’t enough, he later loses his son when he travels to another world, and then has his own power used against him to send everyone to Storybrooke. His history eventually causes him to go down a dark path, but one from which he’d eventually find redemption. Seeing the complicated journey of Rumple over the course of the show has shown us how deep his character really is.
“SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999-)
Poor Plankton. Everyone hated him until we learned the truth. In the “SpongeBob” episode “Friend or Foe,” we find out the real history between Mr. Krabs and Plankton, and it’s surprisingly tragic. It turns out that they were friends and partners from a young age who decided to open a restaurant together. After getting into an argument over Old Man Jenkins getting sick, the pair split up and rip their recipe in pieces, with Plankton only receiving the part that said “a pinch of chum.” Well, that explains a lot. Mr. Krabs then lucks into the Krabby Patty recipe, while Plankton is left to his own struggling Chum Bucket.
#2: The Man in Black
From the very beginning of “Lost,” one of the show’s greatest mysteries was the smoke monster in the jungle. It was eventually revealed that the monster was an immortal man whose escape, it was implied, would cause the end of the world. We didn’t find out his history until nearly the end of the series, and to be honest, the episode didn’t do a great job of making clear exactly what it was that made the island so important. But what we found out for sure is that the Man in Black was raised by a woman who murdered his mother, and who just wanted to leave the island.
#1: Mike Ehrmantraut
“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)
Mike Ehrmantraut is so captivating on screen that we almost forget sometimes he’s a villain. Though we’re still in the process of seeing his transition from cop to criminal in “Better Call Saul,” by the time he meets Walter White, Mike’s a certified baddie, and a key member of Gus Fring’s meth organization. While he’s committed some terrible acts, he also plans to leave all of his money to his granddaughter, who he often visits and clearly cares for deeply. It’s really very sweet. The character’s mix of violence and crime with noble motives and a reluctance to hurt anybody who didn’t have it coming earns him the top spot on our list.
Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Satisfying Deaths of Hated TV Characters.