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Top 10 Shocking Character Deaths on Netflix Original Series

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Samantha Hines
Even fictional characters have to meet their maker. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Shocking Character Deaths On Netflix Original Series. For this list, we’re taking a look at those Netflix Original Series where we suddenly lose a main or supporting character we had assumed would be on the show much longer. Since all the entries contain major character deaths, a spoiler alert is in order.
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Even fictional characters have to meet their maker. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Shocking Character Deaths On Netflix Original Series.

For this list, we’re taking a look at those Netflix Original Series where we suddenly lose a main or supporting character we had assumed would be on the show much longer. Since all the entries contain major character deaths, a spoiler alert is in order.

#10: Danny Rayburn “Bloodline” (2015-17)


While dances with death come with the job description when you’re drug trafficker, we certainly didn’t see this coming. Not only did John always defend his brother Danny; his demeanor was always calm, cool, and collected. Even when he grew suspicious of Danny’s return to crime, he worked behind the scenes to suss out what was going on. However, it all changed when Danny took John’s daughter out on a boat to give her an ominous gift. Taking this as a veiled threat to his family, he snapped, mercilessly drowning his brother. Throughout the rest of the series, John slowly loses himself, obsessing over, and trying to hide, what happened that day.

#9: Greg & Jim “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” (2015)


If the Falcon was good the whole time, why did he kill Greg and Jim? It doesn’t make much sense, but when it comes to “Wet Hot American Summer”, that’s kind of the point. Beth & Greg are coming fresh from winning a court case with the help of their lawyer, Michael Cera’s Jim Stansel. Then out of nowhere, the two are killed by the Falcon in the middle of a press conference. Greg dies in Beth’s arms and we also lose the hottest lawyer of the year. Beth does question the Falcon on the plotholes this causes, but he has a thing he needs to get to. He really can’t cancel again.

#8: Camino Del Rio “Ozark” (2017-)


What do you do when the Big Bad is defeated- when you needed him most? Over the course of this crime drama, Marty gets into deep trouble with the Cartel. Enter Del. He is sent to get information and, if needed, Marty’s head. He eventually gains a loose trust in Marty, going along with his plan of recouping the money that was lost. He also takes the suggestion to partner with the Snells, a local crime family. During a meeting, he remarks he’s shocked Marty would make a deal with the rednecks. Darlene detests the term, and shoots Del point blank. And we thought Del was trigger happy. Whatever happens next, all we know is that Marty’s safety net, however small, is now gone.

#7: Sarah Lynn “Bojack Horseman” (2014-)


So many child stars cave under the pressure of a life of constant performance. Even though Sarah Lynn was fictional, the heartbreak we felt in that planetarium was anything but. Up until now, Bojack has ignored how his selfish actions affect other people. However, this time, those selfish actions contribute to the death of someone he loved. This crushes him, sending him back down a spiral that almost ends in his own suicide. Her tragic end was hinted at throughout the show, but we were expecting a crazy death framed in a somewhat humorous light. Instead, she dies in a shockingly intimate scene, quietly, with her only real friend.

#6: Anatoly Ranskahov “Daredevil” (2015-)


This scene is the definition of an overreaction. Ranskahov momentarily ‘loses his head’ when he interrupts Fisk’s date. By now, we know Fisk is a powerful, dangerous man, so maybe barging in on his private time isn’t the best idea. After his date is at a safe distance, Fisk effortlessly dominates Ranskahov. He doesn’t seem to think of the consequences, just of the embarrassment he felt. To this brute, everyone is expendable, except Vanessa. He slams Ranskahov’s head with a car door until it’s completely crushed, along with any hope of a partnership. It’s an indicator of what we can expect from Fisk for the rest of the season.

#5: Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes “Luke Cage” (2016-)


The king has been dethroned. Cottonmouth causes trouble for Luke Cage right and left. Little do we know he is the least of the hero’s worries. In one scene, he explodes at his cousin, Mariah, blaming her for the rape she suffered at the hands of her Uncle. She pushes him off a balcony in anger at the accusation, then violently beats him with a mic stand. Ironic, since he wanted to do music. This is a bold move by the writers, but it pays off. Not only is the death scene surprising; it makes way for Mariah’s rise to power. We’re treated to a ruthless villainess that doesn’t let what’s in the past destroy her.

#4: Pablo Escobar “Narcos” (2015-)


Though we knew Escobar was destined for a bitter end, we weren’t expecting him to die so early. In this scene, we’re treated to not only an epic shootout, but amazing attention to accuracy. Even his outfit is a carbon copy of the real thing. However, there are some details that are up to interpretation. The official report says he was killed by an agent, while his family says he committed suicide. The show gives us a sequence that’s exciting and suspenseful, even though most of us know the ending. However, Escobar’s death doesn’t spell the end of the series. The Drug Underworld is a hydra. Cut off one head, and two grow in its place.

#3: Barbara Holland “Stranger Things” (2016-)


Every show has a fan favorite that comes out of nowhere. Adopted by everyone from the nerd to LGBTQ+ community, Barb represents the misfit in all of us. Most of our high school lives probably resembled the bespectacled redhead’s - minus the imminent threat of demogorgons. In just three episodes, she managed to steal out hearts, and spawn plenty of fanworks and hashtags. Her death is the breaking point for Nancy, bringing her out of the mundane and into a world that’s anything but. It awakens an inner strength that was previously unseen, shocking everyone, including Nancy herself.

#2: Zoe Barnes “House of Cards” (2013-)


After Russo, we knew Frank Underwood was willing to kill to keep his illegal activities under wraps, but we still didn’t see this coming. Not because Underwood isn’t a monster, but because Zoe was essentially the alternate main character. She had independent plots and an extremely involved storyline, so her death shook us to the core. When she dug deeper into her former lover’s campaign and the schemes behind it, she essentially signed her own death certificate. Frank lures her to a train station, and pushes her onto the track as a train approaches. The worst part: Frank walks away, unperturbed and unpunished.

#1: Poussey Washington “Orange is the New Black” (2013-)


This heavy decision left viewers everywhere shaken and disturbed. The inmates participate in a peaceful protest. Backup is called. ‘Crazy Eyes’ gets scared, things get tense. Tension turns to action, and Bayley takes down Washington. This maneuver is done improperly, and she loses her ability to breathe, eventually asphyxiating. Although an effective and poignant reference to real events, killing off a lesbian woman of color alienated a sizable chunk of the audience. Was it an effective tradeoff? That’s up to you to decide. But one thing’s for sure, no one will forget Poussey Washington, with the accent à droite.
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