Good TV is made not only by great stories but also by great characters.
Through characters, viewers can learn, identify with, criticize and emulate certain traits they most identify with in characters and the narratives surrounding them.
Television leaves little to no ambiguity when it comes to deciding the moral leanings of its characters. Mostly it’s as binary as good and evil.
Realistically speaking, no one character is either good or bad. It’s a mixture of both but heavily leaning to one side.
Below, we have compiled some of the best characters who, at some point, switched sides permanently or semi-permanently.
13. Dolores on Westworld
Dolores's story makes many viewers sympathize with her despite her being an android.
In the early seasons of Westworld, Dolores, like many other hosts in the park, found herself on the receiving end of the guests. Their cruelty, depravity, and lack of humanity landed squarely on the hosts' shoulders.
One would think that Dolores would know better.
When hosts eventually got the chance to escape the park, some, like Charlotte, had decided earlier that they would rain hell on humans. Dolores also joined them.
She became the storyteller, weaving narratives for humans and deciding how their lives would play out. It took a lot not to hate her for it.
12. Robin on DC Titans
All Robin wanted to do was help Batman fight crime in Gotham. Batman treated him like a kid who had no idea what he wanted.
During some of his exploits, Robin dies.
He is resurrected by a man who deprives him of anything good, leaving a shell of Robin. The shell was Redhood.
In his pursuit of revenge, Robin attacks his former teammates and declares war on them.
11. Hal Cooper on Riverdale
Hal was a model father. He was engaged in the community, cared for his family, and was a trophy husband.
Underneath all that presentation of the exterior, Hal was a serial killer, having committed some of the most gruesome murders in the history of Riverdale.
At a certain point, he lets go of the performance and embraces his inner nature fully. And then he came for Betty. If a line had not been drawn by then, it was time. No one touches Betty.
10. Agatha on Wandavision.
Agatha was your typical neighbor in Wanda’s world.
In one of the most challenging times in Wanda’s life, she truly believed that this reality she had been living was one of her makings.
Until Agatha came clean, she had manipulated Wanda’s grief using magic and had created the whole thing.
What was particularly cruel was how she hit where it hurt the most; Vision and the children.
It was Agatha all along!
9. Russel Edington on True Blood.
What did humans do when they realized that vampires lived among them? They accepted them and tried to assimilate them into their community.
All-time, the chorus was, “look at us; we are all so similar. We have more in common than we have in differences.” But deep down, anti-vampire sentiments were held.
Russel was your typical vampire, keeping his head down, not wanting to upset humans until his lover was killed.
He went on primetime live television, ripped the head off a news anchor, and laid out his rule. What followed was a proper blood bath.
8. Father Paul on Midnight Mass.
All Father Paul ever wanted was to serve the people on the island to the best of his abilities. Being human, however, old age and diseases were slowly catching up to him.
When he met an angel, the angel allowed him to feed on his blood, bringing back his youth. He also wanted to heal people, so he fed them his blood, and ones with terminal illnesses started getting better.
However, he got greedy.
He started to feed on his congregants to satisfy his never-ending thirst for human blood. As a result, he transferred his disease to the congregation, thus dooming them to death by sunlight.
7. Dexter Morgan on Dexter and Dexter: New Blood.
Dexter was a monster; no doubt about it. He, however, was a good monster. He cleaned the filthiest filth off the streets of Miami.
He was generally a good guy, even though he got a kick out of it. Model brother, coworker, husband, and dad.
Ten years later, we meet him as Jim.
This was where all his good intentions went out the window. He had never killed an innocent person before, but when he realizes he is about to be caught, he murders an innocent police officer in cold blood.
He lived a hero but died a villain.
6. Kanan Stark on Power and Power Book III: Rasing Kanan.
The story of Kanan from Power was apparent. He was a master manipulator and killer.
Revisiting his earlier life in Queens on Rasing Kanan, he was your typical black teenager trying to survive a hostile environment. But in all that mess, he was still a good boy.
How he turned out to be one of the worst villains in Power’s history is, in large part, not only his mother’s fault but also his own. He came to love that life.
5. Jordan Kent on Superman and Lois.
Granted, it was not the real Jordan, but the resemblance was too strong to ignore. Earth Jordan was a well-natured boy whose biggest problems were making the football team and keeping his girlfriend.
Enter bizarro Jordan, who was a proper bad boy. He beat Clark Kent within an inch of his life.
4. Olivia Foxworth on Flowers in the Attic.
Olivia had lived a very sheltered life. She was a sweet-natured spinster who, after being married and finding herself in a peculiar situation, tried to rise above it.
She treated everyone with compassion and understanding, helping her Black servants, broken stepmother, and Queer child when no one else would touch them with a ten-inch pole.
The biggest mistake she made was falling in love with a man who lacked humanity.
After enduring years and years of physical and sexual abuse from her husband, she turned to a cold monster who weaponized religion and locked her grandchildren in the attic to punish their mother.
3. Bode Locke on Locke and Key.
Bode was your typical kid. Even after losing his dad, he found reasons to smile and be happy.
He was so innocent that he believed that flipping someone off was a visual depiction of telling them, “aloha!”
When he finds a time-traveling key, he messes up, and Dodge takes over his body.
Granted that it wasn’t indeed him, but the body was still his, and everyone believed him to be in there, it took everybody by surprise when he started becoming rude, mean, and careless.
The possession lasted a short while, but we learned that an evil Bode was not someone one would want to cross in that short period.
2. Hope Mikaelson on Legacies.
Hope was the only one of her kind. She was a hybrid of a vampire, wolf, and witch.
With enemies coming for her from all corners, she needed all the powers she could get to defeat them.
To become a true hybrid, she had to turn off her humanity to activate the vampire in her.
And when she did that, she became uncontrollable. She would feed on people without care and give her friends a good ass whooping when they tried to help her.
Ultimately she was able to get her humanity back, but those who came across “humanity off” Hope would tell you they wouldn't want that again.
1. Stiles Stlinsky on Teen Wolf
Stiles was the heart of his friend group. He was the funny guy who made everything seem much better when life was at stake.
During one of the group's many exploits, Stiles "dies" while making a symbolic sacrifice to save his father.
This leaves him exposed and his soul is corrupted by an old Japanese spirit.
He goes after his friends, making their lives a living hell. Lucky for him, he is saved by his friends.
In a season-long arc, viewers missed the old Stiles because void Stiles was a force to be reckoned with.
And those are our good characters who broke our hearts by flipping to the dark side.
Which ones broke your heart the most when it happened?
Do you think we left some out?
Let us know in the comments below
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.