I watch a lot of science fiction so I don't trust death in any sort of fictitious work.
What helps to shepherd a character out of my present memory, and acknowledge that they won't come back is a proper send-off.
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Funerals are an important part of the grieving process is real life, and the same goes for fiction.
After investing our time and energy into different fictional characters we want to know that our favorite characters were valued, along with the time we spent on them.
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While the process of writing off characters will never change it's rare for characters to get full-fledged funerals in the age of Peak TV.
We've compiled 19 examples of TV funerals that punched us in the gut.
Mrs. S. (Orphan Black)
A maternal presence throughout the series, Mrs. S's death at the end of Orphan Black Season 5 was definitely a loss for fans and her adopted children. The funeral that followed in the coming episode was equally sad because Mrs. S was the Leda Clones protector and with her gone, they lost a valuable ally.
Michael Cordero Jr. (Jane the Virgin)
Michael might have been alive the entire time, but that doesn't erase the emotional wounds of his funeral. We didn't see Michael's funeral play out in real time, but the snippets we did see in flashbacks were just as heartbreaking. Seeing Jane cry, and Rafael help her read the eulogy was a truly heart-wrenching moment.
Aeryn Sun (Farscape)
Aeryn Sun got a five-minute funeral sequence during Farscape Season 2 Episode 22, "Die Me, Dichotomy." After falling through the ice of a frozen lake after a dog fight, the crew of Moya said goodbye to their friend one-by-one. It's an emotionally wrought sequence that really had us thinking that Aeryn was gone for good.
Kate Todd (NCIS)
Kate's funeral closes out an emotional sequence of episodes. After Kate was shot by a sniper, her ghost haunts each of the team members, but NCIS Season 3 Episode 2, "Kill Ari: Part II," bids adieu to Kate with a funeral sequence. The scene is made all the more emotional, by a phantom Kate saying, "You're late for my funeral Gibbs."
The Handmaids (The Handmaid's Tale)
In a show that usually shows the death of traitors, who don't get funerals, seeing an all-out funeral is jarring. The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 7, "After," opens with a cinematic funeral sequence set to emotional music.
Lucas Ripley (Station 19)
Lucas Ripley's death was a sad ending to the 2019 Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 crossover event. Captain Sullivan eulogized Ripley during the following episode. "We miss you Luke. We wish you didn't leave us so soon. But since you did, since you had to. It's all good. We're all good. You were so good." says Sullivan.
Callie Tyrol (Battlestar Galactica)
There is a lot of death is Battlestar Galactica's final season, but Callie Tyrol's funeral was the most heartwrenching. Regardless of your feelings about Callie, seeing the Colonial Fleet grieve for one of their own was heartbreaking, and made even more gut-punching by Laura Roslin's presence. Dying of cancer, she says to Admiral Adama that she likes the service, and wants him to know what she likes.
Carson Beckett (Stargate: Atlantis)
You can file Carson's death under one we didn't see coming. After removing an exploding tumor and delivering it to an awaiting guard, the tumor exploded anyway, and the blast killed him. After three years, Carson Beckett was considered the heart of Atlantis, and watching his send-off back to earth was a particularly hard moment for fans of the show. Watching him being eulogized by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, and his casket carried through the gate by the rest of his friends was devastating. The show never seemed to be the same.
The Eleventh Doctor (Doctor Who)
It's timey-wimey, but the Eleventh Doctor's death in Doctor Who Season 6 Episode 1, "The Impossible Astronaut," still had viewers sobbing. After The Doctor was shot at Lake Silencio, River, Rory, and Amy gave him a Viking funeral because a Time Lord's body was too precious to be left lying around.
Amanda Clarke (Revenge)
Amanda Clarke's funeral was a sad one for sure, but it was also wrapped in duplicity. The story of Jack Porter and Amanda Clarke was one of childhood romance, but the Amanda Clarke he married was really an imposter. While he's heartbroken to lose Amanda after finally being reunited with her, it's also sad for Emily Thorne (aka: the real Amanda Clarke) who thought of her former juvie cellmate as a sister.
Prue Halliwell (Charmed)
The oldest Halliwell sister, Prue Halliwell died off screen after the Charmed Season 3 finale. Season 4 opened with Piper and Phoebe mourning their loss and wondering how they'd continue to be witches after The Power of Three had been broken. The show was able to continue by introducing a fourth half-sister, Paige, but the first act of the Season 4 premiere is full of grief and sadness for the sister they lost.
Quentin Coldwater (The Magicians)
Quentin Coldwater's death was a loss for The Magicians and the memorial in which the cast says goodbye is particularly saddening. It wasn't just that Quentin was getting ready to move on and observing the proceedings, but also the way his friends chose to honor him. Between the mementos being thrown into the fire and the cast singing an emotion version of A-ha's "Take On Me," it's hard to keep a dry eye.
Ashley Magnus (Sanctuary)
On Sanctuary Season 2 Episode 3, "Eulogy," Helen Magnus is mourning the untimely death of her daughter, doggedly pursuing any chance to get her back. However, she ultimately realizes that her daughter is lost and has to say goodbye. The funeral is quiet on the grounds of the Old City Sanctuary, with each of the staff placing a memento in an empty casket. It's hard to say goodbye, but when Ashley appears to her mother at the end of the episode there is calm in those final frames.
Pete Wilder (Private Practice)
Pete didn't want people to cry at his funeral. He wanted people to party. So that's what Violet did. She threw a party based on the specifications of his will. The thing is, that you can't run from grief and when grief hit Violet, it hit hard.
Ms. Landingham (The West Wing)
Few episodes of television are as emotionally moving as The West Wing Season 2 Episode 22, "Two Cathedrals," The episode sends off President Bartlett's longtime secretary and friend who died suddenly in a car crash. There's a sadness in the episode and watching President Bartlett sit and mourn his lifelong friend and mentor while Charlie does a reading is a truly heartwrenching scene.
Esther Drummond (Torchwood: Miracle Day)
In a series that is about the day when death stopped, seeing one of the characters die at the very end feels like a cruel twist of fate. That's what happened to Esther Drummond on Torchwood: Miracle Day. While she may have been involved in saving the world and righting the course she also lost her life in the process. Of course, her death was also one of many that day and Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper say that she was lucky to get a full service because of the backlog.
Janet Fraiser (Stargate: SG-1)
The end of Stargate: SG-1 Season 7 Episode 18, "Heroes: Part 2," featured a death that hit the characters and viewers hard. Janet Fraiser was also the most unlikely target, the friendship she'd cultivated with other characters over the course of the show meant that her presence would be missed. Sam Carter's decision to honor her with a list of all the people she saved was a fitting tribute to the fallen doctor.
Robin Hood (Once Upon a Time)
Robin Hood's death at the hand of Hades was heartbreaking, and so was his funeral. Storybrooke turned out for the affair complete with rain and black umbrellas, and the emotional sequence was complete everyone laying arrows on the casket. The moment was capped off with Zelena deciding to name her baby girl Robin after her father.
Barry Frost (Rizzoli & Isles)
Rizzoli & Isles honored Barry Frost well during Rizzoli & Isles Season 5 Episode 2, "...Goodbye." Jane Rizzoli gives a beautiful eulogy for him. "I will miss him as my partner, and I will miss him as my friend," says Jane during her eulogy. She then decided that she didn't want just focus on what they lost, but something they could hold onto, displaying images of Barry making them laugh.