We have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers. How about you?
It's almost become a trope that shows hit the brakes for the season in the middle of a scene, with characters in danger of death, being sent to jail, or about to accept marriage proposals.
That keeps us talking all summer long, but if the cliffhanger is strong enough, waiting for the next season to begin is torturous!
2023 brought many jaw-dropping cliffhangers. Now that the dust has settled a bit, check out our list of the most shocking ones, and let us know if we've included your favorite!
Chicago Med - Will Leaves The Hospital
All right, so this isn't the kind of cliffhanger that makes us wonder what will happen next since Will's story is over. Still, the loss of the doctor who has been doing the wrong thing for the right reason since the series began is a big shock, and it leaves us wondering who will fill Will's shoes, especially with Dayton selling the hospital.
Chicago Fire - Casey Proposes to Sylvie
Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 22 had too many cliffhangers! But the most jaw-dropping was the Brettsey proposal. It was a pleasant surprise that we didn't see coming because Sylvie and Casey were in different places, literally and otherwise. Even if they were in love with each other, there were still some unresolved issues between them which were what we would have expected to be addressed first. And we didn't see Sylvie's response, so it could go either way.
Fire Country - Bode Sabotages His Future
After Bode confessed to something he didn't do, we expected the parole hearing to be a done deal with how much he had improved, but shame on us! The whole show failed to make sense after that cliffhanger, and how season 2 will look is anyone's guess. Let's hope the changes ahead are good for the series.
Power Book II: Ghost - Tariq and Brayden Dig Too Deep
Power is known for creating great cliffhangers, and Power Book II Ghost Season 3 was no exception. After spending a lot of time switching alliances, Tariq and Brayden finally dug themselves a hole they might not get out of. The best thing one can have in the game is allies, and two college guys against established drug dealers are not good odds. Going into Power Book II: Ghost Season 4, things are bound to look much different.
1923 - Alex and Spencer's Separation
It was plain rude the way they toyed with Spencer and Alex, and to have them separated after they went through so much to get so far was heartbreaking! Not to mention it's a sincere possibility that Alex is pregnant, which, together with Elizabeth's miscarriage, threw another big question mark into who among them will be creating a family line that leads to modern-day Yellowstone. The real kicker? Every story ended in its middle, giving us a bit of a cliffhanger hangover as a result.
Chicago PD - Ruzek Gets Shot
The primary case with the Becks reached a heart-pounding conclusion on Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 22, but nothing had us gasping more than when young Callum shot Ruzek on his racist crime leader grandfather's orders, and then Samantha and Callum left Ruzek for dead. We were left to wonder if he lived or died, as the finale opted to leave us in the dark as the rest of the unit wrapped up the case while Ruzek "went into surgery."
Station 19 - Jack Collapses Before He Can Tell Vic About Theo's Betrayal
After hitting his head and likely sustaining concussions a few times throughout the season, by the time the final moments of Station 19 Season 6 Episode 18 rolled around, all the pieces fell into place in a not-so-fun way, leaving Jack's life hanging in the balance. After hitting his head yet again after the floor collapsed at the Firefighter's Ball, Jack passed out before he could tell Vic about seeing Theo kissing Kate, and we have no idea about his state of being. Now, we're left to wonder what's in store for the lovable firefighter. Has he sustained a TBI that could affect his livelihood and future at Station 19?
Grey's Anatomy - Teddy Collapses on the OR Floor
In true Grey's Anatomy fashion, their two-hour finale left fans reeling! The final moments of Grey's Anatomy Season 19 Episode 22 had Teddy coding on the O.R. floor after collapsing from the effects of a horrible toothache. Lucas and Simone were hands-deep in a lovable patient, as the call they made may have cost him his life, while Mika was attempting to revive Teddy with the paddles when Owen came in. It was certainly a jaw-dropping end, and we're left to wonder if Teddy will survive the ordeal. After all, Kim Raver's renewed contract doesn't really guarantee anything in Shondaland.
FBI: International - The Entire Fly Team In Danger
After some hinky things happening with a case, it became evident to Raines that things weren't as they seem. Of course, that realization came too little too late as he raced to warn his colleagues only for an explosion to occur where the rest of the Fly Team were moving in. From the looks of things, Raines may have only been knocked unconscious from the aftershocks of the bomb going off, but with it taking out the entire first floor where the others were, there's the possibility that someone won't make it out of that ordeal alive, and given the FBI franchise's history with a revolving door of new cast and characters, we can't rule anything out!
Fatal Attraction - The Disturbing Truth About Ellen
So much of this series' appeal was in filling in the blanks so we could determine what really happened to Alex and if Daniel really spent 15 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. As everything unraveled via the two timelines, we learned the truth about Alex's end, and unfortunately, Daniel didn't get the justice he hoped in clearing his name. But the more shocking cliffhanger ending was in learning that Daniel's put-together, intelligent, perceptive daughter, who spent much of the series working on her dissertation on Jung and the type of mental issues that plagued Alex, was herself an obsessive stalker like the woman who "ruined" her father's life. Ellen's disturbing end with her professor was a total shock.
Good Trouble - Mariana Comes Face to Face With Cyrus
For a long time, it seemed like Mariana was determined to take down Cyrus, the cult leader who was behind shooting Evan. That night and moment caused so many issues and changes, and it's been the biggest trauma for Mariana. But by Good Trouble Season 5 Episode 10, Mariana slipped into her own dark place, feeling isolated, alone, and hopeless; it seemed like she was at her most susceptible to Cyrus' mechanization. And shockingly, after a panic attack that sent her fleeing Dennis' restaurant opening, she came face to face with the man himself, standing in her room, calling her out directly. Some viewers speculated he was a figment of her imagination while others assumed he was the real deal. Either way, we can't wait to find out what happens next!
School Spirits - Maddie is Alive
All season long, we were worried about the prospect of saying goodbye to Maddie Nears, so you can only imagine the shock when the season finale revealed Maddie was very much still alive -- well, her body was, anyway. It had been taken over and the only way to save her was to get Janet back to the school. Unfortunately, all of the ghosts were left in danger when we learned someone who was supposed to be their protector was harming them. We need Season 2 now, thanks!
The Cleaning Lady - Dire Consequences and A Surprise Survival
The beginning of the Season 2 finale gave us a cliffhanger when Fiona was arrested for helping Thony administer an illegal drug to Luca to save his life. Our hearts broke when we learned she might be deported and separated from her children. Nadia also paid the price when Robert tried to kill her by drowning her in the bathtub after learning she betrayed him by working with Arman. Imagine our surprise that she survived.
CSI: Vegas - Josh Gets Arrested
After Josh learns one of the drug dealers his mom dealt with murdered her, the race to find the killer is on. Josh wants vengeance, and Max wants him off the case. When Max and the others find Josh by a bloody body, they arrest him. Did he exact revenge or was he framed? We have a long wait until we get answers.
La Brea - Eve Goes to Another Time Portal
Right after they got the time portal to function and the Harris family reunited in the season 2 finale, Eve went back to get the journal and got locked inside. It spun her around and transported her to a new dimension and no one knows where she landed or how they'll get her back. Bring on Season 3 so we can find out!
Quantum Leap - Who Is In The Portal?
The freshman season of this revival teases the happy return the OG series never got. As the team waits in anticipation, a figure forms in the quantum accelerator, but we are robbed of the knowledge of whether Ben makes it home. Fan theories abound that Sam Beckett will step out of the accelerator on the Season 2 premiere, or possibly the delightfully obstructive Martinez. It could even be a future version of one of the team members, and wouldn't that just set up some timey-wimey shenanigans?
Night Court - Surprising Returns
While much of the revival's premiere season provided a hearty dose of 80s sitcom joy, complete with laugh track, the two-part finale did a lot to subvert expectations. No one expected Dan to ever leave the Manhattan Courthouse or for Abby to let him go. And did Marsha Warfield's appearance as Roz mean she'll be returning in Season 2? Could that open the door for Richard Moll and Brent Spiner to appear as well?
The Diplomat - The Prime Minister's Dastardly Deed & Hal's Explosion
Kate's off trying to save the world, totally unaware that her albeit partly estranged husband is walking right into a trap that will get him blown up. We think. Oh, there was definitely an explosion, but whether he lives or dies is up for debate. The show works with the interesting partnership between Kate and Hal, and it would be a shame to lose him, especially because the Prime Minister is unexpectedly the worst guy on the show! Wanting a second season of a new show never came so swiftly.