TV characters that you can't believe survived the whole series (Open Spoilers)

I was thinking about The Sopranos this morning while I was in the shower for reasons that I can’t exactly explain. I was thinking about the carnage in that series and all of the big characters in that series that got whacked through the years. And it occurred to me that it was pretty astounding that Paulie Walnuts never found himself on the business end of a gun. For as hotheaded and self-involved as he was, and as many people as he pissed off, nobody ever took him out. Astounding.

On a lesser level, it also amazed me that Sons of Anarchy got all the way to the end of the series with Tig still standing. Impulsive, reckless Tig.

Who else?

Sawyer on “Lost”. I can’t believe the other people on the island didn’t sneak up on him while he was asleep and off him.

There was a polar expedition that had a guy like him, and they readily admitted that they were all going to die unless he was, ahem, taken care of. Teddy Roosevelt’s “River of Doubt” expedition had a similar unsavory character who met the same fate.

Falling Skies - all of the Mason clan, AND Colonel Weaver, managed to survive to the end. I really thought at least one of the Masons (likely Ben, the one with the spikes) would die, and Weaver seemed to be an obvious choice to kill off the entire final season (being the Likeable Old Guy). Then again the final two seasons were such crap that I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Always surprised the people in Los Angeles never got rid of DA Hamilton Burger after losing all those cases to Perry Mason, even down to the last episode. Raymond Burr once quipped about his winning streak, you only see the cases we try on Saturday evenings. CBS tried to get rid of William Talman on a morals charge but Burr got them to keep him, but with reduced appearances.

On “Combat!” Saunders, Hanley and the rest of the company kept getting wounded but surviving and returning next week. In the first season Robert Altman would kill off members to emphasize the brutality and randomness of war. But he left and it was decided to have a regular core with weekly guest appearances who may or may not get killed.

He did, sort of. IIRC, Tony took him out on a boat. Tony had a knife (that Paulie didn’t know he had) and asked him some questions. Paulie clearly answered them right and made it back to shore. I don’t think he ever knew he was even in trouble. While he wasn’t ‘on the business end of a gun’ in the proper sense of the phrase, he had his life threatened by Tony.

Let’s see if I remembered that correctly.
Here’s the youtube clip.
Out of context it might not look like a big deal, but, again IIRC, Tony was getting increasingly fed up with Pauli and the Ginny Sack joke pushed him over the edge. and Paulie wasn’t really gung ho about being alone in the middle of nowhere with Tony.

Also, if it makes a difference, Tony Siricio had a rider in his contract that said the writers could never make him an FBI informant/snitch. It’s possible he wasn’t allowed to be killed either. He was an actual mafia member back in the day (or at least career criminal) and he didn’t want people from his old life thinking he may have ratted them out IRL, if he did it on TV, I think he also felt that he had more integrity than that.

Ted Baxter as the solo Anchorman for WJM-TV on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. As we all know, on the series finale, the new station manager fired everyone except for the incompetent Baxter.

Gilligan. I often joke that if I were a castaway on that island, I’d have been pushing to kill and eat him about halfway through the first season. How many chances to get rescued got blown because of something stupid Gilligan did?

Giles on Buffy… he left for a bit and then was an occasional character… but really thought he’d have bought it by the end.

There’s Malcolm Wynn-Jones from Spooks / MI-5 - the only character to successfully leave on their own terms.

Of course with LOST, even if a character was killed it didn’t necessarily mean that they were gone. :wink:

John Drake in Danger Man. We’re currently wending out way through the series, and fucking hell, he’s more of a danger to himself than he is to the bad guys.

That said, I adore Patrick McGoohan.

I can’t believe nobody has murdered Sheldon Cooper.

There’s no way Xander survives that many seasons on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.

It’s not about who wouldn’t survive in real life(Xander), it’s more about who I’m personally surprised made it to the end from a show/writing perspective.

Battlestar Galactica - I’m surprised Saul Tighh did not sacrifice himself somehow, especially after it is revealed that he is a Cylon. Sure, it doesn’t matter who is Cylons by the end, but I could see him going down in a blaze of glory. Nope, he lives happily ever after with his wife.

TV Tropes has a whole category for this: “Just eat Gilligan.”

Wesley Crusher. :smiley:

By the end of that series, it seemed every other human was a Cylon, which means the Cylons were unbelievably incompetent.

Really? How? I only remember Tigh, Torry, Anders, Galen, and Ellen. And how would that make the Cylons incompetent?

Wishful thinking. I like to think that the time traveling guy who took him away with him was a child abuser.

The whole fleet was infiltrated with Cylons, and the Cylons couldn’t find and destroy the fleet??