As your favourite TV shows go on through the seasons and the cast list grows, it must be hard to keep track of who is who and where they are. Shows like LOST, with their sprawling timelines, or Fringe with its alternative realities, have whole departments just to keep the eagle-eyed fanboys content with continuity. However, there will always be someone who is ‘put on the bus’ never to be seen again, or a story that just doesn’t make the final cut. Redditor sparked the conversation on their thread about which sub-plots did producers cast aside. Here are some of the biggest clangers from forgotten TV threads, so prepare to be annoyed!
Three’s A Crowd – Happy Days
Before Fonz ever jumped the shark, Happy Days had a bigger problem on its plate – Chuck Cunningham syndrome, a phrase that has been coined ever since as the unexplained disappearance of a character! The third Cunningham child had a promising career as a basketball player, but was never quite as involved in the plot lines his siblings Ritchie and Joanie. When showrunners shifted focus onto the more popular Fonz character, Chuck was written out. Arguably the first of many TV cold cases and bucking the trend of vanishing child actors.
Air Force One Is Down – 24
Fox’s gritty terrorist take-em-down has its own term for forgotten plotlines, known as ‘Behroozing’ (referencing the show’s character Behrooz Ahraz), but for this we visit the ‘torture’ Season 4. The series starts as Air Force One is shot down in maddening Harrison Ford style. President John Keeler is caught in the wreckage, and whilst his son dies, Keller’s life hangs in the balance. Whipped offed to hospital, Keeler is replaced by the corrupt Charles Logan, but is never referenced again. Did he survive? Is he in some rare TV presidential retirement home? No one will ever know!
Lady Troubles – Grey’s Anatomy
Dr. Erica Hahn just wasn’t that likeable, that was the problem! Brooke Smith’s stern heart surgeon was a recurring character in the third season of the medical drama, before being bumped to series regular in Season 4. Serving as a love interest for Dr. Callie Torres, both women are coming to terms with their sexuality. Despite high praise for the show’s handling of a same-sex relationships, viewers just weren’t convinced. After a pseudo-threesome relationships between Hahn, Torres and Mark Sloan, Hahn says that Torres cant be a “kind of” lesbian and toddles off across the car park.
Son’s Of Anarchy – Boy Meets World
Other schools and Twilight Zone corridors, Boy Meets World was full of black holes that seemed to swallow up several castmembers – too cool for school Mr. Turner was no exception. The John Adams High teacher proved he was extra ‘rad’ by riding a motorbike, but it was also his undoing. A particularly moving episode saw Turner involved in an accident during the Season 4 finale. With his fate left unknown, Turner was (briefly) mentioned again in Season 5 when Minkus shouted “Hey Mr. Turner, wait up” down the black hole corridor. That was it for the next 18 years! Thankfully for BMW fans the whole story was resolved, albeit in a different show. Girl Meets World had Mr. Turner return, having married the nurse who cared for him, becoming Superintendent and even hiring Cory Matthews as the history teacher – there is nothing like a satisfying ending!
Row, Row, Row Your Boat – Game of Thrones
On a show where pretty much everyone gets a bloody send off, where the Frey is Gendry Baratheon? The ‘legitimate’ heir to the Iron Throne was about to be offed by the wicked Red Woman Melisandre back in Season 3, but luckily for Gendry someone was on his side. Mr. Nice Guy Davos sent the young man rowing off into the distance and safety, with sound advice of “Don’t fall out.” Having rowed for the past three seasons, he is sure to have guns of steel now; no one has heard off Gendry since, leaving us to speculate could there be a final season appearance? We don’t see why he would need to, but stranger things have happened!
Parasites Lost – Star Trek: The Next Generation
On a show undoubtedly made by the glorious Patrick Stewart, The Next Generation‘s first season faltered before hitting its stride in Season 2. The premiere season’s finale saw the ranks of Starfleet infiltrated by a mind-controlling parasites, all the way up to the higher tier. It looked like no one could really be trusted and we thought “oh great, we have a Battlestar Galactica ‘who is evil’ story coming”. NOPE! As we entered the second season, the storyline was lost forever. The show moved away from cliched Body Snatchers territory in favour of unique storylines. Whilst it was a bit of a bummer, at least we got to see the FX team’s true potential as the finale offed Lieutenant Commander Dexter Remmick in head-busting style.
Back To The Future – Heroes
Peter Petrelli’s jolly Irish publican took a trip to the future with her new bae when his teleportation skills went awry. Caitlin finds herself trapped in an dystopian future in the ultimate oh s**t moment and we leave the story there! To make matters worse that future no longer exists, so *poof*, neither does Caitlin. Writers were meant to explore her fate in Volume Three: “Exodus”, but an extended writer’s strike meant that this volume was shelved in favour of “Villains”. Caitlin never stood a chance!
Stop ‘Russian’ Me – The Sopranos
In a show where everyone was used to getting ‘whacked’, it seems strange that HBO would leave a bloodthirsty ex-soldier as a loose end. Season 3’s superb episode “Pine Barrens” has Tony’s cronies, Paulie and Christopher, fight with Vitali Baganov’s Russian named Valery. As the two attempt to bury Valery’s body in the snowy woods, they realise that the Russian is still very much alive and he runs off. In unkillable Terminator style Valery takes a bullet to the skull and vanishes into the wilderness. Terence Winter, who wrote the episode, had planned to revisit the storyline in the final season – Tony and Christopher visit a Russian mob boss to find Valery sweeping the floor; due to the bullet to the head he doesn’t recognise the two, but it is revealed he was saved by a Boy Scout troop. If you care, tough luck; the show’s creator David Chase abandoned the plot and said “Who gives a shit about this Russian?”. You never know, maybe the Russian returned for the finale and he causes that infamous cut to black?
Boat Loads Of Problems – LOST
Alongside Game of Thrones, LOST deserves and entire article of its own, just for dangling TV threads. Apart from the marmite ending, many people’s biggest gripe from the show is the unresolved outrigger story. In 2012 Damon Lindelof even attempted to bride Mitt Romney with the answer if he disclosed his tax return figures. In Season 5’s “Little Prince” our Losties time-hopped around the past and found themselves lost at sea, being shot at by mystery assailants. The DVD commentary for the final season revealed that thanks to an excerpt a ship’s ledger, the ‘other’ outrigger contained six men from the Black Rock ship. Producers planned to close the loop in the finale season, but it proved challenging as half the characters they intended to include had already been killed off. Another LOST theory that we will never truly get to explore, although Lindelof once took to Twitter to joke it was in fact Oprah in the other outrigger!
Will The Real Seymour Skinner Please Stand Up – The Simpsons
Ok, so technically they did resolve this, albeit by telling everyone they are banned from ever mentioning it again! By Season 9, The Simpsons was definitely ‘jumping the shark’; a rather meta episode revealed that stiff Principal Skinner is in fact an imposter. The real Skinner was captured during the Vietnam War, but returns just in time to ruin (fake) Skinner’s 20th anniversary as Principal. Fake Skinner was in fact part of the platoon and his real name is Armin Tamzarian (are you keeping up). Unbelievably this man is more annoying that our previous principal and it turns out the town don’t take kindly to new Skinner. Tied to a train and promptly shipped off ,Judge Snyder orders that all memories of the real Skinner/Armin Tamazrian are to be erased from the town!
What other TV plotlines were frustratingly forgotten? Sound off below!
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