Maybe you’re stunned by the results of the 2016 presidential election. Maybe you’ve got something else troubling going on in your life. Maybe you’re feeling a little bereft, a little bleak, a little worried about the future and a lot powerless about the present.
It’s OK, TVLiners. We’ve got you.
As it turns out, characters in television dramas hit emotional nadirs with stunning regularity. And the beautiful thing about watching our small-screen favorites reach rock bottom — be it emotionally, physically, dramatically or any other way — is that we can share in the joy when they ultimately come the other side of a tough situation. Sure, their troubles are no fun whatsoever, but the characters come out stronger, smarter and better equipped to handle the next tough time that life dishes out.
So in that spirit, here are 10 times that TV shows took their characters to a dark place. Every time, it got better. Every time, the characters were able to soldier on even after suffering setbacks, loss, disappointment, defeat and — in at least two cases — transportation to an otherworldly dimension. Faith in humanity restored!
Click through the gallery above on the right to see how characters from Alias, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The X-Files, Castle, Bones and more of your favorite series survived some of the worst moments of their lives. At the bottom of each slide, we’ve included links to streaming sites so you can cue up the happier episodes ASAP.
And remember: Tough times don’t last, but tough TVLiners do.
Launch Gallery: Rough TV Moments — And How They Got Better