I, of course, am choosing the top five saddest character deaths, because it's the last day and I'm going hog-wild. Did I mention how relieved I am that this meme is over, or how I'm (probably) never tying myself down with this kind of obligation again? Oh, I still have a pack of 30-day memes stored up, but I will be answering them as individual 30-question surveys instead.
5. Alex Linus (Lost)
Besides being my favorite character at the time, it was a total shock because not only did I have no idea a death was coming, but it was the one time in a thousand that a hostage with a gun held to their head is actually shot without warning. WHAT WAS THAT?! The fact that she died right after seeing her boyfriend & biological mother shot in front of her, terrified and crying as her father denounced any emotional attachment to her whatsoever in a failed attempt to call a bluff, just twisted the knife.
4. Juliet Burke (Lost)
Because she was also my favorite character at that point, and I had to cope it with twice: once in the season finale, which involved a lot of fear, screaming, and desperate declarations of love before getting magnetically pulled down a wellshaft, and again in the premiere after the fall failed to kill her outright, and she held on just long enough to make it that much more bittersweet as died quietly in James' arms. Really beautiful, in its tragic way, but ugh, that was hard to watch the first time.
(honorable Lost mentions: Shannon, Nadia, Charlie, Jack, and I suppose Jin/Sun in an objectively sad way. What I'm trying to say is, Lost is like the Hamlet of TV)
3. Mark Greene (ER)
I'm not sad about losing the character so much, as he was never a favorite, but the way this scene plays out is so devastating that I am physically incapable of watching it without crying. Even though I hate that song like burning [edit: but moderately less so now, dammit Glee!], the combination of him leaving behind two daughters and the way Elizabeth reacts to finding him makes me cry. Every. Single. Time. It's the only one on the list that inevitably coaxes legitimate tears, too.
2. Tim Speedle (CSI: Miami) [noise warning: opens with a lot of gunfire, turn your sound down]
Speed wasn't my favorite character either - I wasn't at fandom levels yet and I liked Ryan better for a while anyway - and while I have grown to love him in retrospect, this is so much about Horatio's reaction and how it affects the team as a whole. This was back in the day when Horatio did not magically repel blood, so between the flecks from Tim's dying coughs (impressive death throes, Rory) and the drying smear left on his face, I'm still amazed at what an emotional impact it has. Followed up by his gradual transition from numb shock to twitching at Rick to venting his anger at Rudy, and later on Alexx crying in autopsy, and how Calleigh reacts by turning to stone...oh, classic Miami, you had heart.
1. The Tenth Doctor
What's that, you say - the Doctor doesn't really die, he merely regenerates, so this doesn't count? Let's refer to the source material: "It feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away, and I'm dead."
The relatively long and drawn-out death by radiation is preceded by a whirlwind tour of silent goodbyes that add to the soul-punching, but that final pitiful "I don't want to go" does me in. It's made worse by the fact that everything else has been stripped away and there's really nothing left for me or this incarnation to hold onto, but still: watching everything I love disappear is gut-wrenching (I particularly like how the console room bursts into flames while pillars come crashing down, just to really hammer in the fact that it is ALL. GONE).
My response to watching this generally involves moaning and/or shutting down and becoming emotionally dead. Tears are too superficial a response to being utterly torn apart by grief.
Happy Endings: Apparently, my dog took herself on a walk today. Nobody even knew she was gone, but she must have accidentally pressed against the carabiner hinge on her chain just right and escaped, because when my dad turned around he saw Kym strolling back up the driveway, worn out and panting. THANK GOODNESS she knew her way home and got back safely. She can't have been gone more than 30-40 minutes, if that, but it's baffling to realize that literally: she just up and decided to go on a walk.