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The Best TV Cliffhangers of 2016 (So Far)

Who's up at bat?

Spoiler warning for, well, everything on TV in 2016 (so far) past this point.

There are few things as frustrating as racing to get to the end of a TV season, only to have it close out with the type of cliffhanger that leaves you on the edge of your seat... And knowing that you're going to have to wait months and months to find out how that dangling plot resolves itself. Below is a list of the best (and by best, we mean most agonizing) cliffhangers from 2016 so far.

10.The Last Man on Earth

Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth Adam Taylor/FOX

Will Forte's post-apocalyptic comedy is frequently ridiculous and often heartfelt, but it doesn't get enough credit for its bananas cliffhangers that radically change the dynamic of the show on an episode by episode basis. The second season finale was no different, as our group of survivors are about to be attacked (probably) by mysterious men in hazmat suits, and one totally insane sea captain. It's tense enough to make you want to curl into a ball and sing "Falling Slowly" over and over, just to calm down. -- Alexander Zalben


Grace Gaeley and Katilin Doubleday, Empire Chuck Hodes/FOX

Empire threw us for so many loops in its second season that the cliffhanger we couldn't wait to solve -- Who Pushed Rhonda? -- became an afterthought. Of course Anika's (Grace Gealey) crazy ass pushed Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday)! But by the time we figured this out, Hakeem's (Bryshere Y. Gray) wedding turned into a violent fiasco, and Rhonda confronted Anika for pushing her... Killing her unborn baby. The two got into a classic soap opera shoving match/catfight on the balcony of the venue. Empire faded to black with an ominous scream, convincing us that one of the two fell. Which one was it? Did she die? Pressing questions going into Season 3. -- Malcolm Venable

8.Orphan Black

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black Ken Woroner © BBC AMERICA

We're about to head into the final season of Orphan Black, which means the fourth season finale amped the danger up to 11. At least two of Tatiana Maslany's clones are in danger of dying, and the evil clone (yeah, there's an evil clone) is now in charge of the whole shebang. Anything can happen, anyone can die... And we can't wait for the Maslany vs. Maslany brawl that will break out when we return for Season 5. -- AZ


Hayden Panettiere, Nashville Mark Levine, ABC

Best cliffhanger, or best ambiguous-ending-so-we'll-get-another-season-even-though-we-got-canceled? Either way, leaving the fate of main character Juliette Barnes up in the air (literally) when her plane went missing at the end of Season 4 was a good move for Nashville. Sure, the fact that actress Hayden Panettiere has signed on for Season 5 over at CMT makes the outcome of that plot basically a foregone conclusion, but the ending is a memorable marker for a series finale that wasn't. -- Liz Raftery

6.Jane the Virgin

Brett Dier and Megan Ketch, Jane the Virgin Scott Everett White/The CW

After a roller-coaster and semi-shaky season, the Jane the Virgin Season 2 finale went to stellar telenovela heights that reminded everyone what's so beautiful about the show -- it's a soap opera drama with the biggest heart on TV. Once upon a time we rooted for Petra's (Yael Grobglas) downfall, but now our hearts ache at the idea of her being trapped in a hospital, completely paralyzed while her evil twin takes over her life. That's nothing compared to the heartbreak of getting Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and Michael's (Brett Dier) dream wedding, only to see him shot in the episode's final moments. Will he live to give Jane her happily ever after, or die after finding out the truth about Muter? We can't wait to find out! -- Megan Vick

5.Southern Charm

Thomas Ravenel, Landon Clements, Kathryn Dennis Calhoun, Southern Charm Bravo, Paul Cheney/Bravo

Reality shows rarely do cliffhangers, but Southern Charm broke with tradition and ended on a doozy: with Landon's friend asking if Landon will ever admit to sleeping with Thomas. Up until that point, it was unclear whether Kathryn's suspicion paranoia/loathing of Landon was founded, and to confirm such a huge conspiracy in the season's final seconds is almost cruel. Will Thomas finally cave in and tell Kathryn the truth? Will Landon ever drop the charade of innocence? And what does Patricia think of all this? We can't believe we have to wait months to find out. -- Sadie Gennis

4.Grey's Anatomy

Camilla Luddington, Grey's Anatomy Bob D'Amico, ABC

Shonda Rhimes is a master when it comes to plot twists, and while it's certainly not as dramatic as, say, a plane crash or a mass shooting, the revelation in the Season 12 finale that Jo (Camilla Luddington) is actually married is a bombshell in its own right. In addition to leaving Alex and Jo's relationship up in the air with a hurdle that we haven't seen before, the cliffhanger is also a great setup for us to finally learn details about Jo's back story in Season 13. -- LR

3.The Flash

Grant Gustin, The Flash Katie Yu/The CW

The Flash ended its sophomore year with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger: Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) did what he didn't do in the first season finale, traveling back in time to save his mother's life -- and following through with the deed, changing history in the process. That means whatever we're headed into in Season 3, it will be entirely unlike anything we've seen before. Is Barry still The Flash? Is Cisco (Carlos Valdes) still naming supervillains? Are we going to get a third iteration of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh)? And what does this mean for the always doomed Iris West (Candice Patton) romance? Doom, I bet. -- AZ

2.Orange is the New Black

Jessica Pimentel, Dascha Polanco, Orange Is the New Black JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Just when you thought there was no way to top that shocking death in Episode 12, Orange Is the New Black kicked things up a notch in the Season 4 finale, which ended with Daya (Dascha Polanco) holding C.O. Humphrey at gunpoint while the other inmates egg her on to shoot him. Will she pull the trigger, or won't she? It's the best type of cliffhanger because, no matter what happens, every possible outcome will lead to huge, game-changing repercussions for the characters involved - and the worst, because we have to wait a whole year to find out what those repercussions will be! -- LR

1.The Walking Dead

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Walking Dead Gene Page/AMC

Given that characters die on a nearly week-to-week basis on AMC's The Walking Dead, it's a little stunning to think that the biggest cliffhanger of 2016 is about who will die in the Season 7 premiere. You can credit the shocking introduction of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's villainous Negan, and his best friend/wire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille, as well as years of build-up from the comic books the show is based on. But you can also credit the air of secrecy that's surrounded The Walking Dead for years now, with everything from episode descriptions, to cast photos being analyzed for any hint of spoilers.

The biggest question on TV, and one that might be answered (at least in part) as soon as July's San Diego Comic-Con, is who was at the receiving end of Negan's bat. Was it Glenn (Steven Yeun) who suffered a similar fate in the books? Or will it be Daryl (Norman Reedus), inciting the entire fanbase of TWD to riot? Whoever it is, fans will freak out; and the long wait until October is making is just making this cliffhanger all the more agonizing. -- AZ

Check out the rest of The Best of 2016 (So Far):

The Best TV Shows of 2016 (So Far)

The Most Important TV Characters of 2016 (So Far)

The Most Important TV Moments of 2016 (So Far)