10 TV heroes who are one step away from being bad
The best TV shows offer audiences a solid variety of heroes and villains to seek out. Even more in modern times, viewers have begun to take a favorable view of anti-heroes, like Frank Castle in The Punisher. These heroes, who sit on the fence between traditional views of good and evil, strike a delicate balance with their heroism.
Some TV heroes, however, may turn permanently to villainy. Whether they’re making these decisions to protect themselves or to satisfy an outside force, it might only take a little effort for some fan favorites to become villains in their own right.
ten Jesse Pinkman Must Maintain Empathy, Breaking Bad
Arguably one of television‘s most iconic anti-heroes, Jesse Pinkman of breaking Bad finds himself in the unique position of being the deuteragonist in a show where, technically, the protagonist is the real villain. When Jesse is first introduced, he’s at the forefront of Walt’s sweetness, but in a surprising turn of events, he becomes the pair’s founding humanity.
Jesse is by no means a good person, but he deeply regrets the innocent people he has hurt and he is not proud of the meth empire he and Walt have created. Jesse wobbles on the line more than most throughout his tenure on breaking Badbut he ends up escaping the drug trade as soon as he is able.
9 Billy Butcher will cross almost every line (The Boys)
The rude British superhero killer wastes no time at all in The boys establishing that he’s no one’s friend – he’s a bastard, a villain, a good-for-nothing vigilante who is only for himself. For the most part, Butcher seems to prove that it’s okay, doubling down on his friends and putting them in increasingly dangerous situations without caring about anything but his end goal, but that’s not true.
Butcher’s longtime friends often comment that Butcher is selfish, except when it comes to one person: Hughie. Hughie is Butcher’s canary, and especially in season 3, he’s used to showing how much of Butcher’s humanity is still there, just hidden deep within his traumas.
8 Bo Dennis lives between two worlds (Lost Girl)
In lost girl, Bo’s entire existence is a performance carefully balanced between light and dark. With her mother being a light fae succubus and her father being Hades, King of the Underworld, it’s no surprise that she spent much of her adult life not knowing where she truly belonged.
Through lost girl, Bo does a decent amount of heroic heavy lifting, helping the fae community sift through their troubles. But, at the same time, Bo often finds herself tempted by the darkness and the creatures that reside there.
seven Allison Argent succumbed to revenge (Teen Wolf)
Allison was an unfortunate huntress of Teen Wolf who had a short stint as an antagonist on the show during Season 2 when her grandfather manipulated her after her mother’s death. Allison, overwhelmed with grief, attacked Derek and his pack, believing them responsible for her mother’s death. By the end of the season, she had come to her senses, but she believed the damage was done.
Allison acknowledged her mistakes, but she also acknowledged that she had a terrifying inability to control her need for revenge. A brilliant hero with realistic flaws, Allison’s brush with villainy only made her more relatable to the public and earned her far more fans before her untimely demise.
6 Marc Spector tries to do better (Moon Knight)
It’s no secret to comic book readers or viewers that Marc is the epitome of an anti-hero in moon knight. Unafraid to get his hands dirty, but finding himself increasingly conflicted when it comes to unnecessary killing, Marc struggles to find the right balance. As a mercenary, he understands that the quickest answer to most questions is violence, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right answer.
When paired with Marc’s defiance of Khonshu, who is indifferent to Marc’s suffering unless it affects his performance as Khonshu’s avatar, Marc is definitely one of the more complicated protagonists. He has a huge amount of power at his fingertips, and it would only take the wrong kind of thrust for Marc to take the plunge.
5 Jax Teller was torn between two lives (Sons Of Anarchy)
As the leader of a vigilante motorcycle club, no one expects Jax Teller Sons of Anarchy infamy of being a good person. Jax, however, does. As the proud father of two boys and a victim of growing up without his father, Jax is desperate to be there for his kids and his club.
Jax does a variety of horrible things over the seasons, but all of them are plagued by a great amount of guilt and regret. Jax repeatedly tries to get the club to come clean, hoping to draw them further and further away from the criminal underground that made their money. His dichotomy between good and evil persists even to his final moments.
4 Maggie Rhee has lost a lot (The Walking Dead)
In The Walking Dead, Maggie is a loving mother, fierce leader and one hell of a fighter. Viewers have seen her evolve from her early days, from the daughter of a humble farmer to one of the leaders of the new world. She’s learned countless survival skills from the likes of Rick Grimes and even manages to work closely with the man who killed her husband.
But Maggie suffered an insurmountable level of loss. Her younger sister, Beth, her father, Hershel, and her husband, Glenn, all suffered terrible fates, two of which were brutally murdered before her eyes. There aren’t many who would blame her for finally getting mean if anything happened to her loved ones in the future, especially her son, Hershel Rhee.
3 Harvey Specter learns he can do good (suits)
Harvey is a shark lawyer Combinations who is presented as a villain. Smart, quick-witted, and manipulative in the most charming way, Harvey could pull himself out of a paper bag. As an attorney for one of New York’s biggest law firms, it’s no surprise that he’s not exactly a nice guy.
Except Harvey isn’t a terrible guy at all. Beginning with the olive branch he hands Mike, Harvey learns from his subordinate that being a good lawyer is not just about winning, but about making a difference. If Harvey really wanted to, he could ruin a lot of men with his skills, but he instead becomes much more likely to help someone in need over time.
2 Holden Ford risks becoming too familiar (Mindhunter)
Alongside Bill Tench, Holden is one of two leads in David Fincher’s 2017 series, spirit hunter, and an FBI agent with the Behavioral Science Unit. The series follows him as he begins to lead the exploration of the psychology of serial killers, and this exploration puts him directly in the crosshairs of many imprisoned serial killers.
Holden is a good man, though anxious and sometimes ignorant. His interactions with serial killers, however, begin to change him, and it can feel like Holden is on the edge of his sanity most of the time. Fincher does a brilliant job of creating a suffocating atmosphere on the show, letting viewers sympathize with Holden’s struggles against his own beliefs.
1 Jane “Eleven” Hopper’s powers are destructive (Stranger Things)
Eleven would never hurt an innocent person, especially considering almost all seasons of stranger things revolve around her trying to save those she loves from otherworldly beings. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to do harm, though.
Eleven’s powers are still largely misunderstood and a mystery even to dedicated viewers. Eleven may never want to be a villain, but it’s clear when she watches monsters ten times her size that the power residing within her is destructive and could evolve into something she may not always understand.
NEXT: 10 TV Heroes With The Most Useless Abilities