I don’t watch a hundred shows on TV. I probably check in regularly on about a dozen of them nowadays. Which is why it’s even more telling that I saw this one very specific and unusual story arc on three shows: a character who “dies”, then returns from the “dead” with a completely different persona. The mechanics of each were pretty different, but the results were so similar!
First, Grimm, which remains one my favorite current shows. Last season, after having turned Nick’s girlfriend, Juliette, into a Hexenbiest (a kind of ugly, magic-wielding witch) and, subsequently, watching her moral compass go berserk, she was shot in the chest with some arrows. Then, after a few episodes this season, she was revealed to have been “reconditioned” in some way. She still has her Hexenbiest powers, but her Juliette personality is superseded by another persona, named “Eve”. In this case, the new persona allows the show to rehabilitate a previously evil character.
Second, there’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the finale of the show last year, the once-seemingly-heroic, then revealed-to-be-evil Grant Ward was crunched to death. And then he was brought back to life by an alien presence (subsequently named “Hive”). Hive is superevil, so this repurposing of Grant Ward wasn’t a method of rehabilitation, more an amplification. Unlike “Eve”, who doesn’t want to delve into her Juliette memories, “Hive” is all about using Grant Ward’s memories to screw people over.
Last, there’s Gotham, on which a character named Theo Galavan is killed, then brought back to life through some science-fictiony means. The process is nascent, and so the guy’s personality appears to be missing. Hugo Strange (his “rescuer”) finds a portion of Galavan’s own personal belief system to implant an identity into the guy, an avenging spirit knows as “Azrael”. Galavan’s memories start to intrude, which doesn’t really make the guy any more or less evil. It served more as a complication for Strange.
Not to be too spoilery, but since these shows have all finished their season, I’m not too worried about it, there’s also the fact that two of these characters exited stage left through the same method: big explosion.
It’s just funny how similar these three unrelated shows were this season.