The 11 biggest twists of 2017

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Dec 17, 2018, 7:00 PM EST (Updated)

This year was filled with unbelievable, seemingly impossible twists. Nothing went as planned, so very many things were unexpected... and this certainly carried over into film, television, and comics.

With 2017 coming to a close, it is now time to look back at some of the great surprises that this year's stories threw at us. Grab the keys, meet your date's dad, and astrally project yourself into our list of the 11 biggest twists of 2017!

From this point forward, there will be spoilers. It is a list about twists, after all, so spoilers will abound.


Game of Thrones - Viserion’s Turn

As if losing one of our three beloved dragon protagonists wasn’t bad enough. As soon as Viserion went into the ice (courtesy of the Night King) many fans predicted that the Night King would turn him to his side. As it turns out, they were right. The sight of Viserion's eye turning blue promised bad things, and indeed those bad things were delivered—in the form of the mighty ice dragon blasting frostfire at the Wall, blowing a huge hole in it. The hole is big enough for the White Walker army to finally march south, and they waste no time in doing so.

This heel turn for the ages (not really Viserion's fault, but still) was a direct result of plans gone awry by our heroes… but something tells us that this was part of the Night King's plan all along. Giant dragon dredging chains don't just come from nowhere, and it doesn't seem like he had a backup plan. If this was his true plan all along, well, it was a gut punch of a twist. The sight of this frozen jerk riding the undead Viserion into battle twisted the Valyrian dagger even further.


Logan - X-24

If you thought that the delightfully ferocious X-23 (Dafne Keen) was the only other formidable Wolverine-esque mutant in this film, you were proven wrong. Arriving with horrible force (driving his claws right into Charles Xavier), this new and improved Wolverine weapon was completely unexpected. He looked younger, he seemed to have all of the same moves (and more), and Logan had already gone through the ringer by the time this new and improved model showed up. Having Logan physically fight with himself made for a wonderfully thematic note at the end of the film and was not something that many people thought they would see.


Colossal - Oscar is NOT a nice guy

No but seriously… he's a nice guy! Yeah, he's not. For the first half of this subversive take on a giant monster movie, you really think that Anne Hathaway's Gloria is the screw-up and that Jason Sudeikis' Oscar is only trying to help her. Then he starts drinking, and then he keeps drinking. She doesn't necessarily return his advances, and even after it's revealed that he shares the same condition as Gloria (appearing across the world as a giant robot instead of a beast like her), it takes a bit longer for him to show his true colors.

Once he does, he proves to be one of the biggest pieces of film scum in 2017, and the scene where he methodically stomps around the sandbox (fully aware of the devastation that he is unleashing) is horrifying. After that moment, we were all rooting for Gloria to beat this "nice guy" into the dirt.


Doctor Who - Two Masters/Hello Thirteen

There were two huge twists in Doctor Who this year, and both would be ranked higher if they hadn't been spoiled by the need to advertise the show. John Simm's reappearance as the Master was promised in an early trailer, so fans knew that he was coming — but the moment of his arrival still took people (the writer of this article included) by surprise.

In the episode "World Enough and Time," we venture to the lower depths of a starship, where Bill Potts is condemned to live out of synch with the time stream going on at the top. Separated from the Doctor and Nardole, she befriends an odd, slightly Russian derelict. It is only at the end of the episode that this man reveals that he has betrayed Bill, and that he was, in fact, the John Simm Master all along.

Knowing that Simm's Master was coming was one thing, but Simm's performance in his disguise is so utterly convincing that most were completely fooled. It was a wonderful return, made all the better for the presence of his future self, that being Michelle Gomez's brilliant and murderous Missy. The two of them went on to be a delightful double act in "The Doctor Falls," and one wonders how much harder this all would've hit if Simm's appearance wasn't spilled by an early trailer. You've got to sell the show, we get it, but still.

The other major twist? Just the small matter of the Doctor regenerating into a woman for the first time since the show began in 1963. The long overdue development was announced months ago, but can you imagine if it had been a complete surprise?

The 13th Doctor’s first moments were brilliant in "Twice Upon a Time," and it is only because the secret was blown well ahead of time that this doesn't take the number 1 spot. Announcing who the new Doctor is going to be is a tradition, but perhaps it is one that could change. As much as people lost their minds at the reveal of Jodie Whittaker, think of how much greater it would've been in the context of the show itself!


Batman Comics - Bat Proposes, Cat accepts

Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are soulmates. They are OTP. Whatever their shipping name is, we're behind it. Their chemistry over the years has always been electric, but never did we think that Bruce would go so far as to propose to her. Coming after a long correspondence and some shocking personal reveals, Bruce makes it clear that Selina not only knows him better than anyone — he also makes it clear that she is the only one who could know all of it and still accept him. Their bond is unshakable, and so Bruce popped the question while the both of them were in costume, and on the roof of a building.

This led to a few weeks of wondering what Selina's answer would be, but eventually she accepted. The Bat will wed the Cat, and nothing in the Batman world will ever be the same again. BLAM!


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Journey in space and time

Phil Coulson and his full team of awesome have gotten better with each season, and this was cemented by an exhilarating Season 4. Dealing with Ghost Rider, Life Model Decoys, and finally a 'framework' Matrix-like world where Hydra rules everything, the season ended the only way it really could — in space.

As the beginning of Season 5 has since showed us, Coulson and Company were not only taken into space, they were taken forward in time as well. This cuts the show off from almost everything in the current MCU, and honestly the show is better off that way. It no longer needs to lean on the support of the films; it is fully sustainable all on its own. To get a fifth season was a bit of a gift to fans, but getting one that takes place in space, in the future? That was pretty unexpected.


Spider-Man: Homecoming - Meet the parent

It's the classic meeting of your date's father… except this father is also the villain of the movie. Until this point in the latest wall-crawling reboot, we were wondering how Michael Keaton's Vulture was going to reappear in the story… and it turns out that he would come back into Peter Parker's life through a subversion of a classic coming-of-age movie trope, as almost everything else in this movie does. We're already nervous for Peter to meet his crush's father, but when the door opens and it is a knife-brandishing Adrian Toomes, this film kicks into the highest gear.

The old chestnut of the father threatening the guy who's taking his daughter to the dance goes to a whole other level here, as Toomes realizes along the way who Peter is. Peter knows who Toomes is as well, and the scene between the two of them (with Toomes threatening Peter and everything Peter loves) is utterly chilling and one of the best in the film. Michael Keaton shines in this role, and this is arguably his best scene. We knew that Vulture would come back — we just didn’t see this coming.


Split - The Shyamalan Shared Shyamaliverse

For almost the entire run of Split, the film is no more than a well-done thriller about a man (James McAvoy) with multiple personalities. Coming from M. Night Shyamalan, perhaps we should have been on guard for a major twist, but none of us really were. Only at the film's end do you realize the truth, and it's one that many people have been waiting on for quite a while.

With the entrance of Bruce Willis' David Dunn, Shyamalan makes it clear that this is not a self-contained movie at all — it is a part of the world of Unbreakable, his all-time classic from 2000. The turn makes an already good movie absolutely vital, and a follow-up film (titled Glass) will bring together McAvoy's plentiful personalities, David Dunn, and Samuel L. Jackson's Elijah Price.


Twin Peaks: The Return - The magician longs to see too much

The entire run of Twin Peaks: The Return was one giant twist, but the whole of the series has nothing on the finale. Coming after the long (very, very long) awaited return of the real Agent Cooper (and something resembling actual closure), the story appears to be wrapping up, but then the second of the two-episode finale begins. We realized that we had forgotten who we were dealing with — the one and only David Lynch. Was he ever going to end the series with anything resembling coherence? The answer to that is "kr'blark non 5665 jiverscott pattowhack."

Special Agent Dale Cooper just couldn't leave well enough alone. It wasn't enough to take down series nemesis Killer BOB; he had to take on the presumed progenitor of BOB, the mysterious Judy. In attempting to do this (as well as prevent the original murder of Laura Palmer), the magician who longs to see finally goes too far. Agent Cooper is messing with powers far greater than himself, and after a car ride that seems to last around sixteen hours, he and yet another Laura Palmer doppelganger return to a very different town of Twin Peaks. The Double R is closed, someone else is living in Laura's house, and right before the end, Cooper says the line that will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

With a defeated and "what have I done" look of muted panic, Cooper asks the Laura doppelganger what year it is. Looking at her old house (and hearing Mrs. Palmer's faint voice), the Lauraganger shrieks into the night. Credits.

Anyone who can say that they guessed this ending beforehand is a liar. One thing is always assured with David Lynch's work — he will always remain one step ahead of you. This chilling twist of an ending had us losing sleep for weeks.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi – A luminous being is Luke

The multiple twists in the latest Star Wars film could fill a list all by itself, but that's not entirely fair. Whether you love it or not, you have to admit that the film was packed full of the unexpected. From the sudden death of Supreme Leader Snoke (and a million and one fan theories), to Leia finally (and gloriously) using her Force powers to FLY THROUGH SPACE, to Rey learning that her parents were a couple of drunken jerks (and not Skywalkers, Kenobis, Binkses, Organas, Koons, Palpatines, or Wilford Brimleys), well, you get it, it was twist city. The one that really knocked us out, though? None other than the last stand of the (seemingly) titular character.

Luke Skywalker, the legend, the myth, complicit in Jedi hubris and ready to die, makes the ultimate sacrifice… but in a way that we didn't see coming. Entering the Crait Base after all hope is seemingly lost, we don't really think about how he got there (except for Poe); we're just happy that he's back. He's taken the advice of Master Yoda to heart, and now he is going to be as true a Jedi as he can. What does that entail?

Sacrifice. Using the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. You're so wrapped up in the drama that you don't notice that Luke's feet aren't making the big scuff marks on the salt that Kylo's feet are, and you don't question when and why he cut his hair and beard. You don't even mind that he's using a lightsaber that we saw break apart a few scenes earlier… and even so, it turns out that there's a perfectly normal reason for all of it: he's not really there at all.

Luke's still in the Jedi Temple on Ahch-To, and he's astrally projecting himself to Crait through the Force. The effort kills him, but he is able to become the spark that the new Rebellion (and the galaxy) so desperately needs. He finally becomes one with the Force as well as one with his own legend, and we are reminded of one of Yoda's greatest teachings to him: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." It would be the best twist of the year, if another film hadn't already laid claim to that honor many months before…


Get Out - The Keys

How could it be anything else? Jordan Peele's brilliant exploration of the horrors of systemic racism already had us in the palm of its hand, but it was this moment that fully had the film clinking its teacup with a spoon. At this point we knew that things in the Armitage house were going downhill, and it was all we could do to keep yelling the film's title at Daniel Kaluuya's Chris. We thought that he at least had an ally in his girlfriend Rose, played by Allison Williams. She seemed to sincerely care about him, and when he decides enough is enough, we're looking for her to help him escape from her crazy parents' house. The only problem? She can't find the darn keys to the car. They're buried in her purse deeper than the Ark of the Covenant was buried at Tanis, and boy, she just can't find them. He starts screaming, she is panicking, and then the truth hits Chris like a bolt. Where are the keys? Glad you asked.

As if flipping a switch, Rose turns off her panic, and holds the keys up in her hand with a calculated coldness that would make the T-1000 shiver. She's not on Chris' side — she's actually the worst person in the bunch.

The end of the film was a fantastic twist in and of itself, as many were predisposed to think that the person arriving in the police car was the racist cop from earlier in the film and not Chris' BFF Rod. The sighs of relief were heavy and hard when Rod showed himself, but it is the moment with the keys that really hit the highs on the official gasp-o-meter. For us, it was the most epic turnabout in a year that was full of them, and it will be treasured (and possibly studied) for years to come.

Do you agree with our picks? Did we miss your favorite gasp? Let us know in the comments!