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Terry Crowley, 'The Shield'
Season 1, episode 1, "Pilot"
Cause of death: Gunshot to the face by fellow cop Vic Mackey
Why it was a shock: Until that moment at the end of the pilot, "The Shield" comfortably fit in a tradition of shows about tough cops who play by their own rules, but who were ultimately going rogue for the greater good. And even in the event Vic turned out to be truly villainous, the show seemed to be setting up Terry (played by cop show veteran Reed Diamond) as his series-long foil — the good cop whose dogged pursuit of the bad one made it okay for us to spend so much time watching Vic breaking the law to serve his own ends. Instead, Terry's murder made it clear that Vic wasn't Sipowicz 2.0, and that "The Shield" wasn't a rehash of a dozen other series, but something new and scary and exciting.
- Alan Sepinwall