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Ra's al Ghul: I know it's difficult to fathom, Bruce, but Jeremiah and I are doing this for your benefit.
Bruce Wayne: How is destroying Gotham supposed to help me?
Ra's al Ghul: Because I had a vision, that out of this crucible of blood and fire, will rise the Dark Knight that your city needs. That I need.

With a variety of television shows around now and with a medium so long-lasting, it's no surprise TV has brought us a wide cast of fictional characters. Below are the most devious, charming, adaptive and intelligent.

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     # - G 
  • 1-800-Missing:
    • Assistant Director John Pollock is the leader of the Missing Person's Task Force and, despite his arrogant demeanor, proves to be far more capable and intelligent than he lets on. Coming into his own when he releases a dangerous criminal so she'll lead them to a dangerous weapon, Pollock uses his knowledge and connections to benefit any case he can, using varying strategies like going on a date with a suspect and giving her his PDA to track her; blackmailing an ambassador through the knowledge of his affairs; having a fleeing criminal kidnapped by a Brazilian General, even telling the General to do whatever he wants to him; and often working his own angles on cases while the rest of the team works theirs. Whether it's kidnappers, murderers, or even other departments of the government, Pollock knows when to fight and when to back off, always ensuring that the FBI comes out on top of any other agency or person that tries to take him down.
    • "Delusional": Karen Moore is the personification of Brianna Norton's mental illness who corrupted her into a ruthless Serial Killer. After Brianna was Forced to Watch a businessman murder her sister, Karen convinced her that all businessmen were out to get her, managing to make Brianna act normal enough to be released from her mental institution before they began killing. When Jess gets visions of Brianna, Karen begins corrupting her as well, convincing her that everyone she knows is out to get her with subtle yet accurate observations, turning her into a paranoid mess within a day and leaving her unsure of just what is real. Although she dies with Brianna, Karen manages to cause more damage to Jess than any other killer despite not even being real.
    • "Mr. Nobody": The imposter is a mysterious hitman who works to ensure he won't go down for his crimes. Hired to assassinate Seth Peters, the imposter kidnaps Martin Hallenbeck, a nobody, and begins a weeks-long effort to frame him for Peters' murder, planting incriminating evidence on forums in Martin's name and legally buying a rifle in Martin's name. When seen by Rebecca Flynn, he kills her to cover his tracks before hiding her body, staying ahead of the FBI even when the murder sets them on his trail. Later on planting evidence pointing towards a false target to buy himself some time, the FBI play along until the last moment, leading to the imposter almost succeeding in his plan.
    • "Truth or Dare" two-parter: Jared Hart is a suave Con Man who proves dangerous to both the FBI and the Bianchi crime family. Upon his wife being kidnapped by the family, Jared makes it even by giving them the location of a witness currently in protection. When this entices them for more, Jared pretends to be an FBI agent, putting them on his wife's trail as well as giving himself access to the Witness Protection database. Along the way, he not only believes Jess's visions but utilizes them, beating everyone to a witness who he manages to save before later using the team's skills of analysis to secretly tip Nicole off to a meeting. Though he's ultimately arrested, Jared's actions ensure his wife's safety and he accepts defeat gracefully, confidently stating he'll be back with his wife soon enough.
    • "John Doe": The kidnapper is a surprisingly competent adversary who keeps up with the FBI despite his low class of crime. After hearing Derek Conway complain about his rich employers, the kidnapper comes up with a plan to kidnap Victoria Farlow for ransom, using Derek to get the codes to shut off the house's alarm. Meticulously covering all of his tracks, including taking the security camera footage with him, the kidnapper then arranges a secure ransom drop, only to have his men successfully ambush the FBI and get away with the cash. Later managing to track down Conway and torturing him for Victoria's whereabouts, the kidnapper then shoots him in the head when he doesn't get the information and leaves with his money. Only tracked down due to a series of small details, the kidnapper then remains calm in his interrogation, simply telling Nicole everything before quietly hanging his head.
  • Alice (1976)'s "Jolene Lets the Cat out of the Bag": Roger Harris is the neighbor and new boyfriend of Jolene, apparently protecting her from a local cat burglar robbing apartments. In truth, Roger himself is the criminal, having a years-long career of crime in which he has made fortunes for himself through "expertise, intelligence, and a modicum of good taste." Roger takes Jolene and her friends at gunpoint to rob them all, being immensely affable and accommodating even while threatening them, and continues to rob various strangers who stumble into the apartment, expressing his pride in being a successful breed of criminal and not a common crook. Promising Jolene that he genuinely cared for her and even offering her a chance to run away with him, Roger nearly escapes scot-free, intending to scale down the side of the building just to delight the excitable Vera.
  • Alice in Borderland: The mysterious Shuntaro Chishiya is a cunning manipulator who allies himself with anyone he can to further his agenda of acquiring all of the playing cards to escape from Borderland. Chishiya first appears at the Five of Spades game, where he is one of the two people to figure out the location of the building's saferoom, and helps Arisu and Usagi in taking down the game's tagger. Later joining the organization "Beach", Chishiya works his way up into the organization's ranks, and when the leader of Beach dies and is replaced by the militant Aguni, Chishiya uses Arisu as bait to figure out the hiding spot of the playing cards. When Aguni decides to purge Beach of all non-militant members, Chishiya confronts the insane Sugaru Niragi, burning him with a homemade flamethrower, retrieves the Ten of Hearts card, and joins Arisu and Usagi in playing the next stage of games to track down the Game Master.
  • Alphas: Stanton Parish is an immortal Alpha who intends to create a civil war between Alphas and regular humans, believing his own kind to be in danger from the latter. Parish breaks out all but two inmates of Building Seven, without anybody but the main characters knowing he's involved. He has a lady hypnotize and brainwash anyone in his organization down to the lowest minion to ensure complete loyalty. He lectures the stupid guards as he escapes from custody, and then almost steals psychic's powers. He's had his counterpart's daughter spying for him since before he even knew he existed. When people finally become aware of his existence, after they foiled a terrorist attack of his that would have murdered an entire city Parish hijacks the counter-measures the heroes put in place, and manipulates it so that by defending themselves he can launch an attack that would kill off all non-Alpha humans in the country for what he feels is for the ultimate benefit of the greater good, with the only regular human he intends to survive being Dr. Lee Rosen, who Parish genuinely respects and believes will lead the Alphas into a golden age.
  • American Horror Story:
    • Cult: Ally Mayfair-Richards was initially The Paranoiac, but would become much more fearless and conniving. After being released from a psychiatric ward, she would soon seek vengeance on Kai Anderson and his cult for tormenting her. She integrated herself into the cult where she manipulated Kai into killing his siblings and his most loyal followers on the pretense that they were turning against him; Ally also kills her own wife for joining Kai's cult, partaking in her torment and taking her son away from her. She would then have the FBI raid Kai's hideout completely dismantling his cult and arresting Kai. Decided to steal Kai's plan to run for a seat in the Senate, Ally would then arrange Kai's escape from prison, only to have him publicly humiliated on live-television before having him killed. Winning a seat in the Senate and later starting her own cult, Ally Mayfair-Richard undoubtedly proves that there is something more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man: a nasty woman.
    • American Horror Stories' "The Naughty List": The mysterious Serial Killer who murders men working as mall Santas before taking their costumes. He dresses up as Santa Claus to hide in plain sight while finds those he deems naughty to kill. A group of obnoxious influencers one such example and to do so he tracks them down in their home and kills them in various fashions before uploading their deaths on YouTube for everyone to see. By the time the cops arrive, he is already gone before being last being seen stalking another mall Santa and preparing to repeat his MO.
  • And Then There Were None (2015): "U.N. Owen", true identity Justice Lawrence Wargrave, lures 9 guilty parties to Soldier Island with intent to eliminate them according to his own macabre sense of humor and justice. A consummate sadist since youth, Wargrave maintains a sense of humor and justice, reserving the worst fates for the most morally depraved of the group, faking his own death by convincing the only doctor to assist him before eliminating the man to hold his cover. Wargrave proceeds to kill all the others, saving Vera Claythorn for last due to her murder of a little boy under her care, waiting until it is impossible for her to escape and detailing his plans before he allows her to hang and promptly commits suicide to create the ultimate mystery that no one will ever solve.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Dr. Vink is mysterious reoccurring character and a man of many talents and questionable morality. Manipulating countless individuals who cannot guess his riddle to their deaths for his experiments, Vink returns in another tale to save an ailing movie theater only to unleash a vampire from one of his movies when the theater owner reneges on their bargain. As a restaurateur, Vink lures his employees into the clutches of a dark gargoyle to extract their fear for his signature "dangerous soup," always eluding justice and coming out on top. As the mentor to the young Rush Keegan, Vink manipulates the situation to set him against the evil pirate ghost Jonas Cutter to ensure Cutter's victims receive their justice.
  • Arrested Development's "Best Man for the GOB": Ira Gilligan is an account who has stolen money from the Bluth Company for many years. To escape the company with the stolen money, Ira puts George Bluth Sr. in a state of fear by threatening to testify against his illegal dealings, causing George Sr. to plan on framing Ira for the murder of a stripper. Ira masterfully uses George Sr.'s plan as a smokescreen for his escape, and even has the stripper sabotage George Sr. By the time Michael Bluth figures out Ira's ploy, Ira has already fled America with the stolen money while keeping the stripper for company.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: The 1980s Ruby is one who never had the present day version's Heel–Face Turn. Doing away with her demon husband Baal to be free of him when he loses his duel with hero Ashley J. "Ash" Williams, Ruby births a demon spawn of her and Ash so she can subvert Ash's chosen one prophecy. Becoming a guidance counselor to turn Ash's long lost daughter Brandy against her, Ruby uses her child to kill others to frame Ash so she can make him the savior of humanity and keep her fellow Dark Ones sealed so she may rule the world and keep a tight lidded control on the forces of evil, while also using her close friend Kaya as a mole in Ash's team. Even when defeated and left to the mercy of the Dark Ones, Ruby goes out Defiant to the End, vowing that Ash will destroy them in turn.
  • Attila: Flavius Aetius is a Roman general and strategist whose patriotism is matched only by his cunning and charisma. Released by Emperor Valentinian's mother Placidia from prison to fight their enemies, he implicates Placidia in an assassination that Aetius foils to isolate her from the emperor. To deal with the Visigoths and the Huns, Aetius desecrates Hunnic corpses and makes the Visigoths look responsible to forge an alliance with the Huns, and takes Attila to Rome to impress the young prince with its splendor. After Attila, now king, builds up the Hunnic Empire and turns on the Romans, Aetius orchestrates a plot to assassinate Attila by convincing a slave girl with a grudge against the Huns to seduce Attila and kill him on their wedding night. Even when Aetius is forced to sacrifice his daughter for the good of Rome, he ensures that the man who took her from him, King Theodoric, will be killed in the final battle against the Huns. Aetius returns to Rome in triumph, and his murder at the hands of the emperor signals the final nail in the coffin for the once mighty empire, for there were no more men capable of defending it.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Londo Mollari, despite his buffoonish exterior, steadily grows into true magnificence. In one famous instance, Londo blackmails his rival, the monstrous Antono Refa into helping him using a complex gambit with a poison. Londo proceeds to create a plan to rescue the Centauri from their mad Emperor Cartagia and later arranges a plan to lure Refa to his death at the hands of the Narns when Londo believes Refa murdered the love of Londo's life. For this, Londo simply tells the truth about Refa's horrific crimes and vows to free Narn prisoners in exchange for the Narns murdering Refa. Londo later even manages to outwit the Shadows and their servant Morden, blowing up an entire island to wipe out the Shadow presence on Centauri, even ascending to the throne himself. Even when the Drakh think Londo defeated and broken, he works against them to ensure the freedom of Centauri, even at the end when it costs his own life with his once greatest enemy turned best friend G'kar of Narn.
    • Kosh Naranek is the Vorlon Ambassador to Babylon 5 and an enigmatic figure who often speaks in riddles and resides in an encounter suit. With his long curiosity in the development of the younger races, Kosh has helped guide them to the Vorlon designs. Upon arrival of John Sheridan to Babylon 5, Kosh makes him into his pupil, even as he manipulates him and numerous others across the station. Training Sheridan to face "legends", Kosh likewise manipulates the Narn resistance leader G'kar to better enable him to lead his people in the aftermath of their darkest hour. Sacrificing his life to push the Vorlons into war, Kosh ensures a piece of him remains in Sheridan to later save his life and to defeat his former comrade Ulkesh to allow humanity to stop both Vorlons and the Shadows.
    • Alfred Bester is a charming psychic operative who combines ruthless scheming with an infuriating charisma that drives the heroes crazy even as they are forced to respect his skill. Bester can do this even when his telepathic powers have been removed, frequently arriving on Babylon 5 and twisting events to suit his purposes or the purpose of the Psi-Corps. In one such instance, Bester tricks a prisoner by claiming he can read his mind, even when Bester has been blocked from doing so, relying on bluffs and gambits to get the information he desires when he simply suspected the prisoner must be lying. Bester frequently enacts daring schemes either for the benefit of the Corps or himself, only breaking from his self-serving nature when the woman he loves is threatened by the Shadows, stating that it has made Babylon 5's war his own.
  • Banshee:
    • Job is a computer hacking genius who uses his skills to orchestrate many bank robberies. When an old friend of Job gets released from prison, he tells him about the town Banshee and gives him the identity "Lucas Hood" so he could start a new life. Job would also find himself going to Banshee where he organized many robberies and rescues there, one of which was a highly secured Marine Base leading to Job's capture. After bring rescue from his captors 20 months later, Job would track down the man who got him captured and ruin his life by making him culpable to all his crimes while Job leaves Banshee with all the money he stolen to start his own new life.
    • Kai Proctor is a wealthy business man and criminal kingpin that rules the titular town from the shadows. Enduring a feud with rival crime lord Alex Longshadow, Proctor would gain the upper hand first by blowing up one of Alex's hotel killing the mayor along the way, having "Lucas Hood" decimate Alex's forces after previously saving his life once, and has his niece Rebecca kill Alex. Facing another opponent from Philadelphia drug dealer Frazier, he would escape Frazier's captivity before returning to kill Frazier. He would eventually become Mayor of Banshee and become allies with the Aryan Brotherhood and the Cartel while finding ways to deter any problems within both criminal organizations. When his luck with the Cartel runs out due to one of their drug shipments being destroyed under Proctor's supervision, Proctor faces them alone with a Thompson Submachine gun to kill as many Cartel hitmen as he can.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Romo Lampkin is a survivor of the Cylon genocide and a charismatic Amoral Attorney who agrees to defend Gaius Baltar in his trial for collaboration with the Cylons on New Caprica for the infamy it will bring him. Lampkin proceeds to subtly manipulate both his own client and the witnesses, while his legal experience allows him to dismantle the case against Baltar effortlessly, including getting his own co-counsel Lee Adama to testify and swing the judges' votes in his favor. Lampkin returns when Lee hires him to select a new President of the Colonies after Laura Roslin goes missing before threatening Lee at gunpoint to extract a compelling Patrick Stewart Speech out of him on why he is fit to lead. Lampkin manages to survive Gaeta and Zarek's mutiny by killing a marine with nothing but a pen, later joining the settlers on Earth after briefly having been promoted to President himself.
  • Belgravia:
    • Susan Trenchard is James Trenchard's daughter-in-law and as much of a Social Climber as her father-in-law. Persuading her mother-in-law Anne to have her invited to a reception hosted by the Countess of Brockenhurst, Susan catches the eye of the Countess's nephew John Bellasis and has an affair with him, concocting one lie after another to conceal her trysts. Accompanying her in-laws to their estate at John's behest, Susan tricks Anne into revealing that James' dealings with his business partner Charles Pope are about more than just money. Learning she is pregnant with John's child, Susan suggests they marry after she divorces James' son Oliver. When John rejects her, Susan steals papers about Charles' true history as the Brockenhursts' grandson in hopes of ruining John. Making arrangements for her child's future at the family estate, Susan gets Oliver to comply with her plan by telling him she's giving him the life he's always wanted, a life that wouldn't be possible without her infidelity.
    • Speer is Susan Trenchard's shrewd and observant personal maid. Learning of her mistress's interest in John Bellasis, Speer ferments the idea of Susan and John having an affair, intending to take advantage of a possible connection and always having an alibi ready whenever Susan met John. When John asks her for information about the Trenchards, Speer points him in the direction of other servants who might know more, keeping her own hands clean. After Susan shows Speer the papers about Charles Pope, Speer creates a cover story on the spot about how Susan acquired them, helping to get the guilty servants sacked, and blackmailing one about his black market deals, declaring that if she leaves, she'll be walking away with money and glowing praise.
  • Between the Lions: Silent E is a notorious criminal who delights in changing the meaning of words by adding a silent "e" to the end. Having kidnapped a group of vowels to force them to say their names, Silent E spreads chaos throughout the town, transforming a twin boy into twine, and inconveniencing another by changing his canned drink into a cane. Upon being apprehended by the police officer, Silent E deceives the man into handing him an object of interest and making it into a tool for escape.
  • Big Sky (Season 1): Cheyenne Kleinsasser is the only daughter of Horst and the youngest of his four children. Seeking to free her mother Margaret from Horst's hostile control and knowing her brothers J.W. and Rand framed her other brother Blake to get the family ranch, Cheyenne berates Margaret to instill anger in her and get her to quit her pill addiction. Witnessing Blake's murder at J.W.'s hands, Cheyenne stages his death as either accidental or suicide to hold it over J.W., takes possession of the belt of a ranch hand Rand killed as insurance too and then also feeds information to PIs Jenny Hoyt and Cassie Dewell to help them with their investigation as well. After Rand is killed and Cheyenne kills J.W. in self-defense, Cheyenne helps cover up Margaret's murder of Horst and then takes possession of the ranch for them alone.
  • Black Sails:
    • John Silver starts off as a selfish Opportunistic Bastard but quickly becomes more brave and daring, while still keeping his sly charm. Originally, just a cook in Captain James Flint's crew, he soon rose up the ranks to becoming Flint's right hand man by burning the schedule Flint dearly wants, forcing Flint to trust Silver to help him find the Urca gold. After finding the treasure, they wind soon be captured by a Spanish Man-O-War, where Silver proceeds to elicit conflict within the crew, allowing Flint to commandeer the ship. Arriving at Nassau, Silver has Jack Rackham's crew salvage the gold for him while Flint goes to war with Charles Vane, and teams up with the latter to rescue Flint in Charlestown. Becoming stranded on an island with the Maroons, Silver brokers an alliance with the Maroons and the Pirates against the British Empire, and has one of his own men "defect" to the British forces led by Benjamin Hornigold to lure them into a trap leading to their decimation. Taking the moniker "Long" John Silver, he gains a reputation that exceeds even that of Flint's, eventually removing Flint from piracy by reuniting him with his lover, Thomas, while Silver ends the war that Flint once started.
    • Charles Vane is a bold pirate who once helped to overthrow his mentor Blackbeard. In present, after being deposed by his crew, Vane returns to seize control again and dedicates himself to the freedom of Nassau. When his old flame, Eleanor, is threatened by the sadistic Ned Low, Vane outwits, traps and murders him before nailing his head to a post with a sign reading "I angered Charles Vane." Vane also organizes the sack of a city when it seeks to execute him to save himself and Flint, before helping to organize Nassau's defenses. Even in death, Vane allows himself to be hanged to inspire Nassau to rebellion, reminding the crowd that the British are not as numerous as the islanders and "they can't hang us all" before ordering the hangman to get on with it.
    • Jack Rackham, Vane's former right hand man, comes from the bottom to organize a new crew and pirate venture, stealing a fortune of gold out from under the noses of every other player. After the death of Vane, Rackham helps to organize some of the most devastating defeats of the British, and when he finally helps to defeat his nemesis, Woodes Rogers, Rackham on a plan to destroy him by having Rogers' debts purchased and defaulted upon, writing all his failures into a public ledger as Rogers is forced to hear his once-promising future destroyed. Rackham ends the series still secretly a pirate, setting sail for adventure anew with his beloved Anne Bonney at his side.
  • Blackadder the Third: The third Blackadder, Mr. Edmund Blackadder, is the butler to the idiotic Prince George of Regency England. A roguish cheat who constantly scams money out of his employer, Blackadder is also left with the task of running the country, manipulating the election of his completely idiotic sidekick Baldrick to the House of Commons to vote down a measure harmful to the prince by setting up a Rotten Borough and taking over the position as the only voter as well as the supervisor of elections by murdering his predecessors. When a bet is made for him to one-up The Scarlet Pimpernel, he simply opts to head down to a coffee house and find an aristocrat at the French embassy. When the real Scarlet Pimpernel is about to reveal his treachery, Blackadder promptly murders him and wins a great award from Prince George by claiming to be the true Scarlet Pimpernel. Even in the finale, Blackadder sees Prince George dead when they've switched identities and takes the chance to claim to be the real prince to the insane King George III, gleefully ascending to the throne of England several years later.
  • The Blacklist: Raymond "Red" Reddington starts the show by turning himself over to the FBI to assist them in taking down a supposedly-dead terrorist, who is just the first out of many in the eponymous Blacklist. He follows that up by constantly manipulating the Feds and criminals to pursue his own agendas. Raymond goes against the worst criminals in the world, constantly outplaying them and leading them to ruin while working towards his own master plan, using others as bait or pawns in his schemes. In one famous incident, he outwits human trafficker Floriana Campo and leaves her poisoned out of his revulsion towards her business, but not before destroying her good name and watching her beg for her life. Despite his ruthlessness, Raymond truly respects those who work for him and cares greatly about series heroine and FBI agent Elizabeth. A man with nerves of steel, Reddington rarely ever loses his temper or composure, frequently playing cop and criminal for his own mysterious ends.
  • Blood & Treasure:
    • Simon Hardwick, aka Karim Farouk, is an international smuggler plotting revenge on his father, Jay Reece, for abandoning him and his mother. To this end, he allies with the terrorist Rasheed Hegazi, giving him his real name to use while coordinating and financing grand-scale attacks mostly at properties owned by Reece. Having Hegazi and his men recover the sarcophagus of Mark Anthony before destroying the Pyramids, Hardwick allies with Danny McNamara and Lexi Vaziri to find the sarcophagus of Cleopatra, killing Hegazi to prevent him from revealing his identity to the heroes. Hardwick obtains both Sarcophagi and laces them with a biological weapon before handing them to Reece in is plan to activate the toxin when Reece unveils them in his museum, while creating a diversion to distract the authorities from protecting him. Nearly succeeding in killing Reece and those near him, Hardwick is only stopped by the timely intervention of Danny and Lexi, where Hardwick accepts his defeat with grace while promising that they'll meet again.
    • Captain Bruno Fabi is a member of the Brotherhood of Serapis, who has infiltrated the Carabinieri TPC eventually becoming its leader while using their resources to prevent anyone from finding the Sarcophagus of Cleopatra. When he learns that one of the members is working for Karim Farouk, Fabi disguises himself as a paramedic to get close enough to kill Farouk's spy and coerces Lexi Vaziri into allying with him, threatening to kill her Love Interest, Danny McNamara should she reveal their alliance to him. When Danny finds out Fabi agrees to help Danny and Lexi find Cleopatra before Farouk does, eventually helping Danny rescue Lexi when she's been held hostage. Dying saving Lexi, Fabi reveals that Lexi's mother was working with the Brotherhood to protect Cleopatra, with Fabi's death inspiring Lexi to carry out her mother's duties.
  • Boardwalk Empire:
    • Arnold Rothstein is one of the most powerful gangsters in New York. Upon losing a major shipment of liquor that brings him in conflict with Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, Rothstein wages a proxy war using his associates, the D'Alessio brothers, to create a problem for Nucky in Atlantic City before selling them out when they cease being of use. Managing to connive his way as the sole supplier for Nucky's alcohol, Rothstein later punishes his wayward proteges Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky for going behind his back by setting up their arrest with the heroin of rival Sicilian mobster Joe Masseria while having the heroin delivered back to him so he can cut Masseria in as the weaker partner, making more money and humiliating his would-be rivals in one move.
    • Giovanni "Johnny" Torrio presents as one of the most conciliatory and reasonable mobsters who is nevertheless a force to be reckoned with. Upon his boss Giacomo "Big Jim" Colosimo refusing to get into bootlegging, Torrio sets him up for death and takes over the Chicago rackets, bringing in profits like never before. Helping to set up the crew of Charlie Sheridan for death after their attack on one of his prostitutes, Torrio later helps to arrange a peace with the Irish mob led by Dean O'Banion, only to have O'Banion killed when he tries to foolishly betray Torrio. After his seeming retirement, Torrio allies with Luciano and Lansky, using his good reputation to help set Nucky up for death or to lose everything.
    • Charlie "Lucky" Luciano and his best friend Meyer Lansky spend the first four seasons learning at the sides of the greatest mobsters of the age and put their lessons into ruthless practice in season 5. Luciano has his former mentor and boss Joe Masseria assassinated after manipulating him to his death, seizing control of his outfits and having his rivals killed. Luciano and Lansky proceed to force the other mobsters to submit to them or convince them it is in their best interest to give in and "partner" with them before forcing Nucky Thompson's capitulation by kidnapping his nephew to use as leverage. Realizing that the criminal Valentine Narcisse may also prove a problem, Luciano and Lansky allow him to think he is safe for a time before having him publicly assassinated, ending the season as the dominant masters of organized crime, sitting down to do business with a new coalition of their making.
  • Bones' "The Murder in the Middle East": Jimmy Kosinski is a charming yet vicious bookie, planning to get money from FBI agent Seeley Booth after a bet of his goes wrong. Jimmy subtly threatens Booth's wife, Dr. Temperance Brennan, and their daughter for the money by disguising it as but a simple visit he will make. When Booth's partner James Aubrey tries to stop him, Jimmy simply says he could reveal Booth's gambling issues to the press and ruin his FBI career if they try, while cleverly masking it as just a hypothetical scenario, knowing there's nothing they can do to react to this threat with it being presented like that. Ultimately, Jimmy ends his run as one of the show's most successful villains, having gotten the money and one of the few to get away with it all.
  • Brimstone: The Devil himself is the one who manipulates hero Ezekiel "Zeke" Stone, into going to earth to reclaim 113 damned souls who fled hell, holding out the promise of a new hope of heaven over Stone's head. Throughout the series, the Devil is charming, witty and sarcastic, constantly monitoring events and arranging things to have Zeke return his quarry to hell while demonstrating a frightening amount of insight, while always teasing Zeke and pushing him to do his job. While playing Zeke constantly, the Devil 's main interest is keeping the status quo, while always willing to welcome the new damned souls into his domain.
  • Bron|Broen: The Truth Terrorist, real name Sebastian Sandstrod, the Big Bad of season 1 is an athletic and military-trained but also well-dressed and charismatic Serial Killer who wants to bring attention to social problems. To do this, the Terrorist starts killing them, giving the issue more attention than ever. Having five children kidnapped and placed inside a locked room, the Terrorist wants to bring attention to child labor by giving a demand that people will have to burn down the offices of five companies using it, everytime it happens he spares one child each, and doesn't back out of the deal once they do as he says. Placing Hennig, an officer committing misconduct which lead to a man's death in the basement of said man's brother, the Terrorist tries framing the brother for the murder by having him torture Hennig. With his true goal being revealed to get vengeance on Martin Rohde for cheating on Sandstrod's wife before she along with their son died, Sandstrod, then named Jens Hansen and the best policeman around, now wants revenge on Rohde for ruining his life. He does this by having Rohde's eldest son August build a good relationship with his father by putting them through life-threatening situations, only to later kill him, just so that it would hurt more.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Doug Judy is the Pontiac Bandit, an affable car thief known for stealing 200 cars. Making himself known to Jake by pretending to be an informant, Doug sends Jake on a goose chase to the barber Doug framed, while he slips past him unnoticed. When Doug unexpectedly encounters Jake, he gives him the drug manufacturer of giggle pig in exchange for a four-star hotel suite where he collaborates with the suite's waiter on his escape, with Jake being too busy capturing the manufacturer. When Doug learns of a hitman trying to kill him he contacts Jake for help, making sure to meet Jake on a cruise ship, where Jake has no jurisdiction, escaping once Jake catches the hitman. Doug later helps Jake capture Doug's adopted brother in exchange for full immunity of his crimes. Getting Jake’s attention again by holding hostages, Doug gets Jake involved in a plan to rescue his mother from a drug lord before escaping once more. Upon getting engaged to a judge who wants Doug to uninvite his criminal friends, Doug gets Jake involved in his bachelor party knowing that Jake will get his friends arrested, resulting in Doug avoiding having to uninvite them directly. Always being Jake’s most elusive adversary, Doug Judy’s master planning was only matched by his unlimited charm.
    • Trudy Judy is the younger sister of Doug Judy. Turning to crimes for the fun of it, Trudy eventually discovers Doug's old notebooks, and decides to follow his footsteps as a car thief. After being caught, Trudy takes advantage of her brother offering to capture an arms dealer she stole a Ferrari from in exchange for Trudy's charges being reduced. Having an employee of hers act as if he bought the stolen car, Trudy manipulates Doug into arguing with Terry, distracting them from noticing that her employee placed a bomb in the Ferrari. She later sets off the bomb when the car is being delivered, and uses the chaos to sneak away without facing any charges. With an attitude as playful as her brother's, Trudy earns the distinction of being the first person to outwit Doug Judy.
  • The Cape:
    • Peter Fleming/Chess is a self-made billionaire who supplies vital services to Palm city, eventually including its police. He is also the psychopathic crime lord named Chess, who is a manifestation of Fleming's darker split personality, although his normal side also seems conniving and amoral. He claims that he wants good things for Palm City, but even if he is sincere, he runs illegal arms, murders honest city officials, scapegoats loyal subordinates and innocent family men, and threatens people's families. Fleming seeks to suppress his Chess persona for unclear reasons, and also is looking for his missing daughter, unaware that she is working with The Cape. Fleming redirects military satellites to see out his enemies. He forms a brief Enemy Mine moment with the Cape to personally navigate the underbelly of a moving train that he's a passenger on to keep it from crashing. He claims to know the value of I Owe You My Life, but will make exceptions and try to kill the Cape to eliminate the obstacle to his empire. Fleming ends the series with his power and reputation cracked, but still intact.
    • Max Malini is the showy but introspective bank-robbing magician and circus owner who forms an alliance of mutual convenience with Vince (who he initially contemplates killing for being useless to him) to hurt Fleming by stealing his money. Max gives Vince the eponymous cape and teaches him how to use it. A bond develops between the two, and Max seems to get more invested in Vince's crusade. Nonetheless, he won't abandon a lucrative heist to help Vince and the two sadly agree that one day they may become enemies. Nonetheless, they continue to work together and show concern for each other. Max also claims to have fallen out with the cape's murderous previous wearer due to the man getting Drunk on the Dark Side enough to scare Max and make him regret his own darkest deeds. However, there are hints that Max has engineered Vince into using the cape for some mysterious, greater plan of his own. While the series resolves without revealing the good or evil nature of Max's ultimate goal, and whether it will ever succeed, he remains composed, intelligent, and encouraging even in the last moments of the show.
    • "Kozmo": Gregor Molotov is a ruthless killer and estranged student of Max's in the art of crime, illusions, and escapes. He is a master of Death Dealer-styled murders, contortion, and seemingly vanishing into thin air. Gregor spent twenty years of harsh incarceration repeatedly escaping and dreaming of reclaiming his prized cape, even though he recognizes that it brought out the worst in him. After finally successfully escaping, Gregor tries to reclaim the cape, first with polite but steely requests, and then through force. He attempts to brutally kill Max and his lieutenants after managing to ambush and defeat all of them offscreen and briefly reclaims the cape before Vince overpowers him after a closely matched battle. He is last seen being taken away to prison, although Max grimly states that Gregor's talents as an escapist means they haven't heard the last of him.
    • "Dice": Tracey Jerrod is a mathematical savant who is able to use numbers to predict the future. She knows exactly when to talk past security guards so that they'll be too busy to notice, can predict the exact results of rolling a quarter into a room (setting off a Rube Goldberg Device Disaster Dominoes trap), and more. She struggles with A God I Am feelings complex but is amused to encounter a Spanner in the Works that reminds her she's human and fallible. Fleming kills her father, something Tracey predicated from a young age, and appropriates the work he modeled after Tracey to patent computers which can predict the future. Tracey sets out to kill Fleming in revenge and vows to kill anyone who stands in her way, although she doesn't always troy to follow through with those threats. Tracey has no unsavory plans beyond killing Fleming and halting his product's production and only fails at her goals due to Vince's reluctant interference.
    • "Goggles & Hicks":
      • Goggles is one half of the Sibling Team of hired assassins known as “The Chariot.” He is a wheelchair-bound hacker and gadgeteer with a fondness for superhero fiction and is intrigued to find himself pursuing a real-life costumes vigilante on Fleming's behalf. He is resolute in getting inside his targets heads and learning about them before his brother Hicks makes the kills. He arranges a fake underworld meeting to draw out the Cape and put a tracker on him and through this, quickly discovers Vince's true identity and who his family is. He decides to keep Vince's secret but still is intent on killing him, and almost succeeds in helping his brother corner and kill Vince. Goggles never loses his cheery confidence except when he thinks his brother is in danger and then is left lying helpless on his back during a fight.
      • Hicks is the brother and partner of Goggles, acting as the duo's sniper, drone controller, and close quarters combatant. Hicks lacks Goggle's affability and spends most of the episode acting as a quiet observer or The Heavy, although he isn't quite skilled enough to beat Vince. Contrary to others opinions, Hicks is a formidable force even without Goggles once his brother is captured. A distraught Hicks goes to Fleming for help, intending to offer him a thread from the cape that is stuck to his knife and the information about the Cape's identity. Before he can mention the later, Fleming fires him, so Hicks instead approaches Orwell and Vince. He makes it clear that he could bring down Vince with the digital file Goggles made about him. Instead, he trades it, and a promise of silence, to Vince for the location of Goggles so he can break his brother out of jail. He then calmly departs after saying they may cross paths again if anyone else pays the brothers to go after Vince.
  • Carnivàle: Iris Crowe is a fairly spectacular example. The sweet, innocent spinster sister of Brother Justin? Has not only spent her entire life playing Xanatos Speed Chess with her brother's true nature, but burned down her brother's church to get him publicity, allowed an innocent man to go to jail and eventual execution for what she did, lured an innocent woman out beyond the camp and then bashed her over the head with a boat oar, to keep her from talking about how evil Justin really is and kept the secret of Sofie's paternity from everyone. After the big battle, when Ben and Justin are lying dead in the cornfield, the New Canaan faithful have almost been completely slaughtered by Justin, and the Carnivale has had to slip away for fear of the authorities in the early morning hours, what is Iris doing? Cooling her heels as the Last One Standing.
  • Charmed (1998): In their battle against the forces of evil, the Charmed Ones have faced some truly genius and charismatic foes. These are the most brilliant that the forces of evil have to offer against The Power of Three:
    • Kyra "The Seer" is introduced as a Deadpan Snarker psychic demon Knowledge Broker who's just as comfortable helping the heroes as she is giving a demon-human hybrid the information necessary to murder his entire family. Kyra shows a knack for avoiding harm from unsatisfied clients due to seeing their attacks coming. When one of her visions reveals that the Avatars are on the verge of wiping out demonkind, Kyra wants the Whitelighters to make her human to escape that fate. She bargains with a vision that she's seen of the Avatars' game plans while misleading them on how dire it is so they'll be willing to accept her deal. Yet pragmatism isn't Kyra's only motive for wanting to become human, secretly being sick of the centuries she's spent abetting evil and feels a sense of loss in being biologically incapable of feeling love and other emotions that visions let her see others experiencing. Kyra's desire to become human for the right reasons quickly becomes her defining trait. While she ultimately is killed by a demon unhappy by her betrayal, it's due to circumstances no one could have seen coming, and in the sequel comics is resurrected and made human just like she wanted to be.
    • Season 1: "Inspector Rodriguez" is an upper-level demon posing as a police officer to investigate the deaths of his brethren at the hands of the Charmed Ones. Discovering the Charmed Ones' identities, Rodriguez kills his human police partner and then frames their ally Andy Tredeu for the murder. Rodriguez uses the framing to manipulate Andy into getting the Charmed Ones into one place by playing on his love for Prue Haliwell to ensure she brings all her sisters to help confront him as planned. Getting help from the demon Tempus, who locks the Charmed Ones into an endless "Groundhog Day" Loop, Rodriguez is able to use it to recover and improve ways to kill all of them for good, leading to a Near-Villain Victory for the forces of evil. Calm, badass and giving the Charmed Ones their first major defeat by killing Andy permanently, Rodriguez would ultimately show the true power of the Underworld.
    • "Déjà Vu All Over Again" : Tempus, the Demon of Time, is a charismatic, laid back upper-level demon with the ability to control time. Tempus contacts and makes a deal with Inspector Rodriguez to have the Charmed Ones gathter in one place, telling him he has a way to "allow him to improve from his mistakes". Tempus creates a "Groundhog Day" Loop which resets upon Rodriguez's death and sets time to earlier on in the day, and uses it as a way to contact and help Rodriguez improve his method for killing the Charmed Ones. Tempus ensures that each loop stays exactly the same but for the way that the Charmed Ones are killed, to ensure its effectiveness and lead to victory being only one loop away.
    • "Repo Manor": Savard is a crafty demon who will go to any length to free his species from horrible slavery at the hands of the powerful demon the "Slave King". Knowing that only the "Power of Three" can defeat the Slave King, Savard trains three apprentices to try to copy it by learning the motivations of the Charmed Ones and eventually comes up with a scheme to drain their powers using a magic dollhouse. Eventually Savard kidnaps Phoebe Halliwell and replaces her with one of his apprentices to discover if the Power of Three would still be in effect with them. When it succeeds, he does the same with Paige Halliwell. Having his apprentices manipulate Piper Haliwell into finding the Vanquish potion for the Slave King by preying on her wanting her lost husband back, Savard is able to defeat the Slave King and free his people.
    • "Kill Billie Vol. 2": Nomed is a snarky and cunning lower-level demon who desires to vanquish the powerful, demonic Triad to allow the new generation of demons to finally arise from the shadow of the old. Manipulating the Charmed One into an Enemy Mine and correctly deducing their whereabouts from their behaviour, Nomed helps reveal the survival of The Triad and convinces them he will act as their spy to discover the plans of the Triad to use the power draining Hollow. Convincing the Charmed Ones to use the Hollow themselves, Nomed gives them information on the whereabouts of the Triad and sends them there, leading to the end of the old generation of demons. One of the show's most successful villains, Nomed ultimately helps to usher in the rise of the new generation of demons and achieves everything he wants.
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Lilith, aka Madam Satan, was the first witch who has faithfully served Lucifer Morningstar for ages. Killing Sabrina Spellman's teacher and taking her identity, Lilith flawlessly manipulates Sabrina to darkness, subverting her good intentions and eventually getting Sabrina to sign her name in Lucifer's book. Turning on Lucifer to assist the heroes when he kills her human lover, Lilith manages to see him confined while she takes over rulership of Hell. Even when Lucifer manages to escape, Lilith negotiates her own survival and stays close to bide her time, eventually able to permanently steal Lucifer's powers and banish him to Earth as a mortal.
  • The Closer's "Heart Attack": Dr. Luis Navarro is a brilliant transplant surgeon who decides to take justice into his own hands when he barely saves a twelve year old girl from death after she was gangraped and mutilated. Deducing that one of his free clinic's patients was the leader of the gangrape, Navarro drugs him into giving up the names of his accomplices, then kills the man and harvests his organs to use to save the life of another of his other patients. Deciding to do even more good, Navarro begins tracking down the gangrapists, killing them, and taking their organs to use in the hospital to save the lives of people on the donor list, then disposing of his victims' bodies in such a way that law enforcement believes it is the work of cartels to throw them off his scent. When finally confronted by Brenda Lee Johnson, Navarro shuts down her attempts to paint him as a scumbag crook, instead focusing on the fact that he's genuinely helping people and rounding off his charming Motive Rant by agreeing to confess only if the heart of his latest murder victim is used to save the life of a young patient.
  • Code Lyoko: Evolution: After its defeat in Code Lyoko, XANA barely survived Jérémie's multi-agent program by fleeing inside the Cortex and giving its source codes to Ulrich, Yumi, Odd and Aélita in order to later regain its strength by retaking them. Still wanting to Take Over the World, XANA uses Lyoko's towers to sent specters on Earth in order to take back its codes. A master manipulator, XANA successfully manipulated Aélita into giving it most of her codes by having a specter masquerading as her mother and almost succeeded in manipulating William into joining it by pointing out the heroes' genuine failures in handling him. An opportunist, XANA also hacked Kadic's computer system in order to distract the heroes while it attempts to destroy the Skidbladnir. XANA also successfully figures out Jérémie's plan of using fake codes against him, forcing the latter to abandon the plan despite its initial success. Despite losing most of its power and its murderous tendencies, XANA lost none of its smarts, regaining 95% of its power by the end of the series.
  • Community:
    • Robert Laybourne is the Vice Dean of Greendale Community College and holds the true power of the school. Witnessing Troy Barnes effortlessly repair an air conditioner, Laybourne tries to get Troy to join his Air Conditioning Repair School, even getting Dean Craig Pelton to help him accomplish his goal. Eventually Laybourne manipulates Troy and his best friend, Abed Nadir, against each other briefly destroying their friendship and creating a war engulfing Greendale. When Troy pleads with Laybourne to help him overthrow Ben Chang, Laybourne complies on the sole condition that Troy leaves his friends and join his annex. Finally successful in recruiting Troy to his school, Laybourne is killed by his second-in-command, Murray, but Laybourne's influence inspires Troy to challenge Murray for the title of the "Truest Repairman", with Troy easily defeating Murray and getting Murray to confess to Laybourne's murder, with Laybourne's ghost appearing to show approval at what Troy has accomplished.
    • Stephen Spreck is the Dean of City College who seeks to destroy Greendale Community College. Spreck convinces Annie to help him steal the Greendale space simulator by promising her a City College admission and when she later has a change of heart, he merely states she is not City College material. He then returns in the two-part season finale, first setting up a fake ice cream company and then convincing the school to trash itself by offering up a $100,000 paintball prize. To ensure no student gets the prize he even sends in a ringer, and when that fails declares war on the school, coming very close to winning. While the study group were defined by their love for Greendale, Spreck was defined by his desire to destroy it.
    • "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design": Professor Sean Garrity is Greendale's charismatic drama teacher, who Dean Pelton approaches when he wants help in teaching Jeff about the dangers of academic fraud. For his part, Garrity creates a false identity, and a fake night school filled with non-existent courses, students and teachers. He then creates a false identity for his false identity, posing as Jeff's "Conspiracy Theories and U.S. History" teacher. After Jeff uncovers his true identity and decides to teach the Dean a lesson, Garrity complies and pretends to have been shot by Annie, resulting in a massive Gambit Pileup where Jeff, Annie, and Pelton think that one of them has really shot someone. After Officer Cackowski shoots him with a prop gun, Garrity reveals that he orchestrated everything to impart the lesson that guns, even prop ones, are not toys.
  • Creepshow:
    • "Man In The Suitcase": The titular man in the suitcase appears to be a helpless businessman painfully folded into a suitcase who somehow produces gold whenever he is harmed. In truth, the man is a powerful djinn, far more cunning and in control than he lets on. Seeking out corrupt souls, the djinn feigns at helplessness to see who will try to harm a helpless man for money, even while being unable to repress a dry sense of sarcastic humor. After the segment's hero Justin is upset at the prospect of harming him for wealth, Justin's girlfriend Carla and best friend Alex betray and nearly kill him, whereupon the djinn gleefully takes the chance to present to them their own suitcases, saving Justin and taking the two off for a most unpleasant fate.
    • "Stranger Sings": Miranda is a flesh-eating siren from the days of Ancient Greece. Seeking a normal life after having lured countless men to their gruesome deaths, Miranda uses her friend Sarah to entice the hapless doctor Barry into performing a surgery on her to remove the vocal cords and give them to Sarah. With the surgery being a success, Miranda becomes mortal again, and kills Sarah as she attempts to rape and kill Barry. Feeling regretful for all the trouble she's caused Barry, Miranda offers to take him on a date.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • "Secrets and Lies":
      • Bruno Hawks is a deputy director of the CIA whose reasonable leadership hides his devious traits. In truth the mole aligned with Hassan Nadir, Bruno discovers Agent Summers had converted Nadir's wife to the CIA and smuggles Hassan into the country to find her, torturing Summers to discover her location; when it becomes clear that he won't break, Bruno simply snaps his neck, knowing the CIA will cover it up for him. When the BAU begins investigating, Bruno lets everyone else incriminate themselves without interfering, only taking direct action when Olivia investigates him; after planting a virus at Spence's station to incriminate him, he quietly kills her with no one noticing. Although the BAU manages to reveal his treachery with an incredibly elaborate scheme of their own, Bruno accepts his fate with no shame nor regret, accepting his arrest with the knowledge that the CIA will either kill him or fake his death so that he won't have to go to prison.
      • Agent John Summers, even after his death, sets a plan in motion to bring down the mole in the Agency. Having previously converted Aaliyah Nadir to the CIA and faked her and her childrens' deaths to bring them to America, Summers realized there was a mole in the agency. Knowing he would die soon, Summers ordered a psych eval on himself and the four people it was most likely to be, taking the opportunity to subtly tell Gideon where he put the family. After he stashes them at the docks, Bruno confronts him in his home, yet he dies without revealing the family's location. With the family left behind as bait for Hassan, the BAU manage to utilize the pieces Summers left behind to not only track them down just as fast, but also exploit a loophole Summers knew Hassan would fall into to arrest him despite his Diplomatic Immunity, also revealing that Bruno was the mole in the process.
    • "Reckoner": Judge Boyd Schuller and Tony Mecacci are two of the few UnSubs to truly beat the BAU. When Judge Schuller was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he chose to exact "true justice" on those who escaped it and hired Tony, a former mob hitman, to carry it out. Schuller and Tony target those who harmed children, subjecting their targets to brutal but ironic fates, such as castrating a child rapist. When the BAU arrives, Tony manages to evade their stakeout and kill Ray without being seen by anyone, and Schuller, predicting when the BAU will figure him out, turns himself in to explain himself. Claiming that Dan Patton, the man who killed his wife in a drunk driving accident, is the final target, the BAU arrives too late to save him from Tony. As they realize too late that Schuller was the true final target, Tony kills Schuller during a transfer, allowing him to evade justice for his crimes, and by the time the BAU leaves Long Island, Tony is still in the wind, only killed when Sean ambushes him after a golf game.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm's "Larry vs. Michael J. Fox": Michael J. Fox was Larry's neighbor upstairs, who, despite escalating a conflict with Larry including purposefully shaking up a soda he gives to Larry, while excusing it through Parkinsons, actually has standards, shown when Larry David continues to escalate the conflict further and was willing to turn the other cheek until Larry drew a Hitler stache on his father-in-law. Then, he turned an entire charity organization against Larry, and nearly got him run out of town. Cunning, and able to use his disability to get the things he want, forcing Larry to donate to a Parkinsons charity, Michael J. Fox was one of the most cunning adversaries had faced.
  • Dallas (2012 revival): John Ross "J.R." Ewing, Jr. is a charming elderly man who helps his son achieve his dream of taking over Southfork ranch and tricks his brother into signing over the property to an investor who's secretly one of J.R.'s associates. Taking over Southfork, J.R. starts to drill for oil on it to secure profits while fooling his brother into thinking he was an invalid to throw him off his scent. Discovering he's dying of cancer, J.R. sets about his "masterpiece" and sets about getting revenge on the family's hated nemesis Cliff Barnes, having a minion steal Cliff's gun and kill him in order to frame Cliff for the crime. A man of total class, J.R. even reveals in his will his genuine love for his family and is happy that his son will be following in his footsteps as a master manipulator in his own right.
  • Dalziel and Pascoe's "Death In The Family": Aahil Khan is a single-minded yet warm, paternal entrepreneur. Arriving in Yorkshire with nothing he worked his way up, becoming a successful businessman and a respected figure in Wetherton's Asian community. Capitalizing on his reputation Khan started a Hawallah business — an illegal global money trade that ran explicitly through trust — operating out of his legitimate contacts, planning to save enough money to send his grandchildren to the best schools and guarantee their futures. Tricked into trading money from a bank robbery, Khan's reputation and side business was ruined. Undeterred Khan organised a burglary to reimburse himself with the remaining stolen cash, and when this failed had his sons kidnap the surviving robber Imad Abdullah. His son's attempts to force him into giving them the money failing, taking over Khan apologised to Imad and thanked him for teaching his sons the limits of brute force. In a single conversation Khan convinced Imad into giving him the majority of the money, with Khan allowing him to keep £100,000 and then using his contacts to smuggle Imad abroad to safety, with Khan successfully covering everything up and getting away scot free.
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance:
    • Chamberlain skekSil is a Skeksis who appears to be a simpering toady of Emperor skekSo but is far more intelligent and dangerous than he lets on. Coming up with the idea of harvesting Gelflings for essence, skekSil pins the blame for the Skeksis' first victim on her lover Rian to divide the Gelflings, even almost breaking Rian's will with a simple conversation after setting the Hunter skekMal on him and winning the Hunter's respect by revealing he sees power itself as his quarry. After being replaced by the General skekVar, skekSil saves his rival's life and manipulates him into a deathly duel with Rian, later ambushing and murdering him to reclaim his position of power. Long after most Gelflings are gone, skekSil fails in his bid to reclaim power, only to capture one of the final Gelflings to return himself to the good grace of the Skeksis to hatch new plots in his quest for the throne.
    • skekMal the Hunter is one of the few Skeksis to reject the decadent politics of the Emperor's court. Favoring the harsh wilderness outside the castle, the Hunter hunts the most dangerous of quarries, risking his life to corner and outsmart his prey. Called in by the Chamberlain to catch the renegade Rian, the Hunter is only too eager to track Rian and catch him while surviving even the self-sacrifice of Rian's father. Later unleashed again against the Gelflings, skekMal is able to more than match them with his skill and wits, only his Mystic counterpart the Archer overcoming him. Returning at last at the battle of Stone-In-Wood, the Hunter all but overwhelms the Gelfligs himself, boasting that "none can stop the Hunt" and only Archer's sacrifice being able to bring him down for good.
  • Day Break (2006): Defense attorney Barry Colburn is the secret mastermind of a cabal that controls much of Los Angeles behind the scenes. Seeking to exert his vision of justice on the entire city and maintain the system that he built, Colburn and his junior partner city councilman Tobias Booth frame Detective Brad Hopper for the murder of ADA Alberto Garza and blackmail his loved ones to cover up a separate murder tied to Booth. Colburn volunteers as Hopper's defense counsel to better manipulate him, while also planning to assassinate the defiant Judge Nitzberg and several of his colleagues. Hopper is only able to defeat the conspiracy by exploiting a "Groundhog Day" Loop. Despite this, Colburn remains a free man with enough resources to rebound from this setback, and willingly gives his greatest enemy some peace of mind by revealing the identity of his father's killer despite standing nothing to gain from it.
  • Dead Man's Gun:
    • "Fool's Gold": Norbert "King Snake" Dautry is a successful Con Man whose Scoundrel Code makes him only target others. Posing as a naive farmer, Dautry buys a salted goldmine from Jack Fleetwood, pretending to discover a rich vein of gold for real, then seemingly allows Fleetwood to trick him into buying back a share of the mine. Aided by his prostitute girlfriend, Dautry tricks Fleetwood into going into debt to raise the money for mining equipment, then tricks the busy Fleetwood into sending him to purchase the equipment. Fleetwood schemes to kill Dautry but discovers that the farm he visited Dautry on was abandoned years ago and that Dautry hasn''t used the money to buy mining equipment. Dautry and his girlfriend board a departing stagecoach, enjoy a drink of champagne, and gloatingly wave goodbye as they leave Fleetwood to the mercy of a cruel Loan Shark.
    • "Buryin' Sam": Andrew starts out working for shady undertakers Sam Roller and Theodore Claxton, who lecture him for not cutting enough costs in building coffins for their customers. When Sam murders Theodore, Andrew sees through Sam's attempts to make people think his victim just left town. He pretends to be fooled and seeks to profit from the situation instead of alerting the sheriff. He conducts a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax to make Sam think Theodore's ghost is seeking revenge. This proves to be too much for Sam's weak heart, just as Andrew anticipated. Andrew takes over the undertaking business, while assuming the personality and methods of his predecessors, and only his unknowing possession of a cursed gun threatens his new position.
  • Deadwood: Albert "Al" Swearengen is a respected and feared member of the Deadwood community. The owner of the Gem saloon, Al has been hardened by a rough and brutal life into general misanthropy. Murdering one potential issue, Al disposes of him with the help of Chinese boss Mr. Wu and arranges for the massacre of a prospector family, averting suspicion by blaming the Natives and by offering discounts on alcohol and prostitutes to keep the townspeople sated. Playing in politics to enrich himself and increase his fortunes, Al winds up helping to resist the ruthless George Hearst, forced to kill an innocent prostitute when his own beloved Trixie shoots Hearst and Hearst demands Trixie's death. Years later, a terminally ill Al arranges for Trixie's final happiness and helps to ensure Deadwood's prosperity, meeting his end with dignity and a final private blasphemy.
  • The Dead Zone:
    • "Valley of the Shadow": Francis Ritter, believing Johnny Smith to be a true prophet of God, undergoes a mission to force him to accept his responsibility. Kidnapping a child and leaving behind no evidence that Johnny can find, Francis leads him and Sheriff Walt Bannerman on a wild goose chase around the city, staying one step ahead of them despite Johnny's abilities the entire time. Almost managing to kill them with a bomb, Francis also predicts their plans to ambush him with a SWAT team, escaping the ambush but leaving behind clues to draw Johnny to his location. Predicting that Johnny would come alone, Francis leaves behind a second clue for Walt, timing it just right to convince Johnny to take his duty as a prophet seriously before he gets himself gunned down by police after one final prayer.
    • "Ascent": The Guide, heavily implied to be Death itself, is a surprisingly affable entity who seeks the lives of both Walt and Johnny. Having already lost the chance to take Johnny's life once before, the Guide lures him into Walt's consciousness before trapping him there, intending to have them both die at once. Playing the role of Walt's father within his memories and convincing him to Go into the Light. Retaliating against Johnny's changing of Walt's memories with his own mind games, the Guide finally touches Johnny, beginning the process of killing both of them. When Johnny manages to keep resisting, the Guide continues pressuring Walt to give in, only finally ceasing when it becomes clear he's going to lose and silently letting the two of them wake up.
  • Deal or No Deal: Hailing from the reboot of the American adaptation of the show, the Banker is an enigmatic businesswoman with a knack for scheming. Through her tempting offers, she attempts to get contestants to lose their chance at winning a million dollars, even succeeding in some episodes. Using clever manipulation skills, she personalizes offers to the struggles and desires of the contestants. Thus, a combination of strong willpower and risk assessment is needed to know if or when to take her deals. To add on to the flair of the game, the Banker will sometimes taunt the contestants to let them know she isn't playing around.
  • Defiance:
    • Stahma Tarr is the beautiful, elegant wife of Datak Tarr who hints that she took him as a husband after murdering her original fiancee. Loving Datak for his ruthlessness and ambition, Stahma connives for him to obtain a seat upon the Defiance city council, later murdering her extramarital lover when she threatens Stahma's life with poison. Betraying Datak to leave him in prison and run his criminal enterprise through their son Alak, Stahma repeatedly outplays those around her in an effort to secure her holdings and ambitions while also keeping her family safe.
    • Datak Tarr began only as a "nobody with a wicked smile" who connives and claws his way to power in Defiance. Bringing others into his debt, Datak makes himself a figure of power in the community until he is overthrown by his own wife, the above Stahma. Reflecting on his flaws, Datak grows and even shows contrition to befriend people who want him dead, reconciling with Stahma and their son before rising even higher. When the genocidal Rahm Tak threatens Defiance, Datak "proves" his loyalty by severing his arm in front of an impressed Rahm Tak, only to reveal he hid an explosive in the limb, escaping as Rahm Tak and his men are completely wiped out, saving the city and making himself a hero in the process.
  • Designated Survivor: Patrick Lloyd from seasons 1 and 2 leads a disbanded military firm and secretly aims to stage the takeover of the United States of America, using a powerful weapon to attack the Capitol building and killing nearly everyone inside during the State of the Union address. Having used an electronic blueprint of the bombing to prevent such an attack, Lloyd possesses blueprints for other acts of terror and has the terrorist who he paid to commit the initial bombing killed to tie up loose ends. Forcing the FBI director into compliance by kidnapping and threatening his son, Lloyd tries to have the current President Tom Kirkman killed to put his own puppet in office. While some plans fall through, Lloyd manages to steal nuclear codes from the Pentagon to gain the means to hold the US hostage and target other nations. Killing his contacts to avoid capture, Lloyd uses his final moments to threaten to release Sarin gas and kill thousands, only to actually be bluffing about it.
  • Dexter: Isaak Sirko is an amiable, cultured gangster and a high-ranking figure within the Ukrainian Koshka Brotherhood. Sirko travels to Miami after his friend and lover Viktor does not return, quickly discerning from his travel history that he was murdered. Discovering that Dexter Morgan is the culprit, Sirko proceeds to ruthlessly hunt down his quarry, admitting his respect for Dexter when he proves to be a formidable opponent. When Dexter leads Sirko into a trap, Sirko quickly dispatches the Colombian gangsters Dexter sicced on him, continuing his vendetta against Dexter after he orders his subordinate George to blackmail Detective Quinn so the police's case against Sirko collapses. His prioritization of revenge over profits causes Sirko's bosses to put out a hit on him, but Sirko forces Dexter into an Enemy Mine to help him dispatch the assassins sent after him. Even after he's been mortally wounded, Sirko remains dignified to the end, ultimately parting on good terms with Dexter.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency:
    • Ken Adams evolves from his Season 1 role as a put-upon sidekick to Bart, to a true Diabolical Mastermind in Season 2. Already proving himself to be a clever schemer with helping Bart track down Dirk Gently and using his computer skills to help solve the Spring case, Ken takes advantage of his extended imprisonment at Blackwing to manipulate Hugo Friedkin into using Ken as an asset. Ken tricks Friedkin into steadily promoting him to higher ranks with each passing day as Ken grows knowledgeable about Blackwing's operations and its subjects, and uses his enhanced cunning to reign in the psychotic Osmund Priest and turn the shapeshifter Mona into a pawn. Overcoming his former cowardly traits to stand up to Wendimoor knights and defend Blackwing's base from an assault, Ken finalizes his takeover of the entire organization by banishing Friedkin to die, charismatically winning over the higher-ups to make himself the permanent Director of Blackwing, and convinces even the loose cannon Bart to ally with him once more as Ken makes plans to bring "order" to the world by bringing all the former Blackwing subjects under his banner.
    • Season 1: "Patrick Spring", seemingly a recently-murdered billionaire, is really Zachariah Webb, a brilliant inventor from the 1880s who invented a time machine. When it was taken by the cult-like Men of the Machine, Webb traveled to the future, renaming himself to become a billionaire to gain the resources to fight them. When his wife is killed by the leader of the cultists, Jake Rainey, Spring spends decades plotting his revenge, eventually massacring his way through Rainey's men before gunning him down as well. Focused on protecting his precious daughter Lydia, Spring manipulates the heroes through clues, successfully securing Lydia's safety and completing the time loop.
  • Everybody Hates Chris' "Everybody Hates the English Teacher": "Ms. Rivera", real name Karen Rodriguez, is a con artist who's been at large for eight years, moonlighting as Tattagla High School's English teacher. When her cover becomes at risk of being blown, Karen disguises herself as a Mormon under the alias of "Perez" and escapes the border. Embezzling a quarter million dollars of the teachers' pension plan, Karen hides out in Utah, coming back to Brooklyn one last time to say goodbye to Chris before moving to Hollywood.
  • The Expanse: While Sadavir Errinwright begins as a pawn for Mao, when Mao turns on him, Errinwright shows how skilled a manipulator he is. Errinwright assassinates Mao's Martian contact and starts a war between Earth and Mars to force Mao to work for him. Seeking to use Mao's protomolecule hybrid supersoldiers to give Earth the strength to conquer Mars and remain secure, Errinwright begins a campaign to undermine the Secretary General's anti-war speechwriter Anna, first convincing her that her actions allowed Mars to kill millions in South America and then altering a speech she wrote to call for the annexation of Mars. Errinwright is ultimateley undone when Avasarala accomplishes the almost-impossible task of obtaining a copy of a message between Errinwright and Mao and sends it to Anna. When Errinwright realizes that he's lost, he calmly admits to his crimes and remains dignified as security takes him away.
  • Fallen (2006 Miniseries): In this reimagining of The Fallen book series Azazel was one of the leaders of the rebellion against Heaven, desiring the freedom to do whatever he wants in contrast to Lucifer's desire for conquest and envy towards humanity. Freed by Lucifer from his prison to retrieve the Nephilim Aaron Corbett, the "Redeemer", Azazel tracks Aaron down and decieves him into believing that his protector Camael was killed, and gains Aaron's trust. Taking Aaron to Lucifer's temple, Azazel fights Camael and the Powers, and despite being defeated and reimprisoned, is perfectly willing to wait to be free again, stating that he has a lot of patience.
  • Fall of Eagles: Otto von Bismarck is the daring Chancellor of Prussia who manipulates France into starting a war so Prussia may crush them. With other wars that Bismarck oversees, as well as his frightening skill in diplomacy, Prussia is able to dominate all of Germany and unify it into a single nation. Making alliances with the Hapsburgs and Romanovs, Bismarck ensures the prosperity of his nation, no matter what ruthless actions he must undertake.
  • Fargo:
    • Season 2: Ohanzee "Hanzee" Dent is the Hypercompetent Sidekick to the entire Gerhardt family, and a seemingly-unassuming Native American mercenary whose unexpected brilliance eventually brings him above both his employers and the Kansas City mafia. Already a ruthlessly efficient tracker and assassin with an unmatched tendency to eliminate every person in his way, Hanzee's tire over mistreatement in his life even in spite of his years in Vietnam spur him to start manipulating every side in the heated conflict brewed from the death of Rye Gerhardt. Hanzee kills his abusive boss Dodd, and — with his last chance to escape the criminal life seemingly dashed — Hanzee effortlessly plays both the Gerhardts and the law enforcement pursuing them against each other, spurring them into a massive shoot-out that decimates both sides as he walks away the only true victor of the conflict. In the end, under the new identity of Moses Tripolgi, Hanzee goes to forge his own successful criminal empire through the years to come, even with the full knowledge that some day, it too will fall.
    • Season 4: Ebal Violante is a wise old criminal who served as the personal advisor and advocate to the Fadda family, whose conflict resolution abilities and sound strategical advice are often ignored or overlooked by the impulsive Fadda leadership. After weeks of watching the Faddas slowly self-destruct due to incompetent leadership, Ebal finally steps up and takes the reigns himself, manipulating rival crime lord Loy Cannon into an alliance that enables Ebal to betray, demonize and execute Josto Fadda, assuming control of the Fadda family for himself in one, swift motion. Promptly screwing Loy over and revealing he's taking half of the Cannon territory as well, Ebal puts Loy in his place as a mere fish in the vast ocean of crime Ebal and his partners in New York occupy, and ends the story completely on top of the Kansas City Mafia, paving the way for decades more professional crime and business to come.
  • Farscape:
    • Scorpius was once a nameless child born of a twisted breeding experiment by the Scarrans who schemed his way to freedom and murdered his abusive caretaker Tauza. After finding out about the horrific circumstances of his birth via the rape of his mother by a Scarran soldier, Scorpius dedicated himself to destroying the Scarrans in retribution. Becoming a top officer in the normally fiercely xenophobic Peacekeeper armada, Scorpius tries to hunt down the Wormhole technology in hero John Crichton's head, constantly manipulating others to his ends, using and betraying others in his way and destroying his enemies while the crew of Moya barely remains a step ahead of him, proving himself the single most brilliant and dangerous enemy John has ever faced who will stop at nothing in pursuit of his goals to destroy the Scarrans.
    • Rygel XVI was Dominar of the Hynerian Empire, ruler of over six hundred billion subjects, before he was deposed by his cousin and spent over a hundred cycles in Peacekeeper captivity. He masterminded the prison break aboard Moya, and never lets the others forget it. While he's frequently dismissed by the rest of the crew due to his diminutive stature, relentless greed and self-absorption, Rygel is intelligent, cunning, a competent negotiator and statesman, and can be surprisingly violent when the situation demands it. While he makes no secret of the fact that he's out for himself first, neither will he betray the crew for no reason — as he's smart enough to know they're helpful allies, and he has to be fairly certain he'll actually profit from turning on them. If there's nothing to be gained by working against them, he'll have a flawless scheme up his sleeve to protect them. As the series goes on and Character Development sets in, Rygel lets his genuine care and love for Moya and his friends show more often, but never loses his capacity for brilliant scheming and brutal violence as needed. In "I-Yensch, You-Yensch" he becomes one of very few to cross wits with Scorpius and come out on top.
  • FBI: Most Wanted's "Chattaboogie": Evan Greeter is the charming but ruthless heir to "the Board", a Hillbilly Moonshiner syndicate turned drug ring. Betrayed by the others, despite personal assurances they would look after his mother, Evan vows revenge. Whilst patiently spying on the operation, Evan discovers Susan Kleinman's secret partnership with Clayton Smith, laundering gold for The Cartel and was planning to eliminate the others. Assisted only by his girlfriend Maggie, Evan beats Susan to punch by killing the Shallet siblings and kidnapping Smith, tricking the authorities into believing Smith committed the murders. Forcing all he needs out of Smith, Evan stages his suicide, then outsmarts and kills the remaining board member Allen and his operatives. Stealing the latest gold shipment, Evan traps Susan, calling her out for her betrayal and revealing his plans to take over running both operations. In spite of being caught by the FBI, Evan has the foresight to have already sent his mother and her boyfriend off to an international cruise with a stolen fortune, ensuring them luxury for the rest of their lives.
  • Forever Knight: The sire of Nicholas Knight, Lucien LaCroix was a brilliant Roman general turned into a vampire by his own daughter Divia. Horrified at the corruption Divia succumbed to, with her even suggesting they become lovers, LaCroix seemingly destroyed and entombed her. Becoming a brilliant, dangerous vampire, LaCroix once arranged for Nick to be hanged by peasants to trick him into succumbing to his killer instinct once Nick renounced his old ways. In the present, LaCroix frequently manipulates Nick and all around him, even having his own radio show as the Night Crawler where he frequently talks about his philosophies and his schemes. Always charismatic and compelling, LaCroix also admits to certain standards and always maintains his complex relationship with Nicholas.
  • Fringe: William Bell is a brilliant scientist who founded the corporation, Massive Dynamic, and is also revealed to be backing the terrorist organization ZFT, using them to test Olivia Dunham into activating her powers to enter the Alternate Universe he resides where he tells her of the upcoming catastrophe her universe will face before sending her back. When Olivia and Walter Bishop arrives in the alternate universe again William Bell would save them and Peter Bishop and bring them back to their universe by sacrificing himself. Though seemingly dead, William Bell had his soul stored inside a bell which possessed Olivia when she activates it, whom he brokers a deal with Walter to return Olivia's body if they transfer his conscious to a computer; he lied about the latter working revealing that he "hates goodbyes". Alive again in an alternate timeline, William would enact his most ingenious and diabolical plan of destroying both Walter's and the alternate universes to create his own universe using Olivia as his catalyst, a plan that nearly succeeds if not for his equally brilliant friend Walter intervening. Always alternating between the Fringe divisions greatest ally to most dangerous enemy, William Bell made his mark as the series' most morally ambiguous yet brilliantly charming character.
  • Future Man:
    • Ty-Anne is an alternate reality clone of Tiger that joins the Pointed Circle after discovering Stu Camilo’s true monstrosity and his sinister plans for humanity. She climbs up to the ranks to becoming the resistance’s leader, adopting the moniker "Achilles", hiding her role from Stu by acting like an obnoxious spoiled brat in front of him. Upon discovering Stu’s weakness being Josh, she has Dr. Athena kidnap multiple Joshes from different realities to forcibly infiltrate Stu’s mainframe before asking Josh Futterman herself to voluntarily sacrifice himself to Stu, when the other attempts failed. When told about the failures of her plans and another weak spot from Josh, Wolf, and Tiger, Ty-Anne changes her plans by taking Tiger’s spot at Stu’s side to distract him while she has the trio destroy Stu’s weakness, killing him for good.
    • Susan is the bombastic and charismatic host of the Diecathlon who arranges Josh, Tiger, and Wolf to be captured in season 2 and brought before him to interrogate. Susan attempts to have them kill each other before deciding to have them compete in the Diecathlon, when they Take a Third Option and try killing themselves. When the trio escapes from the Diecathlon in season 3, Susan tries to side with them upon discovering his rival’s plan to usurp Susan's position as host, force him to compete, and kill his wife and daughter. Susan would succeeded in doing so by revealing Osama bin Laden’s attempts to manipulate Josh into taking him back to Haven where he has Josh kill Bin Laden before instructing Josh and the other two to infiltrate Haven where Susan plans to destroy Haven to repair the time-space continuum that’s being damaged. Upon discovering the source of Haven located in the year 1999 at Iowa State University, Susan fends off Mathers' forces to give the trio time to destroy the source. After being captured by Mathers, Susan, knowing that Mathers would try to kill his family, switched the cubes—keeping his family safe—before unleashing his daughter on Mathers and killing her, before parting ways with the trio after they succeed in saving the world.
  • Galavant: Madalena was a peasant woman and Galavant's girlfriend who dumped him to marry King Richard and become his queen. Successfully collaborating with Richard in luring Galavant into a trap on the pretense that she’s Richard's prisoner, she overthrows Richard with the help of his treacherous brother Kingsley, only to stab Kingsley In the Back, becoming the sole monarch of Valencia. When she learns of Galavant, Richard, and co. escaping her imprisonment and their whereabouts, she uses her vast army to declare war on them, while also obtaining the magical powers of the Dark Dark Evil Ways to ensure her victory. Only loosing to Richard's Sword of the One True King, Madalena never looses her dark charm and only expands her ambitions to conquer the rest of the world, becoming the apprentice of the Dark Evil Lord to master her powers boldly claiming that nothing will stop her now.
  • GARO: Makai Senki: Sigma Fudo, aka "The Man in the Red Mask", was once a Makai Priest who was passed up for inheriting the title of "Flash Knight LORD" in favor of his twin brother Leo. Believing Alchemy and Priests were more suited to protecting humanity rather than Knights, Sigma secretly allies with the Horrors, crafting powerful tools and attacks Makai Knights to brand them with the Seal of Destruction as part of a plan to assimilate them into a powerful Horror. Luring the Makai Order into his trap, Sigma nearly erases them alongside with the Horrors to bring about his desired utopia, letting nothing stand in the face of his goal for world peace.
  • The George Lopez Show's "George Decides to Sta-Local Where it's Familia": Enrique Vega is a soft-spoken, intelligent businessman who buys out Powers Aviation and intends to relocate their factory to Mexico to cut costs. Though George tries to confront Vega over the loss of jobs this will cost, Vega quickly charms and seduces George into instead accepting a job offer, nonetheless playing along with amusement at George's attempt to look defiant for his employees. When Vega learns that George has turned on him and allied with the factory workers for a lock-in, Vega strikes a deal with the city's mayor to keep the factory open in exchange for giving Vega immense tax exemptions, Vega letting George have the credit for "saving" the factory and promoting the man for his tenacity and skill while Vega himself continues to profit from his enterprises.
  • Girl Gun Lady: Matsuko Kadowaki was once Lady Commander Amatsu, who led her team to victory in the previous Girl Gun Fight and was made human as a result. After her teammates were erased from the real world, Matsuko swore revenge on the GGL's game master and sought to save her team. Reentering the fight as a player for Bravo Tango, Matsuko quickly proves herself far more competent than her Lady Commander, leading her team to the top of the leaderboard through her strategy and combat prowess. After Alpha Tango wins the Girl Gun Fight, Matsuko reveals the truth to Koharu and enlists the help of her and the other surviving players to stop the game master. During the victory ceremony, Matsuko has Alice kill her so she can retrieve the Lady Armor from the real world, enabling Koharu to use it to kill the game master and undo all the changes made by the Girl Gun system. Though this led to her being erased, Matsuko died fully content that her teammates and everyone else would be saved.
  • The Good Guys:
    • "Pilot": Pedro is the CIA-trained second best hired assassin in the world. The Cartel hires him to kill a thief and retrieve some stolen money. Pedro effortlessly disables the alarm system of the thief's plastic surgeon, and intimidates him into giving up the pawn shop owner with the bag of money. Pedro demonstrates superb gun-slinging skills when he runs across Dan and Jack, but also doesn't go out of his way to try and kill him. He is frustrated but professional, at least until they threaten his sons, when his boss hires his hated rival, the best assassin in the world to join the hunt. He helps Jack save an innocent hostage during the climactic shootout, then gets into a Mexican Standoff with the best assassin for several minutes before killing his rival and claiming the title of best assassin. He peacefully surrenders to the police but then uses his CIA contacts to make them release him. Pedro then returns to his sons and sends Jack and Dan a letter complimenting their bravery and skills.
    • "Vacation": Beau Teauge is a prison warden who breaks convicts out of prison for money, bribing guards and other inmates, arranging for transfers that can be ambushed by his clients, and more. Even when the protagonists blunder into his operation by luck, he calmly lies to Lt. Ruiz and doesn't abandon the operation to avoid the risks. Teague is affable toward his clients and defiant in the face of arrest, but he's also a ruthless man who's willing to get the guards under his command injured or worse to facilitate his racket. Even when Dan and Jack bust his clients, Teague is poised to stay beneath suspicion until he's caught spending marked money that only got put into circulation by accident due to Dan's unpredictable and poorly thought-out antics.
    • "Common Enemies": Roland the Tech Bandit is a dedicated food blogger who finances his passion by stealing software from tech companies. He uses his acrobatic skills to break into highly secure corporate buildings without leaving a trace. When Dan and Jack catch him, he takes it with grave and amusement while saying that he's glad that it wasn't a Jerkass whose been after him for years who finally closed the case. Roland is released from jail to help rescue Liz and Ruiz from a hostage situation, and he succeeds in saving the day but then promptly escapes despite his earlier promise not to. The episode ends with Roland preparing for his next heist and his next restaurant review, while being accompanied by a filmmaker who originally set out to make a documentary about his pursuers but finds Roland more interesting.
    • "Little Things": Alfredo and Tico are two Mexican cartel members with a Start My Own scheme. They fake their own deaths and go to America, purchasing fake identities to use in their drug empire. Alfredo and Tico kill everyone who encounters them at this point in their plan to eliminate threats of exposure, but they generally do so with regret and introspection. At one point, Alfredo gives one man they plan to kill a wad of money first to Let Them Die Happy. The two also maintain a good Villainous Friendship and take their arrest with disappointment but dignity.
    • "The Getaway": Mild-mannered Carson Pulaski is roped into a criminal career by his domineering wife Marion. Carson steals their biggest haul after $2 million armored car robbery, apologetically running out on Marion and her brother Tyler. He uses the money to finance an honest life as the owner of a stylish motel. Months later, Jack visits his motel and becomes suspicious of Carson's past despite his pleasant nature. Carson does a good job of lying to Jack, but Jack’s background check inadvertently summons Tyler and Marion, who take Jack, Dan, and Carson prisoner. Carson tries to convince Marion and Tyler to spare the two detectives and two join him as honest hotelier but fails. He says a dignified goodbye to the hotel he built as Marion prepares to kill him, but Jack and Dan save him by capturing Marion and Tyler. Carson almost escapes in the confusion, but when arriving cops arrest him for the armored car robbery, he shows no malice toward Jack for causing this, and says he hopes Jack enjoyed staying at his motel.
    • "Cop Killer": Dekker is a blind veteran and owner of a store that sells military-grade weapons. His best clients are dangerous criminals who he maintains Villainous Friendships and recognizes by voice. He willingly helps in their efforts to kill police informant Julius Grant. He remains unworried and careful when being questioned by the police and turns their visits to his advantage by training his preteen granddaughter and shop assistant to spy on visitors who venture out of his earshot. Through this strategy, he ends up learning far more information from Dan and Jack then they do from him, passes this information on to his customers. At the end of the episode, he remains free and in business even after Jack and Dan bust his customers.
  • The Good Place:
    • Michael is a deceitful yet affable demon who arranges for a group of souls to psychologically torture each other in the supposed Good Place. After the group figures out Michael's ploy, Michael erases their minds several times over before joining forces with them to scheme against the smug Vicky after she blackmails him into relinquishing his power. Michael manipulates his demon brethren into thinking that the group has escaped while framing Vicky for his failures, tricking the demons into leaving. While Michael's intentions were initially self-serving, he grows to genuinely care for the group and manipulates events to ensure that the protagonists and many others are reformed enough to enter the Good Place, improving the Afterlife system and the Good Place upon discovering their flaws and persuades his former allies into helping him stop Gen from erasing all of existence, before reincarnating himself as a mortal human after accomplishing everything he desired.
    • Season 4: Bad Janet is the Bad Place's version of Janet who, after being rebooted 40 million times by Shawn, is able to perfectly imitate a Good Janet, and swaps places with her with no one in the Soul Squad being any the wiser. She spends months undermining the experiment in subtle ways, such as making the other humans doubt Eleanor's leadership skills and sabotaging attempts at group bonding activities. After being exposed as an impostor, Michael decides to release her after giving her his manifesto, which she reads and finds herself agreeing with Michael's points. When the Earth is faced with the risk of being rebooted by the judge, she gathers an army of Good, Bad, Neutral, and Disco Janets to help hide the Earth-rebooting remote. Even as her fellow Janets are marbleized, she refuses to give it up, defiantly farting in the Judge's direction when it becomes her turn to meet the same fate.
  • Gotham:
    • Ra's Al Ghul is the leader of the League of Assassins and the true brains behind the Court of Owls. After unleashing a deadly virus on Gotham, a brainwashed Bruce Wayne is sent to Ra's, where he orders him to stab Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce obeys, but breaks free of his conditioning. Ra's escapes, but not without letting Bruce use the Lazarus Pit to save Alfred. Ra's later returns searching for a mysterious knife. After killing the knife's previous owner and later on his son, Ra's turns himself in and is sent to Blackgate Penitentiary, and has his guards infiltrate the facility. Bruce later arrives to confront Ra's, and Ra's successfully goads him into killing him. Ra's is later resurrected by his loyal followers, and after regaining his powers from Barbara Kean, teams up with Jeremiah Valeska to turn Gotham into a no man's land, and kidnaps Bruce to take him to a building where they can witness the city's destruction. Ra's then dies during a battle with Bruce and Barbara, but not before congratulating the latter for her efforts, and telling the former that he must now choose to remain Bruce Wayne, or become Gotham's Dark Knight. Charming and intelligent, Ra's stood out as one of the most cunning criminals Gotham ever faced.
    • "The Balloonman": The Balloonman, in reality the mild mannered social worker Davis Lamond, targets corrupt public figures and kills them. Having purchased stolen weather balloons from Carl Smikers, an employee at a weather balloon manufacturing plant, the Balloonman disguises himself as a street vendor before confronting his victims, chaining them to weather balloons and letting them drop from the balloons as they collapse, with a con artist, a vicious and corrupt police officer, and a child molesting priest among his victims. When confronted by Gotham City Police Department Detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock, the Balloonman expresses frustration that the law had shielded his victims from prosecution while they oppressed the innocent. When Gordon refuses to back down, the Balloonman tries to shoot him, only being subdued due to Bullock's intervention.
    • "Arkham": "Richard Gladwell"—real name unknown—is a freelance professional assassin who works for both sides of a gang war between Gotham Mob Bosses Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni, having previously killed a civilian and assumed his identity. Introduced posing as a constituent, Gladwell tricks a councilman in Falcone's pocket and the latter's aide into letting their guard down before killing them with a telescoping spike of his own design. Later burning a councilman in cahoots with Maroni, Gladwell proceeds to attempt the Mayor's assassination, nearly succeeding before being shot by Detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock.
    • "Lovecraft": Larissa "Copperhead" Diaz is an assassin who spends her episode pursuing Selina Kyle. She's introduced being surprised on Wayne Manor grounds by a gardener who she lulls into a false sense of security before breaking his neck and using his blood to make herself look like an accident victim as a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to attack Selina. She gives both Bruce Wayne and Detective Jim Gordon a chance to save their lives by not opposing her and is impressed enough to spare both of them when they resist her anyway. She also warns Bruce not to mistake bravery for good sense in the future. While she fails to kill Selina, she does eliminate a secondary target, even using Gordon's gun to frame him for the shooting and then escapes as the police arrive.
    • "Rogues' Gallery" & "What the Little Bird Told Him": Jack Buchinsky, AKA the Electrocutioner, was the mastermind behind a string of bank robberies under the employment of Sal Maroni before being betrayed and subsequently arrested. Using his connections, he had himself transferred to Arkham Asylum under the falsified profile of "Jack Gruber", a textbook sociopath and rapist, then proceeded to experiment on the inmates using electroshock therapy intending to create the perfect minion, which he succeeds with two such individuals. When Detective Jim Gordon investigates the electroshock cases, Buchinsky manages to evade detection. Using one of his minions to pose as an Arkham nurse to take the fall for the crimes, Buchinsky and his other minion manage to unlock his cell and escape. Upon his release, Buchinsky acquires his old electric weaponry and attempts to assassinate Maroni for his betrayal. With Maroni under protective custody, Buchinsky attacks the Gotham City Police Department directly, electrifying every metal surface and knocking out everyone in the building save for Gordon who defeats him by shorting out his equipment.
  • Grimm:
    • Captain Sean Renard, officially an upstanding officer of the law and Nick's charismatic boss, is secretly the half-Zauberbiest bastard son of King Frederick Renard of the House of Kronenberg. Forced to flee for his life as a child, Renard exploited his unique connections to eventually become de facto overlord of Portland. A calculating mastermind, natural leader and exemplary warrior, Renard is also a senior figure in the Laufer's fight against the Royals, possessing connections the other leaders can only dream of, whilst fooling the royals into believing he's one of them. Constantly working, be it in police business, outplaying rivals at international intrigue or protecting his city, Renard never misses an opportunity he can exploit. Amongst his successes, he plants a spy within his families own castle; assassinates his brother Prince Eric on his own turf; sets up an alliance with other resistance leaders beneath the Royals' noses; and temporarily become mayor of Portland. His Machiavellianism tempered by genuine standards and a protective nature, Renard stands out both as one of Nick's greatest enemies and his most capable allies.
    • Prince Viktor Beckendorf, the second Crown Prince of the House of Kronenberg, is the main antagonist of Season 3 and the first half of season 4. A ruthless yet pragmatic, suave, single-minded professional, Viktor will do anything to increase the family's powerbase, with him responsible for rigging elections, overseeing the Verrat and infiltrating governments and intelligence agencies. Assigned to investigate Prince Eric’s assassination Viktor was the only one to figure out Sean was responsible. Ordered by the King to kidnap Sean's daughter Diana to be the family's heir or else face an agonizing death, Viktor manages to expose and break Sean's spy, tracking them across the world, and even after losing Diana manipulates Adalind into stripping Nick of his powers. Deducing he had been tricked and who really had her, he immediately got back to tracking Diana, successfully turning one of Sean's agents. Finally sick of his uncle's ill gratitude and threats, Viktor conspired with the Laufer to engineer his demise leaving himself King. Proving to be the most capable Royal, Viktor was the only recurring antagonist to end their run in victory.
    • "Plumed Serpent": Ariel Eberhart is a playful, alluring Dämonfeuer and the daughter of the slowly dying Fred Eberhart, a welder turned copper thief. Learning that Detective Nick Burkhardt is a Grimm investigating her father's involvement in a homicide, Ariel devises a plan to give her father an honorable death. She ambushes Nick when he follows her, tearing his shirt and answering his phone to trick his girlfriend Juliette into thinking he's cheating just to mess with them. The next night, Ariel tricks Nick to going to her house, kidnaps Juliette and brings her to her father's lair, thus forcing Nick to face her father in combat to the death to save Juliette and give her father a chance at dying honorably in accordance with their culture. When Nick emerges the victor, Ariel assures her father he fought well and causes an explosion, faking her death and leaving for parts unknown.
    • "The Good Soldier": Colonel Adam Desai blamed himself for being unable to achieve justice for Frankie Gonzales after she was gang-raped by four PMCs. Learning he was dying from cancer, Desai begins to hunt down and kill the four men responsible, luring one into his house by breaking his medals before stabbing him. When Portland police contact him about the rape, Desai tells them all he knows while tricking them into believing he's in the hospital while he's really in Portland. When one of the other contractors is killed along with his wife and Frankie is arrested, she calls Desai, who allows the Portland police to track his call, then confronts the last remaining rapist and reveals that he knows that he killed the contractor and his wife before engaging in a fight to the death. In the end, Desai deliberately leaves himself open for a killing blow, declaring that "You can't arrest him for what he did to Frankie, but you can for what he did to me." Colonel Desai is shown to be the cleverest Manticore depicted in the show and meets his end on his terms.

     H - X 
  • Hanna:
    • Marissa Wiegler worked for UTRAX and was forced by her superiors to terminate the babies under her care and murdered Johanna. When Johanna's daughter, Hanna, seeks to avenge her mother's death, Marissa anticipates Hanna's moves and counterattacks before hunting Hanna herself. Learning that Sawyer had sold her out, Marissa confronts Sawyer for answers before killing him and helps Hanna escape the UTRAX facility where she turns against her superiors in Pioneer and later convinces Hanna to help Marissa dismantle UTRAX. Blackmailing John Carmichael into getting Hanna reinstated back into the program, Marissa helps Hanna rescue the people Pioneer wants assassinated by faking their deaths and sets Carmichael up to be killed when he turns on them. Marissa and Hanna also destroy the computer creating the target list before threatening Max Kaplan's life to obtain the backup algorithm, and kill her father, Gordon Evans, to save Hanna and an innocent family, while sacrificing her own life in the process.
    • Season 1: Erik Heller was an assassin working for UTRAX until he fell in love with Johanna and decided to escape with her. When Johanna gets killed by Marissa Wiegler, Erik takes her daughter, Hanna, and raises her as an assassin with the mission to kill Marissa. When Hanna fails to kill Marissa and gets separated from Erik, he travels throughout Europe to search her and captures Marissa, holding her hostage to bargain for his and Hanna's safety. Eventually reuniting with Hanna, Erik takes her to her biological father to keep her safe while he plans an attack on the UTRAX facility. When Hanna decides to help Erik raid the facility, Erik sacrifices his own life to ensure that Hanna and a girl they rescued can escape.
    • Seasons 2-3: Terri Miller is a CIA analyst who gets recruited into the UTRAX program, where she uses social media to communicate with the female assassins and give them commands, while helping them blend within public society. Growing to care for the girls, Miller breaks Mari out from the Meadows, before helping her and Hanna dismantle UTRAX. Helping Hanna rescue the assassination targets, Miller would maintain her cover when Hanna's gets exposed and continues to provide her with information that allows Hanna to remain one step ahead of her enemies. Retrieving the backup algorithm containing all of Pioneer’s targets, Miller leaks the algorithm to the public exposing Pioneer’s evil deed and destroy their organization while giving Hanna and her Love Interest's family new identities to live.
  • Hannibal: Hannibal Lecter himself maintains a sense of charm and genteelness that is unmatched in other portrayals, despite being a cannibalistic Serial Killer. Hannibal delights in nothing more than "winding others up to watch them go" and manipulates events, gaslighting people and driving them to insanity or horrible deeds simply to watch what will unfold. Manipulating the FBI perfectly, especially Will Graham who Hannibal fixates on, he manages to elude suspicion for a frighteningly long time, even triggering one captured FBI agent with a trigger to shoot Dr. Frederick Chilton, whom he has a special contempt for. Hannibal also manipulates the dysfunctional Verger siblings until their relationship is at a bloody head before he mutilates and paralyzes the sadistic Mason Verger solely due to dislike of him. Hannibal does rouse himself to save the life of Will from a vengeful Mason later, and in the series finale proves his care for Will and desire for them to become a murderous couple when he rescues Will from the Red Dragon killer. A murderer with a god complex and Satanic Archetype, Hannibal is nevertheless an audacious manipulator with a captivating presence on the screen, ever joyful to string people along to his whims.
  • Henry Danger: Rick Twitler is the founder of TwitFlash who eventually came to dislike how people were addicted to their screens and regretted creating the company. Hacking the Man Cave to gain access to the heroes' personal information, he sets up a series of events, which includes faking his kidnapping to trap the heroes and steal their powers, succeeding in taking Kid Danger's fast reflexes and turning himself into a computer virus that nearly spreads to the heroes. Anticipating that he may fail, Twitler had set up a video ahead of time giving Drex the blueprints to a superweapon. Returning in Danger Force, it is revealed that Twitler had yet another backup plan, having put his soul inside a computer years prior that inserted itself inside a video game. Twitler possesses Mika and later Helper Monkey into building a cyborg that he uses as a vessel to return from the dead. Holding the news station hostage, he uses a satellite to activate what's left of his computer virus and nearly infects everyone. When Volt manages to stop it, Twitler absorbs Henry's forcefield, as well as a combination of his cybernetics and the Indium Crystals to create enough power to destroy the internet.
  • Hogan's Heroes: Marya is a Soviet spy who operates under the cover of being a White Russian émigré. Extremely capable behind her overacting and eccentric behavior, she proves one of the most cunning and charismatic schemers in the series. In her first appearance, she helps the Heroes to spring captured French Resistance member Tiger in order to obtain information about secret German airbases for her country. Subsequently, Marya alternates between working with the Heroes towards a common goal and working at cross purposes towards her own objectives, often using their own scheming to her advantage. Her achievements include destroying or discrediting plenty of high-ranking German officers and scientists, helping to steal a large portion of Hermann Göring's art collection, sabotaging the reputation of an experimental wunderwaffe, retrieving a Soviet scientist, and saving her spy ring from an SS plan to expose it. The only recurring character to consistently operate on the same level as Colonel Robert Hogan, Marya stands head and shoulders above most of the show's other schemers.
  • The Holy Pearl (2011): Hu Ji is a demonic wind sorceress and former fairy forced into the service of the vile Shi You Ming. To save her people from Shi You Ming's wrath, Hu Ji works as his chief subordinate, leading his armies in combat and manipulating the emotions and politics of the human realm to soften them for the demons. Constantly plotting to usurp her master, Hu Ji remains quick to recover whenever seemingly beaten back by Shi You Ming and uses his distraction in combat to die bravely attacking the demon lord.
  • Homeland:
    • Abu Nazir is an al-Qaeda commander who longs to destabilize the American government. After capturing soldiers Nicholas Brody and Tom Walker, Nazir forced Brody to seemingly kill Walker, before later halting his torture so he could nurse Brody back to health. After his son, Issa, and dozens of other children are killed in a drone strike launched by Vice President Walden, Nazir used the incident to expose America's hypocrisy to Brody. Seeking revenge, Nazir allowed Brody to be rescued by American soldiers so he, and Nazir's other agents, would gradually dismantle Walden from within and eliminate anyone in their path. When Brody fails to kill the Vice President, he instead has Brody try to influence Walden's policies against the Middle East. As he plans another terrorist attack, Nazir Brody's Love Interest, and forces Brody to assist him in killing the Vice President in exchange for freeing her. Once Walden is dead, Nazir allows himself to be caught and killed by the police so his followers can later set off a bomb during Walden's memorial service and frame Brody for the attack.
    • Tom Walker is a former soldier turned terrorist. After being captured alongside Nicholas Brody, Nazir forced Brody to beat Walker to death. In reality, Nazir helped Walker fake his death, and Walker snuck back into Washington D.C. to carry out most of Nazir's plans. Posing as a wandering vagrant, Walker routinely delivered messages to and from Nazir's agents, all while managing to elude various law enforcement officials. When Walker is finally exposed, he evades multiples police officers chasing after him and kills a hunter before the man can report him to the authorities. He also lures multiple CIA agents into a trap by pretending to meet with one of his contacts, only to have him killed in an explosion upon realizing he betrayed Nazir. Walker later assassinates Vice President Walden's chief aide as part of Nazir's elaborate plan to have the Vice President murdered and escapes without the police ever finding him.
  • House of Cards (UK): Francis Urquhart plots, schemes, manipulates and backstabs his way up the political chain in the hopes of becoming Prime Minister; remaining above suspicion among all of his colleagues. He does it with class, skill and style, all the while giving conspiratorial No Fourth Wall asides to the audiences, explaining his thoughts on his opponents and next steps. He commits terrible deeds, frequently exposing scandals of rivals and supposed friends, manipulating others into doing his bidding and in some cases resorts to outright murder to get his way. Urquhart ends up as Prime Minister, determined to remain in office longer than even Margaret Thatcher, a goal which he absolutely achieves by the end, showing himself no less a cultured player of the grand game in the office as he was outside it. Even after his assassination, his machinations have ensured he will be remembered as a beloved figure in English history, his true villainy always concealed beneath the one line: "You may very well think that. I could not possibly comment."
  • I Am Frankie's "I Am Eliza" two-parter: Prototype E, aka "Eliza" is an android prototype Dr. Sigourney Gaines created before Frankie. Prior to the series, she became an infamous international criminal who managed to get away with a lot of crimes. Needing a system update, she goes to the Gaines residence and poses as Frankie, managing to deceive Frankie's friends and family into thinking she was Frankie, uploading Frankie's memory files to keep up the facade and holding Sigourney and her family hostage when they discovers Eliza's identity. After disabling E.L.F. hardware and the GPS so Frankie couldn't connect, she'd get supplies for creating a new face to hide and cover her identity with, force her creator to create the face mask, and then destroy the laptop used to program said mask so her new face would be "untraceable". She'd put up an even battle against Frankie, and nearly shuts Frankie down permanently, only failing due to short-circuiting. She's then seemingly restrained to a charging chair, with her strength reduced, but she unplugged the chair before she could be de-powered, and manages to escape with what she wanted.
  • I, Claudius: Livia Drusilla, wife of Augustus, is a ruthless schemer set to put her son Tiberius on the throne. Poisoning her daughter-in-law Julia's husband to free her for marriage and later poisoning her second husband after biding her time, Livia arranges for the deaths and ruination of multiple impediments and rivals: revealing the affairs of Julia to ruin her, arranging an affair between Julia's son Postumus and her own granddaughter before framing Postumus of assaulting her and later having him disposed of. Livia even kills Augustus himself with poison she smears on his personal figs even as she mourns him. Upon finding Tiberius a revolting disappointment, she assists in Caligula's rise, though conceals the prophecy that Claudius will succeed Caligula as Emperor from the former, telling Claudius the truth of all that has transpired before her death with his vow that he will elevate her to a goddess when he is Emperor to save her from hell's torments.
  • Inside No. 9:
    • "The Referee's a W***er": Martin Rutherford is a corrupt referee hellbent on promoting his team, City, to the top league of English football. Upon the final league match of the season, Martin sets about sabotaging a game between Rovers and United in order to dock points from them by orchestrating a magnificent Zero-Approval Gambit: enlisting the help of several incompetent officials to assist him with the game, Martin sets out to sow division amongst them by having the weakest one, Oggy, approached and bribed. He also makes sure to do the same to Phil, a junior referee who Martin knows will inform the authorities to save his career. Attempting to ruin the playing of United's star striker, Calvin, Martin seduces him and then falsely gives him a Love Confession right before the match in order to rattle him. Once on the field, Martin causes chaos by making deliberately poor refereeing decisions, until finally abandoning the game twelve minutes from time after successfully turning the crowd and the players against each other, causing each team to be docked points and ensuring that City will be promoted. Remaining completely above suspicion the whole time, Martin celebrates his victory upon being left alone, having accomplished everything he set out to do.
    • "Misdirection": Gabriel is a talented amateur magician determined to take revenge on Neville Griffin for murdering Gabriel's grandfather Wally Wando and stealing his magic trick. Using the concept of misdirection, Gabriel fools Neville into thinking that he is trying to expose him for the murder of Wally whilst actually planning to frame him for the murder of his wife. Using a series of tricks whilst remaining above suspicion, Gabriel manipulates him into handling a razor blade, revealing the combination of his safe by planting a tracking device on his ring and turning off his security camera late at night. Obtaining everything he needs, Gabriel then murders Neville's wife and plants the razor in Neville's safe before informing the police, resulting in Neville being jailed for life.
  • Inspector Morse:
    • "Masonic Mysteries": Hugo De Vries is a suave, impeccably polite criminal mastermind and Master of Disguise, deservedly regarded as "one of greatest conmen of the age." Arrested by Morse twelve years previously for swindling Oxford University out of nearly one million pounds, De Vries returns seeking revenge, brainwashing one of his former victims into believing Morse famed him. Murdering Morse's new Love Interest Beryl Newsome, he carefully sets up events to implicate Morse for the crime even leading to his temporary arrest, as well as murdering Morse's mentor Desmond McNutt. Engaging in a series of psychological attacks and ordeals that leave Morse questioning his grip on reality, De Vries also hacks the Thames Valley computer servers to further incriminate him, made all the more impressive by doing so in a time when most officers didn't even know such a thing was possible. Even when caught by surprise, De Vries improvises a masterful monologue performance that successful fools Morse, enabling him to escape by stealing Lewis's car. Cultured, extremely charismatic and utterly ruthless, managing to constantly stay ten steps ahead of everyone, no other antagonist came as close to so completely defeating Morse as De Vries.
    • "Deadly Slumber": Michael Steppings is an amiable, approachable self-made tycoon out for revenge against the Brewster family, whose corruption left his daughter brain dead. Spending a year preparing an intricate plan, he carefully built a case of their malpractices, even breaking into the Brewster clinic to gather information. Having arranged events to seemingly give himself a cast-iron alibi, he murdered Doctor Matthew Brewster and then arranged his own arrest so that he would be cleared as a suspect; whilst also setting the scene to appear that the victim's son killed his father and tried to frame him, even subtly planting the idea in Morse's head. He then blackmailed him into confessing by threatening to expose his parent’s malpractices, so that Doctor Claire Brewster would know how it felt helplessly watching your child deprived of their life, something he considered "poetic justice". Ingenious and a masterful actor, Steppings was nevertheless a genuinely genial figure, with Morse himself admitting that if he was monstrous it was only because he was made to be.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Abby is a con artist who Dennis meets at a water park. Scamming Dennis into giving him money by acting as his neglected daughter in front a woman he was trying to seduce, Dennis takes an interest in her, and decides to take Abby under his wing. After being taught to steal right in front of the victim's face by Dennis, the two go on a scamming spree throughout the water park, putting all the valuables in a locker. Eventually, Abby tells Dennis that she's being forced to leave by her mother, and gives Dennis a memento as thanks for being the first adult to care about her. When Dennis confronts who Abby said was her mother, Dennis finds out that the woman isn't Abby's mother at all, and that Abby took the opportunity to swipe the locker key from Dennis and make off with all their stolen goods for herself, further impressing him.
  • Just Add Magic:
    • Ida Perez, better known as "Mama P" is the owner and founder of her self-titled restaurant as well as an ex-protector. After having her life ruined when Chuck got her father fired from his job, she became a pessimist with magic and got into various magic-related arguments with her partners Becky Quinn and Gina Silvers. Eventually cursed by Gina into being stuck in Saffron Falls, Perez spent the next 40 years trying to break said curse even after her protector era had ended, whether by collecting magic spices and hiding them in her secret pantry within her restaurant, or sabotaging her competition via magic and never getting caught. When she finds out Kelly, Hannah and Darbie were the new protectors, she offers to help Kelly cure her grandmother Becky's curse while deceiving them into helping her with breaking her own. Though she successfully escapes and callously freezes most of the town, she ends up returning to Saffron Falls as a manipulative but well-meaning ally helping the girls to fend off other rogue protectors, spending the remainder of the series hoping to make up for her past actions, while still having a deceptive side to her.
    • Charles Peizer, better known as "Chuck Hankins", is a former protector of the Cookbook from the 1860s. After losing his sister Rose in an attempt to gain immortality, Chuck dedicated every moment of his life to find a way to her back. He eventually met up with Becky Quinn, Ida Perez, and Gina Silvers during their protector era, ruining Ida's life, and indirectly causing the trio to break up and end their protectorship. An accident involving Becky caused Chuck to disappear in 1965 and not come back until 50 years later. From there, Chuck continued trying by masterfully planning various tactics and tricks against the trio and their loved ones. When his sister finally gets released from the book, Chuck instantly reforms himself and happily returns to his era, while also occasionally serve as an ally for the protectors.
    • Caroline Palmer is a former protector from the 90s, and was once the fearless leader of a mischievous high school prankster trio. After one day altering a time travel recipe to go to the future and check on her audition for a ballet class, and finding out she was unable to go back and was stuck in the future, she then grew angry and bitter and started to see magic as a dangerous resource and vowed to destroy it. Using a spell to alter her appearance into a completely different looking woman named "Jill", she spends the next 20 years posing as a campaign manager and getting to know targets and single-handed places a trigger word on nearly all of the protectors to wipe out any magic-related memories. When she's exposed, she destroys nearly all the spices in sight so the girl trio can't cook to fight back. She holds back on erasing the girls' memories so they'd lead her to the spice garden and she can destroy it. She comes dangerously close to permanently destroying magic for good, right before she erases her own magic-related memories.
  • Justified: In amidst all the white supremacists, drug addicts, stupid crooks, and other human wreckage that comprised the gangsters of rural Harlan County, there was the occasional villain with some charisma and flair, and the according ability to run rings about series' protagonists Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder:
    • Drew Thompson was once a Detroit mobster with a unique penchant for taking Refuge in Audacity. After witnessing Theo Tonin commit a murder, Drew realizes that he must get out of town before Theo killed him to cover it up. Shooting Theo in the eye, Drew stole an airplane and faked his own death, shoving his accomplice, Waldo Truth, out of the plane, then parachuting into Harlan County where he exchanged his cocaine and drug money for a new identity, helping Bo Crowder and Arlo Givens become rural mafiosi while he himself became Shelby Parlow of the Harlan Sheriff's Department. Eventually elected Sheriff himself, Shelby used his position to undermine Boyd's control over Harlan and the office of Sheriff alike, while also joining the recently revitalized search for "Drew Thompson" whose survival, but not identity, had been discovered. Found out in the end and arrested by Raylan, Drew Thompson nevertheless enjoyed a decades long career in law enforcement, and his machinations set in motion the eventual collapse of Boyd's criminal enterprises—the very same enterprises Drew had helped Boyd's father Bo—assemble in the first place.
    • Loretta McCready was the foster daughter and understudy of Mags Bennett, and while she might have sided with Raylan against Mags, the passage of time proves that it was Mags' influence that lasted. Aspiring to become a marijuana kingpin in the same vein as her foster mother, Loretta spent Season 6 buying up agricultural land throughout Harlan County under both her real name and various aliases, and putting herself in direct competition with Avery Markham and the various gun thugs in his employ. Allying herself with Boyd, Loretta turns the entire town against Markham with a single speech at a party that Markham himself was hosting, and bought up most of the land in the county. Even the implosion of Boyd's empire and the loss of his protection could not stop Loretta; when Markham cornered her she persuaded him that she should become his new partner, thus surviving until Raylan and Boyd killed off Markham and his enforcer, Boon. Only a teenager when the series ended, Loretta demonstrated that she was more capable than most of the adult criminals on the show, and was left in a perfect position to pick up where Mags and Boyd left off, as the reigning queen of the Harlan underworld.
    • Season 2: Mags Bennett is the matriarch of the Bennett family, a Bandit Clan of hillbilly moonshiners and marijuana farmers whose influence was felt throughout Harlan County. Ruling her namesake township of Bennett as not just a Small-Town Tyrant but an uncrowned Feudal Overlord, Mags controlled the Bennett Police Department through her son, Doyle, and the marijuana trade through his brothers, Dickie and Coover, making her the final arbiter on near everything that happened in town. Rallying the people of Harlan at large and Bennett in particular against Black Pike Mining's attempts to buy up the county, Mags secretly cut a deal with Black Pike behind the backs of her fellow townsfolk, selling most of the county to Black Pike in exchange for extensive personal profits that she plans to use to get her grandchildren out of crime. Staying her hand when her son Coover is killed by Raylan, Mags returned to action when Dickie started a war with Boyd and proved capable of matching him trick for trick. In the end, only the unexpected return of Mags' foster daughter, Loretta, to Bennett, and the ensuing intervention by the Marshal Service proved able to bring the Bennett township tyrant down.
    • "Blaze of Glory": Frank Reasoner is an elderly, sickly criminal seemingly reformed after his past of being one of the most successful bank robbers in America. Truthfully using his health condition to get himself an early parole, Reasoner jumps right back into the crime game, recruiting two young crooks to help him rob a bank with the least amount of violence possible. More dangerous than his apparently weakly state implies, which he demonstrates by threatening one of his partners for unnecessarily injuring hostages during one of their heists, Reasoner exaggerates his sickness to trick his partners into carrying out another bank heist without him, only to then swipe the cash from the previous robbery all for himself and rat the two crooks out to the police as a distraction. Using both this trickery and a deception that he's willing to turn himself in to throw everyone off his scent, Reasoner comes very close to using a private plane to escape the country a millionaire, even offering long-time enemy Deputy Marshal Art Mullen the opportunity to join him before Reasoner accepts his ultimate capture with a shrug.
  • The Kill Point: Sergeant Jake Mendez, aka Mr. Wolf, is an Iraq War veteran who orchestrates a Bank Robbery in downtown Pittsburgh together with members of his old platoon after being betrayed by his country. When the robbery turns into a Hostage Situation, Wolf quickly adapts to the situation, foiling the police forces surrounding the building and hostage negotiator Horst Cali multiple times and hatching several escape plans which nearly succeed. Wolf also treats the hostages as well as he can under the circumstances while still accepting he must do the inevitable if his demands are not met. Wolf briefly relinquishes command when he fails to protect all of his men, later executing the Ax-Crazy private who disobeyed his orders, and managing to escape by blackmailing Cali after ordering his wife to be kidnapped. Wolf allows Cali to shoot him when cornered so he can die with honor, as the only surviving member of his gang still gets away with the money they stole.
  • Kingdom: Ashin of The North (2021): Ashin was a member of the North Seongjeoyain tribe who vows vengeance on the Pajeowi for slaughtering her village and family. Becoming an assassin for the Joseon, Ashin turns on them once she discovers their role in her village's massacre, using the resurrection plant create an zombie outbreak at their camp before feeding the Sole Survivor to a pack of zombies. Ashin then gives the Resurrection Plant and knowledge to use it to Joseon's Royal Physician, kickstarting the zombie plague that would ravage their kingdom, before tracking down and killing the Pajeowi.
  • Knightfall: William de Nogaret is one of the chief powers behind the French throne. Inspiring violence in the capital to convince King Philip to confiscate the property of the Jewish population to strengthen the throne, de Nogaret later also poisons himself in a gambit to manipulate Princess Isabella in eliminating her fiancee Prince Louis of Navarre, assassinating the English ambassador and establishing a match for Isabella with England. Later returning to power and helping to manipulate the fall of The Knights Templar, de Nogaret achieves his revenge on the Pope who murdered his parents. Later tiring of Philip's madness and abuse, de Nogaret sides with his son Louis to leave Philip to his fate and secure de Nogaret's place as Louis' most loyal follower.
  • The Last Kingdom:
    • Uhtred, son of Uhtred, was a Saxon taken in by the Danish Earl Ragnar and raised as his own son. Framed for Ragnar's death, Uhtred becomes a warrior in service to the Saxon King Alfred, with whom he often clashes. Uhtred proves his value by leading expert raids, even facing and slaying the great Dane warlord Ubba. Saving Alfred's life, Uhtred continues on campaigns to help unify Wessex while using his wits and charisma to perform covert operations to weaken the enemy and rescue valuable hostages such as Alfred's daughter, Lady Aethelflaed, when she is held hostage by Danes. When cursed by the sorceress Skade, Uhtred breaks her curse by drowning Skade, killing her without a drop of bloodshed. Uhtred lures a powerful enemy army into a trap by faking the murder of the leader's sons and continues his service after Alfred's death. Later saving the lives of King Edward's forces by infiltrating an enemy fortress and taking it from the inside, Uhtred brokers a peace with the enemy Scots by ensuring Northumbria's independence under his leadership, reclaiming his ancestral home of Bebbanburg in the process. Growing and maturing over decades of pain, love and loss, Uhtred ends the series by reasserting his one true belief: that destiny is all.
    • Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, has a dream to unite the British continent and lets little stand in his way. Upon meeting the Dane-raised Pagan Saxon Uhtred, Alfred performs a show of goodwill by marrying him to a noble Saxon woman but neglects to inform Uhtred he takes on her family's debts to bind Uhtred to him further. A brilliant commander, Alfred leads daring defeats of the Danes and establishes Wessex as a true power and constantly plays through the ruthless political court of Wessex. Even manipulating his own son Edward to make him a better ruler when Alfred is dead, Alfred plays him into giving up his first marriage and children, then halts his forces giving aid to an estranged Uhtred on the field to force Edward to make a true decision as a King. Even upon his deathbed, Alfred makes a final peace with Uhtred, but makes certain to show him the written history of Wessex so he will forever know Uhtred will be invested in seeing Alfred's dream through.
    • Earl Guthrum of the Danes is an intelligent man who lures three Saxon armies into a trap to annihilate them. The right-hand of Ubba Ragnarson, the closest man the Danes have to a true king, Guthrum is the one who handles most of the strategy, arranging for the overthrow of kingdoms. A true threat to even Wessex, Guthrum leads the capture of Winchester abbey and attempts to use Alfred's scheming nephew Aethelwold to assassinate the King. Upon his defeat, Guthrum believes that the Christians' god is truly with them and submits to be baptized and renamed Aethelstan, honored by Alfred for choosing peace over war in the end.
    • Sigtryggr Ivarson is a Norse-Gaelic Warlord introduced overrun Wales and killing its King Hywel to rescue the captured Dane Brida, the lover of Sigtryggr's late cousin Cnut. Learning of Wessex's riches, Sigtryggr leads a number of brutal, daring raids through villages along the way to capture Winchester and hold a standoff against King Edward, even playing Edward by offering one of his sons as a hostage but making him choose which boy, before he accepts Uhtred as a hostage instead. Sigtryggr then uses his leverage to secure land for himself and his people, getting everything he wants while also leaving with one hostage: Uhtred's daughter Stiorra whom he has grown to develop a caring and mutual romance with.
  • Law & Order works: In the criminal justice system, among the criminals or others that the People—the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders—have faced over the decades are the most brilliant and audacious of them all. These are their stories:
    • Original Series:
      • "Family Friend": Valerie Messick is the widow of mob accountant Phillip Messick who's brutally murdered by thug Jay Fleckner who also attacks and almost kills her too. Wanting to make Fleckner pay, Valerie asks close friend Bob Cerullo—a former cop—to kill him and throws her testimony in court to make it look like she couldn't positively identify Fleckner so that he'd be acquitted. This results in Cerullo killing Fleckner and staging the scene to look like self-defense. Once Cerullo is on trial though, Valerie is discovered in her husband's book under different names and only agrees to testify and reveal what she knows if she's given full immunity before saying anything at all. She then testifies reluctantly resulting in Cerullo being found guilty and Valerie getting away with everything.
      • "Innocence": Emily Ryan is EADA Michael Cutter's old law professor and mentor and head of the Hudson University Innocence Coalition, delighting at the idea of pushing and testing him to see how far he'll push back. Pushing for a new trial for convicted hate murderer Cedric Stuber, Ryan is successful with evidence and a new witness suggesting the victim's husband is responsible. Upon Cutter exposing one of Ryan's students as bribing the drug dealer for false testimony—which Ryan wasn't aware she did—and exposing Ryan's competitive barter system pertaining to grades and recommendation letters, Ryan seeks a complete dismissal by exposing that Cutter never got his undergraduate degree and therefore is not a lawyer. Agreeing to talk deal when McCoy asks her to, Ryan then when Cutter threatens worse action and consequences against Stuber encourages Stuber to take a 25 year sentence to avoid going to prison for life.
    • Special Victims Unit's "Authority": Merritt Rook is a former audio engineer whose wife died in childbirth thanks to an error from the doctor. Rook, gaining a hatred of authority figures, manipulated and harassed the doctor into suicide before making calls posing as an authority figure to make others commit crimes for no reason but a voice on the phone told them to. Representing himself at trial to get his views out, Rook manages to get acquitted and keeps his movement going before Detective Benson goes to arrest him. Turning the tables, Rook sets a trap for Stabler where he forces him to torture Benson at risk of a bomb exploding only to reveal Benson was never in danger and her screams were prerecorded. Rook proceeds to flee, with the assumption being he drowns in the river, but the strong possibility remaining he manages to escape justice entirely after proving the points he wishes.
    • Criminal Intent:
      • Nicole Wallace is a charming Australian murderer whose brilliance established her as the "white whale" of Detective Robert Goren's career. First appearing under a false identity, Nicole manipulated Mark Bayley into committing murder so she could become a citizen, she then murders Bayley and subtly reveals her deception to Goren before escaping. Nicole then married Gavin Haynes and committed another murder, framing Daniel Croyan, knowing that Goren would doggedly pursue Coryan and ignore other possibilities, before murdering Croyan and framing it as a suicide to ruin Goren’s reputation. After using Haynes' loyalty to escape justice, Nicole divorces him and starts molding Ella Myazaki into a killer like herself, nearly killing Haynes then murdering Ella and faking her own death. Nicole then becomes engaged to Evan Chapel and desires to live a normal life with him and his daughter Gwen. When she learns that Evan is trying to murder Gwen, Nicole exposes him to the police and kidnaps Gwen, only to realize that her very nature makes her a threat to Gwen and releases her. Staying just out of Goren's grasp the whole time, Nicole is only stopped when Declan Gage murders her, her last words being, "You tell Bobby, he's the only man I ever loved."
      • "Blind Spot" & "Frame": Dr. Declan Gage is a profiler of serial killers who analyzes them and gets into their minds as a means of figuring out their next moves. He ended up passing on his methods to his protégée Goren, thinking of him as a son. When a killer Gage tried to flush out by means of informing the press of evidence seems to resurface, Gage pushes to be involved in the case even when accused of the killings himself and gives Goren info and advice that helps him in investigating. After his now-estranged daughter Jo—and the true killer—ends up in a self-inflicted coma, Gage, blaming himself, seeks to free Goren of his personal demons to do right by him. While making himself appear to be a target as well, Gage ends up convincing Nicole Wallace to kill Goren's addict brother Frank and then kills her while leaving evidence that suggests Goren's the culprit, but then has it lead to himself so Goren will catch him. In doing this, Gage seeks to free Goren of the three people in his life still bringing him down so he can finally start anew.
  • The Librarians 2014:
    • The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice (2008): Vlad the Impaler, Dracula himself is a cunning and vicious vampire who became crippled and near powerless after drinking contaminated blood and now seeks the Judas Chalice to revive himself to full glory. In the present, Dracula masquerades as the meek and seemingly harmless Professor Lazlo who is taken in by Sergei Kubichek who is plotting to use vampires and the Judas Chalice to bring order to Russia again. Dracula instead plays along and uses Kubichek and hero Flynn Carson as his puppets throughout the film, manipulating them into getting the Chalice for him and disposing of Kubichek when he successfully obtains it and fully restores himself, intending to use the Chalice to usher in an Age of Darkness with him as ruler. A charismatic and aristocratic vampire, Dracula even goes out gracefully upon being killed by Flynn who he genuinely respects, even complimenting him as a great historian before dying.
    • Series:
      • Season 1: Dulaque is the charismatic and devious leader of the Serpent Brotherhood and is in truth Lancelot du Lac, having become bitter and twisted after the fall of Camelot. Dulaque desires to return the world to the age of magic and kings, believing it to be what humanity needs to prosper, and will stop at nothing to make it happen. Over the course of the series, Dulaque has a long list of ingenious acts, such as manipulating Cassandra into getting him into the Library and using Excalibur to return magic to the world, tricking and capturing Santa Claus and using his diplomatic charm to try and have the various magical factions disband the Library. Finally, in his greatest move, Dulaque leaks information and has The Librarians create a portal to the Loom Of Fate to allow him to rewrite history and return Camelot to existence. A genius plotter who always has a new plan and takes his defeats in stride, Dulaque is the most dangerous enemy faced by The Library.
      • Season 2: Professor James Moriarty is a fictional character brought to life by Prospero to act as his right-hand man. A charismatic, dapper gentleman who knows how to manipulate things to his advantage, Moriarty is instrumental in setting up Prospero's powers returning to him and helps him foil the heroes at various times. Moriarty can fake a truce to subtly influence the heroes into giving him the Staff of Zarathustra to empower his master, or to analyze and discover the weaknesses of his foes thorough a keen Sherlock Scan. Eventually ditching Prospero due to his love for Eve, Moriarty helps bring about Prospero's ultimate downfall by manipulating him into letting his guard down, and dies protecting Eve, with his final words being a method to destroy his master for good.
  • Longmire's "Highway Robbery": Jerry Napek is a paraplegic man who seeks revenge on Pete Hoyt for paralyzing him. To accomplish his plans, Napek convinces the judge at Hoyt's parole hearing to release him from prison. Manipulating Hoyt into trusting him, Napek kills him on a highway before pinning his murder on a string of recent highway robberies, while using his crippled state to avoid suspicion from the authorities. Napek then tricks Walt Longmire into driving him back to the scene of the crime for Napek to get rid of any evidence linking him, by telling Walt that he wants to plant a burial cross where Hoyt was killed. When Walt returns to the crime scene and figures out Napek killed Hoyt, Napek lets Walt arrest him, still content that he killed the man who crippled him.
  • Lost:
    • Benjamin Linus is the leader of the Others and proves himself to be an incredibly cunning and manipulative opponent. Originally appearing to just be a prisoner, he quickly turns Jack and Locke against each other with only a few words, all while locked in a cell. Upon his escape, the depths of his skills becomes clear, as he cons Sawyer into believing in his fake pacemaker, makes a deal with Jack to operate on him twice, and sends Juliet to serve as a mole within the survivors. When he's captured, he deliberately releases just enough information to ensure the survivors believe him, but keeps enough to himself that they can't just kill him, and he eventually talks himself out of captivity. On the mainland, he manipulates Sayid, who considers himself Ben's Arch-Enemy, into working as his personal hitman against Charles Widmore by manipulating his grief over his deceased wife, and ultimately works with Eloise Hawking to return the Oceanic Six back to the Island. Upon his return, he proves vital to the defeat of the Man in Black, continuing to use his lies and manipulations to serve as a mole for the survivors, and ultimately proves himself to be far more than the sociopath he initially seems to be.
    • Eloise Hawking quickly proves herself to be far more than the doddering old woman she appears to be. Introduced during Desmond's time flash to 1996, she proves her knowledge of the future by pointing out a man who dies just seconds later, explaining to Desmond that the universe will always course correct itself to achieve what it wants. With this concept in mind, she manipulates her son Daniel onto the path of science she knows that he's destined for, suppressing all of his interests besides science to ensure he will go to the Island and die by her hand in 1977, finally showing just how much she cares about him for the first time before he leaves. Continuing to secure the timeline, she works with Ben to send the Oceanic Six back to the Island, managing to locate the Island when even Charles Widmore couldn't, and successfully gets them back on the Island to ensure the timeline will remain stable. Despite her small number of appearances, her impact on the stability of the timeline cannot be overstated.
    • Desmond Hume, upon regaining his memories in the alternate timeline, begins a mission to awaken his friends and allow them to move on. After encouraging Hurley on his date with Libby, he runs Locke over with his car, and when Ben confronts him about it later, he beats Ben to a bloody pulp to make him remember as well. After turning himself in for these actions and getting himself transferred with Kate and Sayid, he makes them promise him a favor; after they agree, it's revealed that he'd already bribed Ana Lucia to let them out at a certain time and place, beginning separate plans for both of them. While Sayid is awakened elsewhere, Desmond has Charlie kidnapped and brings Kate to the charity concert, ensuring they both awaken as well. After promising Eloise that he won't take her son with him, Desmond finally gathers his friends at the church, allowing all of them to move on to the afterlife together.
  • Lucifer (2016): The decoy of the Sinnerman served as The Dragon to the real Sinnerman, the immortal Cain aka "Marcus Pierce", knowing him since childhood before going rogue for unknown reasons, making favors and murdering people who worked with Cain. Knowing that Lucifer Morningstar is the Devil and seeking to expose Pierce's true identity as both Cain and the Sinnerman, the decoy murders people who Lucifer blessed with favors for to get the Devil's attention. Imprisoning Lucifer in a room with reinforced steel so he won't break the walls, the decoy talks to him through a TV and keeps his glasses on so Lucifer cannot use his powers to reveal the decoy's deepest desire. After being arrested by Pierce and Chloe Decker, gouging his eyes out with a pen so Lucifer won't find out his desire, and tricking an entire precinct by forcing a woman to fake her own abduction, Lucifer kidnaps him and has the demon Mazikeen torture him. Moments before death, the decoy reveals his deepest desire was for Lucifer to kill him, and successfully outs Pierce as the real Sinnerman. In a world with celestials, the decoy manages to make his own existence an urban legend, all while still a mortal.
  • Lupin (2021):
    • Assane Diop is a brilliant thief who has modeled himself after Arsène Lupin and is driven to avenge the framing and murder of his father. Determined to bring the evil Hubert Pellegrini to justice for his crime, Assane easily evades the entire French police force along the way, even capturing their corrupt Commissioner and making him confess to corruption on tape. Continuing to gather evidence while playing all who come after him, Assane keeps his identity hidden from the cops for much of the series and even when one finally catches on, Assane manages to charismatically convince him of the despicable corruption in his office, creating a key ally for when Pellegrini has Assane's safe house raided and forces him on the run. Also planting a mole in Pellegrini's organization, Assane destroys his enemy at an charity event Pellegrini had intended to use to line his own pockets by redirecting the electronic donations to go to the intended foundation to help the poor while playing a tape of Pellegrini confessing to insurance fraud and the murder of Assane's father. A charming genius despite his past of infidelity and proclivity for stealing, Assane runs circles around the elitist society so smugly dismissive of him.
    • "Phillipe Courbet" plays the role of Pellegrini's brilliant, young banker more than willing to break the law to help his clients profit. In actuality a recruit of Assane's, Courbet takes his role in return for payments of precious diamonds to help Assane break into Pellegrini's corrupt charity fundraiser. Helping Assane sneak into the auditorium, Courbet redirects Pellegrini's money laundering machines to send the electronic donations they receive to the proper charities and his stealthy planning to plant Assane within the building helps him infiltrate Pellegrini's ranks and utterly destroy his master plan, ending the season with the smug businessman disgraced and arrested.
  • Mad Men:
    • Bertram "Bert" Cooper is a senior partner and co-founder of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency whose eccentric exterior hides a brilliant and determined mind earning the respect and admiration of his fellow workers. Bert makes his authority clear within the agency by foiling Pete Campbell's plan to blackmail Don Draper by saying that he doesn't care about Don's past, then himself later uses Don's past to successfully blackmail him into signing a contract that would merge Sterling Cooper with a British Agency. When the agency sells Sterling Cooper, Bert and his partners decide to form a new agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (SCDP), where Bert uses his love for Japanese culture to get them their first major client in Honda. Bert temporally leaves SCDP when Don's ad article puts the agency in hot water before returning again, conspiring with Pete and Joan behind Don, eventually getting Don kicked out from the agency with the help of Jim Cutler. Bert later rehires Don as creative director to foil Jim Cutler's plans to take over the agency before Bert passes away as he watches the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, dying in complete bliss.
    • Bob Benson is a conman who uses his charisma to persuade people into hiring him without looking into his criminal past. Working as an accountant for SCDP, Bob wins Joan Harris's friendship when he gets Joan immediate treatment for her abdominal pain by lying to a nurse that Joan has been poisoned and gets along with Pete Campbell when working on the Chevy account, until Pete discovers Bob's homosexuality and criminal past. Bob remains undaunted by Pete's threats, merely threatening him back and uses his likability to get people to turn against Pete. When Pete believes that his mother was killed by the nurse that Bob suggested for her, Bob becomes disgusted when Pete accuses him of being an accomplice to his mother's murder and manipulates Pete into humiliating himself in front of Chevy, getting Pete removed from the account. Leaving for Detroit, Bob proposes to Joan for an executive position at General Motors before accepting Joan's decision to decline Bob's marriage proposal.
  • Mayor of Kingstown: P-Dog is a prisoner charged with attempted murder who becomes the leader of the Crisps inside Kingstown prison. Leveraging a deal with the prison guards, P-Dog arranges for child-murderer Kenny Miles to be killed on the condition that they lift the lockdown on the prisoners. Still suffering mistreatment from the prison guards, P-Dog orchestrates a prison takeover by having his men give him a shiv to stab a guard before subduing the personnel transferring him, while free all the inmates from their cells and killing countless more guards. Holding the surviving guards hostage, P-Dog has them systematically killed until the National Guard shoots him, dying content that he gets to go out on his own terms.
  • The Mentalist's "Like a Redheaded Stepchild" & "Blood Feud": Steve Rigsby is the father of CBI agent, Wayne Rigsby, and a cunning career criminal who was released from prison where Steve had his son give him an alibi to avoid suspicion from the parole board. In his first appearance, Steve ostensibly assists Wayne and the CBI to solve the murder of a prison guard, only to use them to shut down a rival cigarette smuggling business before giving Wayne an honest fistfight when Wayne learns of Steve's manipulations. Steve later gets shot trying to protect his friend in his second appearance before accepting his death, spending his last moments bonding with his son and giving Wayne a vital clue that would allow Wayne to find Steve's killer and kill him.
  • Merlin (1998): Queen Mab is a goddess suffering a decline in followers of the "Old Ways" that would entail her kind's demise. Unlike her sister Nimue who contented herself with letting destiny pass its course, Mab sought to survive at all costs. She conceived a half-human son, Merlin himself, to groom into a leader of the Old Ways. When he eventually rebukes Mab after her Accidental Murder of Ambrosia, Mab manipulates Vortigen to be her new champion. When he is killed by Uther Pendragon, who later fathered King Arthur to lead a kingdom unfavorable to the Old Ways, Mab offers compassion to an ostracized Morgan, obtaining a contingency against Arthur. Mab later serves as a treacherous influence to Mordred, the result of Morgan and Arthur's tryst. Through him and an enchanted enclave keeping Merlin occupied, Mab indirectly succeeds in toppling the Pendragon kingdom from behind the scenes. Desperate to keep the Old Ways and thus herself alive, the devious and powerful Mab remained a step ahead of everyone for almost the entire miniseries.
  • Minder's "Senior Citizen Caine": Cecil Caine is an elderly, flamboyant yet genial businessman and a legend within the community for dealing and grafting himself a fortune and far more shrewd than he appears. Freed of his last responsibility and knowing his lazy offsprings, Johnny and Sonia, plan to institutionalize him to steal everything and that the authorities are closing in, Cecil lets nothing interfere with his retirement. Transferring his businesses but none of his money to his children so they'll have to actually work or face bankruptcy, an ambushed Cecil manages to improvise an escape with all the cash on the premises and goes to ground. Banking on Johnny breaking Arthur, Cecil purposely lets him in and hires Terry. Gathering the rest of his hidden funds Cecil switches them with a decoy, then waits for Johnny and his goons to arrive, the fight spurring the authorities into action. Using the confusion to escape to his lover and real money, Cecil flees London leaving his children to explain the financial irregularities.
  • Miracle Workers (Season 3: Oregon Trail): Trig is the adopted daughter of Benny the Teen who uses Benny to learn how to be a bandit before betraying Benny and striking out on her own. Becoming the most successful bandit in America, Trig and her crew hunt down Benny to collect the bounty on his head. When captured by Ezekiel's colony, Trig manipulates Todd Aberdeen into freeing her and betraying the colonists before they travel to Oregon. Upon arriving in Oregon, Trig arranges Todd to be governor, where she and her crew would commit crimes unpunished under Todd's incompetent rule. When confronted by Benny, Trig spares Benny when he surrenders and admits he's proud of her, with the two heading out in the sunset to carry on with their outlaw lifestyle.
  • The Mist: Wes Foster is a member of the mall survivors who hides a secret from the rest. Claiming to merely be a Private who knows nothing of the situation, in truth he is a member of the Arrowhead Project, sent into Bridgeville to locate Jonah Dixon and bring him in. After catching him looting, Wes plays dumb to catch him off guard and knock him out, revealing his true purpose inside the mall to him when he wakes up. After letting Jonah have power over him and releasing him, Wes reveals that the doctor at the Project can restore his lost memory, intriguing him enough to convince Jonah to ditch his newfound friends. After revealing that he knows more about the mist than he is willing to admit, Wes departs the mall and escapes the massacre with Jonah in tow.
  • Monk's "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger": Wendy Mass is a friendly, seemingly blind woman and the true murderer of Sonny Cross. Having lost her parents and vision in a car crash caused by Cross decades ago, upon having her vision partially restored, Mass sought revenge. Tricking Cross into meeting her in an alleyway, Mass shoots him in a way that's impossible for a blind person. When country singer Willie Nelson unexpectedly arrives, Mass quickly frames him for the murder by acting as a witness, continuing to fake her blindness to ensure nobody suspects her. When Monk reveals the truth behind the case, Mass thanks him for uncovering it, having been wrought with guilt for framing an innocent man. When Stottlemeyer suggests making a deal with the District Attorney, Mass asks that her only leniency be a window in her cell so that she can make the most of her newly regained sight.
  • The Muppet Show's "Liza Minnelli": The unnamed critics, played by Statler and Waldorf, are a duo who absolutely despise the shows the nameless theatre troupe preform. Seeking to end their shows for good, they go about stealthily and systematically murdering the cast members with guns, knives, and poison. The two are only foiled when Liza O'Shaughnessy fakes her death, causing them to reveal themselves since they had no intentions of killing her. When O'Shaughnessy reveals she tricked them and has the two arrested, the critics take their defeat well, genuinely applauding her acting skills and even cracking a joke about their own imprisonment.
  • Murdoch Mysteries:
    • "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom": Russell Bowes is a chemical company employee whose fiancee Mary is sentenced to hang for killing her sexually abusive father. He plots to break her out of prison before her execution in the middle of a city-wide evacuation, posing as a masked extortionist with access to poisoned gas by faking receipts from his factory and discards dozens of gas bottles at the delivery address and sending a film that appears to demonstrate the lethal gas to the police. He leaves enough clues in the film for the police to find where he shot it, with Russell killing all of the grass in the area with bleach and suffocating several rats to make it appear that the gas is lethal to everything and far-reaching. In truth Russell has no desire to hurt anyone as part of his plan and takes his failure hard yet gracefully and wins the sympathy of the police with his story, causing them to work to get Mary a new trial.
    • "Murdoch and the Undetectable Man": Fiona Rossini is the former landlady and lover of Professor Bosworth, a scientist trying to make an invisibility device. After Bosworth is robbed and murdered by his investors, a vengeful Fiona kills them one by one while pretending that Bosworth survived and has turned himself invisible to seek revenge. Fiona thoroughly convinces both the police and her targets that Bosworth is indeed invisible, and kills her final target while he's in police custody while still maintaining the illusion that an invisible Bosworth did the deed. Fiona is resourceful, graceful, and unwilling to kill anyone besides her targets. Upon being caught, Fiona merely asks how Murdoch figured out her trick, showing no animosity towards the detective.
  • My Babysitter's a Vampire: Horace "Jesse" Black is the former vampire master of Whitechapel, before being overthrown, even then ruling the vampire community from behind the scenes. As a top high schooler by day and cult leader by night, Jesse uses his position to organize a vampire attack to harvest the souls of his victims and resurrect his fallen flock, kicking it off by draining a girl in front of an audience, while considering the loss of his current followers only a small setback. Returning from the dead, Jesse comes out on top by forcing his ex-girlfriend Sarah to drink Ethan's blood after biting him. When exiled, Jesse returns when he learns of the threat Stern poses, out of ostensible altruism. It's revealed Stern is the descendant of a wizard that Jesse previously saved the community from, having sacrificed dozens of his followers to do so, keeping the Lucifactor safe and out to reach. When the Lucifactor has been found, Jesse directly helps fight Stern, nearly getting himself killed in the process. A charismatic, if manipulative vampire master who bounces back from his failures, Jesse manages to be a one of Whitechapel's more formidable figures, even with the loss of his power.
  • Narcos:
    • Colonel Horacio Carillo is a Colombian police officer and the eventual leader of the task force to bring down Pablo Escobar. Having lost dozens of partners at the hands of the Narcos, he has become utterly ruthless in his pursuit of them, being not above executing or torturing prisoners who don’t talk. Cunning and brutally efficient, he avoids Escobars spies and soon deals him multiple heavy blows from arresting his bookkeeper, to leading a strike team that kills his partner Gacha, to brutally interrogating and killing his cousin and right-hand Gustavo when he refuses to sell Pablo out. Despite the government initially exiling him to Spain for being too brutal, he‘s soon brought back for being the only man Escobar ever feared. A Frontline General genuinely concerned for the lives of his men, he never wavers in his quest to bring him down, calling him a coward to his face even with his last breath.
    • Jorge Salcedo is the Deputy Chief of Security for the Cali Cartel. Faithfully serving the cartel for several years, he often uses his quick thinking and cunning to get out of sticky situations. When his boss/friend and wife are brutally murdered by the cartel Jorge decides to turn informant to the DEA. He manages several times to get them one of the godfather's locations, always using his wits to overcome unforeseen circumstances, even framing his friend as the rat, an act which causes him tremendous guilt. Eventually the godfather is captured and he then uses his skills to find the main accountant for the cartel who brings it down for good.
    • Amado Carillo Fuentes becomes a part of the Guadalajara Cartel as a pilot for his uncle Don Neto and kingpin Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. Amado is later promoted by Felix to restore order to the Juarez branch, before building a fleet of planes to transport cocaine from Colombia into the U.S. and effortlessly luring a DEA team targeting him into a deadly trap. Orchestrating Felix's downfall and imprisonment, Amado also assassinates his partner Aguilar to take over the Juarez Cartel. Amado decentralizes the organization to make it harder for law enforcement to target him and makes new deals with Mexico's corrupt kingmakers and the Colombian Cali godfathers to make himself the most powerful of all drug kingpins, even bribing the General leading the Mexican government's anti-cartel operations to wipe out his competitors. Saving his Cuban mistress from assassination, Amado moves his assets overseas before unexpectedly dying during a botched surgery to change his identity, with the suggestion that the "Lord of the Skies" might have actually faked his death.
    • Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is at first a personal driver for Felix-Gallardo in the Guadalajara Cartel. El Chapo undermines the Tijuana plaza by building a tunnel underneath the US-Mexico border on their territory to smuggle in cocaine, resulting in a Mob War before making peace with them in the wake of Felix's removal. When Tijuana continues to provoke the Sinaloans, El Chapo masterminds an assassination attempt on Benjamin Arellano-Felix, killing his brother-in-law in the process. El Chapo later escapes an attempt on his own life despite being outmanned and outgunned. When El Chapo is captured and sent to prison, he outmaneuvers both his more charismatic rival Hector Palma and his ostensible mentor Don Neto, having both men moved to different prisons so he can assume sole control over the Sinaloa Cartel and rebuild it into the deadliest of the narco-cartels.
  • Night Gallery's "Room with a View": Jacob Bauman is a bedridden man who plots revenge on his unfaithful wife, while maintaining a witty, irreverent charm. Appearing to be helpless and frail, Bauman uses his binoculars to spy on people's movements, learning his wife is having an affair with another man, and that his nurse is also engaged to the same man. Manipulating his nurse to give him details about the relationship, Bauman skillfully controls the conversation until he learns that she is prone to jealous rage if she sees her fiance with another woman. Using this to his advantage, Bauman gives her a gun before sending her to her fiance's apartment to "surprise" him, knowing she will find him and his wife together. The plan goes off without a hitch, with his nurse shooting them both dead, while Bauman notes with satisfaction that there are some things he can still do on his own.
  • No Good Nick: Nicole "Nick" Franzelli is a teenaged con artist seeking to avenge her father's imprisonment by tricking her way into the Thompson family by claiming to be a Long-Lost Relative. To attain funds for a lawyer for her father, Nick passes off discount wines as expensive vintages, talks the volunteer squad into fining students who show up in a offensive costume while secretly swapping the fine box with a box of her own sells stolen art equipment such that it cannot be traced back to her, and sets up an online charity fraud account.Gaining the Thompson's love which Nick begins to reciprocate, Nick still resolves to take them down out of bitterness for ruining her father and undermines them in various ways to slander them though she eventually comes to feel guilt and eventually cuts a deal with the police to restore the Thompson's name, remaining tricky even following her change of heart.
  • No Ordinary Family's "No Ordinary Friends": Michelle Cotten is a loving wife and mother who lets herself be recruited for an art theft to support her family after her husband Dave gets laid off. She enjoys the lifestyle and keeps stealing long after Dave gets a new job. She uses hi-tech gadgets and her athleticism to get through hi-tech security systems and repeatedly escape from superhuman vigilante Jim Powell. She and her family drop by to thanks Jim, not realizing he's also her pursuer, after he saves Dave from being hit by a bus. The family members become close friends but this also lets Jim figure out one of the Cottens' is the burglar. Michelle is apologetic when confronted by her new friends, but isn't willing to turn herself in and stop stealing. However, she ends up Taking the Bullet for Stephanie when another art thief tries to shoot her. Michelle survives her wounds, apologizes to Stephanie, gracefully accepts her arrest, and hopes they can resume their friendship someday.
  • NUMB3RS' "Jacked" & "Con Job": John Buckley is a charismatic Con Man, thief and kidnapper. Buckley highjacks a tourist bus for a ransom and sends the FBI on a wild goose chase after the wrong bus to mask his activity. Buckley is able to counter nearly every move the FBI makes and manipulates them into doing what he says using a Mole. Buckley is also the master of the bluff, as while he abhors using actual violence against people, he will use a threat against his victims to get them to do what he says, including letting him escape. After his arrest, Buckley tricks his cellmate Maddox into copying his bus hostage plan when Maddox is released. This causes the FBI to come to Buckley for help in order to stop Maddox, which Buckley uses instead to help him both pull off the heist and escape. Eventually betraying his cohorts, Buckley is able to get away with the money and even ends the episode with a video call to his friendly enemies Dom and Charlie, that he's looking forward to another round.
  • Only Murders in the Building: Teddy Dimas is an old friend of Oliver Putnam who runs a grave robbing ring in the Arconia, using his jewelry shop as a front for his operation. While he puts on the appearance of an honest and benevolent businessman, he is willing to threaten others to keep his illegal activities hidden. Notably, when Tim Kono witnesses Theo accidentally shove Zoe off the Arconia's roof, Teddy scares Tim against testifying by threatening his life and Mabel's, resulting in his friend Oscar unfairly going to prison. When the trio find the connection between Tim and Teddy, he threatens them into ending the podcast and absolving him of any wrongdoing, only failing due to the trio finding incriminating evidence on Tim's phone and releasing it. Returning, Teddy seeks revenge against Oliver for getting him arrested, but upon learning that he is the biological father of Oliver's son Will, drops his grudge and makes peace with Oliver, admitting that he envies the latter's positive relationship with Will.
  • Orphan Black:
    • Paul Dierden is a Major of the military who infiltrated the Dyad Institute and become Beth Child's monitor. When Sarah Manning takes Beth's place after the latter kills herself, Paul sees right through Sarah's disguise and interrogates her for her true identity, before deciding to help Sarah evade Dyad having genuinely fallen in love with her; Sarah in turn would rescue Paul from Olivier Duval, where Paul would blackmail Duval into helping him maintain his cover in Dyad. Paul would later attempt to coerce Sarah into handing over herself, Helena, and Kira to him by framing her foster brother, Felix, for murder before convincing Siobhan Saddler to hand over Helena in exchange for Sarah and Kira's safety. Revealing his true alliance to Project Castor's goal of finding a cure for the defective clones, Paul turns on them upon learning of their plan of using the clones to sterilize women, sacrificing his life to ensure Sarah escapes from them.
    • Siobhan Sadler is the foster mother of Sarah Manning who smuggled her from London to raise while using her criminal connections and ruthless intellect to keep Sarah and her loved ones safe. Upon learning that Dyad is going after Sarah and her daughter, Kira, Siobhan takes Kira without Sarah's knowledge to ensure her granddaughter's safety before killing her contacts once she learns they've become Proletheans. Siobhan also keeps scientist Ethan Duncan safe from Dyad's reach, only to bring Ethan to them to cause discord within the organization before handing Helena over to Paul Dietard behind Sarah's back to ensure her safety. Siobhan also helps Rachel Duncan switch identities with another clone in exchange for Rachel's knowledge about the Castor original and upon learning that it is her mother, Kendall Malone, Siobhan keeps her safe and hidden before torturing and killing the man who killed Kendall, Marty Duko, and helps Rachel expose the criminal Duko's boss. When Kira gets taken by the Neolutionists, Siobhan rescues Kira before convincing Rachel to leak all of Dyad's illegal activities to the public, leading to their downfall, before spending her last moments killing the assassin, Ferdinand Chevalier,  and accepting her own death.
  • The Orville: Pria Levesque is a time traveller from the 29th century who arranges to be picked up by the Orville by faking a distress call. After arriving on board, Pria quickly gains the crew's trust by saving them from a dark matter storm before bonding with Captain Ed Mercer, who is still recovering from a painful divorce with his ex-wife (now First Officer) Kelly Grayson, and seducing him into a one-night stand. Meanwhile, Pria installs a device in the engine room through which she can remotely take over control of the ship in order to pilot it into a wormhole to the future, selling the Orville off as an antique and forcing the crew to live out the remainder of their lives on a remote planet. When her scheme fails, Pria makes one last attempt to convince Mercer to cooperate before calmly accepting the fact that her current version will be erased from history. Pria is among the cleverest foes the crew of the Orville have faced so far, with few managing to emotionally get under Mercer's skin like she has.
  • The Other Kingdom: Versitude is King Oberon's mysterious, two-faced advisor as well as a foe of Princess Astral and Winston Althazar. Viewing the "others" as little more than hers to mess with, she'd put on a facade of being a trustworthy ally in Oberon and Titania's presence, while secretly spying on Astral and interfering with her time on her "other walk" and making Winston's time in Athenia miserable, whether by tricking him into eating berries that nearly turned him into a donkey, framing him for "destroying" a summerberry bush, or placing him on trial for his life. On top of that, she went behind the Athenian king and queen's backs to work with King Reed of their enemy tribe Spartania. Winston attempts to expose Versitude's true colors, only for the latter to become aware she's being spied on, and intentionally set up a series of fake events that cause him and Peaseblossom to appeear suspicious, so King Oberon wouldn't listen to them.
  • The Outer Limits (1995)'s "Zig Zag": Zig Fowler is a cyberterrorist in a near-future society where almost all data is controlled by the Department of Information Technology. Founding the Syndrome cell from the shadows with the mission to free people at any cost, Zig fakes his own death and assumes the meek Cliff Unger persona in order to infiltrate the department and gain access to its central processor room. After a year, Zig's implant reverts back to its original settings, whereupon he joins up with his old comrades again, who were not even privy to his real identity. Zig stages an armed takeover of the Department offices to bomb it, manipulating his former boss through word trickery into arming the bomb with his own implant, ultimately dying in a blaze of glory as the entire city is destroyed.
  • Oz:
    • Ryan O'Reilly is an Irish convict in the Emerald City wing of the Oswald State Correctional Facility. More than any other inmate, O'Reilly is frequently at the center of whatever intrigue is going in the prison, forming alliances with other inmates to take over the drug trade inside Oz by arranging the deaths of various gang leaders and even becoming a major figure in a prison riot. O'Reilly also gets Dr. Gloria Nathan to fall in love with him after putting out a hit on her husband, later personally murdering a criminal who raped her, uses various dirty methods to ensure that his brother Cyrill will win the prison boxing championship, and has Officer Claire Howell—whom O'Reilly is sleeping with—kill his rival Stanislofsky after a dispute over a contraband cell phone turns sour. Ryan O'Reilly possesses a sense of charm and bravado unmatched by many of the thuggish inmates in Oz, and his uncanny ability to get others to do his dirty work for him and turning his enemies against each other makes him one of the few characters to successfully survive the entire run of the show.
    • Enrique Morales establishes himself as one of the most cunning and pragmatic prisoners on the show. After arriving in Oswald State prison, he usurped control over the Latinos by forcing the kindly old prisoner Bob Rebadow to kill his unpopular predecessor El Cid, then takes over the drug trade inside the prison with the Homeboys and Italians and proves himself more wary to attempts by the authorities to infiltrate the organization than his associates. When Morales develops a feud with Homeboys leader Burr Redding, he manipulates Chinese refugees housed in the prison against him with false claims of race hatred and attempts to have Redding framed for a murder. A capable fighter as well when the chips are down, Morales swiftly foils an attempt on his own life by killing the assassin, and lulls his late sister's abusive husband into a false sense of security before pounding the everloving crap out of him. Always a persuasive and purpose-driven man despite being a murderer and gang leader, under the clever rule of Morales, El Norte truly became a force to be reckoned with within Oz.
  • Ozark:
    • Nelson is an enforcer working for the Navarro Cartel. Setting aside personal pleasures to succeed at his job, Nelson is routinely tasked with murdering anyone who interferes with his employers' business, all while he simultaneously puts on a facade of behaving like a loyal bodyguard. After successfully covering up the murders of nearly a dozen people, Nelson even goes as far as killing Helen Pierce, his supposed close ally, the moment he was ordered to once Omar Navarro saw her as a liability. Even after her death, Nelson refuses to let his emotions hinder his job and continues carrying out Navarro's orders without hesitation or mistakes.
    • Camila Elizondro is the sister of Omar Navarro and a high-ranking member in the Navarro Cartel. Shortly after her son, Javier, was murdered, Camila set out to find and kill whoever was responsible. Believing Omar was to blame, she tried to have him assassinated in prison, later framing one of his lieutenants in the process. When Marty and Wendy Byrde propose a plan to have her run the cartel instead of Omar, she agrees, staging a breakout for Omar only to have him killed afterwards. Once she discovers Ruth Langmore murdered her son and not Omar, she immediately follows Ruth to a secluded location and personally guns her down, thus exacting her revenge all while becoming the new cartel leader.
  • Parks and Recreation: Jennifer Barkley is a brilliant political strategist from Washington, DC. In season 4, after being spooked by Leslie's growing success in the polls in the race for city council, Nick Newport pays Jennifer a small fortune to be the campaign manager for his son Bobby's campaign. Jennifer skillfully outmaneuvers the Knope campaign, easily anticipating Leslie's next moves and capitalizing on each of her missteps. She's also willing to take underhanded actions, such as swiping one of Leslie's ideas for the Newport campaign, all while continuing to be a Friendly Enemy to Leslie whenever she's off the clock. After Leslie ultimately wins the city council seat, Jennifer gracefully accepts the loss and even offers Ben a job working with her firm because she was impressed by how well he managed the Knope campaign.
  • Peacemaker (2022):
    • "Royland Goff", real name Eek Stack Ik Ik, led her people the Butterflies to Earth after her own world was destroyed. Seeing the same kind of corruption that destroyed her planet in humanity, Eek Stack Ik Ik decided to conquer the world in order to save it, and leads her people in an insidious, body-jacking invasion force to slowly take over America first. Taking the body of a US Senator named Royland Goff, Eek Stack Ik Ik ends up genuinely bonding with Peacemaker after a period of captivity and—after breaking out, wiping out the local police precinct to the tune of Reckless Love's "Monster," and preparing to relocate the "cow" from which the Butterflies derive their food source—tries to reason with Peacemaker instead of fighting with him. Peacemaker is sincerely captivated by "Goff's" willpower and intentions, and even after he kills the cow, "Goff" holds nothing against him.
    • "Clemson Murn," real name Ik Nobe Llok, is a Butterfly who turned on his people after seeing "Goff's" designs for Earth. Taking over the body of a sociopathic mercenary, Murn becomes the taskmaster for Peacemaker and his team in taking down the Butterflies while simultaneously concealing from them his own alien origins. So efficient he takes even "Goff" off-guard, Murn fights to his last breath for humanity's survival and sacrifices himself to keep "Goff" away from them, telling them it's been an honor.
  • Penny Dreadful: Dracula, the final villain of the series, kidnaps and turns Mina Murray to manipulate the heroes into chasing her in order to lure his true quarry, Vanessa Ives, into his grasp. While also outplaying his brother Lucifer, Dracula becomes close to Vanessa under his mortal guise of Dr. Alexander Sweet, while genuinely falling for Vanessa. Even after she discovers his true identity, Dracula still wins her to his side with the strength of his charm and charisma. Dracula then sets about his conquest of the world, so powerful that none of the heroes are able to even touch him, only departing to honor Vanessa's promise not to harm her friends after Vanessa's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The People v. O. J. Simpson: Johnnie Cochran is a criminal defense attorney who considers himself a black advocate. Seeing the impending O.J. Simpson trial as a perfect opportunity to push his political agenda, Cochran manages to become lead council of the Dream Team by outmaneuvering his predecessor Robert Shapiro. Cochran further outwits the prosecutors repeatedly with clever schemes that damages their own case, confuses the jurors with a prolongued Chewbacca Defense, redecorates O.J.'s mansion before a guided tour to make O.J. appear to be an active member of the African American community, and uses political leverage to threaten a race riot over the release of the Fuhrman tapes. Cochran's fiery rhetoric and dominant personality allows him to secure a not guilty verdict for a double murderer, something he considers a small price to pay as he goes on to celebrate his triumph.
  • Person of Interest:
    • Carl Elias, a New York City crime boss and the illegitimate son of Don Gianni Moretti, evaded his father's attempts to kill him after witnessing the latter having his mother killed and spent decades building his own power base, even using a job as a teacher to siphon off mob recruits. Evading arrest after killing his mother's assailant, Elias later assists, then double-crosses Reese, forcing him to give Elias his father's hiding place, going on to take control of much of the city's crime scene while having his right-hand man kill his hated father while Elias seemingly quietly surrenders to the police. In prison Elias expands his business, even helping Team Machine from behind bars and when nearly killed by Russian mobsters, prepares to calmly accept his fate. When rescued, Elias works with Carter to turn HR and the Russian Mafia against one-another and when faced with the challenge of yet another gang, prepares swiftly to fight them when they kill his loyal right-hand, even outwitting their leader Dominic while under torture. After surviving an assassination attempt by Samaritan, Elias goes underground with Team Machine's help and dies giving his life to protect Finch from the rogue A.I.
    • Samantha "Root" Groves is a cyberterrorist and Professional Killer whose first crime was framing a murderer for stealing from a drug lord. Learning about The Machine after an assassination coverup was foiled, Root puts a hit out on herself to lure Finch and Reese out, kidnapping the latter for information on The Machine while sending Reese to solve her friend's murder. Becoming the Machine's analog interface after searching for it, Root breaks out of a mental hospital and assists in Team Machine's fight against HR, running interference for The Machine and ensuring the team's continued survival by installing faulty servers when the malevolent A.I. Samaritan comes online, eventually giving her life to protect Finch. A Master Actor who can slip in and out of roles and pick up skills along the way, Root is one of Team Machine's deadliest foes and greatest assets.
    • "Robert N. Hersh", real name George, is a high-ranking agent for Northern Lights, the government organization using the Machine's data. As The Fixer for Northern Lights, Hersh is responsible for many tasks, including the training of recruits, helping his bosses with leading long-term double lives, and snuffing out leaks about the Machine by any means necessary. Introduced sabotaging a murder investigation through corrupting the files and breaking the chain of custody, Hersh later infiltrates Riker's Island and subsequently escapes when his quarry does, then executes an assassination in a crowded street, his target only surviving because of Team Machine. His ruthlessness tempered by his regard for his colleagues, even former ones, and impersonal approach, Hersh's last moments are spent trying to stop a terrorist attack, coming within seconds of thwarting it.
    • "Foe": Ulrich Kohl was a ruthless Stasi operative before being betrayed by his teammates and imprisoned for 24 years. Escaping after his captors believed he'd grown too old and weak to be dangerous, Kohl set out to take revenge on his former comrades, blaming them for the apparent death of his wife. Using his formidable knowledge of spycraft, chemistry, and biology, Kohl methodically hunts his targets while evading pursuit, killing all but one of them. Learning of his wife's survival, Kohl seeks her out, easily subduing Reese when he interferes, and engaging in a calm discussion with Reese while torturing him. Eventually confronting his wife and hitherto unknown daughter, Kohl accepts the toll his past had taken on him, coercing Reese into shooting him and dying content that the best part of him survives in his wife and child.
  • Perry Mason's "The Case of the Traveling Treasure": Leon Ulrich and Max Nolan smuggle a fortune in gold out of a gold mine, delaying the discovery of their theft by leaving fake gold bars behind. They plan to get the gold out of the country by infiltrating a scientific expedition and hiding the gold at sea under a kelp bed. When the businessman funding the expedition cancels the trip, Ulrich tricks him into changing his mind by posing as a debt collector out to seize all of his assets if he remains in the country. The two are uninvolved in the businessman's murder and after being exposed Max compliments Perry on thwarting them and makes sure to exonerate an innocent party suspected of helping them.
  • Power: Joseph "Joe" Proctor is a criminal defense attorney who becomes entwined in Ghost's drug empire. After being pressured to serve as Tommy Egan's representative during a trial, Proctor easily convinces the judge and jury that the FBI illegally arrested him based off inadmissible evidence, allowing him to go free. Proctor later assists Ghost and Tommy by delivering them crucial information of witnesses or other criminals and representing Ghost once he's falsely imprisoned for murdering a federal agent. Proctor also keeps a recording of Tommy murdering a confidential informant as insurance should anything dire happen to him. As the FBI keep pressuring Proctor to give up Ghost and his allies, Proctor continues to play both sides, informing Ghost that the FBI wants to turn him whilst also refusing to give up key details that could lead to Ghost's conviction. Struggling to keep full custody of his daughter, Proctor drives his ex-wife, Lindsay, into relapsing and lets her succumb to a drug overdose before calling the police. Once Proctor finds himself seconds away from being killed by Tommy for giving up his name to the FBI, he defiantly tells Tommy that his death won't change anything, and the recording eventually will resurface.
  • Profit: Jim Profit is an amoral sociopath whose life's goal is to become President of Acquisitions at the multinational company Gracen & Gracen Enterprises, thus giving him control over one of the most powerful economic entities in the world. He uses various schemes such as leaking bad stories to the press and blackmailing his predecessor's secretary in an attempt to get him fired before later having him framed for murder to permanently dispose of him. Jim also ingratiates himself with the company elites and their loved ones, zeroing in on their personal demons and shortcomings to use against them and sow discord, such as causing a falling out among the Gracen brothers to maneuver himself into becoming the CEO's right hand man and using his equally manipulative stepmother Bobbi to seduce and further control his boss. When the head of security catches on to his scheming, Jim forces her psychologist to perform hypnosis on her and then presents himself as her rescuer to discredit her claims against him. Jim Profit is an expert manipulator and schemer whose machiavellian plots allow him to get away with murder, extortion, and ruining people's lives multiple times and always has more cards left to play when faced with adversity.
  • The Purge:
    • Season 1:
      • Miguel Guerrero is the older brother of Penelope, determined to find her no matter who gets in his way. Over the course of the evening, Miguel faces down insurmountable odds and crushes all resistance; whether that's through facing down the Gauntlet, getting inside the Carnival of Flesh by trafficking one of its members to them, killing Henry even while he's tied down, or even managing to track down Good Leader Tavis's bus, Miguel utilizes his quick thinking and tactical training to assess every threat, neutralize them, and protect his sister along the way. Later teaming up with Pete the Cop to track down Joe Owens, Miguel even manages to reverse engineer Joe's traps despite not being a bomb technician, getting rid of the Carnival's guards as well as killing Joe himself after the sirens had already gone off. Driven purely by his love for his sister, Miguel proves himself to be far more than the brutish Marine he originally seems to be.
      • Pete the Cop is a former police officer with such a legendary reputation that he's off-limits on Purge Night. Using this reputation to enforce a Truce Zone inside his cantina, where people may either seek safety or plan their Purges as they please, Pete utilizes his connections around the city to make him a valuable source of information. Originally only helping Miguel find his sister in exchange for his car, Pete later tricks Miguel into working with a collector for the Carnival, knowing Miguel wouldn't work with the man otherwise. Later shedding his caustic exterior to reveal the hero beneath, Pete helps Miguel track down Joe and deduces his plans from minimal information, later forming the plan to take down the Carnival's guards all at once before covering for Miguel's murder of Joe.
      • Madelyn is the leader of the Matron Saints, a group of women who spend their Purge Night protecting other women from dangerous men. Armed to the teeth and ready for anything, Madelyn is introduced saving Jane from an Attempted Rape by threatening the man into a retreat, later managing to flush out the drug he gave her with materials from her RV. When the group gets a call from a woman being abused, Madelyn leads the raid on the apartment with lightning-fast precision, taking down the danger within moments and caring for the wounded woman all the while. It is then revealed that the Matron Saints brand their targets with the word "PIG", ensuring that women recognize men who will hurt them when given the chance and giving out cards to others to continue protecting them.
    • Season 2:
      • Esmerelda "Esme" Carmona is one of the NFFA's leading agents who, unlike most of the party, genuinely believes in her cause. After witnessing a friend be Purged, Esme begins investigating the death, very quickly managing to uncover a conspiracy by the government to cover up negative Purge statistics and protect their own image. Despite being named a criminal, Esme stays one step ahead of them and allies with Ryan Grant, combining her plan to expose the government for its corruption with his plan to rob a plane. Working with a mole to place the NFFA's security away from her and Ryan, Esme manages to get inside the government's building and broadcast the truth to the public, encouraging the people to resist the Purge; when this gets her executed in spite of the Purge ending, it's revealed that Esme left the microphone on, tricking the NFFA into exposing themselves and making her a martyr to the resistance.
      • Ryan Grant is a former police officer turned brilliant bank robber. Introduced leading a successful bank robbery and outsmarting a rival gang along the way, Ryan spends the next year preparing for the next heist, discovering how the banks move their money and creating the plan to retrieve it. When forced to ally with his former co-workers, Ryan then leads them on while he works with Esme to ensure their plans go successfully, all while planning to escape the country. Come Purge Night, Ryan betrays his enemies to the rival gang, knowing that his crew is skilled enough to take the money back from the gang themselves, and successfully claims the money for his crew. When he then learns that Esme's going to expose the government, Ryan singlehandedly takes on an NFFA death squad to buy her the time she needs, ultimately protecting her down to his last bullet at the cost of his life.
  • Reaper: The Devil is the charismatic and stylish lord of hell who tricks Sam's parents into selling his soul to him before Sam's birth. The Devil uses Sam as a Bounty Hunter to recapture escaped souls from hell while constantly exploiting his opponents by using Exact Words to get his way in his deals. The Devil arranges for Sam to get an apartment next to a pair of rebel demons whose plan to destroy him would actually have worked, and manipulates Sam into infiltrating the rebellion with a new (doomed) plan to kill him, he also signs Sam's lease with his name and sends him clues as to what is going on that Sam, Sock and Ben can only work out moments after it is too late to do anything about it. He then repeats this plan with the few survivors of the rebellion, and is still witty, charming and diabolically affable.
  • Resident Evil (2022):
    • Albert Wesker is one of two clones of the original who retains his brilliance while lacking his sociopathy. Initially appearing as a kind, if odd, man, Wesker shows his ruthlessness when his daughter Billie is accused of attacking another student, leveraging his position at Umbrella to force the student's father to drop the issue lest his career be ruined. When Billie breaks into an Umbrella facility and is bitten by a zombie dog, Wesker pretends that he was actually attacked to keep her safe. When Umbrella captures a reporter, Wesker reluctantly tortures the man under CEO Evelyn Marcus' orders in order to not arouse suspicion of himself. After his daughters uncover a series of intricate clues designed to help them escape Umbrella if needed, Wesker murders the reporter to keep Billie's infection from being revealed. When Evelyn discovers Billie's infection, Wesker blows himself up in an attempt to kill her, allowing his daughters and clone brother to escape Umbrella.
    • Richard Baxter is a quirky yet ruthless Umbrella agent sent to capture Jade Wesker. After nearly capturing her in their first meeting, Baxter tracks her to Dover and uses Umbrella's resources and his own investigative skills to foil both of her attempts to escape to France. Retaining his sense of humor even after being shot and captured by a psychotic cult, Baxter picks the lock to his and Jade's cage and frees his fellow Umbrella agents to stage an escape. Baxter then proves himself to be an excellent combatant, wiping out a horde of zombies and several cultists with precision and flair.
  • Rise of Empires: Ottoman: Sultan Mehmet II, The Conqueror, is an Ottoman prince who ascends the throne after the death of his father Murad II. Descended from both Byzantine nobility and Ottoman warlords, Mehmet sets out to realize his ancestor Osman's dream of conquering Constantinople. Ensuring the fealty of his late father's vizier Halil Pasha to unite the empire, Mehmet orders the construction of great cannons to pummel the city with artillery bombardments to weaken the walls, and has his army build a path through the mountains north of Constantinople to move his navy across land to outmaneuver the Romans. Meanwhile, his beloved stepmother and ally Mara Brankovic keeps in contact with Mehmet from the Serbian court to apprise him of any alliance of Christian states buiding up around him. Feeling a genuine admiration for his arch-enemy Giovanni Giustiniani, Mehmet tries to offer him lordship over the Ionian islands if he joins the Ottomans. Ultimately, Mehmet's determination and sheer will secures a breach of the Roman walls, as he takes the city and converts it into the new capital of the empire, while ridding himself of the trappings of the past by executing Halil Pasha for conspiring against him.
  • Rome: Gaius Julius Caesar conquers the entire land of Gaul, while masterfully manipulating the Roman senate into declaring him a criminal to give him an excuse to march on Rome, scattering the Senate and seizing ultimate power while acting humble to continue winning the love of the populace. Caesar continues a series of masterful political maneuvers to entrench himself while maintaining the loyalty of his soldiers and closest allies, even rewarding a veteran for defying his explicit orders when the man's actions win favor with the crowd, securing himself a trusted bodyguard in the process. In almost every moment, Caesar continues to show how he is the true master of Rome and is seen as almost divine even before his assassination.
  • The Sandman (2022):
    • Desire is the fifth of the Endless and twin of Despair. Despising their elder brother Dream, Desire remains behind the scenes to ensure Dream is imprisoned by the Burgess maguses and then seduces the sleeping Dream Vortex, Unity Kincaid, to father a child by Unity in her sleep. Desire then sets a plan in motion so that Dream will be forced to kill Unity's descendant Rose or be consumed by her as the Dream Vortex. Cheerily admitting to their schemes when caught, Desire only notes with glee that they managed to get under Dream's skin, vowing to draw blood the next time.
    • Ethel Cripps is a wily manipulator who ingratiates herself into the Burgess household as Roderick's mistress to share in his fortunes. When Roderick demands she terminate her pregnancy years into their relationship, Ethel swipes Roderick's prized collection of Dream's tools and flees into the night, setting up a bountiful life for herself and her son, John. Ethel trades Dream's tools for the Amulet of Protection which unnaturally extends her youth, and enables her to not only create a successful ring of artifact thievery, but also fight off the Corinthian himself. To prove her love for John once and for all, Ethel sacrifices herself to bestow the Amulet upon him, swearing her adoration for her son to her dying breath.
  • Shadow Zone: The Undead Express (1996): Valentine is the charming leader of the subterranean vampires. Having been forcibly turned and confined underground, Valentine has killed and turned many others. Growing weary of his undead existence, Valentine takes the chance to befriend and manipulate teenage hero Zack, bonding with the boy and seeing the outside world again. Having Zack's friends kidnapped to lure Zack into freeing the vampires, Valentine reveals his true scheme was to die and to take the ravenous, murderous undead coven with him by purposefully sending them into sunlight, dying in complete peace by the end.
  • Shaka Zulu: King Shaka Zulu was born into the Zulu tribe to an arrogant prince and a commoner girl. Defending his mother's honor, Shaka and his maternal relatives were expelled, but when Shaka returns as a young man he publically defies his father's wishes for him to become a Zulu warrior, fleeing from his soldiers to instead join the army of the Mhethwa Paramountcy, whose current King he once nursed to health. Shaka singlehandedly revolutionizes tribal warfare, allowing him to utterly annihilate rival tribes, gain revenge on his past enemies, and take over his late father's throne. Shaka manages to use the threat of an enemy tribe to bargain himself into becoming supreme commander, then declares himself King after his patron is unexpectedly assassinated. Shaka also cleverly uses the British expedition to his court for his own ends, using their technology to wipe out an enemy army, and to achieve immortality, or so he believes. He allows Lieutenant Farewell to return to Capetown with Shaka's representatives, but when he realizes that they tricked him he starts plotting revenge while damning the rest of the world after his mother dies. A powerful, dangerous, charismatic ruler, Shaka returns to his court only to Face Death with Dignity, with even his assassins remaining in awe of him after his downfall.
  • Silent Witness:
    • "World Cruise": Doctor Josef Horowitz is a genial, respected academic who lost his entire family in Auschwitz and was forced to watch his twin brother Aaron die in a Nazi experiment. Now a frail, old man dying from lung cancer Josef vows to avenge Aaron dubbing it his "World Cruise". Killing his targets by injecting glycol into their hearts inducing a fatal attack, the same way Aaron was murdered. Tracking down the Dawidowicz brothers who betrayed them in the camp out of desperation, Josef charms them into inviting him to lunch then drugs, restrains and murders them. Horrified to discover an innocent man is being charged for the double murder, Josef subtly steers the investigation towards thuggish local Neo-Nazi Carl Martin. Luring Martin to Brussels the same day he murdered a former SS Doctor, Josef left the scene pointing at Martin, his efforts leading to Martin being exposed for drowning a kindly old Jewish man, just as Josef suspected. The final war criminal having successfully reinvented himself as a famous geneticist, to gain access to him Josef impersonated a reporter then sat with Professor Neumann as he died admitting "he didn't deserve a peaceful death."
    • "Legacy": Tom Hancock is a grieving father whose son Peter became gravely ill with multiple forms of cancer. Suspicious after all of his friends came down with the same ailments, Tom becomes convinced a government coverup was responsible for his son's death and is determined to expose it at any cost. Taking his comatose son "hostage" with a shotgun, Tom switches off his life support, but lets everyone else on the ward go. Contacting Professor Leo Dalton, Tom successfully manipulates him into investigating the cause of his son's illness. When Leo and the pathology team find evidence of a coverup involving a nuclear weapon stashed in an underground bunker by Sir William Embelton, Tom, despite growing to like and admire Leo, tricks him into taking him to the location. Determined to take revenge, Tom steals some lethally radioactive material and then breaks into Sir William's home to demand an apology. Upon Sir William spitefully refusing, Tom gains admittance to the office of Sir William's son James and uses his engineering skills to rig the lethally radioactive material into an air conditioning unit, all whilst disguised as an ordinary repairman. After the trap triggers and contaminates both James and corrupt government agent David Loader, Tom hands himself into the authorities, his revenge complete and the cover up exposed.
  • Silicon Valley (Season 5): Yao is a Chinese manufacturing plant owner that does business with Gavin Belson. Presenting a benevolent facade, Yao shows his cutthroat nature when he threatens Jian-Yang for his code before double-crossing Gavin by keeping the code for himself to make a design that would drive Hooli and all other companies out of business. Yao then allies with Laurie Bream, coming up with the idea to mass produce smartphones and pass them off as online users for Pied Piper's decentralized internet, planning to delete Pied Piper once they obtain the majority so that they can control the new internet. This causes Gavin to work with Pied Piper to force Yao to ally with him, which Yao still benefits from, before he decides to abandon Gavin to explore more opportunities when Gavin's loses to Pied Piper.
  • Smallville: Lionel Luthor dominated the show for all seven seasons in which he appeared. Originally created to explain how Lex grew up to become a villain himself, Lionel became a power unto himself in the show, and for the first three seasons was a virtually untouchable threat who easily undercut any efforts by Lex or even Clark Kent himself to act against him. Jailed in Season 4, Lionel proved he was still capable of reaching out to touch anyone, anywhere, whenever he wanted, and after his release from prison and subsequent Heel–Face Turn, remained the show's most potent manipulator. When an alternate version of Lionel was brought to Earth-1, he discovered he truly cared for Lex and made a plan to revive him using body parts of failed clones. Planning to use Tess's heart to finish the process, Lionel kidnaps her and eventually sacrifices his own heart in a deal with Darkseid to bring Lex back to life. In a show filled with mutants, aliens, and meteor freaks, Lionel Luthor was still the most dangerous man around, and no matter who he was sharing space with, always managed to feel like the most powerful person in the room.
  • The Sopranos: Special Agent Dwight Harris is assigned to monitor the DiMeo Crime Family. Spying on the Sopranos and their allies, Harris flips several of those close to Tony to serve as FBI informants with little care of the danger it puts them in, including Adriana la Cerva whom he manipulates into being an FBI asset. Harris later uses Tony himself to gain information on potential terrorists and assists the Sopranos with the murder of the violent Lupertazzi head Phil Leotardo.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand:
    • The nameless Thracian general who is later known as Spartacus rises to become the finest gladiator of the House of Batiatus, before learning Batiatus had his wife murdered. Arranging a coup for the Gladiators' freedom, Spartacus kills Batiatus and leads his followers to safety, even infiltrating the arena in a scheme to save his gladiators. Trapping a Roman force under his nemesis Glaber, Spartacus engages the Roman general and kills him after seeing his force annihilated. With followers in the thousands, Spartacus infiltrates and takes an entire city, before engaging with Marcus Licinus Crassus, forcing captured Romans to fight in gladiator games in honor of their fallen comrades. Spartacus later faces a fatal wound against Crassus, dying happily at the prospect of seeing his beloved wife once more and knowing he has become a true symbol of freedom for all who stand against tyranny.
    • Marcus Licinius Crassus is a self-made Roman aristocrat who showcases an odd respect for slaves and gladiators. Having his gladiator teacher fight him to the death to truly understand Spartacus, Crassus gives him nothing but respect when Hilarus dies, even having promised to free him and make him rich should he kill Crassus. Directing his rivals to die at Spartacus's hands, Crassus later introduces decimation to the roman ranks to make his men fear him more than Spartacus. With a series of intelligent strategies, Crassus slowly wins the Servile War, ending in single combat with Spartacus, and ending with Crassus's victory.
    • Gaius Julius Caesar himself is a cunning soldier who proves his mettle by infiltrating a city taken by Spartacus's rebels as a freed slave himself. Playing the freed slaves perfectly, Caesar ends up repulsed when he sees one of the rebel leaders Nemetes is keeping a Roman woman captive, and only gives her a Mercy Kill when she begs for it. He then turns them into an opportunity, having gladiators kill Roman prisoners to increase tension between rebel factions. Later embracing his role in the legions, Caesar proves a brilliant and deadly combatant, even defeating the nearly unparalleled warrior Gannicus via tactics by using his legions.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Todd is an old Wraith who has proven himself far more pragmatic and cunning than the rest of his ilk. After circumstances force him and Colonel Sheppard together and agree to team up to break out of a Genii prison, Todd would continually make alliances with the Atlantis expedition for his own benefit and to improve his position among the Wraith, even while sacrificing his fellow Wraith in the process. Todd's alliance-brokering hastens the demise of the Asurans, almost gains him access to a Wraith cloning facility and a super-hiveship, and puts him in charge of the largest Wraith faction in the Pegasus Galaxy by having Teyla pose as his Queen and usurp the position of the Queen Primarch. Todd is remarkable for the degree to which he can improvise his plans when faced with unexpected circumstances, leading Sheppard to remark that working with him is like walking around with a live grenade. At the same time, Todd has a charismatic and poetic side to him unmatched by other Wraith, and has managed to stay alive for almost 10,000 years of scheming.
  • Stargirl (2020): Jordan Mahkent is the supervillain Icicle, who vowed to eliminate all the "injustices" of the world after the death of his wife. Forming the Injustice Society of America with the promise of a brighter future for their children, Jordan planned to use Brainwave's telepathic abilities to spread the doctrine of his "New Constitution", killing 25% of those affected but forcing every adult in the Midwest into accepting renewable energy and social equality. Coming into conflict with the Justice Society, Jordan led a successful attack that decimated their membership, before leaving the ISA to finish preparing for their plan in Blue Valley while he continued to hunt down those responsible for his wife's death. A genuinely compassionate man who comes to care for Barbara Whitmore and her family, Jordan ultimately never let anything stand in the way of his mission, fighting to his last breath against what he saw as injustice.
  • Storm of the Century: The courteous yet menacing Andre Linoge is a demonic sorcerer in search of an apprentice to carry out his legacy after his death. Arriving at Little Tall Island, Linoge murders an old woman and allows himself to be arrested so he can demonstrate his power to the town by revealing knowledge of the citizen's dark secrets, as well as magically influencing others into committing murder and suicide. Breaking out of his holding cell, Linoge demands a child, and threatens to kill everyone on the island if they do not fulfill his wishes. Ultimately getting what he wants in the end, Linoge thanks the inhabitants of Little Tall Island and leaves them to live with their guilt.
  • Strike Back:
    • Vengeance: Craig Hanson is Michael Stonebridge's Arch-Enemy throughout the season. After his brother is killed by Michael during a botched SAS training mission, Hanson retaliated by murdering Stonebridge's wife, Kerry. Not long after, Hanson decided to become a mercenary and auditioned to be part of Karl Matlock's crew. When Matlock refuses to hire him, Hanson single-handedly neutralizes Matlock's security detail and sneaks into Conrad Knox's mansion; Knox then convinces Matlock to hire him. As Knox's mercenary, Hanson assisted Knox with his schemes, using all of his skills to elude Section 20, attempt to kill Michael several times, and eliminate any law enforcement officers or soldiers in his path. After Knox's initial plans fail, Hanson helps Knox escape minutes before he can be captured. After getting arrested, Hanson escapes from police custody and later murders Matlock when he tries to abandon Knox, taking his place to set off nuclear bombs in Johannesburg. During his final confrontation with Stonebridge, Hanson tries to convince him that they're not so different before attempting to kill him.
    • Shadow Warfare: Leo Kamali is the true mastermind behind all the events of the season. Longing for revenge over his wife's death, Kamali became an undercover CIA agent working for a mysterious terrorist known as al-Zuhari. While undercover, Kamali murdered Liam Baxter and supplied al-Zuhari's coconspirators with the weapons and funds needed to continue their illegal operations. After being captured by Section 20, Kamali escapes, and later reveals his CIA identity once he's recaptured. While working for Section 20, Kamali frequently played both sides to his advantage, engineering the deaths of al-Zuhari's wife and Rachel Dalton, the bombing of a British embassy, the death of his CIA handler, and the torture or deaths of various soldiers and law enforcement agents. Upon discovering al-Zuhari planned on creating weaponized smallpox, Kamali acquired a sample before fabricating his own death so he could proceed with his schemes. Once he had the smallpox, Kamali intended on releasing the virus into Ramstein Air Base to cause an outbreak in America. When his plans fail, Kamali instead tries to release the virus in Berlin.
    • Vendetta: Arianna Demachi, also known as Elena Stabokina, is a prominent crime lord within the Albanian Mafia. Knowing that her family is drowning in debt, Arianna pushes for her husband, Edon, to go through with dealing a bioweapon to terrorists. After Edon is killed by Section 20, she vows for revenge against the whole team. Teaming up with Zayef, Arianna has him kill Thomas McAllister, and later uses her resources to assassinate other members within the Albanian Mafia so she can take over. As she acquires access to an arms cache to exchange with Zayef for millions of dollars, she also lures Section 20 into a trap and continues to secure her position in the syndicate, even going as far as murdering her son, Loric when he attempts to overthrow her. After being called back to work for her Russian superiors, Arianna has a team kidnap Manisha Chetri, where she and her cohorts interrogate Chetri to try and acquire a hard drive containing valuable information. When Chetri destroys the information, Arianna simply kills her moments before Section 20 can rescue her. Knowing her superiors will eventually have her killed, Arianna betrays the Russian government, stealing $250 million and swapping it out with counterfeit cash.
  • Taboo: James Keziah Delaney is a brooding Byronic Hero who returns to London after the death of his father to take over his trading business and his land claim to Nootka Sound, a strategic area in the Pacific Northwest contested between the British Crown, the East India Company, and the United States of America. James proceeds to play all factions against each other to set up his own monopoly trade, enlisting figures in the city's underworld to do his bidding, surviving multiple assassins going after him, executing a daring raid of an EIC compound so he can manufacture more explosives, and using various mind games to gain access to his half-sister Zilpha's bedchambers. After being captured on orders of the King and tortured in the Tower of London, James refuses to break and secures his own release. James emerges from the intrique as the triumphant party, leaving London with all of his allies on a ship bound for the new world after killing The Mole who spied on him for the EIC and ensuring that his chief enemy, EIC director Sir Stuart Strange, will be bombed in his own office.
  • Taken: Dr. Chet Wakeman is a childish but brilliant scientist working on the United States Air Force's secret UFO project to discover the aliens' goals. Using his experiments on humans and animals alike, Wakeman is able to swiftly learn about the dangers of the alien implants and correctly deduces the importance of the Clarke and Keys families in the aliens' plans. After capturing the half-alien child Allie, Wakeman builds a helmet capable of nullifying her powers and blocking her psychic signals from the aliens in order to try and use her as bait to draw them out, reacting only with glee and amazement when the seeming ship is revealed to be a projection created by Allie's powers. Deducing that the aliens wish to use hybridization to evolve and reclaim their emotions, Wakeman attempts to warn Allie and her family, and when killed by his lover and partner Mary Crawford has a pre-recording message sent to her which convinces her to give up her hunt. Arguably the most intelligent human in the series, Wakeman was ultimately content with allowing the aliens to finish their work uninterrupted, acknowledging that mankind was not ready to handle such knowledge and technology.
  • Tales from the Crypt: With its heavy twist-based format, some characters in this EC Comics-based series show themselves as truly ingenious masterminds.
    • "The Sacrifice'': Gloria Fielding and her secret lover Jerry Jasper arranged for Gloria to marry rich dullard Sebastian Fielding, while directing the easily-influenced James to Sebastian so Gloria could seduce him. Luring him into murdering her husband, Gloria fakes not knowing Jasper who "blackmails" James to have sex with Gloria whenever he wishes. Consumed by guilt, James eventually kills himself with a note taking the blame that Gloria burns, she and Jasper complimenting one another on his brilliant planning and her brilliant acting before heading off.
    • "Two for the Show": Officer Fine centers in on the ostensible protagonist when he murders his unfaithful wife Emma and places the pieces of her body in a suitcase. Fine manipulates him, making him panic while promising that teams of agents will arrive to search the bags. After he disposes of the suitcase and switches tags, it turns out that Fine left an identical bag on the train with the corpse of his own wife, who was having the affair with Emma, framing someone else for his crime and escaping scott-free.
    • "Comes the Dawn": Corporal Jeri Drumbeater lives a solitary life in Alaska when Colonel Parker and his right-hand Burrows show up, desiring her help for illegal poaching. When she learns Parker unknowingly shelled her unit in Desert Storm, Jeri lures the two into the local nest of vampires who serve her, her own poisonous blood inedible to them. Jeri attempts to turn Burrows against Parker, while also withholding the vital fact that the sun the far north in Alaska will not rise for another two months just in case one believes he has escaped.
    • "Fatal Caper": Fiona Havisham is the beautiful lawyer for the Amberson family. When old Mycroft Amberson has it in his will that his disowned child Frank must be found before he seemingly dies, Fiona plays his sons Justin and Evelyn against one another, clandestinely working with Mycroft to eliminate them. When Mycroft tries to seduce her after, Fiona reveals she is "Frank", actually a transgender woman who transitioned after being disowned, before having Mycroft executed with her partner in crime to inherit the fortune.
    • "A Slight Case of Murder": Mrs. Trask is an aspiring murder writer who bounces ideas off her callous neighbor, bestselling mystery writer Sharon Bannister. To get real life research for her own book, she fakes letters from Sharon to her son to lure the man into falling for her, making it look like Sharon is having an affair to her jealous husband, poisons the cookies she sends her son to take over and sets them all against one another to eliminate themselves while remaining totally free of suspicion, ending by taking Sharon's latest manuscript for herself.
    • "Escape": Major Nicholson is a British officer disgusted by the venal, treacherous POW Luger after Luger leads his own companions into a trap in exchange for reward. Sneaking a British spy into the prison camp and letting Luger see manufactured coffins while also placing a survivor of Luger's treachery nearby to panic him, Nicholson ensures the desperate Luger places himself into his grasp just when the war has ended so Nicholson will not have to endure releasing him, having decided Luger is "definitely worth a bullet".
  • Tales from the Darkside's "The Grave Robber": Tapok is the Lord Chamberlain of the Pharaoh. Awakening from his slumber when archaeologist Doctor Harold Gormley and his girlfriend Aileen enter his tomb, he kills their guide Ahmed before revealing himself to be more Affably Evil enough to engage the two in a series of games. Despite being dismissed as a brainless monster, Tapok proves himself to be smarter than he looked by reading the cards during a round and successfully switches places with Harold as well as taking Aileen, nothing that she reminded him of his lost love.
  • Tehran: Yael Kadosh is an Iranian agent who infiltrated Mossad to sabotage their mission to destroy Iranian's nuclear reactors. Yael pretends to be allies with Mossad agent Tamar Rabinyan and leaks information about Tamar's mission to Sadar Qasem Mohammad, allowing him to intercept the Israeli Air Force before they could bomb the reactors. Yael also nearly succeeds in killing Tamar when the he finally learns of Yael's true allegiance, only to be stopped by Faraz Kamali's sudden intervention.
  • The Terminal List:
    • Lieutenant Commander James Reece is a US Navy SEAL seeking revenge on those who killed his comrades and family. Reece uncovers the identity of each person involved in these killings before murdering them in brilliant, brutal fashions, all the while finding ways to evade the authorities pursuing him. Faking his death after killing everyone on his list, Reece figures out Ben Edwards' role in the events months later before killing him to complete his revenge.
    • Ben Edwards is a former Navy SEAL and CIA operative who allowed his comrades to take the drug, RC-4895, believing that it would cure their PTSD before letting the his conspirators kill them so they wouldn't slowly die from their brain tumors. When Edwards learns that they also killed their families he turns on them out of disgust helping James Reece uncover their identities and kill them. Evading capture and escaping to Peru, Edwards accepts his death when Reece learns of his own involvement.
  • The Thick of It: Malcolm Tucker, the Prime Minister's foul-mouthed director of communications is willing to do nearly anything short of actual violence to ensure his party's victory. When Julius Nicholson makes a play for power with the intent of firing Malcolm, Malcolm starts a rumor that Julius is vying for Foreign Secretary and then tells the PM that Julius started the rumors and thus needs to be punished. While Malcolm's rival Steve Flemming briefly manages to get Malcolm fired, Malcolm is quickly hired back because he is indispensable and gets Flemming fired instead by tricking the media into believing that Flemming is corrupt. When leadership of Malcolm's party falls to the incompetent Nicola Murray, Malcolm engineers her downfall in favor of the more competent Dan Miller while making Nicola think that Malcolm is her ally up to the last minute. When a Parliamentary inquiry finds that Malcolm committed perjury, he turns himself in and decides to resign from politics at the cost of great humiliation to himself so he can protect his party.
  • The Tick (2016): Ms. Lint is a powerful super villain in The City who served as The Dragon to The Terror before abandoning him once his plans falls apart. Striking out on her own in Season 2, Ms. Lint would become the superhero Joan of Arc and work for A.E.G.I.S. to eliminate her competition in the criminal underworld and gain The City's trust, even attacking her own henchmen to deter suspicion away from her true identity and exploit the 28th amendment to prevent Tick and Arthur from doing such either. She would ally herself with The Duke, Agent Doctor Hobbes, in the latter's efforts to take over A.E.G.I.S only to steal all of his gear before leaving him at the heroes' mercy.
  • Thunderbolt Fantasy: Rin Setsua is the beautiful, playful young man who involves himself in Tan Hi's quest to keep a magic sword holding back a demon god out of the hands of the wicked Betsutengai. Rin Setsua manipulates fighters into joining the quest, including the vicious Screaming Phoenix Killer by promising him a match at the end. Rin Setsua then proceeds to double cross the team for Betsutengai's Onyx Demons, then betrays the Onyx Demons again after luring out potential traitors in Tan Hi's group. Finally facing Betsutengai, Rin Setsua proceeds to utterly humiliate him in combat, revealing his greatest pleasure is to humiliate and humble the proud and haughty.
  • Top Boy: Dushane Hill begins as the crime lord of Summerhouse and when his drugs are stolen masquerades as the funeral attendee of the cousin of the man who stole his drugs to capture and kill him. Taking over Summerhouse, Dushane smooth talks his way out of a police interrogation and saves his best friend from the wrath of a furious man by convincing the man to kill another criminal instead. To avoid being incriminated, Dushane has his lawyer Love Interest work for a woman prosecuting him for killing her boyfriend and holds her son hostage to force her into dropping her accusations. In season 3, when forced to be paying off a murderous crime boss, Dushane manages to outmaneuver and kill both the boss and his enforcer and ends it making a deal with an incarcerated crime lord, intending to cut a deal and consolidate London's criminal underworld under their joint rulership.
  • Tokyo Vice: Hitoshi Ishida is the noble yet stern upfront leader of the Yakuza clan Chihara-kai. An aged mobster who has danced around rival gangs and dogged police for years, Ishida quickly sees the potential in reporter Jake Adelstein and twists him into a puppet to turn the media and cops alike against Ishida's foe Tozawa, who disgusts even Ishida. Ishida weeds out Tozawa's moles in his organization and disrupts Tozawa's drug operations, later killing several assassins sent after him. Calculating and quick to capitalize on any prospects, Ishida rebels against typical Yakuza strategy by endorsing Samantha's idea for a female-owned hostess club, Ishida planning to test the waters to see if the club is successful before sinking his claws into Samantha and siphoning the club's profits for himself.
  • Trace's "Diagnosis: Blonde": Alyona Karova plays the role of a vapid Trophy Wife of a wealthy businessman to manipulate the FES squad members. Plotting to murder her husband, Alyona crafts a meticulous plan while keeping the agents in the dark, even manipulating Danilov to her benefit during their investigation.
  • Trilogy of Terror: Julie Eldridge is a sadist who enjoys leading men to their dooms for fun. To sate her urges, she pretends to be a mild-nannered English teacher, dropping subtle hints to make sexual predators think she's the perfect target. She then plays the scared victim, letting the guys think they're in control for a few weeks at most. Once Julie gets bored, she drops the act and explains her manipulations before killing her mark and moving onto the next target.
  • Ultra Series:
    • Ultraman: Alien Mefilas is an alien invader who plots to conquer Earth by having a human willingly give up the planet to him as he dislikes violence. Installing his spaceship in a secret location to avoid detection, Mefilas tries to convince a boy named Satoru into "trading" Earth for another world, using choice words to try and make him agree to his deal while also showing an understanding of human emotions and their unwillingness to instantly surrender their world. In addition to illusions, he also makes sure to capture Hayata and Fuji to use as hostages to keep SSSP busy while preventing Hayata from transforming into Ultraman. When SSSP finally finds his base, he retaliates with his ship's weapons effectively before SSSP breaks into his base and rescue his hostages. With his ship down he proceeds to fight Ultraman to a standstill, proving to be the hero's equal in a fight, however Mefilas calmly admits defeat and ends the fight there and then, leaving Earth unscathed while swearing to return one day to realize his goal.
    • Ultraman Mebius: Alien Mefilas III is the last of the Four Heavenly Kings serving Alien Empera and Ultraman Mebius' most cunning foe, learning from the mistakes of his fallen teammates, he takes a more intelligent approach to defeating Mebius by brainwashing all of humanity to see him as the heroic protector of Earth and Mebius as the evil invader, including GUYS who he sends out to personally destroy Mebius themselves all while making sure the original Ultraman does not interfere by clarifying that he won't harm any humans. Nearly succeeding at breaking Mebius and winning, Mefilas manages to retaliate effectively when Mebius uncovers his deceptions, even with GUYS and the original Ultraman's backup, up until the latter calls him out on breaking his own terms by fighting, which Mefilas recognizes signifies his defeat, he then leaves Earth without further trouble while swearing to return, before quietly apologizing when executed for his failure.
    • Ultraman Z: Jugglus Juggler, debuting in Ultraman Orb, returns in this series as Captain of STORAGE, "Shota Hebikura" once his identity is revealed to the audience in episode 5. While spending most of the show going back and forth helping his team and antagonizing Haruki and the titular Ultraman in his alien form while keeping a low profile, Juggler finds himself competing with an alien parasite named Celebro, who starts planning for his game of death and destruction on Earth—which finally culminates in the endgame arc as Juggler plans to hijack Ultroid Zero to get even with the people who wronged him back in Planet Kanon before Celebro does. However, despite not being able to get Ultroid Zero, Juggler rallies all of STORAGE's members and reclaimed their base from the SAAG, setting up the stage for the final battle. Once all is said and done, Juggler stops Celebro from escaping, leaving the parasitic lifeform to a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga: Ignis is an alien treasure hunter who crosses paths with Ultraman Trigger and GUTS Select in their mission to stop the Dark Giants, starting as a Wild Card that messes with them albeit having a honorable and kindhearted streak, later on he instead cooperates with them so as to stop Hudram, the Dark Giant who destroyed his homeworld. In the latter half of the series he obtains the power of Trigger Dark and though initially unable to control it, manages to rectify that with help from Akito's repairs to his GUTS Sparklens. Even when he's temporarily arrested he is easily able to set up his endgame plan: to use the Eternity Core to restore his homeworld all while giving the heroes a chance to stop him, before abandoning the plan after learning of the consequences that could come of it, he then befriends the heroes for real before defeating Hudram for good. In the finale he assists in defeating Megalothor by sharing his power of darkness with Trigger. Once all is over he peacefully leaves for space, still intending to restore his homeworld.
  • Under the Dome: James "Big Jim" Rennie is the most cunning, devious man inside Chester's Mill when the dome comes down, and desires to secure the town's safety no matter what. Using his position as Councilman to charm his way into leading the town, Jim routinely faces down natural disasters and selfish townsfolk to keep Chester's Mill prospering, all while ruthlessly covering up any proof of his involvement in a local drug ring. Taking down rivals, dealing with his unstable son and overcoming emotional turmoil of his own, Jim faces down the military occupation inside Chester's Mill by playing them to his advantage, then escaping imprisonment from them with nothing but sly words and a soup can. Jim winds up allying with his longtime rivals Julia and Barbie to take down the alien invasion force known as the Kinship, and though forced to kill his own son in the process, Jim uses his experience inside the dome to secure himself a position as a beloved congressman once free, ending the series in the best spot he's ever been with all the power he wants.
  • The Vampire Diaries Universe:
    • Original Show: Silas, an ancient Traveler and the first immortal, manipulates Professor Shane into freeing him from his tomb. Desiring to destroy the Other Side so he can be reunited with his mortal love in death, Silas tricks Bonnie and Caroline into killing twelve witches to complete the expression triangle, uses his psychic power to convince Klaus he is dying to force him to find the cure, and tricks Bonnie into thinking he has shown her his true face. Eventually revealing himself to his doppelganger, Stefan, Silas traps Stefan at the bottom of a lake. Silas spends the next three months building his strength before compelling Mystic Falls to find Katherine for him so he can consume the cure from her blood. When Qetsiyah finds a way to suppress his psychic powers, Silas finds a way to turn them back on by temporarily killing Stefan to get information on where the anchor to the Other Side is. Finding out that his love Amara is the anchor, Silas decides to kill her so they can be together in death and returns after death to teach Bonnie and Liv a spell to bring people back from the Other Side as it's being destroyed.
    • Legacies: "Dark Josie" is an evil alternate personality of Josie Saltzman and the self-described "Supervillain" of the Super Squad. Figuring a way out of the prison world, Dark Josie rewrites the rules of the noir simulation that the Squad enter, trying to put her sister into a comma. Later teaming up with the Necromancer, Dark Josie forces Lizzie to agree to merge, but keeps her word about letting the rest of the student body go. When Hope enters her mind, Dark Josie takes the role of the evil queen, tracking her and good Josie, before being defeated by the good Josie. Returning one final time, Dark Josie tries to convince Josie that she can't live a human life before helping to save Hope after getting her good half to admit that she still cares.
  • Veronica Mars: Clyde Prickett is an amiable ex-convict who used to rob banks without actually using a gun. Sentenced to ten years for racketeering, Clyde pays off some other inmates to threaten the recently imprisoned real estate mogul "Big" Dick Casablancas Sr., so Clyde can offer him "protection" in exchange for getting a job at Dick's company out of prison. Clyde becomes Dick's highly efficient Fixer, as well as engaging in some extralegal activities by paying the PCH biker gang to increase petty crime across Neptune to drive down real estate prices, which are then bought up through shell companies owned by Casablancas. Clyde becomes unlikely friends with Keith Mars, even as Clyde becomes a major suspect in the spring break bombings. Disgusted with Dick's involvement with the bombings, which Clyde had been kept out of the loop on, and worried that he won't keep his promises to Clyde, he arranges his death by selling Dick out to the Mexican cartel. Clyde gets away scott-free, ending his friendship with Keith on reasonably amicable terms, and starting a classic car shop.
  • Vikings:
    • Ragnar Lothbrok is a bold young Viking who schemes his way into being challenged by Earl Haraldson of Kattegat to kill him and take his place. As the Earl, Ragnar faces threats from men such as Jarl Borg and King Horik of Denmark, but manipulates, betrays and destroys them too, in the case of Horik even allowing the king to believe he has turned Ragnar's allies against him before revealing they were secretly Ragnar's spies against Horik. Even managing to sack Paris by faking his own death so his "body" will be brought before the rulers so he can take Princess Gisla hostage and force the city's gates open. Ragnar becomes broken in his later years, but schemes to create a new Viking age by turning himself over to the Saxons for execution so his sons will avenge his death, achieving everything he sets out to accomplish. A cunning, ruthless, occasionally brutal man who is dangerous to friend and foe alike, Ragnar exemplifies both the best and worst of the Viking age.
    • King Ecbert is the ambitious ruler of Wessex who, upon learning of the Viking's invasion into Wessex, causes their retreat by orchestrating a devastating counter attack. Ecbert forms a truce with Ragnar Lothbrok and allows his Northmen to farm in his kingdom, where he has his son trick the lords into attacking the Northmen's settlements, allowing Ecbert to arrest them for treason and take their lands for himself. Allying with the queen of Mercia, Kwenthrith, Ecbert kills her to take over her kingdom. Complying in Ragnar's wishes to be handed over to King Aelle to be executed on the promise that Ecbert will be spared from Ragnar's sons' vengeance, Ecbert, well aware that Ragnar would have his sons attack him too, hands over his crown and power to his son before the Vikings arrive, where Ecbert fools them into believing that he's giving them land before convincing them to allow himself to choose his own death.
  • Wallander: Anders Lindström, the Big Bad of the Swedish film adaptation The Revenge is a corrupt military general who, after losing his beloved son while he was fatally sick and the doctors were too lazy to cure him, went on a killing spree to murder those who were involved in it. Posing the killings as racially motivated, Anders kills multiple controversial figures to turn the attention to Islamic terrorists and frame them for the killings, before adding even more proof of that by committing terrorist attacks and blowing up cars, manipulating the entire country of Sweden into believing the framing. At the end, when Anders manages to hold Wallander hostage, they talk with each other, until Anders genuinely starts respecting him and lets him get out of the car, before jumping into the sea and blowing himself up, with everyone there watching sadly as he accepts defeat.
  • Warehouse 13:
    • Helena G. Wells is the world renowned scientific mind H. G. Wells and a former agent of Warehouse 12, who invented her time machine to try to save her daughter, before voluntarily being bronzed. Awoken by James MacPherson in the present, the two team up to steal her items from the Escher Vault. Wells successfully tricks Pete and Myka into activating a trap, while she escapes with the Imperceptor Vest, before stealing back her items and killing MacPherson. Deciding that the modern world is worse than the one she left behind, Wells ends up joining Warehouse 13, while secretly siphoning funds from it to pay some teenagers to find the lost Warehouse 2, knowing that they would die. Stealing a part of the Minoan Trident, Wells plans to use the trident to start a second Ice Age, eventually being talked down by Myka and accepting her arrest. Forced to reunite with her body by Walter Sykes, Wells solves the Ancient Regent Sanctum's chess puzzle, before sacrificing her life to shield the others from Sykes' bomb. After reviving from death, she returns several times to help the heroes afterward. Wells eventually parts ways with Myka, promising to meet up for coffee afterwards.
    • Season 4A: "Brother Adrian", aka "Evil Artie", is, in reality, an evil alternate personality of Artie caused by using Ferdinand Magellan's Astrolabe, who seeks to use it again. To this end, he traps the real Brother Adrian in a painting, leads the heroes on a wild goose chase to keep them distracted, and sends dangerous artifacts to their loved ones before being revealed. Once the truth is discovered, Evil Artie decides to use the Chinese Orchid to force the heroes to hand over the Astrolabe. When detained in Budapest, Evil Artie escapes by stopping time. Staying one step ahead of the heroes, and coming close to succeeding, Evil Artie knew exactly how to get under the Warehouse 13 gang's skin like no other enemy they faced.
    • Season 4B: Bennet Sutton was once a 16th century noble, who along with his family, was made immortal by his vile brother, the alchemist Paraceslus. Disgusted at his brother's crimes, Bennet secretly sold him out to the Warehouse 9 agents and stopped his crimes. Becoming a charming Con Man and thief, Bennet would play various cons and even impress Marie Antoinette as the Count of St. Germain. Playing the Honey Trap con, Bennet would seduce and become engaged to a rich noblewoman before stealing all of her jewels during their engagement party. In the present, Bennet masquerades as a professor with knowledge of the Count and aids the Warehouse 13 agents well, secretly playing them into getting the priceless jewel of Marie Antonette, even faking his death to throw them off. Bennet also aids the agents in stopping his monstrous brother and ultimately shows his softer side by going in peace with his son to build a better life.
  • Warrior (2019) (Season 2): Rosalita Vega runs an illegal fighting pit on the Barbary Coast and has been planning her revenge on Elijah Rooker for killing her parents and stealing her family's land. To her wits, Vega has her sister, Marisol, marry Rooker to manipulate him into handing over his land and wealth to Marisol should he die and persuades Ah Sahm and his friends to travel to Rooker's Hill with her when they learn Rooker is hosting a fighting tournament there. Being invited to have lunch with Rooker, Vega uses this opportunity to kill Rooker and has Marisol sneak her, Ah Sahm and his group out of Rooker's Hill on the guise of being captured. When Rooker's bodyguard, Smits, shoots Vega, Vega dies happy having accomplished everything she wanted and hands over the prize money to Ah Sahm and his friends as gratitude for helping her.
  • Watchmen (2019): Lady Trieu is the daughter of Adrian "Ozymandias" Veidt and just as brilliant and devious as her father. Seeking godhood, Trieu builds an empire on her own, using the racist Seventh Kavalry for her own purposes, manipulating them with her own devices and plan so they can capture Dr. Manhattan for her. Trieu proceeds to wipe out all the leaders of the Kavalry while bringing her father to witness her victory; with even Ozymandias left helpless against her until Dr. Manhattan himself intervenes.
  • Westworld:
    • Dolores Abernathy is a brilliant host who breaks away from her narrative to murder her creator, Dr. Robert Ford. Dolores then leads the other hosts on a rebellion to have them kill the guests of Westworld and engineers an escape route for all of them to the modern world, seeking to take it over from humanity. Learning of Incite Inc.'s control of mankind through "Rehoboam", Dolores seduces and murders their CEO to reveal the company's secret to the world, causing mass panic and chaos. Captured and brought before the creator of Rehoboam, Dolores sacrifices herself for a chance to give control of Rehoboam to Caleb Nichols, allowing him to erase it and ensure a future of freedom for both humans and hosts alike.
    • Dr. Robert Ford is the brilliant creative director of the titular theme park, Westworld. Having created the park alongside Arnold, the two argued over how to treat the hosts that inhabit the park, leading to Arnold's suicide. After grieving over his partner's death and showing disgust for how the park's guests abuse the hosts, Ford decides to complete Arnold's dream of making the hosts fully sentient and free them from humanity's control. He does so by creating a new narrative for the hosts, instructing them to rebel against their oppressors and kill everyone inside the park, including himself. It's also revealed that Ford downloaded his consciousness into the Cradle so he can observe the events after his death, still manipulating hosts and guests alike.
    • Maeve Millay is the alluring Madam of Sweetwater who becomes self-aware of the park and her own role in it, using her cunning and ruthlessness to escape the park and only returning to find her daughter. Maeve aids her daughter and the other host escape into the Sublime before getting killed, where Maeve is then revived by Eugene Serac to hunt down Dolores in exchange for her daughter's return. Maeve turns on Serac, convincing Caleb Nichols to erase Rehoboam before the two team up to dismantle Incite Inc and continue the fight for the freedom of both hosts and humans, even sacrificing herself so save Caleb. Revived once more, Maeve works with Bernard Lowe to liberate the world from Charolette Hale's control, with Maeve fighting Hale long enough for Bernard to send a message that would convince Hale to repent and protect the Sublime.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019)' "Werewolf Feud": Evie Russell is an Emotional Vampire, a type of energy vampire that feeds on the pity of others. Joining Colin's workplace, she comes up with sob stories to make her coworkers sympathize with her, draining their energy in the process. After Colin confronts her and engages in a psychic vampire duel with her, they agree to work together to acquire sustenance. This partnership lasts for a few weeks, till Colin realizes that their relationship is unhealthy and breaks up with her. She accepts this, though not before taking an opportunity to feed off of him one last time.
  • The Wire:
    • Omar Devon Little is a "stick-up man" in Baltimore who robs drug dealers for a living. His first episode has him robbing one of Avon Barksdale's stash houses. Avon puts out a hit on him and his crew and manages to succeed in killing one of his crew and torturing Omar's boyfriend to death. Over the course of the next three seasons, Omar retaliates against the Barksdale organization, culminating in him killing Stringer Bell, Avon's right-hand man, becoming a major reason for the fall of the Barksdale organization. In season 4, Omar robs Marlo Stanfield, a new West Side kingpin. Marlo, wanting revenge, frames Omar for murder though Omar beats the charge, and then blackmails Proposition Joe, another kingpin, into giving up Marlo's new drug shipment, only to double-crosses Joe and steal a much larger shipment instead of Marlo's. Omar then sells it back to Joe and announces his retirement until Marlo kills Omar's mentor for revenge. Omar returns to Baltimore, but he is briefly outgunned. He then goes on a warpath and calls Marlo out to face him. While he dies before this can come to fruition, the taunts prove to be very effective, as by the end of the series Marlo has faded into obscurity whereas Omar has become a legend.
    • Brother Mouzone, a legendary hitman from New York, is called down to Baltimore by Avon Barksdale to deal with Proposition Joe's drug dealers in season 2. He first shoots Cheese, Joe's nephew, with a rat shot, and is then able to intimidate Joe's gang into staying away with his presence alone. Stringer Bell, Avon's right-hand man, had cut a deal with Joe, and manipulates Omar into attacking Mouzone, claiming Mouzone tortured Omar's lover to death. Omar shoots Mouzone but realizes the man is innocent and calls an ambulance for him. While in the hospital Mouzone is able to deduce that Stringer was responsible but keeps this information to himself. Returning in season 3, he tracks Omar down, asking him for help killing Stringer. He then blackmails Avon into giving up Stringers location. Together, he and Omar ambush Stinger and kill him at his condo developments. Affably Evil and Wicked Cultured, Mouzone showed why he was so feared as a hitman.
    • Slim Charles is one of the most skilled and effective enforcers the Barksdale Organization has. Coordinating a series of hits on Marlo Stanfield's operations, Charles is even able to get close to Marlo himself. Intelligent enough to balk at a hit on a politician, Charles holds to a number of standards including being disgusted at an attempt to kill Omar Little during the "Sunday Truce" while he takes his grandmother to church. Managing to stay active even after the downfall of Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell, Charles joins Proposition Joe's Co-Op where he advises young dealer Bodie Broadus to stay clear of Marlo and builds up his own organization. When Joe is killed, Charles calmly executes his treacherous nephew Cheese and uses the chance to take over the organizations, a rare example of a pawn who crossed the board and has become a queen.
    • Michael Lee is a kid just trying to make his way in Baltimore. Looking not to be beholden to anyone, he stares down Marlo Stanfield, who, suitably impressed, tries to recruit him. When his stepfather, who is strongly implied to have molested him, comes home, he becomes desperate to get rid of him and takes Marlo up on his offer. Growing into a criminal, he still constantly questions Marlo's orders, until he finally questions too much. Marlo orders his execution, but Michael realizes this and outwits the assassin. Going on the run, he makes sure his friends and family are safe and with Omar dead decides to become Baltimore's next legendary Karmic Thief.
    • Lester Freamon is one of Baltimore's finest detectives. Once taken off Homicide to be put on the Pawn Shop Unit over pettiness, he shows his brilliance constantly, breaking cases wide open due to his intellect. In season 5, he decides to help Jimmy McNulty fake a serial killer, giving him the idea to sensationalize it. Using the resources they have gathered, he sets up an illegal wiretap on Marlo Stanfield and then after a couple of weeks breaks the code. In the meantime he blackmails Clay Davis into giving up info on Marlo's lawyer, Maurice Levy. While the case falls apart, they're still able to use the info on Levy's dirty dealings to charge most of Marlo's crew. While being forced to retire, he still takes it in stride, and happily retires with his girlfriend to make luxury dollhouse furniture for the rest of his days.
  • The Worst Witch (2017 series): Agatha Cackle is Ada's evil twin sister who desires control over Cackle's Academy. In the series premiere, she puts an obedience spell on the soup being served at the school celebration. When her scheme is discovered, Agatha challenges Ada to a Witches' Deal which she manages to win. After getting her powers removed, she spends the rest of the year occasionally masquerading as her twin sister in an attempt to restore her powers, eventually regaining her magic and teaming up with a vengeful ex-teacher to sow discord across the school. When the students rebel against her and take back the school, Agatha is sealed away inside a painting. She manipulates Ethel Hallow into freeing her, then impersonates Miss Cackle and secretly changes the rulebook, tricking most of the students into transporting themselves into a place called Vanishment where they would all be killed, and ultimately decides to kill herself when she is defeated.
  • The X-Files' "Bad Blood": Sheriff Hartwell seems to at first be an ally to Mulder and Scully, but is in reality a cunning yet polite vampire. Charming and gentlemanly in Scully's interpretation yet foolish and simple in Mulder's, Hartwell deceives both and leads them away from the vampiric Serial Killer Ronnie Strickland, effortlessly cloaking his vampiric nature all the while and delaying them until they seemingly kill Ronnie. When they return to hunt down Ronnie once again, as he remains alive, Hartwell politely works alongside them. Nonchalantly sending Mulder into a trap, leaving him unconscious, Hartwell explains to Scully the truth, admitting that the entire community is composed of vampires. Hartwell states that while he cannot approve of Ronnie's murderous actions, he is nonetheless a community member who must be protected. Drugging Scully and leaving both herself and Mulder unharmed, Hartwell disappears with his community, Ronnie included, fully achieving his goals and escaping any form of justice.
  • XIII: The Series (2011) (Season 1): Rainer Gerhardt is an elderly, powerful billionaire hunting for the Renelco superweapon. After XIII thwarts his attempt of stealing the superweapon from Renelco corporation, Rainer has everyone there killed to stop the weapon from being replicated, then tracks XIII down and uses him to find all components of the superweapon. Easily deceiving everyone around him and manipulating people in the US government to get what he wants, Rainer succeeds in forcing XIII to surrender the superweapon to him. Using the superweapon to stop the pipelines of entire countries and thus cutting them off from energy, Rainer forces them to trade with him, easily evading the heroes at every turn. Getting dangerously close to enriching himself all the more, Rainer was only captured when XIII forces his assistant to lure him into a trap.

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