10 TV Villains Who Left a Lasting Impression in 2020

Lucifer Michael The Boys Victoria Prodigal Son Martin Whitly
John P. Fleenor/Netflix; Courtesy of Amazon Studios; Jojo Whilden/FOX

As great as it would be if nothing bad ever happened to our favorite television characters, that wouldn’t exactly make for great TV. At some point in every season, even the most formidable heroes face heartbreak, drama, and even death.

And more often than not, there’s a face behind it all. Sure, 2020 may have seemed like a villain itself at times, but our favorite shows also had characters (or even corporate entities) take up that role as well. Whether it’s a final season baddie that lived up to the hype (like on Criminal Minds and Supernatural), a crossover Big Bad who caused a major hero’s death (The CW’s Arrowverse), or a surprising reveal in a finale (The Boys), there were quite a few characters we loved to hate — or fear — this year.

Scroll down for the villains who made a lasting impression on us (alphabetical by show name).

Arrowverse Crisis on Infinite Earths Anti-Monitor
Dean Buscher/The CW

Arrowverse's Anti-Monitor

It had to be a major villain that would bring the Arrowverse shows — Supergirl, Batwoman, The Flash, Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — together in a five-part crossover spanning two months (beginning in December 2019 and ending in January 2020). Not only did the superheroes that were left when the final two parts aired earlier this year have to put the universe back together after the multiverse was wiped out, but doing so claimed the life of the hero that started The CW’s super franchise: Arrow‘s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell).

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Madeline Burke in Blindspot - Season 5 - 'I Came to Sleigh'
Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC

Blindspot's Madeline Burke

For the final season of the NBC drama, the team was on the run from the FBI, all because corporate baddie Madeline Burke (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) had maneuvered the pieces into place and made them look like the bad guys. In the end, it was the actions of those on her side that made us question whether or not leading duo Jane (Jaimie Alexander) and Kurt (Sullivan Stapleton) got their happily ever after.

Claudia Doumit The Boys Victoria Neuman
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

The Boys' Victoria Neuman

While supes like the malicious Homelander (Antony Starr) and terribly racist Stormfront (Aya Cash) were definitely this season’s most feared characters, the congresswoman (played by Claudia Doumit) was operating in the shadows for almost the entire second season of the wildly bloody Prime Video superhero drama. It wasn’t until the last few minutes of the season ender that we learned she’s the one who’s been using her powers to blow up people’s heads. Now, Victoria has definitely got our attention.

Michael Mosley Criminal Minds Everett Lynch Chameleon

Criminal Minds' Chameleon

Everett Lynch (Michael Mosley) had us worried from the moment he left Rossi (Joe Mantegna) alive, but it was his actions in the final season of the CBS procedural that really got to us. From driving around with his daughter’s face in the passenger seat to a call to Rossi that reminded us of Foyet’s (C. Thomas Howell) call to Hotch (Thomas Gibson) before killing Haley (Meredith Monroe) to being the reason the BAU (specifically A.J. Cook’s JJ) blew up their jet, he helped Criminal Minds end with quite a bang.

Michael Emerson as Leland Townsend with Demon Therapist in Evil
Elizabeth Fisher/CBS

Evil's Leland Townsend

Michael Emerson is absolutely terrifying as the possibly psychopathic Leland in the CBS drama, especially as he grows closer to Sheryl (Christina Lahti) simply because she’s Kristen’s (Katja Herbers) mother — and succeeds in dividing the two. Plus, it’s through Leland that we get to see the Demon Therapist, a highlight of the series.

Tom Ellis in Lucifer - Season 5
John P. Fleenor/Netflix

Lucifer's Michael

Series star Tom Ellis pulled double duty in the first part of the fifth season of the Netflix supernatural drama (and did so so well, too), playing both Lucifer and his twin, who tried to take over his life. Lauren German’s Chloe Decker, however, saw through his act. But Michael did manage to get demon Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) on his side, leading to an epic fight in the midseason finale, and cueing up the introduction for God (Dennis Haysbert) on the show.

Michael Sheen Martin Whitly in Prodigal Son
Jojo Whilden/FOX

Prodigal Son's Martin Whitly

There is so much to love about the Fox drama’s charismatic, but evil, doc Martin Whitly, aka The Surgeon (Michael Sheen), even while he’s trapped in a cell. We never quite know what to expect — from tense family reunions, and his mysterious puppeteering from prison, to his sheer pride at learning that his reporter daughter Ainsley (Halston Sage) — spoiler alert! — followed in his murderous footsteps.

Rob Yang and Morris Chestnut in the 'Woman Down' episode of The Resident
Guy D'Alema/FOX

The Resident's Red Rock

Working at Chastain got a bit harder for the doctors and nurses in Season 3 of Fox’s medical drama, when the conglomerate Red Rock took over the hospital, even bringing in its own prize surgeon, Dr. Barrett Cain (Morris Chestnut). For our medical heroes, patients matter, not money, and their fight against the corporation is an ongoing struggle.

Rob Benedict - Supernatural as God
The CW

Supernatural's God

It took years for the long-running CW drama to confirm that prophet Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict) was even actually God, and then the series made him the final Big Bad, who was eager for the story of demon hunters Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) to end with one brother killing the other. Luckily, our heroes prevailed (sort of), but it was a bold move to make that turn with God. And we have to note that the rebar that — spoiler alert! — killed Dean in the finale may have to be considered a close second in terms of final season villainy, even if it was an inanimate object.

Billy Clanton Wynonna Earp Season 4
Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Productions, Inc./SYFY

Wynonna Earp's Clantons

After the long wait between seasons (two years!), the Syfy drama brought in a blast from the Earps’ past for their latest foe: the Clantons (the family on the opposite side during the shootout at the O.K. Corral in 1881). And while there were efforts to make peace (one such attempt was even made by Rachel’s crush, as seen above), any truce failed when both Earp women killed members of the Clanton family. One of those moves led to heartbreak for both Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon) in the midseason finale.