Watching characters do the same thing repeatedly over the course of a show's run can become monotonous. While it can be refreshing when characters take actions that can be considered out of character, it can also backfire spectacularly when there is no consistency in the characterization of a character.
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This is where the oft-used schtick of alter egos becomes a tremendous help. It gives the actors more material to sink their teeth into and they get to flex their acting chops in portraying characters that are quite often the opposite of what we're used to seeing them portray.
That's not all. Alter egos can also be an artistic way of exploring a character's psyche which has made for some jaw-dropping reveals on TV. These 17 characters are among the few whose alter egos have left us wanting for more.
Walter White/Heisenberg (Breaking Bad)
After dipping his foot in the waters of the criminal underworld, Walter quickly realized he needed a cover identity to keep himself and his family safe from the dangers of that life. Enter Heisenberg, a necessary evil that gradually chipped away at family man Walter until he became the dominant personality and Walter became nothing more than an afterthought. Looking back now, it wasn't that bad a trade because Heisenberg handles his business with ruthless efficiency.
Betty Cooper/Dark Betty (Riverdale)
There is nothing particularly wrong with every day Betty, but there is just something about her darker half that makes her much more intriguing. And you can bet that some memorable stuff is about to go down when she shows up. Like that time she nearly boiled Chuck alive in a hot tub.
Zuko/The Blue Spirit and Katara/The Painted Lady (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Zuko's daddy issues fueled his relentless hunt for the avatar, but after his soul-searching finally opened his eyes to his father's war-mongering ways, The Blue Spirit was born as the ultimate symbol of his rebellion against the fire lord's tyranny. Katara, on the other hand, adopted the facade of The Painted Lady to aid the people of a riverine village which couldn't be any more faithful to her characterization as a deeply empathetic girl, and she got to meet the real painted lady after everything.
Voq/Ash Tyler (Star Trek: Discovery)
Voq agreed to have his consciousness supplanted by that of the Ash Tyler and his body modified to look human. This was all done in the hopes that L'Rell will awaken him once the time was right. Obviously, things didn't go the way anyone expected them to, but we're excited to see where they take Ash's storyline now that Voq has been wiped for good
Elliot/Mr. Robot (Mr. Robot)
Elliot was always against corporate greed but constantly found himself unable to do something about it. Which is where his much more violent alter ego comes in. Mr. Robot isn't afraid to go after the corrupt ones at the top who are robbing the masses blind, and he'll mow down anyone who stands in his way.
Darius Tanz/Prof. Aguirre (Salvation)
With the tensions between the billionaire and Resyst at an all-time high, Darius turned to the persona of Dr. Aguirre to infiltrate the group. A notorious recluse and alcoholic, Darius created him as a kind of pseudonym in the scientific world to enable him to work on more outlandish projects away from the scrutiny of the public eye, or the board of directors.