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Someone's Leaving Ghosts, and It's Probably 1 of These 5 Characters

Let's place our bets on the result of that Season 2 cliffhanger.
  • Brandon Scott Jones and John Hartman in Ghosts (Photo: CBS)
    Brandon Scott Jones and John Hartman in Ghosts (Photo: CBS)

    [Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for Ghosts Season 2, Episode 22, “The Heir.”]

    Sooner or later, somebody on Ghosts was getting sucked off. That’s what the spirits call it when one of them gets pulled into the afterlife, and from the moment the CBS sitcom introduced that conceit back in Season 1, it was inevitable a character would ascend.

    Now it’s happened: In the final scene of Season 2, Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkhar) are sitting in their car when Sam sees a celestial beam shine down into her house. She knows someone inside is getting sucked off — she gets that joke, even if most of the ghosts don’t — but she doesn’t know who.

    The cast doesn’t know either. “A lot of us were shocked,” says Danielle Pinnock, who plays the deceased jazz singer Alberta Haynes. She tells Primetimer, “We were like, ‘How can it be? How can we be losing a member of the family?’ And to be honest, nobody knows [who it is]. We still don't know. So I’m nervous, but I'm also really excited. I think it shakes the show up in a really cool way.”

    But even though the “suckee” hasn’t been confirmed, there are some obvious frontrunners. Here are the five ghosts most likely to reach the great beyond.

    Nancy (Betsy Sodaro)

    You’ve got to assume we’ve already met the ghost who ascends. Otherwise, the revelation won’t have any power. But at the same time, pulling a major character out of the cast could alienate viewers. That’s why it makes sense for one of the “supporting spirits” to get tapped. Take Nancy, the cholera victim who lives downstairs. She pops up every three episodes or so to make a gross joke or watch some reality television, but she’s not integral to the main storylines. Her whole thing is that she’s an outcast, barely tolerated by the ghosts upstairs.

    If she got sucked off, then it would feel significant without disrupting the core ensemble. Plus, it would set up some juicy storylines. The series has heavily implied that ghosts move on after they’ve had an emotional breakthrough, and it would infuriate a character like Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) to think the universe deemed her less spiritually advanced than pus-covered Nancy in her dirty old rags.

    Stephanie (Odessa A’Zion)

    Odessa A'Zion as Stephanie on 'Ghosts'

    The primary ghosts would also be irritated if Stephanie, the annoying teenager who haunts the attic, got to the next realm before they did. (They can be petty like that.) But really, who could blame them? She’s proud that she never has to act like a grown-up, and she’s happy to stay in bed most of the year. That said, she did show a modicum of growth in the episode “Woodstone’s Hottest Couple,” when she helped undo the damage she’d inflicted by trying to sabotage everyone’s relationships. If the writers want Stephanie to move on, then that might be enough of a justification. Besides, Odessa A’Zion is already in her mid-20s. She can’t play a teenager forever, so it could solve a problem to send her off before she ages out of the role.

    Nigel (John Hartman)

    It’s possible, of course, that showrunners Joe Port and Joe Wiseman want the sucking off to be more emotional than that. If so, then Nigel, the British redcoat, is a strong choice. He’s not exactly a main player, but he’s still had a significant arc, thanks to his swoony romance with Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones). They spent most of Season 2 learning to love each other, and by the final episode, they were married. By falling for the Revolutionary War soldier who was once his enemy, Nigel has absolutely changed for the better, which could mean it’s time for him to go. And if Isaac loses his beloved, then the season will have an obvious storyline to explore for multiple episodes.

    Pete (Richie Moriarty)

    Speaking of good storylines: Since the show began, hapless travel agent Pete has not only seen his daughter thrive as a grown woman, but also witnessed her wedding. Now that he knows his beloved child has turned out well, he may be able to leave this mortal coil. Pete has always been good for a tear-jerking story, and his departure would certainly bring the waterworks. Plus, the show would seem daring for letting a main character hit the road.

    Alberta (Danielle Pinnock)

    But if we’re going to lose a lead, then Alberta makes the most sense. The mystery of her murder has been a huge part of the first two seasons, and now the mystery has been solved. What’s more, in the Season 2 finale, Alberta forgives Hetty for hiding the fact that it was her son who committed the crime. That’s a major step forward, because as fabulous as she is, Alberta’s also been a selfish diva more than once. In learning to forgive her friend, she’s arguably bringing her emotional story to a close alongside her crime story. What’s more, Alberta’s descendant Alicia (Ashley D. Kelley) has already been introduced as a feisty character who can sing as well as her ancestor. If Alberta goes, then there’s a way to keep her spirit alive on the series.

    The first two seasons of Ghosts are now streaming on Paramount+. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Mark Blankenship has been writing about arts and culture for twenty years, with bylines in The New York Times, Variety, Vulture, Fortune, and many others. You can hear him on the pop music podcast Mark and Sarah Talk About Songs.

    TOPICS: Ghosts, CBS, Danielle Pinnock, Rebecca Wisocky