Sawyer, once he seemed to have come to terms with himself, settled down and found love, had it ripped away from him, and we had to wait 8 months to find out what the fallout would be. Then he had his love given back to him only to immediately have it ripped away again. His vengeance turned into action, and nearly self-sacrifice on the sub, only to be given a leadership role on the island. His reunion with Juliet in the sideways portions was unlikely but sweet, and deserving for the guy that was always going to end up on the losing side of love.
My favorite comedy yields my favorite funny lady. It's hard to distinguish Fey from her character at this point. The comedy on the show is not only satirical and absurd, but "meta" as the kids like to say, to the point of confusion. Did you know Tina's birthname is Liz? Well, Elizabeth. Anyway, Liz Lemon's absurd foibles and inability to cope not only put my problems in perspective, but the keep me laughing in numerous ways. And she always has the coolest ex-boyfriends, from Dean Winters to Jon Hamm to Jason Sudeikis to, possibly, Matt Damon.
The Braverman clan is divided into the "good kids" - Adam and Julia - and the "bad kids" - Crosby and Sarah. Both have children out of wedlock, but it's Sarah that's having the tougher time of it. Not only are her kids teens, but she's desperately trying to keep them from making the same mistakes she's made, even as she insists on continuing to make them. Sarah's struggle to maintain her identity in the face of, and in spite of, having children is something that all parents can understand. What I truly appreciate about the character is that it allows me to empathize with a situation I would never be able to fully envision, much as the first season of Sex and the City did.
Steph came on the scene about a third of the way into Terriers and established herself not only as a way to deepen Hank's character, but as wonderful character in her own right. Blessed with a genius-level intellect and cursed with the inability to function in society, her escape from the care facility and subsequent B&E squatting at her brother's house gave Hank and Britt a caustic foil, while moving the major plot along and giving us a key glimpse into Hank's protective nature, which underlay the show's entire premise.
If there is one entry on this list that is motivated by a single reason, it is this one. Nick Searcy took what might have been a standard-issue "police captain" part and imbued it with surprising depth. His normal, steady cadence signaled a man who was used to maintaining order in a calm and methodical way, but it also underscored the passion in the character, because when Art exploded, he exploded, giving real emotion and heft to this man who loved and respected his job, without just going through the motions.