In nearly every great TV show, there is a character with a troubled past who hopes to turn things around. These characters wish to atone for a multitude of sins, and they are committed to improving both their own lives and the lives of the people around them. From legal dramas to futuristic thrillers, these TV shows all feature a beloved character who feels the need to atone for some past transgressions.
Jessica Pearson, "Suits"In Season 2, it becomes clear that Jessica's tough-as-nails attitude has a lot to do with her past. Her personal "sin" was her trusting nature. Because she trusted Daniel Hardman implicitly, she almost brought her firm to ruin -- a mistake that could have cost all of her employees their livelihood. In addition to atoning for her own past mistakes on the job, she is also committed to helping "rehabilitate" others who made the mistake of trusting Hardman, including Louis Litt.
Miles Matheson, "Revolution"When his niece finds him, Miles is drinking heavily in order to forget the terrible crimes he committed as a founding member of the Monroe Republic militia. With her encouragement, however, Miles starts down a path where he can atone for his violent past and help turn the lights back on. Despite being a cold-blooded killer in his earlier days, Miles is now aiding the rebels and fighting against the militia to make the world a better place. He's a reluctant hero, but fans like him all the more because of that trait.
Stefan Salvatore, "The Vampire Diaries"As a vampire, Stefan has killed hundreds of people over the centuries to stay alive. He always had a guilty conscience, however, and kept a list of the names of his victims to honor their memory. Despite his violent past, he eventually gains control of his murderous impulses and adopts an animal blood-only diet. It doesn't last for long, however -- if he doesn't consume human blood, he doesn't have the strength to protect the people he cares about.
Eliot Spencer, "Leverage"Though the show has been canceled, many fans still recall Eliot fondly. He was arguably one of the show's most appealing characters. Eliot had a violent and troubled past: As a black-ops field agent, he had killed many people and done many despicable things. He once had to evade capture while handcuffed to a dead man, for example. As a part of the team, Eliot was able to atone for some of his past actions and restore the balance between good and evil.