All gifs taken from tumblr. Please click the gif for the source.
1. Olivia Dunham
What's not to love about an FBI agent who manages to be both the savior of worlds and (unintentional) destroyer of universes? Olivia Dunham is smart and stubborn and courageous and compassionate, and she can move things with the power, and deal with a dozen improbabilities before breakfast, including having her whole life taken over by her whole double. Plus she can move things with the power of her mind. Which is always awesome.
2. Emily Prentiss
Emily Prentiss, the woman of many faces: spy, undercover operative, and FBI profiler. She has brains, talent, and nerves of steel...all the things you need to get up close and personal with a major arms dealer. My favourite Prentiss moment, however, is the scene where her boss's boss orders her to spy on her team, and she says she'll resign first. Go Prentiss!
3. Teresa Lisbon
Teresa Lisbon is a team leader at the California Bureau of Investigation. In addition to solving crimes, she's also tasked with trying to rein in their wayward-but-useful consultant. She's a totally awesome character: a kickass cop, fair leader, and a woman who's willing to do what it takes to catch the bad guy--as long as certain lines don't get crossed.
4. Abbie Mills
Abbie's of my new favourite character this season. She's perfectly normal police lieutenant on her way to the FBI when a man shows up claiming to be from the 18th century and dragging her into a battle that could determine the fate of the human race. Perhaps a little ironically, one of my favourite things about Abbie is her skepticism; the fact that she's reluctant to believe in things she can't see. On the other hand, she is willing to believe in the things she does see, even if they don't fit her existing worldview. It's a difficult line to tread, and she pulls it--and her new role--off awesomely.
5. Joss Carter
Person of Interest
I'm a sucker for characters of integrity, which makes Joss Carter one of my favourites on Person of Interest. A New York homicide who starts out investigating the vigilante "man in the suit" and ends up joining forces with him, she's a woman who stands up for what she believes in and always tries to do the right thing, even when it costs her dearly.
6. Dana Scully
Dana Scully: FBI agent, doctor, and reluctant investigator into the paranormal. She's a skeptic--sometimes unreasonably so--until Mulder disappears and she's tries to fill his shoes. However, despite her skepticism, she does her best to support her partner, believing in him even when she doesn't share his beliefs, while still holding on to her own life.
7. Stella Gibson
Stella Gibson is a Detective Superintendent with the London Met who's sent to review an investigation in Belfast and realizes that what looked like an isolated murder was actually the work of a serial killer. She's awesome. She's strong and confident and smart and intuitive, and she refuses to be slut-shamed, and she also does a wonderful job of mentoring a younger female cop, giving her a chance to rise as well.
8. Leslie Bennett
Republic of Doyle
Leslie Bennett is a sergeant in the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. She's the daughter of an RCMP officer and very much of the bleeds blue type, but this doesn't stop her from putting her career in jeopardy in order to save the people she cares about. She's not a pushover, however. When she needs to, Leslie's perfectly capable of standing up for herself.
(She actually does do things besides make-out with the lead, but apparently no one makes gifs of that stuff.)
9. Kate Beckett
Writing this, I've realized just how many female cops end up being handlers for the men in their lives. But at least Kate Beckett gets to handle someone definitely appreciates it. More importantly, she's an awesome cop with great instincts and skill to spare, a loyal friend, and all-around great person.
10. Alex Eames
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Situations where one partner is a genius and the other serves as their handler/human interface is a bit of well-trodden trope now, but Law & Order: Criminal Intent is still one of my favourite examples. Alex Eames is in the somewhat unenviable position of playing second-fiddle to her genius partner, Robert Goren, but she handles the situation and her partner with grace, pulls her own weight in investigations, and manages to always be the one who gets to drive.
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