‘The Walking Dead’ Season 4 Death Watch, Round 2
Before ‘The Walking Dead’ began anew in 2013 with a fourth season, we wrote up an initial “Death Watch” list that ranked the survivors in terms of their likely ends. It’s been a long and winding road since this past October, and while we’ve lost only one series regular this season and added several new faces, this coming Sunday’s season 4 finale “A” brings with it a high likelihood to shed some major blood. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve gone through the entire cast of characters once again (in order from least to most likely to die) to determine who might become walker food before the finale axe drops, or worse, food for something else entirely!
Nah. If AMC couldn’t go through with killing off the youngest Grimes the first time around, we’d never expect them to attempt it once more, nor could we imagine what possible value it might have to put Rick through the same experience all over again, when he hasn’t yet learned of her survival in the first place.
Rest easy, Li’l Asskicker.
Don’t bet on it. It’s not outside the realm of possibility for ‘The Walking Dead’ to shake things up with the death of its leading man, just as we might expect the comics could one day decide the former sheriff had suffered enough post-apocalyptic misery. Still, given the wealth of stories left to play, and the stronger side to Rick we’ve seen reemerge after the prison’s fall, we’d be hard-pressed to imagine much storytelling value in killing off Rick in the final installment of season 4.
That said, we’ might not rule out the possibility of a major hand injury, what with the way we imagine those Terminus folk to be pretty handy with a meat cleaver…
Affections for the eldest Grimes child run the gamut, what with Chandler Riggs admirably carrying his own episodes this season in 2014 premiere “After,” but like his father before him, it doesn’t seem as if killing Carl would have much place in a season finale. However quickly Riggs has been observed to grow up, Carl represents a sense of hope for the future that we’d be hard pressed to imagine even the comics killing off anytime in the near future. Also like his father however, some form of mutilation remains a possibility!
Flat out, no. We might anticipate that axe to fall in the comics, significantly longer than the character has been around in AMC’s rendition, but an end to Michonne wasn’t particularly likely before the fourth season, and hasn’t gotten any more probable since. Particularly after a bit of development and backstory this season, Michonne has made for an excellent companion to Rick and Carl, and a formidable presence in her own right, and it would serve absolutely nothing to kill her off now.
Not particularly likely. We’d have to imagine Lauren Cohan’s film prospects picking up in the wake of her increased visibility on ‘The Walking Dead,’ but a fan-favorite character, competent fighter, strong actress and a healthy amount of sex appeal for an otherwise-bleak series? Robert Kirkman would have to be cuckoo for cocoa puffs to kill Maggie off without a healthy amount of buildup, or active development of a potential replacement. Glenn, on the other hand…
Sgt. Abraham Ford
No way. Though we haven’t yet seen much from the mustachioed muscle-man beside his seemingly blind devotion to follow through on his mission to get Eugene to Washington, the character remains colorful enough on his own to warrant regular status in season 5. Compounding that is the fact that the character has a strong dramatic backstory writers would have to be crazy not to allow ‘Southland’ vet Michael Cudlitz the chance to bite into. Not to mention, should the worst happen for Daryl (more on that later), we could easily imagine Abraham supplanting him as a new fan-favorite enforcer.
Carol has been through the widest range of story arcs and character development through the entire run of ‘The Walking Dead,’ which could really go either way from a storytelling perspective. Tyreese certainly forgave her for her damning actions in killing the terminally-ill Karen and David, and the necessity of killing young Lizzie plumbed the darkest depths of pathos to heap on the character.
Still, through it all Carol has remained among the strongest characters of the entire series, and given some fertile ground ahead in her inevitable reunion with Daryl, and potentially even Rick, it wouldn’t seem particularly wise to kill off the character now. Not only that, but we doubt if actress Melissa McBride would be looking to make an exit either, given the lucrative prospects of staying on.
The comics certainly aren’t of much help here, considering that Tyreese died by the hands of the Governor, in the death that AMC transplanted verbatim to Hershel this past season. Tyreese suffered from a bit of under-development in season 3, while season 4 has more than beefed-up the role with his involvement with Karen, conflict with Rick, and ultimately Carol.
Compounded by the fact that Chad Coleman remains a strong name to have attached to the series, the only reason we might consider Tyreese a target would be his current arc having run the course after the events of “Us.” It’s an easy fix, so Tyreese should be safe for next season, we’d think.
Dr. Eugene Porter
We haven’t exactly been fond of the manner in which Eugene has been brought to life on AMC, where the character seemed much less monotone and more trustworthy in the comics, though despite his flat affect, it would seem a little early to kill him off. There’s a precedent for killing less useful comic book characters early on (see Allen, Donna and Ben), but with everything that needs addressing before season 4 comes to a close, it seems as if the mission to Washington D.C., or at least the issue of its veracity might end up pushed to season 5.
Like Eugene, Christian Serratos’ portrayal of Abraham’s companion has felt a bit exaggerated in her brief appearances, but considering we’ve seen virtually nothing of the relationship between she and her mustachioed cohort, it wouldn’t make a great deal of sense to kill her off now. An easy target perhaps, but a veritable waste of an otherwise intriguing (don’t forget the value of sex appeal) character.
Sasha remains a bit difficult to judge, as apart from her burgeoning romance with Bob Stookey, most of her innate character value stems from her relationship to Tyreese, from whom she’d been separated since the midseason finale. A reunion at Terminus seems likely for the siblings, with Sasha’s potential fridging a source of pathos for Tyreese and Bob going forward, but the audience doesn’t really have enough invested in the character to lean either way. She’s an easy enough target, but ‘The Walking Dead’ would probably prove wiser to build her up further before a potential end.
A mixed possibility. On the one hand, her involvement with the Governor’s army put a target on her back from the beginning, even if she’s attempted to atone by leading Glenn back to Maggie. The character certainly seems interesting enough in her own right to warrant future stories down the line, particularly as we know Alanna Masterson’s contract provided an option to turn regular in season 5, but then again, her finale demise seems to have more immediate value than whatever direction emerges when the show picks up again this fall.
Bob’s been an unusual character from the beginning, dropping into the fourth season with only an offhand reference to his joining the group along the way, and sharing only a name with his comic counterpart. Sure, we’ve seen him struggle with alcoholism a bit, develop an affection for Sasha, and wallow in a belief that he somehow caused his prior groups’ gruesome ends by virtue of his presence alone, but is that enough to think his usefulness might have ended?
We’d certainly be comfortable with Bob surviving into a fifth season, though we have a sinking feeling the writers may have exhausted their ideas for the character, and could well place him in the crosshairs for shock value.
Here’s where things get a bit tricky. Daryl made the top of our first ‘Walking Dead’ death watch, largely owing to the fact that fan fervor for the character seemed to have been the only thing keeping Norman Reedus’ scruffy savior in play. Sure, everyone loves him, and would riot if he died, but ‘The Walking Dead’ could use a bit of riot, at least providing the character a meaningful exit to ensure his legacy went untarnished, without eclipsing that of the show itself.
That was then. Now, we’re not so sure. Daryl may have found himself a new group of friends, and it seems likely that Joe and his cronies will encounter Rick in the final installment, putting Daryl in a semi-difficult spot, even a prime opportunity for a bit of self-sacrifice. That said, it seems as if “A” has a bit too much ground to cover to provide an appropriate end to Daryl, including an inevitable reunion with Carol, and some kind of closure on Beth’s disappearance.
Daryl may well die by the end of the season, paying off such ominous signs as Beth’s offhand references to his “last man standing,” or imagery of Daryl in a coffin, though where it seems like an easy prospect to imagine in the abstract before season 4 began, it hardly seems like the right time now.
Joe and the Pro-Claimers
Fine an actor as we consider Jeff Kober, it’s hard to imagine any value for these guys beyond the finale. So far, we know they’re not above attacking their own men, though the pursuit of Rick appears to be keeping them together for the moment. We imagine their interest in Daryl would only last until the crossbow-wielding warrior is exposed as a friend to their quarry, making them prime targets for the finale.
Like Daryl before her, where prior to season 4 Beth seemed like the easiest of targets, we’re a bit more reticent to give the youngest surviving Greene a top slot this year. The fans will never quite latch on to the character, even after the risky, if moderately successful venture of developing Beth alongside Daryl, and after the character vowed to increase her survival skills with a bit of crossbow training.
Naturally, her fate by the end of “Alone” threw most of our predictions wildly into the air (technically, we never even saw her inside the car that sped off), and despite some convincing suggestions that Beth could have been what we saw on the grill upon arriving at Terminus, it would seem to be a weirdly anti-climactic end for a character who’d lasted this long. Beth Greene is, and always will be a target come finale time, but we wouldn’t be so quick to presume this time around.
Gee, when in the history of TV has a character estranged from their beloved gone through hell and back to reunite, only to suffer an ignominious end shortly therafeafter? In all seriousness, Glenn seems like a high-value target for the final installment, at least much moreso than Maggie, who remains the AMC drama’s least debatable source of sex appeal.
Even if we ignored relatively recent memory of the character’s comic death, or ominous signs like Maggie insisting he wouldn’t ever need a picture of her again, Glenn has made far too many poor decisions and misguided missions this past season to escape a major bullseye on his back. After four seasons and undying romance, what’s left but at bit more “undying,” anyway?