Saturday, February 21, 2015

Most Satisfying Deaths on The Walking Dead

Let's just get the giant SPOILER WARNING out of the way right now.  We'll be talking about The Walking Dead and the many major and minor characters who have assumed room temperature along the way.  Not all of them, mind you.  For one thing, that would take about twenty blogs and I don't have the time or the patience to write about them and I'm sure you don't have the time or the patience to read about them.  Let's just stick with what I consider the 10 most satisfying deaths on the show.  These are the characters for whom I cheered when they met their demise.  You won't find cool or even semi-cool characters like T-Dog and Tyrese on this list because I liked them as characters.  These are just the ones who deserved death for one reason or other and got what they deserved. Let's take a look:
10) Alicia--Season 4
She was only in maybe 3 episodes. I wouldn't even really include her on this list ahead of such deserving characters as Gareth or Martin from Terminus but for one thing.  In the attack on the prison she was actively gunning for Tyrese, possibly after shooting dead at least one of the prison population.  Also, after witnessing the Gov decapitate Hershel she continues with the attack. Tara was so freaked out by that she threw away her gun. Alicia didn't seem to have much trouble with that, nor with the idea that they would be displacing or possibly killing children in order to take the prison.  During the attack, when the man next to her gets plugged, she looks about and finds Lizzy and a couple other kids standing there looking at her. Alicia hesitates, but why? She knew there were kids inside the prison, and that she might have to kill them, but she still had the balls to look surprised at their presence.  Lizzy promptly shoots her in the head.  Good. I actually clapped when it happened. 
9) Ed Pelletier--Season 1
We knew Ed was a dick right off the bat, when he has a minor confrontation with Shane regarding the size of his campfire. Ed backs down that time, but he makes Carol remove the extra log from the fire instead of doing it himself. He beat his wife on a regular basis, and most likely molested their daughter, Sophia.  Ed also has bad timing, choosing to have a confrontation with both Carol and Andrea just after Shane has been told off by Lori.  Shane is in a very bad mood and he takes it out on Ed, beating him to within an inch of his life. Later on Ed is devoured by walkers in his tent. Before he is buried Carol destroys what's left of his head with a pic axe.  It couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.
8) Joe--Season 4

We know he's an asshole when he recruits Daryl into the group by telling him, "Why hurt yourself when you can hurt other people?"  Joe seems to have no trouble with, among other things, rape and murder. He orders the beating death of one of his group, and, later, the same for Daryl. He has a vendetta against Rick (it's actually kinda legitimate, I have to admit) and he's gonna make Rick watch Michonne and Carl beaten and raped before Rick himself dies.  Jeff Kober, who plays Joe, really sells the character's bloodthirsty streak very well in that scene, so kudos to him. Rick tears out Joe's throat with his teeth and that's the last we see of Joe. Rick then goes on to mutilate  the henchman who was threatening Carl. I'm down with that.

7) Lizzy--Season 4

Pure and simple, Lizzy is a psychopath. She doesn't see walkers as dangerous, just different. She kills baby rabbits and feeds live rats to walkers. She nearly smothers baby Judith. Then she murders her own little sister to prove she will come back the same as before. Lizzy might have been able to receive professional help in the old world but in the zombie apocalypse, there are no hospitals, doctors or drugs to turn to. In this world, the only option for Lizzy is the one Carol takes. She puts Lizzy out of her misery with a bullet to the back of her head. It's better than she deserved.
6) Mitch--Season 4

Like Alicia, Mitch was only in maybe 3 episodes. Still, how satisfying was it when Daryl blew up the tank and then shot Mitch with an arrow? Pretty damn satisfying, if you ask me. While not verifiable, it appears Daryl's aim was intentionally low, indicating he shot Mitch somewhere other than the head, insuring he'd come back as a walker.  Mitch follows the Governor, acting as his  lieutenant, even after the Gov admits he murdered Mitch's brother. That's pretty screwed up, even for this show. And after watching him blasting away at the prison and the people in it, I had no problem whatsoever with Daryl's decision that Mitch should join the walker herd.
5) Dawn--Season 5

The thing about Dawn is, she might act like a psycho, but she isn't. She's just a desperate woman in charge of a police force always on the verge of mutiny. She even seems like she might have been an okay person to hang with before the world went to shit.  When she's not beating Beth and/or sounding like a dictator, she comes across as intelligent and driven.  But she allows her officers to rape and beat the people under their protection, just to keep them happy. She even allows  Noah, her ward, to be beaten for something she knows he did not do. She constantly smacks Beth around, putting fresh cuts and bruises on the young girl. And let's not forget it's Dawn's own arrogance that causes her demise. The hostage swap is done and everybody is going to walk away with their lives. She decides at the last minute to change the deal, making an additional demand for Noah to remain. Watch her eyes and her body language. She's doing this for no other reason than to look tough in front of her own people. It was a needless display and she wound up paying for it. Beth intervenes and stabs her with a small pair of scissors. Dawn's gun goes off and she shoots Beth. It was clearly an accidental shooting. She never meant to kill Beth. Not that that mattered to Daryl. He put one in her forehead and that was the end of her.  She won't be missed, even by those who knew her.
4) Andrea--Season 1-3

I don't know what happened with this character. She remains very likeable in the comic book but on the show she was hated by many. Not without cause, either. The first time we see her she's holding a gun to Rick's face. She does it again after her sister is killed by walkers. She becomes very arrogant in season 2, telling off Lori, allowing Beth to nearly commit suicide, ignoring Dale and shooting at what she thinks is a walker but turns out to be Daryl. Season 3 Andrea is even worse. She chooses a warm bed over Michonne, the woman who kept her alive the past 8 months. She sleeps with the Governor even after she knows what he is. After Rick and the Governor have a sit-down, Andrea leaves with the Woodbury group. This was the final straw for most fans. The thing is, a deleted scene had her decide to leave with her old friends and go to the prison. Hershel talks her out of it, seeing the value of having a friendly among the population of Woodbury. In that context Andrea's decision to go back with the Governor paints her in a much better light. Without that scene, she looks like a traitor to Rick's group, not to mention the fans.

Also, her death sucks. While Milton slowly dies on the other side of the room she takes eternity to free herself from the chair she's tied to, giving Milton enough time to become a walker and attack her. Every time we cut back to Andrea, she's chatting with Milton and not doing anything to free herself, despite Milton's repeated urgings to do just that. While we can chalk up Dawn's death--and to a lesser extent, the Governor's--to arrogance, Andrea's seems to be caused by her own stupidity. To see how despised she became by the fans, look at her last line to Rick.  "I know how the safety works." This was certainly an attempt by the writers to make us feel nostalgic for how Andrea was in season 1. Except the last time she said that she was threatening to shoot Rick. If anything I'd say that line justified what happened to Andrea in the minds of the fans. She needed to go, pure and simple. Really, does anybody miss her?
3) The Governor--Seasons 3-4

The Gov's list of evil deeds is too long to go into now. Let's just look at the short list of some of the people he killed during his tenure: The national guard troops, Axel, Merle, the Woodbury army, Martinez, Pete, Milton, Andrea (somewhat indirectly) and Hershel. He planned to kill many more but his hatred of Rick got the better of him. And we haven't even mentioned the walker heads in the fish tanks or keeping his walker daughter "alive" and restrained in a locked cubby hole in his apartment so he can feed her fresh meat and brush her hair.

In the comic book, he was even worse and more depraved. He repeatedly beat and raped Michonne. He cut off Rick's hand. He beat Glenn. He didn't do any of that in the series, so I guess you could look at him here as a kinder, gentler version of the evil bastard he was in the comic book. This Governor was only about 98% evil.  It was a very satisfying moment when Michonne ran her sword through his chest and then Lily shot him in the head.  Might have been even better if he had been allowed to turn. Michonne could have used him as one of her camouflage walkers.

Given all the trouble The Governor caused you would think he'd be number 1 on this list. And he might be, maybe even should be, if not for two other characters.
2) Shane Walsh--Seasons 1-2

Rick's best friend since at least high school and his partner on the police force. Shane's story arc is similar to what it was in the comic book, although it takes longer to play out on the show. Let's look at the many reasons we cheered Shane's death. He sleeps with Lori and all but adopts Carl. Granted, he believes Rick is dead, but once Rick comes back, Shane is not pleased. When they're alone in the woods he gets Rick in his sights and nearly pulls the trigger. And that was in the 5th episode of the series! At the CDC a drunk Shane almost rapes Lori.  He constantly challenges and pushes Rick, at first in private but later on in full view of the group. He threatens Dale. He straight up murders Otis.  He busts open Hershel's barn and slaughters the walkers inside. Not really a bad thing, and it does finally put an end to the endless search for Sophia, but it does a number on the group's standing with Hershel. He nearly kills Rick when they drive Randall out to a secluded area far from the farm. Later he murders Randall and is about to murder Rick. Clearly he needed to go. Rick finally stabs him and then Carl shoots him when Shane comes back as a walker. Fans were totally cool with that. Lori, less so. (But we'll get to that in a minute.)
The irony is that now Rick has pretty much become Shane. Season 5 Rick wanted to kill the last of the Terminus people. He also wanted to rescue Beth and Carol by going into the hospital guns blazing. He ran down and then shot Officer Lampson. These are all things Shane would have done. It just took Rick a little longer to get there. Us, too.
1) Lori Grimes--Seasons 1-3

Was there any doubt? How useless was Lori Grimes? Too many reasons to list but we'll look at a couple of the big ones.  
1) She sleeps with Shane. Okay, she thought her husband was dead. I get that. But how much time had passed since Rick's supposed death and the first time she bangs Shane? Couldn't have been too long. We know Shane was at the hospital when it lost power and he thought Rick had died in front of him. So how long did Rick lay there in the hospital bed? Couldn't have been more than a few days. Without food and water he would have been dead after maybe 3, 4 days, tops. So that's how much time passed between Shane scooping up Lori and Carl and then Rick waking up in the deserted hospital. Rick spends at least one day with Morgan and Dwayne before hitting the road for Atlanta. We don't know how long it took him to get there but it couldn't have been more than a day or two. Lori has sex with Shane in the 2nd episode, while Rick is already in Atlanta, trapped inside the tank. Also, this did not seem like the first time they got busy. So it took her all of 5-7 days to start sleeping with Shane after she thought her husband was dead. That's quick even for a porno! (Not that I would know of such things.)
2) She seems utterly oblivious that the world has ended.  She treats the zombie apocalypse as if it's a minor inconvenience. She gives her son a haircut, doesn't seem to do much to help the group, doesn't cook or clean or protect the camp. She was actually pretty useless. Even in season 1, when Carol was a wallflower, she managed to have one great moment when she provided the means for the group to escape the CDC before it exploded. Lori drank wine and looked through the facility's selection of books. She forbids Carl from having a gun, sends him to the house every time danger threatens the group. She asks Glenn to get her a pregnancy test and then abortion pills. Even at the prison she sucks. Carl finds the infirmary and returns with medical supplies they'll need to keep Hershel alive. Lori berates him for going alone. That's the extent of her contribution to the group.
3) She shoves away her husband (literally) when he tells her what happened with Shane. I'm thinking maybe she was upset because Carl had to put him down. If so, Sarah Wayne Callies did a terrible job of conveying that. It looks an awful lot like she's upset that Shane is dead. It was like she was taking Shane's side against her own husband. I think that was the final straw as far as the fans were concerned.  
4) She crashes Hershel's car on an empty road.
5)  Even after she died she wouldn't leave us alone. She kept appearing to Rick as a ghost every time he was about to make a wrong decision. She talked to him on the phone. She's the reason he was in no man's land when the Governor first attacked the prison. Okay, okay, none of that was really her, I get that. But I also don't care. By that point everyone was so sick of Lori that having her hanging around like one of the ghosts at the Overlook Hotel just made her even more annoying. It was like the showrunners were getting in a few more shots at the fans before letting go of her. Very antagonistic. Thankfully, she hasn't shown up since so we may finally be free of her.  We can hope.
There are a few people on the show now who might earn their way onto this list. All indications are the big bad from the comic book will soon be making his first appearance. So clearly there are things to look forward to. Maybe I'll do another one of these a few years from now when more of our "heroes" have shuffled loose the mortal coil. Might be interesting.