Sorry y'all, the only logical death for ‘The Walking Dead’ finale is Daryl
After several weeks of outstanding episodes, The Walking Dead fumbled at the finish with “Twice As Far.” You can read HitFix’s own Alan Sepinwall’s take over here or listen to me and Roth Cornet discuss some of the issues in the video above. Or you can read this handy summary:
The show is barreling towards the introduction to Negan and in the process of setting all the players up in their starting places, the writers on The Walking Dead forgot everything needs to make sense.
WARNING: SPOILERS AND SPECULATION FOR THE WALKING DEAD BEYOND THIS POINT.
Between the comic book and the foreshadowing on the show itself, it’s safe to say someone in The Group is getting a taste of Lucille in the season finale of The Walking Dead. For those of you not in the know — yet somehow still reading this far — Lucille is the name Negan has bequeathed his baseball bat. He uses Lucille to beat in the heads of those unfortunate enough to draw his ire. Some of Lucille’s handiwork could be seen in photographs on the wall of the Saviors outpost in “Not Tomorrow Yet.”
The original recipient of Lucille’s wrath was Glenn. But after everything that’s happened on the show, Daryl needs to be the one to go. There are plenty of other characters who COULD take a deadly beating for the team; Rick, Carol, Michonne, Maggie, Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, Morgan, Father Gabriel, and Glenn. But for one reason or another, each of these characters can be eliminated on the basis that it would be bad storytelling. Other characters — such as Carl, Enid, Heath, and Spencer — I’m not including either because of the high unlikeliness of their deaths (Carl) or that their deaths would be a cop-out as Negan should kill someone who matters greatly to the audience.
#1: Rick GrimesPhoto Credit: AMC
Let’s be honest. The Walking Dead might be an ensemble show, but Rick Grimes is the main character. He’ll die when the ratings tank and/or in the series finale…if then. He’s definitely not taking a bat to the head.
#2: Carol PeletierPhoto Credit: AMC
As of this writing, Carol is suffering from a case of “plot-driven personality change disorder.” Having her leave the confines of Alexandria because she doesn’t want to kill again when the Saviors are clearly scouting the place is a terrible idea. Either Carol will kill again or she’ll be captured. If she’s captured by the Saviors, there’s a chance she’s taking a bat to head.
However, that would be bad storytelling as Negan is SUPPOSED to have a code of honor. A royally messed up one, but one that doesn’t allow for the flagrant mistreatment of women. It would be both a terrible end for Carol’s story arc, and an insult to fridge her to cause Daryl pain. Since both Beth and Denise died for that cause, there’s no need to add another body to the pile.
#3: MichonnePhoto Credit: AMC
Richonne is finally a thing! Sure, women that catch Rick’s eye have a tendency to end up dead. But the writers of The Walking Dead would never allow Michonne such an unsatisfying end. This is a woman who turned zombies into her own personal cloaking device. Surely she wouldn’t go down to a rogue swing from a piece of wood. Also, see above for “Negan’s Code.” And no need to add another body to Rick’s fridge. Enough women have died to move his storyline along, thank you very much.
Plus there’s this spoiler.
#4: Maggie RheePhoto Credit: AMC
Killing the pregnant lady is a little too dark, even for The Walking Dead. Introducing an OB/GYN and going through the effort of having Maggie realize how dangerous it is for her to leave Alexandria while pregnant wouldn’t brick wall with a baseball bat. Why set her up as the diplomatic leader of Alexandria if only to kill her before she gets a chance to lead? The Walking Dead would never short-change a character like that.
#5: Abraham FordPhoto Credit: AMC
After dodging the death arrow this week, having Abraham die in the season finale would be a slap in the face to LGBT fans. Why kill Denise if you’re just going to let Abraham bite it two episodes later? No. There’s no way The Walking Dead would be so tone-deaf and unaware of social issues as to do something like that. Abraham has a long life ahead of him; one filled with angsty drama fueld by Sasha and Rosita.
#6: Rosita EspinosaPhoto Credit: AMC
Still beating the drum here that Negan has a code of honor about women. But besides that — as our own Alan Sepinwall has pointed out — Rosita is still a blank slate. After two seasons, her character is a cipher. We know virtually nothing about her. The emotional payoff just wouldn’t be there should Negan single her out. Unless Rosita suddenly opens up next week about her childhood and hobbies. Then she might be in trouble.
But the writers wouldn’t kill off the only Latina character on the show, right?
#7: Eugene PorterPhoto Credit: AMC
As with Abraham above, Eugene’s death would be salt in the wound to Denise’s death. Arguably both Eugene and Denise were crucial to the survival of Alexandria and it was just luck of the draw (ie: the writers’ decision) to introduce another doctor at Hilltop instead of an engineer without social awkwardness.
With the exception of Reg Monroe, we haven’t lost a straight white male character the audience cares about (ie: isn’t a jerk, a villain, or a Red Shirt™) since Hershel Greene. To kill Denise and perpetuate the “Bury Your Gays” trope is bad enough. Doing so knowing you’re about to kill off one of the other characters in that scene would be tone-deaf. And The Walking Dead is never tone-deaf…
#8: Morgan JonesPhoto Credit: AMC
Killing Morgan would be anti-climatic as a majority of the audience thinks he’s annoying at best and going to get everyone killed at worst. Taking Lucille to Morgan’s face would be almost satisfying, as it would prove his life philosophy about the apocalypse was extremely misguided.
#9: Father Gabriel StokesPhoto Credit: AMC
As much as I’m enjoying Father Gabriel’s slow transformation into a Battle Priest, there just hasn’t been enough time for the audience to care — much less be devastated — by his loss. Using this character as the recipient of Lucille’s kiss would be a cop out.
#10: Sasha WilliamsPhoto Credit: AMC
Hoo boy. Sasha has lost so much. Her brother, her boyfriend, and her will to live. She finally got that last one back, and she’s even forging ahead with her relationship with Abraham. If it weren’t for Negan’s well-known CODE OF HONOR, she might be in trouble when it comes time for introductions to the leader of Saviors.
#11: Tara ChamblerPhoto Credit: AMC
Honestly? If they kill Tara, that’d be one dead lesbian bridge too far. Surely the writers at least want to keep Tara alive for the delicious angst that is grieving for Denise and the “what could have been” for at least a few episodes next season, right?
#12: Glenn RheePhoto Credit: AMC
When it comes to Glenn, The Walking Dead has entered “the boy who cried wolf” territory. Only instead of a wolf, it’s been Glenn’s death. You can only pull the proverbial football away at the last second so many times before the audience will stop believing Glenn will ever die. We’re rapidly approaching that point.
Plus, the show has been telegraphing loud and clear foreshadowing that Glenn is going to die. Which obviously means he’s a red herring and will not die. Classic distraction technique. While we’ve all been agonizing over Glenn and Maggie’s potential tragedy, The Walking Dead has been quietly setting up Daryl to take the fall.
Daryl DixonPhoto Credit: AMC
With everyone else eliminated, the truth is plain to see: Daryl Dixon is gonna die. Let’s run through the facts. Daryl is the most instantly recognizable member of The Group to the Saviors. His distinctive look makes him a target. Daryl was the one that used the rocket launcher on the Saviors scouting party. And there may have been a surviving witness to that incident. Daryl is the one Dwight would’ve described to Negan either before or after being mutilated with the iron. Daryl also took out several of the Saviors during their run-in on the tracks in “Twice as Far” and is seen leaving the Alexandria compound in upcoming scenes from “East.” Daryl’s been itching to get revenge on the Saviors for a while and is just angry enough to make dumb mistakes.
Oh and then there’s the fact that the death of Daryl would devastate fans. Which is exactly what Negan’s introduction is supposed to do.