So the Walking Dead season finale is in just a day and if you are like me you can hardly stand the wait. Unlike last season which I felt was stiff and sorely dragged, this season has more than made up for it with a better environment, more intense story line, stronger character development, and a far superior antagonist. Here are just some of my predictions and thoughts on the upcoming season finale and what I would like to see in the next season.
Glenn and Maggie: Ying and Yang. Despite being different from the other in personalities, they exist as one unit in my opinion. One of them does not experience joy or pain without it having a strong impact on the other, and decisions made by one character is often in anticipation of the reaction made by the other, or a decision made BECAUSE of the other. Regardless whether there is an actual wedding, they are already married in my mind. If one should die, I can’t see much hope for the survivor.
Glenn in particular is having problems dealing with Maggie’s torture at the hands of the Governor. Though normally a very rational individual, I can see him losing focus when face to face with The Governor. Personally, I would like it to be one of these two to take The Governor out. Maggie in particular, but I feel she has lost a lot of her strength and confidence since her ordeal, thus flipping the roles where she was once the “tough one” of the duo. Due to Glenn’s desire to prove himself, his new-found focus, and self-training, I could see Glenn walking through fire to exact his revenge. I hope both make it though.
Rick: Poor guy. Originally a pillar of strength for the group, his wife’s death seems to have left him shell-shocked. He’s definitely suffering from deep depression, and the weight of leadership took its toll hard on him. However, it was great to see him come to his revelation last episode: in that what makes their group so important is that they are among the last bastion of mankind to retain their humanity. They are more than mere survivors, they are the ideal of what makes a truly civilized society. They can never betray one of their own because they are a family. Establishing themselves as a “democracy”, where everyone can take a leadership role and have a say in governance takes a great deal of stress off Rick’s shoulders while tightening the group. Rick is a strong fighter and a smart, compassionate man; but still mentally exhausted. However I predict he will survive the “war” with Woodbury, though I don’t think he will be the one to off The Governor.
Lori: Even when she is dead she has to cause problems. I couldn’t stand her when she was alive and still hate her in death. She was a horrible human being and I’m not digging this “saint” edit she gets from the other characters. Let’s face it: she was a terrible person. A trampy, self-absorbed, two-timing shrew as well as a bad mother. Completely wrapped up in her own self-inflicted drama, everything had to be about her. If she wasn’t in the center of the conflict she had to make it so. She was too busy getting Rick all riled up to do anything useful and provided a terrible distraction from the group. Now she has come back as a “ghost/vision,” returning to (what else) mess with Rick’s mind again. Ugh.
Andrea: Actually, I’m one of the few who don’t hate her. Sure, I definitely would like to slap her for being so damn stupid or insensitive at times, but I don’t loathe her like I did Lori, and certainly not like some viewers do. Primarily it’s because I do feel (like the actress, other cast mates, and directors have said) that she is a misguided individual who does ultimately want the best for both Rick’s group and the citizens of Woodbury (all of whom I feel she has developed strong protective feelings for). She’s a strong survivor, a good fighter, a potential leader (if you can get her to think), and she’s perfectly willing to risk her life to help her friends. Sure, she has a thing for bad boys (as many of us do, ahem), but she doesn’t realize at the time HOW bad they are, as like I said, she is kind of slow at seeing how corrupt certain individuals may be, particularly if they have helped/guided her (Shane and The Governor) or shown her a gentler, charismatic side (The Governor). But when she does come to a revelation, she rejects them. I also like how she will first work to bring about peace, often using violence as a last resort, but will use it if necessary. I found it interesting that she has tried to kill The Governor twice and has gotten much closer than the others (save Merle). However I knew she wouldn’t pull the trigger on him while in bed because 1) I don’t think many people could stomach killing a sleeping person, especially if they thought another non-violent solution (regardless of how unlikely) had the potential to work – It’s one thing to be face-to-face, in a life or death situation, or seeing them about to commit an evil act (the torture chamber), but another while they are completely unaware or defenseless, and 2) what an unclimatic way to off your primary villain (not good for ratings – and let’s face it, this was primarily a shill way for producers to milk the audience into watching). That being said I also don’t think her character is fully formed because I think, like Shane as a villain, she is primarily used as a plot device by the director’s and not necessarily seen as her own character (she comes off a little too wishy-washy). I would like to see her more developed and to get some redemption as a character. I certainly prefer to see her live as opposed to say, Beth, who has zero personality (I often forget about her character) or presence in the series (she only exists as either Maggie’s sister and/or nursemaid). But if she were to die, I wouldn’t miss her.
By the way, am I the only one that felt an odd “spark” between Andrea and Michonne? It was an interesting chemistry. Speaking of which…
Michonne: Love her. She is such a cool character. She is like the female Daryl (okay, maybe not quite THAT cool, but still…). She had a great introduction to the series and I love getting to learn more about her. She still has this level of intrigue about her that makes her interesting and what I think pretty much guarantee’s she will live to see next season. And in addition to being an awesome machete/sword fighter, she is good at seeing through people and connecting with them. She had a great moment last episode with Merle and sort of guided him to his redemption moment. She also has a strange dynamic with Andrea that I wonder if the producers will explore. She’s another one I could see taking out The Governor, as they have a great hatred for each other. In any event, I will be very surprised if she dies.
Daryl: Do I really need to say anything about what makes Daryl a favorite? Daryl is just… Daryl. Super cool, reflective, quick, calm under pressure, loyal, a good friend, a caring person, and sexy as hell (yeah, I said, Daryl is mad sexy). Plus he is completely trustworthy, resourceful, and honest; definitely someone you want by your side. However I worry about what Merle’s death will have done to him. Daryl doesn’t know of his redeeming moment: his change of character and of the sacrifice he made for the good of the group. That and Daryl being forced to see his brother turn and then kill him may destroy him for a little while. However, being that his character is widely popular, I can’t see execs green-lighting his death. He’ll survive (though I predict he will have his “Rick” moment) His survival would be great for me not just as a fan, but I’m among the many that want a Carol/Daryl romance to blossom. 😉 Speaking of which….
Carol: Sadly, we haven’t been seeing too much of her as of late, which is a shame because her character has gone through some serious growth (and I really feel for her as a character). I think Merle summed it up perfectly in the last episode: she went from a little “mouse” to a person of strength and quiet determination. She’s quiet, and for the most part gentle and motherly, but she WILL defend herself and those she cares about. Which is why I think she compliments Daryl so well. Plus she and Daryl have some chemistry between them, and both have experienced the pain of domestic hardship and losing a close loved one. I think with Daryl’s pain, Carol will help heal him in the next season (that will be her story), and they will form a tighter bond than before. I see her returning next season, because like Michonne her character’s story is not finished (hopefully).
Merle: Wow. What a transformation last episode brought. I was genuinely saddened by his death (didn’t see that coming), but what a great episode for him. His human side was fully revealed (and brilliantly acted) and he was able to aid Rick’s group before his death, which I think will make a major impact next episode both in his actions and his death.
Beth: She has NO character. She is a complete non entity at this point and totally expendable. Could care less about her fate. I predict her death, since a lot of emphasis was made to Hershel about whether he’d be willing to sacrifice his daughters’ lives for Michonne’s, especially since she seems to serve as little more than filler or a plot point.
Hershel: I like him, but I feel he is expendable. He does often act as the voice of reason though, so we shall see. To me it’s a toss-up.
Shane: Glad he’s still dead. What a contrived character he was.
Carl: Ehh. I know he is a kid, but he kind of creeps me out a little. He’ll live though.
Milton: I kind of like Milt. He is a very smart guy yet a lot of people perceive him as weak, but there seems to be a lot more going on underneath than what he’s shown. I feel he is crafty, but proven weak in combat situations, so he could go either way. My gut though tells me he will survive. He and Andrea seemed to have bonded, and I could see the two of them working toward their mutual interest of protecting and nurturing the citizens of Woodbury (after The Governor is dealt with, of course).
The Governor: Call me crazy, but I really like The Governor and hope he makes it to next season. He is a great antagonist, not some cardboard cut out like Shane became. He is a true sociopath/dictator. He is smart, cunning, charismatic, combat effective, a great leader/organizer, ruthless, dangerous, volatile at times, and at times very, very creepy. He is the exact opposite of Rick in terms of leadership, which is serves as great commentary to many of Rick’s own decisions in regards to the choices his group must make. I predict The Governor lives, but at a great loss. I can see him taking a small band of followers with him to re-group.
The Fate of Woodbury vs The Prison: I don’t see Rick’s group staying at the prison, but I also don’t see them assimilating fully with Woodbury. In any event, the Woodbury that existed when Andrea and Michonne first came upon it no longer exists, and what’s left seems to be collapsing in on itself. If The Governor is taken out, I can see some of his followers wanting revenge, with others wanting to flee. I can see a few of the townspeople joining Rick’s group, but not many. I imagine most would scatter. And I can’t quite explain why, but I have a feeling Rick and his group will move on from the Prison. In any event, some citizens will blame Rick’s group for disrupting their peace of mind as the conflict between the Prison and Woodbury tore away the nice little illusion The Governor had set up for his citizens and exposed the real horrors of the outside world. However, the comics speak of many, many places that our heros encounter, so ultimately they will (likely) leave the area.
So to sum it up (as it is very late and I am rambling) I think it’s fairly obvious that Daryl and Rick will live, but I also strongly suspect that Carol and Michonne will also survive. The rest are a toss-up, depending on how the producers/writers want to play out next season, though I would not be surprised if The Governor is not killed (this season).
In any event, I can’t WAIT until Sunday!!