For all the issues it has had over the course of its first four years of life, AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead has always managed to deliver memorable season finales. Whether a massive explosion or important character death, the show has never shied away from bringing out the big guns when the occasion requires. Granted, I’m of the camp that the people they’ve killed off could and should have been more developed, which would have given their deaths even greater impact, but if nothing else, they get points for going big. From all appearances, this season, which wraps up Sunday, March 30, is going to deliver more of the same, and the network has released two ominous new posters asking who will arrive and who will survive?
The obvious intent here is to indicate that not everyone we’ve come to know is going make it to see what season five has in store. Glenn (Steven Yeun) has had a rough go of it since leaving the prison, and from the look of his poster, that’s not changing any time soon. You don’t see what’s around him, but tooled up as he is, covered in what looks like his own blood, and with a serious I-need-to-get-some-killing-done expression on his face, you can tell things aren’t getting any easier for the lovesick young lad.
Carol (Melissa McBride) has also had a tough time through season four, and it’s been wearing on her. First, she got banished for killing those two people at the prison, and almost as soon as she came back she had to deal with a murdering child and had to put a young girl down. That’s going to weigh heavy on anyone, especially a mother who already lost her own child in season two. At this point you have to wonder how much more hardship and mental torture one person can endure, and the question of whether or not she even wants to has to come up.
Some speculate that it’s Maggie (Lauren Cohan) who is going to be the one, or at least one of the people who die. While my first reaction is no, they won’t kill her off, especially since she’s still alive in the comics. But, the penultimate episode, “Us,” did some foreshadowing that could indicate that path, and a character’s status in the comics has never stopped the show before. Andrea (Laurie Holden) dies at the end of season three, and she’s still very much a part of the action in Robert Kirkman’s stories, so they’ve shown a willingness to part ways with the source material in key ways before. In reality, it’s really open season on the characters of The Walking Dead.
Wouldn’t it be wild if they kill off Rick (Andrew Lincoln)? This is the least likely scenario, but damn that would be awesome. He’s become my least favorite character—part of why I’ve enjoyed the second half of this season as much as I have is because we’ve gone weeks without even checking in with him, and even when he was there, he was unconscious for most of an episode. Not having to deal with his nonsense has given the writers time to actually develop the surrounding characters, and you know what, they’ve all become way more interesting, sympathetic, and engaging than Rick. That would be one hell of a ballsy move, one that would finally cement that the show and the comic are two very different things indeed.