12:00 pm EST, February 18, 2016

What the deaths in ‘No Way Out’ mean for the future of ‘The Walking Dead’

No one is safe! Well, you already knew that.

“No Way Out” was another Walking Dead blood bath, with quite a few large characters getting eaten. How will those deaths impact the remaining characters?

The Walking Dead is no stranger to killing characters, but this is the first time an entire family has been wiped out in a matter of seconds (on top of the family dog, er, wolf). Each of these characters had a strong connection to someone, whether positively or negatively, so how will their absence affect the survivors?

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The Wolf

the walking dead alpha wolf

Pairing the lion and the lamb together (or in this case, the Wolf and the lamb) was a good choice. Denise’s compassion rubbed off on the Wolf, and the Wolf’s resolve rubbed off on Denise. Unfortunately for him, his compassion got him killed, but his death only leaves a greater impact on Denise.

Denise has clearly been self-conscious and timid in her abilities, but the Wolf proved to her that people can change. First, he pushed her to be brave, almost literally pushing her out of hiding so they could make their escape. In the same breath, when she was lagging behind, he went back for her, even though he was practically in the safe zone. He then saved her again later, taking down a couple walkers so she could get out alive.

It isn’t just that the Wolf died, it’s that he died saving someone, saving her. If he can change, so can she. His death, his sacrifice, gave her a newfound courage to be brave, and to save people, like he saved her.

The Wolf’s death also presents an interesting conundrum for Morgan. Morgan adamantly did everything he could to keep this Wolf alive, yet the Wolf ended up dying anyway, just like he’d said would happen. Will Morgan start to see Carol’s side of things, understanding that sometimes you do have to kill people? Or will he see that the Wolf redeemed himself and changed, and be even more certain of his new lifestyle choice? Probably the latter.


the walking dead sam anderson

Carol had been showing Sam a lot of tough love (emphasis on the ‘tough’), presumably so she wouldn’t get attached, and because he needed to toughen up if he had any hope of surviving in this world. While Sam’s death mostly means viewers can breathe a sigh of relief that ‘the annoying kid’ is out of the picture, it’s possible there will be ramifications for Carol as well.

Despite trying her best to keep herself at a distance from him, Carol probably grew to care for Sam in some capacity. Much like her character change and growth after the death of her daughter, as well as Lizzie and Mika, it’s likely Carol will become even more stoic, harder, and far less compassionate. Her confrontation with Morgan is already causing a change in her (“I should’ve killed you”), so it’ll be interesting to see how she reacts to yet another child’s death.


the walking dead ron anderson

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who liked early-seasons Carl. He was the epitome of irritating: a young kid who thought he was a hotshot and wouldn’t do as he was told. Over time, Carl grew up and matured, becoming much more level-headed and much less annoying. It was such a relief.

Then came Ron. It was early-seasons Carl all over again. What did we do to deserve that? Moreover, what did Carl do to deserve it, because Carl ended up having to deal with it. Ron directed his immature anger onto Carl, and it almost got him killed, multiple times. Even in death Ron was an annoying prat, shooting Carl in the face, leaving him with one eye.

On the one hand, it’s a shame that there’s now no hope for Carl to get a friend. On the other hand, there wasn’t much hope for Ron to be that friend anyway. Hopefully now that he’s dead, Carl can get a break for a while, and work on his depth perception.


the walking dead jessie anderson

Richonne has another chance!

What happened to Jessie is, of course, terrible. She was a wonderful woman who showed real growth as a character, eagerly learning how to live in this new world. Rick noticed her assets too, and their ensuing relationship was fitting. They were a great match (aside from her son hating his son), and her death leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

Nevertheless, there is a positive way to look at Jessie’s death. Her death means that Rick is back on the market, and once again there’s a chance for him and Michonne to finally express their undying love for each other. Okay, maybe that’s a lot to expect from two people who are emotionally closed-off. The point is, the Richonne ship can hoist the sails, and with any luck, we’ll get a strong breeze in the coming episodes.

Negan’s Biker Gang

the walking dead negan biker gang

For a start, Daryl blowing up the group of bikers eliminated an immediate threat, allowing him, Sasha, and Abraham to make it back to Alexandria alive. But for Daryl, it probably means much more. There are now fewer motorcycles in the country, and it’s his fault. Maybe he can salvage some parts from the wreckage, but judging by the explosion, that’s not likely. Sorry Daryl, hopefully you’ll find another bike soon.

Which ‘No Way Out’ death do you think will have the most impact on the rest of the show?

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