When The Walking Dead returns on Sunday to start the second half of its fourth season, everyone is going to be clawing their way out of a big pile of doo-doo. The safety of the prison they called home for one-and-a-half seasons (wayyyy too long) was destroyed by a lethal combo of a tank, one pissed-off Governor, and a swarm of dead people, and now everyone—even my beloved Beth—is scampering across Georgia in a panic, looking for shelter from relentless waves of undead. What's worse, in the chaos of the fall finale, the gang got split up and dispersed into small factions, fragmenting their once-secure community and putting an end to their campfire sing-alongs.
With that in mind, I'm wondering who among the survivors will be the best suited for survival on their own? Let's make some stuff up and find out!
Role: De facto leader, head gardener
Strengths: Handy with a gun; particularly talented at aggressively stomping around; he's the friggin' star of the comics
Current whereabouts: Was last seen limping off the prison grounds with his son Carl, crying about the presumed death of his baby daughter Judith
Chances of surviving on his own: Despite some viewers requests for his demise, Rick could fall asleep in a pile of zombies and wake up with nary a nibble on his arm because he's the star of both the comics and the show. The Walking Dead's rule of "anyone can die" just doesn't apply to him, and that's the truth. But even without that fact making him invincible, Rick's one of the most formidable survivors. He'll stay alive as long as he doesn't take too many walks with strangers in the woods. (Why did you go for a walk with that weird Irish lady, Rick? Why?)
Life expectancy: 14 seasons of television, two really bad movie tie-ins, a thousand issues of the comic, and three licensed video games.
Role: Unruly teenager
Strengths: Surprisingly adept with a firearm; has the go-getter attitude of a hall monitor; not afraid to kill his mom or his dad's best friend; able to cause the deaths of others through poor decision-making; can fit into small spaces like hopefully a locker or a coffin
Weaknesses: Won't stay in the damn house or do anything his parents tell him to
Current whereabouts: Dragging his dad Rick away from the zombie-infested prison
Chances of surviving on his own: This kid should have been killed a long time ago with all the trouble he's caused. But he's had plenty of luck on his solo missions to convince me that he wouldn't be walker meat and would put up a decent fight.
Life expectancy: Two or three more seasons, or when the writers realize that they need a new way to throw Rick into another psychotic breakdown. Whichever comes first.
Role: Rebel and fan favorite
Strengths: Endless supply of magical crossbow bolts; badass f*cking attitude; alliterative name; the unwavering love of millions
Weaknesses: Ha! Come on, Daryl doesn't have any weaknesses
Current whereabouts: Taking off with Beth, so good luck with that, Daryl
Chances of surviving on his own: Pretty good, I'd say! And with millions of fans ready to boycott the series if he ever dies, even better than that. But let's say The Walking Dead really wanted to be shocking; wouldn't the show at least consider the possibility of *gets murdered by Dixon's Vixens*
Life expectancy: A long, long time. Did Sawyer die? Did Han Solo die? No and no.
Role: Asian guy
Strengths: Ability to be average at everything
Weaknesses: Weak immune system; has no more luck left (used it all up bedding Maggie)
Current whereabouts: On the escape bus with some other sick people (probably)
Chances of surviving on his own: I love Glenn! But let's face the facts: He's kind of screwed. Other than being Maggie's lucky half, what's his identity within the group now? He's not the best fighter and he's a mediocre survivalist. He's just Glenn, and he's the perfect "main" character to kill off when the show needs to cut its budget.
Life expectancy: His time is coming soon. If he makes it out of Season 4 alive, he'll die in Season 5.
Role: That lady with a sword
Strengths: That sword!; has adapted to the new world with tricks like making zombie pets; her permanent grouchiness is a perfect fit for both apocalyptic life and humid Georgia summers
Weaknesses: Muscular arms make it difficult to find any sleeved top that fits her
Current whereabouts: All by herself!
Chances of surviving on her own: Michonne could survive a nuclear holocaust even if the bomb dropped right between her feet. She's a cockroach. She will survive.
Life expectancy: A long, long time. Nothing to worry about here!
Role: Hot chick
Strengths: Totally hot
Weaknesses: Lauren Cohen's potentially burgeoning acting career and there's no way AMC will pay her the money she'll eventually want so why should she roll around in the dirt in humid Georgia when she could be starring opposite Clooney in something else?
Current whereabouts: Leaving the prison with Bob and Sasha
Chances of surviving on her own: Maggie is surprisingly tough, so she'll probably last a lot longer out there than you'd think. And with hotties being a rare commodity in the world that's in the middle of a quest to repopulate civilization, she's probably going to be taken in by any group she comes across in the name of saving mankind and also making the world a more attractive place.
Life expectancy: She's on the same course as Glenn. One has to die for drama, and then the other becomes redundant when the other becomes single. Season 5!
Role: Farmer's daughter
Strengths: She can sing; emotionally empty after caring for too long, so she won't be held back by tough decisions
Weaknesses: Might be suicidal; fragile as a dry leaf
Current whereabouts: Off with Daryl somewhere
Chances of surviving on her own: Oh come on, they can't kill Beth! Don't you DARE kill Beth!
Life expectancy: They're gonna kill Beth. She's done this season or the next.
Role: Angry black dude
Strengths: HAMMER; rage mode allows him to smash the skulls of mobs of zombies like he's crushing a game of Whac-A-Mole; played by a guy who was on The Wire
Weaknesses: Not good with any weapon that isn't a hammer; played by a guy who was on I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Current whereabouts: Unknown! He was last seen running after those dumb kids!
Chances of surviving on his own: You'd think he'd be well equipped for survival since he's a big brute, but the guy can't shoot a gun to save his life, and his idea of combat is getting as close to a zombie or group of zombies as he can and hitting them on the head with a regular hammer. That is poor planning!
Life expectancy: He'll go out at the end of Season 4
Role: Tyreese's sister
Current whereabouts: With Bob and Maggie
Chances of surviving on her own:
Zero, zilch, nada. She's currently the character who's being kept around to catch illnesses, trip on rocks, and grab supplies off-screen. "Expendable" doesn't even begin to describe her.
Life expectancy: She's probably already dead.
Which Walking Dead character do you think has the best chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse on their own?
AIRED ON 3/29/2015
Season 5 : Episode 16