We're not gonna lie, it's kind of hard to talk about who would, should and could die next on "The Walking Dead" after an episode that slew virtually an entire army ... not to mention everyone's favorite post-apocalyptic house cat. Poor Ezekiel (Khary Payton) began this crusade as the king who smiled. Now he stands a broken man, alone and without his legions of followers.
This was about as tragic and depressing an episode of "The Walking Dead" as we've ever seen, even though the body count for named characters we've grown to care about was practically nill. Ezekiel looked like he was going to bite the dust, but then last week's pick for "next to probably die" proved unkillable and showed up with an epic axe swing to save his life.
In mourning the loss of Sheva, though, we do have a job to do. And though the body count was high, we are promised that we'll get back to Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) next week, and boy are there plenty of people in the Saviors camp who deserve to die!
Who Should Die Next
It's time that Negan learns what it's like to lose someone close to him, and Simon (Steven Ogg) is just enough of a loose cannon to be a good candidate for that. He's been problematic since the beginning, stir up trouble with the Hilltop over the trades they've made, killing random people because he just gets to feeling like it. Negan is a monster, but he's a monster who works by a code because he thinks that code is going to work.
In the best of circumstances for the Saviors, Simon is an ass who is always on the verge of screwing things up. Negan can barely keep him on a proper leash, though he gives him more leeway than he does those like Dwight who have to face the fire to get "right."
Whether it be by Rick's hand or someone on the side of the triumvirate of good, or by Negan's own hand, or by sheer accident, the loss of Simon would put a blow into Negan's confidence even more than the loss of the Sanctuary did, and might make him lose some of that swagger of his own. And a Negan off his game is a Negan who can be beat.
Plus, Simon's kind of an ass. Who's gonna miss that guy?
Like poor Andrea (Laurie Holden) before him, it doesn't seem like the writers have anything more interesting to say or do with Eugene (Josh McDermitt) at this point. While it seemed for awhile that he might be a mole deep undercover with the Saviors, that thread has been stretched so long that if they did try and pull on it now, it would probably snap in incredulity. A character who was always a little complex and difficult to write sympathetically, creator Robert Kirkman pulled it off in the comics ... but then he made Andrea the badass Carol (Melissa McBride) has become and look how badly they butchered her here.
At this point, Eugene has outlived any usefulness he may have had for Negan, he's essentially useless to Rick and he's just dead weight that hangs around because quite frankly he's been around for awhile. The show hasn't killed off anyone notable in awhile, and certainly not anyone with his stature in the cast (main credits and all), so it might be time to trim some of the dead weight and allow the light to shine on some of the newer characters.
Plus, the whole coward thing is played out. At least he grew a backbone in the comics and made something of himself. Every time we see him, he's grovelling and sniveling and reminding us he's a coward. If that's the best the writers can do, killing him off is an easy way for them to keep the show edgy and unpredictable. And they can pretend it tears Rick and company up at least a little bit.
"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.