This past Sunday was the season finale of The Walking Dead, and while we didn't lose any big-name characters as we have in some of the other finales (Andrea, The Governor, etc), it was definitely momentous. Perhaps most notably, the finale saw the possible addition to the regular cast of Morgan, played by Lennie James. Granted, they may kill him off early next season, but the fact that he's been in three episodes in three different seasons tells me he's at least going to get a fair shake this time, kind of like when Merle popped up again.
But it got me thinking, who are the folks who really nailed it despite having only a brief stay on The Walking Dead? With the show's mortality rate pretty damn high, it's hard to get too attached to anyone in a short-term engagement, but a few have gotten it done. Here are my Top 5 Walking Dead characters who appeared in four or fewer episodes (and were dead at the end of their last episode):
- Michael Zegen as Randall Culver - Randall, you may remember, was the catalyst for the whole Rick vs. Shane final showdown. His imprisonment and the debate about what to do with him created all sorts of heated moments, and it could be argued that it precipitated Dale's demise. But my favorite thing about him is that we really don't know what kind of person he was. He claimed to be part of a group just trying to make it in this new world, and we don't have evidence that he was lying. We just know our group was scared of them. I hope we never get anything concrete about it, too. I love that it's just unknown.
- Noah Emmerich as Dr. Edwin Jenner - I like Noah Emmerich as an actor, and he was well-suited to this role. Even-keeled, forceful, a little cold. He also served two great purposes in the show. First, he (and VAL) ushered in the destruction of the CDC, which showed just how hopeless the situation had become. Second, he gave Rick the bombshell that everyone was infected. I think we all thought that he was whispering about Lori's pregnancy, but it turns out, something that comic readers knew early on was dropped on TV watchers through Jenner. Super useful character.
- Chris Coy as Martin - Martin was one of the best villains in the show, even though he wasn't some grand schemer like the Governor, or a cannibal like the folks at Terminus. The great value of Martin was that he was that little voice inside of a good person (specifically Tyreese), that nagging feeling that you should just give in and kill. And the voice says that if you don't, you're gonna die.
- Jeff Kober as Joe - The Claimers were an interesting band. They were brutal, but you got a sense that with a few different turns of events, they could've been good folks. They had the capacity for killing, but if you don't have that in this world, you usually don't make it. The Claimers brought in Daryl right after he'd lost Beth, and immediately Joe became an interesting, even somewhat likable character. Of course, that changed when he chose to let one of his guys try to rape Carl, but hey, that resulted in one of the best kills in the show.
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Otis - Otis wasn't necessarily exceptional in the scope of the story, but he was vital. He accidentally shot Carl, which precipitated most of the events of season 2. He seemed like a good guy, and in truth, Shane did everything he could to try to keep Otis alive. Shane's behavior made it seem sinister, and perhaps it was, but with how many people we've seen die in this show, are we still willing to say it was "murder?" Anyways, Otis' time on the show created a lot of debatable points, so he makes the list.