So it’s not completely accurate to say that nobody died in the Season 4 finale of The Walking Dead (Joe and his merry band of marauders would certainly disagree) but it is correct to say that no major characters passed away in the season ender, “A”, a fact fans definitely took note of.
In the Season 1 finale we lost the people at The CDC, in the Season 2 finale we said goodbye to several members of the Greene family and bid Dale and Shane goodbye toward the end of the run, and in the Season 3 ender we lost Andrea. Why, then, was the Season 4 finale lacking any major goodbyes?
Comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman chatted with TVLine and they too were curious about why there were no significant deaths in “A”. Here’s how Robert explained the situation: “After a while we can fall into a trap of, ‘Oh, here’s the finale!’ or ‘Here’s the episode before the finale — we’re going to be seeing some big character deaths.’ We kind of recognized toward the end of Season 3 that, for our show, the most shocking thing to do, the most novel thing to do, the most unexpected thing for us would be to not kill anyone.”
Instead of falling into a predictable rut, Robert when on to say that he and the Powers That Be strive to keep things fresh, which, without a doubt keeps fans on their toes. “We want to keep people guessing. We don’t want things to ever get formulaic,” he reasoned. “The character deaths in our show are never done for shock value or just to have a bit of excitement. There’s always a story purpose. And sometimes you don’t need those deaths to do that. This finale was just as impactful and dark and shocking as you need a finale to be to carry viewers over that gap between seasons.”
Robert is the ultimate TWD mastermind, and in this case we’d have to agree with him. The minute the deaths on TWD start feeling gratuitous, the storylines will likely suffer. Plus, in the case of Season 4 it’s important to remember that we did have two major deaths already — Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and The Governor (David Morrissey). And although they were minor characters, Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) both died during Episode 14: “The Grove”.
Plus, Hershel’s death will likely impact our band of survivors going forward. Lizzie and Mika’s deaths could have a similar effect and impact, although for different reasons.
Were you bummed by the absence of any major deaths in The Walking Dead Season 4 finale? Vote below!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.