The Walking Dead round table: Most hated character

Father Gabriel, The Walking Dead - AMC
Father Gabriel, The Walking Dead - AMC /
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Wade’s choice: Lizzie Samuels

Lizzie Samuels, The Walking Dead - AMC
Lizzie Samuels, The Walking Dead – AMC /

Which Walking Dead character do I hate the most? I was considering being scandalous by choosing Rick, because I hate how the group treats him like he’s so great, like he can do no wrong, just waiting for him to make the call on every little thing. By now we clearly know he can do wrong, and will inevitably prove to be human and therefore flawed (thanks to the show’s writers!). Then again, there is something redeeming about Rick. In a way, everyone’s clutching to him as leader only mirrors how present day society clings to its leaders and systems of authority, even at great personal cost. One almost cannot fault Rick for that. He is a symptom of a broader problem within group dynamics.

So, that out of the way, I decided to go with Lizzie Samuels. I honestly had to look up her last name on Wikipedia, but she was far from a trivial character on the show. I actually don’t hate that she existed as a character, but I hate whatever convoluted understanding she represents. To me she represents all that is naïve and backwards about the world. She is innocence taken to the extreme, to the point where she embodies actual evil for refusing to adapt sanely to a changed world. In the story, her innocense transformed her into something idiotically wicked, and she was ignorant of how off the wall her thinking was. Her ignorance became evil. Instead of understanding what walkers were, she ended up having empathy for them, and saw them as practically superior to human beings, even willing to kill human beings to unify the dead and the living. At worst, walkers were “just different” to her. Well, little girl, they are indeed different, and so were you. That’s why Carol had to show you some flowers.

Also, I believe Lizzie (and, to some degree, her sister Mika) came to symbolize a standard critique of pacifism, which is that some forces you have to defend yourself against, no matter how peaceful you want life to be. A refusal — or even reluctance — to do so supposedly makes you complicit in evil (with evil being represented by walkers). In other words, I almost feel her character is good for the pro-war crowd, as an example of what’s wrong with “being soft” or “trying to understand the enemy.” Annoyingly, I must grudgingly admit it’s an interesting point raised in an interesting way, which makes me feel gross. It was also gross how she fed and named the walkers, and dissected animals as new playtime activities. Get a clue, dummy!

On the brighter side, who wasn’t amazed to see Lizzie and Mika using guns to defend the prison, back before she went totally off the rails? And yes, I just called a scene of little kids shooting people “the brighter side.” This show isn’t bleak or anything.

Next: Adam's choice: Daryl Dixon