ByDouglas J. Fender, writer at Creators.co
Film Critic/Blogger and Independent Film Maker at Bug Eyes Media. [email protected] | Twitter @BugEyesMedia
Douglas J. Fender

(WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics and TV series below. Proceed with caution)

"We've all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive, but we can still come back. We're not too far gone." — Rick Grimes

The world of the undead can turn even the most average of human beings into something much more. That is, of course, unless you were unfortunate (or fortunate?) enough to meet your end before the planet's occupants were forced to evolve in drastic ways in order to live to see another day. Rick was an honest cop. With the show following his story, we have witnessed a man changing until he is unrecognizable from what we first saw, as the blurb at the start of Issue #1 outlined the desire to achieve.

If a run-of-the-mill police officer can transform into the man Rick is today, then what of the other characters? Well, with the exception of Morgan, who got a full episode dedicated to explaining his backstory, (at least in regards to him becoming the life cherishing, Bo-wielding heart of the group) we are left to wonder about the stories of others, short of a flashback or two. So let us look at the backstories in #AMC's #TheWalkingDead that could have made for a great full episode.

1. Michonne

'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]

Michonne was first introduced with two pet walkers (who we later found out were her partner and friend) on chains wielding a samurai sword in the woods while Andrea was separated from her group. Hearing that she was a lawyer before all this started, you have to imagine that the story that follows would have been a major transformation arc in the character.

An episode displaying how she discovered that removing the arms and jaws of walkers would deter her from the rest (an explanation that the fans are still awaiting) as well as providing a presumably emotional situation where she has to bring herself to perform such an action to the love of her life and survive in the world alone with them for so long, is an episode that TWD fans would still like to see.

2. Merle Is Recruited By The Governor

'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]

In what seems like a lifetime ago back in Season 1, Merle was left handcuffed to a pipe on a roof in Atlanta due to Rick and the slippery fingers of T-Dog. This resulted in Merle having to cut off his own hand in order to escape. Daryl makes the claim that Merle was the toughest guy he ever knew and the group failed to find him. That was, until a whole two seasons later when Merle discovers Andrea and Michonne in the woods and brings them back to Woodbury, the community ruled by The Governor.

If Merle really was the toughest guy Daryl ever knew, it would be great to see that displayed and not only in the position of a right-hand man to a more prominent villain on the show. Could we have seen Merle escape Atlanta, survive on his own and eventually be picked up by the Woodbury crew, showing his worth and rise to a trusted Governor henchman? The idea sounds like a great standalone episode, but the story of Merle and his one hand was put to an end by The Governor, who disposed of him in the tail end of Season 3, with Merle refusing to beg in the process.

3. Terminus

'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]

It seemed like an idea too good to be true. "Sanctuary for all. Those who arrive survive." A safe haven for all who could reach it. Terminus was a train station in the first episode of Season 4 run by Gareth. However, a group of bandits decided to turn up and take it over, capturing and imprisoning the founders in the process, subjecting them to rape and murder. Somehow, Gavin and co. were able to take Terminus back but no longer wanted to help people, believing there to be no good to be left in the world. They would allow survivors to enter under the false promise of safety and butcher them, using humans as a food source.

We got a small glimpse during the opening and closing scenes in the season premiere of Terminus while this takeover was in full effect, but we never actually got to see the train station in its original, peaceful state. How did Gavin lead the prisoners into taking back Terminus? How did they decide that eating people was the way forward? What was the story with the bandits' leader, whom they decided to keep trapped in a container for all this time? In a world where the good can so easily become the bad, we will have to close the page on this story and only view the Terminants as "the bad ones," due to Gavin's team being butchered by a red-handled machete, as promised by Rick.

4. Abraham Ford

'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]

When we first get a glimpse into the life of Abraham Ford pre-saving-the-whole-god-damn-world, he is busy finishing off a kill in a grocery store while his family watch in horror, fearing him in the process. This seemed like a turning point in Abraham's post-apocalyptic life: Was this the first time he had killed one of the living? Was this what brought on his PTSD? What did these individuals do to threaten Abraham and his family to the point where he has to dispatch of them in such a brutal manner?

Though we do get glimpses of this past in the wonderfully directed episode "Self Help," an episode dedicated solely to us seeing the man that Abraham once was before he finally snapped would have given us better psychological insight into one of the show's more interesting characters. It must have been a considerable transformation if his family were so willing to abandon Abraham at this turn and request that he try not to find them (which, sadly, he does). Any chance of seeing a backstory to Abraham was cut short in the Season 7 premiere where, after a much anticipated confrontation, he had a date with Lucille.

5. Negan

'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]

In the show, Negan's story is currently untold. We know that he is the leader of The Saviors and that everybody (including his own team) lives in fear of him. He appears to want every last human being he meets to bow at his feet and does not care if this action is willing or otherwise. Surely a man of this title has a hell of a story to tell. How did he get here? Why is he so obsessed with dominance and why does he get such kicks from toying with his enemy? Common traits of a villain sure, but the story of how they became this way is usually far more interesting than what happened after they reached the top of the mountain.

Sadly, not even the comics can give you much in the way of an answer for this one, though Kirkman is slowly releasing small strips, revealing Negan's backstory as a high school gym teacher with a wife named Lucille. Will the show go in the same direction? If any villain deserves a backstory episode it should be #Negan. Let us enjoy his bad side for awhile before making him too human. He has a bloodthirsty, barbed wire bat and an army — let us fear him.

Watch more cool original content over at Movie Pilot video.

6. The Battle Of Atlanta/Soldier In The Tank

'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]

If the world of The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it is that in a zombie crisis you would be wise to avoid the big cities. The most populated areas would likely be overrun, and as such, the army would think about clearing these areas as fast as possible before it gets out of hand. A glimpse of this was shown in a Season 2 flashback where Shane makes his way through the hospital to protect a comatose Rick while soldiers clear out the area, shooting many along the way. This opening scene was perfect in giving us a small example of the kind of chaos the world fell victim to in the early days of the infection. But what of the city?

A fully budgeted, Walking Dead-produced battle between the army and Atlanta as they gradually learn, fight and fall to the walker invasion could have been one of the best Army vs. Zombie spectacles we would ever have seen. Frank Darabont had the idea to use the soldier from the very first episode as a main character in an episode that would have shown how he eventually ended up there. Would it have displayed such an epic battle between man and the undead? Would we have met other characters that could eventually pop up in the show? Most importantly: Would we have seen other episodes of a similar fashion had Darabont stayed beyond the early second season?

'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead [Credit: AMC]

Like so many of the characters and actors, Darabont sadly departed from the show, taking with him an idea that could have given the audience the biggest insight into the pre-apocalypse world of AMC's The Walking Dead.

Did you like the list? Can you think of any others I may have forgotten? Leave a comment below, or if you agree with the list, vote for which you would most like to see.

Poll

Which of the articles list would you most like to see as a standalone episode?