During Season 6 of The Walking Dead, Denise made a grisly discovery in the back room of an apothecary when she found evidence of a mother who had killed her own baby. I wrote about the infamous "hush hush" scene over here, but afterwards it got me thinking about all the other times that #TheWalkingDead has shown us a little insight into how other groups reacted to the apocalypse.
Right from the very first episode of the series, The Walking Dead established that it is a show about people far more than a show about zombies, and the inclusion of all of these small subplots have only proven that time and time again.
Take a look below at some of dark subplots that have stuck in my mind over the duration of the show, and really helped to show the agonizing human reaction to the scariness of a worldwide apocalypse:
1. Season 1, Episode 1 - Farm house murder-suicide
Right from the very first episode, we got an insight into how people were reacting to the outbreak. In "Days Gone Bye," after Rick leaves Morgan and Duane, he runs out of gas and sets off to find more. After ending up at a farm house he looks through the window and sees that the two occupants are dead. What's even worse is that it's pretty obvious that the pair had a murder-suicide pact, with the husband killing his wife, writing the phrase "GOD FORGIVE US" on the wall, and then turning the gun on himself.
2. Season 2, Episode 3 - Camping trip gone wrong
Daryl and Andrea stumbled on this sad little story while out looking in the woods for Sophia. While searching the pair come across a campsite and notice that a walker is hanging from a tree, his feet having been torn at by other walkers. Underneath the walker is a note that reads "Got bit. Fever hit. World gone to shit. Might as well quit." indicating that he had tried to commit suicide. Unfortunately though, as Daryl noted the "dumbass didn't know enough to shoot himself in the head," and despite the campers best intentions, his lack of knowledge let him down and he reanimated.
3. Season 4, Episode 6 - Backgammon Bill
After losing Woodbury, the Governor reinvented himself as Brian Heriot and meets the Chambler family. David Chambler asks "Brian" to recover a backgammon set for him that his old war buddy Bill Jenkin had. However after the Governor finds the backgammon set, he hears a noise which leads him to the bathtub where an undead Bill sits with a revolver in his hand. Bill (who seemed to have been wheelchair bound) had obviously realized his days were numbered and tried to kill himself, only to miss his brain and doom himself to a lifetime of being undead.
4. Season 4, Episode 11 - Slumbering children
After reuniting with the Grimes men, Michonne and Carl go on a supply run while Rick stays behind to rest. While clearing out a house, Michonne finds a children's bedroom with what looks like four dead children laid out on the beds. But what is most haunting is that these children were obviously killed with either a gunshot or a knife to the head, due to the fact that we see blood on their pillows, and also because they haven't reanimated. Then the camera pans to the corner of the room and you see their mother, who shot herself in the head after murdering all her children.
5. Season 6, Episode 6 - Life insurance
After being separated from Daryl, Sasha and Abraham hole up in an auto insurance office where they find one of the workers locked inside an office having turned into a walker. On the whiteboard in the room, prior to turning the man had written "proud to have provided value. I pray for the world. keep going. Stay cheerful. The bites kill." While it wasn't exactly confirmed how the man died, judging by what he wrote, it was possibly due to a bite. Another little insight into this man's life came when Abraham found what was possibly his military dress uniform.
'The Walking Dead' returns to AMC with Season 8 on October 22, 2017.
Which subplot do you find the most interesting?