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Five "Walking Dead" Backstories We Deserve

"The Walking Dead" is a post-apocalyptic drama on AMC, based on the series of graphic novels of the same name. The show begins a few months after the collapse of society, and for several seasons we have followed our heroes through all manner of zombie and human horrors. Countless characters have been introduced and killed off, in heinously gory ways. The webisodes sought to bring us some backstories we didn't know we wanted, like the origin of Bike Torso Lady or the hospital "Don't Open Dead Inside" doors. But every once in a while we get a character or group whose backstory seems so juicy, you're left sadly crying into your wineglass over what could have been. Fingers crossed for some high-quality fanfic, yall.

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5. Helicopter Army Dudes and Convoy

AMC / Via

Yo you 'member the crashed helicopter Andrea and Michonne see right before Merle catches them and takes them to Woodbury. You 'member.

The pilot survives the crash but the other soldiers are stabbed in the head where they lay by the Governor's crew. Later, the Governor slaughters the other soldiers who were in the convoy, taking their supplies back to Woodbury. Were these the sole survivors of a safe zone overrun? Were they among the soldiers ordered to abandon safe zones (a practice depicted in the spinoff, FearTWD)? We encounter several former military personnel but never a whole group of survivors with military experience.

Also quick question: are your noisy-asses the very same chopper blades responsible for the megaherd out of Atlanta heading towards Hershel's farm at the end of season 2?

4. Alisha

AMC / Via

Alisha is the female army reservist in the group Martinez leads post-Woodbury. Her queer identity is implied when she and Tara become romantically involved. What brought her into the motley crew we see Martinez leading? Was she stationed at a safe zone? Or was she evacuated like a civilian?

After the Governor takes over, she joins the raid on the prison. Stopped in her tracks by the presence of Lizzie and Mika, in a split second she must have realized the prison residents were not all vicious killers. Unfortunately for her, Lizzie is a crack shot.

3. Paula

AMC / Via

Paula, one of Negan's lieutenants, hints at her origin story while interrogating Carol and Maggie. She was a secretary before the outbreak, and, trapped in the physical and bureaucratic gridlock of the evacuations of DC, she ended up with her boss. Her boss wouldn't let her seek out her family, so she killed him. We don't have much else to go on, but in TWD universe there's usually a build-up to someone being willing to kill a living human. Paula's story might suggest she had resolved to do whatever it would take very early on after the outbreak since her first human kill was someone in her original surviving group.

2. Martinez

AMC / Via

Martinez is just such an enigma. He was one of the few Woodbury characters we actually got a real feel for, and I recall often how Andrea was unwilling to kill the Governor for fear Martinez would be next in command. Every depiction of Martinez suggests he was not malicious or sociopathic in his actions, in the same manner as the Governor. We know nothing of his past, except that, like everyone we encounter, he lost people close to him and thus channels his grief into violently killing walkers. This character solidified his place in the cavity which once held my heart during his exchange with Daryl while Rick and the Governor have their first encounter. He is rational, and remorseful, but heeded all the Governor's orders loyally to serve Woodbury. By the time he took over the group at the river, he had evolved into the leader they needed: practical but personable. His arc parallel's Daryl's in his growth from simply "the muscle" to true leader. Welcoming his former boss and offering to share leadership duties, his magnanimity is ultimately his downfall.

1. Los Vatos

AMC / Via

These young men were the first time we encounter a group whose outward presentation hides their true motives, and it's the only time such hidden motives are morally positive. Our group sees a bunch of armed young men of color, and they, and we as viewers, are led to make an assumption...Oh they must be the remnants of a street gang. They must be "the bad guys."


They risked their lives every day to protect a community of elderly and disabled persons who were literally left behind in the evacuations like GARBAGE. Most of their carers abandoned them, and the only people to show any compassion to this community were the young men-presumed-thugs. Guillermo was a custodian, and Felipe was a nurse. The rest of the able-bodied are survivors who trickled in to check on family or otherwise sought refuge with the growing group. We can infer a few really wonderful things about the Vatos, things that keep our hope in humanity alive, as we catch a glimpses of this group. This is especially stark in the moments of tenderness between the Vatos and their charges. (Their "don't judge a book" narrative is echoed somewhat in Glenn's season 3 recollection of T-Dog driving his church van to evacuate the elderly of his neighborhood who had been left behind.) This group is the group I cling to as strongly as our main protagonists, yet we were only blessed with these wonderful humans for one measly episode. In a rumored deleted scene, a later character mentions a site with similar description had been overrun relatively recently. Also rumored, a season 2 episode may have intended to have our heroes return to the Vatos stronghold, finding it overrun. If this was indeed the fate of our beloved Vatos..well...I for one think they deserved better.

I will never get over Los Vatos. Never.

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