Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead.
It would appear we picked a good time to start these power rankings because it’s been a heck of a ride since the midseason premiere. After successfully completing their attack on Negan’s satellite camp and “safe house”, we saw the Alexandrians in a state of calm. We saw residents in their routines, Carol smoking, new relationships forming…Of course everything couldn’t stay hunky dory for long.
Besides the obvious climax of action toward the end, there was also an interesting parallel of development and focus between two characters specifically, Eugene and Denise. Unfortunately it all came to a halt for one of them…
This felt inevitable throughout the episode, didn’t it?
The things Denise was doing seemed admirable. She led Daryl and Rosita to a pharmacy to replenish on meds, killed a zombie, and found her orange soda. However, she didn’t have to go on the run. Her selling point was that she could identify all the meds, but Daryl and Rosita ended up taking everything anyway. She’s the community’s only doctor (outside of Dr. Harlan all the way at the Hilltop) and had a responsibility to stay safe for the rest of her people.
We learned a lot about what makes Denise tick in her final episode like her bad relationship with her parents, how Daryl reminds her of her twin brother, and how she cares about Rosita. Some of that counteracts how reckless she was in the episode, but ultimately Alexandria takes a serious hit with her loss.
Now for this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Daryl Dixon (Previously 1st)
Yay! Daryl got his crossbow back! Unfortunately, it came at the expense of someone he was growing closer too. Even with the toughest losses though, Daryl doesn’t seem to waiver in the toughest spots. Always dependable with whatever weapon he can access. The fact he can handle his bow way better than Dwight could says a lot as well.
You can also vote for Daryl in our TV Madness tournament here, as he’s made the Elite 8 and is facing off with ANOTHER Dwight (how about that for irony?).
2. Rick Grimes (Previously 2nd)
Continued lack of activity from Rick keeps him in second to Daryl, but nobody did anything to unseat him either. There was something to his exchange with Morgan though. First, it was a symbolic to see Morgan in the jail cell he was building while Rick feels free with his philosophy on the outside. He simply asks Morgan “why”, but doesn’t argue with him when the purpose is to have options when captives are taken. With Negan’s group seemingly knocking on the door, Rick’s leadership and decision making are going to be as valuable as ever.
3. Negan (Previously 5th)
It might be weird that someone who hasn’t even shown his face on the show yet is ranked so high, but let’s face it…every episode shows us how much more powerful Negan is. He has a Bond-villain amount of infinite henchmen apparently and Dwight acknowledges that The Saviors know where Alexandria is and have an idea of how nice it is inside. The writing is also on the wall that Denise is just the start for casualties Negan wants to make up for all the Saviors that were killed in the last 2 episodes.
4. Maggie Greene (Previously 3rd)
No face time for Maggie this week, but we know how important she is to the community. While Rick is clearly in charge of defense (and offense), Maggie is the glue and handles all diplomacy outside of Alexandria. Her hands are bloodier now after breaking out of Savior captivity and she seems to have picked up the torch that Carol has left behind.
5. Jesus (Previously 7th)
Alexandria is preparing for battle and that means they will have to rely heavily on their one ally community for help. Like Maggie, Jesus is the glue for The Hilltop and much handier in battle. If it’s all hands on deck, as things appear to be, they’ll need Jesus’s particular set of skills (Liam Neeson voice).
6. Michonne (Previously 8th)
In preparation for what seems to be a serious battle coming up, Alexandria needs it’s best warriors to shine and Michonne is as dangerous as anyone. Being as close as ever to Rick, she’ll have some influence on his decision making too.
7. Glenn Rhee (Previously 6th)
Well, Glenn’s a killer now…so that makes him a little more valuable in the heightened situations. He is also motivated by Maggie having his unborn child and won’t be held back to protect them both. We’ve seen a lot of potential foreshadowing though, and thing’s are going to get scary when Negan comes knocking.
8. Rosita Espinosa (Previously 13th)
Nice jump for Rosita, as she continues to show how capable she is with her scoped out assault rifle. She also saved Abraham’s ass in the latest Savior encounter, even when she has a reason not to. Denise’s speech before her demise may have sparked something in Rosita as well, to take a big step as the badass she can be.
9. Eugene Porter (Previously 15th)
“Welcome to Phase 2” and the Top 10, Eugene.
I like the mullet ponytail. It’s a nice look. I like his idea to mass produce bullets even more. His spat with Abraham was pretty lame and considering his past transgressions, he doesn’t have much of a right to talk down to the ginger-haired beefcake. Taking a chomp out of Dwight’s nether regions and “taking his moment” to distract the saviors was the most capable we’ve ever seen him in any of his skirmishes.
If he gets the bullet idea up and running, his value is going to be huge going forward.
10. Father Gabriel (Previously 10th)
I like this version of Father Gabriel a lot. Rather than hide behind his church doors, he’s protecting his people with a rifle. Sticks to his convictions and he’s ready to fight. Very interested to see how he steps up when trouble rolls in.
11. Abraham (Previously 17th)
There was a sigh of relief for TV and comic fans alike, as Abraham made it out of the episode unscathed. Eugene echoed some of my feelings about Abraham, saying he’s completed his mission and his arc should soon be over. Abraham showed up when it counted though, as the Saviors seemed to have Daryl, Rosita and Eugene dead to rights…Giving Eugene some respect was a big step, and making his move on Sasha was something we waited for as well.
12. Sasha (Previously 16th)
The image above was a powerful one to me, showing that Alexandria was preparing for what’s to come. Sasha also has the demeanor that simply says”Bring it”. By inviting Abraham in after he professes his feeling for her, she avoids conflict with him…but that may amplify it with Rosita in the near future.
13. Aaron (Previously 9th)
Aaron’s had the last couple weeks off, but he’s someone you can count on when stuff hits the fan. He proved that in the raid on the Saviors. Right now, you’re going to want to depend on people who are willing to get their hands dirty rather than the alternative. He’s also in lockstep with Rick.
14. Morgan Jones (Previously 20th)
For a while, it didn’t seem like Alexandria was big enough to keep both Morgan and Carol in it. Apparently we got our answer to that this week, but roles seem to have changed between the two. Morgan has been training for a fight and readying a cell for potential prisoners. Carol can’t kill, and we’ll get into that further down the list…
15. Carl Grimes (Previously 18th)
Carl’s played protecter without much airtime during the last month, seemingly, and now the fight is coming to him. I continue to hear animosity for the kid and I don’t think it’s warranted anymore. He’s on Rick’s side, he’s suffered enough, and he’s matured more than most on the show. When The Saviors inevitably show up at the door, I trust him more than anyone ranked after him.
16. Heath (Previously 12th)
I’m not totally sure if Heath will be back from his run in time to help anyone, but he’s better help than most if he does return. Participating in the raid and being forced to kill some of the Saviors helped him grow to be better prepared for those circumstances too.
17. Tara Chambers (Previously 11th)
Similar to Heath, I don’t know when she’s coming back because they are both on a run. I also don’t know how she is going to react to the death of her girlfriend. Will it be a catalyst for her to get some serious revenge, or will she turtle and lose her dependability that she’s been relied on for as of late?
18. Dwight (Previously 30th)
Biggest of jumps in the power rankings goes to Dwight for making his return and his presence known. After Daryl found his motorcycle, we had a feeling Dwight had been picked up by Negan. The “Two-Face” look makes me think he was punished for running off, and it’s interesting to see him have some authority among the Saviors after.
“D” still killed someone he wasn’t aiming for, and he failed to take anyone else in after having Daryl, Rosita, Eugene and Abraham completely outnumbered.
19. Doctor Harlan (Previously 24th)
Considering he’s now the only doctor between Alexandria and The Hilltop, I’d say he’s pretty valuable.
20. Enid (Previously 21st)
I may be in the minority, but I’ve been waiting for Enid’s return to the screen for a long time. How is her relationship with Carl now? Are she, Maggie and Glenn a “unit”? What happens when Negan attacks? I do know she’s a survivor, she’s proven that in this season and the last. You’ll also trust her abilities more than anyone else ranked after her at this point.
21. Tobin (Previously 22nd)
RIP #Carbin (The ship hashtag I made up for these not-so-lovebirds)
At least Tobin is around and has something to contribute by alerting everyone that one of their most valuable pieces has just up and left.
22. Spencer Monroe (Previously 23rd)
Look at Spencer, offering to cook dinner for Rosita and stuff. She really doesn’t seem cool with that, but I’d be down if he’s making something good.
Spencer is a question mark still. We haven’t seen him in action since putting down his zombie-mom. Is he going to step up when things get scary or is he going to fall apart? We’ll also see if this weird thing with Rosita effects him when it matters most.
23. Olivia (Previously 29th)
Olivia gets a boost after hanging around the bottom for most of these rankings. Mostly for just getting some face time, but also showing she’s still responsible of inventory and seemingly doing a good job of it.
24. Andy (Previously 14th)
Andy slides for inactivity, but I feel better about him for holding his own against the Saviors.
25. Eric Raleigh (Previously 25th)
Are Eric and Aaron still together? I don’t even know and if anyone’s going to go, it’s probably Eric, but at least he has stuck around…
26. Carol Peletier (Previously 4th)
Biggest slide of the rankings goes to Carol…
Why? Well, having an existential crisis at the worst possible time certainly doesn’t help. She fought Morgan (also at the worst possible time) over this debate to kill or not. She’s also bailing on her people when they will likely need her most…
People in Alexandria care about her, Rick and Daryl especially. If either choose to chase after her (the teaser for next week suggests Daryl does), that cripples Alexandria’s defenses and the community becomes vulnerable. If disaster strikes because of Carol, she’ll probably drop to last in these rankings. Negan’s forces are everywhere too. One can guess she’ll get caught by a troop and made an example of for it.
Sorry, Carol fans, but it’s hard to argue for her right now.
27. Baby Judith (Previously 26th)
Keep doing you, Judith.
28. Gregory (Previously 27th)
Gregory seems like the type to sellout Alexandria if given the opportunity
29. Cal (Previously 28th)
Still wielding a spear somewhere.
30. Freddie (Previously 32nd)
Still being just a guy who misses his wife.
31. Craig (Previously 33rd)
Does Craig have any value after Rick’s group killed dozens to save him? We’ll see but I doubt it.
Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.