‘The Walking Dead’: Unfinished Storylines That Were Never Resolved

The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead have been on the air for over six years, and in that time, fans have watched countless stories play out on-screen. Rick Grimes and his band of increasingly traumatized fellow survivors have lived in multiple locations, traveled from Georgia to Virginia, and encountered hundreds of others who are also doing their best to stay safe. Likewise, Maddie and her crew have looked on land and sea for a place they can rest their weary bones and stay safe from the undead.

Given how much ground the series has covered, it would be nearly impossible for the series’ creators to wrap up every single story with a neat and tidy bow. Still, there are a few threads that we still wonder about — and even a couple that never even really got started. Here are five storylines from The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead that never got resolved.

1. Did the Vatos keep the nursing home safe?

A scene from 'The Walking Dead' episode "Vatos"

The Walking Dead | AMC

Early in The Walking Dead’s first season, Rick and his newfound friends encountered a seemingly dangerous band of survivors in Atlanta. In one of the series’ most clever plot twists, the group — led by Guillermo — was simply trying to keep the elderly residents at a nearby nursing home alive. It was a touching momentAnd it helped us remember that humanity is important, even in the most volatile of times.

But unfortunately, we never got to find out whether the Vatos were able to keep their good thing going. Of course, it makes sense that the two groups wouldn’t cross paths again. And there is something comforting about being able to imagine that while chaos reigns supreme outside the nursing home’s walls, inside it’s still a safe haven. Still, we’ll likely never know how it all turned out for them — and that’s definitely a bummer.

2. So how did the apocalypse start, exactly?

Dr. Edwin Jenner and Rick Grimes hug

Dr. Edwin Jenner and Rick Grimes | AMC

The Walking Dead dropped us straight into the middle of the zombie apocalypse. So we never got a chance to really understand the hows and whys surrounding the legions of undead that suddenly began walking the earth. The series teased out a big of background information in the last episode of Season 1. Dr. Jenner, a CDC researcher, walked Rick and his friends through the science behind how someone becomes a zombie.

He also dropped a major bit of information on Rick, something we didn’t learn until Season 2. Jenner revealed that all humans will become walkers after they die. But any hopes that fans had of figuring out what caused the outbreak were squashed when Jenner blew up the CDC laboratory.

And it’s unlikely we’ll ever get any more information on that front. Series creator Robert Kirkman has hinted that he knows how it started. But he feels that any effort to offer an explanation “would bring the comic into the realm of science fiction and I don’t think that would be necessary.”

3. How’s it going over at Grady Memorial Hospital?

Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Beth Green (Emily Kinney) Dr. Edwards (Erik Jensen) and Dawn (Christine Woods)

The Walking Dead | AMC

Like most locations in The Walking Dead, Grady Memorial Hospital at first seemed like a pretty safe place to hang out. Then, Beth realized that the people running it were up to some pretty sinister stuff. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it out alive — though Noah and Carol did — but at least she managed to take out Dawn before she died. Still, that leaves pretty much everyone else still at the hospital. They did have a pretty good setup going; being elevated and away from the streets definitely isn’t a bad strategy in avoiding the brunt of the zombie apocalypse.

We’ll likely never know if the group at Grady managed to keep it together, or if they, too, were overrun; but given the amount of time that viewers spent there, it wouldn’t have been terrible to get a bit more closure on that crew.

4. How are the pirates doing?

Alex (Michelle Ang) in a scene from 'Fear the Walking Dead'

Fear the Walking Dead | AMC

Fear the Walking Dead spent the better half of early Season 2 on the water. During that time, Maddie, Travis, and the rest of their family and friends met more than a few interesting characters. One group, in particular, was pretty intriguing — the pirates that included the Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462 survivor, Alex.

Up until their introduction into the series, the idea of mixing pirates and zombies didn’t seem all that plausible. But the pirates’ method of scavenging for supplies is actually as good as any other in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Unfortunately, we barely got to know the pirates — the two groups parted ways pretty quickly. Now, Maddie and company are once again landlocked. So it seems pretty implausible that we’ll see how Alex and her friends continued to fare. But it would have been cool to see more of their adventures.

5. What was up with the soldier in the tank?

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) encounters an undead soldier in a scene from 'The Walking Dead'

The Walking Dead | AMC

This storyline was so brief, you probably didn’t even realize it was happening. In the closing moments of the series’ first episode, Rick crawled into a military tank and encountered an undead soldier. He shot and re-killed the zombie. Then, a few minutes later, he met Glenn and the rest is Walking Dead history.

Apparently, that soldier was meant to play a much bigger role in TWD, though. Original showrunner Frank Darabont planned to open the second season with a flashback. It would focus on the soldier and his fellow military men as they tried to keep Atlanta from being overrun by zombies. Then, Darabont was fired from the series, and that storyline was dropped entirely. Taking the series in a different creative direction wasn’t necessarily a bad idea. But it is disappointing to know that we could have had an insider’s glimpse into the unfolding mayhem if the series had stayed true to Darabont’s original vision.

Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.

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