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Another week, another power ranking. Episode 8 of SYFY's Day of the Dead, "To Anyone Who Can Hear My Voice," saw our intrepid heroes finally venture out of their superstore shelter and back into the zombie-addled town of Mawinhawken. And, let us tell you, it was just as harrowing as you'd imagined. Hordes of the undead roamed the streets like a nightmarish version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; even the zombified version of the high school football team made an appearance. All of this brain-splattering glory made for a particularly exciting episode, and more importantly, it shook our Power Rankings to the very core.
As per usual, the weekly Power Rankings look to answer these questions: Who is in the best position to survive this zombie apocalypse? Who has the most momentum? Who is most likely to end up strapped to a gurney in the back of Paymart like Bobby Hart?
Without further ado, it's time to rank!
1. Sarah Blackwood
A rather heroic week for most of our protagonists made for a difficult decision, but ultimately we had to go with Blackwood in the top spot. For starters, she still holds the key to stopping this whole zombie mess: she knows the legend of the Mawinhawken monster, which is more than anyone else can say. And though Lauren still firmly believes it was Blackwood who caused the car accident between her and Paula, it's Blackwood who emerges from the wreck with the confidence of an experienced fighter. She leads Lauren, Paula, Jai, Cam, and Luke into an abandoned restaurant where she vows to Cam that his father did not die in vain – and that she will protect him going forward. Although the episode ends with her hiding from a military vehicle that the other five eagerly jump into, there's never a doubt that she won't figure out how to maneuver herself through this undead invasion.
2. Mayor Patricia Bowman
A rocky episode for Mayor Bowman with some high highs and some low lows. The highs? She went into Super Mom mode, busted out of Paymart, and dramatically saved Luke and Cam by shooting up a parking lot full of zombies, Tarantino style. The lows? Well, she still hasn't given her own son the acceptance he desperately seeks from her after he came out as gay in Episode 7. Their fractured relationship has gotten worse each week, and at this point, it's almost irreparable. Patricia clearly considers herself the leader of Mawinhawken and the one responsible for its safety – but at some point, she'll have to realize that Luke is not just another townsperson whose vote she needs. He's her son.
3. Luke Bowman
As we just mentioned, Luke had a tough week. He impulsively left Paymart, drove away with Cam, crashed his car in the middle of the zombie-infested downtown area, and then had to have his Lauren, Jai, and his Paula save him. And then, of course, he learned that his mother still won't accept him for who he is quite just yet. So why is he No. 3, you might ask? Because he's resilient. In the span of two episodes, he's lost his father, he's been slapped by his mother, and he came out – all amidst a zombie apocalypse. Luke may not be a savvy fighter or a sharp battle strategist, but he's holding his own with the odds majorly stacked against him.
4. Cam McDermott
Similarly to Luke, Cam had a tough episode emotionally. He finally saw his father in zombie form after assuming he had been fine all this time, and of course, he immediately felt horrible. Could he have prevented this? No. But when you're alive and your dad is a stumbling, undead version of himself, there's going to be an inherent sense of survivor's guilt. Cam also had to come to terms with the fact that when he and Luke had been friends last year, he had been unknowingly adding stress to Luke's life – and not supporting him, as he thought – by pressuring him to come out.
Thankfully, the two make up in this episode, but it only reinforces the show's theme of consequence. Just because you think you've done right – or, rather, you think your actions will be of no relative importance – doesn't mean there won't be consequences for someone else. Just look at the white men who thought they were doing right by not murdering the Mawinhawken monster and inadvertently causing this zombie apocalypse hundreds of years later. Or Mayor Bowman using a lone zombie as a prop to further her political beliefs, and then that zombie killing her own husband. This show is haunted by humanity's own actions, on both a large and small scale.
5. Jai Fisher
After volunteering himself to venture out into the open with Paula, Jai grabbed a gun and a First Aid kit and never looked back. Mawinhawken's finest doctor couldn't save Bobby Hart from a doomed fate, but that doesn't mean he won't die trying to save every last resident he can find. This zombie apocalypse has changed a lot of people, but Jai's character transformation might be the most dramatic: He started off the day as a nervous doctor in a rocky relationship and over the course of a few adrenaline-filled hours has transformed into a gun-toting, life-saving ER specialist in a flourishing marriage. Jai can thank the zombies for that.
6. Lauren Howell
A quiet episode for Lauren, but as we say in the zombie business – if you're not dead, you're doing okay. And that's exactly how Lauren is doing! For now, at least. Remember that zombie bite she got all the way back in Episode 2? Yeah, well, she's kinda freaking out about it. And, I mean, who wouldn't? Although she has seemed pretty much fine through the first eight episodes, that wound is going to come back to bite her (No pun intended). Unless Dr. Logan injects her with a magic anti-zombie vaccine, Lauren might be crawling around Mawinhawken very soon.
7. Pops Parker
Man, is this dude a bad politician or what? Clearly, he's familiar with The Trolley Problem, because he unflinchingly chose to let two Pennsylvania State Troopers on the outside of Paymart die than open the doors to let them in and risk his residents' lives. We can debate all we want about which was the safer option – it might very well have been the former. But the fact that he didn't even think about saving the State Troopers for a single second shows his phoniness as the self-proclaimed "peaceful" mayoral candidate he claims to be.
REST IN (ZOMBIFIED) PEACE
The best-dressed man in Mawinhawken died doing what he loved: sniping zombies from the roof of Paymart. Well, technically, he died inside the Paymart an hour later, but you know what we mean. Although this series will dearly miss his out-of-place Southern accent, at least he's finally reunited with his beloved "Pee-Paw." RIP to an icon.
This episode saw the destruction of Lauren, Blackwood and Cam's cars. Look, guys, we know that most of Mawinhawken is dead, but that doesn't mean the rules of the road are.