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SYFY WIRE Day of the Dead

Who's winning the apocalypse? Day of the Dead Power Rankings, Episode 4, 'Forest of the Damned'

A big week from McDermott and a tough outing for Jai and Luke have our rankings all shaken up. Which Mawinhawken residents are going to survive this zombie apocalypse?

By John Albinson
Day of the Dead 104 Still

Greetings, fellow zombie killers! As established last week, SYFY is celebrating its new original series Day of the Dead by releasing a weekly set of character Power Rankings after each new episode airs on Friday nights at 10/9c.

How to Watch

Catch up on Day of the Dead on the SYFY app.

Power Rankings are our way of sorting out all of the intertwining plotlines and character developments in Day of the Dead’s brain-splattering glory: Who is in the best position to survive this undead invasion? Who has the most momentum? Who is most likely to end up with their head on a platter for a bunch of hungry zombies?

With all of the uncertainty and chaos surrounding our Mawinhawken residents, let’s get ranking!

1. Dr. Logan

Our mysterious doctor finds herself atop the Power Rankings for the second week in a row. Although she ended the episode with McDermott pointing a gun to her head (more on him later), we finally got a deeper glimpse into what exactly Dr. Logan is up to in that secret lab of hers. It seems like she’s studying whatever disease is turning Mawinhawken’s deceased into zombies: “This thing is a cure for death,” she exclaims when observing cells under a microscope. Look, she might not exactly be a good person, but we're not so sure she’s a horrible one, either. With science and a heavy security team behind her, it’s going to take a lot more than one rogue cop to knock her off the top spot.

2. McDermott

Which brings us to our silver medalist this week, McDermott. After a being trapped in Dr. Logan’s secret hospital room in the last episode, our fearless detective broke out and went on a violent, stumbling tear through the Cleargenix facility, desperately seeking answers. He got into a scuffle with a security guard who managed to inject him with a mysterious syringe before McDermott took it from him and murdered him with it (bonus points for the stylish kill), and we last saw him holding Dr. Logan hostage as he demanded to know what in the name of George A. Romero was going on in this creepy facility. McDermott definitely made the biggest leap from Episode 3 to Episode 4 with an MVP-like performance in this installment, and looks to have the most momentum out of any character on this show. Let’s just hope that missing finger doesn’t come back to haunt him.

3. Sarah Blackwood

The Sarah Blackwood Revenge Tour continued this week as we saw her sneak into the Cleargenix facility with a rifle in hand and redemption on her mind. After escaping from her corrupt foreman, Rhodes, in Episode 3, Blackwood was not messing around in this episode. She single-handedly beat up a security guard on her way to finding Dr. Logan and McDermott in a standoff, where the episode closed for that trio. Where did she learn to fight like that? Where did she get that gun? Why are the Cleargenix security guards so bad at fighting? Who knows! But we saw enough to know that Blackwood is not a character who will be easily defeated.

4. Cam and Lauren

Our young duo found themselves at an emotional crossroads in this episode. Cam spent the majority of it sulking in his dad’s police office and existentially pondering the nature of his relationship with his disappeared father. He may not have encountered any zombies, but a fractured parental connection is clearly just as devastating as an undead invasion. Similarly, Lauren found herself reminiscing on her troubled past, which apparently includes a prison stint. All we know about that is that Jai had something to do with it — and that she has not yet healed from it emotionally. It’s easy to forget that even without the hordes of zombies that want nothing more than to tear them limb from limb, life is always tough for teenagers living in a small town.

5. Mayor Paula Bowman

It was a relatively quiet week for our boisterous Mayor after last episode saw her murder a zombie with a flagpole. Paula spent the majority of Episode 4 yelling at town officials and complaining about the election (remind you of anyone?). It certainly seems like Mayor Bowman is trending downwards at this point: Not only does the police captain accuse her of running a divisive campaign, but she also has to worry about Pops leaking her secret out that Trey is not Luke’s biological father. Add into the mix that Zombie Nicole is most definitely going to try and eat her brains out, and the future is not looking bright for Mrs. Mayor.

6. Jai

Honestly, Jai and Amy’s wedding would have been a bigger disaster without the zombie invasion. He owes these hungry dead guys big time because they’re probably going to save him from entering an unhappy marriage with a fiancée who openly likes her best friend more than him. Also, can whichever zombie that eats his father-in-law be the best man at his next wedding? And yes, there’s still a decent chance Jai himself could get eaten, but at least it will be on his own terms.

7. Luke and Trent

After finding their fellow Senior Skip Day partygoers devoured by the undead, Mawinhawken’s two frattiest dudes spent this episode running from zombies in the middle of the forest which, admittedly, is probably more fun than drinking foamy keg beer while sitting on a tree stump. TV’s foremost burgeoning bromance took a hit, though, as Trent ditched Luke just as the two of them were getting cornered on a bridge by a pack of flesh-eaters. Will Luke escape zombie’d death for a second week in a row? Will Trent finally find somewhere to party? These are the questions that need answering.

8. Amy, Herb, and Sean

Give it up for the world’s worst wedding party. A bride who’s not-so-secretly in love with her best friend and a father who would rather hit the open bar than say anything remotely positive. After revealing that the zombies had made their way to the wedding in the closing scene of this episode, we’d bet all our Cleargenix stock that these three are on the menu for next week. 


Each week, we will also pay homage to our fearless characters who are no longer with us.

The Wedding Photo Booth

These poor wedding-goers just wanted to take a couple goofy pictures to kill some time before Jai and Amy hit the aisle and said their “I do's.” Now, they will forever be immortalized as the people who spent their last moments thinking of which ironic pose would get more likes on Instagram (early 2010’s duck face selfie or Charlie’s Angels finger guns?).