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We're entering the homestretch of the first season of SYFY's Day of the Dead, and things could not be messier in Mawinhawken right now. The zombies are multiplying, the townspeople are dwindling, and Cam is still wearing those blood-stained cargo shorts. To make matters worse, we learned about the legend of a monster that plagued the indigenous Lenape tribe and began killing everyone in town, until the white settlers decided to imprison this beast in a hole ‒ instead of destroying it, as they should have.
Basically, that zombie in the hole from Episode 1 was actually The Monster, and by infecting McDermott he transferred whatever super zombie powers he had to our former cop. Not a great turn of events for our sleepy little Pennsylvania town!
As always, our 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 in the dumpster with Trey? Time to rank!
1. Sarah Blackwood
After not appearing in Episode 6, Blackwood made a resounding comeback by learning the legend of the Mawinhawken zombie while resting at her grandmother's secluded house in the woods. Blackwood now holds the key to potentially ending this zombie apocalypse, and because of that, she has to be No. 1 on our list. I've written before about her intuitive prowess, so if there's one character who could figure out how to rescue Mawinhawken based on the legend of the monster, it's her.
2. Jai Fisher
I hear wedding bells! Jai and Amy patched up their relationship, hugged it out, and got married in a Paymart at the end of this episode. Look, it's not a five-star country club, but at least no wedding guests were eaten this time. Jai has become a new person in these last couple of episodes; he's a confident doctor, a (now) loving husband, and generally someone you would trust in the midst of an undead apocalypse. He may not be a flashy character, but he's grounded in what he believes in ‒ and that's invaluable.
3. Luke Bowman
Similar to Jai, Luke is finally speaking out and taking control of his life (well, as much as someone can take control of their life while trapped inside a store during a zombie outbreak). After Paula gives an impassioned ‒ but phony ‒ speech about the power of love following Jai and Amy's wedding, Luke finally calls her out in front of everybody. "I can't even breathe around you without feeling like a failure," he says to Paula. "I wish for just one second I wasn't letting you down. Like I could actually be who I am around you." After Paula asks him what that means, he comes out as gay and storms off. This was a major week for Luke and a testament to his resiliency.
4. Zombie McDermott
History is being made, folks, as Zombie McDermott has officially become the first dead person to crack our Power Rankings. It took a lot of guts (literally), but he finally proved to all of the naysayers and doubters that you don't necessarily have to be alive and/or fully conscious to make our coveted list. In this episode alone, Zombie McDermott escaped from Dr. Logan's cage, displayed the necessary motor skills required to pick up a gun and outsmart Rhodes, and killed two Cleargenix security guards without breaking a sweat. Now that's how you vault yourself onto this list. He also may or may not be the inheritor of the legendary Mawinhawken monster's super powers, so he very well could be No. 1 as soon as next week.
5. Cam McDermott
Coming in at the No. 5 spot is the non-zombie member of the McDemott family, Cam. Our archetypal high school slacker has had a pretty consistent run so far ‒ for the most part, he's managed to stay out of danger and be a reliable helping hand when called upon. Of course, he doesn't possess the medical knowledge of Jai or the fighting tactics of Blackwood, so he's limited in that regard. But though he might have a "low ceiling," he has a "high floor," meaning his worst day on the job of staying alive is better than most people's. Pencil him in as someone who has a good chance of making it out of this apocalypse.
6. Lauren Howell
Dropping a few spots this week is Lauren, who finally started showing signs of her zombie bite from way back in Episode 2. Although that infamous attack feels like it happened a long time ago, it was actually only hours prior to the events of this episode; after all, this show is called Day of the Dead, not Year of the Dead. We see her right hand start to shake uncontrollably and act almost like it has a mind of its own ‒ Lauren notices this too, but fails to tell anyone (probably out of fear that someone would potentially want to kill her before she fully transforms into a zombie). Does she try to cure herself? How would she even do that? Does she tell Cam, her best friend? What could he do to help her, besides maybe grab her a lukewarm beer from the drinks aisle? Either way, Lauren is in a tough spot.
7. Mayor Paula Bowman
This was a rough, but inevitable, episode for Paula. The tension between her and her son, Luke, had been boiling for weeks now, and after Trey's death it finally came to a fiery explosion. Basically, Luke exposed her as a self-centered politician who cares more about her career than her family in front of the entire town. For those counting at home, that's probably going to knock her mayoral approval rating down just a little bit. In all honesty, though, Paula is a widow who has a fractured relationship with her only child in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. That really sucks. Here's hoping she can turn things around soon.
Was anyone surprised that McDermott, a literal dead person, outwitted Rhodes, a fully alive person? I don't think so. Rhodes spent this episode taunting Zombie McDermott and then promptly running away from him and cowering in fear the second he escaped from his cage. The last we saw of Rhodes he was hiding behind the corpse of a security guard while Zombie McDermott was stalking the hallways for him, so he's currently doing the opposite of "well."
Like every week, Herb continues to be ‒ and, pardon my French ‒ an insensitive jerk with a debilitating zombie wound. He seems to be doing much worse physically than Lauren, so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the town reacts to his condition when they ultimately find out about it. For now, he's seemingly content making snide comments to Lauren even as she stitches up his cut. Never change, Herb.
REST IN (ZOMBIEFIED) PEACE
Each week, we will also pay homage to our fearless characters who are no longer with us.
The Cleargenix Security Team
Who hired these guys to guard such an important facility? They had a two-on-one advantage against Zombie McDermott and were killed quicker than you can say "Wait, where was Dr. Logan during this episode?