Patricia (The Walking Dead)
|The Walking Dead character|
|First appearance||Issue #10 (comics)
"Bloodletting" (TV series)
|Last appearance||Issue #48 (comics)
"Beside the Dying Fire" (TV series)
|Portrayed by||Jane McNeill|
|Significant other(s)||Otis (lover)|
Comic book series
Patricia was Otis' incredibly naive and overly trusting girlfriend. She and Otis found their way to Hershel's farm after they discovered Wiltshire Estates overrun with the undead. The pair joined the survivors as they moved to the prison, and they broke up soon afterward. Her naiveté allowed the inmates of the prison to convince Patricia to help them take back the prison from Rick, though their plan was thwarted after Dexter was killed. Rick was wary of allowing Patricia to stay with the group but decided she was ultimately harmless. However, after Thomas killed Hershel's twin daughters, Patricia attempted to free him so the other survivors would not kill him. Thomas almost killed her soon afterward, but Patricia managed to fight him off until Maggie arrived and shot him. Patricia then became an outcast among the survivors but earned acceptance after volunteering for a blood transfusion to save Rick's life. She was shot and killed by a member of Woodbury during the final assault on the prison.
Fictional character biography
Patricia is a middle-aged woman who resides at the Greene farm along with her husband Otis. She has some limited medical skills, suggesting she was Hershel's veterinary technician, as she can administer I.V.'s, stitch superficial wounds, and prepare for surgeries, though not perform them herself. She is a quiet but helpful individual. In the episode "Bloodletting", Patricia is first shown on Hershel's farm, and is shocked to learn that Otis shot Carl. She assists Hershel with his medical equipment for Carl's surgery, restrains Carl during the surgery, and draws blood from Rick for a blood transfusion. She is greatly concerned for Otis's well-being, and tells him not to go with Shane to retrieve medical equipment from the high school. In the episode "Save the Last One", Patricia is seen attending to Carl, and treats T-Dog's injured arm. Shane later returns to the farm and informs everyone that Otis died; Patricia learns this news after Carl's operation and is deeply distraught over Otis' death. In the episode "Cherokee Rose", a funeral is held for Otis, and Patricia asks Shane to talk about Otis's last moments, hoping that his death had some meaning. Shane had shot Otis and left him for dead to save his own life, but he tells them that Otis sacrificed his life so that Shane could bring the medicine to Carl, and this comforts Patricia. In the episode "Chupacabra", she befriends Lori and Carol, and helps them and Beth prepare a dinner that they want to make, to thank Hershel and his family for their hospitality. The ensuing meal however is awkward. Glenn, attempting to break the silence, asks if anyone can play the guitar. Patricia resentfully replies that Otis was the only one who could. In the episode "Secrets", Patricia breaks the legs of several chickens, puts them into a potato sack, and carries them to the barn to feed the walkers who are being kept there. Later, she and Beth begin gun training with Rick and Shane. In the episode "Pretty Much Dead Already", Shane tells everyone that the walkers in the barn are not the friends and family they once knew, that they are no longer human. He breaks open the lock on the barn and lets the walkers out, and the armed members of the group shoot them all in the head. Patricia stands quietly next to the Greene family as they watch in horror. In the episode "Nebraska", Patricia helps Beth after she is devastated by watching her mother (as a walker) die again, and assists her when she faints from shock. In the episode "Triggerfinger", she continues to assist Beth, and when Hershel returns to the farm with Randall as a prisoner, she helps with emergency surgery for Randall's injured leg. In the episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner", the group discusses what to do with Randall, she wants to know if he will suffer if they execute him, but she stays quiet when asked to make a final decision. She is with the group that finds Dale after his is attacked by a walker, and witnesses Daryl putting Dale out of his misery. In the episode "Better Angels", she is seen attending Dale's funeral. In the season finale "Beside the Dying Fire", walkers overrun the farm, and Patricia attempts to escape the farm with Lori, Beth, and Carol. Before she can make it to the car, a walker grabs her and bites her, and more walkers attack her and they devour her alive.
Development and reception
In early June 2011, Jane McNeill was performing in a local play, "The Hallelujah Girls," when she received an e-mail offering her a three-episode audition for the second season of The Walking Dead. She auditioned for the part of Patricia. Three weeks later, the day before a family trip to New York City, McNeill learned that the role was between either her or a second actress. The next day, McNeill learned she had gotten the part shorty after her plane landed in New York. McNeill's original three episode role expanded to include the second season. She filmed episodes of The Walking Dead every two weeks from July to November 2011. Filming for season two wrapped in November 2011.
Writing in his review for "Secrets" for Cinema Blend, Nick Venable mentions the scene where Patricia feeds live chickens to the barn full of walkers, commenting that "Patricia breaking the chickens’ legs first is perhaps the smartest moment in this whole series." Andrew Conrad of The Baltimore Sun instead referred to the scene as the biggest waste of resources: "Hey Patty, why don't you just dump all of the beer down the toilet while you're at it? As if it wasn't bad enough, she also breaks their legs before sending them to their deaths. She is one sick puppy, ain't she?"
The second season finale, "Beside the Dying Fire", features the deaths of Patricia and Jimmy, who were both consumed by walkers. The episode's script initially called for the death of Hershel as well, but since Robert Kirkman felt that there was a lot of potential development in Hershel, his death was scrapped from the script. When asked how their deaths would affect Hershel, Glen Mazzara responded: "Moving forward, he understands what it's like to live in this world and he's willing to just lock himself in a car and just wait for them to show up. He's already lost everything and he's interested in moving on."
Writing for Paste, Josh Jackson felt that the "biggest surprises" of the episode were not the deaths of Patricia and Jimmy, but rather the survival of Hershel, "who seemed like a captain resigned to go down with his ship". Time journalist Nate Rawlings called the deaths of Jimmy and Patricia "two of the most brutal zombie attacks we’ve seen in awhile [sic]", but added that "we didn’t care about Patricia and Jimmy; they were minor figures, and we won’t miss them". Aaron Rutzkoff of The Wall Street Journal commented that "the survivors got away without too high a butcher’s bill. And from the perspective of the show, [Patricia and Jimmy] are extremely minor characters." Digital Spy's Morgan Jeffery thought that the episode was lacking "a significant character death", noting that Jimmy and Patricia "were never anything more than background characters". Zach Handlen of The A.V. Club said that "no one major" died, calling Patricia and Jimmy "the last of Hershel’s “I know he had more family than Maggie and Beth, but what were their names again?” brood". The Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan felt that "the show has finally gotten rid of a bunch of characters, some of whom were annoying, some of whom were merely unmemorable. So long, Jimmy! So long, Patricia! No idea who you were, but, er, happy trails in the afterlife!"
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