By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
Let’s jump right into it. We’re going to debate for the next week whether or not Glenn is dead (or two weeks, depending on whether or not next week is a Morgan flashback episode). If he really is dead, that was an absurd way for him to go out. Glenn is, or was, a good person. He’s the person who is always willing to look past a person’s faults, to always give the second chance. If he is indeed dead, it’s fitting – and really fucking depressing – that it happened because of Glenn’s latest redemption project. It’s even more depressing that no one in the group will ever know for sure whether or not Glenn is dead. He had a giant heard of walkers on top of him. There will be nothing left of him to find. There will always be doubt in the minds of the group. Maggie will never be able to accept it. Hell, the audience will never be able to truly accept it (get ready for rumor upon rumor of Steven Yeun coming back to show). What’s worse is that Glenn’s apparent death was kind of pointless. For a main character, and a fan-favorite, to go out the way he did does little to serve the story. He’s just gone.
But again, this is only if Glenn is really dead.
Michonne and Heath
There is still tension between Rick’s group and the Alexandrians. We learned last season from Nicholas and his group that merely going outside the walls and making supply runs didn’t really make you a survivor. The subtext was there, but tonight it was verbalized by Michonne. We know that the group has been through hell since the start of the outbreak, but now we are starting to learn that their story is unique even in the walker apocalypse. Not everyone has had to deal with their own Governor or Terminus. Some groups have managed to just get by. The Alexandria Safe Zone is one of those groups. The Wolves are the first real crisis they’ve had to deal with. Soon, the people of Alexandria will have to be able to relate to Rick and his group in ways they never thought possible, and they will learn that they need Rick and his group if they want to make it.
With everything going on this season, it’s hard to believe that it’s all happened in one day (not counting the episode one flashbacks). It’s an odd choice by the writers, but I have a feeling this day will be a defining moment for both groups. I don’t know why they’re choosing to drag it out over so many episodes, but I like the way it’s being done. Virtually every minute of every episode this season has had an action beat. That’s a dramatic change from seasons past. For some reason, the writers are forgoing any significant character development in favor of a more violent narrative. Given the way Glenn may have died tonight, I’m wondering if the message is supposed to be that no one is important enough to get to know right now. Three characters that we hardly knew died tonight, plus Nicholas and Glenn (maybe). Everyone seems to be fodder for the writers right now. If so, that makes a show about zombies even more bleak.
Thanks for reading!