By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead and also for the comic.
Daryl or Glenn
This episode ended with quite a bang, literally (I understand if you never visit this site again after that joke). We’re supposed to believe that Daryl is dead, but we all know that there’s no way he dies like that. He’s too popular a character and he’s been too important to the show for too long to just die like that. No, Daryl is alive, at least for one more episode. But that may be it for him, one more episode. If you watched the preview for next week’s episode, then you know we’re finally meeting Negan and Lucille, his barb-wired baseball bat. If you’re not familiar with Negan’s arc in the comic then you may have missed some of the groundwork the writers have been laying down for Negan. If you think back to episode 13, you may remember Glenn seeing the pictures of people with bashed in heads. You may have thought they were all shot, but no, they were probably beaten to death by Negan. Go back a little further to episode 11 and you should recall Jesus telling Rick the story of Negan killing Rory, the 16-year old Hilltop kid. According to Jesus, Negan wanted the Hilltop to understand their arrangement “right off the bat.”
So what does this mean for the characters on the show? It means someone is going to die in this Sunday’s season finale, and it’s going to be a brutal death. Andrew Lincoln has said this finale is the “darkest and most extraordinary” one of the series and that reading the script made him sick to his stomach. It sounds like something terrible is going to happen, right? It makes sense that Negan and Lucille will introduce themselves to Rick and the group in a most unforgettable way. That just leaves the question of who will fall victim? In the comic it was Glenn, and it was an exceedingly gut-wrenching scene. It could still be Glenn on the show, but if the writers want to have the same emotional impact that Robert Kirkman had in the comic, then Daryl is the better choice. He’s been on the show since the beginning, and the writers seemed to have run out of things for him to do. His story, in my opinion, ended last season when Aaron gave him a new motorcycle and told him he was a good person. But the writers kept Daryl around anyway. Perhaps they were saving him just for Negan? We’ll find out next week, but whoever it is, get ready for the emotional rollercoaster ride.
Another character whose story seems to be ending is Morgan. He finally got through to Rick with his “all life is precious” message before going off to find Carol. As he set off, he told Rick not to come looking for him if he didn’t return. Characters on this show don’t get ambiguous endings, so we know we haven’t seen the last of Morgan, but his end might be coming soon. There are plenty of people who were dissatisfied with Morgan, but I loved the character. While we saw survivors like Dale trying to hold on to the past, Morgan took the world as it was and did what he could to survive. He doesn’t seem much different from Dale, but there is a subtle difference; Dale believed in a rule of law that doesn’t exist anymore while Morgan simply believes that everything has a way of working out. In the universe of The Walking Dead, he’s right so far. He saved the Wolf, the Wolf saved Denise, and Denise saved Carl. It was a nice little circle that Morgan used to teach Rick a lesson on life. Time will tell if that lesson will hold once Daryl, or Glenn, or whoever is savagely beaten by Negan, but it’s a power lesson for Rick to carry into this last episode of the season.
Thanks for reading!