There’s so much talk about the last Walking Dead episode on social media right now I decided I wanted to throw in my two cents. If you haven’t watched episode 3 of Season 6 there are SPOILERS ahead.
So, if you were watching The Walking Dead on Sunday, we were all taken on a loop during the episode when a beloved character (supposedly) bit the dust. I’m not mentioning his name because when I post the link to my articles I know it shows the first few sentences haha. I mean, I had it spoiled by someone on Facebook so I wouldn’t do the same thing to anyone else! Either way, many people had a smooth, relaxing and normal weekend which was majorly crashed by this extremely dramatic episode. I mean sure, The Walking Dead has always played with our emotions hardcore, but this episode really hit people hard.
Okay, I’m far enough. So Glenn probably died. I think there was almost no one who actually saw this coming before the episode. They dropped multiple hints during the episode. Glenn looking at his pocket watch from Herschel. His last words to Rick on the radio were the first words he uttered to Rick 5 years ago when Glenn first entered our lives. Nicholas’ weird mental moments were a cursor as well. Still, especially gauging from the reaction of the Internet after the incident occurred, people were still very surprised. Honestly, I think that the show has to make him dead now. There are so many theories circling around the Internet that he survived. I’m a realist so I refuse to believe that he survived without anything happening. Also, I think that the show would be cheating all of us if Glenn survived unscathed. The very essence of The Walking Dead is that the post-apocalyptic world is cold and deadly. It’s a rough world. You could die literally any day, and there are no second chances. Now, the show has put itself in a really hard place. Does it kill off Glenn permanently? Does it cop-out and let him live? It’s the whole darned if you do and darned if you don’t scenario. In my last paragraph I’ll tell you what seems to me as the most likely scenario.
Also, this scene really supports the new morality that we see on The Walking Dead, and I love it for that. Remember the days where Rick had his black-and-white morality? Watching Rick slide into the gray zone and drag most of group with him has been one of the best sub-plots to the entire show. In addition, nearly the whole group has adopted this type of morality. One big part of this newfound morality is that if someone tries to kill you then they don’t get a second chance. It’s either you or them. However, Glenn is the only major character (barring the arrival of Morgan) that stands against this gray zone morality construct that Rick has moved to. Let’s not forget Glenn is the only one in the core group who hasn’t killed a human. Glenn makes the decision to give Nicholas life after he literally led Glenn into the woods to kill him, and we start seeing this redemption narrative start coming on Nicholas’ behalf. However, we also see multiple times in the episode that Nicholas is having a serious mental breakdown, and can’t handle the pressure. Then, he decides to cap himself, and thanks Glenn for the apparent redemption/grace he feels. Although, if you decide to cap yourself and another person dies from it I think that works against the redemption narrative so sorry Nicholas you are still a d-bag in pretty much everyone’s eyes. Thus, Glenn is punished in the most extreme way possible for holding on to a code of morality that is quickly fading. So while the death of Glenn would be an extremely big moment on the show, it would actually be a deeper reflection on the morality of the show itself. Bravo Walking Dead.
People are wondering, did this really need to happen? I think the answer is an overwhelming yes. The show has been very hesitant as of late to kill off someone from the original ring of our lovely gang of zombie killers. The last time it happened was back in 16th (and final) episode “Welcome to the Tombs” in Season 3 when Andrea finally paid for all of her stupid decisions in that season and capped herself after being bit by the Milton dude who was zombified after the Governor killed him and left them in the same room. That was over 2 seasons ago. It would be ill-advised for the show to build-up a ring of invincible zombie slayers. You can’t kill Rick, because we entered into the life of this show with Rick, and he is the main protagonist of the entire series. He is the bastion of The Walking Dead. I’m not the biggest fan of Carl, but with Rick already on the edge of the deep end you can’t kill Carl or else crazy stuff will happen. Carol has proven herself to be a freaking bona fide ruthless bad-ass, if it wasn’t for her way more people would’ve died in Alexandria. She is the strongest female in the show right now (sorry Michonne), and the bodacious nature of her character is essential to the show. Daryl. Where do you start? He’s the most popular character on the show, three times more than the second-closest (Rick). He’s also a complete bad-ass archer who does absolutely amazing things on the show. He is a character that I can’t see anyone else filling the shoes of. You can also throw Michonne and Maggie into this group of seemingly “invincibles”. Don’t get me wrong, Glenn was an absolutely amazing character on this show… but at this place, time and the projection of the story line I think he is the best character in this group to kill off. We needed jolt of Walking Dead reality, and we’re getting it through Glenn’s death. There is so much buzz on the Internet right now, and this discussion is the most we’ve seen out of Walking Dead fans for awhile. It’s a simple ideal… controversy creates attention and attention often generates ratings. It was the 5th highest ratings that the Talking Dead (show right after TWD that discusses the episodes’ events) has ever had (highest ever for a non-premiere/finale/midseason episode). I’m expecting that Live+ 3 days ratings to be absolutely through the roof (perhaps breaking the 20 million viewer mark?). Well done by The Walking Dead.
Honestly, I believe that Glenn should be dead. Yet, I also realize that the show didn’t kill him off right away, and there’s probably a reason for that. But here’s the crucial point… the first three episodes of Season 6 have been about 3-4 hours of “real time” in the Walking Dead. So it is 100% conceivable that Glenn could get infected, crawl under the dumpster, and be around for the rest of the first arc of this season through the mid-season finale. From what the Walking Dead producers have said, there’s a strong chance we only cover 1-2 days worth of time on the show through this first arc. He could be saved (not sure how, but it could happen), and then he would get to return to Alexandria. He could then get the closure that he deserves as a key character. Let’s not forget that Maggie did not get any closure with Herschel (head chopped off by The Governor), or with Beth (she came just too late) so she 100% deserves to get some with her husband Glenn before he bites the dust. If the show allows him to escape unscathed it will lose a lot of credibility, and I think a lot of fans will stop watching the show. I could perhaps buy the fact Nicholas was having a hallucination… the evidence is there and I could understand the show moving in that direction. I just don’t think it would be the best move for the show. The Walking Dead is realistic in the sense that it is a cold world where your actions lead to consequences, and I think that construct would be harmed if Glenn came out of this situation unscathed. He’s surrounded by hundreds of zombies on the ground. If he gets infected and slides under the dumpster I would say that’s an extremely lucky scenario that I find not really realistic, but I could also see a world where he pulls it off because he’s Glenn.
So those are my thoughts. We’ll see where they go with it!
P.S. I absolutely love the ending scene as Rick is stuck in an RV that won’t go, and is quickly becoming surrounded by hundreds of zombies. Situation sound familiar?