‘The Walking Dead’ star speaks out about Glenn’s fate

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

How ‘The Walking Dead’ totally botched its Glenn situation.

It’s fast becoming the year of characters returning from almost certain death in TV, as The Walking Dead’s Glenn returned unscathed from an enormous zombie attack in last night’s episode.

The episode opens with the words “thank you”, spoken by Nicholas just before he blew his own brains out four weeks ago, and then we fade up from the dark at the moment he tumbles into the pit of zombies below the dumpster, dragging Glenn with him. While it was not made clear if Glenn, played by Steven Yeun, was dead, fans feared the worst after he was taken out of the opening credits for the show.

It requires us to believe that while Glenn was laying amid a throng of zombies, covered only by another man’s corpse (which was laying roughly perpendicular to his body, not parallel to it), not a single one of those zombies so much as took a tiny nibble of his pinkie, even as he was pulling himself under a dumpster. There was a crackpot theory that he used Nicholas’ body to shield him from the feasting zombies, which was mostly discounted as preposterous – except it turned out to be pretty much true. Only it sort of looks like Glenn has grabbed Nicholas rather than the other way round, which should fuel the conspiracy theories for another month at least. But in the latest episode screened in the US, it was revealed that he had made a miraculous escape, and that the show bosses were simply toying with viewers.

Glenn is beneath him, screaming in horror, and getting covered in Nick’s blood and guts, but he’s still quick enough to realise this is his chance to escape. Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), who was last seen at the bottom of a pile of walkers noshing on some unidentified organs, is, in fact, alive. “It proves this world can take the story of the good guy winning sometimes,” Yeun, 31, who has basically been in hiding for weeks, said on The Talking Dead aftershow. “I feel relieved, I feel very grateful, I feel so amazed at the response.” “I feel bad that I couldn’t say anything to everyone, family, friends. He wasn’t even the guy saying “Help!” on that radio last week — that was probably someone from Alexandria, which seems likely to be overwhelmed by zombies after the events that end this episode. He slides out from underneath Nicholas’s body and lays low beneath the dumpster, sticking his knife into the head of the one zombie smart enough (can a zombie be smart?) to follow him under there. It’s kind of been overwhelming,” “People on the show all have to sign NDAs, Non Disclosure Agreements,” executive producer Gale Anne Hurd added, joking “but in this case we literally said, do you talk in your sleep and if someone said yes we offered them some duct tape so they could duct tape their months and not spoil it.”

Glenn (Steven Yeun) is one of the best characters in the show – smart, resilient, compassionate but not afraid to make the hard decisions when necessary. He’s the embodiment of the tough but humane ethos that underpins its world view (yes, it really does have one), and he’s the beacon by which Rick can find his bearings whenever he strays off course and heads out into psycholand (which he does with surprising frequency). This is the episode’s single stupidest moment, a scene that has no real foreshadowing — unless you count Rick briefly mentioning that if someone could get past the horde, that person could get a car to draw the horde away, maybe. You can kind of see what producer Scott Gimple and company were thinking: “Let’s pretend to kill Glenn and have fan speculation take over the internet.” In that sense, the plan was a success. Ultimately, I think the scene is meant to show that Rick is a little bit softer than he comes off in various other scenes, where he rants about how, say, Morgan needs to be harder and willing to kill people.

She chucks him a bottle of water when she sees him emerge – it’s a lousy shot, it hits the ground and splits open, so thanks for nothing Enid – but other than that she doesn’t want anything to do with Glenn. Her whole schtick is to avoid attachments because, as she tells him (yelling, from somewhere far out of sight) “the same thing always happens – people die”. Either in flashback or the current story to help complete the story.” Then there were the abundance of leaked photos from the set, showing actor Steven Yeun fully participating in scenes for the season’s second half.

Glenn wants to get back to Alexandria, wants to take Enid with him, and he wants to know about the herd. “What herd?” Enid was gone by the time the massed ranks of the zombocalypse started knocking on the door. I think this will inevitably reveal that she’s working with some of the show’s many villains, but I’m not intrinsically opposed to more character development for some of the Alexandrians. In theory, I love the idea of Morgan refusing to take anybody’s life and Carol, in particular, becoming suspicious about just what he might be hiding, while Rick insists that when push comes to shove, Morgan must violate that code. It’s usually code for “kick your ass” or “contrive a situation wherein I have no choice to blow your brains out because, look, I didn’t ant to, but really, it was you or me so what choice did I have?” It looks like Rick has staged an intervention – Carol (Melissa McBride) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are there too – and he asks Morgan if he let any of the Wolves go. We live in a “What-have-you-done-for-me-lately?” TV culture and “The Walking Dead’s” Season 6 finale could draw attention away from what may be the worst decision it’s ever made.

If Rick had killed him, if he had killed Rick, if Morgan hadn’t been there to help Daryl and Aaron, maybe the Wolves never would have found Alexandria. Clearly Morgan has spent a lot of time sitting under a bodhi tree out there in the woods, but this kind of thinking can tie a man up in knots. “I don’t know what’s right any more,” he says. “I did want to kill those men … but I also know people can change. Young Ron (Austin Abrams) – the grieving son of the late wife-beating-alcoholic-throat-slashing doctor Pete – can’t wait to get blood on his hands. He’s conned Rick into teaching him how to shoot, but Rick hasn’t yet been foolish enough to let him have any bullets, putting him off with the not-entirely-spurious claim that the noise will attract the zombies (which doesn’t stop him making an almighty racket with his hammer as he tries to reinforce the fence).

Which means it will come down, because there’s a mid-season finale just around the corner and we’ve been in a holding pattern since the Wolves were chased out of town. Spencer (Austin Nichols) – the over-reaching, under-achieving, power-hungry dim-witted son of Alexandria’s former leader, the love-light-and-peacenik Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) – does his best to hasten the end times by setting up a ropes course above the heads of the herd. He’s lucky enough to be saved by Rick and Tara (Alanna Masterson) when his rope inevitably breaks, but he still manages to complain that he’s lost a shoe to the zombies. As the episode comes to an end, Ron shadows Carl (Chandler Riggs) with clearly malicious intent, Glenn and Enid let their balloons up into the sky to signal that they’re alive, and the tower comes crashing down onto the wall.

Star Wars creator George Lucas had hoped to guide the three new Star Wars movies to their conclusion but has revealed his overtures to the US studio Disney were very gently rebuffed. I guess there’s the thought that a story of a society where most everybody needs to have firearms would naturally lead to the question of how to deal with those who shouldn’t be trusted with them. Disney has subsequently announced not just three films in a final “sequel trilogy” but three new standalone films, as well as a -themed expansion to its iconic park Disneyland. It is true that Lucas created Star Wars and the Skywalker family, and some of Star Wars most loved characters, including Darth Vader, the Sith and the Jedi, Boba Fett and the Wookies.

But he also created some story elements which fans disliked intensely, including Ewoks, “midichlorians”, which seemed to reduce Jedi mysticism to a quirk of biology, the three critically battered “prequels” and their most annoying character Jar-Jar Binks. In his defence, he can at least be spared most of the responsibility for the darkest secret in the Star Wars canon: the almost universally panned Star Wars Holiday Special; it was written by others, including comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, and directed by Steve Binder.

Choosing to focus entirely on Rick’s plan to move the zombie horde, its abrupt beginnings, and the fallout when it fell apart has been a bold stroke, and the variety of perspectives the show has provided on the story has been exciting to see unspool. All I would do is muck everything up,” Lucas said. “So I said, okay, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.” “When you break up with someone, the first rule is no phone calls,” he said. “The second rule, you don’t go over to their house and drive by to see what they’re doing. For Rick, at least, the silver lining is that Glenn isn’t dead — a fact announced to the Alexandrians via a lovely image of green helium balloons (launched by Glenn from some distance off) floating through the sky.

Due to other things I have to attend (and the momentous nature of this episode), I’ll answer questions throughout the day, rather than during a set time.

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