Why ‘Walking Dead’ fans are up in arms

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 3 recap: ‘Thank You’.

Last season, they reminded us of the first rule when we discovered that Eugene did not actually have any classified information about the zombie outbreak.On Sunday night’s Walking Dead, one of the few remaining survivors from the show’s first season, Glenn Rhee, lay screaming on the ground beneath a swarm of zombies, bloody intestines unspooling around him. (I refuse to admit they were his intestines, as his useless protégé Nicholas, who shot himself and knocked them both down into the hungry horde, fell on top of him and could have been the one spewing guts.) Although many viewers are white-knuckle gripping onto a tiny shred of hope that Glenn might still make it out, it might also be time to consider the grim truth staring us all in the face: His death is a good thing.

In the Thank You episode, viewers watched in horror as fan favourite Glenn Rhee, played by Steven Yeun, succumbed to a herd of walkers in the dramatic last few minutes of the show. I want to first discuss the idea of “no one” before we talk about Glenn, who, as I’m writing this, was not included on Talking Dead’s In Memoriam montage. (When major characters are in the montage, they have a longer section dedicated to them.) No one is safe means anyone can die, and many, many people did in this episode, including many of the people Rick left behind. And the episode’s highlight, when Carol stopped pretending to be an ordinary housewife and saved (almost) everyone—as she’s done before—was classic moment of Zombie Era triumph.

Nicholas knocked both of them to the ground where ravenous zombies appeared to start feasting on their intestines, suggesting it was game over for Glenn. If you’re not afraid of spoilers, here’s the scene in question: Surrounded by zombies, and with no clear way out, Nicholas dies from a self-inflicted gunshot. His body falls onto Glenn — a longtime fan favorite introduced at the end of the show’s very first episode — who pitches backward and lands in the middle of the zombie horde.

Several other elements surrounding Glenn’s untimely death suggest that there may be hope yet for the show’s beloved pizza delivery guy, aka Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) beloved husband. Theories have emerged about whether he survived the attack, which have been spurred on by the show’s creator Scott Gimple – who promised his story wasn’t over yet. A third rule of “The Walking Dead” (which I committed to memory during that unending do-si-do with the Governor) is that if you don’t actually see someone die, you can’t count them out. His character’s death was also never directly addressed on The Talking Dead — when speaking of his supposed gory demise, the show hosts used phrases like “Glenn appears to have been killed,” instead of “Glenn is dead.” And perhaps most telling, Yeun did not turn up as a guest on The Talking Dead — a telltale sign that his character may not be dead, since in the past, every major character that dies is usually brought onto the show as a surprise guest.

It seems fans might either be looking at a Walker Glenn – if he received a little nip instead of being eaten by the other walkers – or it’s time to accept Glenn really is gone. The same Nicholas whom Glenn chose to forgive, and give a shot at redemption. “Glenn saves people,” his wife Maggie said during the season premiere. “Even people like that.” And it’s true. Cliffhanger endings are a cheap ploy to drive ratings for the next episode, perhaps during a mid-season slump in a show that’s experiencing decreased viewership. (That’s a comparative term for the most-watched cable show of all time. They’re still getting monster numbers every week, no pun intended.) Glenn’s first appearance in the show — albeit only by voice — extends all the way back to the pilot. His against-all-odds, love-conquers-all reunion with Maggie in Season 4 seemed to tell us: “Yes, despite the festering, dire reality of the apocalypse, humanity can still find hope.” But from there, the world of Walking Dead only grows more brutal.

They’ll only let you down—in this case, by looking you dead in the eye, whispering, “Thank you,” and shooting themselves, their corpse toppling you both off a dumpster and into a hungry mass of zombies. And we saw Nicholas seemingly redeem himself by fighting off zombies and saving the small team he was with—including Glenn, who gave him a meaningful look. Her impassioned speech to Heath about leaving people behind shows she can connect where Rick can’t. “Have you ever done things that made you feel afraid of yourself?” she yells at him. Whether or not he’s actually gotten Glenn killed—as I said, until Glenn’s name goes up on the “In Memoriam” list on Talking Dead, I refuse to fully believe it—Nicholas clearly found no redemption.

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