I am one of the many people who felt rage and disappointment with last night’s The Walking Dead season finale. Once the camera switched to the victim’s viewpoint, I knew they screwed us. I punched the pillow next to me in frustration. A 6-month cliffhanger? C’mon, Scott Gimple.
Here’s a recap of what went well and what went wrong.
What worked: Morgan’s storyline has been solid. I understand his progression from lunatic to pacifist. His backstory of finding “The Cheesemaker” was one of the best episodes in my opinion. I understand his transition.
What didn’t work: Carol’s transformation is confusing. Carol has been my favorite character since Shane (Yes, you read that right.) Her story of domestic violence victim to complete badass has been compelling. In my eyes, she deserves an Emmy for her performance. These past few episodes, however, have had me scratching my head. She doesn’t want to kill anymore and while that isn’t a problem for me, the fact that it seemingly came out of nowhere does. Why now? I even thought that this was a ruse of hers. She was pretending to be a pacifist like Morgan to eventually teach him a lesson. But that doesn’t seem to be what’s going on. I’m dumbfounded.
What worked: Those few weeks when we didn’t know whether Glenn was alive or not were torturous. But we all knew it’d be resolved within the season. And it was. Glenn was under the dumpster and we all let out a sigh of relief. The second half of this season has been a giant tease for Negan. As a comic reader of The Walking Dead, I knew his appearance would be epic. And it was. I threw my hands in the air once Jeffrey Dean Morgan appeared on-screen. Finally!
What didn’t: Okay, let’s talk about that cliffhanger. Most of the episode was the gang trying to get Maggie to Hilltop. Do we really need 60 minutes of them driving and hitting road block after road block. Unnecessary garbage. Comic readers all knew someone had to die. Negan announces someone will die. But does the audience get to see that? No. This was a betrayal to fans. Scott Gimple had a chance to create a memorable death scene and instead this all fell flat.
I quote Twitter user @Joshua_Valdez “Walking Dead production people, please consult with Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould about how to write a proper cliffhanger.”
That is not how you finish a season. Both Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple tried to affirm on to viewers that it’s not who he killed that was important. It’s the storyline and what changes and happens to the group from here. What a load of b.s. Hardcore fans are invested in these character’s lives. Of course it matters.
A lot of viewers are claiming they won’t be back for next season. Because I’m a big fan of the comics, I’ll continue to watch. I want to see if they can redeem themselves. I want to see Negan and Ezekiel and the Kingdom and the war that follows. You owe us big time, AMC. I hope season 7 can restore OUR faith in the show.