Hello everyone! It took me quite a while to write this entry, as there was so much I wanted to discuss with this season, especially the second half. I’m sure most of you have seen it by now, but as always: Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. Don’t read if you haven’t watched. There will also be some comic book spoilers later on as well, so be warned.
It’s everything I had been waiting for. After all the build up, Negan finally arrived in the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead. Everything about it was on point too: Jeffrey Dean Morgan was the absolute best casting pick to fill this role and he completely embodied the character on screen. His monologue had me shaking, I was 110% engaged.
Then came Lucille. Shaking intensified.
And then…..someone died.
Who is it? Well, that’s just it. We aren’t sure.
Yes, I yelled at the TV too.
In a move that could be considered either dickish or great storytelling, the camera changed to a first person view looking at Negan as their skull gets crushed by Lucille to the sound of horrified screams from the group in the background until it all goes black. Such a cliffhanger is pretty ballsy, and in my personal opinion (once I calmed down) it was excellent storytelling and direction. As a viewer who’s been waiting all this time for this scene though, it was also a bit infuriating to have it end on a cliffhanger, but I kind of expected it. I believe just about every season of The Walking Dead has ended on a cliffhanger, but this one takes the cake. (Or should I say bat?)
I have some theories on who it is, but before we get into that, I do want to discuss the second half of season 6.
When we left off from the midseason finale- Rick, Michonne, Carl, Jessie, Ron, and Sam were wearing sheets covered in zombie guts, trying to make their way through a horde of zombies that clambered into Alexandria after the watchtower fell and took out a section of the wall thanks to the Wolves. Well, Sam couldn’t handle it, as I knew he couldn’t, and ends up getting himself bit. Jessie, frozen in shock, also gets overtaken by the walkers. Ron acts like a dick and blames everything on Carl for some reason, and shoots Carl in the eye as Michonne executes him with her katana. This scene was generally the same as the comics, but went down slightly differently. Jessie in the comics completely wigged out when her son got bit and wanted everyone to sacrifice themselves together; in a fit of insanity she would not let go of Carl, resulting in the hand chopping by Rick. The show took a different route, making Rick’s cutting of Jassie’s hand a necessary but not nearly so dramatic action to get Carl to safety.
Another curious thing about this situation is that Sam’s eventual freak out is a result of remembering the threats Carol gave him previously about the monsters eating him alive. Later on, we see Carol leave a cookie on Sam’s grave. I believe Carol feels at fault for his panic and death, and it was a good foundation to build upon for the shift we see in Carol the second half of this season.
Carol has been badass, tough as nails, but she’s still got her humanity. She feels remorse for killing actual living people, and we see it in her death count. I think it all really started hitting her after Morgan tried to talk her down from always taking the kill first route, and after Sam dies. She certainly blames herself to a degree for Sam’s death, we saw that with the memorial cookie. That incident compounded with Morgan telling her life is precious after she killed so many people without thinking twice….it’s making her question what she’s done up to this point.
The episode when Carol and Maggie are taken by the Saviors led by Paula was a beautifully executed episode. I actually liked Paula a lot, which may sound crazy, but I can’t help but wonder how she would have been if she had found Rick and crew rather than joining up with the Saviors. She seemed like a victim of circumstance who did what she could to survive and her survival instincts parallel Carol and her development in the show. I initially started the episode thinking Carol was play acting as a coward to make her captives less suspicious of her, much like how when she entered Alexandria she acted like she had never used a gun before and was just Nancy Homemaker who had been kept alive by the group this whole time. Like most fans, I thought Carol’s behavior when she was captured was an act. My final decision on that view was that it was, and it wasn’t at the same time. Yes, Carol was playing weak to a degree in other for those who had taken them to not suspect she was capable of fighting back, but somewhere along the line her true emotions creep in and we see she is really quite damaged and affected by the hell she has gone through.
Love has also been in the air this season with Abraham coming on to Sasha and of course the big one…….
In the comics, its Andrea (who’s still alive and a million times more badass) who has hooked up with Rick; but as fans of the show know, Andrea was killed off back in season 3 for being a fucking idiot. Without Andrea in the show, the only pairing with Rick that would ever make any sense to me was Michonne. Rick needs a strong woman at his side, Jessie may have been a nice girl who had her moments but she had major weaknesses in both of her children–especially Sam. Not to mention a relationship has already been established with Michonne and Carl, as well as Judith. She’s tough as nails, cares about Rick’s children, and has been there to balance out his crazy. Michonne was the best choice for Rick and I was so happy to see them finally get together.
The introduction of Jesus was pretty fun, the interactions with Jesus, Rick and Daryl over the van had me laughing; but it was quite sad to see that van go into the lake. It was cool to see the world get bigger and see other communities. Gregory is a total douche, and it was interesting to see him interact with Maggie rather than Rick. I think the show did this for a concious reason to set up further tension later (especially if they stick to the comics) but if not, it was just cool to see Maggie take charge.
I also enjoyed the development of Eugene this season. A lot of fans of the show see him as a worthless character and think he should have died a while ago, but he’s slowly stepping up to the plate and trying to be braver. And of course it was awesome to see him take a bite out of Dwight.
Denise’s death surprised me so much I actually gasped upon my first watch of the show. I had figured it would still be Abraham who got the arrow to the head, like in the comics. I was relieved that it wasn’t him because I personally hated that he died that way in the comics, but at the same time, now I wonder……who’s going to be the doctor in Alexandria now? Do they have any type of medically trained anyone left???? And also, just…..poor Denise. She finally faced her fears, killed a walker, got the soda that Tara liked as an ultimate gift to her, was in the middle of a super intense speech to Daryl and Rosita, and then…..boom. It just hurt on so many levels to see her built up and die like that. That’s some George RR Martin style shit there, guys. WTF.
The build up to the end of this season was so epic as well. This ending was all about stripping away Rick’s confidence and security as a leader. Rick has been pretty cocky about the Saviors since he learned about them. He immeadiately volunteers everyone to take them on in the comics, and in the show. He reassures everyone again and again that they have this under control and that they can win and the sheer number of Saviors that come out and the eerie whistling they do to each other in the woods was so perfectly done. When the lights go up and the whistling gets louder and you see the massive numbers the Saviors have to confront Rick….it’s an oh shit moment. Props to Andrew Lincoln whose acting was so on point for this whole scene. He is so confident, so Rick Grimes confident, every second up to that confrontation and the line up. The look on his face shows it all, you can see that Rick has had the rug ripped out from under him and he is so lost by this defeat. He can’t even speak….it was perfect.
There were very minimal things that bothered me this season, for the most part I think there were so many things that were so well done that it’s hard to nitpick. The only thing that bothered me was that we didn’t see any thing with Carl healing from his gunshot wound. This is a HUGE deal in the comics. It is very uncertain that he will make it for quite a while. When he wakes up, he even has memory loss. He asks Rick where his mother is. It’s a big deal in the comics, but in the show they just cut to him having a bandaged face and that’s the end of that. One other small nitpicky thing: Daryl and Rosita did not at all get the hint when Glen was trying to warn them that the Saviors were behind them. C’mon guys……wtf. Do you think Glen would have been trying to yell at you and purposefully jeopardize his rescue? It was obvious they’d been spotted. I feel like they would have realized that.
Now, on to the theories, since everyone has them.
It hasn’t stopped. Since the finale, the internet has been abuzz with speculation and everyone claims their theories are the best and that THEY KNOW just who died. In one Walking Dead group I am in on facebook, it’s literally something I see at least 3 times a day, if not more. I’m not saying I have the answers–none of us do, and we won’t until season 7 airs. It’s even rumored that Greg Nicotero filmed a death scene for each cast member in order to keep the true victim a secret.
But we can still guess.
Who got that painful kiss of death from Lucille?
I have 3 candidates that I believe are the most likely. I’m about 99.999999% sure that it will be one of these three, and I think I have some pretty good reasoning to back this up.
- Glen. Sorry Glen, but it was you in the comics, so you are my number one pick right now. Not to mention the big tease in the first half of the season with the “is he dead?” mystery after Glen and Nick were cornered on the dumpster surrounded by walkers. I believe this storyline may have been orchestrated to renew the audience’s interest in the character, especially since we hadn’t seen him all that much in recent previous seasons. Another sign pointing to Glen is the fact that during the raid of the Savior’s outpost, Glen is the one who finds the polaroids of all of Lucille’s victims. That doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Another subtle hint: before Glen left and was subsequently captured he had a scene in the shower with Maggie in the beginning of episode 6-15 with the song “It’s All Over” by Johnny Cash playing in the background. Some have also mentioned back in Terminus, Glen almost got executed by a bat, which could be interpreted as forshadowing. Another reason I see Glen as the strongest contender aside from the fact that it was the original plot in the comics is yet again another reason backed by the comics: Maggie’s character development in the comics following Glen’s death is crucial and directly tied to him being the one Negan kills. But, things could change, which bring me to my other two possible picks……
- Daryl. I love Daryl, he’s probably one of my favorite men on the show, if not THE favorite. I really don’t want this to happen, but keeping in mind the show likes to change up how things happen, Daryl is looking like a likely candidate. Norman Reedus has his own show coming out, and there have been talks of him filming Boondock Saints 3. With so many other projects, maybe he is leaving Walking Dead to free up his time? Some also point out with the POV shots from inside the van in addition to the POV shot from the person being killed that it seems likely to assume whoever dies is also one of the people in the van. I understand this also lists Glen as a possibility along with Michonne and Rosita- but Daryl was one of the people in the van. Nicotero has also announced that the person who gets the bat is a “fan favorite”. With his own hashtag #ifDaryldiesweriot, Daryl definitely meets these requirements.
- Abraham. Abraham is certainly a fan favorite, his lines are very quoteable and the audience loves him. Additionally, he also started talking about building a future, and maybe even having kids with Sasha prior to the finale. If you have watched TWD as long as I have, you know that planning for the future is akin to signing a death certificate. In the same episode, Abraham also had a sweet moment with Eugene which seemed very telling that something bad was going to happen afterwards. When everyone is lined up and Negan stops to look at Abraham, he is also the only one who straightens up and looks him in the eye, challenging him. If I were Negan, I would think taking out the guy who’s not afraid would scare everyone there more than anything. Another reason I see Abraham as a possible target is because in the comics it is he who gets an arrow through the head, not Denise. I always felt that death was so out of no where and kind of cheap; since the actor has grown such a fanbase on the show I could see the producers thinking that Lucille would be a hell of a way to go out for Abraham. Abraham’s death in the comics also spurred a lot of strong feelings and events in the upcoming Negan storyline. His death and Glen’s are both crucial in the comics, and if the show is staying as loyal as they have been up to this point to the source material, one of them is definitely going to go.
But these are just theories. No one will know until October.
And now to lighten the mood, some of my favorite memes…..