There was a definite varied response when it came time last Sunday for The Walking Dead’s season finale. I admit I was on the side yelling about the ending. Why? Read on, also spoilers.
Now before I begin I want to say that I liked, really liked the finale up until the very end. I loved that the group bound together to get Maggie to the doctor. That Carl wanted to go because he ‘owed them’ even if he was mansplaining it to Enid and locked her in the closet. Sigh, Carl. I liked that Rick wasn’t being a douche, but instead was trying to be helpful and hopeful for Maggie.
I also really loved the Carol and Morgan arc. It was a great breather from the other story line and really helped to fully round out what was going on in the world around Alexandria. Carol doesn’t seem to want to even live anymore which is terrible as she has gone through so much to survive and keep others alive. Her self destruction has been becoming greater and greater as the season has progressed. While most were cheering Carol I couldn’t help but be freaked out by her manipulative behaviors. The nice Carol who baked cookies was suddenly a lie, the mask she wore to fool others and not the wonderful woman who found her strength after the apocalypse had taken everything from her.
To see that this has also been wearing on Carol and that it has come to a head is great storytelling in my opinion. The real Carol is in pain and can no longer be swallowed down and ignored. Carol must deal and sort herself out or die. She almost does die and is even telling the man to shoot her. He does a few times, but never a killing shot. Luckily for Carol, Morgan arrives after finding the horse the man before was searching for and hunting her down.
I also admit I thought the horse was going to get it the entire time the episode ran, they don’t have much luck on this show. Just like pigs and goats. Carol still out of it and in pain, hasn’t even realized that Morgan breaks his cardinal rule and shoots the man dead. He tries not to, but is left without a choice. I’m hoping in the next season that we will see the two come to terms with how BOTH their approaches went too far. You cannot be that passive or that ruthless and make it. There must be a happy middle ground. Not only that, it seems they may have found some friends as the man looking for the horse originally (that Morgan saved from Rick shooting) and his friend came upon them and offered assistance.
You could tell Morgan was weary, but he needed help for Carol. I don’t remember their name in the comic, but I’m pretty sure these are real friends. They also looked pretty awesome with their motocross equipment, horses and spears. Just saying.
Back to the main action, I loved the cat and mouse game that Negan was playing with Rick and the group. No matter which road they took to try and get to Hilltop, they were cut off or threatened by more men than they had seen before.
Rick was finally coming to the realization that the massacre on Negan’s group wasn’t going to be without a cost and that he had thought he could get away with it. He thought being the bad guy (because he was) wouldn’t have others after him.
He was wrong.
We also only got a glimpse of what could have happened to Glenn, Michonne, Rosita and Daryl. Just one of them looking out from some kind of prison, nothing distinct except the sunshine.
I thought for sure that it was just going to be that group that would meet Negan. I was wrong. After closing in the noose on Rick and his group; after they made a last ditch effort where Eugene drove the RV off alone while they took to the woods carrying Maggie, Negan showed up.
The whistling was creepy and very effective. I loved it. Jeffrey Dean Morgan absolutely personified everything I imagined Negan to be from the comics. The look was spot on, the way he talked was perfect. Seeing Lucille made me pee a little. Okay only metaphorically.
It was then revealed that they in fact did have the others captured (along with Eugene) and put them all in a line. A firing line it felt like. The group was completely at Negan’s mercy. You could tell they all knew it too and Rick most of all. I would almost feel bad for him except what an unthinking jerk he’s been throughout the season. I feel bad for who is going to get it, not the man responsible for bringing it on their head. Literally.
Now the tension was ramped up to a maximum. All the players were in place, Negan said he was going to take out one of theirs for all that had been killed of his and that was more than fair. As grisly as that is, he is right. Although I would think Denise’s death should count for something too. So who was it going to be?
All the comic people were there from that scene; Glenn, Maggie, Rick, Carl and Michonne. There were others now too; Eugene, Daryl, Rosita, Abraham and Sasha. Who would the show pick?
I think by this point everyone knows in the comics that its Glenn. It could still be him. He even yells when Negan gets to close to Maggie, just like the comics. But there are the TV characters to take into account as well. Daryl would be a huge person to take out and polarize the group to action. Abraham was in the comics, but had already died. Would it finally be his turn now? The show doesn’t usually keep canon characters around much after their supposed comic deaths, the exception being Carol. What about Rosita? They had really been spotlighting her character lately-was it only to kill her off now? Sasha? Eugene? I don’t know.
That’s what Negan decided to do to pick who it would be. In the comics after Glenn’s outburst he decided on him. Not this time. Instead we get this tense ‘game’ to choose the victim. How could anyone look away at this point?
The camera angle changed as Negan pointed Lucille at someone we couldn’t see and proceeded to beat them. I could only hear the beating as for some reason the screen went black after the first hit. Why I’m not entirely sure other than to keep the suspense. It’s not like we haven’t seen horrific deaths before.
Then the show ended.
Who died? No one knows. We won’t know for six to seven months. And that is what made me angry. The finale was epic. The tension couldn’t have us more wound up. We were all ready and waiting to see what happened and we get NOTHING.
The walking dead is a huge show, it’s not like they are hurting for viewers to watch next season. It’s not like the show can’t reveal it due to gore. So why?
I can’t answer that. All I know is they had made the perfect storm from episode one. From Rick’s aggression’s towards the Alexandrians and learning to cooperate with them, but only after most of them died (on his watch if I may add). To watch as the group slowly becomes something even they don’t recognize anymore even after they have found somewhere safe to live and friends from other groups. The finale was the last tug on that noose as Rick and the group hung their fool selves from their own actions and choices. We were to finally see that price paid and we got jack all.
It was robbery and yes I will get to find out in half a years time, but that tension and need to finish up this season will be gone. Sure it will still hurt, I will still be shocked, I may even be disgusted if they decide to show the beating, but it won’t be the same. That moment should have been the ending for this season, not the next one’s beginning. That end was stolen from all of us and I’m still angry over it.
Did it ruin The Walking Dead for me? No. Am I seriously disappointed with it and will hold it in a lower regard now? Absolutely.
What did you think of the ending now that we’ve all had time to see it and process it? Tell me in the comments below, at our twitter, @TheNerdyGirlExp or my personal twitter, @quietlikeastorm. I would seriously love to hear from any and all of you!