In the Wake of the SPOILER, is The Walking Dead Still Worth Watching?

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

Sunday night still bothers so many of us, much more so than numerous other intense episodes of The Walking Dead. And questions abound, haunting us, making us go over that particularly horrid moment in our heads. Some rewatched the sequence searching for possibilities: chest positioning, where the blood was or wasn’t, screams, and the placement of a dumpster. We do this hoping against hope that fan favorite Glenn somehow survived what looked like a horrible demise on The Walking Dead.

He’s done so before…. 

    
 
Glenn has survived so many impossible odds, he has become a strong symbol of hope for humanity on the show…

   
   
And our hopes have suffered horribly at the dastardly hands of Kirkman and Gimple and Nicotero, et al…

  
But they have also seemed to be wandering away from the comic book, improving upon the story that started there, creating moments that rose above the comic’s achievements. One way has been by being smart enough to avoid mistakes made in the past, sometimes terrible, trust-violating, inorganic horrors that caused many of us to stop reading the comic…

  
Which is why it is so hard to believe the show runners of TWD would willfully repeat the same Crime Against Fans. 

And yet, here we are haunted by Sunday night, mourning the apparent meaningless death of a beloved character again.

Gimple went so far as to offer a message to The Talking Dead viewers, seeming to say such things must occur so the story doesn’t suffer from having safe, untouchable characters.

Or he could be messing with us.

Or maybe , gulp, not.

The reaction to Glenn’s comic book death was overwhelmingly negative, but it seemed then that Kirkman didn’t care then (which is admittedly his right as the creator), so why would he care now?

Or he could be messing with us.

Or maybe, sniff, not.

If, as they have always said, serving the story means no one is safe, then Glenn could have been killed to prove that. If this is true, the question that needs to be asked is … What story are we watching? If last season’s advertising image is to be believed, this is a story of survival….

  
And, if this is a story of survival, shouldn’t one of their best survivors do so? Shouldn’t our symbol of hope for humanity  find a way? Or is this merely a “survive for awhile” story? If so, why are we watching? If there truly is no hope, if all of this drama and pain and desperation only results in postponing the inevitable, is The Walking Dead worth our time?

After Glenn was killed so inorganically, so unheroically, so meaninglessly in the comic book, the answer for me became “No.” I stopped reading. I hoped the show would prove to be a different experience.

I still hold onto that hope…

… Gulp, sniff…

But it may be fading….
Christopher Ryan is author of City of Woe, available on Kindle and Nook, and in print. For more info, click here.

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About chrisryanwrites

My name is Christopher Ryan. I am a former award-winning journalist turned high school teacher, and I have written since reading S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS when I was in elementary school. I have independently published an award-winning debut novel, CITY OF WOE, plus the prequel short story collection CITY OF SIN, the sequel novel CITY OF PAIN, a high school thriller novel GENIUS HIGH, and several high adventure novelettes for the Rapid Reads series featuring Alex Simmons' African-American adventurer BLACKJACK All are available via amazon.com, as is my children's book, THE FERGUSON FILES - THE MYSTERY SPOT. Additionally, I was nominated for a supporting actor award for my work in the multiple award-winning independent film, CLANDESTINE, from Feenix Films. I blog about writing, life, pop culture, the journey of learning to promote my independently published work, my efforts to secure a traditional publishing contract, and my career as a teacher.
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3 Responses to In the Wake of the SPOILER, is The Walking Dead Still Worth Watching?

  1. Katie says:

    I agree – I don’t want to buy that this is how Glenn goes out. Plus, how could they do that to the viewers? Not have closure by having Steven Yeun on The Talking Dead is highly suspicious. They know we like to have closure after something like this!

  2. L. M. Webb says:

    I find the show so stressful to watch because there have been so many major character deaths that I feel no one (except maybe Rick?) has ever been ‘safe’. But I’m so attached to the characters now that I have to keep on watching it to see what happens.

    • I agree, and I think following the SPOILER “potential death” with a 90-minute episode that refused to resolve whether SPOILER died or not, was bold, courageous, and pretty damn masterful. Morgan’s story is actually a response to the audiences outraged reaction to the previous episode in hat all the Akido philosophy underscore what may be the ultimate theme of TWD: everybody dies, and that is not what matters. How a person lives matters. If that is so, can we really be angry at SPOILERS passing? SPOILER live life by an admirable moral code right up to that potentially last moment. Is TWD saying he therefore lived a successful life? Is that the only hope that makes sense in the TWD world?
      And is that enough for an audience to take from the show?
      I believe it to be a bold statement and potentially a brave gamble, and the TWD showrunners have earned renewed respect from me. For now.

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