[SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON SIX BELOW]
Can someone please tell me why I’m still watching this show week to week?
The Walking Dead’s midseason finale aired this past Sunday, and boy was it terrible. This show has been nothing but wholly disappointing the last six weeks. At this point, I think I’m only watching still in order to see just how bad it can get.
I’m just going to ramble and rant (especially rant) about some major things that have happened in the show since I last wrote about the subject, which was after episode five of season six aired.
Let’s start by talking a bit about episode six of this season, which was that inconsequential and terrible Daryl/Sasha/Abraham episode. Possibly one of the worst scenes this show has ever let grace my television screen was in this episode. I’m referring to the scene in which Abraham wrestles a zombie that is impaled through the end of a fence in order to get the RPG that’s attached to it. Nothing about this scene made any sense. Like, how the zombie got in that position in the first place? Or, why Abraham decided to wrestle with it instead of just simply killing it? Yes, I understand that the show has been increasingly trying to show that Abraham has PTSD that comes from his time in the war and since the zombie was in a military uniform, it affected him. Still, this scene was awful. He got the RPG, though! So that means there’s going to be some terrible CGI explosion coming in the future!
Daryl’s side of the story was no better, as it basically made no sense and had no consequences (except, oh no, Daryl lost his crossbow again!). It featured three new characters who seem to be of little importance, though it has been revealed through The Walking Dead’s Twitter that one of these people shares the identity to that of an actual important character in the comics, but of course that was never explained within the episode.
Otherwise, we are introduced to a big bad character named Wade, whose face is never shown — almost as if he’s a parent in a Peanuts cartoon — and it’s uncertain as to why. He’s not Negan, who is the next major villain in the show who I’ll talk about later, but this Wade character seems to be working under Negan. What I just don’t understand, then, is why do they not show Wade’s face? I would understand if this were Negan, and they wanted to keep him mysterious and not show his face, but why do it for some no-name like Wade? I just don’t get it. Maybe we’ll understand why once the show comes back in February, but by then, no one will even remember this scene from an episode that aired in mid-November.
This episode ended with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham are riding back to Alexandria as a voice comes over the radio calling for help. The midseason finale just aired, and in the epilogue — which I’ll also talk about later — we see Daryl, Sasha and Abraham again, and yet there’s absolutely no explanation as to who it was that was calling over the radio. They don’t even mention it. I almost feel like I imagined this scene, and that it will proabably never come up again.
Still the biggest deal of this season has been in regards to the fate of fan-favorite character Glenn. Glenn was previously seen in episode three of this season being “torn apart” by zombies. There was speculation on this subject immediately after the episode aired, due to the fact that the scene was shot in a close-up manner which didn’t provide a good look at if it was indeed Glenn who was being ripped to pieces or another character that he was with at the time.
The seventh episode of the season opened with the Glenn scene again, but this time we see the entire thing. Glenn of course gets away unscathed and climbs underneath the dumpster as hundreds of zombies surround him. That’s the problem. There’s no way Glenn should have survived this encounter. At least one of those zombies should have made a snack of Glenn’s arms or legs.
That’s not all, though. Glenn literally just waits out the zombies, who disperse after nightfall for absolutely no reason. From what I have been able to tell, and even according to The Walking Dead wiki, zombies in The Walking Dead’s universe have the ability to sense humans from smell. How, then, do the hundreds of zombies not sense Glenn underneath the dumpster? The answer? Dumb writing — which equates to most questions regarding The Walking Dead nowadays. It would have been a bad death for such an important character in the show, but I wish that Glenn had died here. I am legitimately offended by the writers of this show trying to pull something like this, and in such extravagantly bad fashion.
And since Glenn isn’t dead, wouldn’t it have been great if his pregnant wife Maggie were to have been killed off instead? Fans of the show went ballistic on social media when Glenn “died,” hoping that he would come back and now here he is again. I feel cheated. I need the death of a major character. And who better than the love of the character that we’ve all been hankering to come back? It would be so powerful to have Glenn come back after everything he’s been through just to find out that his wife was ripped apart. Maybe I sound sick, but hey, it would have been an interesting twist. Also, it’s already ridiculous that the group has been able to take good care of one baby, let alone two.
In the midseason finale — which felt completely weightless and like nothing was ever at stake — the walled-in community that our rag-tag group of survivors is holed up in has a wall come down which allows for hundreds of zombies to pour in. Everyone panics and small groups of characters find themselves fighting for their lives and trying to hide from the zombies approaching.
We see Maggie struggling to climb up a ladder as a horde of zombies grab at her feet. Of course, after a minute of struggling to get up, Maggie barely scrapes by and reaches the top of the lookout post unscathed. In the comics, this scene would have had weight to it, and the reader would likely feel that Maggie could actually die in this moment. Robert Kirkman doesn’t mess around in the comics. He writes some truly spectacular twists and is willing to kill major characters off in a moment’s notice. The show, on the other hand, so rarely does this, and when it seems like they do, they really don’t (case in point: Glenn).
The only major character to die in the midseason finale was Deanna, who was the leader of Alexandria. Her death was unsurprising, and since the character has been fairly mediocre since her introduction, her death felt insignificant, too. Obviously she had to die at some point so that in the future, Rick can eventually take over as the leader of Alexandria. I also just want to point out how cliché her final conversation with Michonne was, and how painfully melodramatic it was when she had her “final stand” with the swarm of zombies as she yelled into the camera.
Ugh. Now I must mention the absolute terrible mess that was the Carol and Morgan situation this episode. God, do I hate Morgan so much and I cannot wait for him to be killed off. Same goes for the doctor woman, whose name I really don’t know and don’t really care to know (I looked it up, it’s Denise). It was obvious from the moment we first saw that Morgan took one of the Wolves as prisoner, that he would eventually escape and cause trouble. When the Wolf managed to break free after Morgan and Carol got into a fight, he takes the doctor woman hostage (Denise) as Rosita and crew came busting through the door with guns. This scene should have ended with a gunshot to the Wolf’s head.
In true The Walking Dead fashion, however, Rosita and Tara do the dumb thing and give up their guns to the Wolf. Someone tell me why they wouldn’t have just shot him? Regardless, why didn’t the Wolf just shoot everyone in the room once they surrendered their guns to him? This guy is a ruthless killer and came to Alexandria just to kill everyone in it. Now, he has six Alexandrians in this room at gunpoint, including some real major players in the show, and instead he decides to leave the building with Denise in hand and venture out into a mass of zombies. UGH. THIS SHOW.
I want to touch on how much I hate every single teenager/child character in this show. Episode seven of this season ended with Ron walking up behind Carl and about to take out his gun as if he was about to shoot Carl. I was legitimately hoping that Ron was going to go through with this and actually shoot Carl. Man, that could have been something! Instead, the two simply tussle after Ron points his gun at Carl, and this leads to them making enough noise that the zombies catch on and break through into the house which some of the survivors have barricaded themselves into. Of course, when Rick asks what all the commotion was, Carl and Ron play it off like nothing happened. Boys will be boys, right?
The characters decide to go back to the well again and use the old trope of covering themselves in zombie guts to mask their own smell, and they venture outside into a massive swarm of zombies. I will say that I used to like this idea of covering themselves in zombie guts, and I even thought it was clever, but man is it getting old. Also, you’d think at some point they’d just start carrying around zombie guts in little Rubbermaid containers at all times just in case some zombies come around and they need to have zombie stink on them for a while.
So, the characters all cover themselves in zombie guts and hold hands as they step outside into a mass of zombies. Now to speak about my main man Sam. Sam is Ron’s younger brother, and he’s somehow even worse than Ron. Sam becomes scared and decides it is a good time to start calling for his mom as the group enters the zombie parade. Then the episode ends. The episode had absolutely nothing going for it until this point. It was just about to get good, then nope, the episode cuts to credits. THIS FUCKING SHOW.
But wait! There’s a special two-minute epilogue! Yay! Oh, it’s been stuck into the first commercial break of the following AMC show, Into the Badlands? Trying to drive up the ratings on that show, huh? Well, this epilogue, or “prologue to the next chapter of The Walking Dead,” as they call it, is sort of significant.
It features Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham driving back to Alexandria as they come across a group of bikers blocking the road ahead. Instead of using the RPG that Abraham picked off of the zombie he wrestled with earlier on the fence, or plowing through this group of obviously hostile group of bikers with their big truck, Daryl and Co. decide to leave their truck and talk with this group of bikers. The main biker guy basically says that everything that Daryl and Co. has belongs to Negan now — *Cue dramatic dun dun dun music*. Yup. That’s it.
So, yes, we finally get confirmation that Negan is going to be a part of the show, but I don’t know if I like this way of introducing his character. I can say that I am excited by the news that Jeffery Dean Morgan will be portraying Negan in the show, as I feel that that is a solid pick, but knowing the source material and how vulgar that Negan is in the comics, it’s hard to know if the show will be able to pull off his character. They’ll most likely ruin his character, too, just like they already have with all of the rest of the cast.
The Walking Dead has a serious problem, and it lies in its writing and character work. What a bad problem to have, right? Thing is, I don’t care about any of the characters but Rick right now. I think they’re either all making incredibly dumb decisions week after week, are way too annoying, or have been put to the wayside and have had nothing to say or do for the last half of this season. It really is truly incredible how awful the characters are, and they’ve been on a steady decline for a while.
Alright, well, I think that’s everything. Sorry for all of the rambling. When the show returns on Valentine’s Day in February, hopefully the second half of the season picks up the slack of this dismal first half. You know I’ll be there to witness it either way! Or maybe I’ll just not watch the second half as it airs on AMC every week and instead I’ll just wait for the entire season to come to Netflix next fall. Even better yet, maybe I’ll just throw in the towel right now, and quit watching the show altogether…nah, we all know that I can’t stop watching this show, no matter how much I hate it.
— Michael Lane, Blog Editor, Relapsed The Walking Dead Devotee