For the first time in a long time, I find myself conflicted about committing my thoughts to an episode recap. With no definitive conclusion and the potential for shenanigans, I hesitate to say anything that might fuel my frustration with The Walking Dead at the moment.
That being said, it’s nearly impossible for me not to have an opinion. If you haven’t already watched the episode, need a refresher, or have been living sans social media since Sunday, you can Click Here for a spoiler-filled recap.
Let’s be honest. There’s really only one thing that anyone wants to discuss about this episode and that is whether or not Glenn is actually dead. I have watched the episode 4 times since it aired. I have watched interviews, read articles, pondered Tweets, and compared my notes and observations to that onslaught of information. The result? I am no more prepared to answer that question than you are.
Glenn has been in a number of ridiculously tight spots since the series began, each time miraculously surviving. So, having him survive the herd in the alley wouldn’t be entirely unfathomable.
If you are a fan of the comics you know that Glenn does die, brutally, after learning that Maggie is pregnant. In the season 6 premiere, Maggie volunteers for Rick’s mission and Glenn tells her that she has to remain behind, citing Deanna as just cause. Maggie softly replies, “That’s not the only reason.” And the two squeeze hands, knowingly. They’d already had one pregnancy scare back at the prison. These two obviously aren’t concerned with coitus interruptus. I feel that this is clearly a sign of baby Gleggie on the way, even if they hadn’t yet had the chance to tell the group.
Now, many people will argue that Glenn can not die yet on the show because he is supposed to be killed by Negan and his weapon of choice, Lucille. Here’s the thing. Forget the comics. Half the cast on the show now either didn’t exist in the comics at all, or are out of place with that timeline. In last week’s episode, the character of Holly was introduced…and killed. This substantially alters the story lines of Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene, if we were to hold the source material verbatim. Hell, Carol and Judith shouldn’t still be alive. Daryl, Sasha, and Tara shouldn’t exist. Why should Glenn have to die by Lucille?
Even fans who have never read a single comic are aware of Negan and Lucille. Thanks social media! Which means, having Glenn die that way would not have the emotional shock value the writers have come to deliver. Already, we’ve seen TV show Bob die comics-Dale’s death. We’ve seen TV show Hershel die comics-Tyreese’s death. Both of those creative choices allowed for the TV versions of Dale and Tyreese to have horrible death scenes that came seemingly out of the blue, breaking the hearts of fans. If the writers want to introduce Negan in a such a way that will not only terrify fans, but will cement his position as the ultimate baddie, then his assault needs to hit us out of left field and Lucille needs to meet someone else’s skull. Someone like Daryl or Abraham. A total stranger who gleefully exerts his power by clobbering one of the strongest members of the group, blindsiding the audience? That’s how you do it.
So, can we agree that saving Glenn now just so Negan can kill him later is a lame idea? Okay.
Now, let’s get down to the mathy-science analysis. First off, Nicholas shooting himself in the head from that angle and with that caliber weapon should not have caused him to fall into Glenn. That was done for dramatic effect and irritates me. However, physics never seem to be a concern on this show (the van going off the overpass…anyone?) But, fall they did. Now, real world scenario (haha) there is no physical way possible for Glenn to survive that alley. None. Nicholas’ dead weight is across his torso, pinning him to the spot (those were his blood and guts spewing all over Glenn). But what about Glenn’s limbs?
Have you ever fallen to the floor playing with a bunch of dogs or puppies? I have 4 dogs. When they are all riled up and coming at me seeking attention, there is no stopping them. If I lay down on the floor, all will try to get at my face/head for kisses. At least one will stay there and keep trying no matter how tightly I hold my hands over my face to prevent being licked. One dog, usually a small one, will wind up standing on top of me. One will frantically nip at both of those dogs, back and forth, and nip at my arms and hands, trying to force its way in to my bubble of love. And the fourth dog, will always…always, attack a lower leg in the hopes of humping it. Because that dog is a jerk.
Now, Glenn is flat on his back pinned by another body. There are at least 100 walkers surrounding them that immediately fall to the ground to swarm them. Where are Glenn’s legs? His arms? He smells like living flesh. Nicholas just died. That was fresh, red blood sprayed on Glenn’s face. Imagine now that these two men are a plate of pancakes, one atop the other. I don’t know about you, but when I cut into pancakes, I don’t carefully and methodically slice merely into the top-most pancake, sparing the one beneath it. No, I’d slice right through a stack of 5 pancakes and put an entire fork full in my mouth. Are you going to stand there and tell me that 100 walker are only going to chew on Nicholas and stop before biting Glenn? Here’s a leg…oh, wait…my bad…that one belongs to the guy on the bottom. Be serious! Even the walker that ate Lori kept eating until there was nothing left. There’s no way 100 walkers are going to stop before tasting Glenn.
In season 1, Glenn and his friend, Dumbass…er…Rick, navigated a section of Atlanta covered in walker guts. We’ve seen Carol use the same technique. Michonne and Andrea became experts at the same concept, though less disgusting in their methods. At this moment, Glenn is laying in a pool of fresh blood. It’s like pouring gravy all over a piece of meat and thinking your dog will never notice it under there. No. He is not camouflaged.
What if he crawls under the dumpster? How? Glenn would have to physically remove himself from beneath a corpse being devoured by countless walkers and slide his way under the dumpster without being noticed. All it’d take is for one–just one–walker to notice his movement, and game over. Besides, in the pilot episode, Rick scrambled under a tank and what happened? They followed him. The surface area of a tank is a lot larger than that of a dumpster. Glenn could easily be reached on all four sides. Nope. This is a stupid theory.
Enid will appear, distract the walkers and save him! Are you kidding me with this? By the time she could make enough of a distraction to clear that many walkers away, it’d be too late. Plus, when have you ever seen the walkers who are chewing on a fresh body give it up to check out some noise? Never. There will always be at least 1 or 2 stragglers who keep on chomping. Nope. This theory is even more stupid than the last. And, my opinion would still be the same if they used it as an opportunity to introduce Jesus (a character who will soon be making his jump from page to screen).
He didn’t die; his name wasn’t in the Talking Dead in-memorium segment so it must have been an hallucination! Yeah…except that Nicholas was in the in-memorium segment. So, him dying and knocking Glenn off the dumpster actually happened. Nice try.
They would never kill off a main character unless it was on a mid-season or season finale episode, so he can’t be dead! May I present to the court, exhibit C–as in, cell block? How about that time we lost T-Dog, Lori, and (for a time) Carol? Or how about when Dale died? Or Merle? Or Tyreese? Or Shane? It’s the zombie apocalypse; everyone dies sometime.
Showrunner Scott Gimple released a very vague statement regarding Glenn: “Dear fans of The Walking Dead, this is a hard story to tell and when we were planning to tell we knew our friends at the Talking Dead would be talking to you about it and knowing you’d all be talking, and feeling and commiserating, I knew we should say something about it lest our silence say something we didn’t mean to say or not say,” Gimple said in a statement. “So I’ll say this: In some way, we will see Glenn, some version of Glenn or parts of Glenn again, either in flashback or in the current story to help complete the story.” What can this mean? Some version of Glenn….a walker? Parts of Glenn….his baby?
This is where my serious issue with all of this begins. I’ve read articles that claim actor Steven Yeun has recently renewed his contract to continue on with TWD. The so-called fans of the show (who are nothing more than stalkers that live to spoil every detail of the show for everyone else, against the pleadings of the cast and crew) have been posting photos all summer that show Glenn still on set and in scenes with new character, Jesus. Since Jesus hasn’t been introduced yet, that would mean that Glenn is still alive. If Glenn is still alive, that means this series took what could have been a truly remarkable moment of television and elicited a traumatic and heartfelt reaction out of me FOR NOTHING. Shenanigans!
This season of TWD is playing out like an episode of 24. For all we know, Jesus has already been introduced. It took at least a few weeks for the Alexandrians to design and execute construction of Operation Zombie Relocation (if not evidenced by common sense, then by the healing factor of Rick’s face). Maybe Jesus showed up during that time and we’ll see Glenn in flashbacks to that? Nah. That’s stupid. They’re going to find a way for Glenn to be alive. Remember what Michonne said to Heath, about being covered in blood and not knowing whose it was? Yeah, hi. That’s our big clue. But the thing is, if they find a way to make Glenn come out of that alley generally unharmed, it will be my firm opinion that this show has not only jumped the shark but high-fived it in process.
Stop toying with us. Just let him be dead. Any of us in that same set of circumstances would totally be dead. Just go with it. It’ll make us even more scared for the new-unknown with Negan and Lucille. Don’t send someone as wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey as Damon Lindelof to TTD to analyze things. But, this is television and these characters are not real. They ask me to suspend my disbelief and allow walkers to ‘exist’, surely they expect me to suspend it long enough for Glenn to survive.
I just don’t want to.
As for the rest of the episode, once again, TWD has impressed me this season. The tension level remained high. I enjoyed the parallels between David’s story and that of both Michonne and Glenn’s lives. The little nods to seasons past were heart warming, yet again. I’d still like to know what became of Tobin (walkers? wolves? dead battery in his walkie talkie?). I’m more than pissed off at Morgan right now. If Rick hadn’t had to shoot up the RV to escape being killed by the Wolves that Morgan let live…again…surely he would have gotten the RV started and ready to lead the emerging walkers back up the road to merge with Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha. I really like Heath. In a way, I feel bad for Nicholas. I think his “Thank you” to Glenn was for showing him the light and the way to redemption. Glenn forgave what Nicholas never could. I know the next episode will be 90-minutes long, but word on the street is that it will focus on Morgan’s backstory. So, we may not get any answers regarding Glenn until the following week. Or will we? Who knows with this show anymore?
I like that this series continues to find ways to surprise and scare me. It’s rare to be so emotionally invested in fictional characters. Just don’t take advantage of my loyalty, AMC.