The Walking Dead has certainly delivered quite a few shocking moments in the past, but I don’t think the show has ever horrified me quite as much as it did tonight.
I suppose we should have seen it coming, and now that I look back, it was actually very heavy-handed. To be honest, I think that’s why I was so surprised at what happened in tonight’s episode. I truly thought that Glenn was “safe” (at least for now), because even though all signs were pointing to his death, I [wrongly] assumed that Walking Dead would be above that.
Here’s the thing: as a whole, this episode was average at best. It had a lot of really amazing moments punctuated by some seriously maddening/awkward scenes. I have to admit that I agreed with Rick when he said that not all of the Alexandria people would make it home. I don’t even think that it was necessary for him saying that–and his plea to Michonne and Glenn that they make a break for it if they needed to –to be punctuated by one of the nameless red shirts getting attacked by zombies. But again, heavy-handed is the best description for this episode.
The whole bit with Daryl seemed really odd. He broke off from Sasha and Abraham, but ended back up with them? He seemed to understand that Rick got himself in trouble, but if this situation was supposed to show him making a decision between what he wanted and what his orders were, I don’t think it was handled very well.
One of the most amazing parts of “Thank You” was Michonne’s arc. Carol is great and all, but I strongly feel that while Michonne’s shining moments may be more subdued, they also portray a character who is better-written overall, as well as showcasing Danai Gurira’s amazing acting skills. Watching Michonne reassure the people who she knew wouldn’t survive and then pull Heath aside and tell him how it really is was both eye-opening and heart-wrenching.
But I can’t get away from it; none of that, not even that one Alexandria guy biting it (I had to make a pun to lighten things up) after Michonne promising him he’d at least get home, was as awful as Glenn’s death. I can’t stop asking myself, how did they think that this was the right time to off him? Did they think that using Nicholas to expedite Glenn’s death would be somehow symbolic, even after all of this time?
To be fair, there’s already a fan contingent adopting the “we didn’t see it happen” mantra. “Nicholas could have fallen on top of Glenn and he rolled under the dumpster”. “Glenn wasn’t on the ‘In Memoriam'”. Honestly, either way – whether Glenn is still somehow alive and this was just a scene for shock value, or whether that sickening view of him being torn apart was legitimate – it was a badly timed and weak end for a great character.
The fact that “Thank You” continued with Rick getting attacked and then stuck in the RV as part of the walker horde approached made things even worse. If you’re going to kill off Glenn (or at least appear to do so), for God’s sake don’t treat it like it’s no big deal. If the writers were doing so because Glenn isn’t really dead, then well, that’s one of the things that is going to make me actually question whether he is actually dead (yeah, I’m already leaning toward that delusional group because otherwise I have to admit that for the first time ever I sobbed over a death in this show).
I have to be honest – I’ve sat here for ten minutes working on the conclusion for this review. Writing, rewriting, deleting, writing again, repeat. But nothing that I think of can really describe how betrayed I feel right now. Not because of Glenn’s death; not even because of its timing (though he is far more worthy of a season finale – mid-season at the very least). The manner is what really bothers me. Again, if he’s not dead, then this is just a bad attempt at shock value and not including him in the ‘in memoriam’ on The Talking Dead was an obvious clue.
But if Glenn is dead – which, with this show, is the more likely outcome – then I can’t pretend to be okay with the manner of his death, with the obnoxiously heavy-handed scenes leading up to it, or with its graphic nature. That in and of itself was as unnecessary as the dead animals in the petshop; at least during that scene I got a laugh at my friend’s comment, “Would it be better if Sarah McLachlan was singing?”
Next week’s episode is 90 minutes long, and it’s been announced that viewers will receive “closure”. The big theory is that this will be in the form of Glenn as a walker, but I don’t think that’s any better than what we were left with tonight. If anything, it’s worse.
In conclusion, I’m a mess right now and I don’t really know how to comport myself. Congratulations, Walking Dead… for the first time ever, you’ve broken me.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
Read our before commenting.
Do not copy our content in whole to other websites. Linkbacks are encouraged.
Copyright © The Geekiary