The Walking Dead Showrunner Just Shot Down A Popular Fan Theory

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

No, Walking Dead Fans, Glenn’s Not Dead.

On Sunday night, swaying on top of a dumpster surrounded by Walkers, Nicholas (Michael Traynor) looked out at the grasping hands, the ravenous mouths and gave up.The most inadvertently hilarious line from Monday night’s AV Club Walking Dead video recap: “I don’t know how [much] necessarily I was attached to Glenn, but…” This from Josh Modell after he’s explained his not-so-far-fetched explanation of how Glenn actually made it out of an alley full of zombies (despite the bloody entrails you see devoured on screen).While most people are busy wondering exactly what’s happened to Glenn in the universe, Sunday’s episode also featured a plot with Rick that’s been pretty interesting.

Modell rightly says that it would be a “huge, ridiculous cheat” if Glenn survived, but a statement from executive producer Scott Gimple all but admits that’s exactly what happened. “In some way,” Gimple writes, “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.” This, along with actor Steven Yeun’s failure to appear afterwards on Talking Dead (a now-recurring feature whenever a character is killed off), as well as leaked set photos that show Yeun filming scenes that have yet to air, have pretty much convinced everyone that Glenn’s okay. If the walkers were sufficiently distracted with Nicholas, it could have given Glenn the opportunity to roll under the nearby dumpster to relative safety. Sure, if Glenn is dead, it’s “shocking” insomuch as TV still rarely kills off long-established characters (Glenn has been around since 1×01), but to what extent does WD even have characters?

But if it did end, then Glenn Rhee’s life took a very different turn than it was supposed to — and now, in the aftermath, everyone on “The Walking Dead” should be on high alert. The latest episode of the series, “Thank You,” was not just an expression of gratitude from one dying man to another, but a message from the show to its audience: “Thanks for sticking around all these years, even though it’s literally our job to break your heart. He’s Asian, he dates Maggie (are they married?), I think he used to deliver pizza, he’s kind of a nice guy (in comparison to, say, The Governor or one of the Wolves).

Glenn, whom we have watched mature from a twitchy man-boy into a loving husband and friend, whose love affair with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) was often the only bright spot amid carnage and despair. You probably know the circumstances by now, whether you’ve read the comics or you just decided to google Glenn’s graphic demise as part of your grieving process.

Besides the totally improbable escapes (if not Glenn then Rick), there’s the egregiously contrived plotting—like when the zombies in the pet store stock room start banging on the door just as the herd out front is passing by, despite the fact that Michonne & co. have been in the store, making far more noise, for God knows how long. To invest in plans and communities that will falter and fail, to embrace characters who will be killed, sometimes for no good reason except to remind us that the universe is a brutal place? Continuing the season premiere’s plot, a group of survivors attempted to lead a massive herd of walkers, while another group struggled to stay ahead of them.

Glenn Rhee didn’t die in vane. “The way that we make the show – the writers and everybody really want to focus on making things poignant and purposeful and meaningful”, Yeun said. Unfortunately, since Rick is the biggest presence on the show and is in the most scenes, it just wasn’t fiscally feasible for the team to use special effects to make Rick’s hand disappear for every episode in perpetuity.

Just a few years ago, the increasing death rate of regular characters on television in general and “The Walking Dead” in particular sent up howls of protests and sermons of soul-searching. Gimple, did, however, confirm to TV Line that the fan theory regarding the plausibility of getting infected by a walker blood-infested weapon is possible. Viewers then see a body, presumably Glenn’s, being torn apart. “I mean, I know that I was there when we shot the scenes, I’m aware of what happened, and I know that there is still more story for the fans to experience with Glenn”, he tells Us Weekly. How was the audience supposed to feel safe when anyone —Matthew on “Downton Abbey,” Will on “The Good Wife,” never mind half the cast of “Game of Thrones,” could go at any time? Consider the heart of gold ripped out, if only temporarily, an act of violence that opens the door for so much more — because if the show will force us to watch Glenn Rhee watch his own innards pulled out from his body, surrounded by a pack of feasting walkers, then there’s no telling what the show will force us to watch with some of the more hardened fan-favorites.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: If you thought this latest death prompted an online riot, just wait until “Walking Dead” gains the guts to kill off Daryl. Obviously, the injury seemed to be bothering the character after the encounter, leading fans to speculate that walker blood had been present on the machete and that Rick was going to have to get his hand chopped off to save his life. Although other people involved with the show have been a little less straightforward with their Rick’s hand answers, I’m kind of glad this isn’t something I need to be mulling over until next Sunday’s episode airs.

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