My wife works nights on the weekend so I don’t get the opportunity to see The Walking Dead Sunday night (since we both love the show and I choose to wait for her). Therefore, I tend to play the game of avoiding spoilers on social media until we can sit down and watch together. I finally got to see Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead ad there’s a whole lot to talk about as setup for the season finale. Below is a spoiler filled discussion so don’t continue reading if you haven’t seen the episode and don’t want any info ruined.
From this point forward there will be plenty of spoilers. For starters let’s get the biggie out of the way. The closing shot of the episode was Daryl getting shot with blood hitting the camera. My gut feeling is that Daryl isn’t really dead. A character as big and well loved as Daryl deserves a big sendoff if/when he finally bites the bullet and a quick shot by a minor villain right before a season finale that’s introducing the biggest bad guy from the comics doesn’t do him justice. His death would just be overshadowed by the chaos that’s coming up and I think the showrunners would want something of that magnitude to be an event unto itself (like the “Is Glenn Dead?” storyline from earlier in the season).
That said, a major character is absolutely going to die in the finale. This is not a spoiler, I haven’t heard or read this anywhere definitively, again just a gut feeling. The whole second half of this season has been building up Negan and the Saviors as a major threat only to see Rick’s group fairly easily dispatch of a compound full of them, a group on the road, and the groups that carol killed with only one death so far at their hands. The only way to truly establish Negan as the intimidating force he’s suppose to be, and immediately make him appear as a larger threat than the Governor, is to have him show up and right away kill off a fan favorite character. I’m talking about an upper echelon character like Daryl, Carol, Michonne or Glenn.
I know what you’re thinking, those are some of the “untouchable” characters. Up through last season I thought the same way, that no matter what happens in the story there are certain characters that we know are going to make it through. But for this to be as big of a television moment as they want it to be, somebody has to die. The only person who i feel is completely safe is Rick. This isn’t based on any prior knowledge from the comics (I haven’t read the comics but have unfortunately heard potential spoilers from those who have). There are characters who have died in the comics that are still around in the show, those who are alive in the comics who are long gone int he show and even those in the show that never existed in the comics. The showrunners have enjoyed playing with expectations and changing things from the way they occurred in the comics. I’m well aware of what happens when Negan shows up (I won’t spoil it), but I’d actually be surprised if it’s kept that way. There’s rumors circling that when Negan’s barbed wire covered bat strikes we’ll actually not see who dies and have to wait until next season to find out. They’ve been relying a bit too much on the cliffhanger “Did he really die” endings this season so I for one hope that’s not the case.
Next topic from this episode. I have a question, how is everyone infected? Is it something genetically where everyone suddenly at this point in history will become a zombie when they die or is it exposure to something widespread like contaminated air or water or something like that? I know it was never explained in the show so that’s more of a rhetorical question, but there’s a reason I’m asking. One brief moment in the episode saw Maggie screaming in pain to indicate something was very wrong with her baby. It would be terribly depressing if Maggie and Glenn were to lose the baby because it’s one of the symbols of the group being able to return to a sense of normalcy in Alexandria by starting a family. By itself hat would be a great loss.
There’s something else to ponder; if the baby dies inside of her does he/she become a walker? Even if the answer is yes I’m not sure what ultimate end game will come of that story. In the womb clearly the baby would not have teeth so it’s not like the baby could bite and infect Maggie from the inside. It was already established back in Woodbury when de-fanged walkers were used during fighting matches that they need their teeth in order to break the skin and therefore infect another human. So I guess the question is, is it possible that Maggie could give birth to a zombie baby?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t address Carol’s role in the episode. She has been a truly fascinating character this season. Many fans love to look at her as the tough as nails woman who can kill her way out of any problem. Watching her the past few weeks struggle with the woman she’s become and the people she’s had to kill and escaping Alexandria to try to protect whatever shred of humanity she still has is interesting. She knows what she’s capable of and does not want to do it anymore. Even despite that she finds herself continually dragged back in. She took out a group of saviors in this episode with a gun hidden inside of her jacket sleeve. Yes, she was forced to take their lives in self-defense, but she sewed the gun into her sleeve into he first place so she was preparing for such a scenario. It reminds me of the Bible verse in Romans “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” How does she figure into the future of Rick’s group at Alexandria? Will she meet her demise, ride off into the sunset as a loner, or return to the group with new convictions about who she wants to be? What do you think?
This was an episode that spent most of the time setting the stage for the season finale. The group is spread apart leaving Alexandria without many of their experienced fighters. There’s a major injury or death to a key character. Carol is suffering a crisis of belief. And the Saviors are aware of their existence and appear to be right at their doorstep. What are your predictions for the finale? Would a major death to one of the key characters change your opinion about wanting to watch the Walking Dead in the future? Share your thoughts on this episode and the season finale in the discussion board below.