The last week is one of recovery to overcome a great amount of shock and devastation. For “The Walking Dead” fans all over the world, it’s more like a living nightmare, one we are all hoping to wake up from and with good cause. I think it’s safe to say that “The Walking Dead’s”new season premiere is causing devastation across the masses.
The Walking Dead didn’t just break our hearts, it destroyed them. “Maggie,” Glenn says “I will find you.” If you had any trouble decoding Glenn’s garbled words there it is. Eat your heart out. If it’s still there, that is.
“The Walking Dead” is not, by any means, a soft or gentle show. Nor does it offer the same instant, or guilty pleasure that most reality and cheap dramas on television are famous for. “The Walking Dead” is known to break a few (or a thousand, but who’s counting) hearts. Although, for many viewers, the show’s most recent episode was an entirely different phenomenon.
The show itself often strays away from the comic book story-line, so there is no real security or sureness from episode-to-episode. Being a “Walking Dead” comic fan is like playing musical chairs with the writers. There are a few basic rules: Don’t fall in love; Don’t get attached; Don’t get comfortable; and do not, ever, rely on your knowledge of the comics to predict what will happen in the show. It’s worthless information that’s constantly changing and often ending in disappointment. Still, nothing is quite so shocking as the hour-long angst unleashed upon us from the first few moments of the new season’s introduction. And it only got worse from there…
If you’re a fan of the comics or the show, you know that “The Walking Dead” is not a fandom for the faint heart. Quite the opposite, really, since the show is an unending cycle of death, abandonment, torture, cannibalism and any bad situation your mind can conjure. For years, that grotesque, near slasher-like violence is expected, and even loved, by millions of fans. It’s because most of the violence in The Walking Dead revolves around zombie-killing. In contrast, even the deaths of the human characters are portrayed with empathy and respect to their roles in the show and in fans’ lives. Sure, they may get eaten alive by the walking dead but it’s zombies, that’s what they do, right?
For a zombie apocalypse show, it’s ability to elicit such deep emotions and fictional relationships with our favorite characters is commendable. It brings out fan-loyalty with an ease that is elusive to most cast, writers and directors. This is one thing sets the show apart from so many like it. It’s shows like “Game of Thrones” that have such a persistent relationship with death and devastation that we hardly bat a lash at the grotesque display. You’d think, as a show where people are constantly getting eaten by zombies, it’d be the same. So why was this episode so different? Why did it possibly take it a step too far?
The answer is simple. We aren’t witnessing the zombie-killing horror we’ve grown to love. Instead, we are forced to witness the absolute horror of human capability. The mocking, the brutality…their approach left nothing to the imagination, to the point of being in poor taste.
Of course, most of us would be lying if we said we didn’t let out a sigh of relief when Abraham gets knocked down by Lucille. We thought it was over. But the metaphorical truck reverses and runs back over whatever is left of our hearts. They did a thorough job of finishing us off, that much is for sure. No heart is left un-smashed, no blood unseen.
It’s the shift in the show that we are expecting- one that holds true to its word; there was a before Negan and there will be an after Negan. We all knew it was coming. But, after months of white–knuckled, lip chewing, and nail-biting anticipation, our fictional world are turning upside down. And, while death is not an unfamiliar first for “Walking Dead” fans, it could be a regrettable last.
All that’s left know is to bury our emotions in the ground until the end of the season, or cross our fingers and hope, above all hopes. That we can get back to where we started.
So Glamorous people, let us know how you feel about the trecherous turn in Walking Dead history. Comment below or tweet @GlamorousPaper a selfie of your heartbreak (or the perfect gif that captures it!)