Do we want to beat around the bush, or do we want to just jump right into it? Let’s just jump right into it.
The writers have created one hell of a conundrum for themselves. Glenn’s death was severely mishandled. For a mainstay character who has been with us from the beginning, his death was underwhelming, unceremonious, and ultimately avoidable. He fell off box? Because some other guy sort of fell next to him and he got pushed off? That’s it? For one of the bravest and most lovable characters on the show, it feels almost like the writers didn’t really care about doing his sendoff justice. Hell, Andrea got a better departure then Glenn.
Glenn is not dead. Glenn got covered by that other guy’s body and zombies just ate him until they got full or whatever, meaning Glenn is safe under the dead body. This isn’t the most unreasonable thing to believe, after all. For a show that is pretty deliberate about showing character death, something about Glenn’s death did look a little…off. This is the other possibility and it’s actually almost worse than having him die.
It’s a nonsense, B.S., misleading lie. It’s the showrunners trying to squeeze an extra drop of emotion out of us without actually committing to the move. It’s them saying “People are going to get suspicious that only the no-name Alexandrians are dying, but we can’t kill a real character because they’re all under contract…fake out it is!”
That move ticked me off. It actually ruined the episode because it was either extremely lazy or extremely misleading. Things like that lead to disappointing television, which is what this episode ultimately was.
Glenn aside, this episode lacked a good amount of consequence and progression. Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl are still leading the zombies away (despite Daryl’s little attempted detour). Michonne and co. are still running from the break off pack. Rick is…well, we’ll get to Rick. The deaths of the side characters were underwhelming because, of course, we have nothing invested in them. Even whatever-his-name’s last minute attempt to make us care fell short, so despite the high body count we ultimately didn’t feel a heck of a lot about any of it. Now, had Glenn or someone heroically sacrificed themselves for the cause, then it might have worked. But, again, Glenn’s shoe-horned-and-possibly-false death was the show’s attempt to make up for the lack of consequence in the previous 45 minutes.
Rick, on the other hand (Ha! That’s a pun relating to a point I haven’t made yet) left us with something to ponder at the end of the episode. After taking out a small group of walkers, Rick lost his knife in a zombie’s head and had to get down and dirty to take out the rest of the walkers. Pretty standard, right? Well what was interesting was he kept looking at his hand afterwards. Did the knife cut him? Did he get bit? Cross-contamination of some sort? It might just be nothing, but Rick looked at his hand juuuuuuuust a bit too much for me to truly say it was nothing.
But maybe it’s nothing. That wouldn’t surprise me either. In fact, this is almost a nice little metaphor for the season and maybe even the show. Something happens that gets us interested, but the show either did it by accident or chooses to ignore it, leaving us ultimately disappointed.
Odds and Ends
- I really do want to like this show, you guys, seriously. But it gets really hard some times.
- Rick taking out those people through the side of the RV was a creative use of mirrors, space, and blocking. More of that, please, and less of…whatever last week was?
- Maybe instead of buying all those helicopters for the aerial shots they could have taken that money to hire a guy to tell them not to handle Glenn the way they did.
- Apparently this story arc is lasting more than three episodes, so there goes the analogy I made last week.
Alex Russo likes to talk about television. You can read more of his insane ramblings on Twitter.