One of my favorite parts of the week is sitting down and watching the zombie double feature of The Walking Dead followed by its discussion show, The Talking Dead, hosted by Chris Hardwick. The Talking Dead started in the second season of The Walking Dead and has been a big part of Walking Dead fandom ever since. But despite how awesome the show is (Hardwick and his guests are always witty, insightful and a general delight to watch), I can't help but feel that it might be getting to the stage where it might actually be ruining the very show it is all about.
Stay with me here, I'm not about to pile on The Talking Dead, far from it -- I love the the host, I love the guests (Yvette Nicole Brown and her notebook are the best), and I love the insightful things that we learn that otherwise wouldn't have been noticed. But after this weeks episode I was left a bit disappointed and annoyed.
Obviously, as you all know by now, there was a very unexpected scene in the episode this week where Nicholas and Glenn were attacked by a horde of walkers. If viewers had simply been left with that scene in their minds the most obvious conclusion that most viewers would have come to was that the pair of them were both dead meat.
However as soon as The Talking Dead started screening it was obvious that the show was playing it very carefully with wording surrounding Glenn's supposed death (using phrases such as that it "appeared to be Glenn" being eaten), and then the "In Memoriam" section basically confirmed that Glenn is almost certainly not dead by very obviously omitting his name.
Steven Yeun, the actor who plays Glenn was also not a guest on the show, nor was any other crew or cast member, something which is extremely unusual in an episode involving a character death. Even the fact that Michael Traynor, who played Nicholas, wasn't on the show was a red flag that The Talking and Walking Dead were either trying to hint at something, or keep something from getting out.
Finally there was also the inclusion of an ambiguous statement from showrunner Scott M. Gimple that reads as follows:
"Dear fans of The Walking Dead, this is a hard story to tell, and when we were planning to tell it, we knew our friends over at Talking Dead would be talking to you about it, and knowing you’d be talking and feeling and commiserating, I knew we should say something about it, lest our silence say something we didn’t mean to say or not say so I will say this: In some way, we will see Glenn, some version of Glenn or parts Glenn again, either in flashback, or current story, to help complete the story."
Talk about one carefully worded statement, right?
Despite all of that, The Talking Dead was still just as fun as it always is, but when it was over, I just couldn't help but think that it had taken a little of the oomph out of that episode by immediately casting doubt over the fact that Glenn had died, something which looked almost certain in the episode. What do you think?