I am very worried the direction the recent episodes of The Walking Dead have taken. They possibly killed off the most lovable hero of the show, Glenn Rhee. They then teased us with the idea he might not be dead. We expected some follow up or resolution in the following episode or even episodes. It's now been a month. Is Glenn dead or not?
All credit where it is due, this marketing stunt to get people talking about the show is working. You search The Walking Dead and the internet is littered with legitimate questions of whether Glenn survived Nicholas' suicide. The conversation hasn't really covered the three pretty remarkable episodes that have followed so far. It's been all about Glenn.
There is a danger the show's producer could alienate their audience if the Glenn saga looks to drag on much longer. I think many viewers do not expect Glenn to survive, but the closure on what happened is clearly what people are wanting to see next. Had it been a legitimate character death, treated in the same way as other big TV show scalps, perhaps the viewer's anxiety wouldn't be so intense. His death may seem have been premature, considering it's not due based on the comic book stories for some time, yet we would have accepted that his time had come.
And yet, in a spoiler for the last episode, "Always Accountable," a voice was heard on Daryl's walkie talkie saying "Help." Is this Glen's voice? Norman Reedus apparently already said that this wasn't Glenn's voice. So who was it then?
But this constant teasing leaves me quite frustrated with the show. I understand the show-runner's goal is to keep the show in 'the conversation' and to keep viewers watching every week. This strategy as I've said already is working. But resolution is now owed to us viewers.
Gossip news outlets have already speculated the coming episode 7 will feature the resolution we are seeking. But note news outlets believed episode 5 and 6 would give us answers. Other outlets are predicting a trade; Glenn's life for another character's life. Did anyone else feel Abraham found some inner peace in the last episode? Is this a dramatic narrative signal that he is ready to face his end?
In the end, it is just a TV show. But still, when so much work and effort has been put in to the characters of a weekly TV show, that a viewer feels completely engaged and connected to a character like Glenn, it's easy to become emotional when we feel like we are being manipulated. And while I am not sure if I could boycott the show as a result of the lack of news on Glenn, I just hope future episodes or seasons do not attempt a stunt like this again.
Have you got over how The Walking Dead has treated Glenn? Do you think its time they resolved the unanswered questions? Tell us in the comments below.
Daniel Sanguineti is a Australian Film Producer and Writer, who tutors film and media at the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. He is on twitter @DanSanguineti.