Alright guys, by now we have all seen it and speculated as to who we think met Lucille head on… But to not write about it would be no fun. With that said, let’s get directly into it shall we?
So, on last night’s season finale patient viewers finally met the one we have all been waiting for…Negan. While a majority of the 90 minute episode was spent on advertising and build up, the final 10 or so minutes gave us Jeffrey Dean Morgan in all his Negan glory.
After a drawn out monologue with minor interruptions from Rick and his gang, looking a little worse for the wear, Negan finally decides who is going to pay for all the lost saviors in the back half of season 6. The camera pans showing us every character as Negan spouts off a quick eeny meeny miney moe to decide who meets Lucille. Then with a crack, Lucille’s barbed wire exterior meets…… we do not yet know and will not know for six months.
But as fans we know that just because we don’t know who it is doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. First let’s start off with the ending in general. Negan’s introduction was handled perfectly, so much so that you could almost see each comic book frame as JDM recited the lines word for word (minus a few F-Bombs). Almost immediately after the screen cut to black, fan backlash hit the internet over the cliffhanger ending, and I can’t say I blame them. Much of the back half of the season built up to this point with fans clamoring for Negan and expecting a major character death. To not get to see that death realized and have to wait half a year to find out is both annoying and anti-climactic. That being said, the arc of this episodes story has very little to do with the actual death. At the beginning of the episode we see a cocky and arrogant Rick Grimes who feels like he owns the world. Over the course of the 90 minute, ad filled episode, we see rick come to realize he might have bit off more than he could chew when he instigated a war with the Saviors. Finally, by the end of the episode we see Rick as a shell of his former self kneeling down in front of Negan, scared and unable to protect his people like he so confidently thought. So yes, while we do not get confirmation of who dies, the arc of this episode was really Rick and his realization that he does not have the control he thought he did.
That being said, there are a few hints we can look at as to who actually dies. Firstly, We can rule out AMC allowing The Walking dead to brutally murder a woman by beating her in the face with a bat, let alone a pregnant woman. Secondly, I think we can also rule out the cast members Negan specifically spoke to, so Rick, Carl, Maggie, and…Glenn. When Negan was talking to Maggie, Glenn lost it, which at first I thought would end up being a moment straight from the comics. It wasn’t however, and Negan even said that he would usually not let that fly but this time will give a pass. So who realistically are we left with? Eugene, Daryl, and Abraham.
Now a strong case could be made for both Eugene and Abraham. The writers really showcased Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) this season, and at the end his character really seemed to be in a good place. Usually with this show, that means death is near. As for Eugene, the finale saw the completion of his “change” arc. When we first met him, he was weak and afraid, however this season he took great strides in accepting the world as it now is and adapting to it. The problem with this is that to introduce a character like Negan, killing Eugene or Abraham would not make a big enough statement for the new big bad.
So who are we left with now? Prepare to riot folks, Daryl (in my opinion) will be the one who meets Lucille face to face. The reasoning for this is really not related much to the show at all. From a business perspective, bringing in an actor with the pedigree of Jeffrey Dean Morgan means $$$ and in order to accommodate that, a bigger star of the show would need to leave to offset the added expense. There’s arguably no bigger star on the show than Norman Reedus or Andrew Lincoln and since we know it is not Rick, that doesn’t leave too many other options. Furthermore, the fact that Norman Reedus has been given his own show by AMC symbolizes two things: 1. His schedule just got that much more crowded, which could make it difficult to accommodate the filming on The Walking Dead and 2. It could be a gesture by AMC, a “you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours” move. AMC could have said to him we would like kill off your character here, but in return we will give you your own show.
Regardless, one thing the finale did incredibly well last night is make it very difficult to figure out who died. While I do believe it will be Daryl, we sadly will not know until October. Until then chime in below…
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