Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Glenn's Fate In TWD S6E7

This commentary concerns the 7th episode of season 6 of the AMC zombie apocalypse series The Walking Dead. This episode, titled Heads Up, originally aired on 11/22/2015. Do not proceed if you do not wish to read any spoilers.

This episode resolved a cliffhanger concerning whether or not Glenn survived episode 3 (Thank You) which aired on 10/25/2015.

The season 6 episodes summaries from Wikipeida note the following.

THANK YOU (S6E3, 10/25/2015) Glenn and Nicholas end up being trapped atop a dumpster surrounded by an army of the undead. Seeing no way out, Nicholas thanks Glenn and shoots himself in the head; his falling body knocks Glenn off the safety of the dumpster into the ravenous horde.

HEADS UP (S6E7, 11/22/2015) After being trapped by a horde of walkers, Glenn manages to survive by crawling under a dumpster while the Walkers are occupied with consuming Nicholas' corpse.

3 episodes aired in between "Thank You" and "Heads Up", leaving the question as to whether or not Glenn was dead unresolved. During this period of time I wrote a blog post in which I stated my belief that Glenn had definitely died. Because he was surrounded, and even if it was Nicholas' guts who were ripped out (see video below), Glenn's head and legs were still exposed, and SURELY multiple Walkers would chow down on those parts of his body shortly (after the episode fades to black).

As it turns out those who guessed that - although it appeared as though Glenn was getting his guts ripped out - those guts actually belonged to Nicholas were right. And Glenn did crawl under the dumpster. My issue with this sequence of events is that the camera never showed why no Walker ever bit Glenn's legs (or his head) as he lay under Nicholas or as he pulled himself under the dumpster.

The way the showrunners cheated their way out of the situation was simply to never show anything from an angle that showed Glenn's exposed legs. But they were exposed and that he did not get bit is quite unbelievable IMO. And, even though the Walkers saw him under the dumpster and he killed some of those who were grasping at him (how, I do not know, as Glenn's hand was out of the shot), the other undead got distracted and wandered away after Glenn hide out under the dumpster for a few hours. A empty can rolling by in the background was one such distraction that supposedly distracted (at least 2?) of the many many undead that comprised the "army".

Everyone (guests and audience) on the Walking Dead post show, Talking Dead (a talk show on which the preceding episode of TWD is discussed), only expressed relief that Glenn was alive. Nobody asked, "what about his legs"? And, "why didn't he get bit in the face"? Either everyone was so overjoyed that Glenn didn't die that not one person ever thought to ask that - or the Talking Dead people put a lid on any such discussion.

Which is to say that I do not buy it that Glenn could have possibly escaped the situation the writers put him in - and he should have died. Not that I want him dead (I do not), but I find what happened to be not believable. Not that people dying and coming back as zombies is believable. But if one suspends disbelief in order to accept the premise of the show, then the rest of it should be handled in a realistic manner. Which I don't think happened with this episode.

As for that post I wrote in which I said Glenn was definitely dead... I never got around to publishing it. On the day episode 6 aired I thought that I'd better finish writing my post. Because I figured that the fate of Glenn might be revealed. What ended up happening was that I finished it RIGHT before the episode began. And then, when they revealed what happened to Glenn immediately (he lived) - there was no longer any reason for me to publish my post in which I got it wrong (and gave my extended explanation as to why I was sure Glenn was dead).

Turns out he lived because the writers decided they could gin up some interest in the show by making it look like Glenn died. Which they did, resulting in a ratings increase for episode 3. Then they had to cheat and keep Glenn alive when there was CLEARLY no way he could have escaped getting bit. Because Glenn is a fan favorite.

But does this mean Glenn is safe? The character that kills Glenn in the comic book (on which the series is based) has been cast and is scheduled to appear shortly (that character being Negan). Will Negan kill Glenn? I have not read the comic. Because I have no interest in comic books. I've only read online (many of the Walking Dead wiki entries) and that's how I know that Glenn does eventually die (and how).

In any case, even though I disliked how the character Beth Greene was written out of the show (PPP #35) and found Glenn's survival (given the situation he was in) not quite believable, I will continue to watch. I still think TWD is a pretty goods show, despite having a few issues with some of the writing.

Video: Nicholas and Glenn die. (2:27)

PPP #37, TWD #6.

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