Thursday, April 21, 2016

On #whoisit Re TWD S6E16

This commentary concerns the 16th episode of season 6, which was the season finale of the AMC zombie apocalypse series The Walking Dead. This episode, titled Last Day on Earth, originally aired on 4/3/2016. Do not proceed if you do not wish to read any spoilers.

This episode is titled "Last Day on Earth", I presume, because it is the last day on earth... for one of the characters. One of the major characters dies at the end, although it is not revealed who dies. The head bad guy, Negan, after giving a long speech (for which the episode was extended by a half hour to accommodate) beat someone to death with his baseball bat (wrapped in barbed wire/nicknamed "Lucille").

The actual beating was show from the POV of the person who dies. Whoever it is sees the bat come down, and we hear Negan say that is victim is "taking it like a champ". According to the episode synopsis on Wikipedia "from the seemingly unknown victim's point-of-view, Negan proceeds to beat them... Blood starts streaming down the screen while the screen fades to black".

The hashtag #whoisit was revealed on the aftershow, "Talking Dead". The top guesses being Glenn, Daryl and Eugene. But I don't think it's going to be any of those characters. My guess is that the one who dies is Abraham.

The person who dies in the comic/graphic novel is Glenn. This I know because I read about it on the Walking Dead Wiki (I have not read the comic). But, as the creator of TWD has said previously, he considers TWD TV show to be a "remix" of the comic. In the past various deaths that occurred in the comic occurred on the TV program, but who was being killed changed (while the mode of death stayed the same). For example, Tyreese is killed by the governor (who chops off his head with a sword) in the comic, while on the TV show the person killed in this manner is Hershel Greene.

So, if this death is "remixed", it won't be Glenn. Besides, they already killed off Glenn (which turned out to be a fake out). Glenn appeared to die (the screen fading to black after showing his apparent death). But it was later revealed that he lived (PPP #37).

Which isn't to say that I don't think Glenn won't die (perhaps in season 7). I only think his death will be delayed. There are repercussions that drive future storylines after Glenn dies, so if he were to live (be a "safe" character like Rick and Carl are) that would be a big departure from the comic. Something that has not happened (at least thus far). The TV show has basically followed the comic (although "remixed").

All of this points to the character who died not being Glenn. My opinion is that the clues point to it being Abraham. Clue one is the fact that Abraham does die in the comic. Although it's by being shot in the head with an arrow/crossbow bolt (I think it's the latter but I don't recall). I am not sure when this happens (before or after Glenn dies by being beaten to death by Lucille), but there was such a death on the TV show. The doctor Denise character is shot in the head with a crossbow bolt in S6E14.

Was this a "remix" of Abraham's comic book death? (where Denise was subbed in for Abraham). I'm not sure, but I think it was. Which likely means Abraham's death was only delayed (while Tyreese did not die by having his head chopped off, he did die a short while later).

Another clue that #whoisit is Abraham is that he had several "moments" in the show (2 that I noticed). Moment #1 was a discussion between him and Sasha in which he revealed he was open to starting a family (as Glenn and a pregnant Maggie had decided to do). This represents hope for the future. Someone expressing hope (in a TV series concerning the apocalypse) is likely to have that hope crushed.

Moment #2 occurred when he made peace with Eugene (with whom he had previously been arguing). Argument stemming from the fact that Eugene tricked Abraham into thinking Eugene knew how to combat the zombie plague (thus getting Abraham to protect him/get him to Washington where he could meet up with other experts where they would put into action the secret government plan to fix things).

These 2 moments, IMO, are in line with other characters having "moments" just prior to being killed (I'm specifically thinking of the Axel character's conversation with Carol in which he discusses his life prior to going to prison/the apocalypse, just prior to him being killed).

The purpose, of course, is to remind the audience who this character is (or, in the case of Axel who had no backstory up to this point, introduce the character) so the audience is either reminded of why they should care or given a reason to care about the character's death. Although that impact was (obviously) blunted by their decision to keep who dies a secret.

By the way, my second choice for #whoisit is Daryl. The only reason being the fact that the actor who plays him, Norman Reedus, was recently given a AMC TV series of his own (Ride With Norman Reedus). And I do remember that right before Tyreese was written out I read that Chad Coleman (the actor who played Tyreese) had joined the cast of the sci-fi series The Expanse.

So, it could be Daryl who died. But, given the popularity of the character, I doubt it's him. And his program is a reality show in which he rides his motorcycle around. Reality shows being the cheapest types of programing to create. Due to them having no special effects, sets, or other things that push up the costs on conventional TV shows (so, it isn't as if it a "real" show). That, and Wikipedia says this series is a scant 6 episodes. He could do this series in the break before TWD returns (6 months from now in October).

The character that dies COULD be Glenn, but I'd be surprised. He WILL die (as I already noted), but his death will (likely) be "remixed". Although, given the fact that I was convinced that he had died in S6E7... but that wrong guess was due to bad writing, not due to me not being able to pick up on the clues (the ones I previously noted). Which is why I'm pretty confident the character who died was Abraham (and this is what will be revealed to have happened when S7E1 airs).

Video: Negan kills #whoisit. (1:56)

PPP #38, TWD #7.