RIP Carl Grimes… even before it happens, in late February 2018 it seems, I am mourning the loss of The Walking Dead.
I know, I know, you hear it all the time from certain sections of the fanbase: “Bring back Beth or else!” and “If Darryl dies we riot and by riot we mean we will stop watching the show” and the age old standby, year after year, “start showing more zombies or I swear this is the last season of The Walking dead for me, I mean it.”
I am not one of those people. I have been a die hard love it all what a great story about human survival and zombies in the mix doesn’t hurt one bit sort of fan from the very beginning. From that dark Halloween night back in 2010, I was enthralled and have gone on the roller coaster ride of fighting to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic world along with Rick Grimes and his band of Survivors through every season, every horrifying death, every twist and turn. It is, was, the best damn scripted show on television since The X-Files, in my own humble opinion. And in case you don’t know it by now, I am a total geek. Completely, totally and unabashedly a sci-fi nerd and post-apocalyptic novels is the genre closest to my heart. I’ve never “read” The Walking Dead Comics because I like my books without pictures, but the tv show? It was made for me.
I had a strong reaction to the season six finale of The Walking Dead. I felt the terror, the uncertainty of what was going to happen, then the absolute certainty that someone was going to die. I felt it all day, watching the Walking Dead marathon. Someone was going to die and for the first time since AMC originally aired this zombie apocalypse series in 2010, I felt dread instead of excitement as the hours counted down to the final episode of season 6. Of course people die but this time, I knew it was coming and it was going to be really, really bad. I kinda didn’t want to see it happen. But of course I watched. Duh.
And as I watched Negan smash someone’s brains out, fading into black with only faint, gruesome sounds in the background and then the credits rolled, I shook a little then both middle fingers flew up at the tv screen and I yelled “F you F you F you F you! EFFF YOU. F you F you… oh F you!” until The Talking Dead come on.
There was no one watching with me except the cat so it wasn’t for any audience of my own. It was a gut reaction, raw emotion bubbling up from my core. F YOU. F you for leaving me like that, still not knowing. F you.
I get that the writers and producers of the show wanted to leave us not knowing who Negan beat to a bloody pulp so we would have the same horror in our heads as the characters who had to shut up and watch it. The audience is supposed to be feeling the same terrible emotion knowing that everything we knew just changed. I get it. But I don’t like it one bit. Not one tiny bit.
I woke up Monday morning, kissed the cat and then said out loud “F you” a couple of times then made coffee. I thought back to the previous five seasons and the final scene. Sometimes we’ve had cliff hangers, pretty big ones, but nothing so awful as knowing someone just died a horrific death but nobody knows who it was.