By Alex Doria
First, let me just say that I never thought I would ever be interested, let alone desperately invested in “The Walking Dead.” The ick factor of zombies has never been appealing to me—it’s just like, if you’re going to be a supernatural sci-fi being with a taste for human flesh, can you at least be attractive to balance the scales? Hence why there was a very dark period of my life where I was consumed by the idea of a certain sparkly vampire… but let’s not go there.
Reanimated corpses aside, “The Walking Dead” is not just another zombie apocalypse narrative where we follow the journey of a brilliant scientist who is working on the cure for the zombie virus; “The Walking Dead” is about everyday people like you and me, living and surviving in a hostile environment.
They are people like Rick Grimes, a local sheriff just trying to keep his family alive and together, and lead others through unimaginably savage circumstances. They are people like Carol Peletier who not only had to deal with an abusive husband, which is hard enough in our reality with the dead remaining buried, but she had to live to see her young daughter become a walker (zombie), and learn to fight for herself after a life of living in fear. They are people like Daryl Dixon with his gruff redneck “tough guy” persona masks a man whose heart beats and bleeds for those that he cares for.
Main point: These characters, along with many more, are what make this show AMAZING. The group dynamic and the relationships within the group, like the sweet love story between Glenn and Maggie and the loving bond between Daryl and Carol, are what make this group a family, and what’s more, you as the viewer feel like you are a part of that family, too.
However, this show is called “The Walking Dead,” and it wouldn’t be a gut-wrenching show without guts being wrenched. One thing that this show is famous for is its lack of qualms when it comes to killing off characters. But this is as it should be, as much as I hate to admit it. It wouldn’t be a very realistic zombie apocalypse if people, even beloved characters, didn’t die. And when they die, they die. I’m talking about arrows through eyeballs (R.I.P. Denise) and getting your insides ripped open and eaten in front of you (R.I.P. Dale, Noah, T-Dog, etc. … yeah, this happens a lot).
Sadly, a character is not going to live just because you love them. This sentiment particularly holds true after last Sunday’s season finale of “The Walking Dead.” We were finally introduced to Negan after half a season of build up and the big, bad baseball bat-wielding mobster of the zombie apocalypse did not disappoint; He smashed in the skull of an as yet to be revealed character. Yep, we have to wait six months before we find out who was killed.
I told you this show was gut wrenching.
But that is what makes this show so spectacular! While many might be outraged by this cliffhanger, we all have to admit that the suspense of it all is pretty brilliant from a plot standpoint. And if you’re still mad, just remember that not even the cast knows who got their cranium crushed. Besides, if I can wait two years to find out how Sherlock survived the Reichenbach fall, I can definitely survive the wait for the return of “The Walking Dead.”