The last couple of episodes of The Walking Dead are easily the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV in terms of pure “on the edge of your seat” tension. After the last episode, I was emotionally drained… I screamed, whimpered, I watched through my fingers at times, I cried and cried some more and frantically clutched the TV remote control almost hard enough to leave finger grooves into it.
I’ve always said that this show is not really about zombies but basic human psychology…now, I get that in this post apocalyptic world, the rules are gone and you’ve got to do what you need to survive. I get that, I really do and I love how we’ve been shown the struggle of trying to hold on to your humanity while trying to stay alive – an almost impossible challenge at times.
It was fascinating watching the differences between the Alexandrians who have been protected and, let’s face it, incredibly lucky so far, and Rick’s group who have been to hell and back…the inevitable frictions between the ones who had been ‘out there’ and knew how tough it was, and the people of Alexandria – who didn’t have a clue and therefore held on to their ‘principles’ – were riveting because you could identify with them all. Even in Rick’s group, everybody has evolved in different ways, with Glenn staying true to himself and Carol becoming a total badass. And still, you could identify with both of them, Glenn gave Nicholas another chance which is something Carol would never have done…I cheered when Glenn gave Nicholas the opportunity to redeem himself but I also became even more of a Carol fan (I didn’t think it was possible) when she took charge last week as Alexandria was attacked by the wolves…I love Glenn and Carol both, I understand them both and I realise that they are vital assets to Alexandria, the both of them.
So, the complexity of human nature is fascinating and the many shades of grey rather than simplistic black and white feels real. Only lately, the shows seems to make a rather too obvious point that kindness and empathy have to be punished, every single time. Rick was all for “getting rid” of the Alexandria doctor because he was a wife beater and dangerous, people in Alexandria objected, obviously…and the result? One half of their founders killed by said doctor. Okay, point made.
But the writers keep making that point over and over. Morgan will not kill anyone, he’s all about the sanctity of life “especially now” as he puts it…and I’m down with that, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wanted to throttle him when he let some of the wolves escape last week…the very same wolves who then attacked Rick in the last episode. So Morgan and his principles may just have condemned Rick and therefore the whole of Alexandria. Again, point made loud and clear. Michonne refused to leave anyone behind despite what Rick advised her to do. Result? Hardly any of them make it back – point rammed down our throats. And now Glenn? He gave Nicholas a second chance which (apparently) is something he has now paid for with his life. Give us a break now, will you?? POINT F*****G MADE!
That scene with Nicholas and Glenn on top of that dumpster was fantastically well done, I am not sure I breathed at all for 30 seconds or so, until I heard a heartbreaking “nooooo!” and realised it was coming from me. Then the tears came. By the end of the episode, the sight of Rick actually looking panicked (a very rare occurrence) hardly made an impact because I was emotionally exhausted.
Discussion with friends followed the episode and one of them advanced the theory that Glenn isn’t dead, that Nicholas fell on top of him and Nicholas is the one being torn apart by the walkers…I somehow found the courage to watch that scene again and it looks like that could indeed be true…Glenn’s face does seem to show horror rather than pain. Still, even if that’s the case, how can he get out of this alive in a plausible manner? And wouldn’t that be a cheap dirty trick from the show? To put us through emotional turmoil for nothing? In any case, I do hope Glenn is still alive, he’s one of the few characters I’m really attached to. Plus, I’ve had enough of the show punishing the characters who have held on to their humanity. As much as I love Rick and Carol, as much as I realise how necessary they are to the survival of Alexandria, they have gone slightly nuclear. We need individuals who balance each other out and Glenn, like Daryl, is vital to keep Rick and Carol under some kind of control. We need some kindness and humanity TWD writers, otherwise, what’s the point of survival if all that’s left is coldness and selfishness?
Last time I wrote about The Walking Dead was back in March: Psychology and the various layers of human behaviour