Negan Can’t Save A Lost Season Of The Walking Dead
It finally happened. After months of speculation, we finally saw Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan debut on The Walking Dead. It was awesome. The villain is every bit as charming and intimidating as I hoped commanding a deep level of dread from our favorite survivors.
Then they had to go and screw it all up with a pointless cliffhanger that reminded me how flawed this season was. I previously wrote how disappointed I was in the first half of season 6. Everything depended on Negan. The writers certainly delivered on their promise to introduce one of the most notorious and violent comic book villains of all time. But they took their time didn’t they?
The entire season felt like a cheap website full of poorly conceived click bait headlines. Once you click, you’re greeted with 97 advertisements promising you amazing things only to be left with nothing of substance.
With the exception of the incredible final 10 minutes or so, The Walking Dead season 6 is largely a lost season for me. A season spent stalling as much as possible before introducing Negan. We had to sit through broken timelines, fake deaths and a series of raids that led the inhabitants of Alexandria… Right back to where they started.
So they killed a bunch of Saviors striking an interesting balance between good people and murderous survivors. Carol encapsulates that theme nicely in the season finale. I’ll give you that. Killing walkers is one thing but wiping out dozens of humans takes its toll.
After all that violence they know The Saviors are coming for them. What do they do? One by one the main characters leave Alexandria. And they leave the town in the hands of the people they once believed lacked the courage to fight in the first place.
Now, there are times when The Walking Dead’s trademark slow burn is remarkably effective storytelling. But not in a season finale! Does it get any more repetitive? How many road blocks do they have to run into? I think viewers can all agree 2 or 3 wouldn’t have been just as effective but 5 or 6?
In between we get slow scenes of Morgan and Carol. These scenes were actually fantastic and served as a worthy payoff to their arcs this season. But in a season finale set to reveal the series’ greatest villain I felt compelled to skip them. I didn’t. But I wanted to.
There’s only so much stalling I can take! I expected fireworks in a 90 minute finale. Instead they stalled until the final few moments. So let’s talk about those moments and the aggravating cliffhanger. After all the detours and odd character choices, Negan arrives and completely dominates Rick and co. We get to meet Lucille and just when you think the entire season will pay off? Cut to black. Have fun guessing who Negan kills all summer.
Are you kidding me!? What was the point of the Glenn fake out death if not to pay it off here as in the comics? We care deeply about the majority of the characters suffering through that intense ‘eeny meeny’ game. You stalled long enough! Show us what f*cking happens! It’s just as effective to speculate how a characters death will affect everyone.
You show us what happens and all the buildup means something. I wouldn’t be writing about stalling and repetitive storytelling if they delivered what they promised. Like a cheap website, I clicked the headline and suffered through the advisements only to be disappointed.
Which brings me to my ultimate point. The Walking Dead is still an amazing show and I’m heavily invested in the story. I’m watching to find out next season regardless. Despite my recent frustrations. They certainly can’t stall anymore right? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they fast forward to months later and completely avoid who died for the majority of season 7’s premiere. They don’t have to do that! It’s The Walking Dead! Viewers don’t need to be teased like this. We don’t need to be strung along. I sat through an entire season of stalling because Negan is such an imposing threat. But they cheated me anyways.
Empty promises. You cut me deep Season 6. You cut me real deep.