Andrew Lincoln, the actor who plays the lead character Rick Grimes on the show, has decided to join in on damage control over the anger towards the finale of the recent series of The Walking Dead where the episode ended with a shock cliffhanger regarding who was killed by Negan, forcing fans to wait six months for it to be revealed.
To refresh ourselves here are Andrew’s comments from several months ago about the finale:
“We just wrapped 24 hours ago on what I think is the darkest and most extraordinary season finale that we’ve ever attempted,” he said. “To say that I’m excited would be a vast understatement. And it ends with a very big bang.” (http://www.thewrap.com/walking-dead-a…)
“I felt sick to my stomach when I read the script. It was the first day in the whole six years of working on The Walking Dead that I was late for work because I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was so angry and frustrated and I felt sick. And that was just after reading it.” (http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Why…)
These comments suggest something terrible would happen in the finale itself and that there’d be a dramatic ending to the show, which many view didn’t happen with the sudden Sopranos cut to black style cliffhanger.
In contrast here are his comments after it aired:
“I’m sorry the fans are angry about it because I think it’s a very thrilling and shocking way to leave a season... People have four or five months to recover from that. And conversely, from a writing standpoint, it’s daring what they’re doing. As a returning episode, to kill one of us to start the season? It’s not the usual way one would start off as a writer.”
“People are well within their rights to feel whatever they want... If they feel robbed, it’s a completely valid thing. But a guttural reaction, an upset, that’s the point of drama. I don’t go to a theater or movie and not feel things. I want to feel things.” (http://www.thewrap.com/walking-deads-…)
Much like the comments on The Talking Dead following the episode (which you can see on Chick Counterfly’s article (http://observationdeck.kinja.com/the-walking-de…)) they seem to heavily shift blame onto the viewers for just ‘not getting it’ rather than accepting they bare responsibility as the show creators. In particular Lincoln’s comment comparing it to going to the theater strike a false reality. Plays rarely end on a cliffhanger due to their one and done nature, at most having a cliffhanger before a 20 minute intermission, not a six month break due to an editing decision.
Overall many of the comments made by those in the show so far seem to miss the cause of outrage with the fans. They put emphasis on the idea people don’t like cliffhangers which wasn’t the issue. If this was a mid-season or penultimate finale people would probably accept it. The issue is the buildup by the show (through by many accounts a fairly boring ‘filler’ season) that has ended with what feels like being laughed at as you have to wait another six months for resolution that would’ve only taken another 5 seconds of screentime to reveal.
With this creative decision The Walking Dead might not only have jumped the shark but might’ve completely nuked the fridge and could never recover.