Come, my friends. Come snuggle with me and my almost impossibly soft blanket on my couch as we reel together after this crazy third episode in the sixth season of “The Walking Dead.” Giant tear-filled spoilers ahead for “Thank You,” so if you haven’t seen it…GET OUT NOW!
I don’t know about you, but I could use a good fandom therapy session and/or a large glass of wine (let’s be real: AND, not or). Guys, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! What did we just watch? Is it just me, or is “The Walking Dead” reaching “Game of Thrones” levels when it comes to killing off beloved characters? And, seriously? Why Glenn?!
Glenn is definitely one of my favorite characters on the show; not only has he been with us since season 1, but he has also learned how to keep his humanity intact in this brutal post-apocalyptic world. Not only is Glenn smart, kind, and resourceful, but he is the only season 1 survivor who has never killed a human being, which is quite an accomplishment when you consider the experiences he’s had. However, in season 5, Glenn fell into the background as his character was neglected in favor of advancing other characters’ development, with the exception of his saving of Nicholas, despite his betrayal. I was excited to see Glenn get some more screen time right off the bat this season, but…as we know in this show, the more screen time a character gets, the more likely it is that they will soon come to an unsavory end.
OK, OK….not that our dear Glenn is necessarily dead, but….I mean….he’s under a freshly killed body, surrounded by a rather unfortunate horde of walkers, so…unless he’s got a walker-proof invisibility cloak or some really quality ninja moves, I don’t really see how he could have possibly gotten out of that situation.
But let’s back up and focus on important things (like all the shots of Daryl broodily riding around on his bike).
I’m sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, yeah. BEING TRAUMATIZED BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION BY THIS TELEVISION SHOW.
The storytelling this season is notably nonlinear, which is something that I was initially unsure about. So far, I think that the nonlinear storytelling is essential to adequately communicating everyone’s plot lines, since there are so many characters and they are all separated. With the exception of the black and white flashbacks of episode 1, the events of episodes 1, 2, and 3 are all happening simultaneously. And I thought my workdays were long and rough!
This episode started off with some disposable Alexandrians getting injured or becoming walker bait as Rick and Co. run for their lives back to Alexandria. Because, you know, all the loud groaning, moaning, and shuffling undead movement failed to alert some folks to the presence of imminent danger. In order to accommodate these new circumstances, Rick decides to run back and grab the RV so he can transport everyone home safely. This leaves Glenn and Michonne in charge of getting people to safety. Sounds…foolproof?
The squad makes it into town and holes up in the nearest pet shop. Nicholas and Glenn decide to head out to create a distraction for the horde by setting the feed shop on fire, leaving Michonne, newcomer Heath, and the injured ones behind. However, they were not quite as far ahead of the horde of zombies as they had initially thought. Within mere moments, the horde is upon them, groaning and loping by.
So, that’s not so great for Glenn and Nicholas. Know what else isn’t so great? Discovering that the feed store has already been burned to the ground, so they have to think up a Plan B on the fly. Sorry guys, that’s not going to work, because not only are there are about 10 zillion zombies closing in on them, but also there is an alarming number of inconveniently located dead ends in this town. These circumstances leave the guys trapped between the horde and a dumpster against a chain link fence. At this point, my heart was pounding and I was on the edge of my seat. Oh. My. Glob. Is what I think is going to happen actually going to happen?
Nicholas and Glenn try to take out as many walkers as possible before climbing on top of the dumpster. However, Nicholas freaks out on account of the dire situation. Looking meaningfully at Glenn, he pulls out his gun and says, “Thank you” before offing himself. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his body then falls against Glenn, pushing him over the side of the dumpster and into the hands and teeth of the walkers. AND THEN, viewers were treated to the sight of Glenn yelling while walkers ripped apart entrails.
I know what you’re thinking: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! But friends, listen: several fan theories are circulating at the moment about Glenn not being dead. Also, show writer Scott Gimple said that we would definitely be seeing “some version” of Glenn again. Is that comforting?
I don’t know how he possibly could have gotten out of that situation, but I do think that the entrails that were flung about willy nilly belonged to Nicholas, not Glenn (because no one has intestines in their chest cavity). Could Glenn have rolled under the dumpster? Sure, but then what? I don’t think the horde would just walk away from a warm body like that. Unless, there is some huge, convenient distraction in our future that will draw them away.
I am holding onto the theory that Glenn is still alive, not only because I adore Glenn, but also because I think that a major character death like Glenn’s would not be left even remotely nebulous. We would know if a season 1 survivor were killed at this point, especially since a season 1 character hasn’t been killed off since season 3. I am looking forward to hearing the explanation of how exactly Glenn managed to get himself out of this seemingly hopeless predicament.
Speaking of seemingly hopeless predicaments, let’s talk about Rick Grimes for a second. While all this terribleness was going down in the town with Glenn and Nicholas, Rick was making a solo journey to get the RV. Along the way, he had a small scuffle with about 3 walkers, during which his hand got injured. Did our fearless leader just get a cut, or did he (dare I even say it?) get bit? Are we going to see amputee Rick this season?
But wait, there’s more. He reaches the RV, only to experience Surprise Wolf Attack Part 2: two of the Wolves that Morgan let run away last episode attacked Rick in the RV, and three more tried to sneak up on him. Yeah, tried. Silly Wolves. When are people going to learn to stop messing with Rick Grimes?
Just when you’re thinking that Rick is in the clear, the RV won’t start. For the first time in a while, we see Rick looking panicked and scared as he tries to contact Daryl, Glenn, and Tobin (an Alexandrian) on the walkie-talkies, but receives no response. Daryl hears him and tries to respond, but it’s too late. The episode ends with an ominous overhead shot of the RV being swarmed by a ton of zombies, with Rick still inside!!!
Why does AMC do this to us? Is Glenn alive?! What’s going to happen to Rick?! I’m banking on there being some kind of huge and impeccably timed distraction from somewhere that’s going to draw the hordes away from our fearless leader and from Glenn (who is totally just hiding under the dumpster for funsies). What do you guys think is going to happen?
–Heath thinks that he’s had the same apocalypse survival experiences as someone like Michonne, and acts accordingly, going so far as to make repeated petulant little comments about it. Eventually, Michonne decides that enough is enough. She asks him if he’s ever been covered in so much blood that he didn’t know if it was his own, the walkers’, or his friends’, or if he’s ever done something that made him scared of himself. He gets quiet pretty quickly. It’s a very intense conversation because Michonne is a quiet badass and you really need to work to make her upset. I’d say that Heath earned his schooling. I know that times are tough in the apocalypse, but, come on, dude: she and her squad have been protecting everyone’s necks (well, everyone they can).
–For the second time this season, Daryl went against Rick! He deviated from the original plan to stick with Sasha and Abraham as they led the walkers away, but he ultimately rejoined them after he couldn’t get ahold of Rick on the walkie. Hmm. If there is going to be a rift between these two, it had better be over something *really* well thought out. I can’t abide much more of this randomly defiant Daryl right now. Maybe he’s going to double back and save Rick from the walkers? Yes? I don’t know, I think it could happen. (Please, please let that happen).
–Where the heck is this horde of walkers even going? How are our beloved survivors going to make it back to Alexandria? What do you guys think?