I’ve spared the Corner my zombie-blogging since the finale of Fear the Walking Dead several weeks ago, but last night’s Walking Dead episode was traumatic. My son and I were yelling at the television screen, and I find myself in need of the group therapy of a good comment-board discussion. So, if you haven’t seen the episode, read no further. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Maybe I’m simply in the first stage of the Kubler-Ross cycle of grief, but I’m having a hard time believing Glenn is gone. After seeing his demise, I realize he wasn’t just my favorite character in the Dead franchise, he was my zombie apocalypse role-model, the kind of guy I aspire to be when the inevitable happens, and we all struggle to maintain our humanity while fighting to survive the undead hordes. It’s hard to maintain a sense of decency, hope, and love for life when your neighbors are rotting all around you, but Glenn did it — and he did it while also becoming one of Rick’s most fearless and effective zombie-killers. Glenn’s been there — saving people and killing zombies — since the beginning. I felt as close to him as I felt to Jon Snow.
And I think he’s just as dead. How could he possibly survive a ravenous zombie herd, you ask? Like this: As a falling Nicholas knocks Glenn off the Dumpster, Glenn rotates both their bodies to fall — as he obviously did — with Nicholas on top and Glenn on the bottom. All that screaming and bleeding? That’s Glenn screaming in understandable terror as the zombies feast on the corpse lying directly on top of him. Within seconds, Glenn will realize that he’s not actually being eaten — yet — and will use the zombie feast on poor Nicholas as a distraction to give him the precious seconds he needs to slide under the dumpster and escape, with Nicholas-gore masking his scent. It’s plausible. In this shot, note how close his head is to the edge of the dumpster. He can do it. At least that’s what I’m telling myself until I see his half-eaten corpse shuffling mindlessly to Alexandria.
But even if I’m in denial, and Glenn really is gone, this has still been one of the best three-episode arcs of the entire series. The show-runners are pulling out all the stops — we’ve seen the series’s largest zombie herd, house-to-house fighting against deranged survivors, and now we’ve got a cliffhanger with Rick in mortal peril, Glenn likely dead, and fully half of a vast zombie herd out of control and on the way to a battered Alexandria. Next week looks like the promised 90-minute Morgan mini-movie, so we may have to wait until episode 5 to find out if our hearts truly are broken. Until then, I’ll keep hope alive. I certainly welcome your thoughts, sympathy, and even mockery in the comments below.