Spoilers for previously aired episodes of The Walking Dead follow
I’m still trying to decide whether I’ll keep watching The Walking Dead or if this very gut-wrenching manipulative episode was the last straw for me. Given everything we’ve heard about it, I think this upcoming episode is going to focus on Carol and Morgan acclimating to their new life at The Kingdom, under a guy who calls himself a king and has a pet tiger. I’m too lazy to delve into the imdb writing and directing credits for past episodes to try and figure out the politics and personalities that go into their baffling plot twists and sh-tty dialogue but I’ll just blame showrunner Scott Gimple and be done with it. (Ok so Gimple did write last Sunday’s premiere episode.) If there’s enough interest in future coverage I guess I’ll watch it.
There was so much speculation during the lead-up while we waited to learn who would die on the season premiere of The Walking Dead. Several blogs mentioned that pregnant Maggie might be killed by Negan, citing the fact that Lauren Cohan’s social media seemed to indicate that she was not on set at the same time as the rest of the cast. This actually may have been deliberate misinformation by producers. A new scene has come out in which Negan bludgeons Maggie. It’s just a brief clip that someone taped (poorly) off of a television set, but it gives some insight as to what was being fim. Here’s that scene. (Update: replaced with working version.)
A lot of outlets are calling this an alternate death scene, and that seems to be supported by the dialogue, but it’s hard to tell. The dialogue sounds straight out of the show, and Rick did have horrible visions of his other friends getting killed too. This might have just been a set-up for Rick’s PTSD fever dreams, or it could be an alternate scene that was filmed to throw fans off the scent. OR the people at TWD could have deliberately released this to say, in a weird f-you to the fans, “look it’s not so bad, we could have killed Maggie!” Think of how stupidly far away and grainy this video is. A child could do a better job taping something with a phone off the television. This looks like something deliberately made to look amateur and like “found footage.” (Update: Thanks to mom2two and V4Real, who pointed out that death scenes were filmed for all the major characters to avoid leaks.)
In interviews about the episode, both Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Andrew Lincoln emphasize how hard it was to film, and how tough it was to lose friends. Lincoln promised that future episodes would be “more Lord of the Rings than Lord of the Flies.” JDM explained just how grueling it was to work on the premiere episode and said that “emotionally I was completely drained… It wasn’t just 40 minutes of it; it was 10 days of that, every day, all day.” Also, JDM reminded us that Rick and his team ambushed Negan’s crew while they were sleeping and killed 30-40 people. (Carol finished the job later.) It’s hard to remember that, but Negan took out only two people in retaliation, he just did it extremely sadistically.
After I wrote this story I realized that Steven Yeun covers the upcoming Entertainment Weekly! He says in the accompanying interview that he’s still processing his exit from the show and that it was a confusing time for him to film. Yeun told GQ what it meant to him to play an Asian American character who “didn’t have to apologize at all for being Asian, or even acknowledge that he was Asian.” He also said that he hopes to be a positive role model for kids, essentially. We’ll miss you Glenn!
photos credit: AMC