[This article contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 6, episode 3.]
This past Sunday proved to be one of the most devastating episodes of The Walking Dead in recent memory. After Glenn (Steven Yeun) spared the cowardly Nicholas during the season 5 finale, the duo found themselves cornered by walkers in an alleyway. Seemingly without options, Nicholas opted to blow his brains out, sending his body — and Glenn– hurtling into the hungry mob.
Through some tricky camera angles and editing, the show did not explicitly show Glenn dying, which has led to a divide among fans about whether or not he became walker chow. Now a major player behind the scenes has confirmed that a death did occur in that moment — in a manner of speaking.
Speaking with TV Insider, The Walking Dead executive producer Dave Alpert opened up about the loss that occurred on Sunday. In the conversation, Alpert stated:
“There’s an emotional arc that is coming to a close definitively in this scene. From our perspective, Glenn has always been the good angel on Rick’s shoulder. He’s always been the guy who gives everybody the second chance. He’s always been the guy that goes “Hey, let’s be human here,” as opposed to Shane (Jon Bernthal) or whoever else was on Rick’s other shoulder. That guy, the good angel, is now gone. Regardless of what happened and whether Glenn is alive or dead, that Glenn is dead. Nicholas put him in harm’s way.”
Despite the lack of a definitive answer, it seems that — no matter what — Glenn’s final moments with Nicholas saw a fundamental shift in the former pizza delivery boy. While the show had forced almost every character down a morally gray path at one point or another, Glenn remained a fundamentally good person since the beginning of the outbreak. Alpert went on to explain Glenn’s final interaction with Rick over the walkie talkie represented their relationship coming full circle — calling back to how they met in Atlanta. However long the character lives — whether it is 10 more seasons or until someone puts down his reanimated corpse next week — the Glenn fans have known for five seasons and some change is apparently gone.
The handling of Glenn’s potential death puts AMC in something of a no-win situation. If he is in fact dead in that alleyway, half the fan base will complain that such a pivotal character was unceremoniously killed off. On the other hand, if he manages to make it out of that herd of walkers it could seem like a forced happy ending — and the show already has a trend going of killing characters from the bottom of the pecking order, rather than the top.
By having this moment change the character on such a fundamental level if he cheats death, the show could avoid fallout for not having the guts — pun intended — to kill him.
The Walking Dead will continue next Sunday with ‘Here’s Not Here’ @9pm on AMC. Check out a preview below:
Source: TV Insider