Six seasons after its debut on AMC, The Walking Dead is still one of the most popular series on TV, and possibly even more beloved than Game of Thrones. The magic combination of killer zombies, action, gore, and high stakes has made the show the highest-rated drama on cable. And with viewers continuing to tune in and a new hit spinoff, it seemed like the series could do no wrong, that is until the recent season 6 finale.
Deaths on the show are all a part of the game, and serving up tension so viewers don't know what happens next is part of TV, but sometimes it can all go to waste if there isn't even a small amount of resolution for the audience. This is what happened a few weeks ago in the season finale, when new villain Negan (guest star Jeffrey Dean Morgan) went on a murderous rage that ended rather abruptly without even showing who was on the receiving end of his killer bat.
For her part, star Lauren Cohan thinks the cliffhanger is all par for the course on The Walking Dead. She recently told E! News that the answers will come in season 7, and fans just have to be patient until then:
"I think the reaction is almost in keeping with the emotional peaks and troughs that the show takes us through. I'm really glad that the show is coming back with information. It's not like people are being left hanging and it's the end of the series or anything. So, I would say it's really a testament to people's dedication, but I feel like this is going to be the longest six months. I really do feel the pain of it."
Cohan also agrees that part of watching the show is the desire to find out what's going to happen next for all the characters. Fans wait weeks and even months for the next episode or season to see how it'll all turn out:
"It's brutal. It's so brutal. But this is a brutal show. I feel like we're all kind of communally addicted to the stress experience that we have watching the show and then the release of seeing people make it out of situations. So, we'll definitely be having a big resolution when we come back, right off the bat, so that should be of some relief to people. But I know how painful the cliffhanger is."
While Cohan is right that this tension is part of what makes The Walking Dead so popular, it can also get to be too much. If you cut fans off at the height of the story without even a little resolution, then you run the risk of angering and alienating your audience. The emotional impact of whoever dies has now been severed between seasons, and fans are consciously feeling like they're being led on rather than losing themselves in the story.
But for those still excited to see season 7, Cohan does have some more tidbits to tease the audience: "I think there will be some answers right off the bat, and it will be very, very intense. And then we'll be exploring avenues and relationships that we haven't yet, but you'll definitely be taken on the roller coaster ride. I mean, the season comes back with a pretty intense, explosive start. That much I know." It honestly wouldn't be The Walking Dead if didn't have those explosive moments we've come to know and love.
The Walking Dead season 7 will premiere in the October 2016 on AMC.
Source: E! News