[SPOILERS for those not caught up on The Walking Dead ahead.]
The Walking Dead has for seven seasons now managed to entertain millions of viewers across the globe, bringing a unique look at how a zombie-infested world and the people in it would interact with one another - and showing what lengths some might go to in order to survive. Based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman (who also plays a huge role in forming the TV series), The Walking Dead has seen some major changes from what readers may have seen on the pages of the source comics.
Now we’re coming up to season 7’s midseason finale - and whilst showrunner Scott Gimple has promised the tone of the show will be changing in the second half of the season, we’ve not had much information on what to expect from the last episode of 2016. Fortunately, actor Tom Payne who plays Jesus in the series has opened up a little about what we’ll be seeing before the season wraps up until February, 2017.
Speaking to Comic Book in an exclusive interview, Payne said the following about The Walking Dead's 2016 midseason finale:
“I can’t say too much, but I guess if we get back to the Sanctuary, we might see him [Jesus] again because he’s not going to be anywhere else, or he’ll be around the Sanctuary area. I don’t know. I’m interested to see how Rick takes to coming back and finding Negan holding Judith.”
“It’s a mid-season finale so there’s a counterpoint as it always is. I think like you said there’s an interesting spectrum. I’m actually surprised when I watched the episode again last night. You forget little things and what happens, and I had forgotten actually that Negan goes to Alexandria and is there with Carl and Judith. That’s all set up for something to go down, because Rosita walked back and saw that they were here and Spencer’s there, and with Rosita and Eugene, and they’re all discovering Negan is back at Alexandria. We’ll see how that plays out.”
Allowing Negan to play such an integral role in the midseason finale could definitely be a smart move by The Walking Dead's showrunners, with the villain bringing in 17 million viewers for the season 7 premiere earlier this year. We know that he won’t be leaving the series any time soon, with actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan having confirmed that he will be returning for season 8 - so to see what his plans for the long-term are should make for riveting television.
Despite the fact that several viewers appear to be leaving The Walking Dead behind, Negan being present throughout the midseason finale could see many of them return - as he’s certainly proved to be a fan-favorite character. Coupling this with Rick’s upcoming reaction to seeing Negan holding Judith will ensure some tense and exciting viewing.
With all that being said, it could simply be too late. The Walking Dead may now be facing viewer fatigue problems - and though there will always be that core fan-base that ensures it remains on the air, there’s now the chance that it will never become as big as the phenomenon it once was. The show's writers may have to do something extreme to bring back the magic the first few seasons conjured, if they want to regain those fans that have jumped off the bandwagon.
The Walking Dead midseason finale ‘Hearts Still Beating’ airs at 9pm on Sunday, December 11th on AMC.
Source: Comic Book