When I watched this Sunday’s mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, like most viewers I sat there in shock as the final moments of the show were revealed.
Not because Carl was dying, but because I could not believe the show would do something so destructive to the integrity and essence of the show.
Killing Carl was a cheap ratings ploy that served no other purpose than to shock and surprise the viewers.
Well, congratulations AMC and Scott M. Gimple, you sure surprised me with your greed and ineptitude.
And I am not one of those fans who threaten to riot every time a popular character is killed; I am fully aware of the show I watch and get that characters have to die.
I was one of the few who understood and appreciated Glenn’s death. I thought it opened a lot of storylines and was essential to Maggie’s growth.
But what I don’t understand, and can’t accept as a fan, are the meaningless deaths; and none is more meaningless than Carl’s.
Forget that Carl is an integral part of the show’s source material (the comics); put aside the sentimental attachment to watching him grow on screen.
No, what upsets me when it comes to killing Carl is that, contrary to what showrunner Gimple says, it does nothing to improve or push the show forward.
Instead, it stagnates it and messes with key moments, robbing fans of complex character interactions that are the backbone of the show.
And worse, it is a cheap grab for ratings, one that I and many other fans see right through
In his exclusive exit interview Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl, explained that he was let go because there is a time jump in the comics and the showrunners couldn’t figure out why Rick didn’t kill Negan during that time.
Um, hello, that is your job, to figure things out!!! And, btw, if you’re a fan of the comics you know that excuse is just that, an excuse.
Here’s an idea- how about you use the comics, your inspiration for this show, to come up with a logical reason, or even a half-logical one because God knows in recent seasons this show has not always been logical or true to the fans.
They had Carl give these touching speeches about being better than Negan and how they can’t kill every savior, then killed him to give Rick a reason not to kill Negan and find his humanity.
Which just boggles my mind. I can think of many ways to have Rick find his human side and spare Negan that don’t involve killing Carl, who comic creator Robert Kirkman has said on many occasions is the future.
For instance, if you read the comics you know Negan has this weird, fascinating bond with Carl, one the show hinted at a few times.
Why not use that bond, maybe have Carl, who doesn’t think killing is the answer, stick up for or ask his dad to spare Negan?
Not only does that make more sense, it doesn’t trample all over the comic history or make me have to suspend reality.
Because the idea that Rick would become Jesus (the character, not the Jesus) and want to sing kumbaya with Negan after losing his wife and son is ridiculous.
No, it would make much more sense for him to become Morgan from the Clear episode and not care about anyone or anything.
And again, I’m not a purist; I don’t expect the show to follow the comic to a tee- if it did there would be no Carol right now, or Judith; and Daryl would never exist.
But when you blatantly disregard the meaning of the show and do something just to do it, like they did with the dumpster, and Abe’s death, and now Carl, that’s not ingenuity.
That, my friends, is lazy writing and an attempt to boost ratings at the expense of the fans and the characters.
It is also a waste of all the actors’ talents. They sign on Jeffery Dean Morgan, who has been brilliant at subtly showing the many sides of Negan, then rob him and us the opportunity to see him play out those incredible comic scenes with Carl.
They waste the talent’s of Chandler Riggs and rob us of the chance to see him step into his father’s footsteps and truly become a man.
They waste the talents of Andrew Lincoln, reducing him to a blubbering wasteland yet again instead of taking him down another, unchartered road and robbing us of the opportunity to see him grow.
And most of all, they waste our time. They continually disregard our intelligence and rob us of juicy, complex stories in exchange for quick ratings boost.
The fact is the Walking Dead is infected by the inabilities and ego of its showrunner and is now aimlessly plodding along like a zombie.
And just like the zombies, it looks like there is no cure for what was once my favorite show.
What do you think about the direction of The Walking Dead?
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