The Walking Dead showrunner defends the latest controversial cliffhanger
If you're planning on watching the season six finale of The Walking Dead but haven't gotten around to it yet, you're going to want to back away slowly as we'll be diving into some pretty heavy spoilers. The latest Walking Dead finale finally introduced us to Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, one of the comics most iconic villains, and it was well worth the wait. However, not every fan was satisfied with the ending in which Negan played a twisted game of eeny meeny miny moe between several of the main characters in order to decide who would live and who would die. While Negan did end up choosing his sacrifice, we didn't get to see exactly which character's face was introduced to the barbed wire covered bat known as Lucille.
The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple told Entertainment Weekly that they were anticipating some blowback from fans, but he explained his reasoning behind leaving the identity of the now deceased character a secret until next season.
The reasoning behind this was…in many ways what we saw last night was the end of the story of [episode] 16. Where Rick winds up is completely different from where he started in 1 and where he started in 9. I know obviously what it is in 701. And presenting what occurs, to show what happened in full-force, is the beginning of the next story. I do think we’ve done enough on the show and we’ve delivered a story that people have enjoyed and I guess asking people to give us the benefit of the doubt that it is all part of a plan and is all part of a story. And I truly hope that people see 701 and they feel that it justifies the way we decided to tell the story. That is the way that it is in our minds. I know what 701 is and I feel that it delivers on what 616 sets up.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan himself said that while he understood the frustration fans had with how the finale ended, he also believed that it shouldn't be about the death of that person, but rather about Negan being in complete control.
Well, I didn’t know it was going to be a cliffhanger until I watched the show. That’s just how it was done in my world. I don’t know if any of the cast knew exactly how it was going to end, which kind of caused a lot of the uncertainty and emotion that was going on. That said, in talking to Scott and Robert [after the finale], I think that their explanation was that it was the end of the story for that season, and that Rick has lost control and there’s Negan, and Negan has all the control. And I think that’s where they wanted to end the story, and it’s not about the death of that person, and then the death of the person is going to kick off season 7, and season 7 will be a big part of, obviously, who is on the receiving end of Lucille? I understand the fans’ frustration, I get that; that being said … I have to trust these writers and showrunners. They know what they’re doing; a lot of people watch for 6 seasons, and I believe that they’ll be back to see who met Lucille and as the story continues to grow.
As for what we can expect from the seventh season of The Walking Dead, showrunner Scott Gimple didn't say much but he did offer up a few teases.
I’ll tell you this. The world opened up this half season…. In the next half season, the world is going to open up even more. We are going to have a wide variety of locale, of tone, of character. I’m very excited for all the different stories that will be told. And there will be a lot different stories told.…. There’s going to be probably the biggest variety of stories we’ve had yet.… I can say without spoiling anything that things are going to start off very, very, very, dark, because everybody’s where we’re starting. But that isn’t going to be the whole season. It’s not going to be darkness upon darkness upon darkness.
What's your opinion on The Walking Dead finale? Did they make the right choice by not revealing who Negan clobbered?