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How the Season 6 Finale Ruined Negan’s Entrance

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Season 6 of The Walking Dead came to a close tonight, and I thought for sure when I wrote about this episode it was going to be something like, “Season 6 has come to an epic, heart wrenching close.” But sadly, I cannot. The finale of Season 6 of The Walking Dead has left us with more questions than answers, and left us with the cliffhanger from hell: who did Negan kill?

Now, the writing of this show has been off in quite a few places this season. The fake-out deaths (don’t get me started on Glenn), and drawn out plot lines, were supposed to lead up to this pivotal episode. This entire season, after episode 10, has been the group preparing for battle with Negan and The Saviors. This episode was intense from the beginning. The Saviors lurking around every corner, waiting for Rick and the gang, eventually leading us to the intense final few minutes where we get to see Negan in the flesh.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan finally made his debut as Negan, and he delivered. Honestly, he was a revelation as Negan. His dialogue and mannerisms were perfect right from his opening line, “We pissing our pants yet?”, down to the iconic “Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe” scene. Everything was on par to be the most incredible season finale we have seen in six seasons of this show, but that’s not what we got, and it effectively ruined Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s entrance as Negan.

For those who have read the comics, you know that Issue 100, where Negan makes his first appearance, is a pivotal issue that changes just about everything we know from the comics. Negan shows up, just like we saw in the show tonight, and plays his game, and Lucille lands on Glenn. We then see Glenn being smashed to a pulp, in front of the entire group, everyone watching in horror. Tonight, we saw the point of view of whoever Lucille landed on, and see the bat swing, but we don’t see who is at the end of the beat down.

I get it AMC. You want a cliffhanger to keep people guessing until October before we finally see who’s life was ended. But to leave a cliffhanger on the most iconic moment in the comics, and the most iconic character entrance, is a low blow, to both the character Negan, and the committed viewers of the show.

The final minutes of this episode have been so hyped since November it’s hard to even think that this episode would have been left on such a note. Lauren Cohan didn’t want to come into work that day, Norman Reedus was speechless and shocked, and Andrew Lincoln was so sickened he almost got physically sick.

But what about this finale script would have caused this reaction? We were all lead to believe that we were going to see one of our group die at the hands of Negan and Lucille. That’s not at all what we got, and there was no moment in this episode where I felt physically sick, or was left speechless, other than how it ended. That for sure got my blood boiling, and I’m sure my blood pressure went through the roof.

Negan’s entrance in the show was exciting, but to leave out the most pivotal, and gut-wrenching scene, only to make viewer’s wait until October, is absolute garbage. Negan’s entrance in the comic is so iconic because he kills a character that is not only a fan favorite, but has been in the comics since the very beginning. It’s truly a gut-punch and emotional moment for readers. To leave this from the show, and extend that moment out to the next season, only make this plot seem so much more unimportant and unnecessarily drawn out.

Now Season 7 still start on such a low note. We’ll all be so exhausted from trying to decipher who it was all summer, this moment will not have the same effect as it did in the comics. This moment will have been stretched out and it will lose its impact.

Although Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s long awaited entrance was not at all disappointing, the unnecessary and completely debilitating cliffhanger was. Not just disappointing, but completely anger inducing, to not just comic readers, but all the other viewers too. We have no choice but to wait until the premiere of Season 7 in October to see who met Lucille, and that’s if the writers even show it in the premiere. At the rate we’re going, the Season 7 premiere could be a 90-minute Morgan and Carol standalone episode. Now that would be fun! Not.

Scott M. Gimple stated on The Talking Dead tonight that to end it like this, fans needed to be shown that the reason they ended it was justifiable and to do that, the writers’ would have to something huge, and iconic. But I can’t think of anything that would make up for this garbage cliffhanger. There is no way to justify shredding Negan’s very first scene, the most iconic moment in the comics, in the way that the show’s writers did.

Was it a cop out? Was it a ploy by AMC to increase viewership in Season 7?

I’ll just have to wait, blood simmering until October, to see who met their demise at the hands of Lucille.

Feel free to vent your personal frustrations in the comments section below.

Courtney Egner

Courtney Egner

Courtney is a senior undergraduate student studying mass media communications, hoping to work in major event planning or media marketing. Aside from being a massive Walking Dead fan, she is a pop culture fanatic subscribing to many fandoms. She is also an avid video game player and vinyl record collector.
Courtney Egner
  • Jadedjen72

    I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think there is anything they can create next season to justify the bull shit they pulled tonight. And I believe not only was it a cop out and a ploy, it was disrespectful to the fans. The writers and producers just proved that they think us all inferior and ignorant. A complete lack of faith in their massive following world wide. They may have just totally shot themselves in the foot. They’ll loose more than the gain by this.

    • karine_gizele82

      That´s for sure! i have that!

  • TWD former fan

    100% agree…. Since when did TWD turn into an episode of 24? One fabricated BS cliffhanger after another, with no real reason. There is little to no chance it won’t be leaked by July who got killed, completely ruining the death. Zero justification unless they are going to skip the hard death of a major character like Glenn or Darryl – which is an insult to Negan’s character – and kill off a lesser like Aaron or Eugene. Bottom line, just plain dumb.

  • jozefd14

    Saw this post on Tumblr… 100% agree… damn… Can’t wait for “The Walking Dead Enthusiast Podcast” AND Sistah Speak to dish out this hot ass mess…. damn..

    • Shasta Ingalls

      I loved the cliffhanger! I don’t mind waiting until October to find out who died because I think it is going to change everything! I totally agree with you!

      • jozefd14

        Or possibly, the finale didn’t need to be 90 minutes. Hell, I’ve never seen that many advertisements LOL

    • Damian Vazquez

      Totally understand your point but not sure i agree. The Cliffhanger is effective in this case because its not just about which character dies, its about which new story arc we will get to see next season.

      For instance, Maggies arc if Glenn died wouldnt benefit from a cliffhanger – we would just essentially start off season 7 with her going at Rick to the point Carl has to pull a gun on her to stop her from killing him……Abraham’s arc would involve a fight between Rosita and Sasha – again, not effective as the next season would still have to develop therefore we didnt need a cliffhanger – would be fine to show them dead (the remaining two options except for the ones below wouldn’t matter)

      But now Rick, Michonne, Carl or Daryl dies and we are treading new ground and can benefit from a reveal on the first episode of season 7 ….. and thats why i think one of these names gets Lucille but we shall see …..

      • The cliffhanger should’ve been, “how do we go on from this”, as in they let the rest go and leave them to pick up the pieces. A miscarriage in there also would’ve been a nice touch to add to the desperation.

      • Jo

        Negan says” im going to beat the holy hell out of one of you”, right? Not kill one of the group.I agree that the time between season 6 finale and premiere for season 7 is TOO long. Viewers wont care who is negans victim. But hear me out, beating Carl would outrage the viewers, the group and Rick most. Yes, he wants to teach Rick a lesson, obviously, Rick seems like he already knows it’s Carl NEGAN beats, but I do not think Carl dies. Even though negan says to feed the kids eye to his dad if anyone moves, this doesnt mean Carl is not the victim. I took that as another clue. If he is going to attempt beating Carl, everyone would instinctively move(they all feel parental to Carl), then Carl would be blind, so here we see Carl as negans victim if anyone moves. Hmm. Carl has a relationship with NEGAN and becomes a little serial killer, perhaps the relationship starts with that beating,NEGAN calls the victim “Champ ” negan’s line after the first swing is a bit muffled, it sounds like, ” damn, he’s taking it like a champ”, could it be that he may have said “dad” instead of “damn”, (CHAMP, would only be addressed to a younger guy) “the little serial killer” he addresses Carl as, which becomes a possible reality (clues?) and then maybe Carl is sent to mend at the saviors camp? A guess. And we know Carl is smart, I think there’s a lot more that comes after NEGANS first victim and I think our shocker is that this victim is a child(carl) and taken away ( the group and viewers would be shocked). There has to be some reason why the writers are having us wait so long, there may be a complete 180, and it will be a part of a bigger story. Carl does have a relationship with Negan and Carl does become a leader at some time in the future. I know the writers have swayed away from the comics, and I think everyone believes it’s glenn. Don’t you believe that would be too obvious? Maybe they do follow the comic book this once, we would all certainly hate not seeing glenn on the show, but we won’t be so shocked. It was a mistake doing this cliffhanger, if it is glenn. we know someone is either killed or severely beaten. Really, for me, I will not be surprised whoever NEGAN beats. He may even beat more than one, I still think the viewers will not be surprised. There is too much time in between the finale and season 7 for the viewers to think of all possibilities. So, all this time, fans have been guessing who falls victim to NEGANS Lucille. Pity they didn’t just do it in the finale, we would have been much more shocked. I think cliffhangers are a necessity at the end of seasons, but this cliffhanger was too large. Whoever falls victim, we will miss or maybe they don’t die at all, or maybe there are multiple deaths or injuries. I don’t think viewers will be surprised whoever Lucille gets. Unless it’s a child, what better way to hurt the leader, Rick, and NEGAN knew that Carl stole many guns from the saviors. If it’s not Carl, I know I won’t be surprised. Foul on whoever wrote the finale. Epic fail if it’s someone other than Carl.

  • Danny Moiles

    As a friend of mine put it, it is “Who shot JR?”, all over again (from a show way back in the 80s, kids). Now, they’d better not pull the “it was all a dream” (same show, kids). Definitely feel disrespected as a fan. I really thought they would show who it was and now that they haven’t I almost don’t care. I think if it was someone important, they would have shown. Probably one no one cares about, like Eugene, Sasha, Abraham, rosita or Aaron.

    • Shasta Ingalls

      I care about Abraham and the main group, but the others? Don’t care. Ugh! Especially Rosita, her character is wallpaper.

    • Horsethief666

      I’d rather glenn or carl or maybe mishone die than Abraham. I really like Eugene too but not enough to put him above the others above. I hate sasha and don’t care about rosita or Aaron much although their deaths would be sad ish. Daryl would be a nut shot but still good just cuz it’d make everyone cry and rick(who lives) would end the show for me. I love rick.

    • Damian Vazquez

      I think they need Eugene and that he and Rosita will begin a relationship next season …….. and Sasha will likley get the same fate as Holly from the comics which would actually be brutal and a similar death to Merle ……. which is why i think Abraham will live to see it unlike the comics ….. ijs

  • Henrique S. S.

    I think they still are choosing someone to die.

    • Glenn Sandagata

      I agree

    • Marcelo Inojosa

      Agree! This is all about negotiation for the cast members salary. Who ever choses the higher raise, meets Lucile!!

  • adam_42

    The writers deliberately left each character’s arch open in a way that would look like anyone could get the bat, in doing so they sacrificed a season of story telling. Season 4B was hard to watch, but at least each character got a story, and the finale ended on a strong note, along with one of the most gruesome scenes in the shows history. 6×16 was just people driving around as opposed to 6×15 where people were walking around. Teasing other groups to come and a character death–which probably won’t be a major one–while fumbling Negan’s entrance, leaves me wondering why I cared at all this season. Furthermore, it leaves me not caring who got the bat, because why would I?

    If you have to devote a second hour to the show, in which the creators explain to the audience the point of the season and episode, your show can’t stand on its own. Between having the comics for context, and Talking Dead for explanation, the writers have gotten seriously lazy. The story was good because it treated us like rational mature individuals. Packing a season full of fake outs, and gun shots wounds that make people pass out for no apparent reason other than to take an hour to recover from is what I would expect B grade horror–an entirely separate genre.

    To answers the show’s central question, we don’t get to come back, they don’t get to come back from this hash, and I won’t either.

  • Zach Watts

    Look that was the best season finale ever I love it. I have not stopped thinking about since the end of the episode last night. There are so many ways to think of what happened. In the long run however I still believe it to be Glenn but lets hope not. Sure there are many characters to chose from but other the Daryll or Rick which one would have that kind of impact? So I hope it is someone other then that but sadly I believe that this is one of those times when they stick to the comic.

  • Vincent-Nikos Hübler

    First thing you need to say is: Damn this episode was great intense. I mean, sure, it was clear that the final will be awesome like every year again. I could feel the emotions between the different chracters and that everyone is thankfull to have each other: and on the other hand you knew, just like the charakters surley did too, that one of these great people will not see the next morning. Especially when Eugene decided to drive the van, you felt this moment of anxiety and the uncertainty deep in the bones of each iconic person in the show because they finally noticed the trap they directly drove into. Hell but I’m sorry.. this last szene was less than garbage. Don’t understand me wrong, to be true i really liked the introducing of super villain Negan. He was “kind” with strong rules and a charming mind like only casanova had. And his inappropriate humor combined with this stupid speech about fairness and an open bill (wich is finally not totally wrong i think, because in the last episodes it wasn’t easy to find out which of both groups consited of more bad people. Saviors oder Alexandrians. I mean ricks’s people just killed everyone in this goddamn bunker without a eyelash batting). Jeffrey Dean Morgan acts Negan like not even Negan himself could do it better. BUT NOW Pls tell who the hell chooses people in such an unclear and confused “Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe” way? Ricks people kneel in such a beautiful row like not even a sport teacher could create it in the beginning of the lesson!! Every child counts at “Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe” from person to person while changing the person with each syllable. So let us count: Negan starts his count with rick. From Negans POV we see from the left to right glenn, rosita, daryl, michonne, abraham, maggie, rick, sascha, aaron, carl and eugene. He continues with maggie. So now let us logically bring it to an end in the way Negan counts them out in TWD:

    logicaly Way Negans way

    Eeny, – rick same
    meeny, – maggie same
    miny, – abraham same
    moe, – michonne – rosita
    Catch – daryl – glenn
    a tiger – rosita – daryl
    by – glenn – michonne
    his toe. – rosita – abraham, maggie or rick ?
    If – daryl – sascha
    he hollers, – michonne – aaron (here it starts making no more sense)
    let him go, – abraham – eugene ?
    my mother -maggie – it only can be aaron
    told me – rick – carl
    to pick – sascha – eugene
    the very – aaron – the person between carl and eugene
    best – carl – yes eugene again
    one – eugene – yes its just everyone
    and you – glenn – the continuation of the non sense of raising
    up his bat to too many different people so
    you should not know in front of wich
    person he stands now (wich you also
    didnt truely knew the momnts before)
    are – rosita – Well done AMC
    it. – daryl – We are confused

    CONCLUSION: a very great szene got destroyed here with the cliffhanger of not knowing who negan finally chose. And 7 months later this dead will no more have this kind of impact, how it would have had, if they did it last night. Sorry, but using my ignorance about wich of my favs will probaly die as only reason for a “good” cliffhanger is a dissapointing and unsatisfactory thing i cant handle.

    It would have been a more powerful end if the viewers saw the smashed head of the chosen one to leave it to sit 7 months in their stomaches, breaking their head about what will happen to the rest of the group and how they will handle this dead.

    lousy move AMC, lousy move…

    PS: IS MY WAY GODDAMN RIGHT AND HE CHOOSES DARYL ??? I MEAN HE’S HURT SO IT WOULD TOTALY FIT TO HIS POV WHERE THE PERSON JUST TAKES A WEAK NOTIC OF NEGANS CHOICE AND GETS BEATEN TO DEATH: TELL ME!!!

    * apology for some obscurities, I’m a poring TWD viewer from Germany 🙂

  • The righteous one

    Jokes on you! Who shot JR. One jam after another. At least Breking Bad ended. It will only be more of the same until it gets canceled. I’m board what’s next!

    • SpellitRiteDuh

      Breking bad? :/ Spealing lezsons more like haha!

    • safari4ad

      You know, I hate to be “that guy”, but… “Joke’s” needs an apostrophe. “Who shot JR?” needs a question mark. “One jam after another” is a sentence fragment. It’s spelled “Breaking”. It’s spelled ” bored”, not “board” (which suggests you’re a piece of wood), there should be a semicolon between the 2 thoughts you’re expressing, and “what’s next?” also needs a question mark, not an exclamation point. Maybe you could turn off the TV for just a little while and read a book? If nothing else, it could help relieve the “boardom”.

  • Goallagher

    That is by far the most uncomfortable I have felt watching the TWD or any TV show in a long long while…why are people upset?

    I don’t get why killing off characters in TV series’ is such a currency amongst fans/critics. The very nature of the show means the characters are in continuous peril so deaths don’t come as too much of a shock to me – it is more the thrill of the chase; the suspense and this episode had that more than any. Cheap plot twists maybe but I thoroughly enjoyed playing mouse to the ‘cat’ writers, much like the gang being mouse to the saviours.

    I don’t read the comics so unfortunately can’t really empathise – you say Glenn gets killed…hopefully, he should have went this season but I won’t be agonising over who might have died, moot to me – I’ll be looking forward to the Negan story arc.

    • keef

      Somebody said it best earlier on here. If you did a demographics survey on all the fans and their likes or dislikes of cliffhangers (especially this one), I’m willing to bet that most of the complainers are under 30-40 age range. They’re just not used to cliffhangers since most everything in modern cultural terms can be summed up with “instant gratification”. Watch or don’t watch the show if that’s what it takes to keep you happy–– and silent, but this show is going for another season, and probably a few more after that… this proves that they are doing something right–– people make their choices for entertainment and this show delivers it every time, on time.

  • Anders

    If they kill all characters and replaced them with new characters i would stop watching. because then i dont care about the new characters. So far so good, only side/non important characters have died. Thats why i continue to watch the walking dead. So if they are stil deciding who will die. Please pick a side character. = keep the viewers. I gess i am not alone about this.

  • Richard

    They’ve long since decided who was going to die –– but it was a smart move to leave it in suspense for the viewers. If they showed who Negan killed, it would have simply been instant gratification for the viewers, and that rush comes and goes too quickly. Unfortunately there are an overwhelming number of folks in today’s world that demand instant gratification. They’ll whine that it was unfair and bad writing, but in reality this suspense will continue to build and give the viewer’s a taste of how these folks could be feeling when they know any one of them could be the chosen one to die at the hands of Negan. Ultimately, the creators of TWD are quite clever and their strategies coupled with an amazing cast of players has proven yet again that it is one of the most engaging TV series in modern film making.

    • Miya C Price

      I agree 100% Richard. At this point, you are saying it best. Why would a show not leave a cliff hanger… It’s the season finale. Also, the only promise that was made was that we would see Negan. That should be enough.

    • Nope

      You really can’t see why people are pissed? It has nothing to do with the fact that it ends on a cliffhanger I think we can all agree that sometimes they are the best thing. They keep us wondering “OMG where will this take us?” That is not the case for the walking dead finale, we know exactly where it ends.. on someone’s skull. We know how it happens and when it happens just not who it happens to. This is simply just an unfinished moment where it cuts out what happens. A reasonable cliffhanger would have left us going “how is our group of survivors going to react to this? How does this change things?” These would have been fun things to ponder off season not just guessing who got the bat. But hey whatever we all have opinions lucky for you that you don’t mind being shit on for the sake of ratings next season

      • keef

        Well, “Nope” (and your chosen nickname says it all, really), apparently you are one of those individuals who prefers negativity to positivity. There’s nothing wrong with the cliffhanger that has been provided. We’re presented with the situation that one of the group will die a brutal death with everyone of his/her friends helplessly watching. This speaks volumes about Rick coming to grips with his inability to lead the group and how all along he’s been developing as a strong leader. This demonstrates that he has met his match. It also opens to suggestion despite your protests, that not only do we put ourselves in their place (owing to how the scenes played out from viewer’s POV, but also has us thinking where all this will lead for the group; and yes, what direction this will force them to take. So, in fact this is one of the better season finales of the entire series; and I think most viewers would agree here.

  • RAGEVIRUS

    I was happy when I heard jdm got the part of Negan. Unfortunately I think he’s now miscast as he’s just not big and intimidating enough. I thought he may of bulked up a bit for the role but obviously not.
    Anyway, back to the episode. It sucked balls and I think they’ve completely blown one of the most iconic scenes from the comic. Fuming to say the least.
    Oh and if you listen to the audio of the bat scene it’s definitely a not stray from the comic death for a change and Glen is getting it.

  • tjpm

    I think this episode was a betrayal to the cast, such amazing unsamble of actors, such hard work…and the executive room makes the worst desicion of their lifetime. I am a TV viewer and even if I don’t read the comics I know this was BS,,,such a huge bucket of BS. Kudos to JDM and the crew for their hard work… too bad the executives are full of themselves…I’ll be happily forgetting about this show and watching GOT…which is a literary book…with an excuse for amazing cliffhangers.

  • Foxfur

    The ones who are whining about the cliffhanger clearly do not understand the meaning of the word. I’m guessing that those viewers are under the age of 30, and have no clue about what constitutes excitement. I feel sorry for you youngsters who only want instant gratification. Maybe it’s time for you to bow out and tune in to something other than The Walking Dead, and let us older folks who appreciate it have our fun.

  • 3holidaybabies

    We all hate cliffhangers, but they do their job, be it a book, a TV show, or a movie. My husband is infuriated with the latest Star Wars movie. My problem with this one is that by the time the show returns we will all have formed our opinions and thoughts and when the answer is finally given it will be “YEA! I was right it was…” or “Bull shit, all the signs said…” When it should be, “No, not…, I can’t believe they did that.” This is really going to mess with the emotional reactions people have with the outcome. The character will not be mourned in a way that they should be. They may be trying to get viewership up, but their plan may just backfire, with a lackluster response from viewers because they have physiologically gone from mourning a loved character to cheering or jeering that they had it right or wrong.

  • amy

    There is a time and place for a cliffhanger, and this was not it. The entire season 6B was leading up to this, and they dropped the ball. I think they know who gets the ax, so to speak, they have to know. Having said that, Jeffrey Dean Morgan did an awesome job playing Negan for the very short time we got to see him.

  • This article was very well written and pretty much captured all anger and disappointment that I felt. Good Job!!!. There, enough positivity, eat dog sh*t and choke Gimple.

  • brad

    Negan is awesome and it is not def not Rick or Carl but they can choose whoever they want doesn’t matter because Negan is here to stay a while.

  • Boohoo

    The Walking Dead TV show lost a fan that followed the comics and show since the beginning, I was so angered by this finale I have lost all intrest.