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How the Season 6 Finale Ruined Negan’s Entrance


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