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Expectations and reactions to latest “The Walking Dead” episode: A proper ending for Glen

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Like a herd of shuffling zombies, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has infected the hearts and minds of the American viewer. What started as a comic has blown up into a TV brand unlike any other – with spin-off TV shows, mini-series and video games, “The Walking Dead” has become an epidemic.

Following each character over the course of five long, gory seasons, viewers have become enraptured with the stories of the survivors. Viewers live and die with them from week to week, cursing their enemies and worrying about each new encounter.

This past Sunday, episode three of the show’s sixth season, titled “Thank You,” showed viewers what appeared to be the death of one of the show’s the most beloved characters. Glen (Steven Yeun) died when he fell into a throng of zombies, due to the actions of fellow character Nicholas (Michael Traynor).

For people that got into the series when the show started, it seemed like a death unsuited for a character that made it through so much.

Those immersed in the comic lore have half-hope that this may not be the end for Glen – at least not yet.

“I’m still in denial, I don’t believe he’s dead,” said Shannon Cartwright, a sophomore nursing major. “Nick definitely fell on top of him. I think he crawled under the dumpster and escaped when the zombies got distracted.”

Those interested in the “The Walking Dead” comic books know the significance that Glen has to the story.

Spoiler alert: Unfortunately, if Glen does in fact make it out of his bleak predicament, he definitely will not make it out of the season, that’s just how the story goes.

Those who keep up with the show in-depth would have noticed the last words Glen said to Rick over the radio and their correlation to the first words Glen said to Rick.

Glen called Rick a “dumbass” and shed some light on Rick’s situation – the tone changed from condescension to endearment.

“It was intense because he just watched Nicholas kill himself,” said Blake Gautreau, a sophomore psychology major. “I don’t think he’s dead. It seemed like the intestines were coming out of his shoulder, so I think the zombies might overlook him.”

In the comics, Glen comes back as a zombie and Rick is the one that kills him.

If you’re not a follower of the comic lore, don’t panic yet – the television adaptations rarely stick too close to the original comics.

The main issue many fans have with his “death” is how flat it was. Glen died in such a lackluster way – it couldn’t be possible for him to be dead just yet. But in reality, he died in a way that is in line with his character.

Of all of the show’s characters, Glen changed the least when considering his ability to handle zombies. He was always willing to put himself in bad situations to help others and did the most he could.

Glen, in choosing to go along with Nicholas – a man who tried to kill him in a previous episode – shows the true strength of his character. Yet it was this strength that pushed him to his death. Glen’s selflessness hurts him in the end by choosing to help Nicholas despite the risk of Nicholas trying to kill him again.

Glen was helping Nicholas gain a better reputation in the eyes of the group as someone that can be seen as both reliable and trustworthy.

Unfortunately, his giving nature may have meant his death in such an unforgiving world.

“I think Glen’s alive,” said Darnell Pierre-Louis, a sophomore business management major. “The way the scene played out, it didn’t show him dying – it cut away really quick. He might come back in a future episode.”

While Glen returning in a future episode is a very real possibility, the next episode is centered on Maggie’s (Lauren Cohen) flashbacks, so don’t hold your breath in hopes for his return until later episodes.

While fans continue to hope for Glen’s return, realistically, fans are hoping for a proper end to Glen’s story – a more deserving death.

Kenneth Kashif Thomas is an arts editor and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @KenUBSpec. 


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