***Spoiler Warning: Heads up! This post contains information through last night’s “Heads Up.” If you’re not caught up, back on out.***
So, uh…who didn’t see that coming? In the worst kept secret since Jon Snow’s undeadliness, TWD revealed Glenn had crawled out from under appetizer Nicholas before becoming a walker entree, himself. Yes, Rhee is still alive. Whew! Only problem is, many viewers didn’t much care. The fact of the matter is, Glenn has never been a terribly compelling fellow. Nearly the entirety of our interest in Glenn is based on his relationship to Maggie; it’s through his love for and defense of her that he’s become someone we care about at all. Of the series’ “main” characters — certainly of the original group — Glenn is probably the easiest for the audience to let go.
***Comic/Talking Dead spoilers ahead; swipe to read: The writers are obviously playing with comic readers who know Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — rumored to make his first appearance in the season finale — kills Glenn, and many people think the series’ fake-out is just a lead in to Glenn’s upcoming *real* death. On last night’s Talking Dead, Glenn received an “Un-Memoriam” which read, “Glenn, we’re so happy you’re alive! For now.”
Instead of going with what Negan does in the comics, here’s what the Walking Dead writers could do to redeem themselves after their silly cheat: Kill off Maggie Greene. I know, I know, I’m horrible for suggesting a pregnant woman’s death, but here’s why they should do it. The emotional impact of losing Maggie alone would be so much greater than losing Glenn, especially after his faux killing. Add in the twist to what readers are expecting; they’d be blindsided and so would Glenn. Finally, Rhee would have the opportunity to become a truly interesting character (especially to those of us who’ve always found him dull). Losing both his wife and his unborn child — when at times Glenn’s will to go on has seemed entirely driven by Maggie — will give Glenn a completely different slant. He’ll have a chance to develop into a stronger character, be forced to dig deep and find his own drive. As for Maggie, we’ve already seen her lose (or think she’s lost) so many people she was close to and grieve so many times; if Glenn actually dies later on, I’m not sure she could muster up another crushed, fall-to-her-knees moment. We’ve witnessed her emotional breakdowns to the point where it’s become almost predictable and barely rings true (to wit, that tunnel scene with Aaron). Maggie Greene is all cried out.
As an aside, let’s get real here; does anyone want to see another baby crawling around? In the scheme of this type of television series and as we’ve seen with Judith, there are only so many scenes that can revolve around a newborn. How much time do the audience and the writers really want to spend focused on a baby? There’s the “keep the baby fed, diapered and quiet” scenario and the monotonous “who’s going to look after the baby” arc. With a baby around, we’re always in danger of a horror none of us wants to think about (what if a walker gets the infant?), but even worse we’re left open to the possibility of a moment I hope we’ll never, ever see: zombie baby.
For those of us who feel cheated by Glenn’s predictable (down to the exact method) survival, killing off Maggie in his stead would be a sad but ultimately satisfying resolution to what may or may not be upcoming. Her death would be a twist to the tale just off-book enough to throw viewers and readers alike, and it would give Glenn a chance to become a legitimately interesting.
p.s. Kill Gabriel.