Nerd Faithful, it’s Commander Shipp here with a few theories on The Walking Dead. Look, I’m totally going to be in the minority on this, (although given last season’s controversial cliffhanger, I may gain some believers) If you’re still watching this series, I’m not even sure why it’s stayed on air so long. (Well, I mean I know why, it’s a freaking cash cow for AMC.) However, since the revelation to close season 1 was revealed, I’ve become more and more disinterested knowing they are all screwed anyway. So it made me start thinking…how is this series going to end? It should also go with out saying, spoilers will be had especially if you’re not caught up.
A Cure Is Found
Even though I’ve become sad at what the show has become, for some reason I kept watching and getting caught before new seasons aired. That small spark definitely got re-ignited when I believed there was an end in sight. Eugene said he had a cure that could potentially put an end to the world apocalypse.
Except he lied.
TWD comic readers would know this fact instantly so his introduction was just a harbinger of the rabbit hole to come. I slightly hoped they would put a twist on it so that the show could eventually march towards an end despite his lie. For example, if he had lied but turned out his bs plan actually had merit and with the right people could be a viable option. But that wasn’t going to happen; a prime opportunity to attach a countdown clock to this show was missed. It doesn’t mean a new character couldn’t come along later to fix all of this.We’ve barely left the South and there’s bound to be tons of unexplored towns or research labs that are still alive and attempting to find a cure.
I’m secretly hoping someone does because if they don’t…
They Will All Die
Normally when someone is screwing with you about spoiling a show, they may jokingly say “Everybody died in the end!!”. You know it’s complete bull crap so you don’t even give that comment a second thought. But given the fact that all the characters in TWD are infected, this is the one time this may actually be an applicable spoiler. Think about it, even if society some how wiped out all of the current zombies running around, re-established a working government or organization, what happens the first time someone dies in that new society? How is the world expected to truly move forward when a new zombie could easily pop up at any time. Get into a bar fight and accidentally kill a dude, you had better be prepared to fight a zombie right after. Go war with the new post-apocalyptic government, be ready to fight the re-animated zombie hoards. Heck, even passing away quietly in your sleep will result in terror the following morning as your family members try to stop you from gnawing into the in-laws.
Everyone being affected by the virus really should have made for an excellent plot device. In all honesty, it should have been the item that drove people to find a cure, but it hasn’t lead to that. Without establishing a goal or path for the next few seasons (towards a determined end), this show is destined to become..
There’s few shows with the pull to last 5 seasons, let alone think about going 10 seasons as this show’s producers have alluded to time and time again. However, the longer you go, the closer you get to looking like Smallville. That was a great show when it started, but no one would hold it against you for bailing after the 3rd or 4th season. It’s not that the show became terrible, it just became “meh”. For a show with such promise in those first couple of seasons, it never matched that level of output again. The final seasons dwindled into a mediocre mess that extended Clark’s early years worse than Lisa and Bart Simpson’s middle school days.
This is the fate that is probably awaiting TWD if continues on any further. The first season is hands down one of the best on television. But the soap opera heavy stories they have been leaning on the past few seasons have dragged the show into a simple rinse and repeat pattern. I think most fans can agree that some characters have been amazing to watch grow (Carol especially, different doesn’t begin to describe her transformation and growth.) And there are still some gem episodes every season, but the entire production doesn’t scream excellence to me. Although there is one way to finish it that fits the universe perfectly…
A series well known for pulling cliffhangers and killing anyone when we least at expect it is a prime candidate for a Soprano style ending. Yes, it’s been before hence the show I’m referencing, but the fade to black makes even more sense here. In The Sopranos, director and creator David Chase was attempting to send us home into the unknown. Whether Tony died in that restaurant or afterwards, Chase’s point is that death can come for us all at any point. Tony was constantly putting himself in that situation with his lifestyle so whether it had happened earlier, in that scene, or years later off-screen, he could always get killed violently in a random or planned attack.
For the survivors in TWD, it’s really no different except they didn’t put themselves into this hellish scenario; they simply exist and survive in it. Any normal day could result in you getting ripped to shreds by a zombie hoard, falling dead in a shower from fever, or encountering the worst humanity has to offer. As much as we’d like to get mad at the creators for killing people that were our favorites, we know deep down inside that this situation sucks. There’s no end in sight and death hangs over them all just like Tony and his crew.
Cutting the series off where we know our protagonists are still alive but the world still sucks would be great moment. Their fates would be just as ambiguous as Tony’s and leave us wondering what happened to our crew. Unless of course a key character decides to wake up….
Rick Has Been Dreaming
How quickly we forget that the entire series started with a man waking up in his bed. Come on, don’t tell me you haven’t considered it even a little bit? Sure, we see the lead up to his hospitalization through flashbacks and his initial zombie encounter, but it wouldn’t take much to say the whole thing is a dream. A zombie apocalypse gives Rick the opportunity to fulfill things in the “Zombie Dream” that he was never able to in the real world.
What if Shane hooking up with Laurie while Rick was gone was something he suspected in reality. Then, in his dreams, his confrontation with Shane was simply his way of confronting it or coming to gripes with it. The whole first two seasons show a Rick Grimes attempting to put this family back together and be a strong leader. Before the outbreak, we know his relationship with Laurie was strained or on the verge of collapse. Now in his “dream”, he has an opportunity to fix the things he was unable to; be a better husband to Laurie and father for Carl.
The Rick-tatorship that Rick employs during season 3 onward could result from the lack of control he feels in his own life. It’s certainly a level of control many of us wish we could employ, but we wouldn’t because of our society. This new scenario lets him be the man he never imagined he could be, even if he’s facing a vastly different obstacle compared to being a police officer. In a later post, I can dive into the various plot points that lend to this idea. Suffice it to say, there’s still a worse way this show could do down…
It’s All Purgatory….Or Something Like That
It’s entirely possible even without a mysterious glowing light in a water cave or smoke monster running around that this entire group could be experiencing a hellish existence for a reason. It would help better explain the hopelessness of the situation and why there appears to be no hope in sight. Every time they get close to re-establishing a new home or resemblance to stability, it always get up heaved. It’s not just Rick’s group either, sometimes they are the ones destroying a balanced community (The Governor’s Woodberry or Terminus, which each had their own problems, but were still functional.) It doesn’t matter who you are, you can get killed or survive, but even surviving means it’s just a matter of time until someone jerk with a tank shows up to blow up your house.
Why does that keep happening? If it’s a human wasteland, then surely at some point order could be restored right? Unless they are meant to discover something or learn more about themselves before they can move on. The zombies on earth could be some sort of test to determine who is truly ready. Now, what their deaths would mean in this new landscape, I have no clue. However, since Lost didn’t explain that crap, I’m sure the writers of this show would be content to just engulfing the crew in white light and calling it a day. The Lost finale left a pretty bad taste in fans mouths and even the ones we listed above would work better than a odd flashback universe set in a place no one understands.
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