Talking Out The Dead: “Heads Up”

Kelen Conley: There is absolutely no denying it; I am highly disappointed with this. We sat through 3 episodes, Morgan’s, the boring “Now”, and the update on Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham. We hung on the edge of our seats for this key plot point to be resolved. We speculated, some of us were crying, some of us wrote thousands of nice words about something we thought the show had lost (that would be me and you). The Walking Dead had a true shot to take the show in a brand new direction as Season 6 moved on and they couldn’t pull the trigger. We all know what not pulling the trigger can do for you, right Andrea?

Glenn is alive. Just as most had predicted, Nicholas fell on top of him and it was his guts the walkers were tearing out, not Glenn’s. And just like most predicted, Glenn slid under that dumpster and waited out a herd, no, I have to go with you, a swarm of walkers for at least 2 days. He had to stab a few that tried to get him. He drank what little water he had left. And then, after this swarm, no, massive swarm of walkers conveniently left once Glenn was pinned in with walker bodies, he freed himself. Glenn is alive!

Glenn should not be alive! You’re telling me that if any other random character had fallen off that dumpster that they would’ve survived like he did? Are you telling me that Glenn has been through enough since the apocalypse began that he had the presence of mind to scoot out from under Nicholas’s dead body and under the dumpster? He just watched another man take his own life. He and said man fell off the dumpster and into a big ol’ heaping pile of walkers. Are you telling me his first thought was, “Welp. Let me get under this dumpster and wait these suckers out.”? NO. The show is unrealistic enough with walkers and all (everyone knock on wood with me please) but I always felt like they took enough care to make sure to bring as much realism to the table as possible. And Glenn surviving is not realistic. Not one person from Alexandria would’ve made it out alive. But because it’s Glenn, he’s so much smarter than the average inhabitant of the TWD world to get under a dumpster?


I love Glenn, he’s one of my favorite characters on the show. But as I mentioned in our column about “Thank You” and at the top of this one, this would’ve been major for the show. Sure, we’ve lost major characters as the series has progressed but by the time they die, their storylines have come to an end. Glenn is one of the biggest characters on TWD. He’s married (to arguably the hottest woman on the show), he’s changed from a runner who could get in and out of places with walkers quickly into a leader whose input on the group’s next move is highly valued. He’s gone from the shy pizza boy into a full blown, grown ass man, who is able to get blindsided by a somewhat trusted associate in the Season 5 finale and come out the other side of the confrontation the winner.

Glenn Rhee is not a joke.

To have Glenn killed off the way we thought was a big step for the show. It would’ve really driven home the idea that no one is safe, something that is valuable to keep in mind when you’re dealing with the unpredictability of walkers. We both have always said there were safe characters and while Glenn has bounced on and off the safe list for us, I always thought he was unkillable. As much as I love (and adore) Maggie, you can almost feel the cycle closing on the Greene family’s story. She’s the only one left; she will die at some point. That’s just what happens on the show when your last name is Greene.

I was excited for the new era of TWD, the Glenn-less era. Yes, life would’ve had to go on but for such a big character to be gone would’ve had numerous repercussions. Even if they tried to avoid it, TWD couldn’t move on without addressing the loss of Glenn on all the characters somehow. And like I said, then maybe we don’t think Rick, Daryl, Carl, Judith, and Carol are so safe. I’d add Michonne but like Glenn, I always go back and forth on whether they would kill her off, even though I’m convinced now that they won’t until her storyline reaches a natural end… which it kind of has by now, don’t you think?

To make matters worse, they don’t have Glenn rolling solo back to Alexandria, do they? Nope, that would redeem the fact that they couldn’t kill him a little too much. Instead of Glenn Rhee: The Journey Home we get Enid! With Some Glenn on the Side. They choose one of the characters I absolutely abhor and when she resists coming back to Alexandria, they have Glenn drag her back, kicking and screaming. The only thing that would’ve been worse is if Noah showed up as his spirit guide.

They spend the rest of the episode heading back to Alexandria with Glenn being Glenn and trying to reach her, more stuff I don’t care about. They gather balloons together to distract the walkers, which was a real high point for me. And then when they get to Alexandria and see the walls are surrounded by walkers, do they take action to get back inside? “Nah, let’s release these balloons into the sky so that Maggie knows I’m alive.”

So not only did Glenn live, not only did he get stuck with the worst possible road trip buddy, but they also made no effort to get back inside Alexandria and decided releasing those balloons would be the best bet. What good does it do Maggie to know Glenn’s alive when he can’t get inside? She’s pregnant; I’m sure added stress is the right medicine to carry the baby full term.

Dammit, I can’t sit here and go on with this bullshit anymore. I’ll discuss the rest of the episode in my next section. And forget all that “greatest season of TWD” crap I was saying after the first 3 episodes. This season just crash landed, it’s just a good thing there’s a dumpster nearby for it to crawl under.

Thomas Crawford: What can I tell you buddy? I was right with you, I thought they had pulled the trigger on Glenn. I was sort of hoping that maybe they would have done a tribute, or some flashbacks. Maybe they even had a moment where Glenn the “walker” showed up, and had to be dealt with. No such luck.

I have gotten some flak from other viewers I’ve talked with about the show. Every single one was so sure Glenn was alive, and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want him to be.

I love Glenn. That is something that I have stressed. A part of me is happy that he is alive. However, the show really did miss a chance to show that no one is truly safe. They had the opportunity to really set themselves apart, not just in the science fiction TV show genre, but as a TV show period.

What I mean, is that one thing every show does, is protect the characters. There is always some brilliant escape, some last minute miracle, anything that can keep the favored character or characters living another day. The Walking Dead always felt like they didn’t go by this formula. Until now of course.

Yes, there was just enough space for Glenn to slip under the dumpster. There was just enough water for him to survive. Of course, the massive swarm of walkers just starts to disperse. Forgetting the fact that they are attracted to sounds and smells. Are you telling me they couldn’t hear Glenn trying to breathe and make sounds under the dumpster?

This show isn’t based in reality. We know that. However, they always did try to have a real feel to it. Things that happened in the show seemed plausible. The walkers always seemed to act with a consistency. Now, all of a sudden, they mill around, and ignore a panting Glenn trying to breathe.

I will admit I have a sort of cynical view of this. I was wondering if this was a test run by the writers. They have an episode where it looks like a main character is killed off, and then see the fans reactions.

Could it be possible that the massive outpouring of the show’s fans convinced them to keep Glenn alive? I know it sounds crazy, but I wonder if they didn’t have a couple different shoots without the happy ending for Glenn? Perhaps these alternate shots of the final two episodes are locked away in a vault somewhere, never to see the light of day. Now I’m getting a little conspiracy theory going.

I have said it before, this episode really did let me down. In the grand scheme of things I have a full list of “safe” characters now. Whereas we used to joke about it, I only thought there were at most two main safe characters. Rick and Carl were safe. You could throw in Walker Bait because I don’t think that would go over well, and truthfully I understand that.

Now there is a shift. How many of the major players are on the safe list? I’m not going to list them but my list has grown to 5, maybe 6. I’m not sure about Michonne because she is on and off the list still in my book.

While I actually don’t have a serious problem with Enid, I also don’t like how Glenn dragged her back to Alexandria. I think this was not needed. Now I’m certain she doesn’t have bad intentions. However, I see her playing a role that gets someone screwed over. That is the only reason for her and Glenn to meet up magically after the swarm left.

Glenn is Glenn though, he thinks she needs protection whether she wants it or not. I’m being a bit of a jerk here, but she said to leave her alone. I’m not proud of the fact that I might choose not to help someone who just pulled a gun on me. Maybe it’s just me, but if someone pulls a gun and tells me to leave, I think I would just say adios.

Oh, but she is young and scared and doesn’t understand the danger. Actually, I think she is better equipped to survive than anyone from Alexandria.

Did you have a problem with that as well? They show throughout her story that she knows how to survive. Then all of a sudden she needs Glenn to protect her. She needs to get back to Alexandria where it is safe. Yeah, real safe there. I’m not sure that was the writers’ intent, but it just came off like that. One moment she is a survivor, the next she is an angry and scared kid that needs an adult. Help me out writers, which is it for Enid?

I understand you don’t like her. I just have a feeling that she is going to play a role in the upcoming episodes. She is most likely going to end up costing someone their life. My guess, it isn’t going to be Glenn.

I must admit there are other things that happened in this episode that had significance. However I’m with you. The fact that Glenn survived miraculously really rubbed me the wrong way. The fact that they stretched out whether or not he was alive for so long also bothered me. By the time “Always Accountable” was on, we both were thinking the same thing.

Do you think if they hadn’t waited so long, it would have been so annoying? I wonder if they had written it so it got back to Glenn, I might not be so frustrated about it.

I’m going to throw it back to you. What about Morgan? How about Carol and Rick confronting him? Finally, they give Rosita a small part to play. However, she seems to be terrorizing the Alexandrians. What are your thoughts?

KC: What about Morgan indeed? I think he is confused. He said that “bad people are capable of changing”. While this isn’t untrue, he’s comparing his situation when he met Eastman to everyone else who tries to hurt him or his friends since. Morgan was never a bad person; he lost his wife, then his son to his wife, and then he had to put his wife down finally. He wasn’t bad, those events caused him lose his mind.

Eastman was able to bring him back from madness. Eastman could not, on the other hand, change Crighton Dallas Wilton. He tried to keep Wilton in prison, but he escaped and killed his Eastman’s family, and then he turned himself back in so that “justice” could be served. Eastman still ended up abducting him from prison and starving him to death. He knew that Wilton could not be changed. Morgan needs to understand the difference.

I feel like Rick and Carol are handling him the wrong way though. They have been challenging his theories and his way of life and that will never fly with Morgan. They need to find another way to reach him but neither has made the time to do it. I think a new approach would help Morgan understand the difference between a lost person and an outright bad person like the Wolf.

Oh, and kudos to you Morgan for taking dumb ol’ Denise to the basement to meet the Wolf. You know this is going to end badly. He saw that she can barely put a Band-Aid on and yet, he takes her to this Wolf, who told Morgan he would kill everyone still alive in Alexandria, and asks her to fix his wound. At least we won’t have to worry about her boring character anymore. I just hope Tara wasn’t too attached yet.

I’m kind of upset that the confrontation between Carol and Morgan will be interrupted by the walls coming down. The tension has been building between them for a few episodes but now they’ll have to turn tail and run for safety. I’m sure this will be picked up again sometime in Season 6.

And speaking of the walls coming down, I guess we know what the blood coming through the wall meant now. Probably some dumb ol’ walker was smashed into the wall and cracked it, leaving the blood. But the blood was a metaphor for all the walls not being as secure as was once thought. Having a truck driven into them didn’t help though.

If they had revealed Glenn’s fate sooner, it wouldn’t have been as bad. I would’ve been relieved; instead I’m just annoyed by the execution of it all. I think I really feel insulted as a diehard fan. Sure, the casual or new viewer might be okay with how things played out but anyone who has made it through a whole season of the show knew he wasn’t dead by the time “Always Accountable” rolled around. By delaying when they revealed he was alive, it felt like a giant waste of my time. But maybe I’m taking things a little too personally.

As for Rosita’s bit part: the Alexandrians stay terrified and it’s going to get them all killed.

I feel like I’m going to have to channel Nikki for a second. Why does a woman always need a man around to save them? You nailed it when you said that Enid clearly could handle herself outside of Alexandria so even with Glenn’s good intentions, he just looks bad making her come back with him. I mean, who’s the dummy that had to hang out under a dumpster for a few days? Hint: It wasn’t Enid.

Enid coming back to Alexandria had to be for a reason and now that you mention it, I’m betting that it’s to show up at the most inopportune time for Ron and Carl. So we’ll finally be right when someone gets hurt because of Enid. And my money is on Carl getting hurt and Ron ending up dead because of it.

The other thing we need to cover is Spencer. So “Now” spent a good deal of time showing that Spencer only cares about himself. When the pantry was being raided, he stepped up and stopped it from happening… only to take items for himself. Not even a week after his father was accidentally murdered by a raging alcoholic, we see Spencer getting drunk. Then there was that weird thing with the blood coming from the wall, a possible McGuffin towards Deanna killing Spencer for his conceited actions from earlier in the day.

On this day in Alexandria, Spencer decides to play the hero by scooting across a wire so he can find a car to lure the walkers away from the walls? What? This totally betrays what we saw from him just a few days ago. The whole point was so that Tobin and Deanna could scold Rick about not viewing the Alexandrians as part of his group, as not valuable to his survival. It seems they’re setting Rick up to take over as the main person in charge of Alexandria, even with the walls caving in, which means so long Deanna I bet. And I get that Rick needs to start thinking of the Alexandrians as his people after the way he talked about them before he left Glenn and Michonne in “Thank You”.

Any chance that Spencer was just trying to get out of Alexandria? With everything that had happened since Rick got on the scene, it doesn’t seem that crazy that he’d think he was better off alone. I’d even toss a theory out there that he’s in contact with that group that ran into Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham but that really doesn’t make sense. I’ll just guess it was to give Rick more reason to care about the Alexandrians and leave it at that.

As for your theory that the show was testing out a major death on its audience, I can’t buy into it. TWD is the most popular show on cable television and it would take major show altering changes for the viewership to disappear. So while they may have worried how the viewers would take Glenn’s death, all they have to do is look at all dat AMC money to reassure themselves they made the right move.

One last thing. We know Glenn’s alive so who is the major character that dies at season’s end? They can’t tease Glenn like that and not pull the trigger on something bigger. Well, they could… because looking at all dat AMC money probably would give the best intentions a bad case of not caring about anything anymore. Just keep that money machine rolling!

TC: Okay first, I know it was sounding like a conspiracy theory when I said it. However, I am starting to wonder if the popularity of certain characters might be influencing the writers. Could it just be happening a little bit? I don’t think that is outlandish.

Now, I don’t think they are not going to take risks because of ticking off a few fans. However, with things like social media, instant response and feedback, could it be possible that this could influence an upcoming season? I definitely think it’s possible.

I’m a little stuck on this because on one hand, they are giving the fans what they want. On the other hand, it does lead to the implausible situations we see in a lot of popular shows. I’m sort of playing devil’s advocate with myself on this issue. This isn’t just about TWD, this is something that a lot of shows have to contend with. I’m going to get off my soapbox and just deal with it as well.

Truthfully I think you are right about Enid. I think that the only reason she is alive is to get Carl and Ron in a situation where Carl gets hurt, and Ron is killed. I am sort of torn on this. I’m not sure if this is something I want to see.

This is one of those things that could turn out being cheesy. However, this is also something that if done right, could end up being something pretty cool. I don’t exactly have a clear idea of how it could be cool. However, for some reason, I just have a feeling.

If the writers handle this right, this could end up being one of those situations that surprise you. It could be shocking and it could be awesome. Who knows, it could change your mind about Enid. It could change my mind about Ron. I still don’t like the kid.

On the other hand, it could totally suck. I think the big possibility is that this weird triangle they have created could end predictably. Now, we have been wrong before a lot with this show. I think we are both right in how this could end. Let’s hope TWD proves us wrong again.

Morgan, Morgan, Morgan. I am totally ticked at how the showdown with him and Carol got interrupted. It is obvious that he has become more of a liability to the entire living than the walkers.

I know that is a bold statement, but one I believe. It is one thing to respect life. It is one thing not to kill the two guys after they are beaten and unconscious.

However, after the savage attack on the people of Alexandria… WAKE UP Morgan. Not everyone can be saved. I think THAT is the lesson Morgan did not get from Eastman. When Eastman told him his final story about Crighton Dallas, that was a final lesson. He should have written it down. Respect all life, but some the world is better off without.

I’m going to make another prediction. Morgan is going to live long enough to learn that the world does have monsters in it. It isn’t the walkers. The monsters are the people like the Wolves. Eastman learned when Wilton murdered his family. I’m afraid Morgan isn’t going to learn that until a big character dies.

It will probably be because of the Wolf Morgan is going out on a limb trying to help. Morgan, like Eastman, will learn the hardest lesson about peace and respecting life. It will also be too late.

Getting to Denise, what a worthless character. Of course Morgan trusts her, even though I still have no idea what her medical qualifications are. This character is just walker fodder to me at this point. I don’t care enough. Sadly, I think it is possible she is going to lead Tara to her death. Another prediction I’m pretty confident is going to happen. If that is the case, I really don’t like Denise.

Spencer, I really don’t want to talk about this kid. He is a jerk like his brother. I don’t believe for a second he was trying to lead the walkers away. I believe he was just trying to make an escape.

I think there is a part of him that is a survivor. He sees the writing on the wall, that Alexandria is doomed. He also doesn’t want to be around when it happens. Why else raid the pantry? Why take a bag full of supplies if you are just trying to, “help”. This is a character that reminds me of a rat fleeing a sinking ship. I can’t hate him for it. I don’t like him, but can’t hate him.

That being said, I think you are spot on. This was just another example to try to get Rick to see Alexandrians as his own. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

I will be blunt, there are no Alexandrians I care about. I know the writers tried. For one episode. However, at this point there are few that I even like, let alone care enough about to think they need to be a part of the main group.

Spencer, Denise, Ron, Sam, Jessie, Deanna and even Enid just all seem like a waste of air time. There, I said it. At this point, I am more interested in Gabriel and his silent defiance of Rick, putting up prayer meeting fliers than any of these people.

Now this might be just the fact I’ve watched the show so long. The core group has become like a family. I know that is sad, but that is how a show you love is supposed to make feel. I don’t like Gabriel. However, he has had enough interaction and development that I care about the character. None of the Alexandrians have this.

I feel like Rick. “Why are you going to risk your life to save one of them?!”

This isn’t my fault I think. I think that with the limited amount of time, the writers have gotten bogged down. I do believe that they could have spent some time and gotten creative. They could have done more to make me care about Denise. They could have done the same for Jessie and her sons. However, I’m sort of like you.

I don’t think Jessie or her sons are long for the TWD world. However, I can’t find it in me to really care. The entire town of Alexandria has become cannon fodder in my mind.

I think they missed a big chance. The one character, the only Alexandrian I think is worth anything, is Aaron. He has been noticeably absent. After helping Maggie, he is just wandering around I guess

The writers have done nothing to build this character in the first half of the season. I think this is a shame because it was a chance to really explore the character. He is one of the few that has shown me anything of worth and I’d like to learn more about him. I think the writers really missed a chance to develop Aaron. It is very likely that in the opening of the second half of the season, he will be killed off.

So what do we get as viewers at the end of this episode? We have the core group split up, with Glenn still alive. We have whatever Morgan calls himself doing. We have a pregnant Maggie, a group of Alexandrians I don’t care about, and our heroes holding on by a thread.

Then the walls are a coming down.

I’m going to wrap this up. I don’t care if Rick suddenly sees the Alexandrians as part of the group. Actually, I hope they kill them off as fast as they can.

I’m disappointed that Morgan’s character has taken Eastman’s lessons to the extreme. I think it will come back to hurt him and the group in the end.

I don’t like that Glenn is back by a miracle. I like Enid, but I don’t like how they are switching up the type of character that she is from what she started as.

I know this is starting to sound like a vent fest. I didn’t like so many things about this episode. Then the walls came down.

What an ending. Oh wow, I think I would have jumped to my feet if I wasn’t obese and getting old.

After all the bull, all the bunk, and Rick thinking that maybe he should consider Alexandrians part of the group, a life shattering moment occurs.

Is it horrible to say that the ending absolutely saved the episode in my mind? Does that make me a bad person? It probably does, but I’m soooo glad that the town of Alexandria will be no more. Hopefully the majority of the residents will go the way of the wall… knocked down and swarmed by walkers.

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