Fans hate The Walking Dead cliffhanger that was created by the Season 6 finale. All season long fans had anxiously awaited the appearance of the character Negan and the grief he was sure to bring the band of survivors. A lot of the hype over the Season 6 finale was because fans knew that someone was going to die at Negan’s hands. In the comic book, it was Glen, but the showrunners and the cast pointed out that they do not always follow the comic book faithfully. So, fans did not know what to expect.
What fans did not expect was a Walking Dead cliffhanger of epic proportions. If you have not watched The Walking Dead finale, now would be the time to look away to avoid spoilers.
The season’s last episode did not show who Negan chose as his victim. Instead, the cinematography was from the point of view of his victim and then to black as sounds of the beating continued. This non-reveal did not sit well with fans at all. Social media was flooded with fan reactions, and it was hard to find many with family-friendly language.
Come on Walking Dead u can't leave us with a season finale like that really?!?!— Brian Orakpo (@rak98) April 4, 2016
WARNING: The following video contains adult language.
The Walking Dead cliffhanger left fans angry and annoyed. With such monumental buildup and hype, fans were ready for a release, and they were denied. The season ended with fans knowing exactly what they knew going into the season. Their payoff was to get to wait six months to find out who Negan chose.
Walking Dead showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, defended the cliffhanger on the after-show, Talking Dead.
“In many ways, what we saw last night was the end of the story of season six. Where Rick winds up is completely different from where he started out in [episode] one and where he started out in [episode] nine. I know, obviously, and I’ve known for a while what is in [episode] 701, and presenting what occurs — to show what happened in full force — it is the beginning of the next story.”
In essence, The Walking Dead cliffhanger is justified, according to Gimple, because what happened at the end of the finale is actually the beginning of the Season 7 story arc, and the producers want to create a greater impact to start the new season by showing the scene in full.
Vox contends that if Season 6 was all about how Rick had changed, why was the cinematography not trained on him.
“Instead of focusing on anything having to do with Rick — you know, to really drive home just how shattered he is — the season’s final sequence is shot from the point of view of whomever [sic] is having their head bashed in by Negan and his barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille.”
A Walking Dead cliffhanger that showed, for example, how Rick reacted to Negan beating one of his comrades to death, would have at least given viewers something to ponder. It would have been a distraction to the fact that they did not get to know who was killed. The black-screened beating just seemed like a cheap shot created solely to “provoke internet chatter about who died,” said Vox.
The Walking Dead cliffhanger certainly did create internet chatter, but was it the type of chatter producers wanted? Much of the talk is venomous, with some fans even saying they are done with the show because of the finale’s perceived low blow.
LOL probably not watching Walking Dead anymore after that trash #TWDFinale Probably one of the worst episodes of television I've ever seen.— Tim Newman (@tnewmstweet) April 4, 2016
But I'm being completely serious. It crossed the line into just bad television. They ruined the moment with a cliffhanger. I'm done with it.— Ethan G (@Geek_Ethan) April 4, 2016
The threats of disowning the show bring to mind celebrities who threaten to leave the country if one or another candidate becomes president.
The Walking Dead cliffhanger seems to have created a lot of angst among fans, but despite all the negative talk and threats to abandon the show, perhaps this tweet sums the whole issue up into a tidy package:
Man I'm not watching the walking dead anymore???? ... Till it comes back on— Coop The Troop (@heywoodcooper) April 4, 2016
[Image via AMC]