After watching the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, showrunner Scott Gimple is a hated man. Fans of TWD who waited months to find out whom Negan killed are not happy about the finale cliffhanger. There has been a lot of speculation already about what will happen when the AMC hit returns for Season 7. Gimple is helping to ease some of the pain by explaining why he chose to end in a cliffhanger and just how intense Season 7 will be when it all starts back up again in the fall.
Yahoo reported on Scott Gimple’s comments during a conference call with reporters after the epic Season 6 finale. The TWD executive producer and showrunner is already back in Atlanta, preparing for Season 7 of The Walking Dead. Here’s what the season finale director had to say about the controversial episode and why he decided to end Season 6 the way he did.
Gimple tackled the issue of the cliffhanger first. Many of his fans are really upset about having been left hanging again when TWD has employed that tactic so many times before. The most recent Season 6 finale cliffhanger is easily the most upsetting wait for fans and many can’t believe that Gimple and the rest of the directors and writers would make fans wait literally seven months to find out which of their favorite characters is dead.
“In many ways what we saw last night was the end of the story,” said Gimple. “Where Rick winds up is completely different from where he started in [episode] 1 and where he started in 9. I know, obviously, and I’ve known for awhile, what is in 701. Presenting what occurs, to show what happened in full force, it is the beginning of the next story. It’s an incredible work of gore by Charlie Adlard in the [comic]… How we show that on TV? I’m certain that we will be pushing some boundaries with it.”
Apparently, Scott Gimple believes that The Walking Dead fans will be so thrilled with the Season 7 premiere that they’ll forget about the seven long months waiting to find out what happened. “I think if you approach it from a place of skepticism,” Gimple said. “or with the idea that there’s some sort of negative motivation behind it, if you come at it that way, it’s difficult to convince you otherwise. I do think we’ve done enough on the show… to ask people to give us the benefit of the doubt that it is all part of a plan, and it’s all part of a story. I truly hope that people see 701 and they feel it justifies the way that we’ve decided to tell the story. I know what 701 is, and I feel that it delivers on what 616 sets up.”
In the wake of the Season 6 finale, some fans are so angry that they are taking to social media with threats against Scott Gimple. Others have begged AMC and the TWD powers-that-be to fire Gimple for giving fans another cliffhanger. “We definitely anticipated some. I think any sort of story vulnerability,” Gimple said of the fallout from angry fans, “if you have something in the story that can be criticized in some direction, it will be criticized. There is a vast audience and… people, I think in some ways, now feel almost that it’s their duty to let their opinions be known. That’s the thing, it’s a part of the world now. If you do something, some people aren’t going to like it. You can set your watch toward people saying so, and usually not subtly.”
“I know the greater story that we’re telling, and I know why this fits in where it fits in. The hard thing about it is you can’t say why. You can’t say exactly why you do some of the turns you take because you’ll wind up [spoiling] details of the story. It’s a very weird position to be in. I do know, and the writers know, producers know… we know why we do what we do. We know that our intentions are good. We know that we care about our audience. We know that we’re just trying to deliver them an experience.”
Apparently, Scott Gimple feels like the end justifies the means and even though The Walking Dead fans are upset now, they will forgive him once they see the other half of the episode in October. The Season 6 finale was epic and boasted a huge viewing audience, many of whom were warned ahead of time that TWD would be leaving fans in the lurch for several months. Are you upset that the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead ended without letting fans know whom Negan killed, or do you think Gimple knows what he’s doing and will be looking forward to Season 7 starting back up again?
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]