Spoiler Warning: Continue reading only if you have seen the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
When the first episode of The Walking Dead premiered, no one from the cast and crew to the fans could have been prepared for the worldwide phenomenon that was born. It became apparent, almost instantly, that the series had a much deeper pull on fans than that of other film and television in the genre.
While the undead played a critical part in the show’s success, the real draw of the series came from the characters and their heart. From Rick waking up alone and stopping at nothing to save his family to Morgan and his son taking in an injured Rick and taking a risk on a man they’d never seen before. The underlying message of staying human in the midst of the apocalypse was evident from the very first episode.
Maybe we got a second chance, not many people get that.
No matter why you tuned into that first episode, and the second, and the third; something bigger than a show about the apocalypse kept you involved. The series quickly proved itself to be about heart, about the human spirit, and about what keeps you alive.
Looking back at 7 full seasons and anticipating the remaining episodes of the 8th, it seems appropriate to say that the road to getting here has been less than ideal at times, especially lately. More than ever before, fans are feeling an indescribably large disconnect from the series and it’s easy to get lost in that.
It’s easy to get lost in the big losses, in Glenn and Abraham meeting their tragic and untimely fate and the promise of Carl meeting his when the series resumes. It’s easy to get lost in the hope that died with Herschel and the compassion that died with Tyrese.
You can’t help but wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t lost Beth or Dale, T-Dog or Noah, would the series be what it is today? Of course not, and there’s a reason for that, but would the life of even one character we’ve lost have made the difference we so desperately need?
Would the light of one character that dimmed have been the only light that could have helped prevent this?
As with every series you find yourself invested in, there’s nothing that can be said or done to please the masses. Everyone has favorites, everyone has moments they look back upon with the knowledge that it happened for a reason. There are also those turning points that are looked upon with an anger and despair, the ones that just don’t make sense.
Going into this season, we know an impending death looms over us. Quite possibly the most controversial of the series so far and it’s caused a general sense of dissatisfaction.
As with every series you get invested in, there will be moments that pain you unspeakably. One of those is the death looming over us right now and it’s quite possibly the most controversial yet. The dissatisfaction that’s been caused has also created a rift in the fanbase where it seems that two paths remain.
So what do you choose? Do you abandon the series or keep watching? Is what brought you here enough to keep you or is it finally enough to call it quits?
No matter where you are on the playing field now, it seems premature to call it quits. At least in my eyes. While the episode where we found out we’d be losing Carl was heartbreaking, it was also eyeopening. Carl’s death is going to cause a wave of change and that change will undoubtedly change Rick and the rest of the group too.
Losing him seems like losing the future of The Walking Dead, but what if it’s just a juncture for a new future? What if it’s where Rick finds the peace necessary to stop the war?
We won’t know, and even if it is that peaceful place they’ve all desperately needed, it seems unfair that it took such a loss to get them there. However, we’ve all been taught that life isn’t fair.
Blind trust can be hard to give, but it’s what’s necessary at this juncture, plus, what else do we have?