I've dreaded writing this post for the last three years. I've desperately hoped this day wouldn't arrive. On last night's episode of The Walking Dead, fans of the hit AMC zombie drama suffered a heartbreaking, devastating blow as one of the show's most beloved characters was seemingly killed off.
You probably already know who I'm talking about. SPOILERS BELOW, YOU FOOLS.
It seems they just killed off Glenn. I want to kick my TV.
Season after season, fans have shook their fists at The Walking Dead powers-that-be, warning, "If Glenn dies, I'm done with the show!" But The Walking Dead is not the kind of television show that listens to fans' feelings. The Waking Dead is a merciless middle finger to your feelings.
They might have just killed off one of the best Asian American characters on television.
In one of those damn episodes where every possible thing goes wrong for our ragtag Walking Dead crew. Glenn, played by Steven Yeun, found himself facing a sea of zombies, cornered with absolutely nowhere to go. When that useless asshole he's with, Nicholas, kills himself, Glenn gets dragged into the walker horde and we see him scream in agony, blood and guts flying everywhere. I screamed and cried and yelled hell no.
Over the last five seasons we've witnessed Glenn grow and mature from a young, brash former pizza delivery guy, serving as a resourceful runner for this crew of zombie apocalypse survivors, to a valued leader and the human heart of the group. Glenn was us. The group was good if Glenn was good.
Along the way, Glenn Rhee grew up, fell in love, developed into a trusted leader, and became a badass, in no uncertain terms. Honestly, how many Asian American characters, in the entire history of television, have grown over time with such depth and nuance? And now... he's dead? Fuck you, Walking Dead.
To be fair, many of us knew Glenn's death was always somewhere in the cards.[BIG FAT COMIC BOOK SPOILER AHEAD] In Robert Kirkman's comic book series from which the show is adapted, the fan favorite character was infamously killed off in issue number 100, brutally beaten to death with a barbed wire baseball bat at the hands of the sadistic villain Negan. As the show progressed into later seasons, it always felt like we were hurtling closer and closer towards Glenn's terrible destiny. The show has not yet introduced the character of Negan, but many of us knew his arrival would be ominous, because that's how we thought Glenn would die.
But wait. Before we eulogize him any further -- is Glenn really dead?
Many are holding out with hope that he's still alive. Sure, we saw him fall into the impossibly dense crowd of walkers, and yes, we saw blood and guts splatter over the agonizing shot of Glenn's horrified face. But Nicholas actually appears to land on top of Glenn when they fall. Maybe those were just Nicholas' blood and guts, and maybe Glenn somehow impossibly managed to shimmy himself to safety under that dumpster?
And while everyone, including host Chris Hardwick, was visibly shaken during Talking Dead, AMC's official Walking Dead aftershow, fans noted that Glenn was conspicuously absent from the "In Memoriam" segment that usually commemorates the passing of all characters -- human and undead -- every week.
Steven Yeun was also strangely absent from the Talking Dead couch. Traditionally when major characters are killed off, the actors who play them often pay a visit to the aftershow to debrief and say their goodbyes. If Glenn is indeed definitively dead, there is no friggin' way that Steven wouldn't get a proper sendoff.
In anticipation of fan reaction to Sunday's episode, The Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple issued a statement regarding Glenn's apparent demise:
"In some way we will see Glenn -- some version of Glenn or parts of Glenn -- again. Either in flashback or the current story to help complete the story." Damn you, Gimple.
What does that even mean? "Some version of Glenn or parts of Glenn"? The Walking Dead is messing with us. This cruel, cruel zombie television show. And the way the episodes are structured right now, with the same day playing out in different places with different characters, it could actually be a while before we find out what the hell really happened with Glenn. Noooooo. If he returns as a zombie, it's going to be a bummer.
Meanwhile, Steven Yeun remains Twitter silent. At the moment, Glenn's death is inconclusive.
More here: The Walking Dead: Did they just kill [SPOILER]?