Sunday’s night episode of The Walking Dead took our favorite survivors of the zombie apocalypse into new territory — figuratively and literally — when Rick and the gang ventured into a new community and offered to act as hired guns for it.
In full disclosure, there are potential spoilers ahead — if you haven’t watched last night’s episode yet, avert your eyes and attention.
Now, getting into it. Last week, the Alexandria crew gained a temporary new resident when Rick and Daryl’s scouting trip yielded a man named Jesus. By the end of the episode, Jesus burst into the room on a postcoital Rick and Michonne.
The intel he delivered to the group led to Rick, Daryl, Maggie, Glenn and Abraham deciding to take a road trip to what he said was one of a network of communities, Hilltop Colony.
And, well, their arrival there foreshadows a major impending tragedy for the group, and specifically, for Glenn. Here’s why.
1. The official introduction of Gregory
Once in Hilltop, the gang encounters the community’s sleazeball leader, Gregory (played impeccably by Xander Berkeley). In TWD comic world, Gregory acts as a pivotal antagonist, setting into motion the events that — noooooooooooo — lead to the death of Glenn.
2. The survivors’ new gig
After Negan sends one of Hilltop’s own residents back to kill Gregory as part of a “message,” and Rick kills the attacker, Rick sends Maggie in to see the wounded Gregory with a proposition. Rick and his crew will take care of Hilltop’s “Negan problem” in exchange for food and supplies. This is crucial because those actions set into motion what I mentioned above. That chain of events starts with the survivors being ambushed and captured on the road by Negan’s cronies, The Saviors.
3. References to “the bat”
Major spoiler alert if you aren’t familiar with the comics! However, if you are familiar with that series, you know that Glenn dies at the hands of Negan. Or, rather, by his bat. Once the survivors are in Negan’s camp, he lines them up and says he will choose one to bludgeon to death with his barbed-wire-covered bat, “Lucille.” During Sunday’s episode, a very intentional nod was made to this bat when Jesus recounts how Negan killed a 16-year-old member of his group. “He beat him to death right in front of us… said we needed to understand right off the bat.”
4. Maggie and Glenn’s plans
It never seems to bode well when a survivor starts to sprout hope and plans for a future in the zombocalypse. Just look at what happened to poor Deanna. This is particularly tragic when it comes to Glenn and Maggie because their plans obviously now include bringing their baby into this world. When Glenn explains to Abraham, “We’re trying to build something, me and her,” you get the sinking feeling he won’t live long enough to see that dream come to fruition.
5. Glenn’s faux death
Some fans argue that they wouldn’t really kill Glenn off in the backside of the same season the series elaborately led viewers to believe he had been eaten alive by a throng of walkers beside a Dumpster. However, and it could just be the cynic in me speaking, that almost makes it seem more likely. They threw us off the scent a bit. We were gutted (sorry, couldn’t resist) by the perceived death of one of our favorite characters. Having to watch him actually, legitimately be killed off not by a walker but by another human being will be next-level devastating. And since producers obviously aren’t holding back this season, that would be a fitting way for the season to end.
6. The world they live in
Here’s the reality, whether we like it or not: These guys live in a world in which no day is guaranteed. Loved ones routinely die horrific deaths. So, in that respect, someone has to die — and now that the focus is shifting back toward our core group of survivors, the odds are good it will be one of the OG crew. Maybe they’ll veer from the comic storyline, you say? After all, Richonne wasn’t part of the comic world, and we’re all digging that new development. However, while the series had made changes at various points along the way, it seems unlikely they’ll gloss over what is one of the most barbaric and memorable deaths in the comic series. But please do join me in abject denial until that day arrives.
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