Written by: John Edward Betancourt
I've been a fan of The Walking Dead from the start. I was on my couch on that fateful Halloween night years ago to see how good or how bad this show would be and have been with it ever since. I've endured the heartbreak of Sophia, Dale, Shane, Lori, T-Dog and Andrea. I fully understood there would be favorites going down in the show because it's the end of the world and there are tons of zombies...it's a given.
Yet this was an extremely hard breakdown to write, because I was completely and utterly blindsided by last week's Midseason Finale. The death of Hershel was completely and utterly devastating, not because of the fact that he died for my aforementioned reasons, but because of how he died. There was something that the show had yet to give us until last week...the display of the brutality of man.
Yeah, we've seen people torn to shreds by the living dead. We've seen gunfights galore and people battle it out, and let's be honest that is something we are desensitized to in film and television. But we so rarely see someone just be brutal for the sake of being brutal and that's what the Governor brought to the table last week.
Quite frankly, the act scared the hell out of me. In part the surprise of it and because it opened my eyes to a few things...this show is going to darker and darker places whether we like it or not. Last year's "Clear" should have been a clue that under Scott Gimple's watch we not only have to deal with the horrible abominations that walk the earth...but the psychological wear and tear that comes with the end of all things.
So in the aftermath of what is without a doubt the most brutal and devastating episode of The Walking Dead, what can we expect? I think it only gets worse from here. This poor group was given hope and a second chance at life at the prison. They had security, they had food and shelter and they even managed to overcome illness. All until some asshat felt the need to be the ruler of all the things and once more they are out in the world and without someone they all considered family.
This will change many things. They will all be suffering, they will all grieve and I don't think the show will ever be the same. This will be a long and dark journey, and their destination is simply survival and I know I will be along for the ride, because going into those dark corners of our psyche is not only groundbreaking television...but damn good storytelling. See you all in February.