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‘Walking Dead’ Recap: Shocking Twist in ‘Thank You’

October 26, 2015

(SPOILER ALERT: The following post contains major plot revelations from “Thank You,” the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC. Proceed no further if you want to avoid them).



Not Glenn!

Not now!

How could you?!

We’re still in a stunned state of denial after watching good-hearted Glenn (Steven Yeun) meet his demise after tumbling off a garbage dumpster into a horde of ravenous zombies. You would think by now -- after witnessing a bazillion fatalities on this demented, twisted show -- that we’d be numb to the body count.

But it’s still like a jackhammer to the gut (and heart) whenever a major character -- a member of the original Atlanta survivors group, bites it -- especially when you don’t see it coming.

Oh, and poor Maggie. She doesn’t even know yet.

So we’re left to shake our fists and curse Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman and whoever else was in on this heinous plot twist. Perhaps some of us are even cursing Rick for his wildly ambitious, risk-laden and harebrained zombie relocation plan -- a plan that has led to nothing so far but carnage and chaos.

And Glenn’s death.

Also, do you find it bitterly ironic that Nicholas, the lunkheaded Alexandria resident who Glenn previously saved and then tried to rehabilitate, should play a role in his demise? What a wicked turn.

To set the scene: The horn is blaring (Yes, we’ve gone back in time again). Gunfire blasts are heard from afar. Hordes of zombies are headed toward the safe zone, and Rick’s plan is unraveling so badly that Daryl is now defying his orders.

Meanwhile, Glenn, Nicholas, Sean, Michonne and a few others are headed back to Alexandria when they come upon a cluster of retail outlets. They want to check to see if they can get any of the cars parked on the street to run. They’ve got a couple of injured people in their crew who are slowing them down, so a working vehicle would come in real handy right about now. But wouldn’t you know it? No luck.

Eventually, Glenn hears the bullets shots from Alexandria and shouts, “We gotta go now!”

Just one problem: There are walkers in every direction. Way too many to fend off. Glenn and Nicholas run into an alley. It’s a very bad idea. (On TV it usually doesn’t pay off to run into an alley). Brain-hungry zombies are now behind them and in front them.

But Glenn and Nicholas seem to gain at least a temporary reprieve when they climb atop a garbage dumpster, where they are just out of reach of the zombie mob. Maybe they can stay there until some friends come along with more firepower. Maybe something will happen to distract the ghastly ghouls and lure them away. All you can do now is hope and pray.

Of course, we’ve seen the ultra-resourceful, quick-thinking Glenn in so many precarious situations and he has escaped every time. And so we keep the faith. There’s no reason to think that he can’t pull off some kind of Houdini-like magic once again.

Ah, but we didn’t figure dumb-ass, fainthearted Nicholas into the equation. As he gazes at the sea of zombies all around him, you can see that panic is starting to set in. That he’s really starting to lose it. His eyes are glazing over. There’s a blank look on his big dopey face. He’s about to check out.

Glenn attempts to snap him out of it.

“Nicholas! Look at me!” he yells.

But Nicholas has had enough. No more running for his life. No more killing. He mutters “Thank you” to Glenn, then pulls out a pistol and puts it to his head.


Holy hell! Glenn gets a face full of blood, and as Nicholas’ body topples off the dumpster, he attempts to catch him. (Yes, that’s the Glenn we know and love -- always looking out for others). But the weight and momentum of the corpse takes Glenn down with him!

Mournful music plays as we get a close-up of Glenn’s anguish-filled face. We know that his entire body is being ravaged at this point, but mercifully, the camera stays on that face -- until a final aerial shot informs us that both men have disappeared within a massive zombie horde.

And that, my fellow “Dead” heads, is how we said goodbye to one of the truly good guys this show had to offer. Over the years, we watched Glenn toughen up and become an invaluable member of the survivor group. But he remained a gentle soul and was, in many ways, the moral conscience of the “Walking Dead” saga. We will definitely miss him.

Or will we?

There is a theory I spotted on the Internet that suggests Glenn was hallucinating or dreaming about Nicholas’ death after watching him commit suicide and that we haven’t seen the last of him. It is loosely based on reports that Yeun was spotted working on “The Walking Dead” set in the weeks after this episode was shot.

But I have a hard time imagining the producers and writers pulling something like that. If they have, it’s a really cheap trick and a pretty lame one. If Yeun did, indeed, shoot additional scenes, it’s more likely that they were for flashbacks, or some kind of ghostly dream sequences. We’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, some random thoughts and observances:

-- If Glenn is really dead, this story line represents a major departure from the comic books, in which he was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat. Also in the comic books, Glenn stuck around long enough to have a baby son with Maggie.

-- Are you dying to see how Rick’s grand plan ends up playing out? He apparently has shot the RV into submission after fending off some attackers. While he was gone, Alexandria suffered major fire damage and several casualties. And now Glenn and other folks who were aiding in the zombie relocation, are goners. Rick seems to have used up whatever goodwill he had left with the Alexandria residents. Is this the act that turns them, and maybe some of his own people, against him?

-- Interesting how, with this episode, the writers attempted to get us to invest in an Alexandria resident who “had given up on being an actual person” until he met a woman named Betsey and married her three months ago -- all the while knowing that they were about to sever the loving bond between Glenn and Maggie.

-- Speaking of Maggie, I don’t know if I want to see the scene when she realizes Glenn hasn’t returned. Is there any member of the original Atlanta crew who has suffered more brutal losses than her? Will this push her over the edge?

So what did you think of the episode “Thank You”? Were you shocked by the plot twist, or did you somehow see it coming? Are you mad at the producers for killing off Glenn at this point in the story? Let us know how you feel.

Contact Chuck Barney at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.ChuckBarney , or Twitter.com/chuckbarney

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