Major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 6 finale are below.
Season 6 of The Walking Dead has been the most structurally varied of anything we've seen so far, and the finale's final sequence was also unlike 95% of the show's most intense scenes. Regardless of whether you loved it or hated it - I laid out my own opinions here - that ending is going to be all fans will talk about for the rest of the spring through to the fall. I'm obviously talking about that mountainous cliffhanger, which left viewers without the knowledge of whose head Negan's bat destroyed. (It also left us with that sickeningly squishy sound echoing in our heads.)
To kick off this marathon session of speculation, here are all 11 characters that were lined up and kneeling in front of Negan, ranked by who is the most likely to have inhaled their last blood-drenched breath. Let's give Morgan and Carol a round of applause for getting out of harm's way. Or, at least this particular version of harm.
We don't have any misguided assumptions that Negan isn't monstrous enough to kill a teenager, since we don't really know what the live-action version is all about just yet. (I mean, beyond wanting revenge, as well as everybody's shit.) But he seemingly gave Carl a free pass during the scene, calling him a future serial killer to Rick. Plus, we know that Negan and Carl are going to have an interesting relationship in the future, and that relationship probably doesn't involve any corpses with eyes missing, so it's hard to believe that Carl was in serious danger during this scene. No matter how much some of us would be cool with that.
Yeah, it seems like Rick should be the least likely to die here, but he's also Negan's biggest threat. Rick is the guy who put the plan in motion to start taking out Saviors without being directly provoked, which would ideally make him the perfect person for Negan to kill. But then, Negan probably doesn't want the Alexandrians to be without any form of guidance, as that might stop them from providing as many supplies and goods as they would with Rick heading things. I have a feeling Negan would rather put Rick through waves of emotional turmoil than just taking him out in several fell swoops of Lucille.
There's no way Michonne was on the end of that bat. She's a major character, which would seemingly make her a prime suspect, but the show hasn't really given her much of an emotional push in recent weeks that would prepare fans for any skull-crushing exits. Plus, she was barely in the episode. I mean, she did recently have sex with Rick, and is happy with him, which hasn't gone well for women in the past. And she's attempted to find inner peace after years of self-propelled turmoil. But is that really enough to put her out of her dwindling misery? I don't think so. (But maybe.)
Maggie spent almost the whole episode laying down in physical duress, sometimes inside the RV and sometimes on a stretcher that Rick and the others are carrying through the woods. She and Daryl were probably the closest to death when the episode started, and she had the added non-bonus of possibly having something wrong with her pregnancy. But she was another character that Negan directed his attention to before it all went haywire, which doesn't bode well for everyone that didn't get as much of his attention. I think she will live on to match up with her comic counterpart's rise to glory.
Given how this season has already put us through weeks of wondering whether or not Glenn died, and then complemented that standout moment with a couple of other too-risky situations, a betting man would think he'd be the least likely person to get the bat to the head. But then he's the one that got it in the comics, and the best way to fool people is to cry wolf until the point when no one is listening anymore. And then BAM, Glenn's brains start leaking out the side of his head. Still, as potentially cool and surprising as that would be, I don't see showrunner Scott Gimple and creator Robert Kirkman doing it, which is probably why he was allowed to act out when Maggie was threatened.
Daryl does not look like he'd be the mayor of Pee Pee Pants City, but I have no problem believing that he would be the first person in that graveyard. Every season of The Walking Dead puts fans through a new river of worry about Daryl's safety, and last week put the character through his biggest trauma yet when Dwight shot him. But was that the first step in putting Daryl six feet under (or more like three feet if there are walkers around), or was it just a smokescreen to cover up someone else getting it worse? I'm pretty stumped.
Now that Abraham and Rosita aren't together anymore, it's shamefully hard to say what her character will do during the rest of her time on The Walking Dead if she survived this. She was apparently getting nasty with Spencer, but they're hardly an "it" couple. Despite Rosita being on this show for years, the creative team has never really given her anything specific for viewers to relate to or talk about when she's not in a scene. Killing her off would definitely free the series from this glaring fault, although her death would also seriously water down the intensity of Negan's scene in future viewings.
Let's be real here. There's no legitimate reason for Aaron to have been with this group, considering he was the only Alexandrian there, and he should have been back with the others (including Enid in the closet) to hold down that fort. But no, his bonding time with Maggie was just too strong and he convinced Rick that he had to be in that RV. While Aaron is great and all, and his comic counterpart is still breathing, that kind of decision-making doesn't strongly imply he will be getting out of this predicament safely. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, since he's hardly the Glenn-level character that needs to be a part of this death. But he's also arguably the most throwaway of the bunch.
Before tonight's episode, I wasn't too sure that Sasha would be in serious trouble going into Negan's big scene. But by the time that last squelching sound happened, I was kind of convinced that she might be the one. After all, she had a moment with Abraham to consider a happy future with him, which is like kryptonite for survival. And even though everybody in the lineup was in the spotlight, it felt like the camera focused on her more than it normally would have with this many major characters all in one scene. And she was so scared, as compared to the mentally lapsing Sasha who slept on top of walker bodies. Were her tears eventually mixed with her blood on the ground? There's a damned good chance.
Poor Eugene, who just can't seem to go several weeks in a row without being put on his knees and threatened by bad guys. Too bad Negan's balls weren't anywhere near Eugene's teeth. While many of us would love to believe that Eugene is immortal, kept safe by mullet armor, he had quite a few moments in this episode that looked like they'd be immediately followed by him taking a bullet (or bat) to the face. He had that emotional hug with Abraham, that spark of ineffective genius when he lays the bullet-making process out to Rick, and he then kind of sacrifices himself in the RV. He looked so proud, too. But he also looked so very, very close to death.
Oh man. Unlike a lot of characters on this show, Abraham's life hasn't really been too shitty this season. Sure, he got his man-heart busted up when Eugene didn't need his help anymore, but his story has mostly been a shift in romantic foils from Rosita to Sasha. Tonight's conversation with Sasha centered on possibly wanting a more settled-down life, perhaps with children, and he also got that farewell hug with Eugene that was too big to be just another hug. So...he dead for real, y'all. Even that moment when we could see his glaring eyes in the RV's rear view mirror seemed to hint at his doomed future. Denise took his comic book death a few episodes ago, which meant the ginger-headed fan favorite was working on borrowed time. I doubt that's still the case, though, even with Negan remarking on his facial hair. Order the tombstone. Write the eulogy. And use the word "bitchnuts" in it.
Sadly, it'll be a long while before we get real answers, as The Walking Dead won’t be back on AMC until October. But until then, you’ll be able to watch Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead. And for everything else premiering in the next few months, check out our summer TV schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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