If you were disappointed by the severe lack of death in the mid-season final of “The Walking Dead,” showrunner Scott M. Gimple promises to rectify that when the series returns next year. With Alexandria still in mid-crisis and Negan on the horizon, there”s plenty of time to thin the (living) herd.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR “THE WALKING DEAD” BEYOND THIS POINT.
Speaking to THR about the story choices made on “The Walking Dead” this year, Gimple alluded to a messy beginning next year. When asked about parallels to the comics – in which Jessie and her son are killed by the walkers – Gimple didn”t shy about the show”s history of violence against children.
There's violence happening to everyone on this show in the world that they're in. We're getting near seven years now and people from all walks of life have met their doom on the show. You could probably name a bunch more kids than Lizzie and Mika. I don”t say that with any pride or anything, but I'm saying it's happened before again and again because of the world they live in. It's one of most tragic aspects of this world.
So there you have it. Poor scared little Sam is going to get people killed. One of the last things viewers saw was Jessie”s youngest child calling for his mother as the group linked hands to make the trek to the armory. As zombies don”t enunciate that well, the jig is probably up. But really? If half the cast covered in walker guts get eaten, it”s not Sam”s fault.
It”s hard to remember the entire first half of “The Walking Dead” this season took place over the course of two days…at most. So much was happening at an accelerated rate – the walkers escaping the valley, the terrible plan, the Wolves attacking, the Alexandrians panicking and committing suicide, Morgan losing his damn mind – that it felt like weeks. Which had it been, Sam”s refusal to come downstairs might have been more alarming.
But as a child who has lived without seeing the harsh undead reality of the world? It makes sense he”d hunker down in a safe space for a couple of days. What doesn”t make sense? How all the adults around him were acting. If the timeline is accurate, Sam”s father was killed five days before the Wolves attacked Alexandria. Yes his dad was an abusive jerk, but it was still his dad. Now his mom is absent and his brother is enraged, leaving Sam to his own devices. The only source of adult comfort is Carol..who threatened Sam with death. A fact which still haunts him based on the drawings he”s coloring.
To take a kid like this, one wholly unprepared for survival outside the walls of Alexandria, cover him in zombie goop, and thrust him out into a literal sea of monsters without so much as a “We”re playing the quiet game. If you need my attention, squeeze my hand twice,” is irresponsible on the part of every adult. The only people who have any business making this run are Rick, Michonne, and Carl. They”ve done it before, they”re competent survivors, and they keep their heads about them.
But what to do with Jessie, Sam, Ron, Father Gabriel, and baby Judith? The zombie horde was slowly making their way up the stairs but the couch was holding them at bay. Check out this photo of the Anderson home, courtesy of the virtual tour of Alexandria:
If only there were a way to get on that flat second story roof until the veteran survivors could contain and/or drive off the walker herd. If only there were furniture could”ve been rigged into temporary stairs to be kicked away after the vulnerable members of the Group were safe. If only there were sheets to rip into an emergency rope to get down if needed.
So hey Sam. Don”t sweat it if you get your mom and your brother and who knows who else killed. You”re ten. It”s not your job to keep a clear head in an emergency situation. It”s just a pity no one else did either.
“The Walking Dead” returns on February 14, 2016.