The following story contains a massive spoiler about Sunday’s Walking Dead. You know the drill — if the episode remains on your to-do list, bail now. The rest of you may proceed…
It’s been nearly 24 hours since Glenn’s guts appeared to become a zombie’s best friend on The Walking Dead and the debate over his fate rages on. Folks in the pro-death camp maintain that Steven Yeun’s seemingly invulnerable alter ego was backed into a literal corner with absolutely no way out. The anti-death contingent, however, point to Sunday’s Talking Dead — which conspicuously left Glenn out of its signature in memoriam segment — as their Exhibit A.
Save for that brief, ambiguous statement he delivered via Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick, showrunner Scott M.Gimple has remained silent. Until now. In the following Q&A with TVLine, the EP addresses the incendiary dead-or-alive question, while also tackling a handful of non-Glenn hot topics — namely, WTF is up with Rick’s hand?!
TVLINE | Is Glenn really dead?
[Laughs] I’m not going to answer it.
TVLINE | It seems like some folks have gone from being bereft that he died to annoyed at the possibility that they were tricked and he might still be alive. Any backlash concerns?
I definitely want viewers to have an emotional experience either way. There are twists and turns, and bad things happen. Ultimately, it’s all part of a bigger story. I hope that the audience will just wait to see the greater story and see how it all plays out. They’re kind of stopping in the middle of the movie, which they have to because there’s a week between the reels. But we’re still in the middle of the movie.
TVLINE | Was his death scene deliberately shot in a way that would give fans hope that maybe those weren’t Glenn’s guts?
It was shot the way it was shot and it was edited the way it was edited and that is always deliberate. I spend a lot of time on these cuts, so take that as you will.
TVLINE | Is it safe to say that this was one of those weeks where you wish something like Talking Dead didn’t exist? Because you’re kind of forced into giving fans an explanation. Radio silence is not really an option.
I like that Talking Dead is there for something like this, because we live in an era where that conversation is going to happen no matter what… It’s a little tricky with something like this, but, in the end, you and I are gonna talk. So it’s cool that we get to start the conversation [immediately] afterwards.
TVLINE | Will we have to wait a long time before we get a definitive answer on his fate?
Not terribly long. It’ll be in the first half of the season. And there are only five episodes left.
TVLINE | A few non-Glenn questions. What is the significance of the cut on Rick’s hand? It seemed to be bothering him a lot. Can you get infected by getting walker guts in an open wound?
It’s entirely possible, but we haven’t really gotten into it on the show. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something definitive: Rick is OK regarding that cut. His hand will survive. There will be a bandage. There will be some ointment involved. But he’s going to walk away from it.
TVLINE | How will things change for Carol now that people know she’s more than just a kickass baker?
It’s going to be hard for Carol. She likes being invisible. What she had to do at the end of the episode, it weighed on her. When Morgan said, “You don’t like it,” it’s kind of like the thing she didn’t want to hear, the thing that she was ignoring all of this time [amid] all the killing. And then hearing it and feeling it, it’s weighing on her. And seeing all of these people potentially being grateful towards her is going to be difficult.
TVLINE | Were we right to think there were sparks flying between Eugene and Denise?
[Laughs] There were no sparks flying and people will see why. But I dig that people thought that. Eugene is a dashing guy.
TVLINE | Is there a slow episode coming up?
I would hate to call any episode slow, but I get what you’re saying. These first three were like, “What the hell is going on?” There was such intensity… There will be different types of episodes coming up. The story is going to take some turns that give us different flavors of stories. These first three were fun and intense for all of us to make. We really wanted to start this season off with this part of the story. I did, and I was amazed that people didn’t clobber me.