‘The Walking Dead’ Made Another Bizarre Mistake After Last …

The Walking Dead’s marketing team just can’t get it right.Credit: AMC

The Walking Deadis back with a bang, offering up some of the best episodes we’ve seen in years.

It’s almost a bizarre feeling to actually be excited for what comes next again. I watched the screener for episode 4 earlier this week, and when it was over, I was left thinking “Oh my god, is this really happening?”

Spoilers follow.

That was a feeling based on bothmy surprise at the quality of the episode and what happens to Rick at the end of it. In a fairly bleak bit of poetic justice, Rick is once again thrown from his horse. Like in the very beginning of the show, a huge herd of zombies spooks the steed and sends Rick tumbling. Only then, Glenn was there to save him, he wasn’t impaled on a piece of rebar, and he had a tank to hide in.

This time, things look much worse. Rick is skewered on a piece of rebar, bleeding out and surrounded by zombies. There’s not many good options left for him at this point. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, as the camera pans out to show us the descending horde. It’s a pretty awesome callback to season 1, and a pretty tense way to end the episode. When I watched the screener, I was left truly hanging.

But when audiences watched the episode on TV, something else happened. It was followed immediately by a promo for next week’s episode which was itself brazenly advertised as “Rick Grimes’s last episode.” There’s even a narrator who reads those words off just in case you missed them.

I’ve already discussed at length why this whole marketing campaign is bogus and lame. But here we have the bad marketing once again messing with the show itself.

What’s the point of a crazy cliffhanger if you show what happens in the next episode? Granted, we don’t know exactly what happens in episode 5, and everything in this promo could theoretically be Rick hallucinating, but it’s still a preview of the next episode that smashes the cliffhanger to pieces for viewers for no good reason.

This does not look good.Credit: AMC

It’s kind of the reverse of whatThe Walking Deaddid between Season 6 and 7, making everyone wait months to find out who Negan kills. This time around we only have to wait seconds to have our cliffhanger dashed.

I just don’t get it. AMC has finally started to turn this show around after two infuriating seasons. After that long slog over half the show’s audience has fled, missing out on a vastly improved show. Perhaps AMC thinks that advertising the hell out of Rick’s death will bring viewers back, and maybe it will—for one more episode.

Back in the saddle again.Credit: AMC

But just imagine if we didn’t know that Andrew Lincoln was leaving. Imagine if last night’s episode had been completely out of left field, and there was no silly “Rick Grimes’s last episode” promo afterwards. The fan base would be in total chaos at this point. The internet would be abuzz with theories and discussion. Instead, we all knew this was coming and now they’re just rubbing our faces in it.

I still thought the episode was great and I’m still excited to see what happens next week. But the sails have been robbed of wind. Even a righted ship needs that to sail.

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‘The Walking Dead’ Made Another Bizarre Mistake After Last …

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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