A Closer Look: The Walking Dead – “Thank You”

Last night’s Walking Dead might have just been one of the most traumatic moments ever on the show. Not since the death of Beth have people been so enraged by such a seemingly meaningless death. But as always, we will push on and analyze because what if I told you there was something you might have missed. What if this death was one huge trick?

We’ll analyze everything of this episode and see what may or may not give us a glimmer of hope. 

Episode Meaning – “Thank You”:

Placing this episode title as “Thank You” actually held a bunch of frustrating meanings. For starters it was what Nick said to Glenn right before he shot himself, and knocked Glenn off the dumpster. So in that regard, those two words will probably scar us for life – so we’ll discuss that at length in the next section. Although there’s more to this as “Thank You” seems to be the two words most others at Alexandria can’t bring themselves to say to Rick’s group. They truly don’t get how bad it is out there and still think they know better.

On the other hand, “Thank You” is in a sense what we the viewers have to say to Glenn. Beyond the tears we still have to acknowledge that Glenn was always our ray of hope and the character many viewers associated themselves with most. So once the crying and rage stops, we have to take a second to say ‘Thank You’ to Glenn. But is he really dead or is he still alive somehow? Well, there’s evidence for both.

Glenn’s Death – Meaning & Foreshadowings:

As pointless and awful as Glenn’s death might have seemed, there was quite a bit of foreshadowing for it. In the past few episodes we saw how Maggie was worried about Glenn giving Nick too many chances. She just felt he would somehow be the death of Glenn. It might have taken a while; but like Rick with Carter in Episode 1 of this season, the fears became reality.

Another bit of importance that Glenn’s death served this episode is how there were many references to his and Rick’s first meeting. Back in Season 1, we found Glenn calling Rick “dumb ass” and a lot of static over their use of walkie-talkies. The same was seen here. There MIGHT be another parallel, but I’ll get to that in the next section.

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One more huge ‘meaning’ behind Glenn’s death was to view it in juxtaposition with David’s death. Sure we might have just met David but we heard all episode how he met his wife ‘after’ the end and how she brought out the best in him. She gave him something to live for. At first this all seemed like a parallel for Michonne finding the group as a whole, but it’s actually Glenn and Maggie. Before Glenn met Maggie he was always putting his neck on the line and risking more than he had too. After Maggie, he started to be a little more cautious.

Though even despite that, Glenn lived his life to the very end caring. In many ways he remained unchanged and still possessed that light – not just from Maggie, but also from Dale and Herschel before him. This is why there was focus on the pocket watch (that Herschel gave to Glenn) and Rick trying to start the RV (which Dale taught Glenn how to fix).

Glenn’s Still Alive – Supporting Evidence From Episode:

Like most viewers, maybe this is just wishful thinking. Maybe Glenn somehow found a way to survive. Or maybe it was a dream. We’ll tell ourselves anything to make it work; but what if The Walking Dead really did pull a Game Of Thrones and “Jon Snowed” us? Well if you actually look at the episode closely, there are just as many moments to support Glenn being alive as there were this being Glenn’s fate.

For starters, we go to what Glenn told Michonne about how if something went wrong he’d find a way to send a signal to let them know he’s still out there. Secondly, we have something Michonne herself said a few scenes later to Heath. She talked about moments where you’re covered in so much blood you don’t even know if it’s yours, walkers or your friends. This is a direct parallel to Glenn. After all, Nick did fall on top of Glenn so is all the gore we see Nick’s or Glenn’s?

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This also brings us to our 3rd bit of evidence and that’s continuing the parallel to how Rick and Glenn first met. After the walkie-talkie static and calling Rick “dumb ass”, they escaped a bunch of walkers by covering themselves with someone else’s blood. What if that’s what just happened to Glenn? What if the blood helped disguise him long enough to crawl under/into the dumpster – like Rick had done with the tank back in Season 1? Wishful thinking or beautifully crafted surprise?

I guess we’ll find out soon which set of hints was stronger; but as we learned on Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick last night, Glenn will return in some way/shape or form. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean Walker Glenn but since there were some production photos of Glenn near an upcoming character, maybe he does survive – OR Glenn will inhabit the next few episodes as a very articulate ghost!

Quick Bites – Easter Eggs, References & Other Notables:

  • It’s funny that the guy who was just mistrusting Rick like Carter died too.
  • The reason why Darryl wanted to head back to Alexandria is because he finally feels like he’s found a place he belongs and he wants to protect it.
  • There was a lot of focus on Rick’s injured hand that he sliced open on a walker … could this mean we’re gonna see one handed Rick soon like in the comics.
  • Heath told Michonne that Alexandrians aren’t like Rick’s group because they don’t leave people behind. That’s actually the exact opposite since Nick and others have left people yet Rick’s group has always tried to help people.
  • Why didn’t Glenn and Nick run up that fire escape to the side?
  • The small group that Morgan let go is the one that attacked Rick. Now I think it’s safe to say all the wolves are dead. Which is great because half the mega herd of walkers is on its way now.
  • The RV not starting for Rick is actually a remembrance to Glenn who learned to fix it and get it to start – which he learned from Dale seasons ago.
  • In the end, Nick just found a new way to run away. By committing suicide, he committed the ultimate coward escape and again – possibly – doomed Glenn. Though it could have been worse, at least he didn’t push Glenn off as a distraction like what happened with Noah.

Next week will give us a massive 90 minute episode full of flashbacks; and from the look of the preview it will mainly be about Morgan’s transformation. So will we get our Glenn answers then or later on? Well this season has played with time a lot thus far, so anything is possible.

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