Who Is It?
**Please excuse the usage of vulgar language**
Still in a total state of mindf*ck over that cliffhanger? Yea you know what cliffhanger. Well, no worries, me too. Honestly it’s pretty much all I can think about. I am obsessing here and have been since Sunday. And it’s causing me a bit of unnecessary anxiety, like- for real. My parents are like whoa just stop, and I’m like no I need this, I need to solve this mystery, (or at least think I’ve solved it) or I won’t be able to enjoy my Summer. I feel like I’ve been walking around in a fog with a pit in my stomach. Thanks Scott Gimple.
The Walking Dead’s Season 6 finale disturbingly yet appropriately titled “Last Day On Earth” premiered this past Sunday on April 3rd and fans are pissed that we don’t get to see who was on the receiving end of the brutal beating given by the series newest and most lethal villain; Negan.
Let me set the mood for you. All day Sunday I felt anxious, I wanted The Walking Dead to be over before it started. That in itself was a warning, considering I love watching this show! I felt like it was a long drawn out wait til 9 o’clock and then the slow drag of the episode just kept piling onto that anxiety. I knew it was building to something that was going to mess us all up, but I had no idea they would leave it off the way they did. And considering the hype revolving this finale, and Negan’s rumored appearance, you could imagine the excitement (and FEAR!) While the last half an hour may have packed on the action, it also packed on the confusion, the fear, and for many fans- the anger.
To say that I cursed more than usual during this episode would be an understatement. I did not hate the episode, I thought it was actually very good. I think it was great storytelling, and it was filmed amazingly. The cinematic aspects are beautiful in their own twisted and manipulative ways. However, I do also believe we expected more action then we got. With Season 6’s B season giving off an action packed high and delivering full on, the 90 minute finale kind of dragged on as we saw the survivors try with all their might to get to the hill top to get Maggie and her baby some much needed help. Yet on their journey they encountered many blocked roads and were left with nowhere to go but walk right into a trap…Negan’s trap…served with a side of Lucille.
As a writer myself, I wasn’t angry about the cliffhanger. I mean yea I was like WHAT? I have to wait until October to find out! I seriously don’t know how I’m going to do that. But hopefully this obsession dies off once I get all my thoughts and feels out in this (and several other) blog posts into the world. I feel like that always helps me.
I will say I was PISSED with the Glenn fake out death they pulled mid-season, feel free to read my drama HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. But this cliffhanger was actually genius. Let’s think about it for a second? There has been so much anticipation over this scene, over Negan’s arrival. It is well known to those who read the comics and they already “THINK” they know what’s going to happen. So what better way to throw people off then to flip the camera and put you in the eyes of the victim? Watching that scene I felt like I was there. I was squirming, I was shielding my eyes, and I certainly felt the anxiety. Listening to Scott Gimple explain his reasoning behind the cliff hanger on after show The Talking Dead made some sense; to paraphrase, he basically said he wanted the viewers to feel as if they were part of the lineup. Honestly, I think his mission was accomplished. Although I don’t agree with some of his other ambiguous answers- yea he’s really good at not answering questions- I definitely felt like I was in that lineup. The fear was authentic.
In an interview; Director Greg Nicotero gave some key reasons as to how he shot this episode and why saying;
“This episode was tremendously well-written and I feel like, from a visual standpoint, we spend a lot of time making the audience feel boxed-in like the characters were. The first confrontation with the lead Savior on the road, we had these big wide shots where you see Rick and his group on the left side and the Saviors on the right side, and then as the show progresses our angles get tighter and tighter and tighter so that we get to a point where the last interaction with our group in the RV, we’re in super tight close-ups of all our actors. We wanted the audience to feel like they were being corralled just like the characters were; we kept the camera in the RV for all of that.”-Nictotero
With the episode being written by show runner Scott M. Gimple and directed by horror fan and special effects mogul Greg Nicotero, there are sure to be clues left as to who Negan actually killed. Quite frankly, I don’t know which is worse having known or not knowing. If we had found out, we would have had to grieve that person all Summer. Not knowing leaves it open and when the premiere comes, we at least will have the full story in front of us and the reactions of all of the others. Or maybe we could have been in a state of recovery and acceptance by then, who knows. At least not knowing gives us a bit of a game to play.
So I am here to offer some crazy theories and suggestions. Now I have been on a research high since the finale aired so I have read a lot of theories. But I also rewatched the episode and rewatched THAT scene endless times, to add to those theories and see the proof for myself, and in that research I can up with a few extra things to back up one theory in particular. There are a few things I picked up on that I haven’t come across online….yet. The truth is, The Walking Dead fans are smart, we think both outside and inside the box. We dig deep and we fight and we research and we join forces to come to some conclusions before we all go insane waiting for the Season 7 premiere which is usually scheduled for sometime this fall in October. Just in time for Halloween. Who’s coming to my viewing party? #moralsupport #we’reallinthistogether
So I’m going to dive into this crazy ass mystery and see if I can shed some light on some of the theories I’ve seen. In order to keep things somewhat in order and not make this post 500 pages long, I’m probably going to post in segments. I’ve done a lot of theory thinking over the past few days since the finale aired and I have a pretty solid case for one specific character. Take a look at all my crazy…
Yea you know I drew diagrams…you can’t tell me you haven’t.
Now I want to just clear something up, I’m a psycho and have been re-watching the scene over and over again trying to add to my theory. So at some point I am sure I could be just making shit up or making things fit my theory when they probably don’t. And I may dig into things that mean absolutely nothing. But I’m looking at this thing from all angles. It’s important to keep in mind, that you can make a case for every character in that line-up. Some are more beloved than others, some would have a greater impact on the audience and on the others (especially Rick) than others. Some you may feel can be pulled out quickly because they aren’t major characters. But The Walking Dead has a habit of flipping the script when it comes to storytelling. They do not stick religiously to the comics, and every time you think you know how something is going to play out, they do something totally unexpected, or they make you question shit so much that you end up over thinking and frying your brain to the point of exhaustion. I know why Andrew Lincoln said he couldn’t sleep and felt sick to his stomach after reading the script, because that’s how I felt after watching it, and how I still feel thinking about it and who it could be. But the theorizing is slightly addictive. #dumpstergate2016 #whoisit2016 So let’s get into this shizz.
It wasn’t until we approached the last half hour or so that we realized that Rick began to get increasingly worried, and we were right there with him. When Rick is worried you bet your ass there is a reason to worry. Once Eugene set off as the decoy in the RV. Alone. I knew he wasn’t going to make it far. This show loves irony way too much, and even though Eugene has been stepping up tremendously and he and his mullet have found a special place in our hearts, the saviors were 12 steps and then some ahead of Rick and his crew this whole damn time. They had eyes EVERYWHERE. And it’s sad to say but Rick’s group is incredibly outnumbered. No matter how capable and ready they thought they were, they truly did not know what they were up against, or who.
From the red rover walker chain in the road tagged with remnants of Michonne and Daryl, to the blazing fire wood pit, to the guy being beaten and hung by chains, to the number of saviors ready to unload their weapons on Rick and the gang- The obvious fact that the Saviors were setting up one holy hell of a trap was enough to get your heart racing and your palms sweating. To put it plainly…BITCH NUTS!
After the third road block I remember tossing out some major F-bombs. I was getting so pissed (and nervous as hell). We knew after the first road block, that something was up and there was no way out of this.
The action gets super intense once night hits and Rick and the rest of the RV occupants including; Abraham, Sasha, Carl and Aaron carry Maggie on foot through the woods. The minute they start their journey, we hear that dreaded Savior whistle, and my heart dropped. (That shit is creepy as hell.) Rick utters “GO!” as the crew begins to rush through the woods, bright lights hit them, revealing they are about to be in deep deep shit. As the whistles increase the night is lit up as we are faced with dozens and dozens of Saviors, armed, and ready for war. No way out. Welcome to the show, fam.
The sheer fear on our group’s faces is something I don’t think we as viewers have ever seen, or at least haven’t seen in quite a while. Throughout this season, and especially these past few episodes, our beloved group of survivors have deemed themselves invincible. They have always come out on the other side. They have always gotten through everything, together. They’ve maintained this “we can do anything” attitude. They fought against the massive herd of walkers that broke down the walls of Alexandria, Carl survived a gunshot wound to the eye thanks to Dr. Denise, and Rick and Co. wiped out a damn good amount of Saviors like bad asses. Richonne has been happy and getting busy. People are getting cozy and confident, and when that happens you know shit’s about to hit the fan. HARD. Raise your hand if you felt Rick’s cockiness coming on, but you were like ok he’s still got this? He always does? Yea that was me, until I saw his face in the season finale.
As the saviors strip the group of their weapons, they are told to get on their knees. What a freakin’ power trip ordeal this is going to be, what is with that? The whole kneel before me bit, is kind of frustrating. It’s just like well fuck, fight like a real man Negan. Because let’s be real it’s Lucille, who does all the damn work. #BehindEveryMan #IsOneHellOfAWoman I’m sorry, too soon? Yes, I know. Guys I need to make jokes, so I can keep my sanity until October. Bear with me.
As the lead savior (did we even get this douchebag’s name in this ep?) then tell his men to get her down, meaning get Maggie down off the mattress they were carrying her on, Abraham bulks up saying “Hold up, we got it.” As the savior allows it, Rick and his crew lower Maggie to the ground as they all make their way to the dreaded “lineup.” *Daryl, Michonne, Rosita, and Glenn will soon join from being already held in captivity in a van from the prior episode.
Here is the first piece of the puzzle, or so it may seem. The order of this line of survivors has to mean something, the team of writers, directors and creators for The Walking Dead are clever, everything means something.
The order from left to right is as follows:
Glenn, Rosita, Daryl, Michonne, Abraham, Maggie, Rick, Sasha, Aaron, Carl, Eugene.
Some things I have been analyzing when trying to decipher #WhoIsIt are:
The lighting, The camera angles, The trees, The shadows, The Eeny Meeny Miny Moe game, and The carefully placed unknown Eeny Meeny Miny Moe’s, where we hear and see Negan waving his bat and walking but we don’t see who or if he’s actually pointing it at anyone specific.
One of the most frightening things are the giant clues we get by the show using the first person point of view shots. In fact the first shot of the entire episode is from the first person view, and later on we find out that dark enclosed place with peaks of light shining through is the POV of someone in the Savior’s van.
Those POV shots can only belong to 4 people; Daryl, Michonne, Rosita, or Glenn. The way that the POV shots seem are over Daryl’s head. The POV seems to be someone further back in the van, like Michonne played by Danai Gurira. Which if you look at the way the characters exited the van, it was Daryl, Michonne, Rosita and then Glenn.
As I will display photos below:
Now if we look closely at the usage of first person point of view shots you will see as mentioned the show’s first shot is from a first person POV of someone in the van and the episode ends with a first person POV of that person being beaten by Negan with the help of Lucille.
I’ve seen a lot of theories about it being Michonne specifically for this reason. The van POV shots seem to be from someone further back in the van on the passenger side of the van and sitting higher up then Daryl. And those signs point to Michonne as pictured.
However, I dug a little deeper. Because of course I did. #TVjunkie
When you look at the set-up of the scene and you think about the other few POV shots we got; they were of Lucille during the Eeny Meeny moments. Now I think that those unknowns I mentioned actually belong to the person he ends up choosing. I am convinced that every single POV shot shown belongs to that one character; the one who was beaten at the end of the episode. I can’t justify it being any other way. I think Greg Nicotero is too clever to just put random POV shots into the show and especially in an episode as crazy as this. Those POV’s mean something. And if you look at the POV shots of Lucille (looking up at Negan from the lineup) both pictures place the POV on the viewer’s right side. Meaning on the side of Abraham, Michonne, Daryl, Rosita, and Glenn. If you look closer at the background of the Lucille shots. You can see the trailer behind Negan; the front of the trailer is there so again that places us of the right side of the lineup looking up at Negan.
There is also a man in the next shot. And it is clear that there were a bunch of Savior men standing near the front of the RV on that side of the lineup.
Just as Negan is about to pass Michonne she looks up at him. He walks past her, and then the Eeny Meany Miny Moe continues, you don’t see the face of the person but you catch a Lucille POV shot which is directly followed by a fearful Michonne close-up. Camera tricks, or a clue?
As for the trees, it’s really hard to get a clear picture of the ones you see behind Negan to study and compare them to those said to be across from Michonne. People keep saying something about 4 branches lining up with Michonne’s view, and let’s just say, I can believe it. If I come across any solid evidence of that, I will update.
The lighting is also something I considered. Now in the realm of filming I am sure there were several sources of light used to light this scene. However from the story’s perspective, in the zombie apocalypse world the source of light is actually coming from the car headlights. There is one coming from either side of the lineup and then one behind Carl.
If you put yourself in Michonne’s place and you’re looking up at Negan his right side is cast in a shadow, which means he would be lit from the left-
-which would make sense because there would be light streaming directly from that side from two places. Since the closer you get to Glenn, who has only one direct car headlight behind him, on that side, Negan would be lit up more and would be lit up from the front, showing his full face, rather than just half of it.
Now getting even more technical and crazy. When Negan is giving his big old speech, most of it is directed at Rick, so for the most part Negan is more so on the left of his “stage” and you can see the smoke from his breath drifts to the right as it does when speaking to everyone on the left side of the line-up, (facing Negan).
When Negan stands in front of Lucille’s future victim, his breath sweeps to the left.
Which it also did so when he was speaking to Abraham, whom if you remember correctly is right next to Michonne.
Now also if you want to get super technical, the POV shots are clear views. No hair over the eyes, like Glenn and Daryl had. Sure every now and then Michonne’s hair could land in front of her eyes, but not for the bulk of this sequence.
Now I know what you are thinking. But in the comics Negan doesn’t kill Women, or Kids. Well to that I call bull shit. Someone on the lovely interweb recently reminded all of us that in a prior episode Jesus mentions how Negan “tortured a 16 year old.” So there. Yea. I don’t think they are going to be following the comic notation to a T. This guy seems lethal, all bets are off.
The “Take it like champ” screams Abraham, yes I know. But let’s be real, Michonne could easily fall into that category. She is one bad ass mama jama. She has balls, she just calls them breasts instead. She is a beast with that Katana. And let’s face it she would be a shock, and a twisted suitable replacement for Glenn who originally gets this dreaded kill in the comics. Michonne is a “hard left turn,” choice which is what Gimple said they would be doing with this scene. However, her death would have a serious impact on many if not all of the characters. It would most certainly destroy Rick, which is what Robert Kirkman said was the point of this episode, “to tear Rick Grimes down. “In fact in the scenes leading up to the dreaded sequence, we see the Saviors taunt Rick about his “Last Day On Earth” or someone he love’s last day on earth. Let’s be real Richonne was too good to be true, and I’d say being Rick’s woman has kind of a kiss of death effect. #RIPLori #RIPJesse That little moment between Rick and Abraham where Abraham asks Rick if it scares him to let someone get close again and Rick just simply answers yes. I mean hello…foreshadowing?
Honestly, I don’t want Michonne to die. She’s badass and I’m kinda digging the new Romance vibes, but considering the other van participants, I can’t stomach it being either Glenn or Daryl. Glenn and Maggie and Baby. Yea no- I can’t deal with that. It’s not Glenn. I don’t accept that. I mean are the writers, creators, and directors that insane to put us through yet another Glenn debacle?
Are they that trusting of their storytelling cred that they think they could get away with killing off our beloved Daryl Dixon. Let’s be real. We truly will RIOT. Daryl is my boo. In fact I’d say the amount of backlash from a Daryl death the show would get would be catastrophic. I’m not sure they could recover from that the way they’ve been able to brush us off before with Dale, Sophia, Hershel, or Beth. And well, I hate to sound crass, but Rosita would not have that big of an impact on the story as a whole, or the audience. Sure we like her, but I could handle her death. Although she and Eugene could start a little somethin’ somethin’. 😉
Now I do have some theories about some other characters, especially some about the other side of the lineup #Carl #Eugene. But I will save that for another time. Right now, sadly Michonne is my leading contender. But I am sure as new things get investigated, it will change day to day. After all we have 7 months to fill.
I feel those who are pissed and want answers. I feel ya. But honestly, you can’t say that the show hasn’t been boss this year, and that the episode wasn’t brilliant in its own right. That slow build up was done for a reason. That cliffhanger was done for a reason. Sure we all want to know. But tv shows are meant to mess with you. This isn’t the first show to end a season on a cliffhanger. It happens and lets be real, we haven’t stopped talking about it since. So who’s winning here? If you ask me, we all are. We the fans get to speculate and trade theories and the show runners get to see how much of an impact the show has on it’s fans and how passionate we are. One of us is bound to come close with our theories and then when the Season 7 premiere comes on (which yes I hear you, I am dreading the wait, hell I almost went insane waiting to find out if Glenn was alive and that was only a few episodes) and you see your theories play out, you can either think hey I was right, or hey I wasn’t even close. See that’s the twisted beauty of this show and of this cliffhanger. It really could be anybody. Nobody is safe in this world. And that’s the whole damn point. Rick Grimes has finally gotten himself in some deep ass shit.
I have crazy fangirled over TV shows before. One Tree Hill was my obsession, and I know what it feels like to agonize over a Season Finale especially a cliff-hanger…but #TWD takes the cake. Props to the writers for being ballsy. And now I am crossing over to the point of crazy town as I dive into the mystery of #WhoIsIt I’m talking maps and diagrams and shit. I’m talking camera angles and lighting. I’m talking Eeny Meeny Miny Moe screenshots. I’m talking countless pauses and plays. Gimple you messed with the wrong fans. #challengeaccepted #Happy7months #IRefusetoBelieveItsGlenn #FTheComics #DumpstersForLife
Until my next TWD post.
And remember to keep your minds going, watch-
“Fear The Walking Dead” this Sunday @ 9 pm on AMC- to get your zombie fix.
Tell me your thoughts on #WhoIsIt in the comments below or tweet me @Shellbelle91