I saw this post on Quora about the Walking Dead and wanted to share my response:
Question: Has the Walking Dead TV series lost its way?
In my own personal opinion, I believe the show has tapped a darker truth of mankind. The storyline plays with a new dimension and the philosophical idea of what mankind would do when the world ends. Much of the episodes and seasons we are seeing are possibilities and options of what we can do to one another. Yes, there is a new bad guy who wants to take over the ‘world,’ but the rise and fall of Rick and his group is something that gains strong merit.
Let’s talk about the first few seasons. In the beginning, the show started off with Rick as the classic ‘white knight’ protagonist, trying to internalize and comprehend the world around him, while also trying to find his family. Once he was able to reconnect with his wife and son, the storyline transitioned to this idea of survival. For season 3 and 4, our characters were asking these overarching questions: How can we survive? Where should we go? What can we do? Who should be in our group? Who is the leader? In addition, the antagonist of the story was no longer simply the undead or the group themselves. Instead, the writers gave the audience a new opportunity to see the world. Prior to the Governor’s introduction, the enemies the group faced was essentially themselves. But, with this new ‘bad guy,’ we were able to see the group grow as an entire family unit.
Now, for season 4, 5, and 6, we were introduced with a variety of interesting villains. But the most interesting of them all was the internal change with our main character, Rick. For six seasons, we have always seen Rick as our hero. We have cried, laughed, smiled, and cheered for every moment he has given us on screen. But for season 5 and 6, we saw our white knight succumb to the evils and temptations of the new world order. This type of intensifying and somewhat frightening character change is something we have always been hesitant to see. For myself, it brought me back to = The Dark Knight where the Joker reveals his greatest trick, which was the show the world the ‘real’ (evil) Harvey Dent. As fans, seeing this transition was definitely shocking. Were we expecting it? Absolutely! But to see it happen after watching Rick fight and defend for the greater good will always be shocking.
With season 6 finale, I have to say, the ending really brought back the show. For a majority of the ending, it was a tad bit slowly. But this is quickly realized to showcase the true master plan of the Negan. Unlike the Governor, Negan is a unique entity. He hides within the shadows allowing his minions to attack Rick’s group, but fail each and every time, until we get to the last fifteen minutes. For those fifteen minutes, we experience something new. We see the true vulnerability and weakness of fear encapsulate each and every one of our main characters. Now, we have seen this group captured in past seasons. But not to a point where they themselves were uncertain for their lives.
For season 7, I am excited to see how the group can reassemble. I want to learn how Rick can overcome the obstacles set on his path and what he can do to take down Negan. Until then, I will just have to wait.