Warning: Major spoilers ahead.
The Walking Dead fans received a devastating blow last night when show veteran Glenn (Steven Yeun) was allegedly killed off. During the episode, aptly titled “Thank You,” Nicholas (Michael Traynor) shoots himself, causing Glenn and him to fall into a monstrous pit of zombies. (Easily 200 crusty flesh-eaters gave Nicholas and Glenn the hangry look we typically reserve for half-priced appetizer nights at Applebee’s.) It was heartbreaking and, hands down, one of the goriest scenes in Walking Dead history. And that’s saying something.
Many fans and outlets speculate Glenn is not really dead because of the episode’s strategic ambiguity. We don’t actually see Glenn die, but it’s certainly implied given—you know—he’s knees-deep in zombies. These skeptics have some excellent points, but I’m just not buying it. I love Glenn. He’s very lovable and, in another life, I hope to marry him. But the show needs to keep him dead—that is, if he’s even kaput at all. I’m prepared for a swarm of Internet hate.
Glenn’s biggest pro is he is sweet, but that is also his biggest con. In this survival-of-the-fittest world, it is ludicrous to think a character like Glenn would make it to the end. (Granted, I haven’t read the comic books. I’m only going off what happens in the TV show.) Rick (Andrew Lincoln) will definitely survive because he has the cutthroat mentality to make tough decisions for the good of his group. If a half-injured person keeps slowing everyone down, Rick will leave them in the dust. He’s harsh but keeps the group moving swiftly.
Glenn is too much of a sweetheart to make mean (but necessary) decisions like this. He would try to save everyone and, because of that, end up doing just the opposite. Last night’s episode proved that: He couldn’t resist helping Nicholas when he should’ve cut him loose and hauled ass. It is logical that any character who doesn’t have Rick’s gumption in some capacity will die eventually. Glenn doesn’t have it, and he died. Heck, I don’t have it. I’d definitely die.
Also, let’s talk about the actual death scene. Glenn and Nicholas literally fell into a zombie orgy, and we watched these terrifying f—ckers pick apart a human chest. Anti-Glenn-death activists hypothesize it’s Nicholas’ chest getting brutalized, not Glenn’s. Even if this is true, are we supposed to believe the zombies are going to feast on Nicholas, then look at Glenn and just go, “Eh…”? If Nicholas died before our eyes, then Glenn would follow suit.
The Walking Dead is excellent at giving its characters real development—not choppy, “I’m a hero now!” development, but logical progression. Glenn hasn’t advanced enough in the tough-as-nails badass department to earn him a spot in the survivors circle. If TWD wants to continue its track record of characters rooted in reality, they must keep Glenn in the ground. In this world, nice guys finish last.