The Walking Dead’s Trail Goes Cold in Season 9

(Contains Spoilers)

Most people stopped watching The Walking Dead after Glenn got all Hank Aaroned-on by Negan. It was a simple fact that the show went too far and that they were making way for the worst villain yet after trotting out a fairly convincing parade of baddies that each needed to be topped. Having Lucille bash in the heads of several lesser but loved characters was an easy way to establish the sheer evilness of Negan.

Most of my fellow viewer friends said, “Nope. That’s it. I’m done.”

For me, the escalation in violence was a natural progression. I watch horror because, on some level, I want to face the devil. In most regards, those who kept watching did exactly that.

Then season 9 came around and I found myself wondering what was next–as did the writers, who obviously grappled with a number of expiring contracts and a tightening budget. Rick and Maggie both inexplicably disappear and a host of other characters were culled by impaling their heads in Vladillian fashion.

Yet after thirteen seasons, I’m hanging it up. It’s not the carnage, the endless barrage of bullets or changing cast. The reason is much more elemental: snow.

After 8 diaphoretic seasons in Georgia and watching Rick Grimes’ old shirts practically mildewing on his body, they have a blizzard! Frozen zombies die like they’ve been hit with liquid nitrogen in Terminator II and all I can think of is the Georgia peach in the credits of every episode. Stamped, Made in Georgia.

Beautiful, warm, Georgia. And in Maine I’m thinking, this would be intense for a Maine winter, and it last for 7-8 months here.

Yet, Georgia. And to add insult to injury, the writers slip in this line of dialogue from The King to sum it all up nicely: “The cold came early this year.”

I can stomach that Negan, that guy whom no one could stand after bashing brains in, somehow became likable, a self-sacrificing hero who rescues Judith, and convinces Michonne in the final moments what every genre fan knew all along, that evil is just a point of view and every villain is a hero in their own mind. Sure. It could happen.

But zombies crawling out of snow drifts and ice thick enough to walk across in Georgia? As a lifelong New Englander, I can finally say, writers of The Walking Dead, you’ve gone too far. I’m out.

Fortunately, the world didn’t run out of zombies. Check back next week and I’ll tell you where to find some good ones.  

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