A lot of Walking Dead viewers felt that the fake-out regarding Glenn from earlier this season felt uncharacteristically cheap for a series where tension is mainly fueled by the “anybody can die” aspect. Robert Kirkman, creator of the graphic novel series on which the TV show is based, would agree. He appeared on a recent episode of Bravo’s Behind The Actor’s Studio, as reported by Cinemablend, and made this (obviously unscripted) comment:
I wrote the comic for like eight years before the show even existed, and, uh, you know I like to say ‘people gots to die,’ because you never want to lose that–what you were talking about–you know, if you go too long a period with characters surviving and being safe, then you lose that element of ‘Oh my god any of these characters could go at any moment.’ That is a tremendously powerful engine that drives this whole thing and it is emotional.
The problem is, as Cinemablend is quick to point out, the inner mechanics of what makes a TV show run make it more difficult to sucker-punch people with a sudden death. There were many reports that Steven Yeun was still shooting footage on the Walking Dead stage after the “death” episode was filmed. Contracts and season renewals make it difficult to pull off a midseason kill. In the case of Lori, the producers had to fill out her contract by making her appear as a hallucination by a mildly-insane Rick.
Even still, the sheer number of regulars on staff at the moment make it likely we’re about to see some pretty significant demises in 2016, especially since the season is now in its back half. And this time, there won’t be any garbage dumpsters to hide under.