The Walking Dead sent social media into a frenzy on Monday night (4 April) following its season six finale episode when the villainous Negan 'killed' one of the cast's beloved heroes, but no one knows who it is. We were half expecting a war between the zombies and Twitter trolls at some point during the evening. But now, the show's executive producer and show runner Scott M Gimple has addressed the cliffhanger's backlash.
The final scene of the show's season six finale drew overwhelmingly negative reactions from viewers on social media due to the anonymity of the potential hero who met the receiving end of Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) spiky baseball bat named Lucille (yes, the barbed wire-wrapped hero-killer has a name), leaving The Walking Dead fanatics in utter turmoil. The splatter of blood on the camera lens also added an extra cheese factor.
When the supposed death took place, the scene was shot from the character's POV which left his or her identity a mystery so Negan – a major villain from the original comic book on which the AMC series is based – could have killed an innocent civilian for all we know/care. Speaking to reporters on Monday morning (4 April), a circumspect Gimple justified the plot, saying: "I ask people to give us the benefit of the doubt that it's all part of a plan, all part of a story.
"I truly hope that people see [the season 7 premiere] and they feel it justifies the way we've decided to tell the story. That is the way it is in our minds. I know what [the season 7 premiere] is and I feel that it delivers on what [the season 6 finale] sets up," he added.
Fans were left unconvinced by the ending, with Twitter filling up with Walking Dead-affiliated wrath. One user wrote: "@theshamingofjay If you watch the Walking Dead finale again and put the audio up really high you can hear your brain say, "its the same plot every 6 months,"' whilst another put, "@devincf Sad it took you guys 6 seasons but glad that you finally figured out THE WALKING DEAD is terrible."
The finale also drew some positive opinions, with television and film critic Amy West telling us: "Obviously, being a fan of the show and having lapped up the promotion ahead of Negan's entrance for months, I would have [weirdly] enjoyed seeing who was actually killed by the blows of his baseball bat at the end of the finale. However, I think leaving the audience in the dark was a smart movie; the writer's did it to perfectly sum up what Negan has been about this whole time.
"We've been hearing about him for so long, as the characters themselves have too, and he only rocked up right at the last minute. His scariness lied in the dread of him coming and while he's obviously a big bad in the making, he presented a more ominous terror when he wasn't on screen," she added.
West did have one negative, however, stating: "The only bit I wasn't too keen on was the blood splattering the camera. I can understand that they wanted us to emphasise and feel immersed, but come on TWD, you're so much better than cheap horror movie tactics."
The finale came months after the show appeared to kill the character of Glenn, played by Steven Yeun, but later revealed him to be alive and kicking just weeks later – a move that also left fans a tad peeved.
See some Twitter reactions below.