The Walking Dead bosses see your rage, but they do not agree with it.
The season six finale ended tonight with one hell of a cliffhanger, all thanks to the arrival of the bat-wielding Negan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan made his grand entrance and wasted no time in terrifying us all and ruining our lives by lining up all of our favorite Walking Dead characters and choosing one to hit with his barbed-wire bat. We didn't see who he chose, but we did get to watch from their perspective as their head was brutally bashed in.
While we were too stunned to even move our fingers, many fans took to Twitter to express their anger at yet another cliffhanger and yet another reason to argue for the next six months.
Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick addressed this anger during tonight's finale aftershow, and it's clear that comic creator Robert Kirkman and executive producer Scott M. Gimple aren't on board.
"As a fan, I love cliffhangers," Kirkman said. "I love that tension. If you read the comic books, pretty much every issue ends with a cliffhanger. I think that's a lot of fun."
"When they opened up the hatch and we had to wait to see what was in the hatch, I liked thinking about it," Gimple said, giving an example of one of Lost's most famous cliffhangers before citing Star Trek and Grey's Anatomy too (sort of). "When Commander Riker told Worf to fire at the borg ship while Locutus is in there, I liked that. When McDreamy was left at the alter, I liked talking about that. I probably made that up, but I know something like that happened!"
Aside from their love of cliffhangers, Gimple and Kirkman promise that the story ended that way for a reason.
"The cliffhanger isn't the story," Kirkman said, explaining that this whole episode was designed to set up "how confident Rick was going into this." "This episode is about the loss of that confidence. It's about tearing Rick Grimes down, and that's the conclusion of this episode. The story of who died, of what comes next, of who Negan killed, that's really the story of season seven."
Gimple also promised that the show will make it up to the fans for the end of that episode.
"We have to do an episode that justifies it to you," Gimple says of season seven. "We have to do something so great and so intense that you're like, OK, all right, fair play, and that's the challenge that we have. We're going to do it, we're going to deliver you something fantastic. We want you to be one of those people in that lineup. We want you to feel that suspense, that terror, and that pain, and we're going to deliver you a story next season that justifies it."
At this point, it's hard to tell if what we're feeling is actually anger as opposed to shock or just relief from how tense we felt during those final moments. We may have to wait until October for a new season, but it may also take us until October to get those head bashing sounds out of our own heads.
The Walking Dead returns in October to AMC.