Warning: Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
The Walking Dead just aired its sixth season finale titled Last Day on Earth on Sunday with a major cliffhanger where Negan appears and smashed an Alexandrian brain. However, it remains unknown who exactly was killed.
Now, the show's executive producers, Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple, are talking about the big cliffhanger ending and fan reaction to the episode in an interview with EW.
Scott M. Gimple shared what he thought of The Walking Dead finale cliffhanger:
The end of the story is what people saw. And when we reveal who was on the receiving end there, that's going to be the start of another story. The kickback effects from that, what it makes everyone into, how people react, how the world changes for everyone, that's the next part of the story.
Robert Kirkman shared what he felt about the cliffhanger ending:
I'm feeling, oddly, great. I'm very excited where it's at. What's happening in the show is extremely sad and extremely depressing but I think it's going to put us into a good place going into season 7.
Kirkman also commented on Negan's intro:
I think that for a TV show to be going into its seventh season and to get this huge event that is going to skyrocket things for many season to come… I feel like it's puts everything in a great place. So I think Negan's arrival on the show is absolutely awesome.
People were upset about the finale, to say the least. Kirkman addressed this and said:
First of all, as a fan, I love cliffhangers. I love that tension. I love the anticipation of finding out what it is. If you read the comic book series, I think pretty much every issue ends with a big cliffhanger… And I think that's a lot of fun. But this story, the cliffhanger isn't the story. The story of the episode, and Scott and Matt Negrete did such a great hob of setting up how confident Rick was going into this.
This episode is about the loss of that confidence. It's about changing that mindset. It's about tearing Rick Grimes down and that's the conclusion of this story. So while it does seem like a cliffhanger, that's the conclusion. And the story of who died, the story of what comes next, of who Negan killed, of what comes after that, that's really the story of season 7.
Gimple also commented on people being upset over the ending:
I would say, when they opened up the hatch [onLost], we had to wait and see who was in the hatch. I liked thinking about that. I liked talking about it. … We have to do an episode that justifies it to you. We have to do something so great and so intense that you're like ‘Okay, all right, fair play.'
That's the challenge we have and 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 and that terror and that pain, and were going to deliver you a story next season that justifies it."
Meanwhile, Kirkman was asked whether Negan is a villain. He said:
As upset as people probably are at Negan's introduction and how he's coming in and killing somebody that is very beloved to everyone, I think from his perspective he's the hero of his story, like most villains. And if we had been following him all this time we'd be 100 percent on board with that.
It's interesting to note that it appears the interview was made before the episode actually aired, therefore the producers already had an idea about people's possible reactions.
What did you think about The Walking Dead finale?