WARNING: OFF TOPIC POST AHEAD! 🙂
(And also, Walking Dead spoilers, but that should be obvious)
I didn’t want to write a blog post about The Walking Dead finale, mainly because it’s a major off-topic tangent for this blog. I did want to get my idea on record, however, so I would look like a genius months from now when I was proven right. So, instead of posting, I explained my theory in a series of tweets after the finale. I decided to post it here, after reasons that will become clear later. For now, I will explain my theory on who got Lucille’d.
First off, let me say that I feel the ending sequence of the TWD finale was brilliant (how they got to that point, not so much). It reminded me very much of the ending of the Sopranos: How do you film something that EVERYONE has a different idea of how it should look, so there is no good way to film it? The answer – you don’t. You let the viewer experience it. The thematic connection between TWD and the Sopranos is no accident, here.
The central theme of my theory is the concept of establishing first person view shots. The Sopranos did this in the diner scene perfectly, and TWD started this immediately with the opening shot of the episode.
This mysterious shot was later revealed to be the viewpoint from inside the van holding the characters who were captured. It would only become clear how important the use of first-person point of view would be until the very end of the episode. I propose that this view is from the same person that ended up being killed by Negan.
With this info, we can now narrow it down to four characters – Daryl, Michonne, Rosita, and Glenn.
(Note: I do not think it was a coincidence that two of the characters most-wildly rumoured to die were chosen to be put in that van, for this specific reason.)
But wait a moment… who is that we see just as the van doors are opening?
That’s Daryl’s hair seated in front of the doomed-to-die character. Since it’s impossible to see the back of your own head, that makes Daryl safe.
So, who’s sitting behind Daryl in the van?
None other than Rick’s latest love interest, Michonne (apparently, being Rick’s girlfriend has become a survival risk). You can see here that her viewpoint is exactly where it should be for the first person shot – behind Daryl, slightly above his head, leaning softly forward to center her view in the van. Michonne is also placed to Rick’s right in the execution lineup; Negan slightly motions to the left when mentioning Rick during the final scene.
The reason I decided to post this was because I was doing a little searching for TWD finale theories, and I came across a website claiming to have a brand new theory based on “first-person” view. Brand new? That’s an interesting way of describing it. The website was also using pretty much the same screenshots I referenced in my tweets. Interesting…. I guess? The funny thing is that the website doesn’t flat out commit to Michonne being Negan’s victim. The reason for that is that they didn’t rip off the entirety of my theory. There’s more… more that just about seals it up in my mind.
During Negan’s “Eeny Meeny Miney Moe” game, he gives each character a good, menacing, up-close look at Lucille. He intimidates each person, pointing the bat in their face, leaving them to wonder if they will be the one who gets it in the end. But watch it again, and pay close attention: every character gets a shot of Lucille up in their grill EXCEPT for…
… I wouldn’t have built it up so much if it wasn’t MICHONNE. There is not ONE FRAME where Lucille is in the same shot as Michonne.
So, Negan threatens everyone but Michonne with the bat? No, that doesn’t make any sense. Besides, we get a really good look at when Negan points Lucille at Michonne:
The whole ending scene is filmed brilliantly. The main focus isn’t Negan at all, it’s Lucille. The bat almost seems to glow in Negan’s hand as he threatens each character with it, and it was a deliberate decision to avoid showing Lucille and Michonne from a third-person point of view. If that did occur, it would break the subtle connection between her first-person view and the weapon itself.
Stylistically, Michonne is the only one that makes sense. Plot-wise, Michonne’s death would have the biggest impact on the storyline (giving Rick major motivation for revenge against Negan), without risking losing a huge chunk of the TWD fan base (as killing off Daryl would do) or losing credibility with the audience (as a post-death-fakeout Glenn exit would do). It also doesn’t hurt the theory when you consider that in real life, actress Danai Gurira has a growing Broadway project, as well as a new movie to work on.