The problem isn’t cliffhangers as cliffhangers. It’s that this particular cliffhanger worked against the scene, rather than for it.
Look at the previous major cliffhangers:Rick being told something in secret adds mystery. If I hadn’t gotten into the show after playing the Telltale game, it would have been a really intriguing one.
After the farm falls, Rick has a different view of leadership, we see the prison that may become their new home, and Andrea met some lady with a cape and a freakin’ katana. I couldn’t wait to start season 3!
After the prison falls, they have survived their first major enemy, but their home is lost again and the group has scattered. I really looked forward to seeing how they met back up and how the group would change on this new arc
The group is reunited in the Termites’ prison. It’s their darkest moment, but seeing familiar faces, Rick is thinking “it’s US, of course we’ll make it out of this”. Awesome, pumped for the escape.
Alexandria may be falling, Rick’s group is using good-old zombie guts to escape. Then, the boy gets scared and says “Mommy?” I couldn’t wait to see the panic as the walker herd turned on them while they were surrounded and had nowhere to go. …the payoff was a total cop-out (what, did the walkers just not hear him?), but the cliffhanger itself did its job.
Negan attacking…someone. What I’m excited about in the next arc is seeing Rick dealing with his biggest defeat. They essentially just got conquered. This is the main attraction of the next arc, but the cliffhanger detracts from it in two ways: first, it lessens the impact of Rick’s despair because we don’t see who he lost; second, it puts the main focus of the premier on “who died?” rather than “how will they deal with their new warlord?”
If they were worried about the gore, there would have been better ways. They could have shown the first hit, then cut to the reaction of each of the others as we only hear the impact of the bat.
If they were worried about ratings……..they need new marketers.
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