The Journey So Far
Season 11, Part 3 Trailers


   Andrew Lincoln | © AMC

“As long as it’s all of us, we can do anything.”
—Rick Grimes

They start tonight. The final episodes of The Walking Dead. Twelve years, eleven seasons. How has it been so long when it seems like it just began? And though the time flew by sometimes, so much has happened, so much more than in any ordinary series. This extraordinary series gave us all the blood, sweat and tears any of us could have asked for and a deluge more. So much has happened in this one show alone to fill a multitude of others; such pain and heartache, and example after example of extraordinary acting. Saying that I will miss TWD is an understatement.

As I tweeted yesterday in response to this "Journey...So Far" video, I don’t think I ever could be ready for The Walking Dead to end. TWD showed me how real things can be when unimaginably talented actors get together. What could’ve been a standard zombie story instead had incredible depth and heart.

I was never a horror “fan,” really. I found the genre interesting sometimes, liking the scares, having fun with that aspect, but not the ick factor. Overwhelming gore is nightmare fuel and I don’t deal with that well, but The Walking Dead came along and gave me a human story that I could fall in love with and characters who felt alive and real. A survival horror where I actually could care completely about what happened to the people trying to survive.

No matter the direction the story took us, I was never disappointed in where things ended up, no matter who we lost. I was intrigued and terrified and often in a state of shock and a puddle of tears, but always held onto hope, knowing the creative team loved their story even more than I did and wanted it all to mean something. I was sure that someone I loved would make it out alive, that someone would be left standing in triumph. All the emotions of making it through to some new semblance of community would be written on their face and I could breathe a sigh of relief for a series that had me tense until the screen went black for the final time.

I imagined a definitive place to leave our heroes with a sense of accomplishment for having made it through unimaginable circumstances. Whoever was left standing would deserve to be there. (Believe me, I never imagined a Negan situation, where a villain who did the most terrible things would have a sympathetic backstory and ultimately prove his worth. Especially not after I thought the Governor could become reasonable and return to sanity.) Whoever was left would be grateful for all those who didn’t make it so that they could. They would be forever changed by the losses that they suffered and would build a new world out of the ashes of the old. No matter how it ends, that’s how it will end.

“No matter how bleak things look, this is not the end.”

But it’s not ending, not really, and I’m ecstatic about that. While the original series has an expiration date now, I’m very glad for the universe expanding even beyond Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. I have yet to watch Tales of the Walking Dead, but that’s only due to all my obligations right now. I’m not happy about knowing the details of the main characters in these spin-offs, though, because I hate spoilers. Admittedly, it is a relief, but I live for the tension and apprehension of not knowing who will make it. I took this journey for all the unknowns.

At least I have no idea how Maggie and Negan will end up still fighting alongside each other in The Walking Dead: Dead City, which is not the choice I would have made for a title as it sounds more like an iOS game I’d find in Apple’s App Store. At least I have no idea how Daryl ends up in France without Carol. At least I know there’s still some sort of plan for Carol’s story. And, most importantly, at least I know that Rick and Michonne will be together again!

I always imagined it being that way, as soon as it was announced that Andrew Lincoln was leaving the series, and again the moment we found out Rick survived blowing up that bridge. I will always love the way they wrote him out, his last episode both beautiful and haunting. I went through countless scenarios in my mind for how they’d bring Rick back in the finale, how he’d fight his way back to his family. Then Danai Gurira left and Michonne ended up in my scenarios with Rick, and they would see their children again. I don’t have any idea if they’ll show up in the last episode, like I’ve hoped for years, but at least the movies evolved into a (potential multi-season) series to tell this missing piece of Rick and Michonne’s story. YAY!

Oh geez, look at the time. 10 AM on the day of the beginning of the end for The Walking Dead and I’ll be bombarded with other things I need to get done. I always wait until last minute to say what’s on my mind and then, like, 80 percent of the things I start writing don’t see the light of day. Well, it’s not so much waiting as it is being run ragged and other priorities prioritizing themselves over talk about my favorite shows. Well, it’s been a blast. My fingers are crossed for an epic and emotional and truly great end to this incredible story.


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