As someone who has followed this show since 2019 (when I started a writing account for Jennifer “Huck” Mallick to promote the lovely Annet Mahendru in December of that year, I can tell you the fandom has had its ups and downs.
STOP ASKING ABOUT RICK. I HAVE MIGRAINES.
As press, we have been harassed nonstop about goddamn Rick Grimes and Madison Clark. I love the original series. I’ve read the comics since I was a kid. But I’ll say it, I don’t give two craps from Sunday about Rick Grimes. I don’t have to cover the universe until January when all of our screeners come out, except for one more interview to post. Everyone needs to chill out.
A SLOW SEASON ONE, AND THE SUDDEN BOUNCE-BACK PRAISE OF HUCK.
The majority of fans bounced back from their negative approach to World Beyond as soon as it ended, citing that season 2 was a game-changer. The unfortunate thing is, the cast was harassed from the get-go over the slow pilot of episode one, and now everyone is suddenly in love with it. Four words from this journalist: I told you so.
One of the most hated characters since Ana Lucia Cortez of LOST has been cited as a redeemed hero and a fan favorite. This is ridiculous as her entire story arc did not require redemption considering she was pure-hearted from the beginning, but that’s neither here nor there.
THE END OF DENNY.
I do think Matt Negrete (and our favorite, Gimple) shot themselves in the foot when they killed off Dennis Graham (Max Osinski) and Jennifer Mallick (Annet Mahendru.), and don’t even get me started on how random and quick Percy Delmado’s (Ted Sutherland) death was. Or the Iris Bennett (Aliyah Royale) hate.
WHAT IS WITH THE ARMS?
Elton Ortiz (Nicolas Cantu) lost an arm, just like Aaron in The Walking Dead, and Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) in Fear: The Walking Dead. It’s a growing trend in the TWD universe, apparently.
COME BY FOR A DRINK LATER, JENNY.
Anne Stokes aka “Jadis” (Pollyanna McIntosh) that character had the sickest obsession with her mentor, Jennifer which even Dennis saw and resented her for it.
THE END OF THE ROAD.
Of course, it was only poetic that she ended up sneak-attacking Jen and giving her the choice of dying instantly or bleeding out alone to which Jen took the latter. It was basically an ‘if I can’t have her, no one can’ situation. Anne at one point had cared deeply for Gabriel, even taking his last name which Pollyanna was questioned on Talking Dead about it and admitted that he was definitely special to her.
SHE BECAME JADIS.
However, she has also become more power-hungry and cold. Jen even tells her this as Anne has always been that way, she didn’t need any help from the CRM to become such. Though there is mutual respect there, Anne realizes that she can never win Jen over to her side and stabs her fatally under her arm in a major artery leading to her heart.
SCREWED THE CRM OVER, THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Smiling with blood on her teeth, Jen reveals that the place is about to blow thanks to her father’s gold watch, and Anne immediately leaves via helicopter. Later on, she gives Elizabeth the message from her daughter and sends karma her way by having her arrested and sent exactly where Barca had been sent by her.
A MOTHER’S REGRET.
It’s heartbreaking to see how Elizabeth looks longingly at a mother and daughter standing by a bridge, and then later tells Anne that she also has questioned the CRM. Just like her daughter. We learn that she had been doing everything in her power to save Jen and keep her out of trouble, despite all of the terrible things she had done. Elizabeth redeems herself, and we even saw that she was crying back when she had Barca arrested.
GIRL, JUST KILL HER!
Jen had two chances to end Anne. Once when she had fully turned on her after Percy’s death, and then again in Dennis’s Culling Post. Unfortunately, Mallick’s bleeding heart had made her not be able to shoot the other, or else the clueless Mason (who reminded her of herself with Elizabeth) would have been eaten alive.
DYING OF A BROKEN HEART.
Next, the fight had been to purposely stall Anne from going after the others. Jen sent her husband away with Silas in a ruse to find a detonator, unknown to them that she had used the watch to serve as such. The minute Dennis sees the explosion, he knows she’s dead and he knows that he can’t live without her. So in a heartwrenching moment, he tells Silas that if he kills him then it will make him look good to the CRM. Unfortunately, this also puts Silas in Jen’s old role, being a double agent in hopes of alerting Portland.
A SAD PHOTO.
In a touching moment, Hope hangs up the picture of all of them that Elton had taken in a dark room. over Elton’s voiceover, and the last scene is a flashback to when the kids first left the Campus Colony.
PLOTHOLES. PLOTHOLES. OH WAIT!–NOPE, JUST A PLOTHOLE.
Things that were never answered: We never saw Felix’s reaction to finding out his platonic soulmate died. All we got was an understanding nod from the two when she let him go in the CRM vehicle.
We never found out HOW Jennifer found her mother again in the first place. It’s mentioned many times that her father’s watch brought them together, but even after questioning the cast in interviews–I never found it out. After she fled from the Marines, how did she get back in touch with her mom? They had been estranged for an odd number of years because Jenny had been raised by her uncle.
Elizabeth also mentions that her husband may have died as well when she speaks to Indira about Asha having to go through what she and Jennifer went through. However, back in season 1 in the high school, Hope and Jen exchange ideas of how their fathers didn’t really give a shit about them, as Jen’s abandoned the family at a young age.
We did see a miserable-looking childhood picture from her mother’s desk when Jen went through it to look for evidence of foul play, and even though her childhood royally sucked (and she didn’t remember much about a certain memory explained by her mother), she still smiled ever so faintly at the picture.
Thank God, we finally have our Iris and Silas! Yahoo! So, what did you think of the series finale? I think it was rushed, and Negrete ran out of time because of Covid, and from what I saw on some of the cast’s social media (and spoke to some behind the scenes) they weren’t the happiest with it either.
I know it’s impossible to bring Huck back, but ya’ll got your wish about Madison (which was ridiculous that she randomly survived and kills Alicia’s growing arc, but there are always TALES for flashbacks and such. SHOWRUNNERS. GET ON THAT.)
To all of the dear friends I’ve met because of this show, thank you for acting your hearts out and creating something so beautiful. Until we meet again!
About the author: Katie Harden is a professionally repped New York-based/bi-coastal musical theater, entertainment journalist, and indie film actress. She is proudly part of the Actor’s Equity Association and frequently interviews colleagues, friends, and celebrities, along with reviewing television and movies. Find her at the bottom of a can of Arizona sweet tea or in the ocean! @KHardenOfficial