Walking Dead showrunner talks finale and tells fans to expect a ‘very different vibe’ next season


As Walking Dead fans anticipate season 8’s finale this Sunday, showrunner Scott Gimple tips off what we can expect plus what’s next for our survivors.

Fans of Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Maggie and the rest of our beloved survivors will be glad to know this Sunday’s finale aims to provide “closure to the first eight seasons of the show.” This, according to showrunner Scott Gimple when he spoke to The Wrap.

Gimple says the finale will provide a solid ending to All Out War, plus “provide a great deal of closure for pretty much all the characters’ stories.” This could be good or bad for some on Walking Dead. Closure sounds a lot like people-gonna-get-bit-and-die. Right?

Gimple added that this Sunday’s episode will “set the stage to start some very new stuff: very new challenges for the characters, very different kinds of stories, in different kinds of situations, a real evolution of the show.”

Oh really now? It’d be refreshing for the show, and to fans, to offer some new settings for the show. Hilltop, it’s been fun. Sanctuary, it’s been, well, terrifying. Time for a fresh start with some fresh environments.

The TWD boss shared that among the developments we’ll see in season 9, we can expect more of the comic’s plot to come through.

“Well, I mean, we want to tell the comic story and how the stories just have just very, very unusual and sort of new drives.” He adds that “people are going to see there’s a lot more story to tell.”

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Comic readers know this all too well, with many wondering if the creepy Whisperers will make an appearance finally. Granted, some elements of the comic have been massively changed — the biggest being Carl is dead. Jeffrey Dean Morgan lamented this awhile back, saying he wished that Carl and Negan’s relationship from the comics had more time to be explored. Carl also played an impactful role with the Whisperers, befriending the leader’s daughter Lydia.

Granted, with new showrunner Angela Kang at the helm for season 9, we could receive a fresh start not only for environments but how the remaining (and living) characters are utilized. One potential for season 9 is for non-comic characters to take on the role of lost ones. Perhaps Enid could help with the Whisperers in Carl’s place? This may seem like a stretch, but even Steven Yeun spoke about the concept with confidence at Walker Stalker Con Chicago.

There’s also that mysterious helicopter flying about, which Jadis seemingly knew would be coming around in “Still Gotta Mean Something.” Add that with the very random appearance of Georgie, and we wonder if the Commonwealth is being introduced much faster than the comics did. Georgie could very well be the TV-version of Pamela Milton, who is the leader of the Commonwealth, a community of 50,000+ survivors.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, we should consider that All Out War could stick to the comics or veer off a bit as well. What fans are salivating for is Negan and Rick’s ultimate battle,. Per the comics, Negan gets badly injured then put behind bars. Will this play out on Sunday or could the two somehow find a way to make peace, per Carl’s dying wish in his letters?

Gimple spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the finale’s expected showdown, saying:

"I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is all just one big battle. There are some really unusual aspects to that too, that the action isn’t just a large battle, but there are things going sort of around the battle. I don’t even know if I would classify it as a battle. And yet, at the same time, the scope is massive."

From preview photos we have seen for the season finale, there’s definitely a battle somewhere in an open field. There’s a shot of one lone walker trudging along with a gorgeous sunset (or sunrise) behind it.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Hardest of all to take in? This photo of little Carl and daddy Rick taking one of those long walks Carl mentioned in his letter. It’s safe to say, whatever happens this Sunday, you best have multiple tissue boxes ready.

Related Story: Andrew Lincoln spills on The Walking Dead’s ‘epic’ season finale

New episodes of The Walking Dead air every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on AMC. Don’t forget to check back for our weekly review right here on Culturess.