I do not post many of these "What I would do" for TV shows, but this time, I think I can offer a perspective of interest and how the plots can be made more interesting for the future.
I have been thinking and re-thinking about this and I firmly believe that "The Walking Dead" is loosing its sheen. For the past few seasons, it has become repetitive and less and less interesting. So I went back and tried to figure out what would make it better. As a fan, I tried to come up with something that would continue the show, keep some of the shock factor it had in the early seasons, and provide story materials to keep the show running for at least one or more season.
With the start of this seasons being quite a shocker, it make me gasp and wonder what would come next. Let's go back to the start of the episode. Rick's crew is kneeling before Negan and Negan as a new villain makes a speech to let us know he's a bad hombre. We are all holding our breaths, speculating who he goes after.
For you TWD comics fan, I didn't read that far into the series, so this is likely to greatly diverge, but I'm only interested in the TV series.
TWACK! Negan swings his bat.
And kills Rick.
The rest of the scene goes on as in the episode: Daryl rebels and tries to kill Negan, Negan kills Glenn in retaliation.
Negan is a complete jerk, a completely rotten bastard that promises one thing but then turns around and kills the leader of Alexandria.
Why? There are a number of reasons.
- By removing the head of the opposition, he can promote someone else to power. Keeping Rick there only ensures a rebellion from day one as Rick will seek to undermine him.
- He can place one of his own men in charge of people. With one of his people in place, he can control the group of Alexandria.
- Let's be honest, Rick has been through the gamut of emotions: he's been secure, cocky, confident, crazy, distraught, murderous, vengeful, happy. What else is there for him to do? Become a simpering crying wimp for his son and daughter. He is the most disposable character at this point.
- By killing him, one of the others must rise to become the leader of the main group.
- It would completely shock the audience, thus bringi back the feeling of worry where we didn't know who would be next (right now I am not worried about any of the main characters to die mid-season any more).
Of those, the conflicts within the group, whether Negan places a leader there or not, we have a number of conflicts we can explore within Alexandria.
Abraham I though with the last few episodes, he was due for something more. I expected him to move for leadership and to rise to promonence within the group. By him growing into the position, he would be a good character to seek control. This alpha male type would no doubt ruffle some feathers.
Carl The role of new leader and Carl seems made for each other. He has grown over the previous six seasons from a kid into a man. He lost an eye. However, as long as Rick is gonna be there, he'll always be "Rick's boy". With Rick gone, Carl could become a great leader for the group.
Aaron "The Gay Guy" is someone I think could be greatly developed beyond "gay guy". This dude spent some time out in the world, alone, stalking a group of veteran survivors without them knowing about him. He could be set to become a big-time leader. His sexual orientation serving as conflict potential with others. This guy is solid. I want to see more of him and want to see him grow, not, like I suspect, be bitten by a random zombie and die. His status as an outsider makes him great for leadership.
Daryl Okay... Daryl is not the leader type. I think he's grown soft and less interesting than early on. Without Rick, he would be the king maker, the one everyone courts for support.
Michone She's cool and she would make a decent leader. I could see the group get behind her.
Maggie Another good choice, though I would expect her character would be greatly changed by Glenn's death. She is a more balanced person when it comes to fighting, survival and non-zombie skills (farmer's daughter). She might be "late to the party" in that while most of the others struggle and argue to come together, she might avoid that as she grieves her husband. She can then rejoin the others, be the peacemaker and the natural leader.
Unfortunately, we're not gonna get a struggle like that... We're gonna get crying and Rick self-loathing as the others try to tell him how great he is. Not a power struggle between characters trying who could each influence the group in their own way. I am not as keen on seeing what comes next than the previous few years.
Those are my two cents...