If you were upset by the brutal season finale cliffhanger of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” in which a key character was bludgeoned to death by the sadistic villain Negan with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, you’re not alone.
The cast was also upset during the filming of the scene, which took place during a grueling two-night shoot in a clearing close to the show’s headquarters near Atlanta. During the scene, the group of zombie-apocalypse survivalists led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) are captured and forced to their knees in a semicircle while Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) taunts them over who he is going to kill.
“We all go through crazy things on the show, but there’s something about that final scene where we’re all in a semi-circle so powerless, especially with Andy, because we’ve never seen him so broken. You don’t see us en masse at a loss of what to do,” said Cohan, who plays Maggie Greene in the hit drama. “It’s more than about television at that point. That defines a turning point.”
Executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the episode, explained how one night the cameras were mostly focused on the captives, and the following night was primarily on Morgan to capture his performance.
He said he apologized to the cast on the second night, telling them that as “wrecked” as they were the first night, they would have to do it all again. “They had to put themselves in that place over and over again... and it was cold. There were no leaves on the trees, and everyone was shivering.”
And no, there were no clues about which character was killed in the scene. (The beating was blacked out, but conveyed through sickening thuds of the bat against someone’s head.)