'The Walking Dead': Destroying Daryl's mid-season cliffhanger

Yahoo Contributor Network

After the mid-season finale of "The Walking Dead" aired on AMC, the creators of the show ruined the main cliffhanger for observant fans. If you waited to see the preview for the second half of Season 3, you might have noticed Daryl running through the woods with his infamous crossbow. Showing Daryl in the preview diminished the need for fans to tune in in February, when the second half of the season begins.

The final moments of mid-season finale

The final moments of the Season 3 mid-season finale showed Merle and Daryl Dixon reunited in sight of The Governor and the enraged residents of Woodbury. The Governor accused Merle of helping his former group attack Woodbury and accused Daryl of being a terrorist. The crowd was screaming for the two brothers to die. Fans were meant to be left wondering if the show would lose one of the most popular characters in Daryl at the same time as Merle, who is one of the most heated characters.

Loss of a finale cliffhanger

By robbing the fans of the cliffhanger and allowing fans to wonder what will happen to Daryl, the creators of "The Walking Dead" have reduced the need to see the beginning of the second half of the Season 3 and reduced their chances of higher ratings in February. If Daryl had not been shown in the preview, everyone would have stressed for three months wondering about the character's chances of making it out of The Governor's "ring of death." Now, fans know he will somehow make it out. Sure, fans will wonder about how the character escaped, but this does not have the same impact as holding hope for his survival.

Need-to-see next episode

The goal of a cliffhanger at a mid-season finale or a season finale is to ensure fans have a need to come back for more. Instead of allowing for multiple cliffhangers, the creators of "The Walking Dead" only left the fate of the Dixon brothers as a major discussion point to keep fans interested over the break. Fans of the comic book will be interested in seeing the first onscreen meeting of comic fan-favorite Tyreese and Rick, but this is a not a draw for all fans of the show since all viewers do not read the comics. At least when Michonne was introduced at the end of Season 2, she was shrouded in mystery and gave non-comic book readers interest in a character they did not know about.

Past mid-season finale cliffhanger

The Season 2 mid-season finale closed as the survivors realized Sophia was one of the walkers in Hershel's barn, and fans were left worrying about what type of explosion would happen when the second half of the season began. At the same time, Rick revealed Lori's pregnancy to Shane, and the lead character let his former partner know there would never be a question about who the father was. Fans became eager about another confrontation coming between the two men as both attempted to claim the unborn child as his own. The creators of "The Walking Dead" have ended the first half of Season 3 without giving fans significant reasons to tune in for more.

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