Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Walking Dead Finale Moments That Upset Fans The Most

"The Walking Dead" has been a part of fans' lives for over a decade now, whether they have watched the series religiously or sporadically. For the many fans who started watching as teens, the series has been on air for a significant portion of their lives. Now that it's finished, it's arguably like a chapter in their lives has also come to an end. Granted, there is plenty to look forward to in terms of following along with some of the first survivors as they tackle zombies and other obstacles in the spin-offs, but the curtain coming down on the original show definitely marked the end of a TV era.

12 years and 11 seasons of "The Walking Dead" culminated in the aptly titled episode "Rest in Peace," and fans have had plenty of thoughts when it comes to how writers chose to end the long-running series. While a lot of fans were pleasantly surprised and moved by the emotional final episode, others couldn't help but take issue with some of the creative choices. Despite being the kind of nailbiter that we have come to expect from "The Walking Dead," the big finale didn't go down well with everyone. Here are the moments from the final episode that upset people the most. Spoilers ahead.

Daryl saying the name of the show

Near the end of the Commonwealth storyline, Daryl (Norman Reedus) does a thing that fans of TV shows either love or hate — he says the name of the show. In a brief, dramatic (well, as dramatic as Daryl ever gets) speech to Pamela and the Commonwealth soldiers, he gruffly says, "We ain't the walking dead." After this name drop, he proceeds to boss-walk toward the gate without another thought.

It's a cool moment, and a lot of fans ate it up. Twitter ran rampant with reactions to the line, a lot of which were positive. However, there were plenty of tweets making fun of the title drop, and some people flat out hated it. "Daryl just said 'the walking dead' in a dramatic build up and I'm reminded why I stopped watching this dog s*** show," user @mma_squared tweeted.

It's a clear call-back to Season 5 when Rick Grimes memorably told Daryl and the rest of their group that they were, in fact, the walking dead. Easter egg or not, Norman Reedus didn't want to say the line. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actor revealed that he had to be talked into saying it and he tried to play it off as regular dialogue instead of "shouting it from the rooftops." He said: "I had to figure out a way to just make it part of the sentence without making it a poster."

The main characters making it out alive

After 12 years of "The Walking Dead" killing off main characters and practically being driven by death, it's widely accepted that no one is safe when it comes to the series. We have seen beloved characters take their leave, including a number of children. One issue that presented itself with the finale is that spin-offs have already been announced, so a number of the survivors — like Daryl, Maggie, and Negan — were at no real risk of being killed off.

As far as main characters go, there's no shocking deaths in the finale. While all fans have characters that they root for, most were expecting to see a bit more bloodshed. On Reddit, the general consensus seems to be that the finale lacked any meaningful deaths. Redditor u/Eveninghamster27 said: "Totally agree that more main characters could have died! I was a little disappointed there weren't more deaths." This opinion was also echoed by u/g_dorinn, who said that "they should've gone bigger with the deaths, really make us feel like none of our favorite characters were safe."

Luke's death

Another bone fans had to pick with the finale was how it handled the lost members of Magna's group. The writers brought Luke and Jules back into the game seemingly out of nowhere, just to turn around and abruptly kill Jules and start off the finale with the death of Luke. While fans thought Luke's death and his friends' reaction to the loss was well acted, the whole situation just felt a little off to some.

There is no denying that the heavily emotional death of Luke, who was very much reeling over the loss of his girlfriend and in great pain from the quick loss of his leg, started the episode out with a bang that seemed to promise a finale that takes no prisoners. Luke would turn out to be one of the only survivors to die, though, which makes his sudden return and abrupt exit seem somewhat sacrificial.

While a lot of fans got swept up in how well his death scene was done, when a clip of the scene was shared on YouTube, the comments section revealed that not everyone was happy with how it played out. Many saw Luke's death as nothing more than a way to squeeze some gore in without killing off a main character. "Y'all did do Luke dirty" one comment read, while another said that the writers "shouldn't have bothered bringing Luke back if it was to kill him off."

Rick's reappearance

The series finale is full of callbacks, including the way Judith wakes up in a hospital bed. This is how the series began, with her father waking up in a deserted hospital back in the first-ever episode. While that little nostalgic parallel was nice, many fans seem to think that since the series opened with Rick, it should have closed on him, too. It's true that a lot of fans on Reddit have said that Rick was present in more of the finale than they ever expected him to be, which is a great thing. However, there are those who believe it could have been handled differently.

According to u/RickGrimes30, Rick's appearance in the finale " still wasn't enough." They said: "I'd at least want a 10 minute scene so we could get a proper look at where both he and Michonne was or just anything.. Just a proper scene with both of them (even if separate).. This was just an extended version of what I thought we where getting.. It was nice seeing them anyways but man I'm p***** at AMC for not bringing back his storyline during the season." Others thought that the scenes they did get with Rick were a letdown. "It was strange and faded in and out and I had no idea what was going on," wrote u/ xKYLx.

Michonne's Marvel outfit

Fans missed Michonne after Danai Gurira exited "The Walking Dead" following Season 10. Many people wanted and expected her to pop up in the finale to help her fellow survivors out of another tight spot. Michonne has always had a way of coming out of nowhere to save the day, just like she did with the formula for Judith all the way back at the prison, so it made sense that she would return to play some part in the curtain-closer. Her presence in the finale isn't what upset fans — people didn't like the way she was dressed.

Michonne has pretty much always looked great no matter who she is fighting or how covered in blood she gets, but her appearance in "The Walking Dead" finale had fans scratching their heads a bit. Michonne is spotless and wearing intricate fighting leathers, which led fans to wonder where the heck she got such clothes. Many noted that Danai Gurira looked more like Okoye, her Marvel character. "Yeah when I saw Michonne's outfit, I thought Danai was in the middle of shooting 'Wakanda Forever' and dropped by for a quick appearance on 'TWD' without changing costumes lol," Redditor u/Kibamaru said, while u/littycommittee725 added: "I had to take a sec to remember what I was watching."

Rosita's death

As the only survivor from the main group who has been around for a long while, Rosita's death was hard to take. Unlike many of the other main character deaths we have seen in the series, her death was not bloody. She gets bitten after falling into a group of walkers with the newly recovered baby Coco strapped to her chest. After a series of badass maneuvers get the child to safety, Rosita reveals that she has been bitten on the back.

It's typical for "The Walking Dead" to handle a main character death like this, with a short-lived high marred by tragedy, but fans just aren't buying the sequence of events related to Rosita's death. In fact, Digital Spy called Rosita's end the dumbest death in the entire series. A lot of fans agreed with this sentiment, and we can't really blame them, because not much about her death makes sense. For one thing, the placement of her bite seems off, considering that she's wearing numerous layers of clothing. There's also the fact that she's unable to make a jump that Eugene made before her, considering she is leagues ahead of him in physical ability. And, as Redditor u/Exciting_Fisherman12 pointed out, her actual passing wasn't all that convincing. "They didn't do a good job making her look sick she looked totally fine and then she just closed her eyes."

The spin-off set ups

The three previously announced "The Walking Dead" spin-offs, while good news for fans, proved problematic for the finale of the main show. First, knowing that most fan-favorite characters could not be killed off lowered the stakes of the episode drastically. To make matters worse, the spin-offs had a lot of influence on the finale in terms of the story. For some fans, the send-off episode was too much like a backdoor pilot for future shows. It was used to set up the spin-offs instead of giving a solid ending to the original series, and fans were quick to call the show out for this over on Reddit.

"All it did the whole episode was to just lay ground work for the spin-offs," Redditor u/Berserker_Rex wrote. Fellow Redditor u/Unimmortal47 went as far as calling this approach "a s***** thing to do for fans." They said: "It's like 'hey you will get to see what happens. But only if you keep watching our other shows.' It's like releasing a video game but the final boss is locked behind dlc. It's really s***** behaviour." While it certainly makes sense to touch on where the fan-favorite characters have been and are heading in the finale, squeezing in intros to three separate upcoming spin-offs is a bit much.

The lack of an ending

Partially because of how much focus the finale gave the upcoming spin-offs, the last episode of the long-running series wasn't a true finale at all. The last episode made it clear that even though the series was ending, it was really just a new beginning. It's almost as if production was afraid to give fans true closure, in case they wouldn't want to continue watching the future spin-offs.

One Forbes writer said that "The Walking Dead" ended on a bad note purely because it wasn't a real end. Senior contributor and author Paul Tassi called a lot of the creative decisions and some of the more emotional scenes "cheap." According to Tassi, these scenes were there to give the episode more of a finale feel, but in truth, the curtain-closer lacked any real shocks or twists. Tassi definitely isn't alone in this opinion.

To call something that spends half its time talking up future storylines a finale has been labeled a cop-out by a lot of fans. There's an ongoing joke on Reddit about how the series will never really end. " All these spin-offs will eventually crossover into a major event called 'The Walking Dead, Season 12' one day," said u/flintlock0, while u/ Prcrstntr added: "'Walking Dead: Epilogue: The Movie.' And it's a trilogy."

The rushed climax

Another way those pesky spin-offs affected the success of the finale is that the inclusion of so much set-up made the rest of the episode feel rushed. This isn't just a finale problem, though. The entire Commonwealth plot that ended the show wasn't as well put together as it should have been. According to CBR, production was kind of forced to rush the Commonwealth plotline, despite it being a huge undertaking. This speedy run through the storyline didn't do the finale any favors. As Collider put it, the finale felt "rushed" and "chaotic" at times.

With so many survivors and separate storylines coming together, ticking every box was always going to be tricky. The need to promote the spin-offs meant that there was even less time to tie all the loose ends together in a satisfying way. In the end, the finale contained too many leaps of logic. An example of this is trying to nullify the threat of zombies by blowing up a portion of the Commonwealth. How is this a miraculous, quick fix solution? Discussing the possibility of the show returning for a twelfth season one day, Redditor u/Confident_Elephant_4 said: "I hope it isn't rushed like this season."

False hope for a better future

For many fans on Reddit, the biggest problem with the finale is a lack of closure. "What exactly did we get closure on other than Mercer and Ezekiel running the Commonwealth?" asked u/iBigBoyBrian, while u/php_questions said: "There's no pay off, nothing is resolved." According to u/shimmiecocopop1, the show would have come to a very different ending if there wasn't an expanded universe in the making. "Five years ago we would have thought that the series would end with complete closure such as apocalypse over and cure found," they wrote. "However with the spin offs planned, they obviously can't do that."

While recognizing that the finale has some good moments, Vulture's recap of the episode focuses on the lack of solid closure, which is part and parcel of a successful series-ender. The recap also comments on the oddity of having the finale seemingly end with the promise of a bright future while also preparing us to see the spin-off survivors living through more struggles. It's like the finale feigns closure, but there's actually none given.

The big Commonwealth conflict

One thing that never quite seemed right about the Commonwealth storyline is that we never really see enough of the place. The Commonwealth is supposed to be made up of around 50,000 survivors, and the enormity of the community is pressed onto viewers often. Yet, we are never really presented with just how expansive and diverse the community really is. The only plausible explanation was that the creators were waiting for the finale to unleash the full scale of the Commonwealth and its population, but that never really happened. In fact, fans were thoroughly underwhelmed by the numbers.

"It's crazy how Commonwealth is said to have around fifty thousand people living there but in all the scenes we could only see a couple of dozens," Redditor u/Psychedelic1967 said of the finale. "Like honestly, there were not a single moment in the show where we could feel that CW had atleast two hundred people in it." Another user then claimed that the lack of numbers in these big scenes was a hangover from COVID-19 restrictions. "Once they knew they could get away with less people in every scene they stuck with it," u/Totally_PJ_Soles replied. "Ruined the sense of community and really fails to bring the point of purpose home."

The Grimes kids get left behind again

For how much "The Walking Dead" focuses on the themes of family and loyalty, the survivors sure do leave their kids behind a lot. It obviously takes a village to raise a child in a zombie apocalypse, we get that. However, all the child abandonment becomes a bit too much when parents go off on their own missions, leaving their young ones behind for the foreseeable future.

The finale made it clear that the Grimes children don't exactly see a lot of their parents. While RJ and Judith are lucky to have seasoned survivors as parental figures, that doesn't matter much when they're not around. As Redditor u/btown4389 put it: "Every adult that's supposed to care for them doesn't die, doesn't get sick, they just bail."

In the final episode, Daryl leaves despite telling Judith that he would be there for her. Fans have not missed the trend of the Grimes children being left behind, and they have discussed it at large on Reddit. "Judith and RJ must have debilitating abandonment issues," said u/seminarysmooth, while u/arabia777 added: "To the degree that RJ has only spoken a few words since mom split."