Greg Nicotero has heard the negative reactions to the cliffhanger that ended season six of “The Walking Dead,” and he thinks they’ve been blown out of proportion. (On the internet? Never!) The makeup artist, executive producer and director suggests that “a very small percentage of our fans were upset” in a new Deadline interview occasioned by his most recent Emmy nomination, arguing that only a vocal minority of the millions who watched season six’s concluding episode were bothered by it.
“You look at the 20 million viewers, and the people that were upset, they were upset because they cared, because they want to know,” adds Nicotero, who directed the episode in question. “I still believe that the story that we’re telling warranted that cliffhanger.” The controversial moment comes when (spoilers ahead) Negan kills somebody in the final moments — but the viewer doesn’t see who. “It’s one of the best episodes I feel like I’ve ever directed, because I was able to capture that sense of dread and fear that Rick Grimes felt. Rick has never felt fear, and you never see him scared in the entire series until that episode.”
Nicotero discusses much more in the full Deadline interview, which may be read here. “The Walking Dead” returns to AMC for its seventh season on October 23.