Zombie Cliche Lookout: Cliffhanger!
Okay, so this trope is by no means limited to zombie fiction. Like, at all. It shows up everywhere, especially as serialized television shows have become increasingly popular in the last decade or so. I’m talking, of course, ending an episode/season/arc right in the middle of some huge piece of action that leaves one or more characters’ lives in the balance. The Walking Dead literally just pulled this one before going on its annoying mid-season break. We won’t know for a couple of months if that annoying kid Carol threatened gets eaten by zombies. But we can hope.
While this is often annoying, it is a pretty useful tool in the writer’s toolbox. Nothing gets fans engaged and talking about the piece of fiction like making them wait for some big payoff.
About this Episode:
I’m not sure if anyone will even notice, but the zombie that attacks Sam in the last frame is visible in the two frames before it. He was in the first frame too, but ended up getting cropped out for a tighter shot. I don’t mind things seemingly coming out of nowhere, but it’s also fun to subtly set things up.
As you have no doubt already figured out, this will be the last episode of Bricks of the Dead until 2016, because I’m going to be taking some time off to spend with my family during the holidays. But despair not, my friends! We have an awesome guest comic series from Pi3rk, which he tells me is the first episode of a work in progress. I haven’t figured out the schedule just yet, but be sure to check back Monday for the first episode and an outline of the schedule during BotD’s hiatus.
A huge thanks Pi3rk for providing the guest comics!
Sorry this one is getting out late; I messed up the scheduler.
It’s his friends from work
Could be; we haven’t seen them in a while.
Cliffhangers are amazing I think… I mean most of the time we know they’re coming, but good cliffhangers, as much as you know they’ll pop out, always take you by surprise. TV shows are the best example as Dave spotted it indeed.
In TWD for example (I don’t put the ongoing season in this category though) when comes the 8th episode of the season, after 40:00min you know something huge will happen. Yet, sometimes, the writers are so well inspired that it completely takes you unprepared! That’s good cliffhanger.
Now they aren’t that good all the time… Bad cliffhanger (the one you see coming) are just poor writing trying to make something happen.
But… I gotta say that episode 665 of BotD completely took me by surprise!! Huge cliffhanger! Didn’t see it coming.
BTW starting 2016 with episode 666 for a zombie comic is kinda…Funny?
The Walking Dead is a mixed bag, cliffhanger wise. The mid-season break worked well. The shit with Glenn was, well, shit.
Thank you again Dave for the opportunity of sharing my work with the big community of BotD.
Thank you for helping take some time off!
I really dislike cliffhangers, or worse, endings like they did in Stargate: Universe. Therefore, I’m going to try and be patient while Dave has his holiday break. I also hope pi3rk’s guest comic is equally entertaining, so I look forward to that!
It’s all good, Dave! 😀
I’ll try to entertain you, dear Sir. I really hope so.
That said, you’ll be a great help to help me improve my english spelling. And I’ll be looking forward your feedbacks!
I definitely think you’ll enjoy the guest comic. The art style is really cool.
Annoying cliffhanger endings are one thing, but what do you find yourself wanting to do if they don’t even address the cliffhanger ending they left you with, and when the season comes back, whoever was the subject of the cliffhanger isn’t even there, or everyone concerned with their existence suddenly acts as if that character didn’t exist anymore?
I can’t think of an example off-hand, but I do believe some TV shows have just left storyline pieces dangling in mid-air and not even addressed them directly, or only addressed them after many complaints from irate viewers who did want to know! 😀
That’s a good point, but you also have to remember how dynamic an ongoing story can be.
Writers don’t get to choose what will be something fans will ask about. Certain characters might gain a following that was never intended; in the BBC’s “Sherlock” the character of Molly Hooper was only intended for the Pilot. But fans loved her so much actress Louise Brealey became a regular.
So what you might think was a huge unanswered question (despite all evidence for it) might not had been that important in the writers’ minds. Life’s weird like that.
This same thing used to happen in Lost fairly frequently. The show design was so ambitious and large that they frequently abandoned storylines and did not explain things. I’m thinking here of the polar bear, for one example.
Here we have a much smaller collection of characters, and Dave has been thorough in keeping their stories afloat.
Didn’t they explain the polar bear? I thought it was part of some sort of teleportation experiment?
TV shows are also dynamic in other ways. What happens if the actor gets sick, or arrested, or fired? What happens when there’s a writers strike and you have to quickly wrap up a bunch of plotlines? Or the network orders 20 episodes, and then cuts it down to 13 when the ratings are lower than forcast?
I guess they explained everything when they said *SPOILER* everyone was dead from the start LOL *SPOILER*
I know what you’re talking about BV, although I can’t think of an example either. It’s bizarre.
On the annoying cliffhanger endings side, at least, the internet has plenty of examples! 😀
OOhh… that is smooth.. a discussion about cliffhangers… while posting the last episode of the year with.. guess what, a cliffhanger. Dave, you sneaky!
I don’t mean to spoil it for anyone but I know very well who is in that store… it’s Santa.
Wow… Santa with a gun! A Z apocalypse changes thing quite a bit in our world…