Better start napping — your bedtime on Sunday nights is going to be later for the next few weeks — The Walking Dead is preparing more extended episodes.
In the past, The Walking Dead occasionally ran longer episodes when the story warranted it. This season, it looks like the show is making it a regular occurrence. It’s been revealed that two more upcoming episodes will run longer than the normal one-hour timeframe.
Running Down the Clock
The Season 6 finale, featuring the cliffhanger ending with Negan killing a member of the group, ran a full 90 minutes. Many fans were infuriated, though, when AMC used most of that extra time to run advertisements.
The Season 7 premiere, which concluded the cliffhanger, was only slightly longer than usual. The episode ended about six minutes past its usual timeframe, though it’s unclear how much of that extra time was devoted to commercials.
Episode 4, “Service,” which featured Negan and the Saviors’ first visit to Alexandria, was a full feature-length episode. It ran for 85 minutes. Some of that was surely devoted to additional commercials, but not quite as much as the Season 6 finale.
We now know that episode 6, “Swear,” had a runtime of 70 minutes — 10 minutes longer than normal. The synopsis read, “Someone stumbles upon a brand new society, and this society is unlike anything seen before.”
According to rumors before the episode ran, that “someone” was actually Tara and Heath. Neither character had been seen since they left on a supply run last season. Fans speculated that the “new society” could be the Whisperers, making a far earlier appearance than they did in the comic book. Showrunner Scott Gimple, shot that rumor down earlier.
Sing Me a Song
The next week, episode 7, “Sing Me a Song,” will be a full 90 minutes long. That makes it the longest episode since the Season 6 finale. The synopsis reads, “A deeper look at the Sanctuary and the world of the Saviors; members of Alexandria look for supplies.”
The title comes directly from a scene in the comics, making it easy to piece together this episode’s plot. In the comic book, Carl sneaks into a Savior truck and rides back into the Sanctuary. After mowing down a group of Saviors with a machine gun, Carl is confronted by Negan. He removes Carl’s eyepatch and demands that he sing him a song.
More Show or More Commercials?
There are certainly a lot of intense developments going on this season, which could warrant the longer episodes. In fact, “Service” was so nerve-wracking it was hard to notice the extra runtime. On the other hand, there’s always the fear that AMC is taking advantage of the show’s record ratings to shove in additional commercials. Time will tell.
What do you think? Do you like extended episodes of The Walking Dead?
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