The Walking Dead S:07 E:01

twd-s7

Episode Title: The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be
Original Airdate: 10-23-16

Last night was rough, y’all. I went into the Season 7 premiere with a ho-hum attitude, and an hour later felt as though someone had ripped my soul in half. A bit dramatic? Sure, but this episode did not let up, and by the end I was physically and emotionally drained.

We returned to our cliffhanger plot of Negan killing someone in Rick’s group of eleven possibilities, though from Negan’s last lines in the Season 6 finale, it was obvious his victim was neither Rick nor Carl. Well, we still didn’t find out for 20 minutes, as Rick swore to Negan he would kill him, eventually, and an angry Negan dragged Rick into the RV to go for a little drive into Walker infested fog. Negan threw Rick’s ax onto the roof of the RV and demanded Rick bring it back. While on top of the RV, Rick remembered the hell he just witnessed and we finally learned whom Negan beat to death…both of them.

His first victim was indeed Abraham, as many fans speculated over the grueling six month wait thanks to clues left by Kirkman and Gimple in the finale. It was sad to see Abraham go, but not surprising at this point. What happened next, no one was counting on. Negan said he’d only kill one of the Group as payment for killing so many of his people. With Abraham gone, it was easy to assume it was over. Then Daryl jumped up and punched Negan for what he’d done. Negan, impressed by Daryl’s reaction, did not punish Daryl outright, but instead tooks Lucille to an unsuspecting Glenn…

But it didn’t stop there. Once Negan took Rick back in the semi-circle of death, he tried to force Rick to chop off Carl’s arm to prevent his men from killing all of Rick’s people. Right as Rick was about to bring the ax down (after an intense few minutes of waiting and begging), Negan put a stop to it, so Carl didn’t end up one-eyed AND one-handed. Negan and his men drove off, taking Daryl as a hostage and promising to be at Alexandria’s gates in a week to collect their 50% Apocalypse Tax. The Group carried the bodies of their beloved to the truck to drive home for a proper burial, thoroughly broken.

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On the one hand, I have to praise the show for managing to stick to the source material and still surprise everyone. As stated above, Abraham’s death was generally expected at this point (or even a “lower tier” character), especially considering Denise “took” his death from the comic just two episodes prior. I assumed they would be saving Glenn, either for a later death or forever, instead of his comic death, so when Lucille made contact with his head, I audibly gasped. It was a well played maneuver that I appreciated and did not leave me feeling manipulated.

That being said, I feel this episode was too extreme in the intensity and violence. Between the two very explicit deaths and forcing Rick to (almost) cut off Carl’s arm, this episode bordered on torture porn, which is not something I’ve ever enjoyed watching. However, it was made far worse by the fact that I care deeply for these characters. I also feel I’ve watched too many things lately where characters are getting their heads bashed in, and that death makes me physically sick and sticks with me in the worst kind of way, so the timing of my viewing didn’t help. Plus watching the reactions of everyone who survived was another gut punch (or ten) piled on to a heap of emotional suffering.

As for our fallen brothers, there’s not much more I can add to fan-wide outcry, other than they will be missed. Abraham was a lovable, tough, crazy ginger with some fabulous quotable curses. I assume they had to get creative with “Mother Dick” and “Bitch Nuts” since most of his cursing from the comic wasn’t allowed. He was finally going to start planning his future with Sasha when he met his end, but he went down in the only way Abraham possibly could, with a defiant “Suck my nuts.”

And I pretty much already eulogized Glenn this time last year when we saw his fake-out death by the dumpster. His death hurts like no other has since I can’t remember. Maybe the worst for me so far. Not only was he one of the longest running characters, but everything he had going on in life was drastically changed by his death. And Maggie’s suffering just gets worse. Laugh all you want, but it’s almost like finding out an old friend died.

So now that we have a resolution to that awful cliffhanger, I don’t feel any better. It’s going to be a very dark season, and I’m not sure I’m prepared to handle it.

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5 thoughts on “The Walking Dead S:07 E:01

  1. I’ll say my piece and say I was kinda annoyed at them teasing who died for so long after one of the biggest cliffhangers in TV history, but I pretty much knew they wouldn’t give in that quickly. Plus, I guess it was a little clever the way they set it up.

    You know, after everything that happened in this episode, all of the gore, all of the death, all of the gut-wrenching emotional torture they were put through, the very ending was really what got me the most. Maggie’s last scene was just beautifully performed and incredibly sad. And somehow seeing that walker go up to what was left behind of, what I assume is Glenn, obviously about to eat the leftover pieces was just depressing.

    The scene with Carl was a close second, but I had a strong suspicion they wouldn’t do it. He just got cyclops’d, plus they’ve stated they don’t want to deal with the headache of having a main character with a severed arm. Effects and whatnot. Still, it was pretty damn intense. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is definitely doing a great job as Negan, that’s for sure. You can tell he’s having a ball with the role.

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For a majority of the episode, I thought Negan might “unhand” Rick, especially since he dragged Rick away carrying the ax right out of the gate. I’m glad they haven’t gone with chopping Rick’s hand off, BUT it’s one of the major missteps they had when they introduced the Governor. I had heard from the comic readers how awful he was, and when he actually showed up in S3, I found him a very weak villain. Of course, now that I’ve read the comic, I realize they really watered him down for tv. So, already knowing how terrifying Negan is, I felt cutting off Rick’s hand (or even Carl’s) would be fitting. It was already a surprising episode, so by that point, I wouldn’t put anything past the writers.

      I’m so conflicted about my feelings for Negan right now. He’s so horrible, but JDM is so good playing him that I kind of have to love him a little bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard from a few sources that the writers wanted to have the Governor chop Rick’s hand off but they decided against it because it would be a major pain in the ass in regards to practical and special effects. I’m pretty sure they already didn’t like dealing with that in Merle and he was only around for a handful of episodes. Having it be a permanent addition to a (or arguably the) main character would be too much for them.

        They were fine with Hershel’s amputated leg because it’s so easy to conceal, same with missing eyes, like with Carl, but a missing hand is a big pain. I too was disappointed in that decision, and I think they’ve missed every major opportunity to squeeze it in at this point. Doesn’t mean they won’t milk trying to foreshadow it as much as possible, though. Even hinting that they may pass off the physical trait to someone else (IE Carl)

        And you’re not alone in your feelings of Negan. If there’s one description I’ve frequently seen about Negan it’s that he’s a character you hate to love. No, that’s not backwards. He’s one of the more entertaining characters in the series, despite how horrible his actions are, so you end up hating that you love him not loving that you hate him like a lot of crazy antagonists. Both comic and TV Negan feel this way to me. I hope JDM only gets in tune with this role and the writers just roll with his flow.

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  2. I was expecting a long wait to find out who died – part of me was even expecting this to be an entire episode looking at Carol and Morgan’s storyline, or Tara, or maybe even a time jump, and we’d gradually see each of the characters who might’ve died going about their lives now, with a flashback right at the end, so I was more than OK with the 20 minute wait. I’m just very sad about the two characters who have left, because they were both big favourites of mine, but hey it opens up the roster for new or other characters to become new favourites, so we’ll see.

    I loved how much teasing there was throughout the entire episode about how Rick might lose a hand, just like in the books. Dragging Rick off with the axe, Negan talking about how important it is to have a right hand man, the amount of times he swung the axe into the RV table, once or twice I thought he’d already chopped the hand off just off-screen!

    I completely agree about the gore being waaaaay too much, especially when it came to Glenn’s beating. I can’t deal with eye trauma, so seeing his eye all but dangling from the socket made me want to gag, not helped by my watching it over breakfast. Still, I’m hoping this’ll get the gore quotient for the early part of the series out the way early on, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the characters go next. Nice write-up too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same with eye trauma! Between the Governor, Carl, Denise and now Glenn, I’m like ENOUGH ALREADY!!! The really ironic part is that I’m married to an eye surgeon, so of course he loves to see that kind of thing.

      I didn’t believe they’d be horrible enough to draw out the revelation of the victims another week, after angering so many of the fans with the cliffhanger. But having to wait for 1/3 of the show seemed their style, so I wasn’t surprised. I do like how they did it with Rick remembering it all. That was a much better choice than just picking up exactly where they left off.

      I’ll missed the deceased as well. It’s weird, but with this week’s episode focusing on Carol and Morgan (oblivious to what happened to their friends), it almost hasn’t completely sunk in yet.

      Like

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