Where do I begin? I am truly excited that The Walking Dead is back. This is easily my favourite show on television for many reasons. The sets are so organic, it is fantastically shot, the scripting is top notch and I LOVE the characters. That is why this was so devastating.
There will be SPOILERS within this post. But first I want to rewind a little to the end of season 6. We were all left hanging back in April when Negan had a crack at one of Rick’s group. The internet imploded (as you might have noticed), and the feedback wasn’t all good.
Personally, I loved it. To end a show with a key death is always shocking but at the same time expected. What Scott M. Gimple and Matthew Negrete did with this finale was not try to keep people watching for ratings… but twist the show in a way unimaginable.
By taking the expected blow everybody was waiting for and prolonging it was daring. What they did was test their audience, test their cast and crew and do something completely different. I have been waiting anxiously since season 6 ended, the next episode was on my ‘up next’ in my calendar since the air date was announced. Today felt like Christmas to be honest.
Although, right now? I feel like I was dragged away from Christmas kicking and screaming, and thrown back on the door step at the very end. The season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead was devastating. And as happy as I am that it is back, truly happy… I did not enjoy that episode one bit.
Don’t get me wrong. It was fantastic! It certainly delivered. Firstly let me say I was under the impression Daryl had killed.
“Simon’s my right-hand man. Having one of those is important. I mean, what do you have left without them? A whole lot of work. You have one? Maybe one of these fine people still breathing? Oh, or did I…”
Rick’s right hand man, and one of the men kneeling to his right in this scene. Daryl Dixon is my favourite (like many people’s), and this would be the first moment I felt sick. Like, really! By the end of this episode my head was killing from all of the stress and anxiety, I couldn’t take it.
THIS is what I love about this show! It is a drama, and so we get stupidly realistic performances and characters you believe and care for like they actually are real. I didn’t like hearing and reading negativity toward the way season 6 ended. No, there wasn’t action in the finale. It was a tense 90 minutes of sitting on the edge of the sofa, sweating. If you want endless action and a death then watch a superhero show and go away. This is a drama. And sorry… didn’t people go nuts for a whole episode of Breaking Bad involving the main characters chasing down a fly? Point proven moving on.
Suck My Nuts
Comic relief is the only thing keeping both the characters and audience sane I feel. Abraham was easily the source of this and the strength and valour of the whole group. I was not expecting Abraham. I was shocked and gutted of course, but I think that because of how desperate and ready to cry I was at the thought Daryl could be it, I was mostly relieved. Awful, ain’t I?
In true fashion, he stood his ground and went down like a god damn hero. The scripting here was tremendous. A simple line;
“Suck… my… nuts”
It gave me butterflies. But if you think (or look) back, Abraham was also sat up right a little higher than everybody else. Reading into this maybe, but he did not seem to be backing down, or even bowing down to Negan. In doing so you might say that Abraham knew someone had to die, and he was standing up to say “take me”.
We only know one death at this point. I stopped sweating, relaxed a bit, checked my pulse… I thought; “hey, it’s done. Let’s get into this series”. Stupid, stupid STUPID! Did I learn nothing from John Cleese’s 6 season round up!?
Negan seems strangely switched on and steady headed. He knows what he is doing is devastating and down right screwed up for Rick and his group. He admits it. And in front of his son!? Yikes. (Yikes?)
All of this is only a test to shake Rick up. He wants to take control of the man who has taken on everything thrown at him and survived. So he takes him on a ride in the RV. The next part of the initiation if you will. This was a tasteful way to reveal everything to the audience.
We witness Rick looking back over what happened, desperately trying to comprehend it. We see him break once more, more so than ever before. After the “big reveal” I felt Rick might hold it together. Abraham wasn’t his closest member of the group (as cruel as this sounds). It could have been Carl at the end of the day, or Michonne… or the first person he met in this fucked up world.
I Will Find You
I thought we were done. I really believed the worst was over. Negan is just taunting the group when he suddenly takes his next crack right over Glenn’s head. Now, I was so stunned and holding my stomach at this point that I missed his last words.
Weirdly though (people will hate me for this one), I was able to accept it. Firstly, I fell for it before. I thought Glenn had already died. At first I thought “don’t do this to me again!” but very quickly I was able to collect myself and see the impact this was going to have on the show.
Glenn was the best person to die. I really liked him of course but what this death does now, at this point, is turn everything upside down. Maggie has lost the last family she has (other than an unborn child) and is about to head down a path that only rage and revenge will take the lead on. This could be her moment to take charge and become the new Rick (who is done).
This death will stain Daryl’s mind and conscious for as long as he survives. Without his retaliation Negan may well have settled with his initial taking. He will pay in dues I’m sure and this scares me the most right now. Daryl could well be in for a sticky end yet.
Like Abraham, Glenn died perfectly. Firstly I need to state what a fantastic performance Steven Yeun put in. He forced out those words;
“I will find you”
And even in dying he only thought of her. His death has shaped the rest of the series. Not only the seventh, but I feel this will resonate throughout the show until it’s end.
Like Father, Like Son
A quick mention to Chandler Riggs. This kid is a great talent, and his character is a ballsy little bastard as well. When Carl is told to step forward it is clear Rick is finally going to be made to make a choice. The group, or his son.
I couldn’t take anymore at this point and my head was in my hands. I mean… I still watched. Rick is NOW broken like never before, but it is Carl who keeps a cool head and shows his father that he understands what must be done to save everybody else.
Naturally I feared the worst. But I’m torn. Carl losing his arm or Daryl being taken… I know which I would chose.
Where Do We Go From Here?
It isn’t too often you can’t see where the story might be leading. For readers of the comics, that won’t be an issue (no. 100). I can only speak for myself when I say this show feels like it took a giant turn and it will never be the same.
Everything has changed, and in starting the series with such a significant death shows that the story starting from that key event is entirely new. That is why we had to wait. That is why Glenn’s death isn’t the end of the show for me (I know it may be for others)… and that is why I will continue to watch the Walking Dead.
I did not enjoy watching the Series 7 premiere. But I am SO happy the show is back. I can’t wait for episode 2!
P.S. I am moving to a new domain. All of my old content will be found there along with new posts starting in November. This goes out to those who subscribe, I hope you can continue to enjoy my content and thank you for following me this far. Updates will follow.