The Walking Dead
S7 Ep. 1
THIS PROGRAM CONTAINS VIOLENT CONTENT WHICH MAY BE TOO INTENSE FOR SOME VIEWERS.
VIEWER AND PARENTAL DISCRETION ARE ADVISED
Yeah, no kidding!
The massively anticipated premiere of Season 7 was this past Sunday evening and I think it’s safe to say that all of the talk about it striking at our emotional core was not a lie. We had left Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Co. at the mercy of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his group of Saviors out in the woods awaiting his decision of who would be sacrificed for the lives of his fallen men. Or as we came to find out instead—whom. As much as the creative team tried to keep a lid on it the rumors were out there that not one but TWO of our beloved zombie apocalypse survivors would meet their end at the end of Lucille.
Director Greg Nicotero in true form didn’t rush it though. Even though we’ve been waiting all these long months, discussing and predicting who would not be returning to Alexandria, he brought some fun tension to make us wait just a little bit longer. Instead choosing to do a small time hop and jump ahead to Negan taking Rick out to a zombie infested area and showing him who is now in charge. But as to not leave us hanging too much Nicotero uses flashbacks in Rick’s mind to show how even though he is surrounded by a literal swarm of “walkers” his mind CAN NOT escape the friends he has just lost. If given the option I can’t help wonder how many hours if not an entire day that he would’ve stayed laying on the roof of the RV.
So after it’s been about 30 mins of TV and your nerves are properly frazzled the action finally reverts back to Rick’s POV of everyone sitting on their knees and awaiting their fate. Negan starts out with his “Eeny, Meeny” song and as your heart beats faster with the editing quickly cutting from character to character there is then that dead calm when he stops and is standing there looking decisively at Abraham (Michael Cudlitz). I don’t how many predicted it but I personally called it simply based on the fact that I knew he hadn’t made it this far in the comic book. All the same he was one of my favorite characters and seeing the swift thunder of Lucille come down on his skull was in no way a satisfying victory to watch.
The grimacing sound effects mixed with the tearful faces is just enough to put a pit in your stomach. We knew it was coming, but it’s still hard to watch. And just when we thought we could hang our heads in mourning Daryl (Norman Reedus) loses his cool and punches Negan in the face. And dammit we know what’s coming now. I think at this point if you didn’t already have Abraham as your pick you had Glenn (Steven Yeun). Which to see him look at his love Maggie (Lauren Cohan) with his head bleeding and knowing this is the end for his character has to be one if not the most painful deaths in the series (Hershel’s is definitely up there). The brutality behind the fact that not only did Nicotero/Kirkman/Gimple decide to kill two characters but the extent of beating their heads to the point where they was nothing more than red pie filling just leaves you empty inside.
In wrapping this up two things came to mind in watching this episode. One, Negan is a nasty, unapologetic, and dominant force. The way he goes about running his crew and dealing out his own brand of consequences on others is scary considering the man seems to think everything he does is justified. Even though we’ve only been given a small sample Negan has the potential to become one of the biggest villains in television history. Two, not to say that only he deserves it but if academy voters can watch this episode of TV and NOT somehow see how Andrew Lincoln is overdue for some nominations after this season I not only throw my hands up but shake my head in despair. Much like this group looked sitting on the ground after Negan left them to find their way back home.
Can’t wait to see where this season goes!!!