Last night’s season 7 premiere has arguably been the most anticipated season premiere of the show’s history. Season 6 left us with what was also arguably the worst cliffhanger in television history. We’ve waited months to find out who met Lucille, and last night we found out, and to our surprise, not just one, but two of our beloved characters were axed by Lucille.
As a writer for this site, I will try my best to break down last night’s episode for you, but I find it very difficult to process what just happened. Obviously, I’m a massive fan of the show. I write for this site as much as I am able, to connect with fans and provide my two cents on the Walking Dead universe. As a fan, this episode was extremely tough.
We all knew going into this that at least one of our group members was going to die. That much we knew. Comic readers speculated Glenn, as that’s who was axed in the comics. I myself was extremely adamant on it being Glenn, because of how iconic the moment was in the comics. Steven Yeun himself said so himself in the Talking Dead after the premiere, stating that Glenn’s death was so iconic in the comics and he told the writers to keep that in the show.
So, when Negan goes down the line with the signature “Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo” and he doesn’t get to Glenn, I was a little shocked. Abraham was also my favorite character, so petrified better describes my shock.
Before we can even process what happens to Abraham, we find ourselves witnessing Glenn’s comic booth death. The dialogue from Negan and Glenn’s last attempt to tell Maggie “I love you” seemed to match panel for panel what comic book readers witnessed in issue 100.
This episode was not only mercilessly brutal, but psychologically and emotional it was brutal. We’ve never seen our group so helpless. We’ve seen them over the course of 6 seasons turn into bad ass leaders who take control of any situation, and they prevail. And now we see them completely helpless, without escape, at their absolute weakest points. Watching Negan play mind games with Rick was a massive part of this episode. Killing of two of his men and then making abundantly clear that he is charge, and Rick is essentially his errand boy. And if that wasn’t enough, we see Negan forcefully take Carl down, and witness Rick is complete desperation. The ultimatum to cut off his arm was gut wrenching. Rick pleading for help, screaming, snot running down his face. We’ve never seem him this vulnerable.
Breaking down this episode is difficult, because without a doubt, this episode was the most brutal and violent to date. Glenn’s eye bulging from his skull after the first hit, Abraham’s body lying on the ground, a puddle of meat from the shoulders up. It was graphic, and normally we would bat an eye at this level of violence, but these were our people, and Glenn’s death is a huge loss, because he’s been there since the very first episode. It’s difficult to find words to really convey how I, and I’m sure other viewers felt in that moment, but a majority are devastated and still processing the loss.
And it is a loss. How you’re feeling as a fan is valid. Just because this is a television show, it doesn’t make your emotions, feelings, and reactions to these deaths any less valid. If you’re like me, you’ve connected with these characters over the course of six years, and you’ve developed real, palpable relationships with them.
So as fans, where do we go from here? Comic readers know the complete 180 this show and everyone in it is about to do, but how do we cope with these loses and move forward with our characters? I will definitely be going into future episode a more fragile, and cautious viewer. Instead of screaming “FINISH HIM” every time Rick encounters a problem, I’ll probably saying something along the lines of “Please don’t. Think of the repercussions.” Our people no longer have room to be relentless and take risks, and us as viewers probably don’t have the capacity for that kind of stress.
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