The Walking Dead is back and with that we finally get the conclusion of the
unsatisfying for thousands Season 6 finale. If you guys remember (which I’m sure you all do) Season 6 ended on the cliffhanger of cliffhangers: Who got smashed in the head by Lucille?
I discussed my feelings on the season 6 Walking Dead finale months ago and
still have blueballs when it happened and was totally blown away by the majority of the episode, the buildup was phenomenal and Jeffery Dean Morgan was killing it as Negan on his first appearance on the show. If you’re an avid reader of the comics like I am, then you know Negan was coming for a long time and he makes his debut in the comics in a big way by promptly killing off one of the series’ more popular characters Glenn.
The question on every comic reader’s mind was this: Were they going to stay true to the comics?
Yes and no.
The events as shown from the comics had a huge effect on Rick and the group and actually created a divide among the group that was not shown in the show because things happened quite differently. Negan’s appearance in the comics is much more abrupt. There’s no build up and no prior meeting between Rick’s group and the Saviors. The Saviors also don’t corner Rick’s group on multiple fronts. There’s a night time ambush from the Saviors where Negan then shows up, rounds the group together, executes Glenn, talks shit to Rick then leaves. That act alone is what breaks Rick and devastates Maggie enough to blame Rick for his lack of action during the act.
In the show however, we got swerved not once. But twice.
So let’s discuss the episode then get back to the differences between the comics and the show.
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes:
Goddamn, this man was just killing it with his acting this episode. The fear, the anger, the grief, the angst, everything this man had to project with very little words this episode was beyond fantastic and you could just feel it. He was definitely the highlight in this highly anticipated episode and I’m hoping for more of his superb acting as the season rolls along.
Jeffery Dean Morgan as Negan:
This guy is gonna be hated for years to come and for good reason with all the shit he’s done in the comics. You TV show only fans have no idea what’s coming. If you thought this was bad, wait for it, it gets worse. JDM isn’t as animated as Negan is in the comics but I think he does more than well enough. He’s intimidating, he’s stern and he’s easy to hate. That’s what you want from Negan and that’s what you’re gonna get this season.
Michael Cudlitz as Abraham Ford:
Dude’s performance was as small as ever in this episode but he had a giant moment as the first victim to fall to Lucille. Abraham was revealed as the person that was killed at the end of season 6 and he went out in style. Proclaiming “Suck my nuts” as he took the first shot from Negan then ultimately succumbing to get his head bashed in, I’m definitely gonna miss his weird ass quotes and that magnificent mustache of his. I have to admit I did not care too much when he got sacked. If you’re a comic reader, you would know, he gets offed with an arrow in the eye, a fate taken by Denise in the show so you know he was gonna get killed one way or another. I just felt that while this kind of death does suit a character like him, someone really important and emotionally critical to the show should take it like Daryl or Glenn. Little did I know, the actual true death was yet to come. Great performance from Mr. Cudlitz taking a hit from Negan and staying as defiant as ever.
Steven Yuen as Glenn:
Glenn Glenn Glenn. Damn boy. Sometime after Abraham gets killed by Negan, Daryl loses control of his emotions and decks Negan in the jaw. This provokes Negan to reiterate to the group that he does not let shit like that fly in which after getting the Saviors to hold Daryl down and put him back in line, he promptly knocks the fuck out of Glenn with Lucille then kills him about a minute afterwards (see the comic panels up above to see how it looked).
I’m gonna miss Glenn honestly but I was looking forward to this moment for awhile. His death is pretty pivotal and you’ll see and understand why once you stop crying.
Negan is here and he’s gonna turn shit upside down.
First 20 minutes lagged a little bit but that’s understandable considering we waited MONTHS for the conclusion to last season’s finale. We all wanted to know who got the bat immediately and rather than find out in the early part of the episode we find out after a quick fast forward after the killing. It was necessary for the way the episodes were structured but that doesn’t make it any less shitty.
I feel like I can finally come to grips with how the last season ended now. Leaving the finale on a cliffhanger honestly helped this episode an awful lot. I don’t think both episodes wouldn’t have had as big as an impact had they went ahead and killed Abraham last season then killed Glenn this season. The direction they went with last episode was nothing short of masterful and ending it with killing Abraham…..I feel would have been very underwhelming. As shitty as it was leaving the season on an ambiguous note, I feel like that would have been better than watching Abraham get slaughtered because let’s face it, there’s a few characters on Rick’s squad that would get a total rise out of us if they got killed and Abraham is not one of them. The way I look at it, there’s a few untouchables on the crew and they consist of Rick, Michonne, Carl and Maggie.
Personally I was hoping if anybody got killed this week, it would be Glenn or Daryl. Or both since we ended up getting two kills anyway. Killing 2 fan favorites in the same episode would have really solidified the thought process that ANYBODY on the show could get killed at any given time. Or maybe I’m just a really fucked up individual.
Anyway, I was beyond excited/surprised that they went ahead and killed two people much less still managing to kill Glenn in the exact manner he dies in the comic (eye popping and mouthing Maggie’s name and all). What they did differently from the comics in addition to that surprised me as well. Negan and Rick’s relationship.
When they first meet in the comics, what you see in last season’s finale is pretty much all we see.
Fuck you Glenn
You my bitch now Rick
Pretty straight forward. I mean he doesn’t threaten to sexually assault Carl or anything like that cause even that is pretty fucking gross for TV but you get the point.
They don’t have the RV scene that we see in the show that provides a much more intimate interaction between the two. Nor do we have the scene where Negan makes Rick cut off Carl’s arm before pulling back. Which was total TV gold by the way. The tension in that scene was beyond intense. I wasn’t quite sure what direction they were going with it and considering the deviations the show has taken with certain events and characters from the comics, seeing Carl with one arm and one eye was too far-fetched. At least for me anyway.
“I can’t believe the Cubs made the World Series”
“I saw that snot bubble Rick.”
Personally I loved it. It was a pretty key difference between the comics and tv show but it did well for giving Negan’s character some exposition in his first appearance on the show. Sure it ended up stretching his first appearance to two episodes with a long ass break between the two but I believe if this was Kirkman and Co. were going for from the very beginning instead of copying the comics beat for beat then I think this was a decent way to go for it. Would we all prefer to not have a months long break between the two episodes? Fuck yeah, but we can’t all have our cake and eat it too.
Personally, I was hoping for a total mindfuck of a season finale last year. Something along the lines of Negan killing Glenn just like the comics then the screen turning to black. Then you hear something along the lines of
“Oh you think I’m finished here?”
The screen turns back to the carnage of Glenn’s broken carcass and while everybody is still in utter shock over the sudden and utterly brutal murder of Glenn, Negan decides to off another person. Preferably Daryl.
Not that I hate him cause I actually do like him, he’s capable and what not but I feel his overwhelming popularity makes him immune to any kind of fucked up stuff that happens on the show and that’s kinda lame. Daryl’s not essential to the story in any way so I was thinking him getting killed by Negan would be a pretty huge statement that nobody on the crew is safe (eventhough I mentioned 4 other characters that if you read the comics, you would understand why they’re untouchable).
Oh yeah and because Rick ended up breaking relatively easily in the comics compared to the show, Maggie ended up beating him pretty savagely.
All things considering I enjoyed the premiere. I was a little underwhelmed by Abraham’s death but everything picked up right afterwards so I think the episode was really solid. There’s a lot of disagreement on AMC deciding to split the episodes the way they did and all of it is fair honestly. Who wants to wait months to see the conclusion of a really anticipated debut and really important event? Not many people if social media is any indication. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing what Jeffery Dean Morgan as Negan can bring to the table. Seeing a broken down Rick try to regain his bravado through the season should be a good journey to watch along with the rest of the crew attempting to adjust to the savagery of the Saviors ruling over them. Should be good television. Don’t fuck this up AMC.
So that’s my review on the Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere. What were your thoughts on it? Did you love it, did you hate it, did you think it was okay? Let me know in the comments.
Next movie I’m seeing and probably reviewing is Moonlight so keep an eye out for that.