IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED EPISODE 1 OF SEASON 7 OF WALKING DEAD.
->DO NOT READ ON<-
Now that the initial shock has subsided and the forewarning on this post about plot spoilers has been heeded, I think it’s a good moment to talk about the beginning of the first episode of Season 7 of The Walking Dead seeing as most of the world would have viewed it by now to avoid the dreaded perils of Internet spoilers.
At the end of last season, I wasn’t happy. Being someone who knows full well how things pan out in the comic and how gut wrenching it would be to see in the show, the show runners pulled the dick/genius move of making us wait 6 months to find out who was on the wrong end of Lucille. It was a move that a lot of Walking Dead fans were unhappy about as the ending to the season was so filled with tension and dread of that moment, to have that stay with you for 6 months felt a little too much and more than a little cheap to dupe the fans of their golden cliffhanger moment.
Fast forward to today and we see who was on the end of that Louisville slugger. It was Abraham, taking it like a champ and going out like a bad ass, telling Negan to “Suck his nuts”. It was pretty hairy and gnarly but a lot of the Walking Dead fans probably breathed a sigh of relief for their dear Daryl. Only problem is, they forgot about Glenn.
Glenn was part of a midsession switcharoo “death” last season leaving many fans to believe he was safe again. Oh, how wrong could we be. Glenn also met his end at the hands of Negan, minutes after Abe, in what has to be one of the most upsetting, brutal and unapologetic deaths of a main character this far in the show. Yes, I am completely aware of how ole Glenn buys the farm in the books, I just didn’t think that they would literally do it exactly as in the book. I was sure that would be just too violent an end for such a loved character in respects to the show, what’s acceptable in the medium of comic books may not necessarily be on TV, I felt they may baulk at going so far. But go the whole hog, panel for panel they did, but making us wait 6 months for this moment, then making us think it wasn’t going to happen only to take out two loved characters at once almost felt cruel and gratuitous, not just in its delivery. The exit of a main character hasn’t been this upsetting since everyone’s favourite one legged, spaghetti loving Grandpa, Hershall Greene, lost his head back in the clouds and candy floss days of season 4.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some ‘I’m disgusted, I’m never watching this show again” post, I have no problem with the content of the episode whatsoever, it is totally in keeping with the source material, I’m more bothered by its rather cynical execution, pardon the pun. I am as invested in this show and its characters as much as I was 6 years ago but had these events happened at the end of season 6, I think we’d all still be shocked but also would have had more time to process what happened and spent 6 months thinking ‘Negan has to pay!’. Jeffery Dean Morgan is an inspired choice for Negan and is utterly terrifying in the scene in question, it is going to be awesome to see him join the cast as chief antagonist. In one episode he has already given The Governor a run for his money as the most hated character in the shows history, in the best way possible.
Suffice to say, I think all bets are off now with what the show runners will & won’t do, there really aren’t that many violent taboo’s they have left to break, even going so far last season as to show the violent death of a child, I mean he was quite irritating but come on?! Bit strong. Shock factor aside, They certainly don’t seem to be running out of ways to ensure their faithful followers return each season. I just hope they listen to their fans and they don’t resort to cheap measures like they did with the season 6 cliffhanger again.