Tag Archives: Negan

Spoilerific Review of Season 7 Premiere of The Walking Dead

 

landscape-1476100221-rick-negan-walking-dead-season-7After 6 months of speculation about who new The Walking Dead big bad Negan had chosen to kill after the creepiest game of “eeny meeny miney mo” ever, we finally got our answer Sunday night. Following a significant backlash from fans upset by the fact that Season 6 ended with no closure on who Negan’s victim was, producers promised that the fans’ patience would be rewarded with the premiere. Now that the show is back, can we really say that it was worth the wait?

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW! If you have not seen the episode yet and don’t want to know what happened, now is the time to turn back.

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You’ve been warned.

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I’m not kidding.

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Seeing as how that victim turned out to be Abraham (a character already dead in the comics by this point), and a second victim, Glenn (thanks to Daryl lashing out for Negan taunting Rosita with the bloody Lucille), was the character that got the business end of the bat in the original story, it would be easy to say “No, it wasn’t worth the wait.” But I would disagree. As I’ve written before, I felt like Glenn NEEDED to die here. It couldn’t just be someone that was expendable like Aaron or Sasha, or even fan favorite Daryl. It HAD to be Glenn. So I’m not upset with him being one of the 2 that met their bloody end Sunday night, nor do I feel like it was lazy on the writers’ part as I’ve seen some suggest.

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With Abraham also falling to Negan, it did give the story on the show a twist that fans of the comic wouldn’t see coming. I’m sure the writers also felt like this would give even more gravity to the episode. But, knowing what I know about how the story progresses from here and how it affects those left alive going forward, I can’t help but feel that having more than Glenn die here kind of cheapened the moment. You couldn’t really finish processing or mourning Abraham’s death before you’ve been shocked further by seeing Glenn get very brutally and graphically beaten to death as well. But it’s not something that bothered me so much that I was unhappy with the final product.

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We also got to see Rick finally reach his breaking point when after repeatedly failing to convince Negan that he was in fact “his”, Negan forces Rick to choose between cutting Carl’s arm off with his own hatchet or watch everyone die. A sobbing Rick picks up the hatchet only to have Negan stop him at the last second, knowing that Rick is completely broken and subservient to his will. Man was it uncomfortable to watch. Rick Grimes is the baddest of badasses. He is the one for 6 seasons that we’ve seen give out orders and kill those that he deemed a threat to his people with little to no accountability. Now he’s the one groveling on his knees to someone else. I’ve read from some fans that this was so upsetting to watch that they claimed if it stayed like this for very long, they’d quit watching the show. *Insert eye roll*

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First off, fans threaten to quit watching the show all the time for really dumb reasons…and yet they continue to watch. Second, let the story play out before you start going to that point. Let’s not be so quickly reactionary. Third, the writers are painting the picture that Negan is a legitimate threat. They need you to see that Rick and his band of survivors are vulnerable and outmanned. They need you to believe that our group may not be able to win. That’s good writing and villain development.

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It looks like next week is going to be solely about Morgan and Carol being brought into The Kingdom. We’ll hopefully be introduced to the leader of The Kingdom, King Ezekiel and his pet tiger (yes you read that right) Shiva. I. Can’t. Wait.

Who Negan Killed. And Why It Has to Be Glenn.

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“You can breathe. You can blink. You can cry. Hell, you’re all gonna be doin’ that.” With those words season 6 of The Walking Dead came to a violent close. Seeing the bat come down from the unfortunate soul’s point of view was a decision that intrigued some (like me) but infuriated most. But regardless, it had us all talking. We’re still two months away from finding who got the business end of Lucille, and the speculation is running wild about who Negan’s victim was.

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As fans of  AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama are known to be rather passionate, everyone seems to have an opinion as to who it was. I’ve heard from some disgruntled fans that feel like it was some minor character like Aaron (sorry Ross Marquand, I love your work, but Aaron could disappear from the show and I don’t think most people would notice). Others believe it will be fan favorite Daryl or our favorite wordsmith Abraham. I’ve also heard from some that think it’s sickly mother-to-be Maggie. But there are others, like myself, that believe it’s Glenn. I would go as far as to say that I would all but guarantee that it’s Glenn.

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Why the certainty? Several reasons.

The easiest and most obvious answer: he’s the one that dies here in the comics. Yes, I know that Scott Gimple and company play pretty loose with the story from the comic books on a regular basis. However, from the end of season 5 throughout season 6, the stories have lined up very closely. Pete’s demise, the herd breaking through the walls at Alexandria, Carl losing his eye, and Jessie’s death are all events straight from the comic with very little deviation. Of course that means nothing when it comes to this situation, at least on its own.

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When you pair that with the reprecussions of Glenn’s death in the comics, it really seals that is needs to be him. This is a moment in the comic that launches the story forward. Everyone is affected. Glenn getting bludgeoned to death wasn’t just for shock value (though there was plenty of it). It was a milestone in the series. It fed so many other threads…created so many plot lines…changed so many relationships. Not to mention it established Negan as THE big bad.

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Think about it from the show’s perspective. If Glenn dies, Rick has lost his oldest friend in the apocalypse, and the man that helped reunite him with his wife and son. Maggie loses her husband and the father of her unborn child. Also how will Maggie’s relationship with Rick change knowing that is was his hubris that led them to this point? Also will she blame herself for negotiating the deal with Gregory to take out the Saviors? Daryl loses a close friend, and some one that helped him overcome his own prejudices. Abraham would see up close what can happen in an instant in that world to someone you care about…after just starting to consider wanting to start a family with Sasha. Would he want to leave her in the same situation that Maggie would be in? The group as a whole would also lose their moral compass yet again (RIP Dale and Hershel). That’s heavy stuff. And much better story arcs than just about anyone else’s death could provide.

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Now let’s look at this from a technical standpoint. Very seldom on the show have we ever seen things from a particular character’s point of view. Yet, the finale opened with, and after every commercial break, returned to what turned out to be a character’s vantage point inside the van where Glenn, Daryl, Rosita, and Sasha were being held. If you look closely the view is from the very back of the van. Meaning it would have to be the person that gets out last. That would be Glenn. So if we hold to the idea that the POV shots were consistent throughout the episode, then Glenn’s view opened and closed it. It has to be Glenn.

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I love Glenn. As a fan, I don’t want it to be him. I would hate to see him go. But I just feel like all evidence points to his violent and bloody end. Am I right? We’ll find out in October.

In Defense of The Walking Dead Finale

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I know that this may seem a bit late to the party, but I wanted to let heads cool on the situation before commenting. After the final seconds of Season 6 of The Walking Dead (for my money, the best season of the series so far), the fan outrage was at DEFCON 1-level insane. Watching the debuting big bad Negan pick one of Rick’s group at random to kill, only to have it turn to a first person view of the victim as he’s about to deal out the bludgeoning sent fans into a fury. How dare they not show us who died! How dare they leave us hanging!

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But was it really that bad or even the wrong decision? I personally don’t think it was. Now before you start losing your collective sh*t all over again, hear me out. Do I wish that we knew who got acquainted with Lucille? Absolutely I do. But I also understand that the producers of The Walking Dead aren’t being paid to offer us instant gratification. Their job is to build a product that people want to consume (zombie pun intended) and come back to watch next time. And that’s what they’ve given us for the last 6 years. Have there been hiccups along the way? Sure. Large chunks of the first half of Season 2 and the back half of Season 3 are testaments to that. But overall they have delivered us what I still consider the best show on television. I fully believe that what they gave us in the Season 6 finale is in-line with that.

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The build-up to Negan’s appearance was incredibly well done. The tension of Rick’s group being outwitted turn after turn was something we’ve never seen on TWD. Our merry band of survivors have been shown to work like a well-oiled machine and are great strategists. But not this time. With every blocked route, you could feel the noose getting tighter around their necks. And just when they thought that they had their spot to slip out, the rug gets pulled out from under them and it is revealed that all they’ve done is play right into the Saviors’ hands. The demoralizing of Rick was apparent.

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And that, to me, is why this scene worked so well. Negan self-aggrandizing and threatening was truly something magical to behold. Jeffrey Dean Morgan played his part to perfection. I felt like I was seeing the Negan of the comics come to life. His performance alone would have made this episode special, but it wasn’t just about him. Nor was this episode about who Negan killed. It was about the fact that he was going to kill someone, and there was nothing Rick could do about it. It was about seeing Rick break. His kingdom crumbling before his very eyes at the hands of someone more cunning, more powerful, and certainly more dangerous. It was brilliant television. Let that be the lasting memory of that episode instead of the lack of confirmation on who’s head was bashed in by Negan.

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Now again, I totally wish we had seen who it was. And I have a pretty strong belief that I know who it is…but that is a topic for another day. But the makers of the show didn’t give us that. They wanted us to think about it for the next six months. They wanted us to talk about it for the next six months. They wanted us to debate it for the next six months. And you know what? They got exactly what they wanted. We were Rick to their Negan. We were their puppets and they were pulling our strings. But I for one am not upset by that at all.

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