The Walking Dead E701: Home Run
The premiere episode of The Walking Dead’s seventh season had a lot of expectations to live up to. After the infamous Troll-gate of 2016 – also know as the finale of season six – I was fully prepared to continue hate-watching this show as I’ve done for the last year. Up until this season, I was convinced that this show should end sooner than later; but Negan’s introduction brought a much needed change to the status quo. If the momentum carries through to the end, this could be one of the better seasons since season four.
Chronologically, this episode jumped around a bit, which helped to build a certain level of suspense. Little things like seeing the blood on the side of Rick’s face was enough to keep me guessing about who was or wasn’t on the receiving end of that beatdown. It wasn’t long before Rick was taken on a road trip with Negan to talk about stuff but mostly things. Like how Negan is the Big Bad and Rick ain’t shit. As a character, Negan isn’t a particularly scary dude, but the vast network of supporters he has makes up for that. It doesn’t matter how badass our crew is because Negan has an amy who embraces his totalitarian ways. It’s entirely plausible that if his downfall should come this season, it could start with that very foundation falling a apart.
It’s not long before the victim(s) of Negan’s attack are revealed in this episode. After months of speculation, we were blessed with not one but two deaths for all our troubles. Abraham was the first to go but honestly he’s not really someone I’ll miss. However, Daryl chooses to act a damn fool by punching Negan, thus costing Glenn his life and making Maggie a widow. Now, I don’t particularly care about Glenn either, and after that fake out last year, his death was a long time coming. But seeing him die like that made me more annoyed that it wasn’t Daryl, mainly because his character is nothing more than eye candy for most viewers at this point. In my honest opinion, Merle would’ve been the Dixon brother to keep around in terms of character development but I’m sure Daryl’s end will come at some point.
I also find it necessary to give a well deserved shout out to Maggie Greene for remaining flawless even when she looks like she was just dragged across several seasons of bullshit. Even after this horrific experience, she still finds the strength to say: “Nah, fuck this. Ya’ll know we going to war, right?” followed by a few scenes of everyone mourning their losses. It was very touching and I’m pretty sure there was montage as well.
“Nah, fuck this. Ya’ll know we going to war, right?” – Maggie
This episode managed to emphasize what worked so good about having a central villain for the survivors to rally against. The Governor’s destruction of the prison in season four caused the group to split up into squads, which provided insight into characters and allowed us to see how they react with others. Thanks to one of those pairings, Sasha and Maggie were able to form a legitimate bond. The writers have gone out of the way to show that these two have been a rock of sorts for each other. It was Maggie who got through to Sasha at the end of season five when her PTSD was becoming a major problem for the group and their safety (almost leading her to kill Father Gabriel which may or not have been the worst thing to happen). Now after Glenn and Abrahams deaths, it’s fitting that Sasha would be the one to “protect “ Maggie. They both lost their siblings around the same time and now they’ve both just witnessed their partners murdered before their eyes. I believe that these two will have a crucial role in Negan’s demise and if they don’t, then it’ll be a missed opportunity by the writers.
My only complaint with this episode is that Abraham should probably have died in last season’s finale while saving Glenn as a surprise. Regardless, their deaths will surely play a pivotal role going forward for many of the characters.
Basically, The Walking Dead is back in the best way possible: the start of a new era.