Zombie Round-Up: The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be
Wow. Just wow. Hopefully we’ve all gotten the therapy we needed after this week’s Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead. I know I needed to get some tears out, and The Talking Dead really is a good way to process the horrors that sometimes overwhelm us on this show (so check it out if you haven’t already). But it feels good to be back in the writing seat, and it feels good to get this all out to share and discuss with you Evil Geeks. Spoilers galore to follow as I give you my take on the episode and what I am hoping for from the show.
First: the episode. Who did Negan kill? Who took it like a champ?! Who will we never get to see again on the show, lost from our lives forever?!?! Another question I had was whether or not they would actually show us? I mean, in the past the show has been known for making you wait 3-4 weeks before major deaths or outcomes are revealed. Well they didn’t disappoint, and we know who is lost from the opening credits but never from our hearts.
The big spoiler: we lost not one, but two of our beloveds. Abraham was the first to die at the hand of Negan’s lover bat Lucille. And then just when we thought the worst was over staring at Abraham’s headless corpse on the ground, Daryl decided to go all badass and punch Negan in the face. Negan decided that’s just not going to work, but rather than punish Daryl he made his point so much more clear in the most heartbreaking way ever: he killed Glenn. This was expected for those of us that have read the comics as that is how Glenn meets his end in that version of TWD universe. Frankly, I thought he was the most likely to get it as well, so I should have been prepared, but it still hurt so much. Why? So many reasons.
The makeup artistry was phenomenal and horrifying at the same time. Glenn still sat up after popping his eyeball out and taking two direct hits from Lucille, having enough strength to tell Maggie that “he will find her”, which pulls at the heart strings to say the least. And the toughest part for me was how realistic the action was- no, a baseball bat covered with barb wire won’t kill someone or bash their head in immediately, but after over two dozen pummels there probably won’t be anything left. The most gut turning and difficult part for me was after it was all done, and all there really was left were two headless, macerated corpses.
What more is there to say about this episode? A lot. First: Negan. Where to start. This guy is something special. His acting is so spot on, never once letting his sparkling white smile falter. His breaking of people is so calculated. He knew that punishing Daryl for lashing out at him would be too easy. Instead, make the rest of the crew and Daryl suffer as he lays out his punishment in killing another. Then his breaking of Rick was so well done. It was nice that Rick got to let out some steam away from the crew with some walkers, but ultimately Negan forcing Rick to chop off his son’s arm, and then at the last minute sparing Carl realizing it might break Rick too much, worked like a charm. He’s not quite Heath Ledger Joker status, he doesn’t want to watch the world burn, but he feeds off of power and making others suffer. He acts immune to death, and with the amount of followers and obedience he gets you can’t blame him. In a lot of ways I find him much more complicated and interested than The Governor, and especially the people of Terminus or other past villains on the show. I am hoping that the show delves in to his past in future episodes. It’s so hard to think about how he came to power and equally hard to believe that he has so many followers, but then again there are a lot of deplorables in this country (yes, I went there, be glad I didn’t write worse). There’s a lot of potential back story this show could dish out, and I’m certainly curious about what will happen with it. Plus whenever he hopefully does get it, that revenge will be so much more satisfying than The Governor, Shane, and all the other bad guys from this show combined.
The action packed scene of Rick suffering through his loss while being bossed around by Negan was quite well done too. They never seem to fail with ways to create more walker gore. This week a walker’s neck stretched and broke from a noose while Rick held on for dear life.
There’s naturally been a lot of talk about this episode in the media this week. It was probably the most violent and heart breaking one yet, especially for those of us that have been with Glenn from episode one. And TWD has gotten a lot of hate for it too. I’ve seen lots of posts from friends like “I think I might have to stop watching TWD after this” or “They’ve gone too far, it’s worse than GoT!” I’ve seen reviews saying things like “How does TWD save themselves after this self-destruction?” or “Was this TWD’s premiere too brutal?” Maybe surprisingly, my answer is no. And coming from someone that quit GoT over two seasons ago cause it was too violent, sexist, and death-filled I think that says a lot.
Why do I think this show is still so much more powerful and meaningful than GoT even though they brutally murdered my favorite character this week? The last five minutes of the episode sums it up. I could go on and on about why I hate George R. R. Martin and why I think GoT is senselessly cold and cruel, but I won’t. Instead I will let TWD characters show you why they are better. There they are, Negan and his crew driving away and telling them what is expected of them in the future, with their best friends/lovers/family members’ bodies between them, when they get up and help each other. Maggie is naturally distraught, but steps up and tries to take some leadership. But what was even more important is that her friends don’t let her. They are all devastated and broken at this point, but they realize the most important thing they can do is try to stay close as a family. They are the good people after all, and they’re trying to find solace and comfort in staying that way. They take their bodies with them to bury, they comfort each other, they try to help each other cope. It’s a horrible thing that this post-apocalyptic world is so cruel and heart breaking, but it’s pretty darn accurate, and I am gonna go on loving these people if they keep on trying to make things right in this f-ed up world. It might seem like Glenn and Abraham died unnecessarily, but I think it brings home the point that there are horrible people in our world and even worse in theirs, yet it doesn’t mean people have to give up on it and their friends. Glenn certainly wouldn’t want us to.
Now on a lighter note, I want to throw some fun filled trivia out there for the real geeks—special geek cred to the first Evil Geek that comments the answer WITHOUT looking up the answer on the web…which TWD character has already starred as a zombie once before, but in the Whedonverse?
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