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TV Review: The Walking Dead 7.1 “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”
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The Walking Dead 7.1 Negan and Rick

The Walking Dead
Episode 7.1 “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Scott M. Gimple
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Michael Cudlitz, Lennie James, Christian Serratos, Sonequa Martin-Green, Josh McDermitt
AMC
Air Date: October 23, 2016

Warning – SPOILERS for AMC’s The Walking Dead…

It was nearly 7 months ago when we got the Season 6 finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead, and it was an excruciatingly long wait, considering that we were left with a cliffhanger of terrifying proportions. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was introduced as the villainous Negan, a leather jacket-clad, well-spoken madman who wields a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat named Lucille that he uses to bash people’s heads in. Rick and his crew had run afoul with Negan’s soldiers after they raided what they thought was his main compound in a preemptive attack. Turns out, that was just an outpost.

Meanwhile, Morgan was off looking for Carol, who left the Alexandria Safe Zone because she couldn’t bare to kill anymore, even though she was obviously very good at it. He eventually found her hiding and injured, but she refused to return with him. Instead, she ran off again only to be found by one of the Saviors from the group she slaughtered (in her defense, they attacked her first), who then shoots her. Thankfully, it was Morgan to the rescue again. Right after Morgan kills the attacking Savior, two other men wearing homemade armor arrive, one of whom is on horseback. Morgan tells them that Carol is injured and needs help, and one of the men say, “Then let’s get you some help” and shakes Morgan’s hand — a symbol of hope in this desperate world.

But hope seems lost for Rick and his crew, who were seen at the end of Season 6 lined up in front of Negan, who played “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” pointing Lucille at each person before he settled on one of them to kill. Lucille then went up and came down on someone, and we saw blood splatter onto the camera lens. “Look at you taking it like a champ,” Negan told his victim, before he brought Lucille down on them several more times. One of the 11 people from the Safe Zone was murdered on the spot.

So, it’s been all these months for fans having to speculate who Negan killed, and tonight, we finally learn the horrifying truth.

Episode 7.1 “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” begins just after the kill, with Negan talking to Rick, who’s in shock at what just happened, and taunting him. I feel like I don’t even need to give a real recap of the episode, because all you need to know is 1) who died, and 2) that Negan taunted and tormented Rick the whole time in an effort to break him. Negan can tell that Rick was used to being the head honcho, used to getting his way, used to being the leader, and winning. “You were used to being King Shit for so long,” Negan says, figuring that Rick was even addicted to the feeling of having everyone look up to him and follow him. But, as Negan says, that’s over now, and he needs to really know that Rick knows that, too.

Before who was killed is revealed, we first have to sit through Negan throwing Rick around, taunting him with an ax, driving him away in the RV, and then tossing the ax into a crowd of walkers, ordering Rick to go fetch it for him. At this point, Rick is STILL in shock, and can barely move or speak. When Negan tosses Rick into the walkers, Rick does fight them. There’s smoke everywhere and we see that Negan brought him back to where the Savior with the X on his chest from last season was hanged to send a message to him.

Through Rick’s memories and point of view, we see that Abraham was the person who lost that game of “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” When Negan hits him the first time, Abraham doesn’t fold, and even tells his attacker, “Eat my nuts.” Then Negan goes on to bash his brains in, killing him in front of everyone. The group is obviously in shock, but it’s Daryl who jumps up first hit Negan. Surprisingly, he’s not killed for this — but someone has to pay the price for this, since Negan did warn them that they are to fall in line. That’s when he swings bloody Lucille into Glenn’s head (just like he did in the comic book). He hits Glenn so hard that his eyeball bulges out, yet he’s still struggling to speak. “Maggie,” Glenn says, “I’ll find you.” But Negan keeps bashing his head in, killing him, too.

So now 2 of the 11 people in Rick’s group are dead. But it doesn’t end there. As Rick is fighting the walkers to get the ax back, Negan keeps warning him, telling him to “think about what could have happened, what did happen, and what could still happen.” This is when, as Rick fights each walker, he sees in his mind each of the other 8 people getting their heads bashed in with Lucille. He knows now that this is a possibility. All the time, Negan is telling him to bring the ax back, and at one point even shoots the top of the trailer where Rick is lying. Rick jumps onto the hanged walker, but then is saved by Negan. While this is happening, Negan warns him, saying “Think about what can still happen.”

I want to point out that at this time, it’s NOT clear that this is just in Rick’s mind, so it seems as though Negan has killed off everyone else, too. That was crazy!!!

Negan now takes Rick back to the others, where he’s not done tormenting everyone. He calls forward Carl, and prepares to chop his forearm off. But then we see that he wants Rick to do it. Rick is STILL out of his mind, but if he doesn’t do it, Negan will kill all of them, including Carl, and then all the people back at Alexandria, and eventually Rick after he’s suffered enough. Here, Michonne speaks up, saying he doesn’t have to do this, that they understand. Negan thinks maybe they do, but that Rick doesn’t. Rick says Negan can cut his arm off instead, he pleads for this, and it seems like it might work, but Negan says no, it has to be this way. Carl tells his father “just do it,” knowing what’s at stake, and as Negan counts down from three and Rick cries and begs that it could be him instead, but at the count of 1, Rick grabs the ax and is about to do it. That’s when Negan stops him. “You answer to me, you provide for me, you belong to me,” Negan shouts to him. “Yes, right,” Rick grovels. “Now that is the look I wanted to see,” Negan says. That was it, he finally broke Rick and knows now that he rules over him. “Today was a productive damn day,” Negan says proudly. “I hope for all your sakes you get it now, that you understand how things work. Whatever you had going for you, that is over now.”

They load up Daryl into the back of their van. “He’s got guts,” Negan says to Rick. “He’s not a little bitch like someone else I know. I like him. He’s mine now.” He then warns that if anyone has any idea of going against him, he will either cut off pieces of Daryl and bring it to Rick or he’ll bring Daryl to Rick and have him do it himself.

Before he leaves, Negan says they’ll be back in one week for their first offering. “Welcome to a brand new beginning, you sorry shits,” he tells his new minions. “Till then, ta ta.”

The remaining 8 people are still on their knees in shock, with Abraham’s and Glenn’s dead bodies still there with them. Maggie is the first to rise. She goes over to Glenn’s body. Rick wants to continue their original mission to get Maggie to the doctor at the Hilltop colony, but she says she’ll make it there on her own. She wants them instead to go back home to Alexandria and ready everyone to fight. Rick says they can’t, Negan has Daryl, and an army; they can all die. She doesn’t want the group out there for her. “We still are [there for Maggie],” Rick tells her. She keeps telling them to go back. Sasha says she will bring Maggie safely to the Hilltop, and they will bring Glenn’s body with them. She also tells Rosita that she’s taking Abraham’s body with her, too. Maggie then tries to get Glenn, and they all ask to help her. “He’s our family, too,” Rick says. The group then gathers their dead.

In a voiceover, we hear Negan’s words to Rick when they were in the trailer together: “I’ll bet you thought you were all going to grow old together, sitting at Sunday dinner. But it doesn’t work like that anymore.” We then see what that would have looked like, with everyone sitting around a table having a meal dressed in nice clothes, with Glenn holding his and Maggie’s baby.

Rick then grabs the ax and gets into the trailer, and drives off. In the rearview mirror, we see a lone walker drop to its knees and start licking the spot where Glenn’s and Abraham’s brains and blood remain. This is how the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead ends.

Wow. Holy shit. FUCK!!!!!!

That was pretty much my feelings – and undoubtedly everyone else’s feelings – while watching this season premiere. I had a feeling two people were going to die; I thought that it would be Abraham, because he was someone who is expendable, and then either Glenn or Maggie. I thought maybe it would be Maggie because of how many times they made us think Glenn was dead last season, but perhaps they did that so we would grieve a few times before really losing him. This episode truly serves to drive home the point that Negan is not like Rick’s previous foes. He’s not easily outsmarted; he doesn’t have obvious vulnerabilities; and he takes pleasure in being cruel. He’s also a lot smarter than Rick’s former adversaries. It’s obvious that things aren’t going to be wrapped up quickly. They’re not going to go back to Alexandria and come up with a plan to beat Negan. There’s going to be a lot of suffering ahead for our beloved characters.

Video

The Walking Dead: ‘Right Hand Man’ Season 7 Official Sneak Peek


Rick threatens Negan. Don’t miss the Season 7 Premiere of The Walking Dead.

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