Spoilers abound for the season 7 premiere episode, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”. (If you haven’t watched it yet, what are you still doing here? Go home.)
The Walking Dead finally returned last night—and after months of repeatedly teasing out the same cliffhanger (and trying to justify it), we finally learned the identity of the unlucky victim of last season’s finale, in which Negan (played to brutally memorable degree by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) murdered someone with a bat.
Turns out it wasn’t just someone, but someones—Abraham and Glenn—and in spite of the rumor that had been swirling around about whether or not Glenn was going to die, as he does in the comics (as well as the show’s misleading decision to remove his name from the credits for several episodes last year), it looks like The Walking Dead decided to honor the source material—at least in part.
When season 7 premiered last night, many fans hoped the big reveal would be made right at the top of the hour. Instead, they had to wait for nearly half of the episode as the show mainly focused on Negan’s choice to play mind games with Rick in an attempt to break him—thus creating an uncomfortable tone where the audience was almost waiting for the other shoe (or the bat) to drop. When the moment finally happened, though, it wasn’t a relief; it was too downright depressing, a narrative gut-punch.
It’s likely because the episode spent so long focused on the game Negan was playing with Rick that the impact, the meaning of Abraham and Glenn’s deaths didn’t resonate—and they should have. (Seriously, the Talking Dead aftershow paid better tribute to these characters than their own story did.) There was no opportunity for the rest of the group to grieve for the loss of their fallen friends; the show seemed to spend three-fourths of the episode on long speeches for Negan. By the time fans got to the moment where Rick was nearly forced to cut off son Carl’s arm, after brushing off several deaths that should have been given more consideration, it was like icing on a seven-layer cake of sadism.
So, yeah. It’s safe to say that fans were not happy after last night’s premiere—and many are weighing the decision to even continue watching the show. Even the cast isn’t immune to fan reactions—including Norman Reedus, who read this text from his son on Talking Dead:
What we all wanted to text Norman😂 #thewalkingdead #talkingdead pic.twitter.com/CCxfAl8Vm8
— Jessica (@PuunchDrunkLove) October 24, 2016
We rounded up some other fan reactions below; the general consensus seems to be “not good.” Do you think the show finally went too far last night?
AMC should be ashamed for airing tonight’s episode of #TheWalkingDead — as should Twitter for incorporating this baseball bat hashtag emoji.
— Bryan Bishop (@bcbishop) October 24, 2016
I stopped watching #TheWalkingDead back in season 2 but I know the pain of a fav character dying. *hugs for the TWD fandom* pic.twitter.com/8FwlT9J92z
— Spookymonkeyluvn (@spacemonkeyluvn) October 24, 2016
You know, maybe there’s a reason why zombie movies end. #TheWalkingDead
— Josh Wigler (@roundhoward) October 24, 2016
Ok, #TheWalkingDead, I get it. The zombie apocalypse is hopeless. You’re gross and making it weird and boring now.
— Frevelvet Thunder (@jamiefrevele) October 24, 2016
Is this episode of #TheWalkingDead secretly viral marketing for why everyone should be watching #Westworld instead?
— Donna The Dead (@MildlyAmused) October 24, 2016
(image via Gene Page/AMC)
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