After months of wondering and waiting, Negan’s victim was finally revealed during last night’s Season 7 premiere, and quite frankly, I’m less than impressed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love The Walking Dead, and I’m not here to bash it- haha, too soon?
But the fact is, after watching, I feel like the one who got clobbered thanks to all the missteps.
Gimple and Co. dropped the ball in a couple of key ways, diluting and skewing the overall impact of what is one of the biggest turning points in Walking Dead history.
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead* If you did not see or are not caught up with the current season of The Walking Dead stop reading!
First off, let me say that I’m not upset that Glenn was Negan’s victim.
I mean, I’m devastated by it (if you could see my heart, it probably looks like what was left of Glenn), but Glenn was the right choice- and “knowing” it could be him in no way diminished the horror.
That scene was always meant to be Glenn’s and giving it to another character would have been wrong on multiple levels.
The whole point of that sequence of events is to break Rick and the rest of the group, to take that look of hope, that feeling of invincibility, away from them.
And the sad truth is, no other character’s death, other than Glenn, could do that.
He was their heart, their optimism, their light- and his death destroys all that.
So, I’m okay with losing Glenn, I get it, even if I don’t like it.
What I don’t get is losing Glenn and Abe.
While I understand why they chose to kill 2 characters, I think it was a big mistake.
Killing Abe, then Glenn, served 2 purposes: it lured viewers into a false sense of hope, making them think Glenn was safe, and it illustrated just how brutal, and true to his word, Negan is.
This is not the Governor, or Terminus we are dealing with- Negan means business and that was made very clear.
However, in killing both off, they took away from the poignancy of Glenn’s death and cheated fans from mourning Abe the right way.
Glenn’s death should have been a stand-alone moment. I mean, this is Glenn, do I really need to explain why he should have been the only death?
And Abe, although not an original, has come to be a truly loved character.
Unlike Rosita and Eugene, who still feel a bit like secondary characters, Abe felt like one of US.
He deserved his own moment and fans deserved a second to cry for him before being hit, literally (sorry, can’t help it), with Glenn’s death.
I also don’t get why we had to wait a full 20 minutes to find out who died.
After season 6’s dumpster debacle and the uproar over the cliffhanger, you’d think Gimple would know better, but surprise- he doesn’t.
Flashing back and forth and making viewers wait felt like the ultimate gimmick, and was a bit insulting.
Which brings me to my last complaint: the flashbacks.
Now I love a good flashback, but this was not the time to do them.
Flashing in and out took viewers out of the moment and softened the blow ( I promise, last one!).
Seriously though, seeing Abe and Glenn die through Rick’s memories, instead of showing the events naturally unfold, dampened the anticipation and made the scene play a bit flat.
Which is not to say that they got it all wrong.
On the contrary, they got one thing incredibly right last night: Negan, and his portrayer, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Negan is the first villain, bad guy, psychopath, deviant (feel free to insert your own adjective here), that I enjoy watching.
No hate mail, please, hear me out.
I hate Negan with all my heart for what he did to our group, same as all of you.
But the character is mesmerizing to watch, with a depth that makes the Governor and everyone other nasty character before him pale in comparison.
He is controlled and intelligent, Rick’s exact opposite, which is what makes watching, and seeing what comes next, him so fascinating.
It’s like we get to see what our group, and Rick, would be if they followed the dark side. We got a glimpse of what could be when they murdered the guys in Negan’s camp, but this juxtaposition of Negan and Rick gives us a much clearer picture.
Plus, Negan has some great lines. Which we’re going to need now that our resident comedian, Abe, is gone.
When he told Rick: “Why do you look like I sh*t in your scrambled eggs?” and I laughed through my tears, I knew I was watching something unique.
Kudos to Jeffrey dean Morgan, an incredible actor who has brought a complexity to Negan that I hope to see for seasons to come.
What did you think of the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead?
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