I’ve been meaning to sit down and do this review but I’ve honestly been letting my thoughts ferment so to speak. Since the show is returning this Sunday, I figured it was time.
But anywho, obligatory spoiler warnings:
I’m sure everyone knows who died in the premiere by this point since it was only broadcast all over the fucking world and social media, but yes it will be discussed. Also I’ll go into other details of this from both the show and the comics to some degree as well, so if you aren’t caught up and have been residing in a cave without wifi, I suggest you go catch up.
Probably going to spend most of this talking about the season premiere, but fuck it. It was an amazing experience. I have never felt more sad to be right, as a lot of my predictions came true. It was rumored a while back that there would be two deaths, not just one from Negan, but I was still shocked when it happened. First Abraham, then Glenn.
RIP boys. It broke my heart to see both of you go. 😥
Glenn’s death was almost extra tragic in the show. Mainly because we saw Abraham go first, I almost thought Glenn was safe, but obviously that was some wishful thinking. I have to admit I actually cried out when Negan said “let’s get back to it” and just turned around and smashed Glenn’s head in. It was a bit unexpected, and I kind of loved it for that. Glenn’s final line to Maggie, the “I’ll find you” made me cry like a little girl. That was an excellent addition from the show producers/writers.
I feel a bit bad for Michael Cudlitz who plays Abraham, because though he was the one we spent all those months wondering about, Glenn’s death took the spotlight in the media and with a lot of the fans. Abraham died differently in the comics. For those who don’t follow both, Abraham died the way Denise died in the show. When I read the comics, it intensely pissed me off. I had to keep flipping back and forth over the last 2 pages just to make sense of what happened and it didn’t help. Abraham was a total BADASS. He never should have went out with a sneak attack arrow to the back of the head. The show did him justice, and he totally went out in pure Abraham fashion with his last line to Negan, “Suck…my…nuts.”
It was beautiful in a way. Though seeing characters we like die always breaks our hearts, I found it satisfying that Abraham went out the way he did–a badass to the end.
I had heard that Negan was going to be even more twisted in the show than the comic and I initially said, “how is that even possible?” Apparently it is possible and the show totally went there in the season premiere. The whole thing was about breaking Rick and man did he ever succeed. The scene with the hatchet had me on the edge of my seat. Props to both Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Andrew Lincoln for their terrific acting. By the end of that episode I really did believe that Rick was broken by Negan.
I don’t care what some of these naysayers say, this premiere was electric. But it’s hard to top that, so I can understand some fans’ feelings that the episodes that followed felt a bit weak in comparison. Several people have cried out that it crossed the line and was too violent…..obviously these people have never read the comics is all I gotta say. Glenn’s death nearly completely matched the comic, almost panel to panel. I respect the show for going there and being true to the source material. If only they could let Negan swear like he does in the comics. lol
I had wondered what would happen to Daryl and he was on my list of possibles for the chopping–er, batting block. The element added in with him punching Negan before Negan killed Glenn definitely adds to the emotional complexity of the story and we see Daryl wallowing in his guilt as he’s being locked away and tortured by Dwight. His torture is two-fold: it’s not just being fed dog food and being forced to listen to “Easy Street” at full volume (although that song certainly became synonymous with torture for all of us), it’s also sitting in a cell with nothing to think about except how you lost your temper and it got one of the companions who has been with you the longest killed….brutally, and in front of their pregnant wife too.
After that, it was hard to follow such a traumatic experience, but there were good things that came in as well. We saw Carol and Morgan in the Kingdom and we got to meet Ezekiel and his awesome tiger, Shiva, at last. I loved that it was Carol who was the character included in this arc, and the relationship that seems to be developing between her and Ezekiel makes me curious. In the comics he and Michonne shacked up, but that obviously won’t happen in the show because of the “Richonne” coupling, so maybe it will be Carol and Ezekiel….?
Speaking of Carol, I’m hoping something happens to turn her around again. I miss her badassery intensely.
Tara also came back and we learned about another group which is all women, which was kind of cool. Hopefully we see them again in a more cooperative sense, but currently it seems unlikely. I was wondering when we’d see some people living off the water, so it was good to see the writers actually incorporate something in the story that looks different than the types of settings we would see in Atlanta. Even though the group has been in Virginia for a while, it hasn’t felt like it, so it was good to finally see something that felt like Virginia.
Got to see Maggie punch Gregory (yeahhhhhh!!!!) and see her emerge as more of a power player, in the comics, she really develops into her final form after Glenn died, so without giving too much away, I have to say I can’t wait to see this develop.
Got to see Carl with Negan, which went basically just as it did in the comics. I find their relationship very fascinating in the comics and look forward to seeing it play out in the show.
We also got to see things from Dwight’s point of view and see what his life is like with the saviors. His episode was a eye opener into how these people have been forced to play along with Negan to survive.
The bit we saw of Aaron and Rick going supply gathering for the saviors was interesting, and I believe the one watching them at the end is a tease to the Whisperers…….if you don’t know who that is, read the comics. You are in for a treat.
Daryl finally got out, but who helped him? Most think it is Dwight’s ex wife, but I think it may have actually been Dwight himself. He seemed to pity and even respect Daryl. When Negan asked Daryl who he was and he responded Daryl, we see Dwight try to cut in and talk sense into him. We see it again after that when he is locking him away in his room. I think it would be a cool and redeeming moment if it were revealed to have been Dwight, so I’m hoping it was him.
The entirety of the female Walking Dead fandom creamed their panties over the scene with Negan holding Judith… Which in the context of his character in the show, makes no sense….seriously, the guy is a psycho. Jeffrey Dean Morgan does make him look sexy, but this character is insane and cruel.
Speaking of Negan’s crash visit in Alexandria….it felt so good to see Spencer get gutted. I hated that little fucker, in the show and the comics, and it was so rewarding to see that scene acted out on the screen. Rosita’s attempted shot at Negan pissed me off though and I just feel like she acted too brashly. She definitely did not think anything through and now Eugene has been taken away…..we will see how that plays out… There was also poor Olivia being the random chosen to die. I was actually very upset about that. 😦 At this point in the story she was still alive in the comics.
The midseason finale’s big excitement was a little dull this time to be honest. The highlight was seeing Spencer die. Seeing everyone unite at the Hilltop–especially Daryl! So happy he’s back with the group!–was a great moment. They had their time to grieve, worry, and regroup. Now Rick is back to himself and he’s not going to be Negan’s bitch anymore. The end had this nice amped up feeling of, “Yeah! We aren’t taking this anymore!!!”
Cannot wait to see what goes down in just a short amount of time tonight with the premiere of the first episode of the second half.
And as always, some memes I enjoyed. That last one was dead on the mark.