Walking Dead is back. I won’t say with a vengeance or with full force because that implies that it is still a top tier show and it just simply is not. It did set the tone for season seven as rather grimm and depressing and sure did make Rick look like a different person altogether. That being said the season seven premiere was exactly what it was expected to be and that is a big reason why Walking Dead will most likely never again hold the title of TVs number one drama.
From this point going forward in the review there will be major spoilers. You have been warned. This is the last sentence you should be reading. If you are still reading then you probably already know whos lives Lucille claimed. If not then please I urge you to stop here.
Abraham did not need to go in this manner. Glenn made sense as he is the one from the comics who suffered the same fate. Abraham was just simply not the character we waited six agonizing months to watch die. Impact wise for Rick it should have been Daryl and Glenn starting with Daryl. Long time fans may call me Savage but that is the direction I was hoping for. Norman Reedus will always have my support as an actor but this was his time to. The writers had a huge opportunity to create a flash back sequence for him over the years and after being the first person to stand up to Negan that would have been a huge moment for all the fans to realize just how much this world no longer belongs to Rick and co.
The best decision made from the writing stand point was not to bog down the episode with Morgan and Carol soap opera inspired scenes. The entirety of the episode focused on Negan and the new world order he is establishing and Jeffrey Dean Morgan killed it with a homerun of a performance. Puns definitely intended.
Negan will obviously be the opposing force to the Alexandrians moving forward but it was an interesting performance from Andrew Lincoln and there was a crucial moment that it seemed Rick may never actually come back from this. Walking Dead needs to get back to being a character driven drama with meaningful story. Jeffrey Dean Morgan could easily be the catalyst for this as the screen time he had in the premiere was used most effectively. The crucial moment with Rick was when Negan had him almost chop off his own sons arm. Andrew Lincoln was sobbing uncontrollably and this made the scene both powerful and uncomfortable to watch. It would have a bigger message had the writers made him go through with it. What greater way to be brought to your lowest point then to be constantly be reminded of the brutality in which you were forced to partake. Even without the loss of a limb this scene still managed to evoke some of the most intense emotions since the end of season 2.
Its not clear when the decision was made that it would be both Glenn and Abraham that would meet Lucille but these two will surely be missed on a weekly basis. Michael Cudlitz was an actor I enjoyed watching even before his stint on TWD and Steven Yeun is an actor I will most definitely look out for in his future projects. Having been a fan of Walking Dead since day one a death scene to exit the show is not uncommon and it definitely was not wasted here. Even if these were the two names most frequently thrown around all summer the emotion in this episode was definitely the strong point. The predicitability was typical Walking Dead nature and it did slow the momentum of the episode slightly because it was not as devestating it was meant to be.
With everything that happened in this episode and all the set up for the season it does not escape the critcism. Walking Dead through out the first three years it was on Television was almost a lock for the top drama of each year but now it is stale and predictable. An actor like Jeffrey Dean Morgan is sure to breath some life into the show and he is essentially the reason why season 7 will be worth watching from an acting stand point. Negan is going to bring a lot of change and mark my words Jeffrey Dean Morgan will steal every scene he is in this season and could possibly score an emmy nomination. Its long overdo that a Walking Dead actor does get a nomination.