So last night, after MONTHS of waiting, The Walking Dead returned to AMC to tell us, just who it was that was on the receiving end of Lucille last season. It was an emotional episode to say the least, below is a continuation to all the feels live-tweeted last night. Be Warned: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ok, so now that the dust has settled, lets take a mo-mo to talk about what happened during last night’s blood bath. I’m not going to recap the episode, but just go over a few points, that I feel need more discussion than last nights 140 character limited tweets would allow.
We all came into the episode knowing that someone was not coming back. There was much debate during the hiatus over who it was exactly struck by the finale’s fatal blows. We all had our theories, I personally figured it would be Glenn or Maggie. So I was half right. I figured Glenn, because he probably should have died in last season’s dumpster fiasco, and also from what I know of the events of the comics.
As for Maggie, yes, I know killing a sick pregnant woman would have been particularly cruel/controversial, but that’s what, in my mind at least, made the choice so impact full. After all we spent several episodes last season touting how Maggie, and the baby, were representative of all the hope for the future, and proof society could rebuild. What better way to that dream then by taking her out? But let’s disscuss what actually happened as opposed to what might have been.
The Walking Dead Powers That Be, decided to keep us in suspense for a good 20 mins. The episode, played with our emotions by having Rick imagine what it would look like for Lucille to wack into each and ever one of our plucky group.
Which, although difficult to watch, I have to give props for, because obviously in a giant attempt to thwart spoilers, all possible outcomes were filmed, and this was a way to actually still use that footage.
Speaking of difficulty to watch, there has been quite a bit of criticism popping up today that last night’s premiere was too graphic and gory. I am by no means going to disagree on that count, I physically gagged more than twice while watching. The whole threat of slicing Carl’s arm off like a “Slice of salami” had me frantically squealing and covering my face, especially because after watching the batting scenes I was convinced we’d be looking at some particularly gory effects. Seriously though, major points the the makeup and FX department for this episode. It was beyond gruesome.
I do, however, think that is exactly what this episode needed to be. We have been watching our heroes hack their way through/get eating by the undead for six seasons now. We know what to expect, every now and then there is an “oh, gross” moment, but for the most part, the viewers have come to be slightly desensitized to the violence. Last night, for the first time in a long time, I saw our twitter feed a blaze with people upset and more so horrified by what they were witnessing. Let us not forget this is a horror show, after all.
Negan is, in this show, at this moment, the embodiment of pure evil. He is a Threat with a capital “T” and as an audience we needed to see that. We needed to see exactly why Rick, who pretty much bows to no one, would readily and completely surrender to this man. Negan had to come in and COMPLETELY break Rick in order for to gain control. Which is why the beating scenes had to be so blood spoutingly, eye poppingly gory. We, as an audience, just like Rick, needed to be pushed further than ever before. To be sickeningly shown that this was/is not just business as usual.
Every move he made in last night’s episode was perfectly calculated to destroy Rick, and assure compliance, including taking Daryl away. Well that, and I bet it’ll make taping his new AMC show a bit easier for Norman Reedus. If he’s not with our group in Alexandria, he’ll probably have less scenes to tape, thus compressing the amount of days he needs to physically be on set. Just an educated guess folks, I could be way off on that. But I digress.
Back to Negan, I think we can all agree that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is complete perfection in the role, yes? He manages to take a completely despicable character, someone the audience should feel nothing but hate for and make him somewhat charming. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying that I want to cuddle up to Negan here, but as someone who forms almost immediate feelings on whether or not I want to see a character perish after their first episode or two, those of you who have listened to the podcast for awhile know of my almost immediate dislike of Bob and strange adoration of Aaron, I didn’t HATE him.
Well, I should rephrase that, I DID/DO hate him, especially after what he did to my Abraham, but instead of feeling like I wanted our band of survivors to immediately rise up, and instantly kill him, I was/am excited to see what he will do for the story. It’s been quite some time since Rick has come up against someone who is a genuine threat to his authority. Who has enough power and organization to actually get (some awful) shit done.
As last night’s episode ended, I sat in disbelief, unable to fully process what I had just witnessed. Mind you, I made the mistake of watching it on my own, which I DO NOT recommend. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch Talking Dead, immediately afterwards as I usually do. But that was the whole point. The premiere episode was supposed to leave you shocked and numb, questioning The Walking Dead as we know it, and in that they definitely succeeded.
What did you guys think? Did last night’s episode go “too far”? Do you agree with the characters who got the bat? What do you think this means for our group going further? Are you completely done with this show? Hit up the comments and let us know.