31 Days of Reviews: The Walking Dead (7.01)

After an agonizing wait, fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead finally find out which character was bludgeoned by Lucille and how the group will react moving forward.

This review will look at the premiere episode of The Walking Dead season 7.

The cliffhanger finale of The Walking Dead season 6 was met by mixed reviews. While some fans loved the suspense and enjoyed talking about it over the empty months, others completely hated it, feeling that it was a poor attempt at storytelling and a bit of a cash grab. Personally, I was a bit in the middle. I liked it from a storytelling standpoint, but as a fan, with her favorite character on the chopping block, I was not amused.

I’ve spent the last several months psyching myself up for the potential death of several characters. There were theories that came about, and it was hard to really predict who would be killed. Would the show follow the comic series and kill Glenn at this point? Would the show kill Abraham to make up for the fact that his original fate was suffered by a different character? Would the show cut ties with Daryl, a fan favorite who was created for the show alone? These three names circled the internet in anticipation for the premiere.

Finally on Sunday, October 23rd, 2016, fans found their answer. There is literally no way to discuss this episode without revealing spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the episode please read no further unless you want to know. Just know that this season premiere will leave you feeling empty inside.

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As The Walking Dead season 7 began, the show caught up with its comic roots. We lost two characters in a very traumatic way, and this will effect the show for many episodes and seasons to come. Not straying away from its drawn out tension, the fate of the characters was not immediately revealed. Viewers had to wait a bit for the agonizing resolution.

In the end, fans lost both Abraham and Glenn. I had said multiple times that I was 97% sure I was going to cry, and I was right. I cried a lot. Both characters die in a way that is very much in character. Abraham is killed, but not beaten. He goes out just as much a fighter as he always has been. Glenn, my favorite character from the start of the show, spends his final moments caring more for those around him than himself.

It was incredibly sad. It was incredibly gruesome and traumatizing. It was also poetic in the saddest way, for Glenn anyway. Packing both of them together really diminished the effect of Abraham’s death for me. As much as I hate to admit it, their deaths will send the show in a completely different direction, one where there seems to be no hope, and the group will have to build themselves from the bottom up all over again. Prepare to see a new Maggie when she recovers from her pain.

While Lucille’s victim has been the topic on everyone’s mind for the last several months, the main point of the episode was the aftermath. Rick was front and center in this episode, as new nemesis Negan attempted to mentally break him. The show gets really dark, and for some, this may be too dark. In the broad scheme of things, it’s really messed up.

When the episode ended, I felt emotionally numb, empty. It felt like I didn’t have any emotional connection to the show anymore. I was in total shock. Not sure how audiences will react to this episode, and all of the episodes moving forward. It will definitely be a big adjustment. I don’t know how I’ll be able to handle it. I’ve seen some people say they won’t be watching anymore. That’s the level it gets to.

All I have to say is, fans of The Walking Dead, brace yourselves and good luck.

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