After six months of waiting, theorizing, and debating, we finally know who died at the hands of Negan. Even though we all had ideas of who the victim was, nothing prepared us for what we witnessed last night. The premiere was heart-breaking, and left millions feeling like they got punched in the gut. Once again, ‘The Walking Dead’ has ripped out our hearts and stopped on it.
The premiere began with Rick on his knees. As he looked Negan in the eyes and said ‘Not today, not tomorrow, but I’m going to kill you.” We got a glimpse of the old Rick, the strong Rick, but that wouldn’t last long. As Negan dragged him into the camper we all thought for sure that this may be the end for our beloved Sheriff. When Negan made Rick play go fetch with the hatchet we saw who Negan killed in Rick’s flash back and it crushed us. Rick got the hatchet back despite being swarmed by a pack of walkers and climbed back in the RV. When Negan and Rick returned to the camp Negan forced Carl to the ground and demanded Rick chop off Carl’s arm as a way to make Rick surrender to him completely and it worked. Just as he was about to bring the hatchet down Negan stopped him, but Rick is now completely broken and bent to Negan’s will and the entire group knows it.
Nothing could have prepared fans for we we would witness in Rick’s flashback. The first victim claimed by Lucille (Negan’s bat) was Abraham and he “took it like a champ”. After the first blow Abraham said his final words to Negan, “Suck my nuts.” Negan beat him to a pulp. After Negan was through Daryl jumped to his feet and punched him. That was a horrible mistake, one that Glenn would have to pay for with his life. Negan had to make a point and the scene was straight out of the comic. Glenn managed to get to his feet after the first blow, with one eye bulging out of its socket, and said one thing before he died. He looked at Maggie and said “I will find you.” Talk about heart-breaking. Negan continued his assault. When the smoke cleared the Saviors left, taking Daryl with them as insurance. After sitting and letting everything set in, Rick and part of the group climbed into the RV. As they pulled away Rick looked in the side mirror to see a walker begin eating what was left of Abraham’s head. Some of the group loaded Glenn and Abraham into a truck and left on a mission to get Maggie to the Hill Top to see a doctor. They could not leave the bodies behind to be eaten. That’s where the episode ended. Fans took to social media in an attempt to cope and express their sorrows for those we lost.
If Andrew Lincoln (Rick) does not receive an award for his role in last night’s premiere there might be riots. He did an absolutely amazing job. You could feel his every emotion and actually looked like he was carrying the weight of the world. Each cast member did a fantastic job. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the ideal actor to play Negan, the way he walks, the way he talks, he is simply perfect for the role. I have to say, the premiere was the best episode to date, even though it was hard to watch.
Last night on ‘the Talking Dead’ premiere special every actor in Negan’s line-up was there. When Chris Hardwick asked Steven Yuen about his death Yuen commented that it was “bitter-sweet” and that when he read the comic featuring his death, he asked Robert Kirkman not to give it to any other actor.
Personally for me, I think the death in the comic, Robert wrote such a messed up but at the same time incredible way to take something away — to make a story as impactful as it is,” said Yeun. “You read that comic, you kind of don’t want that to go to anyone else. It’s such an iconic moment and I think I even said, ‘Don’t give that to anybody else.’ It’s such a gnarly thing to say but sincerely, living that out was very wild but at the same time, that moment happening and being realized on television in a different medium and to do it in the way that we did it I think is brave and at the same time super affecting. And for me, that was the motivation to be like, ‘Yeah, that sounds great.’”
As for Michael Cudlitz, during the ‘Talking Dead’ he admitted he knew he was on borrowed time since Denise took his place two episodes prior to the premiere, taking an arrow to the eye like Abraham did in the comic. Cudlitz’s character acted in a truly noble and defiant way, something we have come to expect from Abraham.
Look, for anyone who follows the graphic novel, he’s on borrowed time,” said Cudlitz. “Denise took his death graciously two episodes prior… so I think at that point I had gone beyond where he was in the graphic novel. I know [comic creator Robert Kirkman] always said he was not happy with how he took Abraham out in the graphic novel so I was curious to see where we go from there. And yeah, I think in the group, he made it very clear to Negan that if he was going to take somebody, take me if it’s going to help protect the rest of the group.”
We will miss Glenn and Abraham, but let’s face it, the story has to continue. For the show, last night’s episode had to happen and fans of the comic knew it was coming. The deaths will force the group to evolve and it gave us a real reason to hate Negan and the Saviors, which will fuel the show’s story for seasons to come. It sucks, but it is what is. Now, the question is where is Daryl and is he okay?
The promo for the next episode, titled “The Well”, is here. In it we see Rick tell everyone at Alexandria that he is no longer in control, Negan is. We will see Negan at the gates of Alexandria, come to claim what he believes is his. We also get a glimpse of Carol and Morgan and the new character Ezekiel. Take a look.