Who did Negan just kill? Well, tender viewer, in true trolling fashion, The Walking Dead makes you wait out a few more commercial breaks before you find out. Instead, Negan takes Rick into the RV for a joyride into the fog, where Rick remembers each of the other characters in miniature flashbacks, because even though the Oscars aren’t a thing in the zombie apocalypse, our brains still apparently run “In Memoriam” segments. Finally, about halfway in, we’re returned to the moment right before the killing when Negan began his dreadful “Eeny meeny miny mo.” We should tell you at this point, that there are spoilers ahead for the season-seven premiere of The Walking Dead.
Farewell, Abraham. Good-bye, Glenn. Negan’s barbed-wire bat, Lucille, claimed not one, but two victims. First, was Abraham, who won Negan’s random selection. After that death, though, Daryl made the mistake of punching Negan. Of course, Negan said that there would be “consequences” if anyone acted out, and he makes Glenn pay for Daryl’s misstep. We get a gruesome shot of Glenn, one eye bulging (yes, this happens in the comics) sputtering out his last words: “Maggie, I’ll find you.”
That’s not all for Rick, of course, who Negan is still trying to break like an unruly dog getting housebroken. He makes him play fetch with an axe in a mass of zombies before bringing him back to the crew. “That trip was about the way you looked at me,” Negan tells Rick, not satisfied with his attitude. “But you’re still looking at me the same damn way.” So like an Old Testament God, he tells Rick to chop off Carl’s arm, or he’ll order his men to shoot everyone else in the back of the head. At the moment Rick raises his axe in the air, Negan stops him: That was the look he wanted to see.
At this point, the entire Walking Dead world has been upended. Rick is a broken man, Maggie is infused with a new sense of vengeance. How do you feel, good viewers? Were the deaths of Glenn and Abraham worth the wait? Or, could we have just gotten this during the finale? More importantly, did the premiere make you as invested as ever, or just want to call it quits?