Monday, October 24, 2016

The Walking Dead: Season 7 Episode 1 - The Day Will Come When You Won't...

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Walking Dead season 7!  It's been a long off-season of guessing.  We knew we were in for a stressful hour of television, but we still anxiously anticipated it for months.  And WOW what a crazy episode.  The show runners defended their decision to end last season where they did suggesting that this season would kick off a new ERA of The Walking Dead.  Now that we've seen it I think I can understand where they were coming from.  We worried if we'd be able to mentally get back in the intensity of the moment and be invested in who Negan took out.  I think they successfully had me nauseous the entire hour.  So, kudos to them!  And big kudos to Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  The man is a likable actor in pretty much every role he plays.  You definitely want to hate him as Negan, but there's something about him that is just irrefutably charming.  He's literally killing it as Negan.  It's going to be an interesting ride this season and beyond!

I don't really know if there's much to recap after that grueling hour but I'll certainly jot down a few notes before we head into the comments.  Let's dive in!

Discussion Points

  • I had been thinking all off season that we wouldn't find out immediately who was killed in those final moments of last season.  I suggested we may get a little backstory on Negan and his crew leading up to that moment.  Well, I guess I was half right.  Instead they followed up immediately where we left off but left us in the dark on exactly what happened for half of the episode.  We followed events from Rick's point of view and basically had to watch him come to terms with what happened in order to prepare for the next phase.  
  • Rick promised to kill Negan someday.  And while that may certainly be true eventually, Negan very effectively broke Rick's defenses down this episode.  In fact, it was his entire goal of the episode.  Dragging him off in the RV into a dense walker infested fog and making him fetch "his" axe.  Pretty intense stuff.  Negan didn't want Rick to die because he needs him.  So while wanting to hate him he did assist Rick in surviving shooting down dozens of walkers to ensure Rick made it back to the RV after he continued to process the recent events.  
  • They certainly teased the entire episode the removal of Rick's arm/hand.  I am not a reader of the graphic novel, but I know enough to know that this was a big part of the comics.  So, with everything that was happening in the episode they had me convinced it was going to happen.  (Even to Carl)
  • But, let's not drag this out any further.  We all had our guesses to who would die.  Very recently, I heard a theory on Abraham from a family member.  They told me that they noticed the person took a hit and got back up to take another one.  They suggested only Abraham could take that blow and keep going.  I personally thought Abraham wouldn't draw the impact of an off-season cliffhanger that would put is in eternal mourning.  Glenn was the victim in the comics and with everything he went through last season I didn't think they would go and take him out.  Well, I guess we were all so set on one person getting killed that we never took the time to consider Negan killing 2 people!  We didn't consider that one of our survivors would lash out at Negan making him angry.  Well, that's exactly what happened.  RIP Abraham and Glenn.  
  • Both of them went out in ways fitting to their character.  Abraham got himself one more one-liner which I will not repeat in our "family" blog here. (that's right, people of all ages watch the Walking Dead! We just found out on Talking Dead someone grew up watching Glenn!) 
  • Glenn's death was drawn out and unbearable with his eyeball out of his socket and Negan's painfully hilarious commentary about how he kept on ticking.  I wanted to laugh at Negan many times in the episode, but the events were so awful it was difficult to justify it.  Glenn looked out to Maggie and said something like, "I'll find you."  Soulmates to the end in this life and the next.  It was pretty rough, it was very effective.  It had to be a big loss to make this effective.   To show Negan means business.  The loss of Glenn and Abraham will be felt by all of these characters.  And it will certainly affect Rick.  
  • Poor Darryl will have to live with the fact that him lashing out at Negan is what indirectly caused Glenn to be killed.  And now he's going to be kept alive as leverage to ensure Rick and crew stay in order and collect for Negan.  
  • Negan continued to not believe that Rick was a changed man.  Rick seemed pretty broken, but maybe there was a sliver of doubt.  You knew that he must've been thinking in the back of his head, "let's just get out of this moment so we can collect our thoughts and take this dude out."  Negan certainly saw that sliver of doubt and wanted to test him one more time.  
  • So, we had the Carl test.  He drew a line on Carl's non-dominant left arm and asked Rick to chop it off.  There was a 3 count long and drawn out with each number uttered showing the breakdown of Rick.  The final straw was seeing Carl whisper the words, "Just do it Dad."   What other choice did he have?  If he didn't, EVERYONE would've died.  At this point we had no reason not to believe Negan.  Michonne plead out to reason with Negan.  Rick asked for it to be him instead.  But, this was the only way.  In the end, we saw Rick prepare to cut off his son's arm and then Negan stopped him.  He finally saw the look on Rick's face that he wanted to.  Rick Grimes was broken down into submission. 
  • I think the worst part of the episode is when Negan and crew walked away leaving Rick's crew there defeated with no choices and a couple of friends/family members with their heads bashed in.  
  • There was lots of grieving in the final moments of the episode.  Maggie was the only one that seemed determined to still take out Negan.  My immediate thoughts were, "what does she have to lose?"   Well of course she still is pregnant and she is in no shape to take the fight to Negan right now.  But, these losses will certainly motivate Rick's crew.  It's going to take awhile and the stage is set for the immediate aftermath.  But surely, one day they'll see an opportunity.
  • It was tough to understand Maggie through all the crying, but I think she was telling everyone to go back to Alexandria and she's going to continue on her way to Hilltop to the doctor.  Sasha said she would help Maggie get there.  (it was also noted that Negan has a good doctor, so maybe that will come into play)
  • The shot of the family at the dinner table was a nice parting shot with Glenn holding his child and Abraham next to him with the rest of the crew.  Of course, it was also bittersweet.  
Very effective episode.  We have to keep in mind we have not followed the events of Morgan and Carol yet.  We'll probably catch up with them next week.  And just maybe, the crew that got to them are rivals of Negan's gang.  I'm not getting into spoilers here, but based on previews and a little comic book knowledge I think I know who Carol and Morgan are going to come in contact with.  That said, I have no idea what that means! 

So, that's about all I have to share this week.  The Walking Dead is back with authority.  The era of Negan has arrived!  Are you prepared?  Let's discuss in the comments.   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Leslie said...

Wow! That was a rough episode to watch! It was shocking, brutal, traumatic and powerful! In my mind, I had narrowed it down to Maggie, Glenn or Abraham. Didn't figure two would get it, but like you said, losing Abraham alone wouldn't have the same impact as losing Glenn. He was there from day one! There was some amazing acting in that episode all the way around. As horrible as it was, I think they did a good job structuring the episode so they kept the suspense up all the way through. I was really afraid for Daryl, but when Negan said, "I told you the first one was free," I just yelled out, "Oh no, Glenn!!"

Did you see any of Talking Dead?

Mike V. said...

I didn't understand his line about "the first one was free". Did someone take a hit at him at the end of last season? Yeah I had it down to those 3 pretty much too.

They really did a good job keeping the tension up the entire episode. And totally agree with the acting. Everyone brought their A game.

I watched Talking Dead...all 90 minutes. First time I've seen Andrew Lincoln on there LIVE.

Don't think we're gonna hear from MJ for a couple days. She was/is in London and is avoiding all internet until she gets home to watch TWD. lol

Leslie said...

That line was from the finale when Negan talked to Maggie and told her she looked awful and maybe he should just take her out of her misery. Glenn reacted and jumped over to her defense begging him not to hurt her. That's when Negan said that kind of sh** wouldn't be tolerated and the first one was free because he understood that it was an emotional moment.

It was crazy that it was raining on Talking Dead! I know they were all dressed up and not wanting to get wet, particularly the girls, but it was kinda ironic considering the environment they work in!

I hope MJ can keep from being spoiled, but it'll be tough! I have a friend at my office who didn't watch last night, and I'm just waiting until I can discuss it with him!

Plumbarius said...

Arguably the best episode of the series.

I guessed Abraham based on Negan's response to the first swing back in April,("took it like a champ"), don't thing anyone else could have taken that blow as well as he did. Read something online about the possible 2nd killing because of Darryl, wish I hadn't seen that as I would not have expected it and would have enjoyed the surprise more. :(

My wife couldn't watch as the blows kept raining down on Abraham and Glenn. She was pretty disturbed by the whole episode. :)

I really thought he was dragging Rick into the RV to chop his hand off, pretty brilliant writing and acting showing the methodical breaking down of Rick.

I bought the graphic novels over the summer from eBay and am up to #21 (of 26), so I am past this episode and am looking forward to what's next. It should be an epic season!

They spoke of a nine day shoot for this episode....can't imagine how brutal it must have been for the cast to stay in character for so long. A testament to the acting abilities of the entire crew!

Someone spoke out (Rick?) during Negan's rant in episode 16 and I think that was the free one he spoke of.

Looking forward to reading your posts for the rest of the season, Mike!

Plumbarius said...

Thanks Leslie, now I remember...Glen was the freebie!

Mike V. said...

AHHHH RIIIGHTT! Knew I should've watched that last 15 minutes again. Thanks for clearing that up Leslie! Yeah the rain was nuts on TD. I think it was raining even harder when JDM came out.

Definitely will be tough for MJ. I think she might be getting home today so she just had to avoid it for a day or something. lol

Yeah...I'll have to watch that trailer that you and MJ told me to watch now. Did it spoil anything about Daryl like what Plumbarius is saying?

Hi Plumbarius...yeah that's what I was hearing in the past week too and the reasoning with Abraham. Made sense. My wife was the same way...she had to stop watching. I think she was more put off by the potential arm chopping off though to be honest. She even asked me when it was over, "did they take his arm or not??" lol

I think we all thought he was dragging rick to the RV to chop his arm off. Certainly were playing with the knowledge from the comics. And yes...the mental breakdown of Rick was horrifying to see but very effective. They spoke to it on Talking Dead too. They had to figure out what would actually be believable to break Rick down. I think this was.

Are you enjoying the graphic novels?? I keep saying I'm going to read them but never have gotten around to it.

yeah I read about the 9 day shoot too. That would've been rough to go through. But they certainly did an amazing job with it.

Thanks for stopping in and commenting and I look forward to the continued discussion this season!

Leslie said...

Mike, the trailer was the opening scene where Negan was talking to Rick and then dragged him into the trailer. I was just shocked and stunned the whole time! The brutality was tough to watch, but to put it in perspective like Negan said, they had already killed a bunch more of his people. It's gonna be rough for Daryl to deal with his guilt over Glenn. JDM even said Glenn was his fault on Talking Dead! Lol!

Plumbarius, I figured Abraham based on the same thing you did, but then we see that Glenn stayed upright even longer and got some words out for Maggie....with his eye popped out, of course!

Rick's breakdown was palpable! I think this episode broke the audience down too! This does reset things going forward.

Plumbarius said...

@Mike V
I am enjoying the graphic's good to know that whatever I read may not necessarily happen on the TV show.

All I have done is compare/contrast events and people between the comics and show since I started reading. It is interesting to see how the show's creative forces have switched some of the elements up. Good example, no Terminus story line in comics, just the hunters themselves.

The Glenn beat down was pretty much how it graphically played out in the comics, except he said something else before dying.

Mike V. said...

Ahh okay...well I'm glad I didn't watch then! it was nice to wonder what was going on there and not have had time to overthink it!

Yeah even Norman Reedus said he'll be living with that for a long time and may never get over being what caused it. It is true that Rick's crew did kill a bunch of their people. But they also did go out of their way to show us that Negan's people are not good people with the pictures on the wall in that place they ransacked. Still, lots of morality issues (as always) at play on what is justifiable for survival.

I can see Negan being a multi-season rival which would be nice. They have had these opportunities on the show to get some really good battle of wits with the Governor, The Terminus Crew, the Wolves going and they never really did. Governor lasted a little while....but I think this Negan rivalry will be better and more drawn out. Looking forward/Dreading it! lol

Mike V. said...

@Plumbarius - right on the graphic novels. I know they definitely keep people guessing.

I had read/heard that the Glenn thing played out just like it did in the comics which was satisfying to readers. I remember issue 100 coming out when The Walking Dead TV show premiered. I was thinking "geez issue 100?? I don't think the show will ever get there!" lol

Maybe I'll check them out...are they available on Kindle? I think I already know the answer to this. (meaning I'd read them on my iDevices in color...not on a black and white kindle lol)

Jason B. said...

I think Plumbarius was referring to leaks that were out before the premiere aired. Unfortunately I first heard that it would be Glenn and Abe back in June or July. There was always the chance of it being wrong, but of course it turns out it wasn't. I'm pretty mad at AMC, they talked like they would do so much to keep the spoilers from getting out, but apparently they didn't even keep the two actors on set! There are also definitely leaks from inside the crew, because a few days before every episode last year, a breakdown of the coming episode was released. Happened for this episode too, I haven't gone back to actually read it but I'm guessing that everything was pretty spot on. And then people take those spoilers and post them wherever without any warning. I even avoid Facebook and Youtube comments, where it's most common, but end up running into them somewhere pretty much every time something big happens. Just sucks that being a big fan of the show and wanting to discuss it often leads to being spoiled. I have a lot of precautions this year to try my best to avoid them for the rest of the season, hopefully it'll work out.

Anyway, complaining aside haha, knowing who is going to die and seeing it all play out are two totally different things. Fortunately the details are never spoiled for me because I would have to sit there and consciously read them. The episode still had me on the edge of my seat quite a bit, and I thought that it was done beautifully. Especially the ending, absolutely loved that.

I was pretty positive that Negan wasn't going to cut Rick's hand off, because it wouldn't make too much sense since he wants Rick to work for him haha. They had me guessing for a second with Carl, but I had a strong feeling that Negan would stop Rick like he did. It's like the Bible story of Abraham (Haha I'm sure the writers knew what they were doing here) and his son if you guys have heard it, and Negan wants Rick to see him as God.

And wow, the entrance of Negan was way more intense on the show than in the comics, all around. I love the mind games he and the Saviors play. They added a very calculating side to him, which has just been amazing so far. In the comic it's just the killing and a "Ta-Ta." In the show he really made sure that Rick was broken and going to bend to his will. It wasn't just about a "lesson," it was making sure that everyone knew that he's in charge. I'm extremely excited to see more of what JDM does with the character, I hadn't seen him in anything else before but he showed a lot of range in this one episode. Not that I doubted it haha, I've heard nothing but great things about him.

And just to let everyone know, next week's episode is 76 minutes long. Such an odd length haha, but I'm so glad that they've been giving both FTWD and TWD the ability to go over the usual 42-ish minute episode run-time, gives the scenes some breathing room.

Jason B. said...

Oh and, I thought I said this back in the September-October thread but I guess I didn't:

You guys may already know, but the title of this episode was a throwback to Dr. Jenner in season 1. When Jenner opens the security doors to allow them to get out of the CDC, Rick says that he is grateful for the chance to live, and Jenner replies with "The day will come when you won't be." Obviously Rick has been through a lot of loss since then, especially that of Lori. But this is just so much different, so brutal and so traumatizing. And it's not just the loss of Abraham and Glenn, but everything that they've been building in Alexandria. They were finally recovering some semblance of humanity and now that's gone.

Mike V. said...

Well, I’m not sure how much you frequented Walking Dead sites to stumble upon the scoop (Nevermind…just saw your later sentences where you explained). But, I pretty much tune out of TWD info after the finale each season and didn’t hear anything. Glad you didn’t share what you had seen!  But sorry you got spoiled. That said, there are so many moving parts when it comes to producing an episode of television that leaks are bound to happen and it’s tough to keep things sealed. I’d imagine the episode has to pass through many hands and someone probably knows how not to get caught spilling the beans. I usually don’t look into discussions about the show outside of this blog. But, I do tend to go into comments sections in articles and stuff like that. I can see general reception from the fandom is still frustration on the finale from last year. Everyone suggesting better ideas for unveiling the same plot but not keeping the big cliffhanger. (i.e. kill Abraham at the end of last season and still kill glenn in the beginning of this season) I think it was fine….but what do I know? TV shows have cliffhangers. People hated when LOST didn’t dive into the hatch in season 1. But once season 2 was started it was pretty clear why they waited. (And that season 2 opener was one of the best openers of the show! If not THE best.)

Definitely was a tension filled episode!! I had heard Robert Kirkman has gone on record saying he regretted taking Rick’s hand off because it impedes his writing when he wants Rick to do things with his hands. Lol But yeah..Carl was fair game. I really thought they were going to do it. But then it ended up being a “You were going to drink the fat” moment!! (FRIENDS reference…google it if you don’t know it! I know Leslie knows it. Lol) I was thinking of Cain and Abel when you said “sons” but I think you’re referring to Abraham and his son Isaac. Yep, I’m aware of the test sacrifice. Also a “Drink the fat” moment! Lol

Yeah I’m sure JDM wouldn’t have taken the role unless it was pretty meaty. He is great in everything. I haven’t seen him in much either but everything I have seen him in is great.

Thanks for the heads up on the extended run time. Sometimes I enjoy a longer episode….some shows take advantage of it to make less tightly edited episodes. (I’m calling Sons of Anarchy out on this one!) But I’m sure TWD needs the time. We’ll see!

Nice callback to the Jenner episode in season 1. Definitely forgot that line and totally makes sense that this could be his final breaking point. He’s had many breaking points…but this is a big one when you pile all of the years of baggage up.

MJ said...

OMG - have not eve had time to read any recaps or the comments. How did we not see it coming that TWO of our group would die ?!? SIGH. Husband wassure it was Maggie - since she appears weak at the moment ad Negen already knew someone in the group would be hurt horribly by her death. And I have to say - in that last trailer when they went close up on the gore left behind in the dirt someone zoomed in on it and it appeared to be Maggie's ring. A red herring obviously. I was shocked I did not cry while they were being killed - but i was just in shock I think. But I did well up when Negen left and Maggie and everyone was talking. Abraham went out like a proud soldier and Glenn went out as sweet as always. So sad.

So - I managed to NOT get spoiled on my trip. Trip was great - had a fab time. Talking Dead was making me nervous with all that rain and electronics. Was glad the crowd did not boo JDM - he really is a great actor.

Mike - SOA - Let it go ! LOL just kidding. Ok - have to try tor ead the recap and some comments. Sigh - swamped at work.

MJ said...

Ok - read the recap. Not the comments yet

Thought it was very clever to do the reveal(s) the way they did - thru Rick's eyes. Was horrifying tho. And the makeup - Glenn was horrific. And that walker Rick was hanging from was pretty awful too. yeah - I guess we all wondered if they would go the way of the book and take Rick's hand - but in the book Rick lost his hand long before Negen I thought. And Kirkman always said he regretted doing it. Harder to write and have Rick fighting and all. And poor Daryl - responsible for getting asecond person killed - I am very afraid for him. I feel alot of painful torture and beatings are coming our way for Daryl. Loved Glenns last words to Maggie. SIGH

From something I know of the books Carl I think will be impacted very much. Won't say more.

Nor do we know what has become of Tara and Heath. But yeah - the preview did not hide where Carol and Morgan wind up at all

Leslie said...

Mike - Drink the fat....I laughed right out loud...really!! :)

MJ, I did the same as you on the tears. Was just too shocked when it was happening, so I didn't well up until the end when you see them all defeated and starting to process. Then more on Talking Dead when they did the send offs for Abraham and Glenn. So sad! Glad you had a great trip!

Mike V. said...

Welcome back MJ! Glad the trip was good. Never letting SOA go though! lol's hard to dislike JDM. The man is so darn charming! Even though I was hating what he was doing, I was enjoying his performance so much.

Speaking of the books, I finally put Compendium volume 1 Kindle Edition on my wish list. Maybe one of these days I'll start reading them. lol Looks like they've had enough issues to maybe have a volume 4 soon.

Yeah...I almost forgot about Tara and Heath. Yeah..pretty clear where Carol and Morgan will be. I think the clip from next week centered on it too didn't it? (during Talking Dead)

Glad you enjoyed my Friends reference Leslie! :)

mj said...

Clip definitely centered on it.

Catching up on comments now - I also had Eugene in as a possibility. Yeah - Andrew Lincoln is always 'across the pond' by the time they are airing and does not come back for Talking Dead usually.

I felt the whole breakdown of Rick and the group is kinda similar to what they do in boot camp. They strip your individuality to make you a group - but not in any way like Negen of course. LOL But then you are re-built in the way they want you.

Aww - that was so sweet that you all thought of me NOT getting spoiled. LOL In London it aired Monday night and I left London Monday morning. So i had to just be careful once landing in the US at 1pm to not look at entertainment news in the airport. LOL And not read texts ! We got home at 2:30 and by 3:30 I was watching the finale from last year.

I think JDM was signed on for 2 seasons - so we will be with Negen next year too.

So - behind on pretty much everything else ( Westworld, Flash, Supergirl, etc) so not going to other comments. Brought a cold home from London and my head has been so stuffy I have only been watching fluff shows - except TWD. LOL Nothing was keeping me from his show !

Mike V. said...

There's only so many shows now that you really need to watch live these days...TWD is one of them so of course we were worried for you! lol

Interesting take on the Boot Camp angle. Didn't think about that, but does make sense!

Definitely makes sense that Negan will be a longer term villain. (With the 2 year contract) For all we know it could get extended if things are working well. I just wonder how long they'll keep this show on the air. It really is designed to go on forever...but at some point the actors/showrunners have to cry Uncle, right? lol (not that changing showrunners isn't something they've done before)

Good luck catching up with the rest of your TV! We caught up on most stuff after our trip...and then other stuff just kinda is sitting there and we're not feeling motivated to catch up. (e.g. 2 episodes of Timeless. I'd like to watch them, but not feeling an overwhelming need to!)

MJ said...

Just read that some people did not notice negen's peeps take picture of the dead bodies before thy left. I saw it. Did everyone else ? And I remembered that we knew that did that from when we snuck in and killed them in their sleep - they had pictures on their walls

Mike V. said...

Makes sense that they did that and it sounds vaguely familiar from watching. I definitely remember when they had pictures of other people they killed. Nice detail to add to this episode though!

Jason B. said...

I did miss the photo being taken the first time watching, I was probably too focused on watching Rick haha. I also missed Abe making a peace sign to Sasha, like they did a few times last season, right after he was chosen by Negan. Did everyone else catch that? I also learned that Michael Cudlitz improvised that, it was a way to say goodbye to her without breaking the POV cliffhanger by having Abraham look away from Negan