It came as no surprise that the show tried to drag out who had been killed in the season 6 finale as long as they possibly could. Although I believed, after seeing the finale, that they should have revealed who died, I was willing to suck it up and just wait for the premiere. However, this was under the impression that it would be revealed quickly, of course, it wasn’t, and I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t have revealed it sooner. Fans like myself weren’t itching to find out who died during the hiatus, or at least stopped wondering who it might be after a while. When I discovered (through spoilers before I’d seen the episode) who died I was not at all surprised or even impressed in some ways.
If you’re a fan of the Walking Dead I believe there are moments in this episodes that you will really enjoy and appreciate, but be aware, especially if you already have issues with the show, you might find things that really bother you.
Before I get into this I have to say I really appreciated the throwback to Dr Edwin Jenner in season 1 with the episode title. It was a simple way to show how much is changed and to perfectly frame how much the characters, especially Rick, have gone through.
THE REST OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
I have also split this review into sections so it’s easier for you to find something specific.
THE PRE OPENING CREDIT SCENE.
The episode starts with the (seemingly) immediate aftermath consisting of a zoomed in shot of Rick’s face so we still can’t tell who has been Luciled. My biggest problem with this scene is Rick’s “I’ll kill you” comment. Okay, sure, it’s an emotional and horrific time and Rick isn’t one to shy away from challenging anyone who threatens him or his family, but it really was not the time. After seeing what Negan is capable of I think even Rick would know to keep his mouth shut, but sure, I can buy it if I have it. The real problem comes when Negan basically asks him to repeat himself and Rick continues to say “not today, not tomorrow, but I’m gonna kill you.”
Although he was clueless, season 1 Rick was very smart and tactful in very different ways. The show seems to have over the seasons taken him away from that, or at least tried to add to it. They’ve made him more reckless, arguably stronger, and more of a survivor, but in doing so, especially the first one, they’ve been made him kind of stupid. Sure season 1 Rick would have been out of his element here, but he would have known that no matter how much Negan deserves to die, in that situation, you keep your mouth shut, play your cards right, and wait for a more appropriate moment.
I will say, the first interesting moment for me came when Negan dragged Rick into the trailer. I haven’t reached that point in the comics where Negan is introduced, but I was very impressed with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s portrayal at the end of the last season. In that scene I remember why I liked him so much.
Although I’m a against dragging out who died, it was a good scene to have before the opening credits, all except for the last shot. What was the point in showing the gory remains of someone’s head if you’re not going to tell us who it is? Now, maybe there’s a clue in there that I missed, but it really doesn’t seem like it. It just felt like another attempt to remind us that there’s a death, but we’re going to have to hold out just a bit longer to find out who.
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