This review has been published days after the first episode of Series 7 has been broadcast, so yes, it is totally filled with spoilers. Consider yourself warned!
After a remarkably pathetic end to Series 6 I must admit it was hard to care about The Walking Dead in the off-season. The reveal of the new big bad guy was much delayed so that Negan was only on-screen for a few minutes and he seemed decidedly one-note. This was the guy whose name had been a whispered threat running through the last series?! And his weapon of choice is a baseball bat?! Humph!
And then we knew who dunnit, but didn’t know who he’d dunnit to, thanks to the totally shitty ‘blood on the lens’ effect. Such an obvious manipulative tactic to keep the audience interested. I’d have been really angry if I could have mustered the effort. Newsflash! This is series 6 into 7. If by now the writers and production team haven’t realised by now the audience is interested and loyal, and there’s zero chance of getting canned by Fox, then they’re far thicker than we ever imagined.
So we limped into Series 7 on Monday (or Sunday if you watch it in the USA). The first 10 minutes of ridiculous Negan speechifying (Make The Saviours Great Again) was yet more delaying tactics to spin out the pathetic cliffhanger. TWD – I was so nearly done with you.
And then we’re finally let in on the gory secret. It was the wonderful ginger warrior Abraham who was introduced to Lucille first. “Suck my nuts” was the appropriate reaction. Since he was already written out of the comics we knew he was on borrowed time. Sad but true. I’ll miss you Abe and the show will miss your amazing comedic language. With Eugene’s buddy gone I reckon this series will be very short on laughs.
And then, almost as a totally thoughtless action after Daryl’s stupid outburst, Glenn pays for it in such a hideous fashion. Even for a show about the zombie apocalypse that was gory in the extreme.
I really thought if Glenn was killed it would be a total rubbishy cop-out because we’d had the whole tiresome ‘Glenn is dead’ storyline last time. Saved by a miraculous dumpster with a two foot clearance and the entrails of the unfortunate meatbag Nicholas. So this time around the internet decided Glenn wasn’t dead – just hiding under the bat.
In fact Glenn’s death was easily the most shocking part of the whole disturbing episode. (Sorry Abe. You looked strong and undaunted. Of course the big bad bully was going to pick on you.) Never mind the popped-out eyeball. Did you see it rolling around the ground amongst the mush afterwards?! And then the Saviour paused to take photo of it! Dear Lord. That’s going to haunt my nightmares for a long long time.
So how are our merry band going to survive this? Negan seems unstoppable and Rick is literally cowering in front of him. The perfect way to undermine the abilities of a rival leader is to make him so frightened he snorts out a large snot bubble of terror in front of his whole gang. I’m not sure Rick would have gotten back up again had Maggie (pregnant force-of-nature superwoman) not absolutely insisted.
I wasn’t sure about Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s casting but I think he could well be a brilliant evil villain. He’s utterly without mercy and grinning maniacally at the carnage he’s created. He has perfect control over his loyal troops and a system of intimidation and shakedowns that the Mafia would be proud of. Rick’s miserable and heartbroken group are in no fit state to take them on, despite their fighting talk. Fortunately there seems to be a very regal-looking man and a large tiger close by. That’ll upset the new Negan regime. Here kitty kitty!