WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
“Eenie. Meenie. Miney. Mo.” These bone chilling words were spoken by Negan.
“Catch. A tiger. By. Its toe.” Everyone is on edge as Negan’s bat, Lucile, lands on its next victim.
“ If. He hollers. Let. Him. Go.” Maggie’s heart sinks as Glenn is beaten to a bloody pulp and his eye pops from its socket.
“ My. Mamma. Told me. To pick.” Then, in a rage, Daryl lands a punch on Negan.
“ The very. Best. One.” Negan, displeased with his actions, decides to teach the group a lesson.
“And. You.” Lucile claims another victim.
“Are. It.” Everyone watches in horror as Abraham is bludgeoned to death.
This is the introduction to the seventh season of the AMC original series The Walking Dead. Already, there has been many unexpected twists and turns. From Carol and Morgan meeting with a new leader named King Ezekiel, to Daryl being tortured with little food, water, and the constant blaring of music in his dark tomb. This season of The Walking Dead leaves its viewers in shock and awe as an out of control Rick is easily overpowered by Negan.
This season is unlike many before. There has been no filler episodes within the season. It has contained more graphic bloodshed and characters being killed off, which is a great improvement from earlier seasons. It gives the show an added excitement and it also gives its viewers a more emotional connection to the characters. The only two living members left from the shows original group are Carl and Rick. The show has done a phenomenal job of splitting the story into two and telling each one without confusion. One episode is all about Rick and his group, and the next it’s about Morgan and Carol. This is very unique, and unlike most other shows on air. In past seasons it was used more sparingly. The close-ups give a deeper look into the stories being played out.
Another thing the director has done a lot better is the use of close-up shots. Throughout the first few episodes, countless close-ups are on everything from Negan’s bat to Daryl in captivity. The utilization of these shots has given viewers like me a much closer connection to Daryl, and it shows he isn’t perceived as the hard-headed man he pretends to be, but shows he has a sensitive side to him as well.
Along with the improvements, there are still certain aspects of the show that need to be fixed. The season focused on Carol, Morgan, and Daryl. Rick and the gang need to make more of an appearance. So far, they’ve been shown in one episode. The plot development as well has made little progress. The writers used up too much time showing Daryl in his cell. A couple of times the scenes were important but most were rather unnecessary. They also seem to make Negan sound too full of himself. He makes it sound like he’s untouchable because everyone is afraid of him, but in all reality, he is one man with a bat versus a hundred others.
Despite these minor flaws, so far this is turning out to be the best season of The Walking Dead yet. Viewers are left on the edge of their seats due to constant plot twists. With both Abraham and Glenn now dead, who is to say who could go next? As Negan is taking control over Rick and his group, he is constantly putting fear into them. He makes them feel like their worthless and crushes their dreams. You can see all hope drain out of Rick as Negan says, “ Bet ya thought you were all going to grow old together, sitting around the table at Sunday dinner in the happily ever after. No… Doesn’t work like that Rick. Not anymore.” As far as fans are concerned, Negan is here to stay for a while whether they like it or not.
Stars: **** of 5
Starring: Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride