Your regular The Walking Dead Top 5 writer is traveling tonight, so I am stepping in. Hopefully I do her justice. As often happens with this show, I was watching most of it through my fingers. Many tears were shed on screen and in my room. I hope you kept the tissues handy because, as promised, this was a doozy. What made this episode different from previous losses was the personal nature of the violence. Others have fallen due to circumstances. Never before have we seen this level of sadistic execution. And with Negan in the house, I strongly suspect it will not be the last. So now it is time to breathe, blink and cry as we count down tonight’s The Walking Dead Top
We make it through the first half hour of the show without seeing who fell to Lucille. This added to the stress and tension of the episode. Building us up to the halfway point when we return to the “Eeny, meeny, miney, mo,” scene. By manipulating the viewers in the waiting, the writers allowed us to feel Negan’s manipulation along with Rick. The episode is very well crafted.
The First Scene
The scene before the credits was brilliant. Just close up back and forth shots between Negan and Rick. Rick informs Negan that he will kill him and I have no doubt that will happen. I am inclined to think that is a few seasons out though. Negan then drags Rick into the RV and drives him off for a lesson in obedience. Throughout this we see the entire team’s lives flash before Rick’s eyes, not giving us a direct insight. As Negan pushes him further and further Rick finally takes us back to the killings.
We eventually get back to the events from the finale. As the scene continues we see that the victim, whose eye’s we watched through in the finale, is Abraham. It was chilling to watch the rest of the team flinch and crumble with each blow. Daryl loses it and lashes out in exactly the way Negan forbade. He is quickly tackled by Negan’s lackeys and one of them prepared to kill Daryl with his own crossbow. Negan basically says that is too quick and nice an end for someone that disobeys. So they hold Daryl back to watch as Negan takes Lucille to Glenn’s skull. I thought it was gruesome before but this took it to a new level. Glenn does not die instantly and it is brutal.
Once Negan and Rick return from their trip in the RV we see the entire Alexandria team in the same positions we left them in. Unhappy with the “I will kill you” looks Rick is still shooting at him, Negan then blackmails Rick into chopping off Carl’s hand. Honestly I thought he was going to make him choose another Lucille victim so the hand chopping wasn’t as bad as that. This is what the show is doing to us: Rick chopping off his son’s hand doesn’t seem so bad to me. At any rate, as soon as Rick is about to cut, Negan realizes he has won. He stops the ax and makes Rick vow loyalty. They load Daryl into a van to go with Negan’s men. The rest of our crew is left to clean up their dead and begin scavenging supplies as an offering for Negan.
Do you know your enemy?
In the very last moments of the episode, Rick is climbing back into the RV to return to Alexandria and a walker stumbles out of the woods. Rick pauses for a moment then climbs in and continues on his way. This moment reminded me of a conversation I had with my kids today. I mentioned a new villain was expected to kill one or two of the regulars and they said, “Aren’t the zombies the bad guys?” This episode is so important because the tonal shift is that the walkers are no longer the main bad guys. They are no more dangerous than any other wild animal. The terror, danger, and fear for our main characters is now entirely encapsulated in the other humans. This is what our team is up against from here on.
It is definitely a new world. One that I intend to watch through my fingers every week.