The Walking Dead Episode 701
“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”
For six months we have been anxiously awaiting to see who is “it.” There have been so many theories of who was going to die floating through the internet, each a mixture of speculation and fear. So many of us wanted to be right, but when premiere night finally came, we all watched in horror as Rick is constantly tormented the entire time. With adrenaline pumping, we watch as the beginning sequence appears, already teased to us last week to whet our appetites for the premiere.
We see Rick. He witnesses the death of one of his group. He is still going through shock, but he musters enough confidence to threaten Negan. We are proud of him for a fleeting second, but then reality sets in. Negan grabs Rick, hurling him toward the RV. He tells the group that they might be back. He takes Rick through the fog in the RV, purposefully driving through walkers while their blood slings on the windshield. When the RV stops, while verbally and physically tormenting Rick, Negan takes Rick’s axe, jamming it into the table. Rick looks at it and you can see his jaw clench. You know his gears are turning trying to pick the precise moment to pounce. But Negan is always a step ahead. He challenges Rick to strike. Rick decides to charge, but Negan turns around with a semi-automatic and threatens to shoot. Negan reaches for the axe and throws it outside. “Rick! Go get my axe!” At first Rick silently rebels, but Negan continues, threatening Rick and the rest of the group.
With no other options, Rick leaps out into the fog grabbing the axe and fighting his way through the mass of walkers, eventually climbing his way up to the roof of the RV. He lies there for several minutes processing the whole ordeal. Negan, growing impatient, calls for Rick–“bring me my axe, Rick!”–over and over again until he finally begins shooting through the roof causing Rick to again run for his life. He leaps onto the the body of the man that the Saviors hanged in the season 6 finale. The man, of course, is now a walker. The man’s body cannot withstand Rick’s weight, and his walker head begins to detach from his body. Rick struggles, trying to stay up while walkers grab at his feet and legs from below. Just as the head is almost fully detached, Negan shoots out the back glass of the RV hitting walker after walker. He pulls Rick back inside.
The episode jumps back and forth through time as we see the “eeny, meeny, miny moe” sequence. This time we see who is finally “it.” Sadly, it’s Abraham. I believe we all took a collective breath as we witness his bludgeoned head. Although saddened by his death, we are proud of Abraham as Negan slams Lucille onto his head and he one last time tells Negan to, “suck my nuts!” Then immediately Negan beats “the holy hell” out of him. Out of anger, shock, fear or sheer adrenaline, Daryl lunges for Negan. That is the mistake that no one saw coming.
Negan told them when he first began that the first outburst was free–any more and there would be consequences. And that is exactly what happens. Because Daryl break his rules, Negan takes Lucille and viscously begins to beat Glenn. We fully expected one horrific death, but now there are two. The pages of the comics become reality when Negan kills Glenn. With brain matter, blood and eye popping out, Glenn struggles, attempting to gurgle, “I will find you” to Maggie. Negan finishes Glenn then turns his attention to Daryl. He throws him into a jail cell and tells Rick that they work for him now. If they do not deliver, then Negan will cut pieces off of Daryl and send them back to them.
So that’s it, right? We’re finished with all of the intense horrors? Unfortunately, no. Not only has Negan killed two of our group and harassed Rick in the RV, but now, to illicit a response that Negan feels is appropriate from Rick, he grabs a pen and draws a line on Carl’s arm. He then insists that Rick cut Carl’s arm off at a 45 degree angle. Michonne pleads for Carl’s arm, but to no avail. Rick pleads to cut his own arm off instead and at the last possible second, Negan tells Rick again that they work for him. He expects his first “offering” with no problems.
When Negan and the Saviors leave, the group sits, crying and taking it all in. Maggie has the first moments of clarity. She insists that they go back without her. They were out here because of her so they need to go home while she continues alone. Of course, they didn’t allow that to happen. We end the episode with our group picking up the bodies of our fallen friends, solemnly walking with the dead.
Many of these episodes provide ups as well as downs. The writers usually offer us some comic relief. This episode was full-blown intensity. There was nowhere to escape from what we witnessed. There are still many questions to be answered. We have no idea about what is going on in Alexandria or with Morgan and Carol. I’m sure that next week more will be revealed.