Things Have Changed

The season 7 premiere was aptly titled “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” and not only does this title apply to two beloved characters, but most likely 110% of the TWD fandom.  Yes, that is right, AMC has left us devastated, and they started out season 7 with a bang…or rather, a swing.

The episode begins just after the brutal murders, and Negan is far from done with his taunting.  He likes mind games, and Rick is the subject of these games after he promises to kill Negan…not today, not tomorrow, but someday in the future.  After dragging Rick from the rest of the group and into the RV, he drives them into the middle of a horde and tosses his axe into the midst of the group of gathering walkers.  Negan is in charge now, and he is proving this to Rick.

It is only once Rick has safely climbed to the top of the RV without successfully retrieving the axe that we learn what really happened.  In arguably the most brutal scene in the history of The Walking Dead, Negan played his twisted game of eenie meenie miney moe, and Abraham was on the receiving end of Lucille.  Things only went from bad to worse when Negan decided to hold a bloody Lucille in front of Rosita, causing Daryl to lash out.  The first time someone had acted out was free, but there are no more exceptions and Daryl’s actions have consequences.  Glenn is the second victim and the first Atlanta survivor to die since Andrea’s death in season 3.

Cut back to the present time, and Negan’s games continue.  Rick has yet to retrieve the axe, and he is reminded of what could still happen should he refuse Negan’s orders.  After a bit of a struggle he completes the task, and Negan is kind enough to allow Rick to keep it.  Rick may have been in charge, but he no longer is, but according to Negan that doesn’t mean that he can’t still lead a productive life producing for Negan and the Saviors.

But the mind games aren’t over yet, and when they make it back to the rest of the group, Carl gets pulled into the mix.  Rick hasn’t yet given up complete control, and Negan is determined to break him.  He ties a belt around Carl’s left arm, creating a tourniquet, and orders Rick to cut his arm off using the axe.  If he does it, there is a chance that Carl will still live.  If he doesn’t do it, everyone will die.  Just as Rick is about to follow through with the order, Negan stops him.  Rick answers to Negan now, and so does everyone else.  The Saviors take Daryl with them when they go, and they leave a single truck for Rick and Co. to use, stating that they will be back in one week to pick up the first offering.

The episode ends on a somber note.  The group is left with two unrecognizable bodies.  They are grieving, and Maggie blames herself for everything that they have gone through, including Glenn’s death.  They were out here because of her.  As the two bodies are loaded into the truck, we are left with an image of what could have been: the group gathered around a table eating, Maggie and Glenn’ child amongst them.  Rick had been grateful in season 1, but Dr. Jenner had been right…the day has finally come when Rick isn’t.


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