“And you are it.”
After seven long months, Walker Weekly finally returns – but there’s no cause for celebration.
In the season seven opener “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” we finally find out who was on the receiving end of Lucille. Let’s dive in and get this over with.
The episode opened with the aftermath of Negan’s [Jeffrey Dean Morgan] capture of Rick’s [Andrew Lincoln] group by his army, the Saviors.
Negan conducted a sinister game of “eenie, meenie, miney, mo” with his victims, all lined up in front of him to send a message to Rick and his allies – they’re no longer in control.
Taking Rick for a ride in his newly-acquired R.V., he laid down the law for Rick, and emphasized to him how powerless he is – and how worse it could have been.
“Keep acting tough, go ahead,” Negan commanded, telling Rick to go retrieve an ax he had thrown out into a nearby walker herd.
While scrambling to find it, Rick got flashbacks in his head of that dreadful evening, slowly building an aura of menace before revealing who met Lucille at the end of season six.
Rick seemed so weak and powerless, especially now more than ever. He and the others had taken control of situations for so long but Negan and his own influence have proved otherwise already this season.
The flashback to that fateful night took over, each phrase in that nursery rhyme building tension as Negan pointed his dreaded Lucille in his victims’ direction – before choosing who was ‘it.’
Abraham [Michael Cudlitz] was chosen. Negan beat his skull to a bloody pulp.
“He’s taking it like a champ!” Negan exclaimed, much to the shock and horror of Rick and his fellow survivors.
I’ve personally never felt this uncomfortable watching someone die in a television show. It’s one thing to see walkers get dismembered, or even someone living get shot, but the delight Negan took in killing his enemies was unsettling in every single way.
The worst part was he wasn’t even through.
Daryl [Norman Reedus] attempted to take a stand against Negan before being taken away by his men. Negan asserted he won’t let Daryl’s outburst go unpunished.
He turned around and performed the same beating with Lucille to Glenn [Steven Yeun] while his wife Maggie [Lauren Cohan] screamed in horror.
“Maggie, I’ll find you…,” Glenn stammered out after the first hit, before Negan continued his assault.
The scene is horrifying in every sense of the word. I can’t bring myself to write out and describe the uncomfortable gore that this scene had, but if you watched it, you’ll know the trauma that this scene has caused.
Negan, after bringing Rick back to the group the next morning, continued to mock him before commanding him to cut off his son Carl’s [Chandler Riggs] arm to pledge his loyalty to him and the Saviors.
“Just do it,” Carl mutters before Rick mentally reaches his breaking point.
Andrew Lincoln’s acting in this scene was surreal, he was to the point of absolute hysteria from Negan’s physical and mental torture of him and his group.
Kudos to the hyperventilating and snot from Lincoln’s nose expressing sheer terror and hopelessness that made this scene more believable, because this experience is going to haunt Rick for a very long time.
Rick is a broken man, and although he doesn’t cut Carl’s arm off, the damage to him and his group have been done.
Maggie was the first to rise, wanting to say goodbye to her husband Glenn, one last time. This was one of those scenes where the pain in an actor saying goodbye is just as prevalent as the pain that the character is portraying.
They all were family, both on-screen and off. The scene Maggie envisioned of them having a picnic together in Alexandria together is heart-wrenching, showing a montage of the families and lives they could’ve have lived happily together.
“He’s our family too,” Rick reassured Maggie, who at this point lost all of her own family, including her husband.
It’s one thing knowing someone was going to die this episode, but seeing it happen in such violently vivid detail will scar both characters and viewers alike.
On the other hand, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a villain is already outshining his predecessors in “The Walking Dead,” with the cockiness and brutality that defines him in the comics.
All cliffhangers set aside, this episode has made up in abundance the pain of waiting the seven months. Season seven of this show will prove to be a definitive moment in “The Walking Dead’s” history. It’s moments like Sunday’s episode that will stand the test of time.
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