The day has come boys and girls, The Walking Dead season 7 has started and we get to see who Negan beats the holy hell out of. This post will recap and review the entire episode and so will include some heavy spoilers. Refrain from reading ahead if you haven’t seen this episode yet.
We begin where we left off on the teaser trailer, Negan is questioning Rick about the identity of his right-hand man and gesturing towards his lackey to bring forward Rick’s weapon, the hatchet. Rising to his feet, he drags Rick off into the van leaving the pile of what used to be a person behind. The bludgeoning has already happened and we are still in the dark about who exactly got the Lucille treatment. The only clue we have is the blood splatter on ricks face, meaning the victim was sat to his right before they got their melon bashed.
Inside the van, Rick is taking a beating from Negan who then slams the hatchet into the table. Sitting down at the driver’s wheel, Negan suggests going for a ride but is unable to start the engine noting how the van is a ‘piece of shit’. From the comic books, we know Negan uses strong language and that AMC decided to tone it down for the TV series – to keep it TV friendly. However, it has been suggested that there will be an uncut version once the season is released on Blu-ray and DVD.
Mocking Rick’s threat to kill him, he questions why he is fighting back when he just saw what happened to one of his friends. Goading him into grabbing the hatchet, Rick lunges to then find Negan turn on him gun in hand. “It’s a brand-new day Rick” he rejoices as he eventually starts the engine. We get a flash of Rosita as Negan walks by her with some of Rick’s memories intertwined in black and white. I am assuming this will happen until we reach the victim that Negan chose with his eeny meeny miney mo game. Another flash to Glenn in the same manner as before – the victim from the comic books.
“You are mine” Negan claims gesturing towards Rick in his shaken state. He points out that all of Rick’s group belong to him now. Opening the door to the now swarmed van, Negan claims the hatchet as his own and cuts down a walker in his path. Throwing the hatchet out into the thick fog, he orders rick to go retrieve it. Growing angry at his disobedience he throws Rick out of the van, prompting two more flashbacks of Sasha and Eugene to overwhelm Rick.
Fighting through the sea of walkers, more characters’ flash upon the screen, this time it’s Abraham, Maggie and Daryl. Clambering up onto the top of the RV, Rick manages to escape the biting teeth of walkers. Looking out into the deep fog filled with stumbling un-dead, the music swells as another flash hits Rick. This time it’s Michonne, his new-found love whose moment is interrupted by a walker hanging by its neck. Seeming to final show his break; he falls to his knees as his son’s face fills his vision.
Negan interrupts the moment of anguish when he lectures him on how things don’t work the same anymore, reminding him to think about what happened. This returns us to the moments leading up to the kill. In a lucid dreamy state, we see the gang all lined up on their knees unaware of what will happen in the next few moments. The game of eeny meeny miney mo begins with Rick and Negan continue along the line of shaking survivors. With tension growing as the rhyme continues, we are unable to see who is directly next to Rick on the right – the possible victim.
The rhyme ends with tears growing in Rick’s eyes, seeing the chosen victim of Lucille. “And you are… it” Negan proclaims as he points his bat towards Abraham. Sasha lets out a wail for the man she loves, the man whom she had begun to plan her future with. Abraham bravely stares at the implement of his destruction as Rosita whimpers close by. Negan slams the bat down onto his head as the rest of the group whimper in attempts to stay quiet. He rises as Negan acknowledges him on ‘taking it like a champ’. Abe goes out in true brute style as he tells Negan to ‘Suck his nuts’ which prompts Negan to swing the bat down again. This time Abe stays down and Negan continues to beat him till he’s unrecognisable.
The deed is done and Negan continue to beat the bloody mess as he rejoices in the shock that now holds the group in a vice like grip. Swishing his bloodied Lucille around, Blood flecks upon Ricks face, leaving the reminder of his friend’s death even closer. Thrusting the bat into Rosita’s face, he notices her face and puts the two together asking her whether she was with the former recipient of the bat. Nicknaming Abe ‘Red’, Negan says that he just took one (or six or seven) for the team and insists she look at the bloody mess left on the bat.
Daryl lunges for Negan, clocking him in the jaw which prompts the Saviour lackeys to wrestle him to the ground. Rick tries to intervene which Negan knocks back as three people lunge onto Daryl. Dwight points the crossbow at Daryl’s head and asks Negan if he would like him to end it right now. Negan refuses, saying they need to fight for it. Rising to his feet as they drag Daryl back into line he reminds them of his previous comment that he shut it down if anyone interrupts him once again.
No more chances
“I’m a man of my word” he promises as he begins walking back to the line of survivors. He continues his speech until he calmly suggests they continue with the night’s proceedings. “Back to it then” he calmly nods as he then swings the bat down onto Glenn’s head. Maggie cries out loud as he groans and sways on his knees. Mocking his last moments, Negan gets up close and asks if “he’s still there, because it seems like you’re trying to speak” as Glenn sways and moans quietly. Continue to mock as he points out Glenn’s displaced eye, Glenn turns to Maggie and utters her name through the blood. Realising their connection, Negan apologises for his actions but reminds them he did say no exceptions. With that he swings his bat a final time onto Glenn’s head and continuing to bash his remains.
Sobs usher through the wet sounds of Negan putting his point across with the help of Lucille as we now say goodbye to one of our OG characters, Glenn. Negan informs the group how he’s only just getting started as we begin to flash back to Rick in the present day, lying atop the roof of the RV. Negan’s voice chips in again, noting how nobody else has to die as long as Rick gets his axe for him. Shots come through the roof of the RV as Rick jumps onto the hanging walker. Weight looks to be too much as the head of the walker begins to separate from the body, lowering Rick into the mouths gnawing below. Shots continue to ring out as Negan downs the walkers. Crawling through the heap of bodies, Rick reaches the axe and swings it in the direction of various walkers.
Negan kicks the door to the RV open as Rick clambers inside to deliver the axe to his new keeper. Sitting back down in their places, Negan starts up the RV once again and drives it off into the distance. Sometime has seemingly passed as we see Rick asleep when Negan announces their arrival. Reminding Rick of his new place on the hierarchy he begins to clean the axe which began this entire charade. Throwing Rick back out the truck to meet back up with his friends, he asks Rick what he thought the trip was about. Negan enlightens the group that the little road trip was to make Rick realise how he should treat Negan.
Guns are pointed at the back of each of the survivor’s heads as he prepares to teach them a lesson. Beckoning Carl over he asks whether he’s a south paw, a lefty to you and me, which Carl smarmily replies with a no. A tourniquet is wrapped around Carl’s arm as he is knelt beside his father. Simon, one of Negan’s lackeys, throws forth a pen at Negan’s command who then draws a line across Carls forearm. Knowing where this is going, I’m surprised they have managed to figure out a way to fit this nod to the comics in such an action-packed episode.
Telling Rick to cut off his own sons left arm, Negan confirms that if he doesn’t – the rest of the group will die, then Carl’s will die and after a few years of suffering, so will Rick. “Chop Chop” he mocks as he lowers Lucille to Carl’s head, showing Rick how Carl will meet his end if he doesn’t follow through with his orders.
Begging for Negan to let Rick take Carl’s place, Negan begins to count down in frustration. The tension builds as Negan gets to 2 and Carl’s begs his Dad to just do it. He raises the axe and Negan stops the carnage. He insists Rick repeat after him to show his new loyalty to the Saviour leader. Taking the axe away, Negan proclaims that it was a productive day and hopes they all understand how things work.
Dwight loads Daryl into the back of the pick-up as the rest of the group look on. Negan mentions how he likes Daryl because he has guts and isn’t a little bitch like ‘someone else he knows’ and claims him as his property now. He outlines his new plan to keep Rick in check, confirming he will cut pieces off Daryl and put them on his doorstep if he disobeys any of his orders. A brand-new day has started as the group are left to gather supplies for Negan, of which they have a week to do. The Saviours pack up and leave them with the remains of their friends and a single truck.
Maggie is the first to stand and orders Rick to go and prepare to fight the Saviours. Knowing the odds are against them, he denies her request and insists on helping her. She blames herself for the fact everyone was here and that if it wasn’t for her, people would not be dead. Sasha insists on helping her get to the Hilltop doctor and Maggie wants to take Glenn with her. The groups clamour around the bodies of their now passed loved ones as they prepare to move them to somewhere suitable for burial.
The bodies are lifted and we see a wide-open space, only tainted by two blood pools metres apart. We then get shown flourishes of Abe and Glenn sitting down at the end of a long table enjoying a meal with the rest of the gang. Back to reality and rick picks up the axe and returns to the bloodies RV with his group inside. Driving away, he notices a walker approach one of the blood pools where his friend once lay.