The Walking Dead: “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” Review
A bloody new beginning.
WARNING: FULL SPOILERS in this review because The Walking Dead can only be talked about with spoilers, right?
Yeah, okay, I guess I’ll take a stab at reviewing one of my favorite shows on TV.
When The Walking Dead returns to TV, it’s always an exciting but stressful time. Of course I’m excited becauase regardless of what anyone says – whether they’ve grown to hate the show or disapprove of its storytelling or the differences between the show and the comics – I love the show overall. However, it is so stressful watching it on a weekly basis. In my eyes, The Walking Dead is the most spoiled TV series in history. People can’t keep their pie holes shut or their keyboards silent after watching an episode. Consideration for others goes right out the window. Instantly, Twitter becomes a cesspool of spoilers. Within hours, hell, minutes, there are meme’s of a character death or a significant plot twist. So while the show is on air, a true fan has no choice but to go on a complete social media blackout until they watch the episode of the week. Personally, I’d love nothing more than to wait for the season to finish so I can binge on it later. But I have to endure all the cliffhangers this show has to offer on a weekly basis, simply because I cannot have this show spoiled for me.
Okay, let me level with you, the reader, right now. The beginning paragraph was written by me a few hours in advance. So as I’m writing this right now, relefecting off the season seven premiere episode I just watched… I am… finding it very difficult to proceed with this review. I am devastated. Don’t get me wrong, the episode was amazing and successful in what it set out to do… and that’s why I’m feeling what I’m feeling right now. This episode was not only about breaking our fearless hero, Rick Grimes. It was also about breaking us as an audience. We’ve seen these characters become complete bad asses, capable of overcoming any obstacle. Yes, there have been losses, and each one tests us as audience members, as we continue watching with broken hearts. We fans know by now anyone can die at any given moment. But the group goes on with their heads held high, fighting to survive. However, with last season’s cliffhanger, seeing our characters all gathered together at the mercy of Negan and his bat, Lucille, we saw our heroes looking plenty helpless, fearing for their very lives. So when I see the reactions on Twitter and Facebook, and I look at how I’m feeling at this moment, I gotta say, this episode totally broke us in some way or another.
IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED, PRODUCERS? HUH? YOU WANTED TO DESTROY US, DESTROY ME? WELL, CONGRATU-F**KING-LATIONS, YOU GOD DAMN SICK BASTARDS! Here I am, broken hearted, angry, sad, feeling useless…. (Sigh) But okay. I’m fine. I have a review to do.
So right off the bat (abso-f**king-lutely pun intended), we picked up a few minutes later where that chilling cliffhanger left off. Negan has already made good on his demented promise, and beaten someone to death with his barbed wired bat, Lucille. This obviously leaves Rick pissed, promising he’ll get revenge. Now I knew they were going to drag out the reveal of who died for as long as they could. These damned producers made us wait almost seven freaking months to see who Negan would kill, driving most of the fans nuts with all the click bait articles from various new sites online. So what did they do? They made us wait a little while longer. This whole episode was a mind game both inside the screen and out. I mean, they replay the damn final cliff hanging scene from the previous finale, for Christ’s sake. We see it through Rick’s eyes this time. Before that, we see glimpses of the characters and past moments with them. “Ugh, just get on with it”, I think, with my heart pounding. “SHOW US WHO DIED!”… And then, we finally get our answer.
In an odd way, I was relived to see Abraham become Negan’s choice. Oh, yeah, I was mad because I love that character and the actor who plays him, Michael Cuditz. But he’s a soldier. He can take it. He seemed like a worthy sacrifice. He even gets my eternal respect for telling Negan to suck his nuts even after taking that devastating first blow. But then, Daryl loses it and attacks Negan after he’s had enough of his fiendish taunting. Now even though I could see millions of fans prepare their riot gear, I knew Negan had other plans for him, therefore, making Daryl safe… for now. I recalled Negan say he’d kill someone else if any of the group acted out. And sure as sh*t, he did. For months, Glenn was expected to go. Even after all the sh*t he went through in season six, his time was almost guaranteed to be up at the business end of Lucille. Especially since (Spoiler Alert?) that’s exactly how he dies in the comic. I mean, I was thinking they wouldn’t dare kill him, especially since readers already saw him die in the comics. They’d want to change that, right? Well, apparently not, but they made you think they would, by killing Abe first. But then, mother f**ker, there’s Negan, standing next to Glenn as he swears he’s a man of his word. And then WHACK! Like nothing. Down goes another fan favorite. My heart sank to my gut. The worse part of it was he couldn’t even die instantly. He was alive, eye popping out, trying to say something to Maggie for a solid minute before Negan finished him off. Poor f**king Glenn, man. And how horrible for Maggie to see her husband that way. I tell ya, this show is sick. (Sigh)
The rest of the episode is just as intense, as we see Negan manhandling Rick like a rag doll, making him move past dozens of walkers to fetch his own hatchet just to prove a point. Then once going back to the camp, he almost forced Rick to cut his own son’s hand off with the same hatchet. Big up’s to Carl for expressing great bravery. Seeing Rick break down and beg was just as crushing as it was seeing Glenn and Abraham die. I mean, what choice did he have? Negan had the upper hand throughout the whole episode. Negan basically broke Rick. Rick Grimes was turned into Negan’s little bitch. I’m sure he’ll make his comeback as a bad ass again, but for now, this was the episode we saw Rick reduced to nothing. Now we’ll have to wait to see what happens with Daryl. Being that he’s not a character from the comics, his fate is totally up in the air.
Obviously, our gang has to regroup and come up with a plan. Maggie sure as hell is thirsty for blood. However, they are outnumbered by Negan’s army. How the remaining members of Rick’s group and the rest back at Alexandria are going to get past this, I have no f**king idea. I sadly do not read the comics, but I do know based off what fans have said, Negan causes more damage to the group than The Governor ever did. I hope my heart can take it.
Every actor in this episode deserves some major kudos. Our heroes kneeling on the ground, looking destroyed, crying, cringing was tough as hell to watch. It could have only worked if the performers did their job right, and damn it, they exceeded their talents here. Andrew Lincoln’s performance was heart breaking. It’s almost as if the character died, and is now only a shell of the Rick Grimes we know. Again, you can’t blame the character, but you have to give mad props to the actor that portrays him for being so damn convincing. The obvious standout was Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Lemme tell ya, I already despise Negan. I want him to suffer. Seeing him wreak havoc this season is going to test my limits, I’m sure. But god damn if Morgan doesn’t kick ass playing this character. I don’t know if this actor is demented in some way, but how in the world can he pull off playing this awful, sadistic character? He’s gotta be digging deep in his soul to find that darkest side of him to be able to do this sh*t, man. Holy sh*t! The man I’m looking at on screen hurts my gut, and I want to punch something. I have to tell myself in the back of my mind, it’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He’s just an actor. But to be able to pull off this role, to affect me in such a way where my insides hurt… that proves this mother f**ker is one hell of a performer. I will hate this f**kin character Negan, but I am going to love seeing Mr. Morgan portray him.
“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” is an episode that has me so angry, but so crushed as well. I think all my emotions were brewing tonight during this episode. They still are. I knew this was not going to be a fun episode to watch, but I underestimated how challenging it would be to get through it. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding. I think I even broke a sweat at some point. God damn, what is this show doing to me? What is it doing to us? I guess I can’t blame those who have quit this show out of anger. I sure as hell ain’t gonna. I want to see Negan, that mother f**ker, go down. For this episode to get such a rise out of me, to make me feel like this, I have no choice but to give this one a high rating. This may even go down as one of the greatest episodes in the series. Think about it. It may not have a lot of bad ass zombie slaying. It may not be a pleasant watch neither. However, it toys with the characters and your emotions at the exact same time in the most effective manner. I may hate the producers of this show right now, but I have to give them mad credit for wrecking me in a way I haven’t been wrecked in a long while.