Okay, so this post is not going to be a breakdown of the episode, and I'm going to do my best not to reveal any spoilers for anyone who might not have watched the episode yet and has somehow managed to shield themselves from the insane amounts of chatter out there ping ponging around about The Walking Dead season 7 premier.
First, go read this article (unless you don't want spoilers - if you haven't watched it, wait until after you have to read it, but you still should read it at some point!). It's the one I've liked the best out of the handful I've read. The author is straightforward about the events that transpired and his opinions of them. It's a good read that does more than just obsess over how violent the episode was.
I really was not that impressed. I don't really know what I expected them to do besides reveal who died, but that's pretty much the only part I analyzed - that and whether or not Rick was actually going to potentially lose his hand or not. I debated the possible outcomes with my mom, the handful of coworkers I have that actually watch TWD, and a few others. (And let me just throw in that who I thought was going to get it did - I just didn't expect multiple of my theories to be right.) Beyond that, I didn't know what to expect - but it wasn't what we got.
I do plan to continue watching. I have seen tweets and comments and heard people denouncing the show - including some people very close to me - and I really can't say I blame them. I love this show. I came in a couple seasons late, but I've seen every episode. I'm committed to these characters just like everyone else. It's different than anything else I've ever watched. I normally hate gore, but with TWD, you become so invested in the characters that you're able to overlook it (within reason - I definitely would not suggest letting small kids wander into the room to observe it!). Not to mention.....it's zombies...you can't have zombies without gore.
But after the events that unfolded and what I witnessed last night......I'm almost on the fence.
The only thing keeping me on board for the moment is that I was prepared for it to be bloody and gory and violent. Even if you haven't read the comics, there is plenty of material out there to read up on to figure out where the story goes next according to them. I haven't read up on much past what happens last night (a little about Negan, but not much), but I did know what happens in the comics at that point in the story. And I knew it was supposed to be one of the most horrific, gory, heartbreaking scenes in the whole series thus far. So not knowing what was going to happen going in, I was prepared for anything - almost.
I was still pretty shaken up. I yelled at the TV quite a few times. Darryl got mad at it and left the room for a little while at one or two points. He couldn't understand why I was still watching. I questioned myself a few times why I was still watching. And honestly, the only thing that kept me on the couch was thinking that after that episode was over, they had to go somewhere with it. The story was going to progress past that point, and once Negan had made his point to Rick's crew, I figured it would tone down somewhat. I don't expect it to go back to normal or to be tame. The show is going to be forever changed after that episode.
But the whole point of the extreme violence and mind games that Negan asserted on Rick's group was to make a point. (I felt different camera shots could have been used that would still get the point across of what was happening in some scenes, without showing every excruciating detail....but that was their point I guess - they didn't just want to break their characters, they said they wanted to break the audience too..) While I really did not need to see as much detail as they gave us, you have to remember that Rick's group murdered a TON of Negan's people, and at that point, Negan hadn't even done anything to them yet. So to Negan's group, Rick's are the bad guys. It was said in the episode that Carol and Maggie were being held captive in. One of the women told Maggie, "You're not the good guys here." And when you look at it that way, in that case, they weren't. Not saying Negan wouldn't have done anything to them in the future, but at that point in time, it was unprovoked. It might have been in service to the Hilltop, but making that decision put the whole group in danger and ultimately culminated in what happened at the end of season 6 and last night - and presumably the rest of season 7.
There will be a lot to answer for in the next episodes, so I'm interested to see what happens next.
I will continue to watch, at the very least for the next couple of episodes to see where they start to take it from here. But holy crap...if every episode is as stressful as 7x1 was...I might have to re-evaluate. I have enough stress in my life without adding that every week!
I'm almost afraid to ask, lol.....What did you all think?