“The Walking Dead” continues to shock and entertain with its season premiere

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“The Walking Dead” continues to shock and entertain with its season premiere

Photo by Creative Commons

Photo by Creative Commons

Photo by Creative Commons

Photo by Creative Commons

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Who did Negan kill? With this past Sunday’s season seven premiere of “The Walking Dead,” the wait to find out is finally over.

For the past six months, fans have been going crazy over the cliffhanger that season six ended on; since last April, the internet has been flooded with a slew of speculation, complaints, questions and more. But now that perhaps the most anticipated episode in the show’s history has aired, only one question remains: was it worth the wait?

The short answer is yes. This is easily the best episode “The Walking Dead” has ever produced. It’s perfectly acted, harrowing, entertaining and shocking all at the same time. “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” is the best case scenario following last season’s frustrating conclusion.

The death scenes (I won’t spoil them here) are filmed perfectly. They’re brutal, heartfelt and upsetting, just the way they should be. The characters who don’t make it out alive also have stirring final moments, each getting a chance to bring their characters full circle before meeting Negan’s bat, Lucille.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the real star now. His character, Negan, is the perfect villain and reduces the show’s previous major antagonist, the Governor, to nothing but a distant memory. Throughout the course of this episode, Negan does horrific things, slaughters beloved characters but still manages to win the audience over. His offbeat blend of humor and violence, while horrific, remains highly entertaining. Morgan also captures the fierce intelligence that Negan’s loud, boastful demeanor hides. It becomes clear by the end of the episode that every decision Negan makes has a clear and often complex purpose behind it. What seem at first like random acts of violence soon morph into a fierce, calculated onslaught against the spirits of the show’s protagonists.

Junior and longtime viewer Joe Tanella said that Negan is a controversial, yet overall, lovable character. “Negan, like, villain-wise, they did a very good job with him. It’s hard to love him, but then again it’s really easy to love him because he’s an amazing character,” he said.

The only real problem with this episode is that it feels out of place; the episode felt like it should have been the conclusion to season six. It wraps up plotlines from last season and marks the end of an era for the protagonists. There was plenty of extraneous material last season; some of that should have been cut in order to place this episode there.

“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” is, in large part due to Negan, the best that “The Walking Dead” can be. It embodies everything that has made this show such a hit. Although the future might look bleak for Rick and his followers, it couldn’t be better for viewers.

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