I wanted to write this a few days ago, but I needed time to recover. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am obsessed with The Walking Dead, and more importantly, Glenn Rhee. Sunday, October 23, 2016, will be a day I will not forget anytime soon. I know there are more important events in life that should hold a spot in my memory, but this one is pretty important as well.
I have read the comics. My husband buys me the large omnibus volumes so I can read them all at one time and not have to store the individual comics separately. These volumes take up a large amount of room on my bookcase, but they are so valuable to me. I also have variants of individual issues that came from SkyBound and from places such as Loot Crate. In this, I know that Issue 100 was one I did not want to read. I resisted it for a long time. I stopped reading at Issue 99 and put the books away for awhile. I just could not bring myself to see what happened to Glenn. I knew it was coming because of the people who had read it before me, but I just wasn’t ready. When I finally read it, I was upset. He was gone. Taken out by Lucille and Negan. I did not like it one bit. But then it hit me, this is probably going to happen on the show in the future.
When I was first aware that the character of Negan was going to be cast for the show, I had a pit open up in my stomach. I knew it was coming. I held out some hope, though, knowing that the show often changed up deaths of the characters. I mean, as of now, Andrea is still alive and Hershel was not decapitated by the Governor, Tyrese was. Was Negan going to be as vulgar? Was he going to be as violent? Was he going to kill Glenn? These were the first questions I had.
I couldn’t be too upset when Jeffrey Dean Morgan was cast in the role of Negan. He is a great actor and he is so versatile. I did really want Henry Rollins for the role because he is one of my idols, but as my husband put it, “Do you want to hate him for awhile?” I couldn’t argue with that logic.
After the cliffhanger from Season 6, there were questions and speculations circling for the entire time in between. Around the time filming began for Season 7, I saw that Steven Yeun was filming a movie. Uh-oh, that didn’t seem like a good sign. I still held out hope and did not want to believe anything.
OK so for the actual episode…
I am going to be honest here. I have anxiety issues. I also have an attachment to the characters on the show, so I read the spoilers ahead of time. I knew it would still bother me, but I was at least prepared for what was going to transpire. I got a box of tissues from the bathroom, made myself some tea, and settled on the couch with my blanket and one of my dogs, ready to watch the show.
Within the first minutes, before the intro even played, I knew it was going to be worse than I expected. Once we got to the point where Negan battered Abraham to death, I started tearing up. When he got to Glenn, the water works started. When Glenn said his final words, “Maggie, I will find you.” I was a baby. I really lost it entirely when the dream sequence came on where Rick we rehearing what Negan told him and they were panning over the table with many of the people we know and love and Glenn with a toddler son on his lap. He and Abraham looked at each other and I felt utter grief flow through me. I couldn’t handle it.
I have heard a lot of people say that it was too brutal and too gory for a TV show. Maybe I am jaded because I watch horror films more than any other genre, but I thought it was done well. It actually made me feel something. Not since Beth was shot, have I felt something real while watching the show. The scene with Glenn was an almost panel for panel depiction from the comic book. Now, will I watch it again? Probably not. It would have to be quite awhile before I can watch it without feeling like my heart is ripped out. It isn’t the brutality more than it is the fact that my favorite fictional people were killed.
I did find that with all of the upset I was feeling, I missed the little things that were put into the show. I found out about a few of them the next day. Abraham flashing the peace sign to Sasha right before being hit totally made sense to me. I didn’t see it live, but I saw it the next day. It was a wonderful touch put in to show us he was not just the tough guy. He really loved Sasha and wanted her to know it is OK. I also missed Morgan putting out two candles on the table. I am not sure if it was really a significant thing and we will probably have to wait and see.
I am not one of those people who are saying they will not watch the show again because I love the show. Just because my favorite character is gone, doesn’t mean I have no reason to watch anymore. The people who feel that way are not true fans and are not actually that invested in it, as they would like to think. The people complaining about the episode being too brutal for their children…maybe your kids should not be watching a show that has warnings about language and violence at the beginning of it. I understand that the topic is fascinating to children, but it is also something that a parent has to be prepared for at any given moment.
I look forward to seeing where we go now and what happens next. I know what I have read in the comic books and hope they stick close to the plot line, but as we have seen over the past few seasons, that is not always what we are going to get.
What did you think of the episode? Are you a quitter or will you keep watching? Let me know what you thought of the episode.