Talk Dead to Me

By Hannah Steinmetz, junior


(Spoilers, beware!)

Millions around the world watched as the ultimate villain, Negan, bashed Abraham’s head in, laughing after. Ten minutes later, the already-crushed fans gaped as Negan whipped around and smashed in Glenn’s head, as well. Now, two of the most beloved characters of The Walking Dead are gone, and 17 million fans have battered hearts.

According to thewrap.com, AMC’s show, The Walking Dead, is the number one most-watched show on television. It took off with a six-episode season in 2010, and ratings have been going up since. The show takes place in an apocalyptic United States, where zombies, better known as walkers, have infested the country, and few survivors remain. The series follows a group of people led by sheriff’s deputy, Rick Grimes. He and his group travel around, searching for a safe haven. As they go, new survivors are found, some good and some bad. Throughout their time, the group continuously learns that sometimes, humans are worse than flesh-eating, brain-devouring walkers.

Sunday, Oct. 23, was the premiere of season seven, and it has left fans weeping. English teacher Mrs. Junken said she really liked the episode aside from a few minor issues. However, she was left feeling tricked after the double-death.

“It felt like that was their intent: to deal with Abraham first for the sake of having us feel closure [then kill Glenn], so Glenn’s death made me wonder about the value of Abraham’s death,” Junken said. “But because the TV show invented the character of Daryl Dixon, I can kind of understand why they wanted to up the emotional tension of having Daryl react, and then have that reaction cost what it did.”

Although most viewers were heart-broken at the deaths, many agree that the premiere was really intense and well-done. Fans are also reacting strongly to the new villain, Negan, who was introduced in the episode.

“I love how principled he is in his villainy because he has his policies and rules, and he’s the sum of them,” Junken said. “I suspect that he doesn’t play dirty often, in the sense that he doesn’t go back on his policies. He’s a ruthless tyrant and terrifies me, but I appreciate how in-charge he is.”

Science teacher Mr. Sims had a similar opinion and said, “Negan is not a good guy, but he’s surviving, and when you get a lawless society, those kind of people sometimes take over.”

When asked if they were looking forward to seeing Negan in season seven, both Sims and junior Megan Mishler said that they were hoping to see him die by Rick’s hand.

“I’m so terrified to see what he’ll do to Rick’s group that I’d rather he just die,” Mishler said.

On the other hand, junior Annie Francis said she is excited to see what he’s going to do in the new season. She found that the episode overall was “extremely brutal for a premiere” in comparison to what past premieres have been like.

Sunday, Oct. 30 aired the second episode of season seven, and it took viewers to Carol and Morgan, two characters that haven’t seen what Negan did in episode one. On the talk show for The Walking Dead, known as Talking Dead, the host, Chris Hardwick, said, “It’s so nice not to be crying after an episode of The Walking Dead.”

The third episode premiered Nov. 6, and it focused on Daryl as Negan’s prisoner, and Dwight as Negan’s right-hand man in the group known as the Saviors. It gave viewers insight on Dwight’s past, even hinting at what Dwight’s opinion of Negan is. The episode also allowed viewers to mourn the death of Glenn with Daryl, who feels guilty for causing his friend’s death.

Episode four, which premiered Sunday, Nov. 13, consisted of Negan’s visit to Alexandria to take half of the supplies, which was the deal he made with Rick. The episode also showed who disagreed with Rick making the deal, and who supported it. Viewers were able to see a new side to Rick, along with some new tensions between Rick and others in the group.

Nov. 20 aired the fifth episode, and it primarily updated viewers on the status of Maggie and Sasha, two Alexandrians who reside at The Hilltop, another community that works for Negan, and The Hilltop’s status overall. During the episode, the Saviors visited to collect their half of The Hilltop’s supplies, as the deal goes. In addition, the installment followed Carl and Enid, two teenagers from Alexandria. Both characters were on their own missions to find either Maggie or the Sanctuary, the Saviors’ base. The episode ended with Enid finding Maggie and Carl sneaking into a Savior’s truck shortly before it left The Hilltop.

The Walking Dead is a show that has pushed the limits of what is allowed on TV and what emotional turmoil a show can inflict on its fans.  “It tears me up, but I love it all at the same time,” Mishler said.

Surf over to AMC Sunday nights at nine to watch The Walking Dead.

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