Indiana Daily Student

"The Walking Dead" delivers most tragic season premiere yet


Perhaps we shouldn’t get attached to television characters.

We shouldn’t spend hours binge-watching them and developing feelings of empathy, concern and even companionship for them.

We shouldn’t do this because sometimes we become attached to characters on shows like “The Walking Dead.” And then we care about them. And then we watch them (fake) die.

After watching “The Walking Dead” for six seasons, you would think we viewers would be used to the heart-wrenching deaths that routinely take place in the horror-drama television series. I mean, it is a show about a zombie apocalypse.

But there I was, crying in my bed while watching as not one but two of the main characters on the show were bludgeoned to death by the newly introduced antagonist, Negan.

Exactly who was to meet their demise was part of a cliffhanger the show’s producers created last April.

Viewers saw Negan pointing Lucille, his barbed-wire-covered baseball bat, in the faces of all the members of Rick Grime’s gang, taunting them with a cruel game of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” The worst part was that when he landed on his victim, it was from the point of view of that person, which made it impossible to know who it was.

Well, we all got our answer last night, and then some. It turned out that Negan would claim two characters’ lives during the season premiere — Abraham and Glenn.

While both deaths were upsetting and horrific to watch, it was the loss of Glenn, a character who has been on the show since the very first season, that really wracked the public.

Not only was Glenn a fan favorite and a genuinely likable character, but his relationship with Maggie, another protagonist, was one of tenderness and depth — something beautiful to watch blossom while everything else decayed around them.

Watching Maggie sob and writhe with terror and pain as her soulmate was beaten to death was the most heartbreaking scene yet on the show. It doesn’t help that Maggie had lost her father and little sister to brutal killings as well or that Glenn was truly the last family she had outside the pseudo-family that the group has become.

The rest of the episode passed by in a fog, not unlike the fog in which Rick takes down a horde of walkers halfway through the premiere. The show’s creators did a fantastic job of keeping the action going while creating a haze that allowed fans to attempt to digest the loss of Abraham and Glenn and focus on what was to happen next, plot-wise.

And what exactly will happen next?

How does a group come to terms with the fact that they are now stuck in an ants-grasshoppers relationship that parallels that of “A Bug’s Life” (with a lot more blood and guts), having to collect offerings for Negan’s gang, now with two less men to help gather and protect?

What will become of Maggie’s psyche as she and Sasha take their beloved beaus to the Hilltop to lay them to rest and, if possible, reach some sort of peace? 

And who else can the group lose without causing ratings to crash and fans to scream out in rage?

All of these questions should be answered throughout the upcoming season, which promises much more excitement and, of course, sadness.

So give it a watch — and try not to get attached to any characters.

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