TV Reviews: The Walking Dead, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”

Published on October 28th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Horror, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Laury Scarbro



Let me begin this by stating very clearly, this is going to be filled with spoilers. If you have not watched the season seven premiere of The Walking Dead, and you don’t want to know who got Lucille’d, turn back now. While you still can. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can do so here.

Still here? Great. You were warned.

Last season ended on what will go down in history as one of the greatest well-played cliffhangers in the history of all television. Take that and stuff it down your cakehole, Dallas. Or perhaps instead of boasting, maybe we should be thanking the showrunners of Dallas for setting the standard. My fear, nay, trepidation that Gimple and Kirkman would pull another “Glenn fell under the dumpster, but let’s not deal with that for a few episodes and let the audience sweat” situation was unfounded. And yet, I was even more terrified for what was to come.

We left off last season with the long-awaited introduction of Negan, and his bat, Lucille, as our survivors were all brought to their knees after a day-long cat and mouse game between the Saviors and Rick’s people. It was impossible to really tell who it was who would be on the receiving end of that bat, until the moment it actually happened. Trust me, I tried. I even went back so far as to writing down the order in which they were kneeling and where I presumed Negan began his mindfuckery “eenie meenie” game, and still didn’t come up with the right answer. Sadly, the biggest threat to Negan was the one who was “chosen,” but good old Abraham didn’t meet his end without delivering just one more great one-liner. “Suck my nuts,” were his last words. Remember “Nuts out for Harambe”? Well it’s now “Nuts out for Abraham.” It’s a thing now. Look it up.

But Abraham was not the only one to meet Lucille. After being dragged through about 20 minutes of build-up, we finally got to see how the events played out. After Negan turned Abraham’s head to mush, and taunted the rest of the group, Daryl was unable to restrain his rage any longer, and so he lunged for Negan. I swear I could feel the entirety of the fandom gasp in collective fear that Daryl was going to meet his end. Quickly subdued by Negan’s men, Daryl was held down while we and the rest of the survivors learned a very important lesson: The offending party is not always going to be the one who gets punished.

With no warning, no ado whatsoever, Negan pivots and cracks Glenn in the head. I have to say, that is the first time ever that I have literally gotten up off the couch and walked out of the room. I simply could not do it. I’m no wuss when it comes to gore, but after Abraham my heart was crushed. Glenn too? Seriously? I know Negan kills him in the graphic novel, but that was just too much too soon for me. Thankfully it went a little better on the re-watch.


I’m not going to lie, I was questioning whether I could even do it… continue watching the show after that. Could I even continue to watch subsequent shows? But then what kind of fan would I be? This is a show that, at it’s core, everyone can relate to in some fashion. We’ve all entertained those “what if” scenarios. And so it is with this show. If I were one of those characters, would I just give up on them? Would they give up on me? No. However, on the re-watch, I can honestly say I’m glad I did it on an empty stomach. Kudos to the makeup people, because DAMN. Glenn’s final words shattered what was left of my heart in the wake of Abraham’s demise. “I’ll find you.”

Keep in mind all of this is happening in flashback fashion in Rick’s mind, because Negan has carted him off in the RV to prove a point. He’s taken Rick off to try to change how Rick sees him. To emphasize that Rick needs to contemplate all that has happened, what could have happened, and what can still happen. Rick is haunted with imagery of everyone he cares about meeting the same fate as Glenn and Abraham, while being forced to retrieve the hatchet Negan threw out into a herd of walkers. More mind games ensue, to ensure that Rick realizes he’s not in charge anymore, and that he is in fact, Negan’s bitch. He survives the ordeal, only because Negan saves him, emphasizing that he exists only because Negan has allowed it.

Returning to the clearing afterwards, Rick is again forced to his knees in front of his people. Feeling like he still hasn’t gotten through to Rick, Negan has Carl come over beside his father, where he then has Carl lay down on the ground with a belt around his left arm and tells Rick to cut off his son’s hand. Michonne tries to intervene but it doesn’t work, Negan wants Rick’s submission, to break him down. After counting down with guns to everyone else’s heads, Rick begins sobbing like a child while Carl accepts his fate and tells his father to just do it. Negan stops Rick from going through with it, but not without insisting that Rick repeat the words back to him “You work for me; you belong to me.” Everyone is properly traumatized and Negan’s happy; he’ll be back next week.


Daryl gets shoved into the van, and what Negan has in store for him is anyone’s guess. Negan makes sure to point out that Daryl at least had guts where Rick didn’t. Negan and his men leave, while our survivors try to process everything they’ve seen, and the future they’re looking at now. Maggie, who has miraculously recovered from the medical emergency that put them all out there in the first place, emerges from the crucible wanting to take the fight to Negan. Out of everyone there, she seems to be the one that’s the least traumatized, but how any of them can come away from this without a major case of PTSD is nothing short of a psychological miracle.

With this being the first episode of the season, I fully expect next week to be a cakewalk by comparison. It does leave me with an underlying fear of what’s to come though. Negan is by and large the most fearsome threat they’ve come across, making even the Governor look like a character from a kid’s cartoon. But, on the other hand, is he really a villain? Looking at things from his perspective, he’s a leader looking to provide for his people, too. What is it that he’s had to survive? He’s a product of a survival environment. Who was he before all of this?

Now, I’d like to address a couple of other issues, starting with the naysayers. You can sit there and say “Oh, I’m not watching the show ever again,” or “They went too far with the gore,” and even my own personal immediate reaction, “They didn’t just jump the shark with this episode, they humped it.” You can even say you hate Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I won’t fault you for it.

But consider in reality what you’re saying. You’re hating a man for doing his job, killing off beloved characters that you have literally spent years getting to know and love. That means that man DID HIS JOB. No story worth telling ever worked without a villain, or some threat for the characters to defeat or overcome. That’s what a good character does, gives you someone or something to dread, fear, or hate so that you have something to root for, whether you’re rooting for good or evil. Jeffrey Dean Morgan contemplated bringing puppies and kittens to the after-show to calm fans. He was worried about being booed. A person deserving of being hated doesn’t do those things, so please rethink your opinion.

Second, if you’ve never watched the after-show, The Talking Dead, you really should make that a part of your Sunday night. Chris Hardwick hosts, speaking with the cast, the crew and show runners, fans, and even guest fans. It really does go a long way to have a way to decompress from such an emotionally charged episode. This particular after-show had the entire cast of survivors (and the recently departed), which is a first, but I feel was absolutely necessary. It gives a certain level of depth to the show, exemplifying how much the actors care about what it is they’re doing, and how much they care for their fans and the characters they portray. They have a memorial portion of the show, to say goodbye to cast members and walkers alike. This particular episode, they split the memorial into three separate parts. Glenn’s memorial had me choked up, but Abraham’s had me bawling like a child and laughing at the same time.

Lastly, it was brought to my attention that the Parents’ Television Council has gotten their panties in a twist over the ratings for The Walking Dead. Now, I’m not going to deny that this was the most violent that the show has ever been, at least in human on human violence. There’s been at least a beheading or two, and some gunfire. But never brutality in an up-close and personal manner like this. The show has a TV-MA rating, which means not suitable for those under 17. I’ve let my kids watch this show from the beginning, but as I’ve stated in previous reviews, this is all a matter of knowing your kids and what they can handle. It’s about being a parent and judging for yourself what your kids should and should not see. I don’t believe that we need any agencies, government or otherwise, to tell us what is and is not acceptable for a child under X age. By 9 p.m., little kids should be in bed anyway. It’s people having bitchfits like this that cause cable and satellite providers to stop carrying channels that the rest of us enjoy watching. Don’t want to pay for it? Good for you, but don’t ruin it for everyone else.


In the meantime, let’s all look forward to next week, which will have Morgan and Carol in the Kingdom, where we finally will get to see Ezekiel and hopefully his tiger. Anyone else (who hasn’t read the graphic novels and know what might be coming) seeing the uptick in biblical references here?

One Response to “TV Reviews: The Walking Dead, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be””

  1. Kathy McGilvray:
    October 28th, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    I watched this particular episode, and after reading your review, it makes me want to watch again. You captured the essence of this show and what it should mean to us. We care and love, we lose, and we move on! We persevere. This is who we are!

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