Why Season 7 of The Walking Dead Is the Best One Yet
To say that season 7 of The Walking Dead began with a bang, or should I say a smash, is an understatement. For six months, we anxiously awaited, guessed, and vented our predictions about who would meet Lucille in the season premiere, but we could have never imagined the savage brutality that would await us during those sixty-five minutes. In fact, that is the main reason why The Walking Dead’s viewership began dropping right after: A lot of fans could not deal with how vicious Abraham and Glenn’s deaths were. The other reason the show has lost many loyal viewers as of late is due to the lack of action since the premiere, with many episodes focused on Negan and his monologuing. However, despite the complaints from fans and the decrease of viewers, this season of The Walking Dead has been the best one yet for these three reasons:
3. The Arrival of Negan
Whether you love him or hate him (or both), you have to admit that Negan is the best thing to happen to The Walking Dead this season. Heck, after The Governor’s anticlimactic and tame antics, Negan is the villain the show and the group desperately deserves. You don’t know whether he’s going to kiss you or kill you, and it is that unpredictability and psychopathy that absolutely terrifies us. His monologuing is equally as intense and downright enjoyable as he might say something entirely chilling and ominous or laughable and cringe-worthy such as when he asked Fat Joey if he pet Lucille’s little p***y like a lady. And to top it off, he’ll do or say anything with a charming smile on his face.
Speaking of Lucille, it is very uncomfortable how much Negan treats her like an actual woman. It’s one thing to say Lucille is a stickler for the rules or she loves being sung to but setting a place at the dinner table for a baseball bat? That’s going overboard. While Rick and the group plot to take down Negan (and have every reason and right to want him dead), it won’t be anytime soon as Jeffrey Dean Morgan has confirmed he’ll be in the eighth season, which is great news. The more Negan, the better (for the audience, not the group, obviously).
2. Story and Character Development
Whoever said that this season of The Walking Dead would feel like a completely different show after the premiere was spot on. After the premiere, the world that our group inhabited changed forever and became an entirely new one thanks to Negan and The Saviors. Although heartbreaking and brutal, there was one silver lining to Abraham and Glenn’s deaths: They added intriguing storylines and advanced the character development of each member of the group, Rick being the prime example. Here is a man who was so used to being in charge since the beginning of the series only to be completely shattered, exposed, and vulnerable by a “thug with a baseball bat” as Gordon, a fellow member of The Sanctuary, referred to him. Daryl himself was also broken in every sense of the word as Negan reduced him to spending countless days in a solitary cell and doing menial, humiliating tasks in hopes that Daryl would join him, as well as for his own personal amusement while Daryl dealt with his guilt in the part he believed he played in Glenn’s death.
While it was difficult to see Rick and Daryl in such a state of despair, it certainly spoke to the acting range of Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus which has been phenomenal this season, especially in Andrew’s case who is long overdue for an Emmy. Seeing that anger beneath the surface eventually come out of both Rick and Daryl further added to their already great character development this season. There’s also Carl who has become an even more hardcore bada** this season, mainly so when he machined gunned two of Negan’s men in an effort to kill him as payback for Glenn and Abraham. For being a young man, he definitely has the biggest b***s of all the group. Other great character developments this season include Maggie becoming a leader at the Hilltop community, Sasha and Rosita finally coming to an understanding, Father Gabriel wising up and telling it like it is, and Eugene stepping up to the plate and admitting that he’s the bullet maker in order to spare the rest of the group.
What’s been the best moment of this season so far, however, was the reunion at the end of the mid-season finale as the group rallied at the Hilltop to begin the destruction of Negan and The Saviors. By uniting and coming together, the group and the show delivered a powerful message in that moment that embodied the first half of the season as well: No matter how dark things get, you must have faith in humanity and always hope. Without hope, there is nothing.
1. How Closely It Has Followed The Comics
Many of the greatest moments of this season came not only from the writers’ own ideas, but also from the source material itself: the comics. Every season has obviously followed the comics, but not as heavily as season seven, starting with the premiere. Then there’s everything that went down at the Sanctuary with Dwight and Sherry, Mark getting The Iron, almost every single word out of Negan’s mouth including the infamous “I slid my d*** down your throat and you thanked me for it,” line, and of course Spencer being gutted, which put a big, fat smile on everyone’s faces. Of course, the show doesn’t stick to the comics for every aspect, which makes it unpredictably exciting, like Negan forcing Rick to cut off Carl’s arm but stopping him at the last second, Negan playing house with Carl and Judith, and Olivia’s death at the hands of Arat. In actuality, Olivia is decapitated in the comics by The Whisperers who put her head on a pike as a warning to stay off their territory along with Rosita and Ezekiel and the above scenarios with Negan don’t exist.
While on the subject of deaths, let’s talk about how Abraham did not meet his end by Negan but was instead killed by an arrow through the eye, which befell Denise. Touche on switching the deaths around like that, writers. The non-comic storylines aren’t the only great things about the writers not always choosing to follow the comics, however. There’s also the characters written especially for the show (besides Daryl) such as Tara, Simon, and the Oceanside community who have shined in the short amount of screen time they’ve had this season so far.
Sadly, there won’t be another episode of The Walking Dead until February, which will see the meeting of Rick and Ezekiel along with an all new threat: The Whisperers, who we may have already been introduced to as the camera showed a mysterious figure following Rick and Aaron and spying on Father Gabriel. Oh yes, and we’ll finally see if Carol and Morgan will once again embrace their true natures when push comes to shove.