Tonight's season seven premiere of #TheWalkingDead definitely kicked off the season with a shocking start.
For one, Abraham's death was all but foreshadowed last season with the heavy emphasis on Abraham's story coming full arc - evident by the resolutions Abraham made with Rosita and Sasha. Then tacking on the Season 7 clip revealed a few weeks ago, it was pretty much closing the door for Abraham on The Walking Dead.
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Abraham's death was pending as his comic book counterpart died earlier in the comics' timeline on so it's not a surprise he finally bit the dust. Another expected death to take place was that of Glenn. Since Season 6 concluded, we were all prepared for Glenn's death with Negan's introduction to Rick's group in the comics following a similar path, a path which saw Glenn executed by Negan in a familiar fashion.
But the premiere of Season 7 saw something we never thought we'd see.
Rick Grimes Is A Completely Broken Man
Beyond the shocking deaths in the Season 7 premiere, the most shocking thing to see was the change in Rick's attitude. Never had we seen Rick in such a state of peril and despair. Even when Rick was faced with the death of Lori, he wasn't as broken as he appeared in tonight's premiere episode. But now that he's lost all faith in himself, he's even more broken than he was when he lost Lori.
Moving past Rick's previous losses, he faced even more in tonight's season premiere. Throughout the episode, Rick goes from shock to panic in a rapid pace of fluctuating emotions, and it was all due to Negan overbearing Rick. At one point, Negan even made a sly reference by saying "snip, snip" as an indicator of psychologically castrating Rick to make Rick feel even more out of his depth in the situation. More importantly, from the moment Negan begins talking to Rick in the RV, we can see that Negan has Rick all figured out and he knows exactly how to break him. Rick hasn't come face to face with an obstacle like Negan before and Negan was sure to make that fact very clear in his initial approach.
Read more about the 'Walking Dead' Season 7 premiere:
- We Finally Know Who Got Lucilled on 'The Walking Dead'! Which Clues Were Real, And Which Were Misleading?
- The Walking Dead' Season 7 Premiere Was Extremely Violent But It Was Totally Necessary
- Not Today, Negan! A Tribute To Rick's Badass Right Hand On 'The Walking Dead'
The Moment That Negan Succeeded In Breaking Rick
By having Rick deal with the aftermath of two of his closest friends being executed was rough enough, but to completely bombard Rick with psychological torture in the RV after Rick already had to face the deaths of his friends, Negan knew that would be the first step in breaking Rick. Although, the major breaking point came later in the episode.
Arriving back at the execution site, Negan gave Rick one more order, an order Rick had a difficult time following through with. Once Rick was faced with an ultimatum of either cutting off his son's hand or watching every one of his friends die, Rick couldn't hold back anymore. Negan deliberately placed Rick in that position. Fortunately, Rick broke down and Negan gave in, leaving the rest of Rick's group still intact.
When Will Rick Regain His Courage?
Still, Rick now has to face that he is responsible for the deaths of Abraham and Glenn. Had Rick not taken his group to the forest that night, Glenn and Abraham might still be alive. Regardless of the conclusion, Rick has to deal with the aftermath of what has transpired so far. And the fully broken Rick still has a major Negan problem to take care of.
Negan has made Rick submit to him and we'll likely see Rick exhibit signs of his submission throughout the season, but we can expect Rick to be back on his feet at some point, ready to take revenge on Negan and the Saviors for what they've done to his group.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9 P.M.