** Possible Spoilers **
I feel ya, brothers and sisters! We ended Season 6 of The Walking Dead with what is probably the crappiest of crappy cliffhangers. Our final moments were Negan beating the living crap out of the camera man for no apparent reason … and we were suppose to care about that. I think it’s safe to say we were all pretty pissed instead. Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple have defended the decision to end Season 6 that way to their deaths, if need be, saying it was for the fans, a gift – if you will – and meant to keep us talking for 7 months while they were on hiatus.
I’ll be honest with you, friends. I’m getting a little burnt out on The Walking Dead. In fact, I’ve already stated to several folks that this may be my last season. Depending on how the next couple of episodes play out, I may not even finish Season 7 at all. That being said, let me get a few notes in about the actual premier, and that gift we were given.
First, I understand that we had a few things to take care of from Season 6′s cliffhanger, namely, the beat downs. But the 1-hour premier gave us a 42 minute (give or take a few more minutes for commercials during the hour) extended scene of Negan’s speech to the gang, then the subjugation of Rick in the last half. Well divide it up evenly and say they spent 21 minutes on the speech/deaths then 21 minutes breaking Rick and neutering him to Negan’s liking.
Well, I can see right off the bat (no pun intended) why we couldn’t work this out in the S6 finale! We were too busy spending 35 minutes watching the Scooby Gang in their Mystery RV Machine running through woods and getting cut off by roadblocks, basically running circles the entire finale. Then, we get the intro lines of Negan’s 21 minute speech before a poor camera man gets conked in the noggin.
And I’ll admit, I was angry and devastated at the end of S6 when we didn’t get the big dramatic death/s we were promised. Then, I was left to stew in that anger for seven months. Know what happened? I learned I didn’t give a darn. By the time The Walking Dead premiered the 23rd, I was as far from disconnected from the show as you could get. When Negan swung the bat and took down Victim 1, I didn’t bat an eye. When he lined up to take the “surprise” swing at victim 2 … nothing. Not even shock. Not even anger. Not even a dramatic jaw drop. Didn’t even leave an impact.
The only thing I’ll give the entire episode credit for was Negan’s breaking of Rick. The whole scene with Carl and ordering Rick to make the cut clean. The scene where Negan gives a hearty speech, then tells Rick to “Go get my axe.” Those were probably the more decent scenes in my mind. Or maybe I’m just jaded by the fact that there are so many other good shows out there that haven’t – so far – pulled a TWDS6 cliffhanger, that I’m spoiled. Besides, after 7 seasons of the same thing – thinking they’re safe, having a bad guy come along and ruin it, then having to run and start over – the show’s getting a little repetitive. Yeah, I know, that’s my opinion, and other shows are just as guilty, but those shows haven’t tried to screw with my emotions like that S6 finale.
Ok, ok. Last time I’ll bring up that finale. In fact, I’m done. That’s my take on what we witnessed Sunday night when The Walking Dead returned for another season. Like I said, I’ll give it a few more episodes, but right now I’m about ready to get off at the next exit.