After a summer of anticipation, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” roared back onto the screen Sunday night with a gruesome premiere titled “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be.” The brutality showcased in the hour is sure to divide viewers. Comic fans may appreciate the commitment to the shift in tone, while others may have felt like they watched an hour of torture porn. Here are the Top 5 moments from the premiere that have been scarred into fans’ minds forever.
Reliving the nightmare – The episode didn’t reveal Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) victims right away. Instead, it forced viewers to sit once more through Negan’s twisted game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe. This time it was viewed from Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) perspective, which made the viewer feel his helplessness as he waited for one of his loved ones to be selected.
Takin’ it like a champ – Many viewers predicted Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) would be Lucille’s infamous victim and they were proven right. Big Red was the unlucky winner of Negan’s twisted game. He flashed a peace sign to his lover Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) before the bat connected, and then it was all screams, blood, and horrific crunching sounds. At least Abe snuck in one last insult (“Suck my nuts!”) before his time was up.
A second victim – Just when everyone thought the nightmare was over, Daryl (Norman Reedus) flew at Negan in a fit of rage, clocking him in the face. Tensions fell over the group and without warning Negan turned and bashed Lucille into the top of Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) head. In a recreation of the iconic comic panel, the camera lingered on a bloody Glenn, eye bulging out of his socket, as he struggled to call out for his wife Maggie (Lauren Cohan). It was a horrific end to the beloved character, and arguably the most gruesome death ever depicted on television.
Right hand man – The show was not content in torturing its characters yet. It seemed like another comic book moment was taking shape when Negan demanded that Rick hack off his son Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) arm or otherwise watch everyone else in the group die. It was the prospect of harming his child that finally broke Rick’s resilience as he sobbed on the ground and begged for mercy. Just as Rick was about to commit the unthinkable act, Negan decided that he was satisfied and spared the boy’s arm.
An impossible vision – After the traumatizing ordeal was over, “The Walking Dead” hit viewers with one last emotional gut punch. Rick hears Negan’s words “I bet you thought you’d grow old together” ring in his head and his mind drifts to an idyllic future. The entire band of survivors sits together at a large dining table in Alexandria. Abraham and Glenn are still alive and laughing with the group. In a heartbreaking touch, Glenn is seen lifting the son he will never get to meet onto his lap. It was a devastating conclusion that reminded audiences of the unforgiving and uncertain nature of the zombie apocalypse.
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