The Walking Dead Episode Review: "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 7 premiere that first aired on October 23, 2016.

Synopsis: Taken prisoner by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the group from Alexandria must cope with the loss of two of its own while their leader, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is forced to consider Negan's offer to let them live in exchange for working for him. But, first, Negan wants to make sure Rick understands who is in charge.

Review

If you've ever read my reviews of classic M*A*S*H episodes, you already know I'm not a big fan of the episodes that focus solely on surgeon Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) because I believe a series that spends a great deal of time assembling an ensemble cast should make full use of it. As I watched last night's season premiere of "The Walking Dead," I ended up having that same feeling.

It's not as though I think Andrew Lincoln is a bad actor. I just think his character, Rick Grimes, has pretty much run his course on this series and, in addition to being a character who should have been killed off a couple seasons ago, really has no value as being the central character any more.

This episode pretty much proved that as all he did was make some weak threats, act half crazed and cry. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast, all with unique personalities and view points, were reduced to a few minutes of screen time. What a waste.

To be fair, there were a few things that I did find I liked about this episode. For one, I loved how the writers managed to throw a bit of a curve ball about who was killed by Negan. I kind of figured Glenn (Steven Yeun) would finally be killed. But, I honestly wasn't expecting Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) to be the first to go, especially since his character really hadn't found a true role yet.

I also have to admit, Negan, at least from first impressions, seems to be the bad-ass villain this show has been missing. I just hope he's a character that lasts more than one season and, like so many other bad guys, isn't killed off way too soon.

The fact there were things I did like about this episode, and the potential Negan brings to future episodes, is really what makes the decision to focus solely on Rick so disappointing. If that's going to be the case all season long, then this season is going to go downhill very fast, especially since I'm still failing to see why the rest of the group seems to think he's a good leader.

Final Opinion

Focusing on Rick Grimes in the earlier episodes made sense. Today, he is easily one of the weak links on the show and, at minimum, should have either been moved into a background role or, just to change things up, been made into a bad guy. There were things about this season premiere that kept it interesting despite Rick. But, if the writers plan on centering the entire season around him, I'm just not convinced it will be worth watching.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 10/24/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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StevenHelmer on 10/25/2016

Bringing in a solid bad guy like Negan will help. But, this show has a bad habit of killing off the bad guys way too early so we'll see what happens with that.

dustytoes on 10/25/2016

This episode was extremely disturbing. I am not sure I want to see it again. I agree that Rick is not the guy he used to be, but he is still one of my favorite characters. Many viewers like him, (just like Daryl) so the writers keep him. Also, they may be following the comic book... which I don't know all that much about.
I do keep hoping Rick's role improves in some way. It's okay to take out some great characters, but there needs to be others who fill the void, and the cast is dwindling. Morgan is not impressive, and why the heck is Rosita even in the show? Carol is another one who has lost her appeal and has turned wimpy. Fingers crossed for a comeback!
I guess that now we will have to hope that all the newer characters will give us some good interactions and a better storyline in Season 7. Season 6 was very forgettable for me.

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