Walking Dead’s Series Defining Scene: The Hatchet That Changed Our Lives

Walking Dead S07E02 Preview: 'The Well' - Scene in Photo from S07E01 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" Photo Credit: AMC via Screencapped.net (Cass)
Walking Dead S07E02 Preview: 'The Well' - Scene in Photo from S07E01 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" Photo Credit: AMC via Screencapped.net (Cass) /

One hatchet last Sunday is responsible for creating the most spine-chilling moment in television history. The psychology of the scene gripping your face. Its fingertips, digging in whether you like it or not. A moment casting warmth all over your entire body, freshly alert of oncoming danger. Nothing but a helpless observer. There are moments in life when you know something big is about to happen. A show changer. The end of all that you’ve known on The Walking Dead.

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Series Defining Scene

It was universal. This visual of the father being forced to cut his own son’s arm in half was mesmerizing in a way that needed no language. The body language contrast, the streaming tears, the pure child-like state Sheriff Rick Grimes was reduced to needed no translation. No subtitles. Whether you’d ever heard of Negan before or seen The Walking Dead or even liked the idea of a zombie didn’t matter. You couldn’t look away. Instantly placing yourself into the situation in a way that made you feel a part of Rick’s group watching on the ground.

The scene asking a key question that the Saw films once asked of its viewers, what would you do? “Think of what has happened, and can STILL HAPPEN RICK!”, is there even a choice? Negan said it plainly “Not making a decision, is a BIG DECISION”, a lesson for all of us. Procrastinating, leaving decisions on ice for minutes, days, months, eventually years, decades counts. Everything counts. No hesitation. No room for inaction, because inaction is Action.

Special shoutout to Fear the Walking Dead:

Some of you may have missed the infamous Nick scene on Fear the Walking Dead’s “Los Muertos” episode (a candidate for the best episode of the series). A similar show changing moment happens when Nick shoplifts a candy bar and gets caught. He is then on the verge of having his own hand cut off.

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Building A Real Villain

After all the Negan cosplayers at New York Comic Con it seemed The Walking Dead fanbase had become quite fond of Negan in a way different than The Governor. While The Governor is easily seen in a different light now to even his most ardent naysayers, back in his time he came to be the lead antagonist. He was respected as such, as a rival, so-called ‘bad guy/villain’.

Here a fanbase was enamored with feelings of lead hero cult-like status despite knowing what he was about do. Negan was about to take one of theirs away, but it was okay. They wanted to love Negan rather than fear him. A statement perhaps that the show had gone without a rival on the level of The Governor or Shane for too long. So what does it take? Abraham’s life, Glenn’s life, the potential for Carl’s arm, and most importantly what can STILL HAPPEN. Remember that. The Walking Dead had to work to change people’s early loving infatuation with Negan back to respect. The same respect the fanbase had with The Governor and Shane. It was not an easy feat.

People are attached to the idea of Negan because they don’t know what he’s capable of. That’s a key part of the narrative that draws the audience like a moth to the flame. It’s like the audience all caught Stockholm syndrome at the conclusion of Season 6. We can’t look away, and we wouldn’t even if we could. You don’t want fans to simply cheer Negan because he’s cool. You want them to hopefully look at his character the way Rick looks at him at the conclusion of the episode. The way they once looked at The Governor and Shane. With respect.

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One Man’s Empire is Another’s Snow globe

All the hoopla over control of Alexandria suddenly minuscule to the greater picture. For the first time, Rick Grimes was not the center of his universe. Not the leader, not the Sheriff, and not in control. It was as if Rick and the group had an epiphany staring one night into the stars. Moonlight shining into their faces, but it was the constellation of Negan that came into view. Forcing the need to adapt to a new state of humbleness. One man’s Rome, another man’s backyard pest. Rick’s empire, Negan’s snow globe.

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Life on Borrowed Time

Michael Cudlitz said it best on Abraham’s character on Talking Dead. He was living on borrowed time, Denise had “taken his death gracefully”. The same for Glenn in many ways, ever since fans got what they wanted and he went underneath that dumpster it’s become a meme online. One of the funniest I’ve seen was on a Youtube video where Rick shaves his beard and someone commented “Rick’s beard is still alive, it pulled itself underneath the dumpster!”

One of the potential best character deaths of all time was greatly dimensioned when it became a mere camera trick, especially after weeks of wait. Some fans simply wouldn’t accept Glenn’s death and when they got what they wanted, it was a strange feeling.

The surprise of Glenn after Abraham drove the stake that anything is possible on the show and firmly established Negan both as a character and unpredictable. It also teased Daryl’s own potential death. Glenn’s moment not only stayed true to the comic purists but was jaw dropping. A non promised character death mere minutes after a gruesome ending to Abraham. The element of surprise resurged to life. In an era of spoilers and nonstop analysis, it takes guts to surprise viewers. Taking down two leads carries weight.

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All Negan Episode: Unfiltered & Uncensored

Time just flew by on the premiere episode of The Walking Dead. Before you knew it, there were mere minutes left over on the cable box. You realized you hit that last commercial break and hoping beyond hope that maybe there would be two episodes. The Walking Dead did not shy away or censor the occasion. Not only did Negan curse and utterly destroy he was the vision the hype promised. We’re talking monumental, astronomical hype. Negan delievered and then some.

The show did not cut away to show us his past. They didn’t save the impact of character deaths for another time or the last five minutes of the episode. The Walking Dead made good on its promise, no cutting away to Carol and Morgan’s current whereabouts. It was all Negan, all the time.

Tonight on The Walking Dead

Rick says he’s not in charge anymore, Negan is. A complete demolition and breakdown to everything he’s worked so hard for. Alexandria’s promise under the boot of Negan. A life changing moment for Rick Grimes as he accepts rule under someone else’s thumb from sheer brute force.

Related Story: The Walking Dead, Last Day On Earth: Things To Note

Carol and Morgan’s Whereabouts:

We will also discover what’s happened to Carol and Morgan as they enter The Kingdom and potentially meet King Ezekiel.

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