The importance of the saddest happy scene in The Walking Dead


There aren’t many happy scenes in The Walking Dead. When we had one in the premiere of season 7 it was actually one of the saddest moments in the series.

The contrast of the colors, the tone, the music and what we had just experienced with Negan’s voice over with the split-second vision of happiness illustrating the Sunday dinners at the table that Negan said we weren’t going to get because the world didn’t work that way was one of the most important scenes in the entire series.

The fact that Negan told Rick that he bet Rick thought they were all going to grow old together is Negan talking to us. It’s what we want in our minds as we watch the series, but we know is never going to happen. It’s the hope we have within us as we watch each week.

The Walking Dead is a dark show. But it’s about survival. It’s about light. The light is weak, but it’s there. It’s what keeps us coming back. The fight. The fight is tricky. There’s a fight to stay alive. A fight to stay human. A fight to figure out how you stay human and still stay alive.

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After experiencing the horror of Negan in the season premiere, the sight of our survivors, happy and clean, for even that split second was almost more than one could handle emotionally. Negan had broken Rick finally, but the thought of this was more heartbreaking than the images of the killings.

More heartbreaking than the thought of cutting of an arm. More heartbreaking than all of the horrible things we have watched over the seasons. More heartbreaking than the vision of the walker in the rear view mirror who had become what we are used to now.

We are used to humans turning into sad shuffling walkers now. This is less horrifying than what some of the people who have survived the walkers have become. People like Negan who think the way they have chosen to handle the walkers is the way to bring back civilization.

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Rick’s visions upon leaving were equally sad. The vision of the walker in the rear view mirror devouring what was left of our friends and the vision in his head of what was left of the future for our friends-the mere dream of growing old together.