The Walking Dead: A look back at the season 7 premiere episode

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” will go down in The Walking Dead history as the most traumatic episode of all time.

Season 6 of The Walking Dead ended with the most gut-wrenching cliffhangers in TV history. “The Day Will Come  When You Won’t Be” started season 7 and will forever change the series. We are three years out from that episode and a lot of fans, including myself, can’t bring themselves to watch this episode again. We can watch the rest of the series multiple times with no issues but this episode is one that stays with you, maybe forever and won’t be watched again by many.

We first met Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the very last episode of Season 6. Up until this point, we have heard much about him and encountered his Saviors many times. Comic book readers already knew about him and how brutal he was.

Readers of the comic books also knew about the scene where someone is “Lucilled”.  We all know now that means Negan uses his beloved barbwire wrapped bat and bashes someone’s brains in. We had to wait for MONTHS to find out who would be Negan’s victim. Little did we know we would be losing two beloveds.

Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) were characters that everyone had a fondness for. A lot of fans thought that Glenn was the glue that held the group together. He was smart and level-headed. Abraham was a bit of a hothead but he was strong and brave and could spout off one-liners as if his life depended on it.

Top 25 Walking Dead villains of all time: Season 1 through midseason 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Fast forward and Negan has been in a cell for many years. Has he changed? Has losing everything he built up and almost losing his life caused him to reevaluate this new world?

I like to think so but all I can remember is him bashing in the heads of two characters that I loved. Two characters that could have gone on to do great things if it wasn’t for Negan and his brutality. When I watched the episodes with Negan and Judith interacting I thought maybe he has changed. When he returned after escaping from his cell, maybe he has realized that he must change to adapt to this new life he finds himself in. We also saw him picking tomatoes and talking with Lydia. He seemed to be thinking clearly and not causing any trouble. He rescues Judith in the blizzard. Even when Father Gabriel tells him he will have to go out and fight, Negan would just rather stay and tend his garden. Out in the woods with Aaron, they have a heated discussion about Negan’s past actions and Aaron is brutally honest with him but, Negan goes on to save Aaron a couple of times.

I am still a skeptic.

I remember Episode 701 and just have a hard time getting over it.

The showrunners took a huge chance in making this scene so gruesome. But, I feel it was necessary to establish who Negan was for those who have never read the comics. It showed everyone just how serious this new villain was. It was gutsy to handle this scene the way they did. It pushed the envelope and showed, once again, that The Walking Dead is a great show.

Fast forward to season 10, we have lost many we love and are now encountering another threat. One that I feel is greater than Negan. We haven’t had the gore but the impact and emotion that went along with pike scene was enormous. We didn’t need to see the gore to understand the horrific scene of the piked victims.

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Do you think Negan has changed? Or will something happen and he will show us his old self in a future episode of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments.