Right Out of the Ballpark

The Walking Dead

Maddie Mann, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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Maddie Mann

A&E Editor

 

Hey batter batter… SWING!

With the end of season 6 leaving us with a cliff-hanger for the ages, fans have been anticipating and forming theories about who the new big bad, Negan, killed at the end of the finale.

Fans of the comic series had been anticipating the arrival of Negan and Lucille, his iconic baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, bracing themselves for the brutal departure fated for one of Rick’s group members.

When the moment of truth arrived, fans watched as the camera took the perspective of the victim on the receiving end of Lucille’s wrath.

After ten months of waiting for the premiere on Oct. 23, families gathered around their televisions to find out which beloved character took a deadly hit to the head.

Was it Daryl? No, haven’t you ever heard of the phrase “if Daryl dies, we riot”? Was it Maggie? No, she’s pregnant with Glenn’s child.

So Negan makes a clear point to the grieving leader. “Sitting around the table at Sunday Dinner, living happily ever after. Think about what happened.”

After the past season’s upturn of the group’s attitude and confidence, Negan shatters everything by breaking Rick and the rest of his group down with a simple swing of Lucille.

The reveal of Abraham Ford, everyone’s favorite creative swearer, being Eeny Meeny Miny Moed slightly relieved everybody.

Gasps were let go when we saw the bat come down on his head. Everything took a turn further downhill when Daryl, in a fit of rage over Negan mocking Abraham’s former girlfriend, Rosita, for her devastated expression, sprung from his spot in the line up and landed a hit on the leader of the Saviors.

This would come back to bite them, when Negan explains that he told them acting out would have consequences, and consequences they would pay.

Without a second to spare he takes a swing at long-time fan favorite Glenn Rhee, causing cries of shock and tears to spill all across the nation.

The rest of the episode shows the horrifying act of breaking Rick Grimes down into a submissive, crying mess.

Making him face a crowd of Walkers to receive something as simple as a hatchet, keeping him and his group held hostage, and even holding the surviving members of his group at gunpoint unless he cuts his son’s arm off.

Almost as he’s about to bring the axe down on Carl’s arm, Negan stops him. We finally see Rick Grimes break, and Negan gets what he wants: another settlement under his tyranny.

The last image the episode leaves us with is a heartbreaking idea of what the future will never be: the group sitting happily around a table, eating and laughing, with Abraham and Glenn, bouncing his and Maggie’s baby on his lap, sitting at the head. Only reminding us of what can never happen.

The premiere for this season carries the same message as Negan does: they are not here to mess around.