Spoiler Alert: If You Haven’t Yet Seen the Premiere Episode of The Walking Dead Season 7 and don’t want to know what happens until you do, stop reading right now.
I’m surprised that so many people seem to be appalled by the gore and violence of the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead. We don’t have cable, so I bought the Amazon Season Pass for Season 7 and watched the new episode the day after it actually aired.
We spent the entire interim between Season 6 and Season 7 speculating about who gets beaten to death with a baseball bat covered in barbed wire. Why wouldn’t we expect it to be violent?
Some commenters have noted that a lot of the extra-gory violence has been implied in other parts of the series, and while I think there is a lot to be said for this–the monster is scariest when you don’t see it, and extreme violence is probably most effective when you don’t actually see it–the gore in the Season 7 premiere served what I think is a very important purpose.
Where Rick and his crew have previously been confident, going so far as to dispatch the Saviors who had been exacting tribute from the people of the Hilltop, the sight of Glenn’s twitching body and smashed head reinforced to viewers the fact that they are facing a whole new reality and an enemy in Negan who takes brutality to a new level.
Rick and (what’s left of) the group are as close to completely broken as they have ever been. The violence in the Season 7 Premiere underscores that fact in a gruesome but memorable way.