Season 7, Episode 1
Due to the Anachronic Order of the episode, this summary will be told in chronological order.
The seventh season premiere.
Rick can only watch in shock as Negan selects his victim - and it's none other than Abraham, who can only brace himself for the end as Sasha, Rosita, and the others recoil in horror. After one strike to the head with Lucille, Abraham spits out one final one-liner - "suck my nuts." Amused, Negan strikes again, and again, and again, until Abraham's head is no more.
Negan begins dangling Lucille in front of Rosita, demanding she take a good look at it. Enraged, Daryl jumps up and slugs Negan, and is then restrained by the Saviors. Dwight offers to kill Daryl, but Negan refuses, and announces that Daryl has incurred his wrath even further. He already gave them a freebie after Glenn's outburst, and explains he wants to make it clear he's a man of his word. He looms over Daryl with Lucille, and swings... and strikes Glenn twice. Maggie can barely look as now Glenn's face is a wreck, one of his eyeballs bulging out of his skull. Negan is incredulous that Glenn is still kicking after two big hits, but Glenn is undeterred as he strains out his last words - "Maggie, I will find you."
Negan tells the horrified group that he's sorry about this, but repeats his earlier warning - "no exceptions." Negan then swings Lucille again and again until Glenn's head is a pile of mush on the ground.
Negan jokes that Lucille is a vampire bat, and when he asks Rick if the joke was that bad, Rick simply responds that he's going to kill him some day. Annoyed, Negan retrieves Rick's axe from Simon, and drags Rick into the RV. He tells Rick that his best chance to kill him is right now, while they're alone in the RV together. Rick tries his best, but Negan once again easily subdues him and orders him to not try it again.
As dawn breaks, the RV arrives at the burning pile of lumber the Saviors had used as a roadblock. A herd of walkers has convened around the dying fire, and Negan throws the axe on top of the RV, and orders Rick to retrieve his axe. Rick eventually is forced outside, and can barely fight off the herd as he begins suffering hallucinations of the group's predicament. Negan begins gunning down some of the herd to give Rick a hand, and Rick is able to get up to the top of the RV and find the axe. He then remembers the deaths of his friends, as Negan insists that there is still a lot that can still happen.
Growing impatient, Negan fires an assault rifle into the roof of the RV, forcing Rick to run. Rick leaps onto the lynched Library walker, and hangs on for dear life as the herd awaits below. Negan pitches in again and clears a chunk of the herd, and Rick is able to get back to the RV with the axe - Negan's axe, that is.
Negan drives the RV back to the clearing, and gives Rick the axe back after cleaning it. He addresses the prisoners and insists that Rick still doesn't recognize his authority. He has Carl brought forward, and draws a line on his left arm after pinning him to the ground. Negan orders Rick to cut off Carl's left arm with the axe, or the others will be gunned down, Alexandria will be destroyed, and Rick will be spared for a few years only to stew on the destruction of everything he loves. Michonne pleads for Negan to stop, and Rick sobs that he should be the one to lose his arm, but Negan begins losing his patience. Carl resignedly asks Rick to just do it, and Rick finally picks up the axe, shaking and weeping, and prepares to do it... but Negan stops him, satisfied with the look of pure fear on Rick's face, his last bastion of defiance destroyed. Negan has Daryl wrangled into a van, and says that any future defiance will result in Rick being forced to cut pieces off of Daryl. He then declares that Alexandria has one week to gather up sufficient supplies for their first tribute, and the Saviors depart with the captured Daryl, leaving the group their RV and a truck.
Maggie is the first of the grieving group to get up, and insists that she will complete the journey to Hilltop alone, and the others must return to Alexandria to prepare to fight them. Rick asks how when the Saviors have an army, but Maggie refuses to accept defeat as she approaches the remains of her husband. Sasha agrees to go with her to Hilltop, and she, Rosita, and Eugene take Abraham's body. The others take Glenn's body.
As Rick drives the group away from the clearing, he imagines something Negan had thought of - his entire group, his entire family, enjoying an outdoors Sunday dinner together, among them Glenn and Maggie's baby, and a pregnant Sasha. Rick snaps out of it as he leaves the clearing, and notices a walker arriving at what remains of Glenn Rhee and Abraham Ford.
- Adaptation Expansion: In the comics, we didn't see the immediate backlash to Negan's kill, and Issue #100 ended with Negan walking off after getting threatened by Rick and the survivors left to mourn the victim. Here, the episode starts with the victim, and the rest of the episode is the immediate aftermath following Rick's threat. Negan also kills a second victim, killing Abraham since he was Spared by the Adaptation a few episodes prior. The entire scene lasts a lot longer than its comic counterpart, spanning the course of at least a few hours, as Negan also takes Rick on a mini field trip to the Savior blockade, and then return to the lineup to finish the scene.
- Adaptational Badass: Comic Negan is only ever shown in melee combat and never once uses a firearm. Here, Negan is shown to be very adept with an assault rifle, upping his badassery even further.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the comicbook, Maggie blames Rick for not standing up to Negan while Glenn is being executed (they get better). Here, she completely understands the dire situation they were in.
- Adaptational Villainy: Negan kills two victims instead of one, and nearly forces Rick to cut off Carl's arm, something he never did in the comic. In fact, the comic version actually made a point of (outside of potentially putting him to the bat) not hurting him.
- Adult Fear: Twice over. First, Rick is scared senseless by the idea of Carl getting his arm cut off... then he gets even more scared when told he has to do it to him.
- Always with You: Glenn's final words to Maggie.Maggie, I'll... I'll find you.
- An Arm and a Leg: Negan nearly forces Rick to cut off Carl's left arm just to cow him even further.
- And Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan gets this in the opening credits.
- Badass Boast: Even after witnessing the brutal murder of both Abraham and Glenn, Rick (who was barely able to speak at the end of last season), manages to deliver one while face-to-face with Negan.Rick: I'm gonna kill you.
Negan: What? I didn't quite catch that. You're gonna have to speak up.
Rick: Not today. Not tomorrow. But I'm gonna kill you.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Continuing where the Season 6 finale left off, this episode shows Negan completely break Rick and his group. Not only does he kill two members of Rick's group, he personally breaks down Rick's hope until he is a blubbering mess and saying that he works for Negan and answers to him. He even kidnaps Daryl from the group to force him to work for him and as leverage so Rick remembers not to step out of line. The remaining members of the group are left on the road as the Saviors leave, completely broken and beaten.
- Bait-and-Switch: Comic book readers initially think Abraham has taken the place of Glenn as Negan's victim... only for Negan to kill Glenn minutes later.
- Berserk Button: Negan gets pissed when Rosita refuses to acknowledge Abraham's blood on Lucille. He gets angrier when Daryl raises a ruckus in her defense... so he kills Glenn.
- Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Abraham wordlessly volunteered to sacrifice himself and Negan ultimately took him up on the offer.
- According to Michael Cudlitz, Negan's selection of his victim wasn't random at all; Negan methodically used his game of "eenie meanie minie mo" as a front to observe each group member's reaction to having Lucille pointed at them and determine who would be the logical choice to take out. Negan himself later confirms in the Season 8 finale that he specifically picked Abraham, as he didn't want to kill Rick in front of Carl.
- Black Comedy: Negan makes a joke about killing Abraham and Glenn, and given the situation, it's the perfect time for anything but a joke. Negan's continued eccentrics also qualify throughout the episode.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Negan's extremely warped perspective is put on display here. He feels that he is a better person because he means it when he invokes I Gave My Word, regardless of how said word is about murder for slights. He makes to cut off Carl's arm, but seems to think it's relatively okay because it's his left arm, and he's a righty, and because he has doctors that can keep him alive. On the whole, he seems to truly think he is in the right... while being a completely psychopathic nutcase.
- The first and last shots of the episode is Rick's stare. The first time, it is out of shock and anger towards the loss of Abraham and Glenn. Later on, it is an unblinking one, filled with fear and sorrow from the psychological tribulations that Negan has put him through.
- The Reveal of Glenn's death also serves as a reverse Call-Back to his and Rick's first meeting. In their first encounter, Rick was at first stuck under a tank surrounded by a large horde of walkers. Here, Rick remembers his death while atop an RV surrounded by a similarly large horde.
- Both Glenn's introduction and final episodes immediately follow a Cliffhanger one. In an interesting note, Glenn's debut followed a cliffhanger pilot episode while his death followed a Season Finale.
- Break the Badass: The episode can be basically summed up as "The Emotional and Psychological Emasculation of Rick Grimes and company".
- Break the Haughty: The rest of Rick's group was already cowed in the previous episode, but Rick still let off his Badass Boast (listed above). In order to break him down, Negan first tried trolling him by making him fetch "his" axe from a horde of Walkers for no reason, but when that does not work, he instead pretends to make him cut off his own son's left arm.
- Bullying a Dragon: Negan makes Rick realize he's doing this — he drags him into the RV and tells him to attempt to kill him with an ax (in response to Rick's declaration that Negan will die at his hands). When Rick complies with Negan's request, the latter disarms him at the point of an assault rifle and further demoralizes him.
- The Bus Came Back: Downplayed, but Tara makes her first appearance since "Not Tomorrow Yet" in Rick's vision at the end.
- The title of the episode is a callback to the Season 1 finale when Dr. Jenner allowed Rick and Co. to escape the CDC. Rick said "I'm grateful" to which Jenner responded, "the day will come when you won't be." It would appear that day has finally arrived.
- In the Season 6 finale, Abraham volunteered himself to be killed by Negan to save the others. After Negan chooses a victim, Abraham gets his wish.
- Rick telling Maggie that Glenn was his family too reflects that he and Glenn knew each other way before the latter met and fell in-love with Maggie.
- Character Death: Glenn and Abraham.
- Continuity Nod:
- Back in "No Way Out," Bud remarked to Abraham and Sasha how awkward it was carpooling with people after killing their friends. In this episode, Negan takes Rick on a very uncomfortable ride in the RV after killing two of his friends.
- Negan remarks that Rick's group must have been dealing with dishonest adversaries in the past when Daryl tries to retaliate against him. Nearly every single past villain, including Shane, The Governor, Terminus, Dawn, and Ron, were all pathological liars, so Negan's not too inaccurate.
- As the Saviors leave the clearing, one is seen taking a picture of Glenn's remains. Glenn and Heath previously saw a collection of pictures of Lucille's victims in "Not Tomorrow Yet".
- Sasha makes an effort to reach out to Rosita in the aftermath of the lineup, as Abraham had cruelly dumped her while going after herself in "Not Tomorrow Yet".
- Carl is the one who comforts Maggie after the Saviors leave, as she was the one who comforted him when he had to Mercy Kill his mother way back in Season 3.
- Before Negan kills him, Abraham flashes Sasha a peace sign, as they had done previously in "First Time Again" and "Knots Untie".
- Cooldown Hug: Maggie only relatively calms down from Glenn's brutal death after Carl hugs her. The key word is relatively.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Glenn and Abraham. More cruel with Glenn as at least Abraham really does "take it like a champ" and dies upon the 2nd hit, while Glenn is left writhing for several moments while Negan continues to gloat to the group.
- Death by Disfigurement: So much that Abraham and Glenn do not even have any heads by the end of it.
- Defiant to the End:
- A weird case of combining this and Face Death with Dignity. Abraham doesn't make any attempt to actually fight back against Negan (considering his earlier threats), but he does give him a Dying Moment of Awesome with his Famous Last Words.
- A leaked alternate take which shows Maggie as Negan's initial victim has her giving him a Spiteful Spit (with her blood) before he proceeds on beating her head.
- Downer Beginning: The episode starts right after Negan kills both Glenn and Abraham, making this trope effective not only for this episode but for the entire season.
- Downer Ending: The episode ends with Rick and company emotionally and psychologically broken in defeat.
- The Dragon: Negan refers to Simon (the Savior who organized the ambush) as his "right hand man" and asks Rick whether he has one... if that person isn't the one whose head he just finished smashing in.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, a wordless version. When Negan says that Lucille is a vampire bat for the sheer amount of blood drawn with the two victims, none of them even crack a smile, considering their close friends just died. Noticing, he asks if the joke he made about the situation was really that bad.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Abraham, after taking a hit from Lucille, tells Negan to "suck my nuts."
- Even Evil Has Standards: When Negan hits Glenn with Lucille for the first time, one of the Saviors flinches back in shock and is later seen looking a little disturbed at Glenn's now disfigured head.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Negan makes a joke after he kills Glenn, and naturally, no one is laughing. Negan bemusedly asks if his joke was that bad, just to screw with his prisoners further.
- Evil Is Petty: Negan choosing Glenn as his second victim can be interpreted as this, considering that Glenn had interrupted Negan's speech during the season 6 finale.
- Eye Scream: One of Glenn's eyes pops out of his skull.
- Facial Horror: Abraham and Glenn's heads are reduced to piles of gore, but Glenn in particular gets a hit from Lucille right in the face, so we get to see his mangled, bloody faced in all its glory.
- Famous Last Words: Both Lucille victims get out a final sentence before they are killed.Abraham: Suck my nuts.
Glenn: Maggie... I'll find you.
- Foil: The deceased leader of the library group is this for Rick. This man, whose entire community has been wiped out for challenging the Saviors, serves as a cautionary example to Rick of what could befall him and his people. In the end, he decides to submit to Negan to avoid a similar fate.
- Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Rick had an Imagine Spot near the end where he and his pals are having Sunday dinner. Before it ends, the shot focuses on Glenn and Abraham.
- Forced to Watch: The entire group on Abraham and Glenn's execution.
- Heroic BSoD: By the end of the episode, the entire group (Rick especially) is severely traumatized by the whole ordeal.
- How We Got Here: The episode begins with Rick threatening Negan after the deaths of Abraham and Glenn, and Negan takes him off for a little field trip. During said field trip, Rick remembers the deaths of his friends, and the show returns to the present.
- I Gave My Word: Negan says this separates him from some other groups. When he tells someone something, he expects them to believe him, as he never goes back on his word. The only exception is when he decides not to have Rick cut off Carl's arm, but that is because he only told him to do that to make him beg for mercy.
- I Have Your Wife: A platonic version, in that Daryl is held captive by the Saviors as leverage over the Alexandria group.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Negan is big on this. Not only does he kill Abraham for what has been happening to the Saviors, but he beats Glenn to death when Daryl makes to object.
- At the end of the episode, Negan takes Daryl hostage and tells Rick that, if Rick acts up, he'll send back bits of Daryl to remind him to stay in line.
- Imagine Spot: While Negan is making him fight a horde of walkers, Rick imagines the rest of the group all being killed with Lucille the same way Abraham and Glenn were. Later, he has one of the entire group happily eating an outdoor dinner together. Among the people present at the dinner are Glenn and Maggie's unborn child, and Sasha is also seen to be pregnant.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Rick breaks down to the point that he starts to have a runny nose at the idea of having to cut off his own son's arm.
- Kick the Dog: After spending the whole episode trying to break Rick, and succeeding at the end, Negan proceeds to taunt him at the end:Negan: [Daryl's] got guts he's not a little bitch like someone I know. I like him.
- Lampshade Hanging: Crossed with Self-Deprecation. One of the promos leading up to this episode promised in large font that "YOU. WILL. KNOW." — a nod to the intense negative backlash to the Season 6 cliffhanger from critics and fans, and the running meme that the show will spend as much time as possible showing everything but the resolution of Season 6.
- Mama Bear: Even with the threat of Lucille looming, Michonne doesn't hesitate to desperately reason and plead with Negan once he sets his sights on Carl.
- Manly Tears: All the men have them after the deaths, most notably Daryl (since he inadvertently caused Glenn's death) and especially Rick when Negan nearly forces him cut his son's arm off.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Just look at Daryl's face during the second beating and you can tell he is torn up over causing Glenn's brutal death.
- Mythology Gag:
- Rick's desperate Badass Boast from the comic is kept nearly intact, as are Negan's taunts during and after Glenn's death.
- Negan taunts Rick about possibly killing his "right hand man", alluding to how Comic! Rick lost his hand during the Woodbury arc. It also refers to how Rick lost his right hand man, Abraham, shortly before Negan's arrival.
- On the same beat, said hand amputation has been teased throughout the episode. When Negan make him chop off Carl's left arm, Rick suggested to take his instead, even blurting "it could have been me".
- Negan not knowing Daryl's name may be a nod to the fact that Daryl is an original character in the show and he doesn't appear in the comic.
- In the comicbook, Carl holds Maggie at gunpoint after she attacks Rick, blaming him for allowing Glenn to die. Here, Carl is the one who comforts Maggie.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: After baiting Rick into grabbing his hatchet to try to kill him, Negan calmly holds him at the point of an assault rifle, effectively disarming him again and proving him to be literally outgunned.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Daryl assaults Negan as he taunts Rosita with Abraham's blood, causing Negan to kill Glenn in turn.
- No Name Given: Subverted. Simon, the Savior lieutenant played by Steven Ogg, is properly named and introduced here.
- Not His Sled: Subverted. The Reveal shows that Abraham was the one who got killed at the end of the last season, as opposed to Glenn, who was killed this way in the comics... only for Negan to then kill Glenn in the same way, anyways.
- Once More, with Clarity!: While the scene where Abraham was beaten to death had no noise except for Negan's commentary in the previous episode (likely to keep the identity of the death secret), this one shows the same scene, which includes every member of the group sobbing, and Abraham's Defiant to the End Famous Last Words.
- Pet the Dog: Subverted. After bashing Glenn twice with Lucille, Negan turns to the group and apologizes in what he clearly believes is a sincere way, while letting Glenn writhe in agony.
- There is also the part where Negan outright gives the group a free truck, just so they can use it to gather more resources that they will have to split with him (and his group) later on.
- A very understated one, but Negan is merciful enough to not flip out when Michonne tries pleading with him to save Carl — it might be justified by her not attempting to attack. It doesn't do Michonne any good, but Negan also doesn't punish her or anyone else for the transgression, even with the fact that the whole group has guns trained on their heads at this point.
- P.O.V. Cam: We see Negan picking his first victim through Rick's point of view.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Jeffrey Dean Morgan is added to the opening credits.
- The Reveal: It was "last day on Earth" for Abraham at the end of Season 6.
- Revenge by Proxy: Negan kills Glenn as punishment for Daryl punching him.
- Sadistic Choice: Negan forces Rick to choose between chopping off Carl's arm or watch all of the group get shot and Carl beaten to death.
- Scenery Gorn: Negan's murder of Abraham and Glenn are shown in detail.
- Secret Test of Character: Negan making Rick chop off Carl's arm is to see if the former finally submits to him.
- Sickening "Crunch!": The audience can hear the painful disintegration of Abraham and Glenn's skulls.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Glenn, though it's perhaps one of the shortest-lived examples of this trope in all of fiction as he received his canonical death just minutes later anyway.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: The first Season Premiere to feature a major Character Death, and not just one. The first victim has been around since mid-Season 4, while the second has been a main character since the second episode of the entire series.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Abraham and Glenn are completely unrecognizable after being killed with Lucille, and their heads are reduced to a pile of bloody, gory mush. Some teeth and gums are even seen strewn about in their remains.
- Tonight, Someone Dies: Going in everyone knew at least one person from the group would die.
- Wham Episode: The identity of Negan's victim (Abraham and Glenn) is revealed after a seven month long cliffhanger.
- Wham Shot: Negan picking Abraham, and later swinging at Glenn with Lucille.
- Would Hit a Girl: Pretty obvious since four of his potential victims are women, but an alternate take has Negan choosing Maggie instead of Abraham (and later Glenn).
- Would Hurt a Child: Pretty obvious since Carl is one of his potential victims, and he did Trolled Rick into cutting off his son's arm, but an alternate take has Negan choosing the pregnant Maggie as Lucille's victim instead of Abraham (and later Glenn).
- Your Head Asplode: A rare example where the head explosions were caused by an external source (read: bat-smashing) rather than the internal one the trope is famous for.