Warning: Dead inside, and spoilers ahead. By now, you’ve probably heard the devastating news, as The Walking Dead lost not one but two major characters in its season 7 premiere on Sunday, October 23. Newly arrived villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) decided to make a show of just how bad a bad guy he is by beating a pair of our faves to death with his barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat.
In one of the hardest-to-watch scenes in the AMC drama’s history, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) lost their lives in rapid succession — and in horrible, graphic detail. And we know, we know: The pain is fresh (so fresh, in fact, that a hungry zombie is still chowing down on the not-yet-congealed remains of the Grimes gang’s beloved late members.) But we’ve still gotta talk about what this will mean for the future of the show — and for us, its fans.
No more colorful cursing.
In murdering Abraham, The Walking Dead just killed off its most reliable, beloved, fabulously vulgar source of comic relief. Of all the characters on the series, Abraham was the only one who could be counted on to use the word “dingleberries” in his breakup speech — and to not care if you thought that was a wee bit gross. Abe’s death was already hard to take, but when you realize that you’ll never again hear him utter the words “mother d–k”? The devastation increases tenfold. Tenfold.
The Walking Dead’s facial-hair game just got 1,000 percent worse.
In addition to being the show’s most prolific user of four-letter words, Abe also had far and away the best facial forest in all of zombie America. Now he’s gone, and all we have left is the slimmest hope that Rick’s crazy mountain-man beard might make a comeback to fill the void.
Love is dead.
Lest you needed a reminder that the zombie apocalypse is a dangerous place to date, take a good look at how many hearts got broken with just a few swings of Negan’s bat. Abraham left behind two brokenhearted women (a stud even in death — eh, Abe?); Glenn left behind his pregnant wife, and we are officially never shipping anyone on this hateful, mind-exploder of a show ever again.
We’ve never seen Rick like this.
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) has been through some seriously bad stuff since the end of the world as we know it, but he’s always retained a certain amount of grit — which is why seeing him reduced to a blubbering, slobbering, broken man who was ready to amputate his son’s arm to prove his loyalty to Negan was definitely new territory. Rick has always come out on top in the past, but this time? It honestly seems dubious. In fact …
We’ve never seen anything like this, period.
The Walking Dead has given fans its share of brutal surprises over the years, but these deaths — particularly Glenn’s — are a game changer. Glenn was one of the few core cast members to hang in there since season 1, and he’d come to be representative of something greater than himself: the idea that love, and life, could go on in desperate times. For Glenn to survive so much for so long — and to fall in love and have a child in the midst of all that horror — suggested that The Walking Dead was fundamentally a hopeful show, despite its soul-sucking moments.
And for Glenn to now die in service of nothing, in an act of such senseless violence? Let’s just say we’re not so sure anymore where this series is taking us … or whether it’s someplace we necessarily want to go.
Tell Us: What did you think of the devastating premiere?
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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