The Walking Dead season 7B finally returns much more quietly than it began as we weren’t left with a life or death cliffhanger this time around. After such a violent and brutal premiere, it ended with more hope as Rick Grimes and company were finally reunited and ready to kick some Negan butt.
Viewers complained that Rick should have been doing this, but if you recall in season 6, that’s exactly what they were doing and it bit them in butt pretty hard and resulted in both Abraham and Glenn feeding Lucille. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s has created a character in Negan (while sometimes annoyingly over the top) that was able to bring Rick to his knees and strip him down to nothing.
We’ve seen Rick go through these periods. Remember when he kept taking calls from his dead wife? This was just steps further down the line of a breakdown.
For those of you who absolutely hate Negan; well we don’t have good news for you. He’s going to be around into at least season 8 as the Negan war won’t be coming to a conclusion this season. Remember, Rick and company will be having to bring in support with other groups (like King Ezekiel and his tiger) and convince them to join up together. They have to bring on Alexandria, The Kingdom, The Hilltop and the tribe that Tara found. The latter will be their best bet as they seem to be the one group with access to a huge stockpile of guns.
But we have to wait for Tara to mention them.
The Walking Dead has suddenly become more timely when you see all the protestors on the news since Jan 20, and the message of people who wouldn’t normally come together now united for a common purpose.
Now The Walking Dead sometimes follows the comics and sometimes not, but all of our forecasts have been dead on so here’s the latest round of who’s going to be the next victim?
Morgan is in an interesting spot right now, as his character is a lot different than his comic counterpart, and has been used a lot differently as well. Right now, he’s sort of a spiritual mentor to Carol, but I have a sneaking hunch that his death might be used to propel her out of retirement and back into action as the killing machine she needs to be to take down Negan.
Technically, Morgan should already be dead, as in the comic he died during the walker breach of Alexandria. But again, that character is way different than the Morgan we have. He came back much sooner and hooked up with Michonne and was never anyone’s guru in any capacity. This Morgan is essentially a character reborn, much like Carol, and though I really would not want to see him killed, I can understand why there might be story reasons where that might happen. And since he, or some version of him, is dead already, it does seem like he’s living on borrowed time.
Time for a villain! Stephen Ogg is absolutely killing it as Simon, one of Negan’s goons who does not have a counterpart in the comics. In my opinion, he outshines both Negan and Dwight themselves, but I also think there’s a specific reason this character was created: to die.
One of the main problems with the Negan war is that the resolution does not really result in any major deaths of the key instigators. Both Dwight and Negan survive, one turned into an ally, one kept as prisoner, which is a little bit of a letdown, given the havoc those two caused previously. But Simon? I think they’ve invented an “expendable” villain character who we actually know and can name, one that actually is going to find a bullet with his name on it, courtesy of Maggie or Sasha or Enid or whoever. That’s really too bad, given that he’s doing such a great job, but I have to believe that this is going to be his ultimate purpose on the show. Oh well, at least Ogg still has Westworld.
I’ll refrain from say everyone else is definitely safe besides these four, but for now, everyone else does seem pretty safe. Nearly every major character not listed has some pretty big storylines ahead of them, even if that storyline ends in their death. Other characters like Daryl and Carol may be free of comic twists and turns, but they’re such fan favorites that its doubtful the show has the gall to kill them. If Daryl survived Negan’s Lucille execution, I honestly don’t think he’ll ever die, and Carol is the one show character Robert Kirkman said he would never kill. Plans may change, but for now, I think most of the cast with a few exceptions will be safe for a while.
I do hope The Walking Dead improves in the second half of this season. Falling ratings have been indicative of falling quality, and while we may never get back to the high point of season five, I hope TWD manages to turn things around. The Negan storyline is the peak of the comics, but so far it seems to be a valley of the show.
There was some rather ominous news that broke a few months ago that the actress who plays Sasha, Sonequa Martin-Green, has been cast to play the lead in CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery. Great for her and that show, but it does not bode terribly well for the fate of her character on The Walking Dead, even though everyone is pretending like she can somehow do both.
Sasha’s fate is the most clear out of everyone’s here, in my view. Though she’s not a comic character, she has clearly assumed the role of “Holly” from the comics, an Alexandrian citizen who causes Abraham to leave Rosita. She’s given a key role early in the Negan war as she rams his fortress’s wall in a vehicle which allows walkers to stream in. She’s captured, almost raped (Negan kills her would-be rapist), but then returned to Alexandria with a bag over her head and surprise, she’s now a walker. She’s arguably Negan’s last major in kill in the war.
I don’t know if things will play out exactly the same way (Fear the Walking Dead literally just did the bag-over-a-prisoner’s-head-but-really-they’re-a-walker trick), but I can definitely see them giving Sasha a “blaze of glory” moment like Holly’s since she does inhabit that role fully now. Out of everyone else here, I would be amazed if she survives the season, as I think we’ll at least get to that moment in eight episodes, but who knows.
Heath is another curious case because he was much more of a major character in the comics, but The Walking Dead has relegated him to such a background role it’s easy to forget he even exists. Currently, he has about five minutes of screentime a season, and it’s unclear if that’s going to change.
Again, this is a case where an actor taking on other responsibilities may affect his role here. Corey Hawkins is not just a movie star (Straight Outta Comtom, Kong: Skull Island), but he’s now leading FOX’s new 24 show as well. I suppose The Walking Dead could continue giving him very, very little screentime the way they do now so he’s able to juggle all of this, but I could also seem them just killing him off and giving Heath’s parts to another character in the future. Heath feels like he was added as an afterthought, as he didn’t show up in Alexandria until fans complained about his absence (ah yes he was on one of those famous, months-long “supply runs”), but they have not done much with him since. Irrelevant means in danger on The Walking Dead, so I would not be surprised to see him meet his end in the Negan war, even if that differs from the comics.