Walking Dead: Solid start to season

The seventh season of “The Walking Dead” has just started and is already four episodes in; and while it has been obviously revealed to audiences how difficult the future episodes will be, the show continues to tease just how bad of a threat Negan poses and the hardships our beloved characters will have to face as they force themselves to bow down before him.

In the third and fourth episodes, we went from recovering ourselves from the trauma experienced during the premiere of the season to rising up out of our seats with tension once again. This show may have its relaxing moments, but it teaches you to not get too comfortable.

In the third episode “The Cell”, we had the pleasure of experiencing what life was like at Negan’s compound and how Daryl is adjusting to his imprisonment there. Negan has taken a liking to Daryl, and as much as he keeps trying to convert Daryl into one of his cruel henchmen, Daryl refuses to join the man who killed his friends. While you can’t help but admire Daryl for his stubbornness and strength, despite having to eat dog food sandwiches and listening to the same annoyingly peppy song on a loop, you also feel tense and worried whenever he refuses Negan or disobeys him. Negan has taught the audience as well as the other characters of the show that he doesn’t play around and that he will kill or torture as many as it takes to get his way. But there’s a small bit of hope within Negan’s compound. Dwight may be the most loyal and cruel of henchmen right now, but his history with Negan may become a future boost needed to take the charismatic sadist down.

In the fourth episode titled “Service”, we are finally taken back to our main characters who have returned to Alexandria. The mood is automatically gray and depressing when it opens up with Rick and Michonne, and why wouldn’t it be? After all, it had just been three days ago since their first meeting with Negan and Lucille; and what a pleasant surprise it was when Negan and his crew decided to show up earlier than they had intended to collect the supplies Rick’s team was supposed to fetch him. While the pacing of this episode moved at a snail’s pace, it was still full of tension and frustration. It was hard to watch Rick and the others force themselves to retract their claws for the sake of their friends. If they hadn’t cooperated, another one of their friends would have succumbed to Lucille’s bloodlust.

So far, the only thing the past two episodes have proven is that it is going to be insanely difficult to tear down the reign of Negan. But the season is still off to a pretty solid start. There is a severe amount of empathy lingering in the air as the viewers watching the show can’t help but feel as helpless as the main characters are forced to fall to their knees before the worst villain yet.