Warning. This review contains several spoilers about the seventh season of the TV show “The Walking Dead”!
On april 2 the seventh season of the show “The Walking Dead” ended.
The seventh season was produced and broadcast with the format has become usual: 16 episodes of which 8 were broadcast between October and December 2016 and the other 8 between February and April 2017. For the first time there was a real drop in audience after the first episode’s peak, which may be a sign that many viewers are getting tired of the show.
The sixth season of “The Walking Dead” ended with the defeat of the Alexandria group at the hands of Negan and his Saviours. The cliffhanger left the audience wondering who would be killed by Lucille, the baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire that Negan brigns along with him.
The first episode of the seventh season is one of the most dramatic of the whole show and begins with the death of Abraham and Glenn. Daryl, for daring to react, is taken away. Rick is forced to become Negan’s bitch to avoid having other victims, starting with Carl.
“The Walking Dead” seventh season cast consists of:
- Andrew Lincoln (photo ©Angela George) as Rick Grimes
- Danai Gurira as Michonne
- Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
- Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
- Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
- Lauren Cohan (photo ©Gage Skidmore) as Maggie Greene
- Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
- Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler
- Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter
- Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa
- Seth Gilliam as Gabriel Stokes
- Lennie James as Morgan Jones
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan
The first episode was criticized for the violence levels shown but honestly that left me puzzled. The brutality in the world after the zombie apocalypse is the norm, Instead in “The Walking Dead” there are too many pseudo-introspective episodes where little or nothing happens that give a different impression.
Surely Negan brings a higher level of violence than normal but also a good dose of humor and often the two elements are mixed. Overall, I think that Negan is a villain developed better than the average characters of “The Walking Dead” and this enriches the show.
At the seventh season it was hard to think that the show would be completely changed but the arrival of Negan with his Saviours raised the hope for a faster pace. Instead, after starting with a bang, there was a further fragmentation of the story into subplots which are sometimes of doubious interest to say the least.
In some cases, these are developments that make sense, starting with the discovery of other communities quite distant from Alexandria and Hilltop. In particular, the community called the Kingdom with its King Ezekiel is important. Daryl’s story, which start with him initially as Negan’s prisoner, is also important.
The problem is that very soon the development of the subplots falls into the flaws seen in previous seasons. The pseudo-introspective moments become very long, particularly those related to Carol, and there are actions of an embarrassing stupidity, beginning with the attempts to kill Negan.
In the episode “Sing Me a Song” Carl has the opportunity to kill Negan but for mysterious reasons he doesn’t shoot him. In “The Other Side” Sasha and Rosita intend to kill Negan from a distance with a sniper rifle but abandon the plan after the first attempt only because their target was covered. Worse, after an argument they start an attack that makes no sense that obviously fails miserably.
The deal between Alexandria and the other communities discovered in the course of the episodes to fight the Saviours follow predictable lines for most of the episodes leaving the surprises for the last ones. The attack of Rick’s group to the women-only community discovered by Tara finally starts the action.
Among the positive subplots of the seventh season I put the one about Eugene after he’s taken away by Negan. His way of interacting with Negan, his wives and other people among the Saviours at least allowed to develop part of the story in a way a bit different from the usual one.
I found the last episode disappointing with a useless first part focused on Sasha that seems to have been made only to make the alleged grand finale longer. The actual battle takes relatively little time and is mainly a random shooting with some exceptions such as the tiger Shiva’s intervention.
It was predictable that the producers preferred to continue Negan’s story, in fact the seventh season sees the end of a battle and the beginning of a war. It’s the end of a season of ups and downs that are better than some previous ones with downs and more downs but not exciting given its premises. On the other hand, it’s now clear that “The Walking Dead” is a show based on unintentional comedy of absurd behavior and idiotic deaths and anything that’s better is to be welcomed with joy.