(Spoiler alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead”)
“The Walking Dead” returned with a bang on Sunday, with Negan’s victim from the Season 6 finale cliffhanger meeting their bloody end at his hands.
After months of waiting, fans finally know who was brutally killed by having their head smashed in with Negan’s barbed wire baseball bat, Lucille.
And that person is…
Abraham (Michael Cudlitz).
That’s right, the cigar-chomping red head met his maker thanks to Negan. But being the bad ass that he is, Abraham took a swing from the bat and managed to get up and tell Negan, “Suck my nuts.”
Of course, that wasn’t revealed right away when the episode began. In fact, it took the premiere a full 20 minutes before they unveiled that Abraham had died.
The redeeming quality of this additional build up? Jeffrey Dean Morgan really getting to sink his teeth into the role of Negan. The devil himself could not be as charming and sadistic at the same time as Morgan does in his scenes in the episode.
Early on, he demonstrates just how little power Rick (Andrew Lincoln) currently holds, forcing him to fight bare handed through a horde of walkers.
We then flash back to the moment when Abraham is killed. In the bloody aftermath, Negan can’t help but gloat, causing Daryl (Norman Reedus) to spring up and punch him in the face. Negan spares Daryl but takes his vengeance on the group by also killing Glenn (Steven Yeun).
In a shocking twist, Negan kills both Abraham and Glenn in two of the most graphic deaths the show has ever done, and fulfilling Glenn’s destiny in the comics.
Rick battles his way through the walkers, all the while imagining each and every one of his friends getting killed the exact same way. Later, Negan explains to Rick that he is now expected to turn over most of Alexandria’s goods to The Saviors.
Negan returns to the group with Rick, and is still not satisfied that Rick will bow down. So Negan threatens to kill everyone unless Rick cuts off Carl’s arm.
In one of the most tense moments in “Walking Dead” history, Rick must choose between the lives of the whole group and his own son. Negan stops him at the last moment, explaining he just wanted to show Rick how little power he now has.
Just before Negan sends the group on their way, he has Daryl loaded up into a van and taken away, telling Rick, “He’s mine now.”
When all the Saviors leave, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) rises and tells Rick that they must prepare for a battle with Negan and his men.