Who was on the receiving end of Lucille in the season seven premiere of The Walking Dead, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”? Here our recap!
“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” was an hour of unrelenting horror and heartbreak. The episode opened with the three minute clip that was released last week. Negan has already dealt out deaths and the group is in shock.
Rick tells Negan:
“I’m gonna kill you.”
“What? I didn’t quite catch that, you’re gonna have to speak up.”
Not today, not tomorrow, but I’m gonna kill you.”
Negan doesn’t like that resistance, especially after the show he has put on, so after talking about how a “right hand man” is important, he hauls Rick up and into the RV. We get a shot of Daryl’s blanket tossed aside then bloodied up ground as the camera pans back.
Inside the RV, Negan knocks Rick around and tells him, they’re going for a ride. The RV doesn’t start, and that’s our first clue that Glenn is dead. He was the only one who knew how to fix it, right?
Rick again tells Negan that he’s going to kill him, and Negan goads him into grabbing the ax he slammed into the table. Rick goes to do just that, but Negan turns around and points a rifle at him them hits him with it before starting the RV on his second try.
“I want you to think what could have happened. What happened. And think about what could still happen.”
Negan runs over walkers as they drive through a dense fog, and Rick thinks about the rest of his group and memories for each person in the line-up. Finally, they reach a stopping point and Negan tells him:
“You are mine. The people back there are mine.”
He goes so far as to say the ax is his before he opens the door and throws it out. Telling Rick:
“Hey, Rick. Go get my ax. Let’s be friends.”
The RV is surrounded by walkers, and Negan tosses Rick into the middle of it, telling him once again to get his ax.
As Rick fights his way through the walkers, it’s reminiscent of the scene in Alexandria after Carl gets shot. He’s surrounded but this time he has no hope, he’s lost, and has no weapon. All the while, he’s thinking of his family and we get snapshots of his memories of them.
Finally, he finds the ladder of the RV, and in a move from S1, climbs it to get away from walkers. The way he and Glenn got away from the ones in Atlanta after Glenn saved him.
This is another small nod of preparation for us of what will come.
Rick turns around once he’s on the roof, and realizes they’re at one of the roads Negan’s men blocked off before and the man they hung over the bridge is now a walker, reaching out for Rick.
Negan’s voice filters through the roof as Rick hits his knees:
“Bet you thought your were all gonna grow old together. Sittin’ around the table at Sunday dinner and the happily ever after. No. Doesn’t work like that, Rick. Not anymore. Think about what happened.”
These words are eerily similiar to Beth Greene’s from S4 during “Still” when she and Daryl were stuck in the moonshine shack and drunk. She remarks how stupid she was for believing that things could be that way. It’s like Negan’s words are shutting the door on the prospect of that ever happening, especially with what his actions have caused.
Rick lays back on the roof and remembers the events that just happened back in the woods.
We pick up with Negan’s game of “eenie meenie miney mo”, but this time we get the conclusion of it.
Negan stands before Abraham and he sits up taller and meets Negan’s stare, the camera scans over Rosita, Sasha, and Eugene, who are all crying, then we get one last look of defiance and acceptance from Abraham as he holds up a peace sign low to his side for Sasha then the bat comes down on his head.
Abraham sits up after the first hit, and looks into Negan’s eyes again and gives one last amazing one-liner:
“Suck my nuts.”
After that, he doesn’t get back up and Negan keeps swinging. The noise of the bat is absolutely horrific and paired with the crying of the group is paralyzing.
Once he’s done with Abraham, Negan casually laughs about what Abraham said then hits him several more times as everyone looks on crying and powerless.
Negan swings the bat and gets blood on Rick. Then he approaches Rosita and tells her to look at the bat. She’s staring straight through it, the camera catches Daryl shooting a worried look her way, and then Negan asks if she was with Abraham. He tells her, but it’s directed at everyone:
“There was a reason for all this. Red, and hell, he was, is, and will ever be red, he just took one or six or seven for the team!”
When Rosita doesn’t look and he pokes the bat at her, Daryl flings off the blanket covering his shoulders and lands a solid punch to Negan’s jaw. Saviors grab him and pull him to ground. Rick yells for Daryl, and Negan steps forward and tells Rick, “No.” while pointing the bat at him.
Negan tells them that that shit won’t fly around here, and Dwight comes forward as he points Daryl’s own crossbow at Daryl’s head and offers to kill him.
“No, you don’t kill that not until you try a little.”
Right then, you know Daryl will be taken away with the Saviors. Negan stands up and decides to make another example because he won’t take anyone stepping out of line. As he walks back toward the group, Glenn is directly to his side, and you know what’s happening next, but it’s just as jarring.
“I don’t know what kind of lyin’ assholes you’ve been dealing with, but I’m a man of my word. First impressions are important. I need ya’ll to know me.”
Glenn takes two solid hits from Lucille as everyone in the line-up starts sobbing, and when he stands back up on his knees, you can see his eye is almost popping out, but he looks at Maggie and his final words before Negan kills him are:
“Maggie, I’ll find you.”
He leaves Glenn suffering for several beats to apologize to the group for the pain he’s causing them, but he tells them that he said “No exceptions” before continuing to beat Glenn to death.
Not only will this death affect Maggie who is losing her husband and father of her child, but Rick, who Glenn saved the first time they met. Daryl, whose actions are what seem to have led to his death, and every single person in that line-up because Glenn Rhee was a moral voice and a good man.
These losses are devastating, and the graphic nature of the episode is nearly unparalleled. In fact, I don’t think we’ve seen deaths this gruesome since Noah was eaten alive in 5B. It’s like they were saving it up for this moment, and the whole scene makes you sick to your stomach.
After Glenn’s death, we are caught back up with the present and Rick is still up on the roof of the RV, laying down. You could go so far as to parallel it to Bob in S4 when he lays on the roof of a truck as walkers pass by. Negan starts talking again:
“People died, Rick. It happens. Doesn’t mean the rest of them have to.”
In order to get Rick off the roof and the ax back in his hands, Negan begins firing through the ceiling of the RV, causing Rick to run and jump for the hanging walker to get away.
The walker he’s holding onto is trying to eat him and his neck is coming apart, the walkers below him are grabbing his boots. Just when you think Rick will fall, Negan shoots the walkers around him, giving him a chance to move.
After Rick hits the ground, Negan tells him to think about what could still happen. Rick rushes around and finally finds the ax, all the while thinking about the people still back in that clearing and them getting killed by Negan. He lands by the walker head from the man on the bridge which is open and closing it’s mouth very much like Hershel’s head did in 4B before Michonne killed him.
It’s traumatic because it feels like this episode never lets up. It’s a constant battle to catch a breath.
After Rick gets the ax and gets back to the RV, he finds it locked. It takes several seconds bfore Negan opens the door and holds out his hand for Rick to give him the ax. Rick looks at him the way he looks at everyone he wants to kill, and you know Rick isn’t completely gone yet.
Once they get back to the site, Negan tells him:
“This must be hard for you, right? I mean, you’ve been King Shit for a long time.”
He’s not wrong, and you know he’s trying to break Rick. Everything he says and does showcases that from wiping the ax on Rick’s jacket, cleaning it off, and handing it back to him. He tells Rick that he can still lead, but he’ll just be leading for him.
The ax hangs between them on the table for several seconds before Rick yanks it from Negan.
The battle of wills is still happening, even after everything that’s happened and Negan isn’t going to let that fly.
When they get outside, Negan tosses Rick down on the ground in the center of the group. He asks if Rick knows what the trip was about, and when Rick doesn’t answer that sets Negan off again.
He tells him to speak when he’s spoken to then rants about the real problem he has with Rick…
“That trip was about the way that you looked at me. I wanted to change that. I wanted you to understand. But you’re still lookin’ at me the same damn way–like I shit in your scrambled eggs, and that’s not gonna work. So, do I give you another chance?”
Then Negan introduces the “grand prize game”.
He tells his men to put guns to the backs of everyone’s heads and then calls over Carl. Since Carl is as stubborn as his father, Negan has to tell him twice, but Carl exudes a type of arrogance that no one has shown that entire day. He looks like he couldn’t care less about who Negan is or what he has done.
After buckling his belt around Carl’s upper left arm, he makes him lay on the ground and pulls his sleeve up before making a mark on his forearm.
Rick begs him not to do anything to Carl, and Negan laughs. He tells Rick that he’s not doing anything, but Rick will cut his son’s arm off if he wants everyone else to live, including the people of Alexandria. If he doesn’t do it, everyone will die, but not Rick. He’ll keep him alive for a few years just to watch him suffer.
Michonne begs Negan, telling him that they understand, and Negan smiles at her and tells her that he knows she understands, but Rick still doesn’t.
Rick’s stare is a million miles away, his eyes are full of tears, and he begs to take his son’s place. Negan won’t take that exchange, and he tells Rick that he’ll kill everyone there and that Rick will see every ugly thing. The group sits on the ground, completely lost.
Finally, Negan begins counting and Rick sobs. Carl looks at him and says:
“Dad, just do it. Just do it.”
Rick raises the ax and Negan stops him.
“You answer to me. You provide for me. You answer to me. Right?”
“Right. That is the look I wanted to see.”
Negan goes into another speech about how today was a productive day and that he hopes that they understand the new way of things. Then he tells Dwight to load up Daryl. Daryl fights him and once he’s in the back of the van, he looks like a caged animal.
“He’s got guts. Not a little bitch like someone I know. I like him. He’s mine now.”
Negan then tells Rick that he’ll cut pieces off Daryl or even better, he’ll bring him back to Rick and have him do it for him if he tries anything. With that, Negan tells them all goodbye in his own way and that he’ll be back for their first offering in a week.
The group begins to process what’s happened now, as the Saviors move away. In the background, you can see a Savior taking a picture of one of the bodies.
When they’re all gone, Maggie stands up, trying to move toward Glenn. They tell her to sit down and they need to get her to the Hilltop, and she tells them no.
“You need to get ready to fight.”
She tells them that she’s going to Hilltop, and she doesn’t want anyone coming with her. They need to go to Alexandria and prepare everyone.
“You were out–out here for me.”
Maggie blames herself for what has happened, and she just wants them go away, but they won’t let her go. Finally, Sasha stands up and says that she’ll take Maggie to Hilltop. Maggie tells her that she’s taking Glenn with her. That’s when Sasha goes to Rosita and tells her that she’s going to take Abraham to Hilltop, too.
Sasha is going to finish his last mission for him.
Maggie is trying to lift Glenn, and Carl is able to help her up and away, after Rick tells her:
“Please let us help. He’s our family, too.”
Rosita, Sasha, and Eugene carry away Abraham’s body while Carl, Rick, Michonne, and Aaron carry away Glenn.
Negan’s voice comes on screen, talking about how Sunday dinners don’t work anymore as the camera pans out and shows Maggie standing between two circles of blood where the bodies had been.
Then just to drive the nail a little deeper, we get a shot of what could have been. The entire group is gathered around a picnic table in Alexandria. Everyone is alive, and Glenn is at the head of the table, holding a little boy. He turns to Abraham and they smile.
And if you weren’t already sobbing, you just started.
We go back to the present, putting that vision into an AU that hopefully someone will fic because we desperately need it right now, and Rick is picking up his ax.
A walker comes out of the woods, and Rick gets into the RV and starts back to Alexandria. In his side mirror, he watches as the walker kneels down and starts grabbing at the bloodied ground.
It goes without saying, we’re going to need some time to process this one.
What did you think about The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be? Share your thoughts below, and we’ll see you next week for 7.2, The Well that looks like it might be a bottle episode about The Kingdom.