'The Walking Dead' enters brutal brand-new era under Negan's rule

“The Walking Dead” is actually following what has become a familiar pattern for the AMC hit, as the idea reaches the midway point of the opening eight-episode flight of a grim, grueling, inordinately sadistic seventh season.

The drill goes something like This kind of: Open which has a bang (in addition to then some). Move away coming from of which to pursue lower-key, stand-alone episodes involving different characters. Return to the central plot, before finishing — last season, anyway — with some sort of giant cliffhanger, however irritating in addition to manipulative of which might be.

The X factor thus far, as Sunday’s expanded 85-minute episode made clear, is actually Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan, a charismatic sadist who carries not just a baseball bat yet the constant threat of murdering someone at a moment’s notice.

Having appeared in three of the four episodes, Morgan has very quickly grabbed the series by the throat in addition to become its centerpiece. Yet the sense of undeniable menace he has brought to the show has been accompanied by uncomfortable, provocative in addition to in some ways problematic themes, beginning with his overt intent to emasculate Rick (Andrew Lincoln), the leader of the group right now under Negan’s control.

“I’m not in charge anymore. Negan is actually,” Rick admitted to his community, which didn’t stop Negan coming from again seeking to humiliate him. (Negan’s arrival in silhouette literally felt like barbarians at the gate.)

“The Walking Dead” has long focused more on the cruelty of which humans can inflict upon each various other in a lawless society than any horrors the zombie hordes commit. yet Negan’s arrival has turned the series into a prolonged examination of life under dictatorial rule, leaving Rick in addition to his gang to contemplate a roster of terrible options of which including fighting, fleeing or simply knuckling under to the idea.

Having witnessed Negan’s ruthlessness up close in addition to personal, Rick proposed of which third path. “We give ’em what they want, we live in peace,” he said. yet clearly, others are less sanguine about of which prospect, including Michonne (Danai Gurira), which threatens to create some awkward moments around the house.

There’s no question Negan’s arrival has given the show an infusion of energy, something any series — even one This kind of common — can use This kind of late in its run. Morgan’s magnetic performance, however, has come at a cost in terms of the show’s “ick” factor, feeling less like an escape than an ordeal.

“The Walking Dead” has never been for the squeamish — gore is actually an inherent part of This kind of world — yet at times right now risks wallowing in brutality. within the process, the producers have taken a series of which its most ardent fans approached which has a weekly sense of anticipation in addition to replaced of which sentiment, at least for some, with something closer to dread.

'The Walking Dead' enters brutal brand-new era under Negan's rule

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