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“The Walking Dead” is back, and it means business.

Rick Grimes at the mercy of a new villain on the Walking Dead. Photo via web

Rick Grimes at the mercy of a new villain on the Walking Dead. Photo via web

By: Anthony Romualdo

It has been six months since the last episode of season six of the Walking Dead aired, and now it is back on a whole other level.

The Walking Dead is an American horror drama series on AMC where actor Andrew Lincoln plays Rick Grimes, the show’s lead character. Rick Grimes is a sheriff who gets shot during a car chase and later awakens from a coma only to find that the world around him has fallen apart to a zombie apocalypse. Throughout his journey, he encounters survivors, which eventually lead him back to a camp where he reunites with his family. Flashback a few seasons later; Rick and his crew have become adept to the new world. By this point in time, Rick has lost many friends and his wife; however, he still has his teenage son Carl and his infant daughter Judith.

Throughout his journey to find sanctuary, Rick and his crew have had their ups and downs –losing valued members of their gang–however, this process has made them stronger as a group, and for the most part they have been able to stand their ground. Whether it is a horde of the undead or a psycho leader of a small community, Rick and most of his family have made it through six seasons of the Walking Dead. It has gotten to the point where they almost seem to be untouchable, possibly because they all have been such favorable characters through through long and intense seasons. The worst has yet to come. In season six, Rick and his group have found a place they can call home. Just as they begin to think they are safe, their world is about to be turned upside down.

In the last episode of season six, Rick and his group encounter a small community that calls themselves the Hilltop Colony. They attempt to trade goods with this colony. However, the Hilltop Colony seeks aid in Rick to help them destroy another group of survivors that call themselves the Saviors. The Saviors are a large group of about 70 people who are lead by a raging psychopath named Negan. Rick agrees to terminate this group and is able to use military tactics to take some down in a nearby building. Little do they know, they made the biggest mistakes of their lives.

The enraged Saviors manage to lead Rick and his group into a trap where they get ambushed by the large army of Saviors. Unable to get out of this situation, Rick and his group comply with all orders. The Saviors bring them to their knees, and at this moment Rick finally meets Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Negan is unlike any antagonist they have encountered before. Not only is he as crazy as they come, but he leads a cult that does what he says. Negan introduces himself to Rick and his crew, and he begins to talk about the severity of their punishment for crossing him. Shortly after he taunts them, he tells Rick that they will live to serve him, but one of them is going to die as punishment. Negan rants about how he can’t choose and begins to play Eniee Meenie Minee Mo to choose his victims. At this point the camera switches to Negan’s victim’s point of view just as Negan begins to bash the skull of this person leaving their identity a mystery for one of the biggest cliffhangers in TV history.

Sunday Oct. 23 was the season seven premiere of the Walking Dead where we finally got to see who the victim was. For nearly six months, the Walking Dead fans have been left with the mystery of which beloved character got Lucilled. The Season premiere opens up with a bone chilling scene that takes place shortly after Negan has killed his victims. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan brings so much to Negan’s character. He does an incredible job of portraying someone who you know is crazy but somehow level-headed. Negan is a showman and likes to make good first impressions. His only first impression he cares about is letting people know he is not to be messed with. The first episode of this season, Negan spends the majority of the episode trying to break Rick. As he taunts Rick and forces him to do rigorous tasks, Rick then begins to flash back to the scene where Negan is choosing his victim. At this moment we finally see who Negan picks, and the brutality of the beating becomes so unbearable that another member of Rick’s group attacks Negan, managing to get a punch in. In a surprising twist, Negan decides to show once more that he is not to be messed with and continues to kill another character that is near and dear to fans. The Walking Dead is brilliant in executing the original story arch of the comics as well as adding a twist.

The most chilling factor of this season is that it is only the first episode, and more is yet to come as we see Negan’s character develop. To find out who Negan’s victims were, watch the Walking Dead on