If you’ve been living under a rock for the last several months, this may be news to you – The Walking Dead returns (FINALLY!) tomorrow night on AMC.
Words haven’t been minced about the upcoming season seven series premiere. It’s going to be brutal and if you believe what the likes of Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun and Norman Reedus have been saying since earlier this year, this is going to be quite possibly the most devastating hour of television we’ve seen in a long, long time.
I’ve done everything in my power to avoid spoilers, quite successfully in fact. But with roughly 35 hours remaining until we finally find out who meets the business end of Negan’s beloved Lucille, the nerves are starting to fray. My mind is racing with theories and I’ve already prepared a stress-free Sunday leading up to the premiere because I know my blood pressure is going to go haywire come 8pm central time.
In order to prepare myself for the jitters and howls of shock that are sure to run rampant in my household tomorrow night, I’ve taken a grisly trip down memory lane to the five moments in the show’s run so far that have really struck me hard. These five moments over the first six seasons of The Walking Dead not only left my jaw gaping and heart racing, but a few even rendered me a bit misty-eyed. These are in no particular order.
DANGER! THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU AREN’T CAUGHT UP ON THE SERIES
Beth Greene’s death
Was there anyone on this planet who didn’t want Dawn dead? She was holding Beth, Carol and Noah hostage in her little hospital of horrors and even though she redeemed herself just a little a few times during her character’s arc, Dawn was still a total ass clown who lost all cool points when she “accidentally” blew Beth’s head off during the season five mid-season finale.
The character of Beth got some flack from fans during her stay on the show, but I loved her. She had grown a lot since the first time we met her, when she was pondering suicide and hardly registering with the real world. She also became a personal favorite of Daryl’s, who opened up to her more than he did anyone else not named Carol.
So when Beth jammed a pair of scissors into Dawn’s collarbone after enduring Dawn’s reign of stupidity and suffering, I fist pumped the sky. Before promptly roaring in terror when Dawn popped one off in Beth’s head.
The saddest part of this death, of course, was watching an emotional Daryl carry a lifeless Beth out of the hospital while Maggie collapsed to the ground in tears.
Carl gets shot in the eye
Yep, I definitely screamed out at this one. The group is stuck in the middle of a walker buffet and things hit the fan so damn fast. Having never read the comics but plenty aware that this was a story line in the illustrated series, I kind of figured it was coming at some point.
But holy Hell – maybe it was because I was still stunned at how insanely graphic the deaths of Jessie and Sam were just a few seconds earlier. Perhaps it was because I barely heard the gun shot at first. Either way, seeing Carl look up with this face was intense!
Jessie’s oldest son, Ron, is just a total emo putz. There were hints for quite some time that he was going to take a shot at Carl. Of course, he finds the absolute best time to do it. Because when you are being attacked by a mass of walkers, there’s really nothing smarter to do than try to kill a living person. Then again, if you just saw your little brother and mom get eaten by munchers, you’d probably be a little out of it, too.
Watching as Rick can barely hold it together as he scoops up an unconscious Carl and makes a dash for safety while Michonne frantically slices and chops at walkers in their way is truly a heart-pounding moment.
Rick rips out Joe’s throat
“What the hell you gonna do now, sport?”
That’s just such a bad ass quote. Of course, it kind of loses its charm when you immediately get your throat ripped out by the man you shit talked, which is exactly what happened after Joe bear-hugged Rick and was seemingly prepared to kill Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Carl.
Our group definitely looked like they were in some serious trouble. Carl was pinned to the ground by a large pedophile. Michonne had a gun to her face. Daryl was getting stomped out by two of Joe’s thugs. Rick was sitting on the ground with a pistol to the back of his head.
With a quick reverse headbutt, Rick manages to get to his feet and is quickly squeezed close by Joe. With not many options, Rick decides to use his chompers and shut Joe up once and for all. In shock, the henchmen pause long enough for our beloved survivors to get the upper hand and dispose of them all fairly quickly. I did a lot of shouting during this memorable scene.
Hershel Green’s death
The fuckin’ Governor. As if we needed more reason to hate him, he goes and kills probably the most beloved character from the entire television series.
Rick finally opens up and offers to live in peace with The Governor and his team, with Rick’s side staying in one part of the prison and The Governor’s group having the other side. Hershel smiles, realizing that Rick has turned a corner and is no longer the hardened Ricktator that he was slowly becoming. The Governor, of course, doesn’t even entertain the offer and promptly chops at Hershel’s neck with Michonne’s katana.
It’s a surreal scene that was shot perfectly for the show and left my living room in eerie silence for a few seconds before a few tears spilled.
Rick and Carl think they’ve lost Judith
What’s more heartbreaking than a parent losing a young child? Seeing a parent and brother grieve over the perceived loss of their infant daughter and sister at the hands of flesh-eating monsters. Following the massacre at the prison, with the walls down and walkers meandering freely for their next meal, Rick and Carl stumble across Judith’s car seat. Judith was carried out of the prison by Lizzie and Mika and on their way to the bus for safety when they seemingly lost the baby.
The imagery of Rick and Carl breaking down upon seeing the bloody car seat is an emotionally raw scene that still can cause a room to get dusty.
So that’s my list. What do you think?
Something tells me that after tomorrow night, this list is going to be all sorts of changed.