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It's like this show is TRYING to make people dislike it
I've lost both my faith and my interest in this show. It's almost funny, something so small can taint an entire series. I was a huge fan of the show for a long time the show has always had its flaws but usually it knew when it really had to deliver on its strong moments. The show has always drawn the story out but with a certain understanding (and promise) with the audience that when the big moments DO happen, they will be impactful and visceral and that in those moments the show won't hold back.
The fans watch the show with the understanding that their patience will be rewarded and the story that is meant to be told that season will have a satisfying conclusion. For a while now the show has relegated big and important events exclusively to finales and premieres and while I've despised that formula as it hurts the stories I've resigned myself to it since the show managed to pull off good episodes by sticking to that.
This episode however was the straw that broke the camel's back. I've usually been a fan of Gimple and have enjoyed how he remixed scenes from the comics and adapted certain story lines, however this episode and season as a whole undid all the goodwill I had toward the man.
The first issue is that the episode is REAL long and boring and plays as an obvious bloated episode to sell more ads. Things don't get tense til the episode is coming to a close and Rick's failure becomes apparent and imminent. It was a storyline that'd been set up literally all season, then intro JDM and he comes strong out of the gate, tension continues to mount only to have it cut off mid scene and lose all wind from its sails.
The episode needed that exclamation mark at the end to really drive home the character of Negan and to have his introduction be forever associated with the juxtaposition of his charming and charismatic demeanor with his brutal and savage actions. It informs the character and instantly conveys crucial aspects of Negan's character to the audience. And it leaves the audience much more conflicted about how they feel about this new villain.
In addition to it lessening the introduction of the longest lasting and most powerful enemy on the series it also fails to even tell the story they creators 'claim' they were telling this year. Rick's downfall and failure isn't really complete until you see the horrified look in his eyes as he's staring at the mutilated corpse of his best friend. In that moment, when Negan walks away so completely victorious that he can even make 'quips' as he leaves... in that moment, Rick is truly defeated, everything that comes after THAT can be a new story but until we SEE the results of Rick's biggest failure; that story is not really told.
The whole episode was ruined in a single moment, and it took me right out of the story. I'm no longer excited to see what the show has to offer whatsoever and I don't think I'll be watching anymore.
And the creators are all making comments like "Sorry season 6 sucked real bad, we did that on purpose because that way season 7 will be even better!" and to me it all just sounds like nonsense. Like I would hope season was always meant to be good, but why make season 6 suffer so you could make season 7 better? why not just make BOTH seasons the best they can be? Really disappointed and I don't think they can do anything to win me back as a fan.