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Warning: major spoilers ahead the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead.
The second half of Season 6 of The Walking Dead has been one big waiting game for the introduction of the next big bad of the zombie apocalypse. We had to wait until the very end of the very last episode before we got a look at Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, and he was as terrifying as we could have imagined in his first, only, and very bloody scene. Take a deep breath, gird your loins, and check it out!
The entire episode was already one of the scariest of the entire series, thanks to the creepy whistling of surrounding Saviors and red rover zombies sporting souvenirs from Daryl and Michonne. So Negan finally appearing in the flesh was going to need to be pretty damned chilling to pay off on the fright factor. His debut more than delivered, thankfully, and it would have been difficult to watch if it hadn’t been so awesome.
Between Jeffrey Dean Morgan drawing out every syllable of “eenie meanie miney moe” and each of the unlucky Alexandrians getting a good look at the barbed wire baseball bat Lucille, the final stretch of that scene feels like it must have lasted for longer than two minutes. Then again, keeping track of time is hard to do when an entire season’s worth of suspense is culminating. Honestly, AMC is lucky that enough of us remembered to breathe during Negan’s big moment that there will be an audience for Season 7.
Unfortunately for most of us, however, we’ll have to wait until next season to find out just who lost the game of “eenie meanie miney moe” with Negan and Lucille. The awesomely terrifying ending is distinctly less awesome for cutting out on a cliffhanger, since the build to Negan dropped all kinds of hints about certain characters possibly on the verge of being clobbered off to that great suburban sanctuary in the sky, and so not finding out who has been murdered is going to make this hiatus especially rough.
Negan’s bloody encounter with the survivors has been highly-anticipated for a long time. Fans of the comics knew that Negan and Lucille made a hell of a first impression on Glenn’s face in a particularly gruesome installment, and viewers of of Chris Hardwick’s @Midnight series on Comedy Central were shocked last year when Kirkman himself blurted out that epic spoiler about this very scene. Given that Kirkman had already confirmed that Negan was on the way, it felt like only a matter of time before Lucille came out to smash somebody’s face to bloody bits. But whose?
The Season 6 finale did a great job in showing the brutality of the murder via the point-of-view camera shot and the sound effects without actually showing somebody being beaten to death, so we got the blood without necessarily getting fuel for our nightmares until October. Season 7 is still a ways off, so we won’t be seeing any new Walking Dead for a while. For more zombie action, Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead premieres on April 10 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.