Thoughts with summary mixed together:
I gave this episode a 68 using Robin's scale. If you compare this review to that of S6E10 you will see a lot of the comments are consistently the same. I thought Gimple did a wonderful job of changing the story from the Graphic Novel. I felt this version has more twists and emotional impact though with better plot beats. (It's unclear if Kirkman worked with Gimple on those choices, however they go back a couple of years from what was said on Talking Dead.) That being said, I could have felt more about the deaths that I had to sit through with the rest of the cast (See the bad). I think part of the issue was that Glenn's death was administered quick and brutal so it doesn't give you time to really feel the full impact of the loss of his character, which is to be expected. I can't say the same thing about Abraham's because the last 10 minutes of SE6E16 are really building up the suspense for his loss and he stepped up to accept his own fate and always has. In a way they hinted at the end of Season 6 that it was Abraham when Negan said 'Taking it like a champ'. I am going to miss you Red.
* Rick Grimes was brought down to his knees literally and systematically in stages through the episode. This helped dilute the stalling/filler affect the episode was having on me (See the bad.)
* I liked the fact they held off who was killed although it did lapse at times into stalling. The important thing for me here was how I would feel at the end of the episode and that I could feel what the characters were feeling and the unevenness of this. I loved how both Carl and Maggie weren’t broken; however everyone else appeared to be; Rick most of all. That's difficult to achieve, however it was done. I felt that coming from the acting, writing and direction.
* This show mirrored the last show in that the last four minutes in my mind showed me how they can ramp up the intensity of the situation and show Rick's broken state more effectively than the previous fifty minutes was able to accomplish.
* Negan is cunning; has a massive ego; chaotic, homicidal; merciless; understandable in his desire for controlling Rick and his group and getting what he wants which is half of everything they find (or own.) Jeffrey Dean Morgan I think does a wonderful job of portraying this balance. He also knows how to break Rick Grimes. Apparently it’s at the cost of two full bodies of his closest friends and the threat of losing a piece of his son.
* Negan surprising us by killing Glenn after Abraham due to Daryl’s actions was a great troll for graphic novel readers.
* Special effects were amazing.
*'Suck my nuts' Loved it. Abraham defying life and death until the end.
* As much as seeing Rick being broken was impactful; the journey to get there had some great moments and some that were meh. Rick visualizing everyone he loved individually getting whacked with Lucille was a bit much. I kept thinking of the Brady Bunch episode where they kept showing Marsha Brady getting hit in the nose and saying ‘Oh my nose!’ so we got her thoughts replaying in her mind.
* I am not sure if this episode sets up a new story line as much as it made me feel what it was like for the characters at the time; emotionally drained; although not as heart felt as I would have liked it. Glenn (aside from Daryl, Carol and Carl) have been with Rick Grimes the longest in the series. I felt more for the death of Glenn and Abraham from the homages they gave them in the Talking Dead after the show than I did at the time they were being killed for some reason.
* As I said last year, I really didn't feel compelled to know who was killed as much as what the impact is on the group and how Rick looks at this whole event. He did take everyone’s death personally because he considers everyone family, so as broken as he is now he will probably seek revenge. As he says not now; or the next day, but eventually. I thought I could have felt more for the killings of Abraham and Glenn than I actually did feel.
*When Negan threw the axe out of the RV into the walkers and ordered Rick to bring it to him I knew nothing would happen to Rick, so there was no suspense for me there. How could Negan teach Rick a lesson if Rick were to be torn apart by Walkers? So the RV stuff for me was just a waste of time. They could have spent that on Carol and Morgan or other something else.
What is to become of Daryl?
Where is Negan’s real base of operations?
Where the heck are Tara and her group?
Are Carol and Morgan with a group other than Hilltop? They appear to be…