"The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" is the first episode of the seventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the eighty-fourth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 23, 2016, at 9/8c on AMC, and on October 24, 2016, at 9pm on Fox. It was written by Scott Gimple and directed by Greg Nicotero.
Heavy breathing and stifled sobs can be heard as Rick stares at the ground in shock. It becomes evident that Negan has already chosen and murdered his victim.
"What? Was the joke that bad?" Negan taunts, kneeling by Rick with a bloodied Lucille in his hand. "I'm gonna kill you," Rick murmers. Negan asks him to repeat himself. "Not today, not tomorrow....but, I'm gonna kill you," Rick repeats. Negan scoffs at the threat then mentions how important it is for a leader to have a right hand man, introducing Simon, his own right hand man, as he explains. Negan asks what weapon Rick was carrying. Simon hands Rick's axe to Negan, who then drags Rick inside the RV. He informs the Saviors that if Rick happens to return without Negan, they have permission to kill the rest of Rick's group. The bloodied remains of Negan's victim can be seen on the ground.
Negan slams Rick's axe into the RV's dining table and sits in the driver’s seat, his back to Rick. He dares Rick to kill him with the axe. Rick grabs it and charges forward, but Negan turns around at the last second with an assault rifle pointed at Rick. Negan orders him to drop the axe. He starts the RV and proceeds to drive off.
Negan drives through heavy fog and smoke; taunting Rick about the blood spatter walkers leave behind on the windscreen. "Remind you of anyone you know?".
Negan brings the RV to a stop and it is promptly surrounded by walkers. "You are mine. The people back there? They are mine. This? This is mine,” he explains to Rick. Negan then throws Rick's axe up onto the RV's roof, ordering Rick to retrieve it. Rick is still in shock and doesn’t immediately move. “Get my axe,” Negan demands, pointing Lucille at Rick’s face. Rick gets up. Negan pushes him out the door.
Rick recalls memories of Sasha.
As Rick fights walkers through a thick morning fog, he recalls memories of Eugene, Aaron, Abraham, Maggie and Daryl. He climbs to the top of the RV and sees Negan has parked the RV at the smoldering wall of logs the Saviors previously used to block their path. The Library Survivor left hanging on the overpass has now turned.
Remembering the line-up, Rick’s group is shown kneeling as Negan deliberates over who to kill, playing his game of "eeny, meeny, miny, moe". He lingers before announcing “you.. are...It". He points Lucille at Abraham, revealing him to be the victim selected to be beaten to death. Abraham flashes a final peace sign to a devastated Sasha, before Negan strikes Lucille down on his head. “Suck...my...nuts,” Abraham says defiantly as blood drips down his face.
Everyone in the group cries as Negan continuously beats Abraham. Negan pauses to mock Abraham's last words before continuing to smash his head into a bloody pulp. Once he finishes, Negan implores the group to look at his "dirty girl (Lucille)", which is now covered in Abraham's blood and brains. Noting Rosita's extreme terror and anguish, Negan asks if she and Abraham were together. Rosita is silent. Negan demands she look up at Lucille and begins to yell when Rosita refuses. Enraged, Daryl leaps up, punching Negan in the face before he is subdued by two Saviors. Dwight points Daryl's crossbow at his head and asks Negan if he can kill Daryl, but Negan says no. Dwight is made to drag Daryl back into line.
As punishment for Daryl’s transgression, Negan reminds the group there is always punishment for resistance. He reminds them that while the first one is free, and unlike others they might have encountered, he is a man of his word. He exclaims simply "So...back to it..." then slams Lucille down on Glenn's head twice. Maggie screams. Glenn manages to sit up again and it is revealed the force of the blows has dented his skull and dislodged one of his eyes. Maggie stares at her husband in horror. Negan taunts Glenn as he tries to speak. Eventually Glenn stammers "Maggie, I'll find you". Negan appears to genuinely apologise for his actions, before reminding the group that there are no exceptions and continues his assault. He bludgeons Glenn to death, until there is virtually nothing left of his head, leaving a mass of bone, brain and flesh, with Glenn's corpse still twitching. "Lucille is thirsty. She's a vampire bat!" Negan quips after he has killed Glenn and walks back towards the group, who are completely traumatised by Glenn's murder. He utters the line "Was the joke that bad?", bringing the episodic timeline up to date.
In the present, Rick lies on top of the RV, axe next to him, crying as he relives Glenn and Abraham’s horrific deaths. From inside the RV, Negan shoots through the roof to hurry Rick up. Rick grabs the axe and jumps off the roof, grabbing onto the walker hanging from the overpass. He drops the axe in the process. Walkers swarm and grab at Rick’s feet. Negan opens a window and shoots most of the walkers clawing for Rick, but then the hanging walker’s body detaches from its head, dropping Rick into the herd. Negan once again orders Rick to get the axe.
Rick finds the axe and makes his way back to the RV, while envisioning the remaining group remembers being struck by Lucille. “Atta boy,” Negan says, then starts the RV again.
Negan drives the RV back to the clearing where Rick’s group awaits. He cleans the bloody axe and tells Rick that he is no longer in charge. “You can still lead a nice productive life producing for me,” he says. He hands Rick the axe. "I think you're gonna need it. I just got a feeling."
Negan pushes Rick out of the RV and drags him back to the rest of his group. He explains to Rick that the purpose of the drive was to change the way Rick sees him. However, Negan notes "...but you’re still looking at me the same damn way,” he says. Negan believes Rick still does not fear him enough. Negan orders his men to put their guns to everyone’s heads, aimed to line with their noses to cause maximum mess, and calls Carl over to him. After finding out Carl is not left handed, he wraps his belt around his arm as a tourniquet and tells Carl to lie face down on the ground. He draws a line on Carl’s arm and presents Rick with an ultimatum: Rick must cut off Carl’s arm, or everyone will die, including everyone in Alexandria. Rick is horrified. Michonne pleads with Negan, explaining they now understand his new world order. Negan agrees that the others may get it, but Rick still doesn't.
Rick begs Negan to let him take Carl's place instead. Impatient, Negan starts counting down from three. On two. Rick continues pleading and begins to cry. "Dad... Just do it," Carl whispers.
Anguished, Rick brings up the axe, but Negan stops him at the very last second. “You answer to me, you provide for me, you belong to me, right?” he demands, slapping Rick. “I provide for you,” Rick agrees, totally broken and a nervous wreck. Satisfied at the broken look on Rick's face, Negan relents.
Negan tells Dwight to put Daryl back in the van. He explains to Rick that "Daryl is mine", and if he ever tries anything else, he will force Rick to mutilate Daryl. “Welcome to a brand new beginning, you sorry sack of shits” exclaims Negan. He leaves a truck with Rick’s group so they can transport the goods they are to produce for him. He says he will return for their first offering in one week and leaves with a mocking "ta ta".
Rick’s group reels with shock and grief as the Saviors leave. One Savior takes a polaroid photograph of Glenn's body. Eventually, Maggie struggles to her feet. Rick tells her that they need to get her to Hilltop's doctor, but she insists they all head back to Alexandria and prepare to fight. Rick counters, saying the Saviors have Daryl now, and an army, and they will all die if they go after Negan. The group insist on continuing to Hilltop but Maggie demands they do not follow her. Sasha volunteers to go with Maggie, instead. “I’m taking him with me,” Maggie says in reference to Glenn. She crouches next to Glenn, sobbing, then hugs Carl.
Sasha gently tells Rosita that she’s going to take Abraham, too. Rosita nods and the two women hold hands on top of Abraham's body.
The group gathers around Maggie, begging her to let them help her. "He's our family too," Rick says of Glenn. Maggie relents and lets them move the body.
Sasha, Rosita and Eugene pick up Abraham’s body while Carl, Rick, Michonne and Aaron carry Glenn.
Rick remembers Negan's words about "you all thought you were going to grow old together...". As these words echo in Rick's mind, he envisions an idyllic scene. His group peacefully eats dinner together at an outdoor setting in Alexandria. At the head of the table is Glenn, holding his toddler son. Abraham sits next to him. The two share a meaningful, happy look.
Rick prepares to head back to Alexandria. He picks up his axe as a walker approaches, but he ignores it and gets in the RV. Rick glances in the side view mirror as he drives away. He sees the walker dropping to the ground and eating the leftover blood remains of Glenn and Abraham. The episode ends on a closeup of Rick's broken eyes.
- Lee Vervoort as Savior
- Duke Jackson as Savior
- Stacey Crowder as Savior
- Pete Pitts as Roger Clay
- Skylar Felton as Jackson Wallace
- Casey Wagner as Larry
- Josh Turner as TKO
- W.F. Bell as Savior
- Jimmy McAfee, Que Smith, Ruben Swift Vidal, Gerard Mason, Christian Ward, CJ Rhoades, Billy Holt, Craig Alexander, Roe Digi, Vincin Zo, Hunter Watson, Indiana Sifuentes, Billy James, Nmg Garcia as Saviors
- Jason Lyell as Walker
- Unknown as Keno
- Unknown as Judith Grimes (Dream)
- Ethan Charles as Glenn & Maggie's son (Dream)
- Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes (Archive Footage)
- Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene (Archive Footage)
- Emily Kinney as Beth Greene (Archive Footage)
- Chad Coleman as Tyreese Williams (Archive Footage)
- Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey (Archive Footage)
- Tovah Feldshuh as Deanna Monroe (Archive Footage)
- Tyler James Williams as Noah (Archive Footage)
- Last appearance of Abraham Ford. (Flashback/Corpse)
- Last appearance of Glenn Rhee. (Alive)
- Last appearance of Lori Grimes. (Archive Footage)
- Last appearance of Hershel Greene. (Archive Footage)
- Last appearance of Beth Greene. (Archive Footage)
- Last appearance of Tyreese Williams. (Archive Footage)
- Last appearance of Bob Stookey. (Archive Footage)
- Last appearance of Deanna Monroe. (Archive Footage)
- Last appearance of Noah. (Archive Footage)
- This is the the first episode featuring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) and Austin Amelio (Dwight) as series regulars. Morgan is added to the opening credits, while Amelio is listed under "Also Starring".
- This is the first episode to feature more than the maximum of ten regulars in the opening credits.
- This episode is currently the second most viewed episode of the entire series with an estimated 17.03 million viewers. The first being "No Sanctuary" with an estimated 17.28 million viewers.
- The title of this episode is a callback to Jenner's warning to Rick at the CDC in "TS-19".
- The introduction of the episode, and Glenn's death and its aftermath were adapted from Issue 100.
- One of the titles floating around for this episode was "Signs", though whether or not this was originally the title is unknown.
- This episode is the first season premiere to feature the death of a main character.
- This is the first season to feature the death of a character introduced in Season 1 since Andrea's death in Season 3 finale, "Welcome to the Tombs".
- This is the third time that two main characters die in the same episode. The other times were in "Too Far Gone", where Hershel and The Governor died, and "Four Walls and a Roof", where Gareth and Bob died.
- The episode depicts scenes of every character in the lineup being hit with the initial blow, with the exception of Rick.
- Near the end of the episode, a Savior is seen taking a picture of the smashed head victims. This is proof that the photos seen on the walls in "Not Tomorrow Yet" are Negan's kills. The photo of Glenn's dead corpse is then given to Daryl Dixon by Dwight in the episode "The Cell".
- A number of deceased characters make appearances via archive footage in this episode. They are Lori Grimes, Hershel Greene, Beth Greene, Tyreese Williams, Bob Stookey, Noah, and Deanna Monroe.
- This is the first season premiere to feature no new characters since the Season 2 premiere.
- This episode is 66 minutes long (with commercials), the first non-90 minute episode to be extended.
- This episode sparked controversy among certain news sites, viewers and reviewers for the extremely graphic and brutal deaths of Abraham Ford and Glenn Rhee, with some viewers claiming to be alienated and traumatized by the episode. News websites debated whether the violence in the episode had overstepped what was deemed acceptable for television.
- This episode marked the end of the longest romantic relationship in the series between Glenn and Maggie (75 episodes since "Cherokee Rose" until this episode).
- Leaked footage reveals shows Maggie's death by Lucille, however this footage was filmed in order to prevent spoilers of the true victim being detailed.
- The premise of this episode was notably parodied on the November 12 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Dave Chappelle. The skit depicted Chappelle as Negan and Rick's group as characters he previously portrayed on "Chappelle's Show".
- When Abraham gets hit for the first time, he falls to the floor before getting back up. However, during the POV shot in the Season 6 finale, the camera just looks at the floor after the first hit and then pans up at Negan again. This is probably due to the finale purposely being made impressionistic as confirmed by Scott M. Gimple.
- When Negan swings Lucille around after killing Abraham, some of Abraham's blood splatters onto Rick's face, however the streak mark does not match the blood mark on Rick's face at the beginning of the episode.
- Glenn's bloodied face also differs slightly between shots.
- When the group carries Glenn's body to the truck, a little portion of his head can be seen and it is intact with the body and has no blood on it.
- The same thing happens with Abraham.
- Negan picks up his bat too early in the premiere compared to the finale version. After Abraham takes the first hit, he mutters his final words "Suck...my...nuts". We don't hear him say this in the POV shot back in Season 6 (This was likely done on purpose to not spoil who the victim was). Also, after he dies, Negan calls him out by saying "Did you hear that? He said suck my nuts!". However, he also doesn't say this in the finale. After the screen goes black, he simply just says "Damn!".
- After Negan and Rick's "little trip" in the RV, Negan rubs the hatchet on Rick's jacket to get some flesh and blood off it before cleaning it himself. In the next following scenes where Negan throws Rick in front of his group, the blood is no longer on Rick's jacket.
- After the RV trip, Abraham's corpse should be more forward instead of being more in the back of the line.
- The amount of blood Lucille is covered in changes often during and after the RV trip.