Examining the dream sequence in the twisted 'TWD' premiere

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

The damage that Negan’s blood-stained bat Lucille did to two, yes two, beloved “Walking Dead” characters left fans either furious, saddened or in a state of disbelief.

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the larger-than-life, perverse antagonist and leader of the Saviors showed absolutely no remorse when he brought a barbed-wire-covered weapon down first on Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and then Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) after a vicious game of cat and mouse.

But fans of the show got at least a slight reprieve from the bloodletting and mental torture when scribe Scott M. Gimple and director Greg Nicotero cut away from a distressed Rick at the death site and showed a happy-go-lucky crew of Alexandrians enjoying a pleasant Sunday dinner.

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Of course this plays on Negan’s earlier — and sadistic — remarks to Rick when, in a heated moment of the episode, he forces Rick to fend for himself in a foggy haze that’s filled with walkers.

From the inside of the RV, Negan shouts, “Bet you thought you were all gonna grow old together, sittin’ around the table at Sunday dinner and the happily ever after...”

Well, Rick didn’t get that rosy future — not even in the slightest. Instead, he is forced to help remove his friends’ bodies from the red-stained gravel.

But Nicotero and Gimple did provide a warm, happy dream sequence at the end of “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” where just about every character fans still know and love is present — laughing and enjoying a hearty meal.

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Nicotero moves the camera across the table — past Rick, Gabriel, Carol, Carl, Michonne, Daryl, Enid, Tara, Aaron, Rosita, Eugene, Morgan, Sasha, Spencer and Maggie — and settles it just in front of the cheerful duo of Abraham and Glenn.

As the survivors begin their feast, Glenn holds a child — his child — on his lap and Abraham enjoys the whole ambience.

It is certainly not reality for Rick’s gang (or should we say Negan’s now?), but it in fact is a decent and well-deserved 15-second send-off for a character who’d been in the show since the very first episode, and another who’d earned a spot within the group’s highest ranks.

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