Check out our review of the season finale episode “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life” of The Walking Dead on AMC. The Walking Dead: S716 Our Review.
The Walking Dead – Season 7 episodes 16 Season Finale “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”
Warning: There will be spoilers.
The Walking Dead: S716 Our Review
Some quick recapping then we’re just diving right into it…
Robert: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, this was the big Season 7 Finale for The Walking Dead. This is the beginning of the WAR with Negan & The Saviors. Rick has been slowly gathering both resources & allies to stand up and fight Negan. Sasha & Rosita go balls to the wall and try to sneak into Sanctuary and kill Negan but unfortunately Sasha gets captured and you think she kills herself but instead, she doesn’t but decides to join Negan in his confrontation with Rick. Rick meanwhile is building his army and stand as Rosita returned with Dwight who tells them that Negan & the Saviors are coming. Dwight makes a deal to stall the Saviors to help Rick & Crew.
Robert: Okay. So here we are. The Season finale. Rick pulls everyone together. King Ezekiel readies his army and heads out. The Knights of the Kingdom with King Ezekiel, Carol & Shiva come across Morgan who’s barely keeping it together but joins them. At the same time, Maggie rallies Hilltop to join the big fight as well. Of course, the Heapsters / Garbage people show up to stand with Rick but JUST as the big fight is about to go off. Negan has Eugene talk to Rick, try to persuade Rick to stand down so not everyone has to die. Rick decides that Eugene has gone to the dark side and signals for bombs to go off but alas… they don’t as suddenly the Heapsters / Garbage people show their true colors and turn on Rick & Crew. Negan & the Saviors come inside after the Heapsters let them in. Negan decides to show Rick & Alexandria a “present” which he has locked up in a coffin.
Robert: Right. Here’s with that – Sasha agrees to join Negan and then takes the pill Eugene gave her and while she dies in the coffin, she has flashbacks of her love with Abraham. Of course, Sasha is the big surprise that Negan planned to show Rick & all of Alexandria. Show his power over her and them. Well, this backfires as Sasha comes out of the coffin as Walker Sasha and goes to attack Negan. They both fall of the truck the coffin was on and THIS sparks those in Alexandria to fight back, starting with CARL. Yes. Carl tuns and takes out three Heapsters around him – BANG BANG BANG! Rick attacks. Michonee attacks. Everyone attacks it’s all out chaos, everyone shooting one another until suddenly, the Saviors take control back and surround the Alexandrians, stop the fighting. That’s where Negan has his moment with Rick & Carl, about to kill Rick in front of Carl then kill Carl. Just as Negan’s about to strike – King Ezekiel, the Knights of The Kingdom and especially Shiva all attack! Then Maggie and Hilltop join the fight. Now it’s all out chaos and battle where everyone is fighting with everyone. Morgan ends up back to back with Rick against the odds and just as it seems like Rick & crew are about to win – The Heapsters do the smoke bombs and GONE. Negan escapes with Simon and the remaining Saviors. Rick & crew are there with those who survived from Alexandria, Hilltop and The Kingdom. The first battle has ended. Now the war shall begin as Negan ends up declaring this in the final scene.
Robert: So what did I think of the season finale? I REALLY really enjoyed it. It has the drama from Sasha’s end of life flashbacks to remind you of how much she had grown and exactly what everyone was fighting for. Not only the painful survival in this new Walking Dead world but the love for those around you. Now did I think that the later fight scenes seemed a bit rushed? Maybe a little but I also enjoy those moments when the heroes have fallen and just as they’re about to die, more heroes rush into to help them. That story / scenes almost always work for me and it worked on this season finale as well.
Robert: Did I wish it had more deadly Walkers?! Sure but I feel that was left out because it was yet another conflict to manage in all the chaos in the end. Would it have added to the show, given it’s title – of course but we got what we got. I hope that the show can start to NOT bend to the mass outcries of some of the fandom and limit the violence after the season opener with Negan. Let the show reign hard in it’s violence as The Walking Dead has shown numerous times that it doesn’t need that to make a good episode but it is a realization on the world they’re in which can be quite violent and gruesome in both the dead and those living. Could it have been a better episode? Of course it could have but I liked this episode and how it ended. Everyone wants a war and wars don’t happen over one of two episodes. From what it feels like the war against Negan could last the entire next season and maybe beyond. Does the war need to have more victims? YES. That is what REALLY bothered me about this episode, not enough victims in a bloody gun battle. NO ONE you’ve watched going into this episode were at risk beyond Sasha and that’s likely because Sonequa Martin-Green’s real-life casting as the star of Star Trek: Discovery. I didn’t like that but The Walking Dead showrunners did say that they would have toned down the violence this season so I’m assuming that applied to those who didn’t die in the season finale.
Robert: Now I have to say Sonequa Martin-Green was just lovely all season but this was her episode to shine and boy did she. Thank-you for all your work on The Walking Dead and I look forward to watching Sonequa Martin-Green on Star Trek: Discovery.
Ian: Yet another season of TWD wraps up as the series made a bit of progress but more often moving along at a snail’s pace. While it took the entire season to come to fairly exciting stand off, the pay off doesn’t feel that satisfying despite some solid character study episodes. For example, while this was the closing arc for Sasha’s character, I was never invested in the Abrams drama at all.
Ian: Sasha got pushed into a role that Carol already claimed a few seasons back – a civilian forged by hardship to soldier on, no matter the personal cost. To spice it up and to generate some kind of emotional drama, relationship drama got shoehorned in with two independent woman fight over dibs about being Abraham’s most ideal love interest. Screw that noise.
Ian: I’ll give them kudos to how Sasha’s final moments played out and if it wasn’t so on the noise about avenging Abrah’s, the pay off feels short changed for the reasons why rather than how it all played out which thankfully, Sonequa did a pretty good job with.
Ian: Some other details such as the Junker’s purpose is also perplexing. While playing a minor role in the comics, I could never take the dumpster LARPers as anything other than just a weird gimmick that felt alien to the rest of the show. While the audience could draw a similar experience with King Ezekiel’s character and his brand of bravado/showmanship that also feels like a joke sometimes, the key difference is the purpose.
Ian: King Ezekiel and his cool cat Shiva are larger than life but this is purposely done as Ezekiel feels that by taking on the role of this majestic king, he can become a symbol to rally his people together especially when Negan does the same with his own vicious brand of tyranny to keep people in line. It’s expanded more in the comic as Ezekiel explains his humble origin of being former zookeeper before the outbreak and how he built his relationship with Shiva but it’s still fairly clear by the context what is shown to the audience so far.
Ian: Meanwhile, the junkers speak in weird ways with no reason at all – They just act this way because that’s just how they are. The phrasing and delivering of lines by their leader, Jadis, is done in such a familiar way of Star Trek encounter that could only be explained as nerds dealing with brutal new world with the only coping mechanism available to them – badly over the top acting. It’s distracting as hell and the whole twist with selling out to Negan felt flat as there was no real reason to trust the group aside from bare minimum mutual destruction kind of deal.
Ian: Honestly while the Sasha send off was done well, the show doesn’t reach that far outside of what fans have seen in the past as JMD being perfect for Negan can’t carry the entire show if the writing and character development is average at the best. It’s a show that can easily please the diehard core audience but my own personal hold out is for the road ahead as the show can easily try to take more risks with the source material and please, PLEASE don’t drag out plot points just to fill out a season.
Robert: The biggest issue with this season finale is that it DID NOT end on any type of cliff hanger. No Negan going to bash someone’s head in. No, someone got shot and are bleeding out, can we save them? No, someone got shot in the woods outside of Alexandria and will they become a Walker? Nope and THAT will and I believe HAS hurt the shows ratings. WHAT is the big drawn to turn in right away at the start of next season?! Right now, nothing important besides the start of the war.
Robert: Now this is also likely why the show MIGHT follow the comic book and start the next season a few years LATER during the war with Negan. Now, THAT might be a big enough #YeahBuWha to bring viewers back. MAYBE. I hope so, I still enjoy the show despite their failures this season.
Bits & Pieces
- SHIVA eating Savior’s faces off!
- “The WIDOW LIVES!!” Negan cries when he sees Maggie charging at them. Nice homage to Into the Badlands
- Sasha Walker looked awesome. Loved the sad ending with Maggie & Rosita finding her and putting her down. Touching.
- Kick Ass CARL! I mentioned it before but man, he was HUGE for the crew, taking down people in the blink of an eye!
- Morgan on edge, can he come back and if so, how?
- So Aaron’s boyfriend is one of the few Alexandrians dead. Hello Daryl?