The Walking Dead: Last Day on Earth review S6.E16

Oh… man. I’ve seen hundreds of season finales, but rarely have I seen anything as edgy, suspenseful and outright nerve-wrecking as the final 15 minutes of this Walking Dead season. That was some incredible TV and one of the best sequences in the series’ history.


All things considered, Rick Grimes and his crew at Alexandria had been living the good life. They’d set up a comfortable community, got separate houses with running hot water, backyards and BBQs. They even managed to set up a trading system with a neighboring community. For good measure, they efficiently took down the potential next big threat in Negan’s Saviors before they became a major problem. And Rick even managed to find his smile and hook up with Michonne.

Sure they had the occasional minor setback with losing the city mayor Deanna, the replacement doctor took an arrow to the eye and Carol suddenly got antsy about killing, but all in all, they were living the sweet life. Everything was so rosey that Abraham was seriously talking about having a baby with Sasha. Then they met Negan and it all went completely downhill.

The Carol/Morgan scenes didn’t do a whole lot for me. Carol’s final arc this season never managed to feel genuine. Her abrupt anti-killing stance made no sense. It wasn’t like Morgan had this incredibly compelling argument why all life was precious and Carol has consistently been portrayed as one of the more rational members of the Grimes Gang. It wasn’t like she was smiling while she was killing folks, but understood it as a necessary evil for this new world.

The Walking Dead - Last Day on Earth review -rick and abrahamLikewise, Carol’s willingness to die came out of nowhere. If she truly didn’t value her life why would Carol have bothered to put up a fight in her initial roadside encounter with the Saviors? In the end, Morgan was proven wrong — not all life is precious as he had to kill Carol’s assailant. Morgan and Carol got some assistance from the cavalry, or what passes for it these days as a guy on horseback and his pal — the same one Morgan spared last week when Rick shot at him — offered their assistance. I’m glad to see there’s more communities out there and more people grasped the strength in numbers concept.

The biggest problem for Rick and company were they had no idea how neck deep and mouth wide open they were in it. Team Alexandria cruised through Negan’s third stringers so easily it was understandable for them to be on guard, but ridiculously overconfident. Rick was feeling himself so much he told a fever-stricken Maggie en route to the Hilltop OB/GYN that together they could accomplish the impossible. And then they started meeting the Savior convoys.

Not wanting to risk Maggie’s health and seeking a more opportune for Round 3 with the Saviors, Rick backed off after trading a few threats. In hindsight, battling that convoy was the best option as every other route was blocked by a larger and larger group of Saviors. This long version of keep away finally came to a close with Eugene suggesting he take the RV while Rick, Sasha, Carl, Abraham and Aaron take Maggie through the woods to Hilltop. This definitely felt like the grand sacrificial moment for Eugene, who got the hero’s send-off. Episode writer and TWD creator Robert Kirkman made sure to lull us in to what seemed a predictable ending for everyone’s favorite mullet hold out.The Walking Dead - Last Day on Earth review - Carl, Rick and Eugene

But that would have been too easy. Instead, the Saviors promptly surrounded the wood convoy and made them get on their knees, placing Eugene in line with them. Next up, Dwight brought out Glenn, Michonne, Rosita and Daryl, who was nursing some unseen bullet wound. With the gang reunited, Negan finally made his long-awaited debut.

The Walking Dead - Last Day on Earth review -NeganJeffrey Dean Morgan was brilliant. For the second half of the season we’d been hearing about Negan like he was this boogeyman whose name alone invoked respect and fear. And in that one sequence, Morgan delivered on that threat and promise somehow managing to make The Governor seem like a docile, likable guy by comparison.

Negan told Rick and crew they now work for him and half their stuff is now his. Any problems will result in further discipline — like the punishment he would be dishing out with his barb-wire bat named Lucille. Negan played Eeny Meeny Miny Mo as he tormented the group as he held their fate in his hands.

Director Greg Nicotero was creative in this shot giving us Negan’s POV as he brought Lucille to each of Rick’s group before switching it to the victim’s perspective. And to really keep us on the hook for next season, the victim’s identity wasn’t revealed. There’s massive online grumbling about that decision, but that’s the entire point of a cliffhanger. Anyway, I’m a fan of this finale after some very inconsistent final weeks. Start your Season 7 countdown now…

Rating: 9 out of 10

 

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  • man, morgan was great as negan. totally everything he was meant to be. most tense scene in i don’t know how long. and you could feel their desperation. usually we’re figuring out how they’re getting out of it, but it felt so hopeless. ione of the cast members had said it was going to be the cliffhanger of cliffhangers.
    also on carol — thank you! after the episode with the saviors in the “kill room” i thought wow, carol is one smart cookie playing that up and pretending to be meek. then the actress said on talking dead that it wasn’t an act, carol was feeling that way. i didn’t like that at all. i know i’m not the end-all on carol but i felt it was a way sharp turn and didn’t feel authentic. and all that stuff you said.
    now when’s next season start??? πŸ™‚

  • Eoin Carroll

    Loads of negavtive comments on the internet about it, it seems people hated the episode, just because of the last ten seconds, i too would of preferred to see who was killed, as i believe it would of been more effective, than waiting 6 months to find out, but still, all in all loved the episode, negan was great. Roll on next season πŸ™‚

  • Pierre Mooney

    Man they sure no how to keep you hanging. I thought it was going to be over but now we have another six months to go. Somehow it has to end on positive note after all this negative stuff it has too.

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    He was sooo great. I thought he was inspired casting and he totally made good on my hopes. Can’t wait to see more of him.

    Yeah, I have not liked how they devolved Carol’s character this season.

    Not soon enough! πŸ™‚

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    Thanks for commenting Eoin. I actually like the uncertainty as I would want to see the immediate retaliation based on who Negan kills if they showed the victim. This way, we get to see that payback without waiting months for it.

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    I don’t know man. Don’t see a positive ending for anyone on this. Just a matter of how long they can survive really.

  • Jace

    I actually like speculating on who eat Lucille for a couple months. Unlike our last suspenseful moment in the show this season, we know someone isn’t making it out alive. i doubt they are going the comic route and it will be one of the other Grimes’ gang member.

  • Barry Murray

    Man, Glenn got it tight in the last few seconds. That will need a couple of aspirin to sort that headache out, lol.

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    Me too. The mystery allows for some great moments of speculation. Plus, we can debate who would be the biggest loss while not losing the heart of the show.

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    You’re calling Glenn, huh? πŸ˜‰

  • Barry Murray

    I’m guessing they will go with someone else. Just to keep us guessing.

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