The Walking Dead - The first day of the rest of your life | Review
S07E16 | The first day of the rest of your life
I went into the final episode of The Walking Dead nervous. Nervous that I was going to hate it. Nervous that it was going to leave me with too many questions. Nervous that it would end on another unbearable cliffhanger. I’m here to ‘eat my hat’ and tell you that those fears are completely unfounded. Yes, I’m the non-believing ‘a-hole’ fanboy.
‘The first day of the rest of your life’ was a brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable end to this season of The Walking Dead. I almost (despite the wobbly overall season) feel completely re-energised and ready for season eight! And I can’t wait to see how things play-out between The Saviors and everyone else.
This episode is probably best described as lots of epic ‘oh-sh!t’ moments with each one requiring some good ole-fashioned Night Gathers commentary and discussion. Let’s get into it.
The big “oh sh!t” moments
Lets just start off with the fact that Sasha died pretty much in the opening credits which then led to several moments of Sasha and Maggie watching a sunset, which in turn made my brain go into overdrive thinking that maybe Maggie is going to die as well - it was all too much... Thankfully that wasn’t the case but it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. What a roller coaster of emotion!
Then there’s the incredibly awesome Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) who managed to challenge my perception of The Walking Dead timeline. Was this a season six flash back or was this a ‘dead characters’ conversation? Either way, even if Glenn walked into the room I would not have been surprised! It pretty clearly became a season six flashback but the depth to the conversation really took it to a much deeper and almost spiritual level. Full credit to Michael Cudlitz’s acting abilities for creating such an emotionally-charged scene.
Next we had the Scavengers arriving at Alexandria, and Jadis (who I can’t stand) literally had me laughing my head off with an offer to ‘lie with Rick’. I’ve never seen Rick look so scared and he’s been face-to-face with a trash zombie and Negan’s baseball bat ‘Lucelle’.
Then Eugene broke Rick’s heart by confirming he was Negan.
We had the Scavengers double cross Rick. Sasha turning into coffin zombie and Carl (yes Carl!) kicking this battle into high gear by seizing the moment to try and overthrow the Scavengers. Full props to Carl, he’s full Rick now and I’m starting to love his character more and more.
Then, just when you think it’s full battle-mode, Negan manages to lock things down again and arranges another line-up with Carl and Rick - talk about tension! Rick showed he didn’t care when Negan threatened to kill his son and take his hands with a freaking baseball bat! Then Rick gave the most chilling speech on the seven seasons to date and basically told Negan to go ‘F’ himself because regardless of what Negan does to him he’s going to kill him. Rick literally gave zero-f*cks and that is my favourite Rick Grimes mode.
Just when you think Carl might actually die, Ezekiel's tiger bursts onto the scene and starts chomping heads and eating throats! How that tiger knew who was a Savior I don’t know, but don’t stress the details...
Ezekiel’s and Maggie’s arrival at Alexandria was nothing short of spectacular. It reminded me a lot of the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ in Game of Thrones when the Knights of the Erie show up to help Jon Snow/Sansa Stark. It was real jump-up from the couch and cheer material - “FOR THE KINGDOM!”.
It was all just so good, but the real cherry-on-the-top was Negan escaping in the chaos and flipping everyone off as he drove away in a truck! God damn, that was some intense and epic Walking Dead.
Sure , we didn’t get any closure to the Negan storyline, but it wasn’t the time. What we did get is two sides at war, and that alone is going to make for some great season eight viewing. We’ve had the origin story, we know how everyone comes together so now it’s time for the good stuff.
I also really appreciate that we didn’t end on another cliffhanger! There are just enough loose- ends tied up that I can actually patiently wait for season eight without having to speculate for months who might be alive or dead. I tip my hat to you Walking Dead, I loved it.
Though enough of my praise for the finale, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.
A fantastic end to The Walking Dead season seven that healed old wounds and re-amplified my excitement levels for a show I so desperately want to love.
- Props to Carl for kicking the battle into gear
- Rick’s rebuttal to Negan
- Tiger ‘kill cam’
- Negan flipping everyone off as he leaves the compound
- Those ‘Abraham’ moments
- Zombie Sasha
- Jadis’s offer to “lie with Rick”
- The arrival of The Kingdom and Hilltop
- Unfortunately I don’t think it’s the last we’ve seen of the The Scavengers
- That Scavenger who was walking around with the red umbrella - my hate for him is irrational and I don't care.