CF: I truly wondered if we were going to have to sit through another bad season finale, and was pleasantly surprised to find myself seeing that we weren’t. And yes, Season 8 needs to be more like this episode. Make it so, TWD writing staff.
Here’s what went down in Episode 16 (entitled “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”) of the Season 7 finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Sasha and Negan’s Group
Episode 16 of the Season 7 finale of The Walking Dead opens with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) listening to music. And dying. It is dark, this is important.
So Dwight (Austin Amelio) is trying to convince Rick’s group he is now Team Alexandria. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is kinda listening but Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) just want him dead. Dwight reminds Daryl the reason he escaped is the same reason Dwight is no longer on Team Negan. So, it seems they have to trust him now.
Dwight comes up with a pretty cool plan to take out Negan’s group and shit seems to be coming together rather nicely.
CF: If it wasn’t for the fact I know how things go in the comic I would have wondered if this was another of Rick’s Bad Ideas. Rick really seemed eager to take this deal from Dwight even though he had no reason to. If I were the rest of Team Alexandria, I’d find someone else to run the show. Then again, I know that’s not going to happen…Rick is sets more shit in motion by bringing in Jadis’ (Pollyanna McIntosh) Thunderdome group in to set up ahead of Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) little visit. Everything seems to be going exactly to plan. The two groups are working together to help set up positions and wiring in explosives. Except there is that one time when one of Jadis’ sniper women seems to be talking to Michonne (Danai Gurira) about how they will win, but it’s almost like she’s really only talking about Jadis’ group and not Alexandria as well…
CF: If I were a writer–and I believe I am–I would call that foreshadowing. You could tell by the way that woman in the tower with Michonne is acting that a fucking was about to occur.
Ezekiel and the Kingdom
The Kingdom have finally come on board and are now heading towards Alexandria to pledge their allegiance to Team Rick. Morgan (Lennie James) is not sure he really wants to play on the team but Ezekiel is pretty good at rallying the troops. Plus, I think Morgan might be a little scared of Carol (Melissa McBride)…
CF: Ezekiel tends to launch into some overblown rhetoric, but this was one time when I thought his speech was on point and he did a helluva job getting Morgan to realize he still had a direction to follow. Hard to believe Gimpel had a hand in writing this, but I think Angela Kang and Matt Negrete had more to do with the final script.
RT: I was wondering who wrote this episode. It did feel a little Gimple-ish in parts, but the good parts of Gimple. Not the trolly bullshitery.
Maggie and Hilltop
Episode 15 of The Walking Dead saw Gregory (Xander Berkeley) leaving Hilltop on some secret trip. We find out jack shit about this trip in the Season 7 finale. Instead, it seems no one else does either and are just following Maggie (Lauren Cohan) to war as she chooses to support Rick’s group.
And so another group sets out for Alexandria just as Negan is getting ready to mess shit up.
CF: And this is why I wondered in last week’s recap whether Gregory was actually on his way to The Sanctuary. If he was, wouldn’t we have seen him? I hope to hell this isn’t an indication that Season 8 may see the addition of another group.
RT: It is really concerning me that Gregory didn’t show up. I really hope he hasn’t found another group 😦
Sasha and Negan
Now, I’m pretty sure that if Negan and Sasha had met under different circumstances, they would have made a great couple.
Or, so thinks Negan in his head.
CF: Negan feels he’s a hit with all the ladies who aren’t undead.
RT: Negan’s reaction to Sasha was just gold in this episode.
Sasha, on the other hand, is busy plotting her own death and dreaming of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz).
Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is happy now he thinks Sasha is Team Negan and has no idea at her kamikaze plan. For those of you who read the comics though, it is pretty clear what will happen. Although, AMC manage to twist this scenario just enough that actually makes me happy they did.
CF: At the end I’ll point out all the scenes taken directly from the comic.
RT: Thank you! 😀
The War Begins
Negan finally arrives at Alexandria and everyone is shocked to find Eugene with a megaphone asking everyone to toe the line. Rick, who has his Crazy Rick face hiding behind his Normal Rick mask, is not falling for it.
CF: It was great that Andy played Rick like he was one step away from taking out Eugene. Which…
Because he has explosives and he will blow that shit up — Eugene included!
CF: Yeah, there’s that. Oh, well: Fuck Eugene!
Except Jadis and her stupid Thunderdome group have actually cut a deal with Negan under the motherfucking table and now those explosives don’t go off and every Alexandrian now has a gun in their face.
CF: I really want to see these punk asses die hard. I am so sick of their emo shit; I really want to see somebody put a bullet in all their heads.
RT: If I have to hear Jadis and her stupid accent and look at her group’s stupid hairstyles one more time and it doesn’t result in their murders, I will be seriously pissed off.So, that’s how Negan knew shit was going down in Episode 15 of The Walking Dead.
Now, while Negan is itching to kill people, he pretends like he is there to negotiate. So he pulls out Sasha, who has been chilling in a coffin and listening to her iPod until he opens the door.
While comic book fans were expecting Walker Sasha to greet Negan, he has no fucking idea. Which is hilarious as the pair go down.
CF: And it’s Holly Mark II! I mean, I saw this coming from a mile away, but it was so cool how they pulled it off. And you had to do this so that Negan didn’t know there was a zombie in the coffin. Really a great way to twist the scene.
RT: I fucking LOVED this scene! I love that they managed to put a twist on this that didn’t result into Sasha taking out someone from Alexandria.Carl (Chandler Riggs), being the most adapted to killing shit, sees his chance and starts shooting Jadis’ group. The others quickly follow.
CF: I loved how Carl just turned around and started blasting fuckers. It was like, “Screw it, man! Rock ‘n’ roll, bitches!” And then he guns down like five dudes. You know who else surprised me? Father Gabriel running around with an assault rifle like he knows what the hell he’s doing. To use a well-worn phrase, he got religion fast.
RT: Carl reacting without thinking shit through first, was just fucking awesome! 😀
Unfortunately Negan survives the surprise attack though.
It seems like Team Rick is all over this shit, but, at the end of it all, Negan has Carl and Rick kneeling before him and Negan is getting ready to kill Carl with Lucille.
But, first, let’s monologue.
CF: *sigh* Again with the monologuing. I know Negan does this in the comic, but damn, when you see them doing it on the screen it gets old fast.
This gives Michonne and Thunderdome sniper to have a pretty awesome bitch fight. One of them goes over the edge too, and Rick lets his mask slip when he thinks it was Michonne who died.Rick whips that mask off and tells Negan he doesn’t care who Negan kills because Rick will kill him anyway.
Negan swings his bat at that and just when you think Carl is going to die, Shiva breezes in and fucks shit up.
It’s a shame Ezekiel couldn’t train his tiger to take out Negan though, and he manages to escape yet again.
But then the fight starts in earnest and I think I have gotten something in my eye as this episode of Season 7 of The Walking Dead FINALLY delivers something close to what The Walking Dead used to be like.
CF: This was probably the most well shot scene not only in all of Season 7, but one of the best in the last two or three seasons. It was like everything clicked, and everything that the characters were supposed to remember came back to them.
RT: You know battle scenes are my jam. So I actually watched this scene twice. Thank you AMC for getting this so completely right.
CF: And let me give credit where credit is due: the CGI done for Shiva was excellent throughout this episode. The scene where The Kingdom people were walking toward Alexandria, I was watching Shiva closely and noticed the shadow on the ground was correct and the way the sun reflected off her fur was perfect. I know we ripped that goddamn deer apart a few episodes ago, and I have to wonder if they cheap assed that so they could get Shiva correct for this episode.
RT: Shiva was fantastic. I guess we finally have our answer for where AMC’s CGI budgeting is going.
CF: Oh, and in case you were wondering how the first attack scene really looked, here’s an image Chandler Riggs posted on his Twitter today:
RT: AMC released a few of these images of the behind the scenes shots. I love it when they do that.
CF: Yeah, she looks a little different there…
And lastly, I loved Negan pausing long enough to look back and go, “That’s a goddamn tiger!” At last, someone realizes!
At the end of the episode, the dust settles and both Negan’s and Jadis’ groups have retreated.
Negan is now preparing for all out war and the Kingdom, Hilltop, and Alexandria are all joining forces to fight back again in Season 8.
CF: According to information already posted on The Walking Dead wiki, this episode copied more scenes from the March to War volume than any other episode. So here’s the layout for you:
- Rick and Daryl make the decision to trust Dwight.
- Negan arriving at Alexandria with a group of Saviors in several trucks.
- Negan’s line to Rick about how he “thought he knew shit” before the conflict is taken from Issue 112.
- Michonne’s fight in the sniping post is adapted from Issue 113. (In the comic this was Andrea fighting with one of Negan’s people.)
- The second line-up is adapted from Issue 114.
- Negan’s laments about needing to kill Carl is from Issue 114.
- Rick believing Michonne to have been thrown from the tower only to later find her alive.
- Shiva pouncing on the Savior right before Negan kills Carl and the subsequent arrival of the forces from the Hilltop and Kingdom is adapted from Issue 114.
- The scene in the infirmary and the declaration of war by Negan to his men.
- Sasha’s death and reveal as a walker is adapted from Holly’s death in Issue 119, and her biting of Roy is adapted from Issue 120.
So there you go.
And two other points. This was not only the longest title of any Walking Dead episode, but this episode had the first living person killed by a walker all season, when Sasha bit Roy. Yeah, I know, that seems impossible, but it’s true.
RT: Seriously, Cassidy, you are awesome when it comes to this kind of information! Thank you 😀
What did you think of Episode 16 of AMC’s Season 7 finale of The Walking Dead? Let us know by commenting below!
The Walking Dead will return to AMC with Season 8 later in 2017.
CF: As always–well, at least as of late–I will be here with you, bringing opinion and snark. See everyone in October.
RT: I can’t wait Cassidy 😀
[Featured image via AMC]