Title: The Walking Dead “The Last Day on Earth”
Air Date: April 3rd, 2016
Genre: Serial Drama, Horror
The Walking Dead just wrapped up season six with a 90-minute finale and the best way I can describe it is a question. Have you ever been teased by someone so bad, that you found yourself at a point where you wanted to grab that person and shake them violently? Well, I have, and that’s how I feel about AMC and the finale episode “The Last Day on Earth” right now. The build up for the arrival of Negan and the certain death of one of our most beloved characters has been teased for a good portion of season six. This entire episode did a fantastic job building up the anticipation to the final moments to where Rick is confronted by Negan. We knew someone important was going to die and it was going to happen in a violent way by Negan’s barbwire bat, Lucille. If you follow the Walking Dead then you no doubt have heard different members of the cast talking about reading the script for the finale episode and being distraught. Lauren Cohen who plays Maggie said she didn’t want to come to work that day. Norman Reedus said after reading the script he couldn’t speak for about an hour because he was so shocked with what he read. Sure enough, we get to the end of the episode and Negan brings Lucille down hard on someone’s head. Blood flows down the screen which then goes black with the sickening sound of the continuing impacts are heard and…be sure to tune into season seven of the Walking Dead in October to find out who it was.
Alright so the episode wasn’t awful but that cliff hanger at the end killed me. It was a 90 minute episode loaded with commercials of basically waiting for AMC to give you the finger but some interesting things did happen so lets break down what we saw.
In the episode “East” that aired last week I made a complaint about so many major characters leaving Alexandria with the looming threat of the Saviors possibly attacking. The Walking Dead tried to answer that this week with a very composed Father Gabriel discussing the security of Alexandria with Rick before he was to head to the Hilltop. Alexandria is not a small colony so even though the best fighters and characters we know aren’t there at the moment, it is still defended and fortified. Rick has seen Father Gabriel come a long way from when they first found him and lets him know he has confidence in him to take care of things while they’re gone.
Morgan continued his search for Carol and finds her pretty much right at the start of the episode. Carol is suffering from a deep cut to her side and is clearly exhausted with Morgan finding her slumped up against a door. Upon taking refuge in a building Morgan dresses the would but informs her she’ll still need stitches. His plan is for them to stay the night there and head back to Alexandria in the morning, to which Carol says no. We get some good dialogue between these two characters especially with Carol telling Morgan she can’t kill anymore and that “he of all people should understand that.” Carol ends up slipping away again when Morgan becomes occupied outside with some walkers, when she’s found again it’s not by Morgan. The one Savior that survived the machine gun Carol had up her sleeve from last week has tracked her down.
The Savior intends to kill Carol very slowly bullet by bullet, first shooting her in the arm and then the leg. Carol actually smiles after this which confuses the Savior. She lets him know that she’s ready to die, wants to die in fact, then nothing will be wrong with her anymore. I still don’t understand this story arc with Carol but before the Savior can fire the final shot Morgan shows up, and he still has that handgun Rick gave him in last week’s episode. The Savior doesn’t comply and moves to shoot Carol being promptly stopped by the rounds coming from Morgan’s gun. He had to kill because if he didn’t Carol would be dead and he might have been as well. Two men in body armor show up, one of them also being from last week’s episode. If you’re a fan of the comics you will most certainly have the impression that these men are from The Kingdom, which is another settlement that loathes the Saviors. They clearly intend no harm to Morgan and offer their help in getting Carol medical attention.
I have browsed some reviews since the airing of the finale and some have felt this Morgan and Carol story was unnecessary and thrown in just to fluff the episode. I disagree because we see Morgan kill to save Carol even though he is so against it. He breaks the rule he made for himself when he spent his time with Eastman because he had to, there wasn’t another option here. Hopefully this will lead to Carol coming back to Alexandria, especially that they will need her now more than ever.
The remainder of this Walking Dead finale centered around Rick and company which consisted of Sasha, Abraham, Aaron, Carl and Eugene trying to get Maggie to the Hilltop Colony for medical attention and hitting road block after road block. Rick was very confident in the beginning of the episode as he has been in all of season six as to what him and his group can handle. You can see that confidence quickly begin to crumble as they find the Saviors on every single road leading to the Hilltop Colony. Not to mention when they get to the Walker roadblock where Rick discovers that Daryl, Michonne and Glenn are being held by the Saviors. Andrew Lincoln gives a great performance in showing the transition of emotions that Rick Grimes goes through from the beginning of the episode to the end. You can see a look of dread on his face when they are all kneeling before Negan and surrounded by Saviors. Rick and company attempted to throw off the Saviors by having Eugene drive the RV while they continued to the Hilltop on foot using the cover of darkness…It did not work.
Rick and company find themselves surrounded by Saviors and forced to give up their weapons. Finally after all the buildup over season six and throughout this episode, we meet Negan who is played by Jeffery Dean Morgan. Negan is a very vulgar character in the comics and it was toned down for his TV appearance but I really liked Jeffery Dean Morgans portrayal. The speech Negan gives to Rick and the others of Alexandria is basically lifted right from the comics so for me it was enjoyable to hear that play out as well. I’m really excited to see more of Negan going into season seven of the Walking Dead, especially how the group deals with being under his thumb. Then comes the cliff hanger and we are left to ponder over the next seven months just who it was that Negan killed. I think this cliff hanger was absolutely awful, the buildup over this whole season has led to nothing. Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple did say on the “Taking Dead” which aired immediately after the finale that there are clues as to who was killed. Speculation has run wild since the finale ended with every jabroni on the internet putting in their two cents, however, the most interesting comes from this user on Tumblr. They have recorded the audio from the end and slowed it down to where you can make out some of the things being said/yelled but for now, it looks like we’ll have to wait until season seven to find out just who it was. In the mean time season, two of Fear the Walking Dead premieres next Sunday.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you irritated by that cliffhanger ending? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and check back next week for our review of the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead.
- Acting/Actors: Jeffery Dean Morgan is great as Negan and Andrew Lincoln shows an emotional Rick Grimes
- Story: The group finally meets Negan and the Savior are much bigger than the group thought.
- Cinematography: Violent and powerful scene through out including Carol pulling a walker face off
- Organization: Centered mainly around Rick and Company, Morgan also searches for Carol
- The Kingdom?
- That ending
- That ending
- You guessed it...that ending