Written by Talha Javaid
Warning: Article contains Spoilers
Alas our favourite post-apocalyptic show ends another season, a strong one at that. It’s still surreal to imagine how far The Walking Dead has come since its inception, there has never been a time when The Walking Dead’s finales haven’t been epic, and season seven’s final episode titled: The First day of the Rest of your Life, proved that.
Let’s cast us back to the end of Season 6, which introduced us to the infamous Negan played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Negan had his groups called the Saviours, line up Rick and his people, they were all kneeling down as Negan laid out the law. The cliff hanger was Negan playing Eeenie mini miny mo, to pick someone to kill, and we were left gobsmacked as we had to wait almost 5 months to find out who met the receiving end of the vampire bat Negan named Lucille.
Of course there were speculations but to avoid ruining the surprise, multiple death scenes were shot. Never the less the premier of season 7 left us petrified as Negan killed Abraham who took the blow of the baseball bat so bravely, even telling Negan to “Suck his Nuts” before Negan bashed his skull in. But things didn’t end there, Negan then in a surprise turn of events killed fan favourite Glenn Rhee, which was the biggest shock of my life as I was left speechless, horrified but sickeningly pleased by this surprise kill.
For those of you who don’t know Glenn has been part of the show since season 1 and it was sad to see Steven Yung bid farewell to Glenn but it was a necessary kill to really solidify Negan as the main antagonist of the season. But as a comic book fan, I knew this is how Glenn met his demise but it still was baffling, I think it caught a lot of fans off guard and in a good way.
Negan has since killed, abused and pretty much dominated every character’s life. Jeffery Dean Morgan portrays this character so perfectly it’s scary, down to the mannerism, it was definitely the right call to give Morgan, Negan to play, cause now I can’t envision anyone else playing him ever. This season, The Saviours have ruled the other communities, such as Alexandria, The Kingdom and more. Making the communities to give up their weapons and make frequent donations, if anyone disagrees they get well DEATH.
If you are a Walking Dead Fan, you know that this season was going to be one that was going to really define the impact of Negan and the Saviours on Rick Grimes and his friends.
Now let’s get to business and discuss the episode shall we?
The episode opens up with black screen slowly fading into Sasha who has a major close up on her face, she has earphones in and is listening to music, it’s all very ambiguous and you then your mind starts running, suddenly the open sequence starts running and everything is all paced up immediately.
Throughout the episode we were often switched back and forth to Sasha in the same space, listening to music and her finale memories with Abraham (played by Michael Cudlitz), it was nice to see him back even if it was in the form of a memory because it really does bring together how deeply Sasha was in love with him. Sasha continues to remember the day of Abraham’s death and their last moments together before they set out on their mission.
We then are shown to a conversation between Negan and Sasha, as fans know that Sasha was held captive at The Sanctuary where the saviours reside, Negan relays to Sasha that he wants to punish Rick for all his bad behaviour by killing 3 people, saying that “Lucille is hungry” aka his bat which is wrapped in barbed wire, the same bat that killed Abraham and Glenn.
Sasha somehow gets Negan to reconsider and they come to the agreement that only one person should die. Negan says Sasha has him wrapped around her finger and that even if she had a dick he would still feel this way.
Back in Alexandria, Rick and his group confront Dwight who tells them he wants Negan dead too, Dwight is pinned to the wall by Daryl and a knife is held onto his face, with Tera urging Daryl to take him out wanting to avenge her dead girlfriend’s death who Dwight killed previous season.
Dwight somehow manages to turn things around and says that Negan will come in the morning but he can slow them down, so Rick and his group can get ready. As Dwight leaves, Rick says that if Dwight is lying then everything is done and dusted before it starts but Daryl vows that even if Dwight is telling the truth he will still kill him after it all is done. You get to really see how Daryl’s ordeal at the hands of Negan has traumatised him.
Rick calls upon the Scavengers, another group that Rick sought allegiance with to help fight this war against the Saviours, everyone gets into position and this is when The Saviours make their entrance.
Eugene tells them to back down and that he says once more he’s Negan, this part really makes you hate Eugene as you feel like now he’s taking the complete and utter piss with this wanting to survive thing.Rick orders Rosita to blow them up, but the explosives fail and the Scavengers turn their guns on Rick’s group, betraying them, with their leader saying that Negan offered them a better deal.
Negan comes out and gives his speech, in which he calls Rick stupid because he’s going to get all of his people killed and then tells him that there is still one more way out, by handing over all the guns they have found and choosing one person to kill to honour his deal with Sasha, oh who by the way is sleeping in a coffin. Oh and he also wants Daryl back, because well just cause he’s a sadistic greedy bastard!
Rick wants to see Sasha first and Negan agrees to open the coffin, and this is when you see Sasha in the flashback taking the pill Eugene gave her in the previous episode, the pill that could kill her. It was a twist and a bittersweet moment as the Coffin is opened, the now zombified Sasha pounces on Negan and a gun fight ensues, during which the residents of Alexandria put up a good fight.
Negan is saved from getting bit and Rick is shot by the leader of the Scavengers and Michonne looks as though she is losing badly in a fist fight with another Scavenger. Michonne being a good shot was on the roof with her sniper.
Rick is then bought to kneel by Carl, his son as Negan places his bat on his shoulder smug that he’s won. From a distance you hear a woman’s scream and her falling to the ground to her death, and it is presumed to be Michonne, Negan taunts Rick about this and then says that Rick he’s going to kill Carl and then he’s going to take both of Rick’s hands.
Rick then proceeds to tell Negan that he will kill him, regardless of what Negan does today, this scene between Andrew Lincoln and Jeffery Dean Morgan is intense, their chemistry is glorious as Rick’s words enrage Negan and he proceeds to end Carl’s life.
Just then the tiger shiva pounces on one of the Saviours, startling Negan and the fight is joined by the Kingdom group and Hilltop colony, with King Ezekiel announcing that Alexandria will not fall today, showing that even he has had enough of the Saviours and the battle resumes, more Saviours are killed but this union of three communities bring a satisfying conclusion to Saviours terror, highlighting that they are stronger as one. Both the Saviours and the Scavengers retreat.
We are given the satisfaction of knowing that Michonne survived, thank lord we still have Richonne to keep us going, the only couple going strong right now. During the battle Negan sees that Maggie is alive who he thought died meaning now it’s all coming to head, everything is now on the table and things are going to get interesting.
We then switch to Negan who questions Eugene about how Sasha died but Eugene once again uses his knowledge and glorified words to say that she lost oxygen, Negan is not sure but lets it go as he goes out and announces to his group that they are going to “War”.
Over to Alexandria, Daryl finds a toy solider which has the words “Didn’t know” written on it, implying that Dwight didn’t know that Negan had this whole thing planned with the Scavengers, it will be interesting to see Dwight playing double agent next season. The group also find Zombie Sasha whilst Maggie narrates the final scene, they kill Sasha to put her out of her misery, Jesus holds her down as Maggie kills her, as a last favour to her friend.
The last scene is of Rick, King Ezekiel and Maggie all standing on a higher platform, with Maggie’s voiceover recalling all the things Rick and her have gone through the past seasons, mentioning Atlanta, The Farm, the Prison and even Glenn. Maggie holds Glenn’s watch and is now the leader of Hilltop and together the community celebrate this victory and prepare for War.
It was a beautiful, emotive, breath-taking and explosive finale and for those who found Season 7 slow and boring, it will change your perspective on this season. I knew that season 7 was a build up to this moment, the moment which began the War, the big battle. And it was satisfying to see it all come together in the most epic way. Killing Sasha was a smart move, it did her story justice cause in the end, she died to save her friends / family. She died a hero and let’s face it this way her and Abraham can be together. It was a tragic episode but it also was a great set up for what is going to come in season 8, this long hiatus is going to be agonising as we now wait to see the aftermath – THE WAR.
Generation Z gives this episode a 10/10, because we simply can’t find any flaws in it, it was face paced but covered everything, every scene was perfect and even the dialogue was incredible. You can even forgive the fact that there was only one Zombie in this entire episode, because as time and time again it has been said: Fear the dead, fight the living.
Not once did my eyes leave the screen and I found myself screaming at the TV when the credits rolled, The Walking Dead completely brought up this season and now even the boring episodes seem like they were worth it. Generation Z cannot wait for Season 8 because we know that things are just beginning for Rick and his crew.