The tension has been mounting all season long. Did the Walking Dead Season 6 Finale ‘Last Day On Earth’ live up to the hype? Was that slow burn up to Negan’s introduction worth it? Did they, ahem, knock it out of the park as it were? The episode at first started slow with Morgan stalking through the woods, but then it cut to some one doing the very opposite of stalking…IE, running away from what looked like a human fox-hunt. Unfortunately, this isn’t The Fox and the Hound and Rick loaded up some heavy hitters in his rolling death cruiser(see RV) to go find a doctor for Maggie while Carl freaked out Enid with his battle lust. Hey, Carl’s missing an eye…he’s practically Snake Pliskin at this point!
I liked how the episode established that everybody in Rick’s crew has their ‘head in the game’. Even Gabriel was sounding awfully soldier-like while Rick oozed confidence. Cutting back to a Savior expeditionary force, you saw them take that lone survivor from another community and throw him on the road in order to ‘send a message’. I believed we were about to see a showdown of…how do you say…ideologies? I did like how even on the Walking Dead Season 6 Finale ‘Last Day On Earth’ we still could count on an almost palpable sense of oncoming dread. It’s like we are a part of Pavlov’s zombies or something like that.
I am sure glad that Morgan was able to get Carol all patched up. It would have sucked a bunch if Carol would have just slowly bled out after a wound from some ‘rando’…and even more interesting that Carol threw that kindness right back in Morgan’s face. Then it happened. Rick came out to meet the Saviors head on. I wouldn’t expect to have Rick react any differently. I rather liked the ‘No, how about you give US all of YOUR stuff’ and the biting irony of a Savior telling Rick to ‘Be kind’ on account that it may be somebody’s last day on Earth. Can’t have a season finale without some foreshadowing, right?
Seeing the interaction between Morgan and Carol was also an interesting subplot. Would Morgan be able to convince Carol to come back or would Carol convince Morgan to leave her alone? I think both of them are fully committed to their character’s ethos so I wasn’t sure if words would be enough. After a bit of a detour through Sasha/Abraham land, we find Rick and Co meeting ambush number 2. I think at that point I would be pretty concerned. The Saviors want their terms answered and Rick and Co aren’t playing by the rules. Suppose siege tactics change a bit during the zombie apocalypse. Hopefully we’ll get to see a trebuchet or catapult or something like that in the near future.
At least Carol left Morgan his horse when she pulled her disappearing act! Come on, we all knew she was going to dip out the Morgan turned his back. Rick and Abraham then used their expertise to begin to ascertain what kind of threat they were facing…only to run into zombie Hands-Across-America. I took that to mean that the Saviors have some ‘thinking-folks’. The trap was meant to allow the Saviors to overtake them but Rick and Co handed it deftly and blew through threw. At that point I started to wonder if Negan’s group are like Stormtroopers. Sure, feared across the galaxy…until you get them on screen in which case they behave like heavily armed drunk monkeys. Wonder if that is a performance anxiety or a camera shy kinda thing?
Ambush Point Number 4 was looking awfully robust, wasn’t it? Considering how many people Rick’s group has killed already it made you wonder how many people Negan truly has. I wasn’t worried when Carol was fighting the zombies…I got a bit more freaked out when the guy she shot earlier caught up to her. At this point in the episode we were around an hour in and several of the main characters are in varying levels of danger and we still hadn’t had a glance at Negan though clearly all the pieces were in motion
As Carol laid their begging/feigning to die, Morgan then showed up…and actually shot that freaking guy? Good for Mogan to recognize that he had to kill him to save Carol and it shows that he is flexible in his dogma. Turns out Carol actually wants to die too which made me feel particularly bad. What happened to Carol to make her lose such heart? Was it the culmination and weight of just everything? Ugh. Either way, it looks like Morgan then made some friends with the person he spared earlier from Rick’s per-emptive wrath. Karma!
Rick’s Battle-Bus then ran into yet another road block…literally. The Saviors had set up a tremendous amount of downed tree trunks and then hung that lone survivor. These Savior guys surely have a lot of time for engineering projects, don’t they? We then got that creepy guy from earlier who made those comments about ‘being kind’. Nicely done, Walking Dead! Eugene then continued to show his new confident nature and pointed out that they could sneak out at nightfall which ended up with Eugene driving the RV while everybody else took off. I would’ve been concerned for Eugene but he said his good-byes and gave away his bullet plans. Nobody gets a violin send-off like that and actually die…unless it is the Titanic.
Maggie went south really quick, didn’t she? Seeing Rick and Company run through a foggy night was tense…and of course we get that whistle from the earlier fox-hunt. Bad news bears, right? The Saviors read them like an open book and lead them in a box trap. There wasn’t anymore running for Rick and Co and I’m sure we all put the volumes up on our TV or whatever we were watching it on. ‘Welcome to where you are going’. Did I detect of tinge of panic in Rick’s voice? This is what we were waiting for all year for, folks!
You could clearly see the weight of all of Rick’s decisions hit him all at once. Was he now responsible for the potential death of everybody? What was going to happen? Rick was shaken and it was nicely done on the part of Andrew Lincoln. We had seen him be such a bad ass all season long and there he was…scared. Humbled and terrified. Hell, even Dwight looked scared! Wait, why is he scared? Oh, yeah, that’s right. Negan.
First impression of Negan…oh, Rick’s in trouble. That guy looked like he enjoys himself. I think he took that ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’ a bit literally. Did anybody else sense how badly things were going to get or was that something only us comic-book folks were privy to? What would Rick do? Accept becoming one of Negan’s vassals and turn over half of everything? Negan takes that level of tyrant way past the Governor’s level. Governor pretended…Negan is anything but. He’s realer than real and that’s scary as all hell.
We then were introduced to Negan’s cherished Lucille, a barbed blunt weapon of pain, suffering, and bloody spectacle. That’s what makes Negan so freaky, isn’t it? They certainly weren’t getting any help from Rick! ‘Don’t make me kill the future serial killer!’ Einey, meemy, miney, mo? Seriously? I hope everybody was ready for some unchecked brutality. At least they did it in an Alfred hitchcock style with the blackout…though it totally screwed us over as the viewers. We have to wait till next season to see what happened? What the hell! This episode was doing so well and then you pull away like that? I feel somewhat betrayed! Still, Negan made a huge impact and that will have us all talking for months to come. Damn you Walking Dead!