Review – The Walking Dead: S07E16 – The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

The Walking Dead: S07E16

Last week on The Walking Dead, Sasha is held captive by Negan and is made an offer she can’t refuse. Rick and the others attack Oceanside in order to obtain their weapons and an old enemy may prove to be a valuable asset as the war with The Saviors looms closer. Everything is building up to an intense showdown with Negan, and the payoff is finally here in the final episode of the season.

The Walking Dead: S07E16
Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in Episode 16.
Photo by Gene Page/AMC.
Despite the insider knowledge that I had by having my pulse on the scene of all things The Walking Dead (through multiple podcasts, attending the Walker Stalker conventions, and general word of mouth amongst the community), I honestly could see the story of Sasha unfolding a mile away. While having her listen to “Someday We’ll All Be Free” by Donny Hathaway in the iPod was a nice touch, the signs of her demise were plentiful. From the flashbacks with Abraham, (though it was nice to see Michael Cudlitz again, I still feel that the chemistry between these two characters is practically nonexistent), down to the title of the episode… as soon as Negan tells Sasha, “This is the first day of the rest of your life”, I knew she was a goner. But it was only a matter of time after the news of Sonequa Martin-Green landing the starring role on the new Star Trek TV series (https://wordofthenerdonline.com/2016/12/166481) that the signs of her character’s death were lining up. There was a spike in Sasha’s visibility, the building up of her backstory, and the typical push of the character that the writing team always tends to do when they are about to kill someone off.
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) in Episode 16. Photo by Gene Page/AMC.
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) in Episode 16.
Photo by Gene Page/AMC.
Probably the worst part of the episode was the battle. Where do I begin?

First, the betrayal by Jadis and the Heapsters was a little contrived. While it helped move the story in the direction it needed, it probably could have used a little more backstory to make it feel like it belonged. I found it hard to believe that Jadis was willing to help so quickly, without knowing much about Rick and his situation. After turning on him, she tells him that she found a better deal, to which Rick responds, “We can make another deal.” Please. Just stop.

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) in Episode 16. Photo by Gene Page/AMC.
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) in Episode 16.
Photo by Gene Page/AMC.
And then there is the actual action of the battle. King Ezekiel’s regiment arrives just in time to spare Carl’s life and allow the war to continue. While it was awesome to see Shiva in action, and mauling on a few bad guys’ faces, how does she know which people to go for? How can it be possible that hardly any of the Alexandria team escape unscathed, while they mow down dozens of Saviors and Heapsters while standing out in the wide open? I just found it all to be a little unrealistic and preposterous.
Jerry (Cooper Andrews) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) in Episode 16. Photo by Gene Page/AMC.
Jerry (Cooper Andrews) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) in Episode 16.
Photo by Gene Page/AMC.
In comparison to previous season finales of The Walking Dead, this one fell short in comparison. It is well-known that the hype (and the subsequent backlash) from the season 6 finale was epic in proportions. But I really felt that this finale was lacking, and the general consensus amongst social media is the same. There are a few questions left unanswered, but nothing that I would consider a true cliffhanger. We didn’t see Gregory or what he is up to by assumingly visiting The Sanctuary. We have a few injured Alexandrians that are part of our core cast, but no one truly seems to be on their death-bed. We see Carol return to Alexandria after sneaking away at the end of season 6, leaving only a note for Tobin to find. I believe that Tobin survived the attack on Alexandria, so will there be an awkward confrontation between the two, especially considering her seemingly blossoming relationship with the King. (Insert sarcasm here.) I guess we will need to wait until October 2017 to answer these burning questions and more.

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Shanon Connelly


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