The seventh season of The Walking Dead started with Rick finding out the hard way about the kind of person Negan is. Right off the bat, no pun intended, we lost Abraham and Glenn, both of whom have been an important part of Rick’s journey in the Zombie Apocalypse.
Most of the characters this season were driven by those deaths. It was in the second half when we finally see Team Family stand up, and plan something to take down the people who have been unconscientiously taking and killing whoever and whatever they want from the communities who are trying to create a new life in the world where the undead have taken over.
This season shed a lot of light on those communities and its people, and in the season finale, we will find out if they will finally start an all-out war with the Saviors to end their tyranny.
The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead showed Dwight offering his help to the group. The first of the three betrayals we’re going to see in this episode. With Sherry gone, Dwight wants Negan dead. After breaking the news to Rick and co. that Negan is on his way to stop whatever the group is planning, he offers to help by slowing the Saviors down.
It is totally understandable how Daryl reacted, and after the kind of decision she made in the penultimate episode, we can say that Tara’s actions are not that out of character anymore.
Now at first, they were hesitant, of course, thinking he was only there to see if Dwight was there, but after revealing to them what happened, even telling Daryl who let him escape, they agreed to let him help with whatever is coming their way. Dwight went his way bringing down some trees on the road, which leads us to the second betrayal of the episode.
Eugene has admitted in the penultimate episode that he agreed to be one of the Saviors because he no longer wants to be afraid, sort of admitting that he’s a coward. This episode, he didn’t only help the Saviors find a way to get through the mess that Dwight secretly did, he also asked them to stand down, even announcing that he’s Negan now.
Being the coward that he is, after everything that he’s been through with the group, and all the deaths he’s seen, he knows that he is not going to stand a chance against the Saviors if the group decides to fight once again.
The third betrayal we see in the episode come from the obvious candidates, the Garbage Pail Kids. It has been made clear in this episode that the “little bird” who told Negan about Rick’s preparation for war was Jadis. They initially stood with Alexandria, but when the Saviors arrived, the Garbage Pail Kids pulled a switcheroo, and turned their guns to Team Family, with one of them announcing to Michonne that they win.
I do not understand the logic behind the Garbage Pail Kids’ decision to turn on our group, it maybe because of the system of the Saviors, but the fact that they only scavenge from other groups should say something to Negan. They’re not going to help provide for the Saviors. Maybe they’re extra numbers, but people who don’t bother – and by bother, I mean people who will not work to earn their keep – based on what I’ve seen, aren’t that welcome in the hierarchy of the Saviors.
What I’m curious to see is the kind of interaction that the Garbage Pail Kids and the Saviors will have in the future. Negan did get the information he wanted from them, but what happens after that?
Negan is slowly becoming a really annoying villain. He’s not as compelling as the one we’ve met in the first half of the season, probably because he took the back seat in the second half of the season.
I hate to say this, but I have to say it now. The writing for Negan’s character took a nosedive in the second half, and they’re wasting a potentially compelling character. As a reader of the comics, I could say that Negan was way more terrifying in the comics, and everything he did worked. On the TV show, however, everyone just wanted to kill him, and with the kind of leadership that he’s presenting to his people, I’m finding a really hard time finding the logic behind the Saviors who aren’t planning to kill and dethrone him. Even those who serve him live in fear, even his most trusted henchmen must be terrified of him, and the fact that they’re not doing anything about is really questionable.
Despite of that, there is something about Negan that is still charming, and that comes from his one liners. From his reaction to the great tiger by the name of Shiva, to his reaction to the possibility that the Saviors might be losing, and most importantly his reaction when he found out that Maggie was alive, it’s just all hilarious. Too hilarious for a villain if you ask me.
The war has officially begun when this standoff brought together the leaders of the three communities who are tired of living under the tyranny of the Saviors. Rick from Alexandria, Ezekiel from the Kingdom, and Maggie from the Hilltop, now three leaders with one goal, which is to make a stand against the Saviors.
Seeing these people stand side by side, having that common goal, their people working together for the greater good is what we’ve all been waiting for to happen. Seeing the events unfold, especially the Saviors and the Garbage Pail Kids retreating is probably one of the most memorable moments of the show.
The Kingdom is the one I’m mostly excited about because the adrenaline that Shiva could add into a viewer’s point of view is extraordinary. Seeing Shiva in action makes me forgive the show for producing a fake deer, okay maybe not, but Shiva was just so amazing.
The interaction between Morgan and Carol, a new powerful allegiance, is also noteworthy. After the fight, where Morgan cleared the hell out of, and Carol released the badass, I think they both found a mutual respect for what they’re capable of, and found that middle ground between preserving lives and killing.
Maggie’s voiceover at the end is what made it feel more real. The communities are going to war, and although they know that they’ll lose people along the way, there’s still that ray of hope that brings light to the darkness that the Saviors have brought to their post-apocalyptic life.
Seeing Abraham back on screen was a clear indication that Sasha may not make it out of the episode alive. With everything that Sasha’s been through, and how she kept trying to get back up after losing the most important people in her life, seeing Sasha make that final decision to commit suicide was very, very disheartening, but this review is not going to focus on that, it’s going to focus on how the show paid a tribute to a very powerful character.
In the flashback/dream sequence, it was revealed that Sasha didn’t really want to go with the group when they were taking Maggie to the Hilltop before their encounter with Negan, and she was trying to convince Abraham to not go as well. I think that sequence hit a lot of people home, because that kind of thing happens in real life. The heavy emotion that these flashbacks bring were an amazing build-up to the adrenaline of the show.
The flashback that shows Sasha and Maggie is also very emotional because it revealed how close they have become after they both lost their siblings. The most heartbreaking part of the episode was at the end, when Maggie had to put down an undead Sasha.
The show served Sasha well, and although this kind of end was unexpected for such character, I can’t help but appreciate the work they put to develop a great character who will forever be in every fan’s thoughts. May Sasha’s soul rest in peace. I would also like to commend Sonequa Martin-Green for a very spectacular performance. I will definitely look forward to Star Trek Discovery.
I must say that the excitement and the emotion that this season finale provided is extraordinary, it left me speechless. From the beginning of the episode all the way to end, I was on the edge of my seat. Probably the best among the few well written episodes of the season, ‘The First Day of the Rest of Your Life’ deserves a 9.5 out of 10. And that’s a wrap for The Walking Dead season 7!
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Header Image: AMC