The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 16: The First Day of The Rest of Your Life
Season 7 Overall Comments are below
Thoughts with summary mixed together. This was a long episode. I have it a 61 on Robin's scale.
This one was a mixed bag for me. The Title sounds like the name of a game show right?
Most of the episode I thought was spent building up to a trigger point and the first round of the War with the Saviors and Scavengers. (This is being called by Gimple: All Out War; just like the graphic Novels.) I didn't feel as much tension as I thought there would be until the end of the episode when Eugene showed up with the Saviors and even that had a weird delivery.
* Episode opens with Sasha sporting ear buds in darkness listening to Donnie Hathaway's 'Someday We will Be Free' and she dies. Then credits.
* Then the episode starts with Sasha with earbuds in darkness reliving her last moments with Abraham before they set off to take Maggie to the Hilltop and before they were captured by the Saviors and Abraham's death.
* We learn she didn't want Abraham to go with Rick although he volunteered himself to go take Sasha.
* Negan tells Sasha it's the 'First Day of the Rest of her life' and presents her with pancakes on a silver platter.
* Dwight tells Rick he wants Negan dead. Tara brings up Denise and Dwight mentions he wasn't aiming for her and Daryl lunges at Dwight putting a knife mere inches from his left eye. Tara encourages him to kill Dwight and Rick poses no objections.
* Dwight remains unaffected by Daryl as he tells them if they want to end it this way to go ahead, and he was sorry but he didn't do what he did for him; he did it for Negan and Sherry. He helped her get away which was why he was there and so was Daryl.
* Daryl lets him go. Jesus points out they can use Dwight to bargain for Sasha. Dwight points out Negan will be coming there tomorrow with 20 men and three trucks and he can slow them down by felling some trees. If they take out Negan he can radio the Sanctuary everything is okay and then they can take the 3 trucks into the Sanctuary and
take care of the other Saviors and get Sasha. Then they could go from outpost to outpost and end the war.
* Rick agrees to the plan and lets Dwight go.
* Cut back to Sasha in the casket remembering Abraham saying he has to go and she tells him she had a dream he died.
* Cut to Negan trying to convince Sasha to do his plan. They disagree over the detail that one person had to die. This is how Negan maintains control and fear over people. (Later on Sasha decides it would be herself.)
* Cut to Maggie and Jesus at the Hilltop. They mention Gregory has gone and so she decides she wants the Hilltop to help attack the Saviors.
* Carol leads the Kingdom guards with Ezekiel towards Alexandria and encounters shopping carts along the way where Richard had placed them earlier. It turns out Morgan set them up to stop walkers and Saviors, and they convince Morgan to join them in aiding Alexandria against the Saviors.
* Jadis and the Scavengers show up at Alexandria. She realizes Michonne is with Rick and asks her if she minds if she can have sex with him after she is done. Rick and Michonne awkwardly say they work to do and Jadis just shrugs to her second in command.
* Dwight is good on his word and Negan is delayed from arriving by having to get trees out of the road in front of him. This delay gives Eugene some ideas for a Plan B for Negan.
* Rosita sets up explosives with Aaron and Daryl. Michonne sets up sniper points and arms a scavenger next to her.
* Sasha is back in darkness with earbuds in the coffin listening to Donnie Hathaway. She mentions to Abraham he drowned and she started drowning trying to find him. She still tries to convince him to stay instead of go.
* We go backwards to Sasha with Eugene and he asked her if she changed her mind about suicide and being with Negan (she says no) and in defending himself ironically brings up that they all have choices in life. She agrees. (Eugene didn't stop her which means he has some type of fealty to Rick's group.)
* Rick and company get into position and he has Rosita within eyesight to signal to her to set off the explosives when they are ready.
* Eugene shows up in a flatbed truck with a megaphone. In a very wordy, awkward and hard to understand way, he tells Rick he has thought of every plan they may have and asks them to surrender. Rick asks for Negan and Eugene says he is Negan.
* Rick orders Rosita to detonate the bombs and she tries however they don't go off.
* The Scavengers turn in unison on Rick and Company and open the gates for Negan who comes out of a truck and gets up on a Flatbed truck.
* Jadis tells Rick that Tamiel had followed and met with the Saviors and made a better deal for them.
* Negan presents Sasha to Rick in a coffin wheeled out by Dwight and Simon from the back of a flatbed. He orders Rick to surrender all his weapons and anything he has cached or Sasha dies and then all of them. He asks her if she's ready.
* Sasha back in darkness with earbuds she relives telling Abraham that the dream felt real (of Abraham and her dying) and they lost it all before it just got started (pointing to them ironically pointing out their deaths coming in the near future.) Abraham convinces her that living is laying your ass out on the line for someone else. In their case, it was Maggie and her baby. They both leave together.
* We see Sasha get into the coffin; Eugene giving her earbuds and an iPod telling her she will be in there a couple of hours. She talks to Negan and he tells her that she doesn't have to take the trip in the coffin and she asks for a bottle of water and says she could rest in the coffin (you would think Negan would be smart enough to know no one would be able to survive in a coffin for two hours without air right?)They put a tarp around the coffin and take off. She then takes the poison Eugene gave her right after she puts on the iPod and dials in the song.
* Negan opens the coffin to be attacked by a Walker Sasha and falls off the flatbed causing a distraction and time for Carl, Daryl, Tara and Rosita to fire on the Scavengers and Saviors and take cover.
* Rosita gets shot. Rick gets shot by Jadis and pushed off the perch he was on. The Scavengers and Saviors manage to stop the gunfire by holding Rick hostage.
* Negan institutes Eugene's Plan B. He tells Carl to look up the street because he's going to kill him. They look up the street as there are screams and someone falls to their death in the distance. Negan tells Rick it looks like he lost someone important. Negan goes on to say he will kill Carl with one swing. Rick defiantly stares down Negan and says 'I told you already -- I'm gonna kill you. All of you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but nothing is gonna change that -- nothing. You're all already dead.'
* As Negan takes his swing, Shiva appears out of nowhere and takes out the man next to Negan and chaos breaks out as the people from the Kingdom open fire and the Hilltop people join in. The Scavengers signal each other and they retreat. Negan, Simon and Dwight manage to get into a truck and retreat with a defiant middle finger.
* Michonne ends up alive but badly beaten. Sasha and Rick were both shot but everyone we know managed to stay alive.
* At the Sanctuary, Negan questions why Sasha turned into a Walker and Eugene says the tarp caused the air in the coffin to seal and she ran out of air and suffocated which he thinks about and then turns to his flock and tells them they are going to war.
* We see a small montage of finding Sasha as a zombie and Maggie giving her mercy. Sasha and Maggie looking out over the land enjoying a sunset together at the Hilltop. Rick, Ezekiel and Maggie talking to their people. Sasha's funeral at Alexandria where Maggie eulogizes about how Glenn put his life on the line for Sasha and how Sasha sacrificed for all of them because they look out for each other, love each other and help each other because that's what life is all about.
* I loved all the scenes between Abraham and Sasha. I just wish they were *also* in last season so Abraham's death would have had more impact.
* I thought there were great messages in there about sacrificing yourself for the future of humanity; knowing no matter what you do you are putting yourself out there and you can go at anytime. All done for the love of each other and mankind.
* Sasha using herself as a Walker Weapon was pretty cool. It follows the logic of her conversation with Abraham of sacrificing themselves for the greater good. I wonder if Eugene caught onto any of this? Or did he just see her as making a choice to bow out of that world because she couldn't deal with it?
* The emotional exchanges between Abraham and Sasha were great. The dialog spotty. Small talk mixed with ironic moments like Sasha trying to get him not to go and foretelling both of their deaths in her dreams.
* There isn't a single walker in the entire episode except Sasha. Even after all the gun play with the Saviors and Scavengers there are no walkers. That makes no sense.
* A major war is kicked off with only one casualty out of the people we know? Sasha and that's it?
* They don't show the scavengers wiring the explosives with Rosita, Aaron and Daryl so how do they know where the explosives are and how to disarm them? If Eugene was the one who disarmed the explosives, how would he know where they were and since when did he know how to disarm bombs?
* How is Shiva able to know which of all of these people fighting she should be attacking? It's not like she was defending Ezekiel from being harmed and she stopped that attack. She went on the attack and somehow she knew which folks were the bad guys. That was kind of silly.
* Eugene's dialog at Alexandria is too obscure and hard to understand. I had to hear it a few times to understand he was telling Rick and company that he thought of everything they could do to defend themselves and they should surrender while they could. It lacks the suspense and emotional impact it should have had. It's devoid of any nuance showing Eugene may be playing both sides of the field. I suppose if he's just a straight up coward always favoring the one in charge then that's what it should be.
* How in the heck did that negotiation with the Saviors work? Jadis wanted weapons upfront before she committed to working with Rick and with the Saviors negotiation, they wanted 12 people if the Scavengers sided with the Saviors and let them in after the fact? Why wouldn't they want the people upfront? Since when do the Saviors negotiate with anyone? They normally take things and kill someone to get a group to comply and then order that group to do their bidding. That also doesn't make any sense.
* The show continues to use plot twists rather then character established behavior and interactions to make things interesting: The Scavengers turning on the Alexandrians, Walker Sasha disrupting a standoff; Shiva disrupting a standoff, etc... The best parts of this episode for me were the moments between Abraham and Sasha and Maggie's speech.
I need more of that and a story and I thought the buildup was the episode rather than the war itself.
This could be another Gimple thing with plot lines where 'All Out War' is its own thing so let's just get it started with this episode and let it unfold in Season 8. I am not sure if that's done more for sake of story or negotiating for a new season. Unclear...
Season 7 Comments:
I think the entire Season was a very slow buildup to this 5 minute battle at the end of Episode 16. It appears I sat through a lot of watery characterization; sketchy world expansion and little plot movement along the way during each episode. I think perhaps they ambitiously took on too many groups and characters to be able to define them all well in one season. That's got to be hard to do when you consider they have to consistently insert some sort of, action oriented threat of zombies in every episode. (To that point, Episode 16 had no zombies either because there was just too much they wanted to achieve with characterization and buildup; or they ran out of budget.) The Savior situation is just starting to be addressed by the Alexandrians. The only changes from last season are I know more about all the players in the picture; we have added some groups; including the Kingdom, Scavengers and Oceanside to the mix. There is also a touch of courage and defiance now added to everyone in taking on the Saviors. Other than that, that's it really...
**Characters we know with some expansion**:
Rick: The only changes are we saw solidification of his relationship with Michonne and just more confidence in his resolve to kill Negan. He wanted to kill Negan at the end of Season 6. I would say his ability to judge people has taken a dip considering what happened with the Scavengers. Rick usually is more shrewd with judging threats.
Negan: I have seen his softer side which adds to him being a grey character; when people have pushed back against him or his comments. I definitely think he has more sides to him then any villain we have met so far. However he's far from being a Benjamin Linus (Lost) villain as far as unpredictability, calculating ability and insidiousness of manipulation.
Maggie: Started developing as a leader in Season 6 under Deanna Monroe. Gregory's faulty leadership skills have definitely given her an opportunity to shine next season.
Sasha: They threw her life away with poor story directions. At least they gave her a few minutes of interaction with Abraham to show us how she felt about him; however it was not enough for me to care a lot about her or him.
Abraham: I do know his speech about 'Layin' your ass on the line for someone else, tearin' it to shreds for 'em -- You said it before. Oh, my, that is living.' would have made me feel more for him when he was killed in the Season opener. Sasha's sacrifice is the only thing that has me thinking about him in retrospect.
Eugene: I think probably has grown the most as a character as far as being a wildcard. Is he just following his cowardice and bowing to the people in charge at the time or is still on Rick's side?
Morgan: Faced a relapse to his 'Clear' days with the death of Benjamin and somehow miraculously snapped out of it when Ezekiel needed him to go after the Saviors for the All Out War attack. I was a bit disappointed they didn't spend more time on the coming around part to knock him back on track with fighting the Saviors.
Carol: Decided to be a hermit until she learned her friends were killed by the Saviors. Wasn't the whole point of why she wanted to be alone was she didn't want to hear about or be around when any of her friends were killed or die? I kind of feel like her story line meandered and I don't really feel her inner struggle if she had one, so I didn't feel like yeah! when I saw her come to Rick's rescue. Does she feel anything for Ezekiel? How about Daryl? I couldn't get a read on either of those guys as far as love interest for her.
Rosita: Decided to go rogue yet Sasha paid the price for her actions as well as Olivia. Ho hum...I couldn't understand why she was so up for killing Negan. I never really felt like I knew her feelings for Abraham to drive her vengeful bent.
Michonne: I think Is probably one of the most developed characters out of the bunch. If you compare her to herself in Season 3, she has come a long way. She has hope in her life where there was none. I felt the most for Michonne this season.
Jesus: I felt developed a bit more. I know he's gay and kind of an outsider although people look up to him for direction; even leaders to help lead. I don't know what he's passionate about, what motivates him. I do get the sense he does feel alone at times.
Dwight: Another wildcard that is looking like he will go Rick's way. I actually loved the dialog in the letter Sherry wrote to him describing how she made him who he was and I feel like he is making choices for himself (even though he is hollow inside.) I felt his hollowness due to the Saviors and how there is a weak fragment of humanity struggling to survive inside of him.
Sherry: I loved her speech. Wow! She has had some of the best dialog in the season I think. It shows depth of understanding and compassion for Dwight and her actions. I hope they do something with that. I would like to see more of her. She has the potential to shake things up.
Simon: He seems like he enjoys his life and knows his place and treats his job like a job. He could be a wildcard if he had the right set of opportunities; I suppose. I liked his dialog and I like the actor who plays him. I would like to know more about him to feel more for him.
Tara: I loved that she had to keep a promise and then she broke it. I would appreciate that more if I didn't have an issue with how Cyndie reacted to this. If there was more intimate relationship with Tara and Cyndie established as a dynamic to play against; then I can believe having Cyndie side with Tara against her grandmother was genuine; however there's nothing there so that just plays out for me as a weakly handled character interaction. I didn't like the way they handled how she dealt with her decision and the outcome. She didn't appear to have any guilt about leaving the Oceansiders with no weapons. (Especially after Cyndie saved her from being killed on the beach by Rachel; or spying on Oceanside from other members and from Zombies when Tara was going across the bridge.) I am confused about how to feel for her.
**Characters we know with no movement**:
Heath: Has been removed from the picture temporarily. If anything he will be used for world expansion to get us to another group of people.
Daryl: I think is still Daryl, except that maybe now he sees himself in Dwight, so he's willing to give Dwight a chance.
Father Gabriel: Seems to be the same, his actions with the Scavengers seemed justified in protecting his own people.
Carl: Did some gutsy things this season and it looks like he will end up with Enid. Why does he like Enid? Will he end up with her? It's unclear.
Enid: Not much from her this season. It's unclear if she ends up with Carl.
Aaron: Not much for him this season.
Eric: See Aaron. At least we know he agrees with Aaron about attacking the Saviors.
Gregory: I think got established more as a wildcard coward. There's no doubt he will be with the Saviors pledging the allegiance of the hilltop to Negan which will backfire in his face. This appears to be an unfortunate tropic story plot outcome.
Ezekiel: He appears to have a thing for Carol. Maybe he just sees her as his first in command, however I get the sense they will be together.
Jerry: Comic relief although I would love it if he were a total bad-ass with the double axe. It would certainly give him more depth.
Jadis: She speaks funny and I don't know why and I really don't care. She has a funny way of boiling down what she wants. I was confused about the consistency of negotiating with the Alexandrians and the Saviors. I don't see what was trust with her and Rick when I first met her and that hasn't changed. If she's a wildcard I would need her to show vulnerability or an offering of some kind to understand that, however I think she lacks nuance or the ability to communicate that.
Tamiel: Jadis' second in command who helped broker the deal with the Saviors and who convinced Father Gabriel to bring them supplies from Alexandria (she has snake skin boots).
Ben: I suppose he was just there to Duane for Morgan so we can see him lapse back to his 'Clear' days. There wasn't much there for me.
Henry: Ben's younger brother. Ezekiel is raising him.
Richard: I think didn't last long enough to appreciate what he could have brought which could have been more of Ezekiel and the Kingdom to us. Who is Ezekiel going to bounce his ideas and dialog off of or interact with so we get a better idea of what he thinks about and how he feels about things? (Especially in private.)
Natania: The leader of Oceanside.
Cyndie: Has the potential to be paired up with Tara. I see them ending up together. There is trust between them although there was broken trust. If there was a more intimate relationship with Tara and Cyndie established as a dynamic to play against; then I can believe having Cyndie side with Tara against her grandmother Natania was genuine; however there's nothing there, so that just plays out for me as a weakly handled character interaction.
Rachel: A little girl who can kill walkers and give Tara the finger.
Beatrice: A good fighter for Oceanside; very tough.
* Who's side is Eugene on? Was he responsible for disarming the explosives or the Scavengers?
* Does Rick and Company feel like they have someone on the inside with Eugene? I don't think so.
* Where are the heck are you Heath?? An update is long overdue. Who are the people you are with and can they join in the war? Do they even know who Negan and the Saviors are?
* What kind of circumstances would bring the Oceansiders into 'All Out War' if Alexandria needed them?