Fuck you, The Walking Dead. Fuck this show so much. I don’t care for your reasoning. I don’t care if this is meant to boost ratings. You need to stop pulling this shit where you hype up an episode for weeks beforehand and then pull out the rug from under us. Last season’s finale was disappointing, but this season’s final episode was downright infuriating. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a bigger middle finger to fans than “Last Day on Earth”. (spoilers ahead!)
A majority of this episode focuses on Rick’s group trying to get Maggie to Hilltop, where she can get proper medical attention for her pregnancy complications. Along the way, Rick’s group encounters several roadblocks set up by the Saviors. The only way for them to pass is to give up half their stuff and sacrifice one of their people. Rick’s group ain’t having it, so they backtrack and try other routes. Things get worse for them as Maggie gets sicker and sicker. For most of the episode, I was half-expecting them to kill off Maggie due to her complications. We all saw what happened last time someone was pregnant on this show. But alas, it looks like she’s sticking around, yet I’m doubtful her baby will survive.
The other half of the episode revolves around Morgan and Carol’s story. I was dreading this part of the episode since I hate what these characters have become. Fortunately, it looks like things may be changing once again, and we may be getting back to the likable Morgan and Carol! One of the Saviors that Carol attacked last week tracks her down and incapacitates her. As he’s about to execute her, a gun-toting Morgan shows up and warns him to walk away with his life. I thought this would be the big moment of the episode when Carol would die, mainly because I didn’t believe Morgan would actually kill anyone. Boy, was I wrong! Morgan shoots the Savior dead, saving Carol’s life. I still can’t forgive him for not killing that Wolf earlier on in the season, but since he saved one of my favorite characters, I’m giving him a pass for now.
Rick’s group is completely cut off from reaching Hilltop thanks to the Saviors’ roadblocks. They hatch a plan for Eugene to distract them with the RV while the rest of them take Maggie across the woods by foot. Unfortunately, they fall into a big trap. Rick’s group is surrounded and disarmed by an army of Saviors, and soon they are joined by a captive Daryl, Rosita, Eugene, Glenn, and Michonne.
This is where the episode picks up… with only 10 minutes left.
We finally get to meet the Saviors’ leader, the infamous Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Right off the bat (no pun intended), you know that Negan is going to be one of the greatest villains to appear on television. Some people may have been a bit bored with his little monologue, but I absolutely loved it. It shows how Negan isn’t this random thug who dives in and starts attacking people with reckless abandon. He likes to play with his food before he eats it.
My favorite part of his whole entrance is the moment we see true fear in Rick’s eyes, which is something we haven’t seen in years. No matter how bad things got, Rick has always had a clear head and a determined demeanor. He was fearless. However, when Negan finally makes his appearance, you can tell that Rick is crapping his pants. Meanwhile, Carl looks the villain right in the eyes without so much as blinking.
Negan tells Rick and co. how he’s willing to set up a partnership with the group. They have to give him half their stuff, and he’ll leave them alone for the most part. But since they killed so many of his men, he has to make an example. Therefore, he carefully picks out who to beat to death with his barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat, endearingly named Lucille. After several seconds of “Eeny Meeny Miny Mo”, he settles on a victim. The last shot of the episode is a first-person perspective of someone getting beaten to death by Lucille. Then cut to black.
Just like that. We don’t find out who was killed. Nothing. I expected the camera to pan over a bloodied corpse or something, but no. We’re just left with a black screen. That’s what pisses me off. They made it seem like this was going to be the episode that would leave people completely shocked. All it did was leave me completely pissed. We obviously knew someone was going to die, so there was no shock there. Now we have to wait six months just to see who died. It’s total bullshit. The Walking Dead obviously wanted to draw people back for more, and I understand that. But this is not how you do it. You don’t hype a finale up so much and pull this kind of shit. At least we know that next season’s premiere is going to have the highest ratings ever…
That final scene was enough to ruin the episode for me. I’m only giving the episode a better grade because JDM’s role as Negan was fantastic, though I wish he cursed more like he did in the comics. Come on, AMC – you can get away with showing kids getting eaten alive by zombies but you can’t slip in the F word at 10:30 at night on a Sunday? Grow a pair.
Final Grade: C
Final Season Grade: B –
+ Jeffrey Dean Morgan makes a terrific Negan; his role was arguably the best part of the whole episode.
+ Glad to see Morgan finally doing something right!
+ The last 10 minutes really kept me on the edge of my seat.
– Fuck that cliffhanger so much – it definitely killed the entire experience for me.
– Did the episode really need to be 90 minutes long?
– I wish Negan was around a bit longer.
– The big question: Who did Negan kill? According to Talking Dead, it was someone whose death will completely change the way the story plays out in future seasons. We can rule out Carl and Rick since Negan openly threatened them before the death. I’m guessing it’s Daryl or Glenn.
Were you as pissed about that finale as I am? Who do you think Negan killed? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!