That’s it, folks. Seven seasons in the bag. 99 episodes of zombie mayhem. This season began with a huge emotional impact, and then sort of meandered its way to the finale, feeding us a few extra-long episodes along the way. In many ways, season seven was all about setting the stage for what comes next. Now that war is coming to The Walking Dead, there are definitely indications that the eighth season will be bigger, louder, and messier than seasons past.
As for the finale itself, we got taken on a bit of an emotional journey over the course of it. That journey? We got to follow along with Sasha’s personal voyage, including flashbacks to her conversation with Abraham before the fateful trip to bring Maggie to the Hilltop doctor. It was nice to give Sasha such a high-impact send-off, but the way that the narrative cut back and forth between Sasha’s quieter moments and the action at Alexandria definitely slowed the story down. Also, let’s be honest. Sasha, while taking a bigger role over this season, was still truly a second-rank character. Crafting The First Day of the Rest of Your Life in such a way means that we’re bound to have a full season long goodbye should we ever see Rick, Daryl, Michonne, or a few of the others put on the chopping block. Or was this an attempt to make up for what they did to Glenn?
Please don’t be mistaken. Sasha’s final story was a great one. The episode being cut the way it did made the pacing weird, but man, is there another character who would have gone to the lengths that Sasha did, just to try and get that last shot at Negan? It may not have worked out the way she planned, but you can’t say that she didn’t eventually go out on her own terms.
“I lay with him after”. Listen, Jadis, even if it wasn’t for the fact that you were totally planning on switching sides, and helping the Saviors, that just isn’t something you say to Michonne about Rick. In fact, you don’t say that about anyone, ever. Even if they’re into it. Because it’s weird, and unsettling. Maybe you should have just said that to Farron in private, or at least sotto voce, so we could pretend Rick and Michonne were freaked out over nothing.
4. The Saviors
Guys, there’s a tiger loose on the battlefield. Sure, you didn’t know that Shiva was there before she jumped in to save Carl, but you’d think that, once you know about the fierce animal, you’d spend at least part of your focus keeping an idea of where she’d gone off to. But alas, Shiva got to make a couple of the antagonists into a quick lunch. It does go to show that Ezekiel makes some pretty good friends.
I get it. You’ve basically watched as the entire creed you’ve been living by has been trashed, all because of some bad choices by others in The Kingdom. You’re angry, and you’ve turned your staff into a spear. But none of that means that you should throw everything away in a suicide mission (especially since other characters followed that same route, and did it better). Setting an ambush is a smart idea, but you know that The Kingdom has some capable fighters, and they just got tougher with Carol returning to the fold. Be a little more tactical next time, because not only did you almost get yourself killed, and The Kingdom directly attacked, but you ensured that your companions had to waste extra time, almost making them too late to make the Alexandria rescue.
You’ve got Dwight at knife-point. Nobody trusts him. Tara, one of the more level-headed of your group (generally speaking) wants you to finish him off. Even Rick and Michonne seem content to sit back and let you do the dirty work. And then Dwight spins a little story about how much he wants to see Negan eliminated, which saves him? Um, okay. Look, Daryl, you have absolutely no reason to trust him, and you’ve seen with your own eyes how willing Dwight is to say and do whatever to save his own skin. Maybe this isn’t the best time to put your faith in what he’s saying.
Speaking of putting your faith in the wrong people, Rick is so convinced that he proved to Jadis and the rest of her people the value of his plan, that he trusts them completely. He even makes sure that his people and her people basically work in tandem. Rick is on the battlements with Jadis, and Michonne is on a rooftop with Farron. Not even the comment of “I lay with him after” gave you any sort of pause. If it hadn’t been for walkerSasha kicking everything into a chaotic gear, the saga of Rick would have been over. I mean, they forced you to fight an armored, bladed walker just for the chance to bring them guns. Why would you trust them so much? I get that you needed numbers, but that doesn’t mean you should be so willing to hinge your entire plan on a group of people that you barely know, and have already had to struggle against just to be heard.
That does it for this season. Fear the Walking Dead is just around the corner, so we’ll get to be reminded about characters that we actively root against the entire time. It’ll give us something else to do until October, when the big show returns for to break the century mark, with episode 100. See you around.