(The following recap is guest written by Brad Morris for Funkhouser)
Well… this is the post I’ve been dreading all season. The post to end season 7 of The Walking Dead. I’ve now rewatched it twice for you dear reader, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I also went to the source code, reading the comic issues that most reflected the events that took place on “The First Day of the Rest Of Your Life”. This post will be a hodgepodge of thoughts, so bear with me. Lots of moments and characters to get through. That happens with a 90 season finale. First let’s touch on the characters and groups.
And Abraham!!! I know Josh and I have been down on Sasha this season, mainly due to her storyline repeatedly going through the same motions, but I think some of that was redeemed last night. Love Bob? He dies and you get suicidal. Love your brother Tyreese? He dies and you get suicidal. Love Abraham? I think I see a pattern here. The writers did have to be delicate in their delivery because there are viewers who do enjoy her character. So how best to execute it? Although he was trying not to put his new boss Negan in harms way, Eugene did just that by giving Sasha a suicide pill. She had begged for a weapon to use against Negan, and become a weapon herself she did. Taking the pill and killing herself while trapped in a coffin made her the distraction that saved, for the moment, Rick and the gang.
The flashback scenes with Abraham, harking back to the day they all left for the Hilltop for Maggie, was sweet and made me miss Abraham as a character. And that’s something TWD has done well over the seasons. Take a character already gone and bring them back to help usher off another that they had been close with. That being said, I’m glad this story arc with Sasha is over and done with. Good luck to Sonequa Martin-Green, as she travels to the new edition of Star Trek on CBS.
I said last week that the final scene needed to play out before I commented on it, and I’m glad I did. Dwight is extremely pivotal to Rick’s group going forward and that first meet up was well done. Dwight has nothing left except revenge against Negan. He’s lost Sherry, he’s lost his pretty face, and he’s lost pride. Going to Alexandria was a huge risk on his part, but the rewards I feel will come much further down the road. His first bit of info was left in the form of a little action figure found by Daryl at the end of the episode that simply said “didn’t know”. He had to be referring to the Scavenger group being a part of Negan’s plans. Obviously if he had known that it would’ve been the first thing he told Rick. His story arc in the comics was a joy to read, and we’re off to a great start with Dwight undermining the Saviors.
The Battle For Alexandria
This was what the entire second half of the season had been building up to. The pulse of a true battle ebbs and flows, like the tide. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re on your knees again. Although Rick thought they had prepared well for this, the Scavenger’s double cross threw a big ole wrench into the best laid plans. The saddest point in the battle of Alexandria wasn’t Rick and Carl on their knees. It wasn’t Walker Sasha being revealed. No the saddest moment was when Rick looked at Eugene and decided he could no longer be counted on. Looking at Rosita and telling her to blow the explosives was Rick showing he was willing to end Eugene’s life for the greater good. Of course this didn’t happen.
Negan gave a great speech as always, and even told Rick this was going to hurt. Walker Sasha gave the gang time to act. Carl didn’t hesitate, taking out 3 or 4 Scavengers like they were target practice. The fight Michonne had on the rooftop was brutal to watch. Walker Sasha didn’t get Negan, but she did munch on a couple of Saviors. How important was she? The Talking Dead pointed out that this was only the second episode in the series to have only 1 walker, the other being Season 2 when Dale was killed by 1.
When Rick and Carl are on their knees (again), Rick doesn’t back down from Negan this time. He doubles down on his promise to kill him showing no fear. And then the highlight of the season. As Carl is about to be batting practice, Shiva saves the day! Was it telegraphed and obvious? Yeah. Was it fracking cool? Hells yes! The Hilltop and the Kingdom save Alexandria in an epic gun battle. Morgan and Carol have returned to fighting form. Maggie leads the Hilltop with Jesus’s blessing. Seeing Shiva in action was spine tingling. Great CGI this time makes up for the deer a few episodes ago.
Seeing King Ezekiel lead his people into battle was very Braveheart. I’d also like to thank Greg Nicotero for a nod to “Escape From New York”. After Shiva’s arrival, Negan picks up a gun that looks just like Snake Pliskin’s. And I’d like to ask what kind of Call of Duty gun was Daryl using near the end? I could go on and on and on about what happened in this battle, but what’s the point? You watched it!!!
I 100% predicted Negan’s last words for the season, “We’re going to war.” Negan flipping everyone off as he left in a truck was priceless. But now we’ve fully set up what next season is going to be about. None of this whining about getting stuff for Negan, its time to take him out. My prediction is next seasons promotional theme will be “All Out War”. Now will it fully follow the comic? Of course not. Eugene being a Savior now is something I didn’t see coming. But the seeds have been planted for a great season. Scott M Gimple, the main show running, said that the first 4 episodes of next season are 🦇 💩 crazy. Does this mean next season will be the last? I’m not sure. Josh and I will have a huge podcast to talk about that very thing later this week.
I’d also like to point out a couple of highlights from the Robert Kirkman Q and A that took place last week at EKU. I was able to ask a couple of questions and I’ll have the extended answers on the Deadcast. But something of note that I think you, the viewer, would be interested in is his answers about Negan. He didn’t flat out say it, but heavily hinted that 1 episode next season would deal solely with Negan’s backstory. That is something that was only recently dealt with in a short comic series, and if they stick to its script, Jeffery Dean Morgan will eat that up. Another funny answer he gave was who he sees playing every character he writes about, and that is Ed O’Neil. Someone asked who he sees playing Mark from Invincible in a movie, and his answer was Ed O’Neil. He doesn’t like to say who he sees as a particular character, because if that person doesn’t get the role they might be pissed, and the fans might not like who they do cast. Great answer.
Whew! That was a ton of stuff to get through. I can’t wait to tape the Deadcast with Josh this week. So many topics to go over and chew on. I am sad that this is my last post for the season. For those of you that have followed along, I thank you. For those of you that have just come on board, I thank you. My first endeavor into writing has been a joy to do and I can’t wait to continue on this summer with other pop culture articles. 1 thing I will tell you I’m doing, just for you fans, is I’m attending Walker Stalker, a TWD convention in Nashville this June. It should lead to several interviews and podcasts that can get us through to next 6 months until TWD returns. Once again, thanks for reading, and until we meet again, ta ta.