SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS
Includes spoilers for season 6 (and previous seasons) of The Walking Dead and speculation on character deaths as well as plot points for Season 7. Read at your own risk.
With tonight’s premiere of The Walking Dead’s companion show, Fear the Walking Dead’s second season, I thought I would give you my take on TWD’s sixth season finale before we sat down to enjoy the beginning of the apocalypse, this version on the opposite coast.
When Last Day on Earth [6.16] began, we’re worried for Maggie and her baby, but not much more than that. We know that Dwight has Daryl, Rosita, Glenn, and Michonne, Daryl’s been shot, Carol is still gone, and Morgan is out looking for her, and Father Gabriel and Spenser are left in charge of Alexandria. Okay, maybe there is more to worry about than just Maggie and her baby.
Father Gabriel has become RoboCop which would have been much more believable if given a little more observed character development. I’m all for him (and Eugene) stepping up, but I think we needed to see a bit more of it happening. Maybe a flashback or two to show their inner thoughts on moving into a new place in their lives and world.
Enid locked in the closet; I think she’s resourceful enough to get out once she calms down and doesn’t want to kill Carl in his sleep. I have confidence in her. I also do NOT believe she’s a spy or Negan’s daughter (which was floated as some fan theories).
Who’s Negan? (read it in Abraham’s voice) C’mon, anyone reading this knows who Negan is. If you are really in the dark, Google Negan TWD and it should be made clear.
Rick and Co. head out in the RV. Everyone and his brother are in that RV and they are high on confidence, as is the audience. We know from the trailer that they meet up with a group of Saviors blocking the road. We know Rick can talk his way through, but then…
Who didn’t think that the rocket launcher should have been brought out in that first encounter? Ended this stupid nonsense right then and there?
Rick takes the high road. Alright, we’ll go. Live to fight another day. Maggie is the priority. Just like Judith got them through in previous seasons, Baby Rhee is the symbol of a new world, a better world, a future that they weren’t always sure they were going to get.
They map out an alternate route, and are stopped again; this time by an even bigger group. Nothing a rocket launcher couldn’t take out, but for some reason they’ve left that at home with Father Gabriel and Spenser.
It wasn’t lost on me that Maggie’s only salvation was in getting to Jesus’s group where there’s a doctor. Why don’t they have a doctor at Alexandria? Oh, yeah, that’s right, she went off on her own redemption, stepping up arc and got shot with Daryl’s bow by Dwight a couple of episodes earlier.
Shit! It’s all connected, isn’t it? I know I sound a bit facetious here, so I should say that I really did love this episode. My flippancy is expressed with love. My complaints aren’t really complaints. To be honest, they’re somewhat defensive. I can’t believe that I didn’t see it coming, the shit that’s coming; the shit that’s hitting the fan that’s coming. For the entire episode, until the headlights come on in the woods, I was there. I was ready for Rick to pull victory out of his ass like he always does. The whistling in the woods; the interrogation room lights…. I heard whistling yesterday while I was running errands, and it ran a cold shiver down my spine. Thanks TWD, another phobia I won’t be able to explain rationally.
Rick (and the audience) is the proverbial deer in the headlights. The look on his face tells us all we need to know. He knows. He knows that the whole day’s been a cat and mouse game with Maggie as the desperate bait. We, the audience, also know now. There will be no getting to the HIlltop. Rick’s face falls, and ours fall along with him.
I thought that Rick’s group would get to the Hilltop and Negan would have to choose between Glenn, Daryl, Rosita, and Michonne. I thought Rosita and Michonne were safe because of some comic spoilers that told me that Negan doesn’t kill women. Glenn or Daryl? I was ready to hold my breath for either one of them. But it’s all of them. The only ones who are safe from Negan’s bat are Carol and Morgan (for the moment). Ironically, I thought they were both candidates for death.
Rick’s face, the lineup, letting the four prisoners out of the van – that was my emotional impact. That was when my face fell; when I felt well and truly broken. I’m a writer and I wasn’t sure how I’d write them out of this one. I was scared; terrified.
For me, the scariest part wasn’t someone getting killed. We knew someone was going to die. The scariest moment wasn’t not knowing who got Lucille’d. We knew they weren’t going to tell us who died until next season. They (TPTB) told us that all along.
The scariest moment for me was Rick. Until he’s on his knees and Negan steps out of Alexandria’s RV, he has hope. He sees a way out. He’s falling fast, but he sees a way out, and then when Negan steps out, that smile on his face, it all falls apart. He knows it’s over; he’s broken. We haven’t seen this look on his face since the Governor rolled up with the tank, and even that wasn’t so bad in retrospect. They came back from that. They were ambushed by Joe’s Gang – the Claimed Gang, and they were scary, but they overcame them. Rick will do whatever it takes to protect his son. After that, they came back from Terminus. They’ll come back from this, he thought, but now he doesn’t know that anymore.
He’s still reeling from Maggie’s cramps. He’s still reeling from Michonne’s dreads on the walkers head. He’s just realized that he’s brought his son with him. He would not have brought him if he thought that this was going to be a trap. Why didn’t he leave Carl at home?
He looks as though he might even pass out. It’s almost too much for him, but these are his people. More than that, these people are his family. Behind his desperate eyes and slack-jawed look, he’s still trying to figure out a way to make peace. Draw up boundaries and go home.
He doesn’t know Negan. Those of us who don’t read the comic books don’t know the kind of man Negan is, but we’re about to find out.
Rick is going to blame himself for whoever’s death is to come. Daryl’s going to blame himself for his underestimation of the Saviors, and Dwight in particular. Daryl’s going to disappear for awhile like he did at Hershel’s farm when he went off on his own and set up his own camp, away from the others. I don’t know if he’ll leave Alexandria proper or just isolate himself in his house, but he’s going to get away from people.
Rick might do the same. He’ll stay insulated with Michonne, Carl and Judith.
They’ll need to have a resident meeting at the church. I think we’ll see Tobin helping out with the organization that Maggie was taking on before her medical issue. We’ll see how that goes. I do think he’s in a better place than he was when he gave his leadership role to Abraham.
Carol and Morgan will find The Kingdom (which I know nothing about except for its name – I don’t read the comics.) I imagine they’ll nurse Carol back to health, and maybe she’ll want to stay there since for Alexandria has all the people she can’t fight for.
Who’s the person killed at the end of the episode? Personally, I have three choices in my mind: Glenn, Abraham, and Eugene. Going by spoilers from the comics, it’s a good chance it will be Glenn. His death propels a lot of story forward. Abraham was the most defiant to Negan, and he might see him as a challenger. He’s also the most physically imposing. Eugene’s said his goodbyes to Abraham and Rick. He was ready to sacrifice himself to get Maggie to the Hilltop Doctor, so he may end up being dead since he was prepared. I do think his sacrificial nature came about too quickly. I would have liked some plotlines to show his train of thought.
To get ahead of The Saviors, Rick’s group is going to have to work for them for a time. They really don’t have that much to offer. They haven’t started growing crops, they don’t have anything to spare or anything of value except maybe manpower.
I don’t know if they get rid of Negan eventually and this is a cut off the head and the rest goes away. Those Saviors are quite used to their lifestyle. Can they co-exist with the Alexandrians, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom? Would our people let them join the community? Would you want to live with them within the walls, as next-door neighbors? They seem like more civilized Wolves.
In a few days, I’ll have another related post with links to other fan theories and my reasons for why I think a character is on the chopping block or if I think they’ll be saved in the 7th season.
What are your theories for the next path of our Walking Dead heroes?