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The Walking Dead – The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

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By: Jennifer Vintzileos 

 

This was a finale worthy of its season, bringing us full circle from the brutal beginning of Season Seven. With Rick (Andrew Lincoln) ready to head into a full-out war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors with his own army, the possibilities are endless! And since Eugene (Josh McDermitt) jumped ship from being an honorable man to pledging his allegiance to Negan, what does it all mean for the future? 

 

Our first glimpse is at Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), who seems to be in a dark room of sorts with headphones on. There is the sound of a moving vehicle, but Sasha is focused on the music playing. She appears to be sweaty and suffering in some way. While listening to the music Sasha goes into a daydream of being woken up by Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) back in their home in Alexandria. Abraham has come to tell her that Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is having complications and needs to be taken to the Hilltop community for care. Sasha is back to earlier in the day before they met Negan. Flash to another moment where Sasha now wakes up in her cell at the Sanctuary. Negan greets her with breakfast and assures her that in working with the Saviors she will not die.  

 

In Alexandria Rick has put Dwight (Austin Amelio) on his knees and demands answers to his defection from Negan’s group. Despite Dwight’s pleas that he wants Negan dead, Tara (Alanna Masterson) is still sore over the death of Denise (Merritt Wever). When Daryl (Norman Reedus) finally gets the upper hand on Dwight and goes in for the kill, Tara encourages him yet Dwight finally explains how Sherry (Christine Evangelista) was the only reason he had become a Savior. Since she helped Daryl escape while she fled the Sanctuary, there was nothing left there for him. It is Daryl’s reluctance to kill him that makes Rosita (Christian Serratos) trust Dwight and inform the group that Sasha is at the Sanctuary.  

 

As Dwight is apprehensively viewed as their ally he informs the group that Negan knows what they are planning and in order to help them he will create a diversion. From there Dwight then explains to Rick how he can overthrow Negan and take out all the outposts. Intrigued by this information Rick encourages Dwight to keep talking, despite his reservations. With a plan in place the group lets Dwight go, but Daryl promises to kill him – whether he helps them or betrays them.  

 

Back in Sasha’s daydream she explains to Abraham how she dreamt of his death, a potential foreshadowing of the events to come that day. But back in the cell, Negan has explained his grand plan to Sasha: she will appear with the Saviors and Lucille will claim three lives. Sasha pleads with Negan not to take three lives and despite her moment of weakness in tears the agreement comes to be for only one life.  

 

While Alexandria makes their preparations to go to war we also catch a glimpse of the Hilltop and Kingdom preparing for battle. Maggie explains Rick’s plans to Jesus (Tom Payne) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon). With Gregory (Xander Berkeley) now gone Maggie has assumed the leadership role at Hilltop and grapples with the thought of whether or not they should fight alongside Rick. We hear a baby in the background and realize that Judith (Chloe & Sophia Garcia-Frizzi) is being kept at Hilltop for safety.  

 

Meanwhile at the Kingdom we find that Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is finally ready to fight. With troops assembled, including Carol (Melissa McBride) in the mix, the troops start their journey to Alexandria but are stopped by a blockade of shopping carts. Morgan (Lennie James) emerges and seems much more feral and back to his former self. Benjamin’s (Logan Miller) death has greatly affected Morgan, prompting Ezekiel to step in and plead with Morgan to honor Benjamin by fighting with them and making the men responsible pay for their mistakes. A growl is heard in the distance and it is obvious that Shiva is accompanying the group to the fight.  

 

In Alexandria Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and the Scavengers have arrived to aid Rick in the fight, but not without propositioning for some alone time with Rick in front of Michonne (Danai Gurira) first. They get back to their preparations as Daryl, Rosita and Aaron (Ross Marquand) rig a truck outside of the walls with explosives while Michonne leads one of the scavengers up onto the roof so they had a higher vantage point. Before heading to her post the scavenger turns to Michonne and tells her “we win.” During this time the Saviors have come to trees down in the road, a diversion that was most likely created by Dwight. Unfortunately, with Eugene on the side of the Saviors they are able to get through with ease.  

 

Back in Sasha’s daydream Abraham has assured her that they need to help Maggie despite the bad dream. In real-time; however, Eugene has announced the arrival of the Saviors to Rick. The Scavengers lay low while Alexandrians stand tall with guns at the ready. Eugene requests Rick’s surrender, but he will have none of that and demands to see Negan. As Eugene proclaims “I am Negan” for his group to witness Rosita receives the signal to trigger the explosives, but they don’t go off.  

 

Instead, the Scavengers turn their guns on Rick and his group while Negan emerges from the truck. The little birdie that informed Negan was Jadis all along, all because he had given her a better offer. Michonne witnesses this betrayal and is now dealing with her own fight with the scavenger assigned to help her. With Rick held at gunpoint by Jadis, Negan signals Dwight and Simon (Steven Ogg) to uncover an object on the back of a truck revealing a casket. Negan alludes to Sasha being in that casket, telling Rick to give him all his weapons and anything else he deems fit. But instead Rick wants to see Sasha first and Negan is all too happy to comply with the request. 

 

Once more we are taken to Sasha’s daydream where she is with Abraham. He reminds her that they need to help Maggie as she is carrying the future. Together they head out of the house to join Rick and the group on what we now know was Abraham’s last mission. Flash to the Sanctuary where Eugene is glad that Sasha is joining him despite his betrayal. Sasha still believes the best in Eugene and he gives her an iPod to get through the journey. Negan reveals that Sasha will be riding in the casket and when the time is right she will emerge. As the casket closes Sasha picks out the song “Someday We’ll All Be Free” by Donny Hathaway and when the Saviors start their journey on the road, she produces the pill that Eugene had given her last episode and swallows it. Fast forward to present as Negan opens the casket where we see that Sasha emerges as a walker and tackles Negan to the ground. 

 

Utilizing the opportunity, Carl (Chandler Riggs) turns his gun onto the Scavengers holding him hostage and opens fire. The other Alexandrians do the same and begin the war. Rick continues to be held hostage by Jadis who shoots him in the side and kicks him over the side of the guard post. Negan tries to pry Sasha off of him, but it is one of his men who becomes the victim of her bite. Michonne continues to fight off the wayward Scavenger while Rick is now led to his fate: a date with Negan and Lucille as Carl is put on his knees. 

 

Negan addresses Rick since he has proven to be defiant every step of the way. However, instead of being fearful as he was at the beginning of the season, confident Rick has re-emerged and promises Negan that he’s already dead. But it is not Rick who will receive the wrath of Lucille, Carl will. As Lucille is raised to deliver the devastating blow we see a figure jump into the fray. Shiva has come to save the day and the Kingdom has arrived! While the members of the Kingdom aid the Alexandrians in taking back the upper hand, the Hilltop community members also appear to join the fight. Morgan has also appeared and finally finds the fight within him to kill the enemy rather than let them go.  

 

Seeing that the Saviors are losing the high ground, Jadis gives the signal and the Scavengers flee the scene. Negan is also chased out and flees in his truck while being shot at. Once Daryl ascends to the guard post and sees they are all gone, the three communities come together to tend to battle wounds. Rick and Carl go in search of Michonne, who they know was in trouble. Fortunately, they find that she was able to overtake her opponent and throw him over the ledge, but she is badly hurt.  

 

Back at the Sanctuary Negan is ready to address his men to prepare for war, but asks Eugene how Sasha could have died. For a brief moment Eugene finally begins to look like the nervous coward he once was, making up a lie about lack of oxygen in the casket. Negan is reluctant to believe him, but is ready to gather his troops and reclaim power. In that moment we get a glimpse of the army that Negan truly has within those walls.  

 

As the Alexandrians, Kingdom and Hilltop come together within the walls of Alexandria we see them become a community of their own. Maggie gives a voiceover as she talks to Rick about Glenn (Steven Yeun) and how his choice to save Rick started them down this path: to be a family. In her talk about family, Maggie and Jesus come across walker Sasha in the woods and effectively end her suffering. Within the walls Rosita and Michonne are seen resting in the infirmary from their wounds. Carol and Morgan sit on the steps of one of the homes bonding. Daryl finds a soldier statue left at the gate with the words “Didn’t Know” written on it, a potential message from Dwight.  

 

The groups are uniting as one to finally end Negan’s reign. Maggie ends her speech by again reminding us that Glenn was the one that proved you live and die for the ones you love. Maggie merely followed his way. The final scene is of her, Rick and Ezekiel addressing their groups – the pocket watch that her father Hershel (Scott Wilson) gave to Glenn in her hands.    

 

What a way to end Season Seven! With Negan running back to his compound to prepare for war it’s only going to get more intense. Join me in October when The Walking Dead starts back up with their 8th Season and their 100th episode! 

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