THE WALKING DEAD Review: “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”


Sasha joins the ranks of THE WALKING DEAD and puts Negan on the menu for “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life.” Season seven closed in the best way. The Alexandrians fire up a war with the Saviors, which we knew was going to happen. Someone we all love dies tonight and we knew that would happen too. But the episode had plenty of surprises, fan moments, and master storytelling by the greatest television in the business.

Lets have a moment to celebrate the beauty of the season baddie, Negan, one name… like Cher. We’ve had other great baddies before, so what makes this guy so special? First, his organization is bad ass. Negan has a love hate relationship with power. He loves to wield it himself, but even he knows he can’t be everywhere at once. There are a few moments in tonight’s combat sequence where Negan sees Maggie and Daryl fighting against him. This is a man who isn’t used to a roll of surprises. He started the day thinking he knew everything that was going on. Negan’s (A) plan falls apart and he realizes he lost a precious resource, Sasha. Negan doesn’t know her like Rick and the others but he immediately understands her leadership potential. Negan knows he needs more people like her and less like Dwight.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Dwight remains an enigma. The episode starts with Dwight laying out his plan on how to take down Negan and, for the most part, he appears to have done everything he promised. Dwight makes a convincing case to want Negan dead, with his wife gone, there’s no reason to play nice with Negan’s oppression. But when the fighting starts and he gets his chance, Dwight doesn’t kill Negan. On the other hand, we don’t see him kill Alexandrians either.

Negan tells Sasha how he plans to use her against and the Alexandrians and she negotiates the number of people he plans to Lucille to death from three to one, just one has to die. Sasha has no plans of being used to weaken her friends. Negan transports Sasha to Alexandria in a coffin, alive, but as a dramatic representation. What he doesn’t know is that she still has the suicide pill Eugene gave her. He also gives her an iPod loaded with music to listen to on her way out. As she slips from this world to the tracks chosen by Eugene, she remembers and dreams about her last moments with Abraham Ford.

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick deploys the Scavengers all around Alexandria, Jadis stays by his side. In the most hilarious scene of the night, Jadis says she wants to sleep with Rick after the battle, right in front of Michonne. When Negan and his trucks arrive, he lets Eugene try and talk Rick into surrender. Rick refuses, and gives the signal to trigger hidden explosives, but nothing happens. Then, Jadis and the Scavengers turn their new guns on Rick. She was Negan’s insider. Jadis has a gun on Rick; Carl, Daryl, Michonne and everyone else are also covered.

Negan explains that Sasha already made a sweet deal on Rick’s behalf, he has to deliver one person to take her place in the coffin. Rick wants to see her first. When Negan opens the coffin door, walker-Sasha lunges at him. He struggles to keep her from biting him and Carl attacks during the distraction. Carl shoots the Saviors next to him, then everyone else joins the battle, except Rick. He tries to get Jadis to switch back to his side but she shoots him and takes him hostage. There’s a brief armed melee and some on both sides are killed. Michonne gets in a nasty fight with the scavenger sharing her sniper position, she takes a brutal beating and at one point, Rick thinks he hears her die.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Negan’s men capture Carl and Rick. Negan puts them on their knees and monologues about the world of pain Rick unleashed, promises to Lucille Carl, and cut Rick’s hands off. Rick stays strong and tough-talks Negan. Right as Negan pulls Lucille back to swing at Carl, Shiva jumps into action. Ezekiel arrives with his people, guns blazing. Carol and Morgan are with him too. At the same time, Maggie, Jesus, Enid and a group of fresh recruits from Hilltop arrive and turn the battle on the Saviors. Gregory is away the entire episode, a little mystery for season eight.

Jadis gives her people the signal to retreat and pops several smoke grenades to cover their escape. Shiva rips up a few Saviors but Negan, Eugene, Simon and Dwight make it back to sanctuary safely where Negan has his (B) plan, an army of men, standing by ready to attack, but where? Will Negan take his main force back to Alexandria where the coalition is strongest or attack Hilltop or The Kingdom which are virtually unprotected? There is also a chance he could forge an alliance with Oceanside. The Walking Dead promised to spin up a whole new world in season seven and they delivered. We lost many favorites, Glenn, Ford and Sasha to name some and where is Heath? The Walking Dead is stronger than ever and shows no sign of slowing down.

Season 7, Episode 16 (S07E16)
The Walking Dead  airs Sundays at 9PM on AMC

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Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
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