Hello everyone! We've finally reached the end of season 6. From the reaction I've seen so far, there are some justifiably angry fans for how things were left. I can totally understand that mindset and I might even be halfway inclined to join that group. But, it's hard to bash the show too much because it did deliver well on introducing a new pivotal character and tearing down the confidence of one character we've been following for 6 seasons. For that, I say WOW! We can talk through the pros and cons below of their finale approach. Overall though, I'd say season 6 was a huge success. Let's do this!
- So Carol had a breakdown of emotions on her spiritual journey. She explained why she left the group to Morgan. She didn't want to kill people anymore and when you care for other people you will be put in positions where you need to and will kill for them. She seemed very ready to die and was mad at her savior assailant who almost walked out on her before the job was finished. Morgan, on the other hand, has been avoiding killing people all season (and longer off camera). But, he refused to let Carol die in this episode. And for that, he couldn't keep his hands clean. He had to kill the savior and upset Carol in the process for keeping her alive. Carol has quite a few gunshot wounds in here and I guess there's no guaranteeing her survival. But, they did run into this new group of people who seem to genuinely want to help. And why wouldn't you trust people wearing football pads as armor? My guess is that this group will help in their transition to taking on Negan and crew.
- We did have a through line to the 2 stories tonight. The saviors took down a group that were making a last stand at a library. The man that was running and killed in this episode mentioned this. Negan's spokesman also talked about how they hung someone outside the library to make an example of them. It was clear that Morgan and Carol were in this town for the aftermath as Carol was patched up in the library and we saw the hanging man that Morgan finished off and cut down.
- The rest of the episode spent time breaking down Rick and crew as they tried several routes to get Maggie to Hilltop for medical attention. Rick got volunteers in Abraham, Sasha, Eugene, Aaron and Carl. This left Gabriel in charge of Alexandria with Spencer. Rick felt very confident in leaving Gabriel in this position (Gabriel mentioned Judith is the highest priority should an attack on Alexandria occur)
- The show spent time showing how great in numbers the saviors are. Each roadblock they stumbled upon was bigger than the last. And there was one roadblock where they had chopped down trees and layered large trunks on the road to stop them.
- Each step of the way showed Rick a little more desperate and not sure what to do. We saw his confidence waver when talking to Maggie about how "this isn't the end" but you could read it all over his face.
- We should note how Abraham has gone through a personal journey of his own this season of figuring out if life is worth really living to the fullest in this new world. He told Sasha that he is ready now to actually try and have a kid in this new world. I'm not sure if the events at the end of this episode would change that mindset (if he survived it of course)
- Eventually Eugene figures out that the saviors are playing a waiting game with the RV's gas situation and aren't tracking who is in it. So he volunteers to drive the thing while everyone else makes a run for hilltop through the woods (carrying Maggie on a stretcher). It was a big moment for Eugene as everyone finally deemed him worthy to be part of the group. He also gave Rick the ammunition recipe. (I should mention that Eugene and Abraham both were given some great one liners in this episode. Abraham's reactions to each roadblock, Eugene's confidence in his value to the group. I just didn't write them down verbatim!)
- Anyway, the calculated move was not a success and the whistles came in huge numbers. Negan's hype man returned complete with Eugene and the RV. They also opened another vehicle that had Glenn, Daryl, Michonne and Rosita in it. (By the way, the walker roadblock with Michonne's hair and Daryl's arrows? Crazy)
- All of Rick's crew, Maggie included, were brought to their knees for the introduction of Negan. Carl had just finished a big speech supporting his Dad about how they will always find a way and pretty much how they're going to take down Negan. Well, things aren't looking good right now, but I'm sure they'll bounce back eventually!
- But alas, the wait finally ended in one helluva character introduction. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) stepped out of the RV with his trusty barbed wired bat Lucille and started bluntly telling Rick and crew how the New World Order works. We should note that he was very kind in his words as well. He mixed in threats along the way, but he was very charming and reassuring about not wanting to kill everyone. He wants them to provide half of what they have. He wants them to kill and steal for that half if they need to. He will kill them if they don't comply. But, he also promised to beat the hell out of one person to pay them back for what has already transgressed. He made it clear he was not happy with Rick and crew killing a bunch of his people. And there has to be punishment for that.
- He paced around sizing up everyone. He figured out Carl was Rick's son. He figured out Glenn and Maggie were an item. He even forgave Glenn for jumping out of line in Maggie's defense. (1st one is free!) He made a comment about needing to shave Abraham's handlebar mustache. But, he had the most fun introducing Lucille to everyone and trying to decide who was going to meet Lucille first hand.
- In the end he ended up playing eenie meanie miney mo (I'm not even going to pretend I ever wrote that out to actually know how to spell it!). When he finally made his pick the camera turned to the perspective of the character that would be the victim. Negan shouted off some commands to his crew and then pretty much excluded 2 characters off the bat saying if anyone tries anything take the kid's other eye out and feed it to his father. Then the hits start coming and blood streaming down the camera. There is no way anyone was surviving the beating that came. But, we have no idea who it actually is either!
There are polls out there for people to pick who they thing it is. I immediately assumed it was Abraham because he is the one who made a decision to make a happy existence in the episode. Abraham and Glenn were leading the polls when I checked it. Do we think Negan would take out a female character? The least impactful to the crew/audience would probably be Sasha or Rosita. Obviously, we know Rick and Carl are exempt based on what Negan said. We talked all season about how we thought someone from season 1 might actually kick the bucket this year. If we go with that logic, then it should be Glenn. Daryl is already injured so I doubt it'll be him. Michonne would hit Rick hard if that were to happen. Maggie...killing a sick pregnant woman? Doubtful. Eugene? Maybe, but I don't think so. Glenn or Abraham might be the most logical of choices. We'll see!
I will say that Enid should be thankful Carl locked her away in the armory early in the episode! That was definitely the better place to be!
So, the episode was a little disappointing in what it chose/chose not to deliver. But, certainly a lot of stuff went down. Rick has to get himself up for this conflict with Negan and it's probably going to take some time to get his mojo back. You can bet we'll all be here ready to see what's next when season 7 rolls around. In the meantime, I'd love to hear what everyone else thought of this one! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you for season 7!