Monday, April 4, 2016

The Walking Dead: Season 6 Episode 16 - Last Day on Earth

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!

Discussion Points

So what happened?  One approach to this argument would be to say that after 90 minutes absolutely NOTHING happened!  Okay, we could say that.  Or you could say what you really mean.  No one DIED, then again this also is not true.  Someone did most certainly die.  (besides the Library dude that they hung as an example to Rick and crew)   This episode focused more on character development and destruction than it did on delivering on the big question usually on everyone's mind every season.  Of course, that question is the big question that will fuel the off-season should anyone care to keep asking it.   It's a long wait until October to get the answer.  And will anyone care then?  I really don't know!  

  • 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!  
In this final moments, I had a really strong feeling it was going to end this way.  Everyone loves a good cliffhanger.  I didn't watch Talking Dead but I read some excerpts of it.  Scott Gimple said he was a fan of LOST's season 1 finale with the Hatch.  He pretty much said if you leave with a cliffhanger like this you most certainly have to deliver in the premiere (which LOST certainly did).   He mentioned that this is the end of a story (i.e. the season 1-6 story).  The Negan era is the start of a brand new story.  Rick's confidence was at an all time high and couldn't have been lower at the end of the episode.  Negan is a worthy adversary to Rick and could be something that extends into multiple seasons.   Robert Kirkman mentioned something about "many seasons to come".   That's crazy to think considering we're going into season 7 and they're using the term "MANY".  I'm fine with it, but I do wonder if we'll even care who it is that they killed by the time the show premiers in October.   I mean sure, we'll care.  But would it have been more impactful just showing who Negan whacked and then cut to black?   Does this screw up the actors who may not know who was killed off?  Maybe that person wants to look into some other options for making a living?  It seems like they already know who it is based on interviews so it wasn't a cheap way of postponing that death.

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!   


MJ said...

Will any one care in October ? Of course we will ! And of course they ALL had to go. They never will learn there lesson I guess.

I'm not that happy with the cliff hanger ! NOT AT ALL. And the lame excuse on Talking Dead - this was the end of the story. Next season starts the new story - that's a bunch of crap. They should have shown whom it was. Figured it was Eugene when he went on his own. I think the walker road block also was wearing Daryl's vest.

Clearly not Rick. Not Carl as he said if any of them move take his other eye. I think Maggie. He thought she was weak so wouldn't want her to work for him in future and also he knows already how hard Glenn will take it.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan was excellent in his part - he was very menacing. Knew he'd be good at it LOL. And Saviors being at every road that would take them to Hilltop was also pretty frightening. Liked Rick - when they had only run into the first group - saying I won't kill 'more' of you. And then Negen references that with his line of you kill my people, I send some out and then you kill them too.

As stated on Talking Dead it was all about them losing all control of their situation. Great irony that Carol's speech is that if you care about others you will have to kill to protect them and that is what Morgan does. And then she leaves again!

That new group - he one guy had a spear. Was it hilltop or Saviors that were using the spears ?

Haven't seen any interviews but from the Lauren call on Talking Dead it seemed like they don't know who it was.

Mike V. said...

Yeah I know we'll care! lol But I do wonder if it would've been more impactful to know who it was now. Totally agree on them all going. I just had my arms up in the air when they all hopped in the RV and left. Granted...I just assumed Alexandria would be invaded but it doesn't seem like that's the direction we're heading with this.

Walker roadblock - you're probably right!

I would say you're right with Maggie but he already said "why don't we put you out of your misery?" So, that kinda almost cancels her out because we're already considering her. But, it could be a "they don't know we know they know we know" type situation and it really could be her. lol

I didn't think Negan was referring to Rick's quote to the other guy. I think he was referring to all of the people Rick and crew already killed. So they killed the people in their sleep, but then some grabbed Maggie and Carol....and Maggie and Carol killed all of them that were sent to help. And then I think they took more out when they killed Denise. And of course Carol killed some more with her arm gun business.

But yeah...just talking through that...I could see him killing Maggie for revenge of killing his people...if he knew it was Maggie that did it.

Yep...Morgan definitely did what Carol said he'd have to do.

I don't remember who was using spears. Are you thinking this might not be a new group and could be more saviors?

Maybe the whole cast are all saying they don't know who it is but the person who it is actually knows who it is. lol

Mike V. said...

Q&a with gimple

Jason B. said...

I was pretty mad when the episode ended. I just kinda stared at the screen for awhile and then didn't even really watch Talking Dead. I figured that I'd give it a few days and watch the finale again and then Talking Dead. People have been worried that it would end like this for a few months, but I always blew it off and said no way haha. Welp.

I'm not even mad about the 7 month wait, because I know that it's going to be resolved. My problem is how the heck they're going to put us back into that scene and those emotions before they show who it is that was killed. I also feel like it went down a little too fast. I think Negan should've brought the person up to the center and that we obviously should've heard screams when the person was picked (though I understand that those screams would be spoilery haha). So I hope that they do what LOST did with some cliffhangers and totally change the scene that led up to the cliffhanger.

If they can pull of the season 7 premiere in the way that they need to, then great. But we have to wait to see that. Also, how the heck are they gonna keep filming spoilers under wraps? When Tyreese died in season 5 it was very obvious that Chad Coleman wasn't filming for the rest of the season. If I get spoiled as to who dies before the premiere, I won't forgive them for that.

Anyway, otherwise I thought that the finale was amazing. I loved how creepy and scary it all felt. The Saviors didn't care when Rick's group turned around again and again. They were waiting for them to go down the path that they wanted them to. Also loved seeing Steven Ogg (plays a very funny, Negan-like character in GTA V), and I'm glad that he at least survived the finale to go into season 7.

I loved everything with Carol and Morgan, I called it last week with some of my friends that the guy with the rosary would end up being killed by Morgan to save Carol. As soon as Morgan took the gun that Rick offered him, I just knew it haha. I also knew that the guy wouldn't be killing one of them, not a random character introduced one episode ago (and didn't even have a name).

The Eugene and Abraham hug actually made me tear up haha. I just thought that it was amazing. Josh McDermitt and Michael Cudlitz were great at the convention this weekend. Their booths were only separated by Christian Serratos (Rosita), and they often had their lines scream something at the other actor ("You know how to bite a dick, Eugene!"). Great times haha. The convention was so much fun, I will definitely go again if I get the chance.

Leslie said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! What an incredibly intense last scene!!! JDM did a great job! They explained on TD that all of the actors were there the whole time emoting even though they were not on camera a lot and that it took 15 hours to shoot it. I think that speaks to the dedication of the showrunners and actors.

It seems like Rick and crew were a little slow on the uptake with all the road blocks, but then again, they had no clue how many people were in that group.

The red rover walkers were crazy!

It sucked that they didn’t show who it was, and I liked Mike’s idea, but at the same time, it was a great cliffhanger! I loved how Kirkman or Gimple said they expect people to “Zapruder” the last scene to figure it out! My thought was either Eugene or Abraham, but who knows? As for the actors, they may not know right now so they don’t have a chance in giving anything away in post-finale interviews, but I bet they will know relatively soon. Then again, they could be planning some way to have the person back for the S7 premiere just so no one is spoiled.

Kirkman also made a good point on TD. Negan seems so evil, but if the show had started with Negan waking up in the hospital, and we followed his journey instead of Rick’s, the emotions could easily be reversed, and Rick and his group could be perceived as the bad guys.

Mike V. said...

@ Leslie - Oh yeah...that's been the case with anyone they've come into contact with...they're only villains because they're not who we've been following. Then again, we did see those pictures on the wall that kind of show the brutality of the saviors. Everything Rick and crew have done killing-wise is all in the effort for survival of their group.

based on what Gimple said, it sounds like we will see the actual killing of this person from the other perspective in season 7. So yeah...they probably will all be back for AT LEAST the premiere. But, once these actors start booking other gigs...then it might be easy to figure out who it's going to be. Gimple even said it's very tough to keep a secret like this...and references were made to what Game of Thrones has had to do in this off-season as well. (kind of a similar thing) But yeah....I'm sure they weren't trying to piss off an entire fan group. We've been trained to endure cliffhangers in the serialized age of television (even for FRIENDS season finales)...we'll be okay!! But there were a COUPLE teases this season and I think that's why fans are up in arms.

Yeah Super J...I accidentally read someone's comment who pretty much said this is exactly how it would end. And once I saw it came back to me and I said, "oh man they're not even going to show it!!"

Yeah....I mean when we were introduced to Desmond in season 2...we were totally thrown off and it was amazing. So if they can somehow capture the essence of that in how they surprise us with the death then I'll say they win. Agreed...they need to keep it under wraps who died...and that is very tough to do these days. That's why it's almost not even worth it. The scrutiny that Game of Thrones went through this off-season is a perfect example of that. A character died but social media spotted him at an airport returning to the they have other excuses for why he's back....but everyone is calling their bluff. It's kind of like that.

WAAAIT....Negan's hype man is the guy from GTA V???? I knew he looked familiar! That's hysterical. (Yes, I played that game as well)

Agreed on the Eugene/Abraham hug...that was emotionally packed...especially after what those 2 have been through. Good stuff.

I'll comment more later....but nice to hear everyone's thoughts on the finale.

MJ said...

Whew - crazy weekend and last few days. Behind on everything. LOL

Oh yes - def would have been more impactful to tell us who died. And no - don't think Atown will be invaded. Our group will probably lead a bunch of Saviors back cause they want half of what we have. Then they will be told they have to keep giving stuff.

Spears - yes - worried this is more Saviors.

As for cast knowing - they said on Talking Dead that the whole group was there on their knees for 15 hours so JDM did not have to pretend to be talking to them. They did not say that they were there for the filming of the striking of the bat. that was probably a dummy with a blood pack - IF the cast are telling the truth and don't know.

Agree with Superj - there is no way to get back all that tension and emotion when they pick this back up next season. Which is why it was a mistake to doit this way.

Leslie - alot of people think Abraham or Eugene - especially as they both turned a corner in recent eps. Eugene is no longer afraid and Abraham is ready to have a real relationship. And I agreed with Kirkman - Negen definitely could - at this point - be swapped with Rick in the telling of the story. But - I think quickly we will find that though Negen is charismatic he is pretty evil. He has some pretty messed up rules (remember the kneeling talk and also the woman missing part of a finger). I think they did not follow the rules. Ric might lose his s**t sometimes but he was never sadistic or punishing - except when he exiled Carol. LOL

MJ said...

***Possibly spoilery info below. Which I read totally by accident in reading a Gimple interview. Not happy about that but figured I'd share for those who want to know.

Gimple was asked if the two guys who walked up to Carol and Morgan are from the Kingdom. Gimple said they may or may not be, and that we might or might not get to the Kingdom. LOL So guessing another stop for our survivors in the books. I've never heard of it. It's lead by a guy named Ezekial who had a pet Tiger.

*** end spoilers

They say that Negen's victim is 'very beloved to everyone'. I don't think that really describes Eugene, Abraham, Aaron or Rosita. I think it is Glen or Maggie that will die.

And whatever happened to Jesus ? Guess he's at Hilltop.

Mike V. said...

I just read about that too MJ...or saw a headline about it on Facebook. King Ezekiel and the tiger. lol

No idea what happened to Jesus.

I think you're probably right on the options. That seems like it would take the biggest toll on the group. I did also read that it's someone beloved. My wife read who it was in the comics and told me without even warning me she knew a potential spoiler. I'll refrain from saying who it was for now unless you want to know! lol

MJ said...

I've known who he killed in the comics for quite a long time - by accident. And in the book Negen poisons someone that that person loves very dearly. Don't know if poisoned to death - just that they are poisoned.

Mike V. said...

ahhhh I see!! Interesting.

Jason B. said...

So I've given it a few days and watched the episode again as well as Talking Dead. I'm definitely not as mad as some people still are lol. My favorite plus side to this is that come season 7, the death will be fresh to us, instead of knowing who it is and then having the emotions die down.

I'm thinking/hoping that the premiere starts back with Glenn, Daryl, Michonne, and Rosita so we see a bit of their/the Savior's side of things leading up to the cliffhanger.
That mixed with a little extension during and after Negan's choice game where scenes were cut in the finale (showing his full selection and then maybe having him bring the person up to the middle, not just beating them there in line, and of course some screams and protest from the group), and I think that the momentum would be built back up for me personally. Not sure if that is how it will go, but I think that it would work well.

But we'll have to wait 6 months to find out haha. Did you guys watch season 1 of Fear TWD? I enjoyed it quite a bit so I'm looking forward to season 2 starting next week. I know Game of Thrones is coming back soon too. I've never watched it but maybe eventually I will haha.

MJ said...

Yup - a bunch of us watch FTWD - premier was pretty good.