This season had a long slow burn, but the season 7 finale, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life” was pure poetry.
The show began like much of this season, slow and steady. Unlike the previous season, we weren’t left to wonder who would meet their end, Sasha was making the greatest sacrifice of all and we knew it right from the start. Her sweating face, trembling. We know exactly what she’s doing, but Negan has no idea. Unlike the deaths of Abraham and Glen, Sasha was choosing her fate. Despite all his swagger, his scheming with the Garbage people, his turning of Eugene, Negan is far from in charge. She owned this moment.
Sasha’s trip down memory lane, reliving her last moments with Abraham, playing out alongside our heroes heading to battle, The Kingdom complete with bannermen (freaking Bannermen!), was well balanced. Sonequa Martin-Green delivered a beautiful swan song performance. Her strength and determination as she died for the hope of the future left us wondering why we hadn’t seen more of her before. Unlike the harsh silence that fell as Negan swung his bat at the beginning of the season, all out war breaks loose.
All was forgiven for the slow burn of the season when the communities converge. Rick and Carl are on their knees, still resisting Negan’s rule in the face of impending death when Shiva goes Battle Cat and the Hilltop crew shows up guns blazing.
The action-packed final scene was everything we’ve been waiting for. The streets of Alexandria were littered with bodies, the air filled with smoke, and what felt like a much-needed win. Even when Michonne looks like she’s losing the upper hand, it feels like we can’t possibly loose.
Dwight stepped up and proved himself to be trustworthy. As the Saviors fled Alexandria, he still has Negan’s trust, but is now one of us. When the show returns next season he will be pivotal in taking down Negan. At the same time, Eugene sealed his fate when he uttered those fateful words, “I’m Negan.” Bad move, man, bad move.
GEEK Grade: A-
Season 8 won’t be back until October, but according to Andrew Lincoln the finale is only the begining;
“We’re going to come out swinging,” he told The L.A Times. “And it’s not going to stop. I’m more excited for Season 8 than I’ve ever been. I think it’s going to be big, but it’s also going to be terrifying. And I mean that from the very depths of my cynical soul.”
If you can’t curb your craving for the dead, stay tuned to AMC for the return of Fear The Walking Dead June 4th.
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Scott M. Gimple, Angela Kang, and Matthew Negrete