Even before Norman Reedus gave TVLine a heads-up that the sixth season finale of The Walking Dead was “the most hardcore finale we’ve ever had,” we were afraid, very afraid. How could we not be? We knew that, if the series stuck to the plot of the comics, Glenn was bound for a once-in-a-lifetime date with Negan’s barbed-wire-covered bat, Lucille.
And it turned out, we were right to be scared.
“Last Day on Earth” was a nerve-racking 93 minutes of television. And it served up a twist ending that we’re pretty sure none of us saw — or hoped to see — coming. What was it? Read on and find out!
MAKING TRACKS | As the episode began, Morgan — still chasing down Carol — came across first a sign that read “YOU ARE ALIVE!” and then the horse for which that Hilltop denizen had claimed to be looking in “East.” But it wasn’t all good news and four-legged friends for Morgan. While he was sweet-talking the horse (“You are fine!”), Roman — the rosary-wielding Savior who’d been tailing him — drew ever closer. Shortly thereafter, Morgan caught up with an injured Carol, who was, of course, annoyed that he had followed her.
Back in Alexandria, Carl locked Enid in a closet to prevent her — for her safety’s sake — from coming on the mission to race Maggie to The Hilltop to pay doc Harlan a reverse house call. Before Rick could leave on the trek with Abraham, Sasha, Eugene and Aaron, he just had to first make sure that Alexandria was secure. Or at least as secure as it could be with Daryl, Carol, Michonne and Glenn all away. Gabriel, now miraculously a bona fide hero, promised that he knew what to do. What’s more, he added that his “first priority is Judith.” So it was with some confidence that Rick left him in charge. What if the Saviors show up before Rick gets back? Spencer wanted to know. Should they try to make a deal? “Tell ’em to wait for me,” replied Rick, already underestimating his opponent. “I got a deal for ’em.”
En route to The Hilltop, Rick assured Maggie that the doc was “gonna make things better.” How could he be so sure? “It’s always been all of us,” he explained, and “as long as it’s all of us, we can do anything.” Unfortunately, their RV was soon stopped by a buncha Saviors with an unfortunate soul who’d broken their rules and was now going to be used as an example. (By the way, exactly how many Saviors are there, anyway? They seem to multiply faster than walkers!) Rick offered to strike a bargain, but the only one the Saviors were interested in was the usual one: Give us all your stuff. “We don’t negotiate,” the lead Savior added. Surprisingly, after he and Rick threatened each other a bit, the Saviors seemed to let the Alexandrians go. “Be kind to each other,” the lead Savior even suggested in a creepy-friendly-ish way, “like it was your last day on earth.”
CHANGE OF PLANS | Later, Carl asked Aaron why he hadn’t stayed back to guard Alexandria. “I owe [Maggie],” he explained. After Eugene plotted the group a new route to The Hilltop, Abraham seemed to admit to Sasha that he could imagine having a baby with her. Alas, before they could get to “pouring any Bisquick,” the RV was blocked by yet another buncha Saviors. This time, they fired shots that seemed to be meant to herd Rick & Co. away. But to what end? Soon, we found out — they were being directed to a group of chained-together walkers, one of which had one of Michonne’s dreadlocks and another of which had Daryl’s jacket. When the Saviors opened fire, our guys retreated but were soon cornered by an even bigger gang of Saviors. “Go back,” Rick told Abraham. “Where?” Abraham replied.
Tending to Carol, Morgan told her that she needed stitches and medication, and that at dawn, they’d head back to Alexandria. Though she said simply no, he went on to relate that Rick had come looking for her, and others would have, too. They care about her. And she cares about them, too, she snapped. But if you care about people, you have to kill for them. If you won’t or can’t, you have to go. “You do not get both,” she argued, then (futilely) pointed a pistol at him and told him to leave. Which, naturally, he didn’t. However, after he left Carol alone for a minute, he found her gone and was forced to give chase on horseback. Meanwhile, Carol had just narrowly avoided getting bitten by a walker when she was attacked and shot by Roman, whose goal was to watch her die before his eyes — slowly — before he kicked the bucket himself.
Ironically, Carol just laughed. What’s wrong with her? Roman asked. “I’m gonna die,” she said, “so there’s nothing wrong with me anymore.” Pissed, he shot her again and asked if she thought she’d suffered enough. “No,” she replied, “probably not.” When he started to walk away, she goaded him until he returned to finish her off. But just then, Morgan arrived and asked Roman to drop the weapon. When he said no and advanced on Carol, Morgan shot him. Repeatedly. “You are gonna come back from this,” Morgan told her (kinda whether she wanted to or not). And out of nowhere, they were approached by The Hilltop denizen who’d been looking for his horse. Seemed a nice guy — offered help and everything. (And you had to dig his Power Ranger outfit.)
Back on the road, Rick kept trying to reassure Maggie, but he was sounding less and less certain. After seeing the Saviors hang a victim and set fire to a blockade of felled trees, our heroes retreated once again. To elude them once and for all, Eugene would take the RV (since that was what the Saviors were tracking) while the others escorted Maggie to The Hilltop on foot. Before departing, Eugene gave Rick a recipe for making bullets and shared a big hug with Abraham, who told his friend, “I was wrong. You’re a survivor. You always were. We just didn’t know it.” (And the way the music swelled as Eugene pulled away sure made it seem like he was a goner… )
B-B-BAT’S ALL, FOLKS! | As Rick & Co. made their way through the woods, Carl had no sooner said to his dad, “I’m not gonna let anybody die like [Denise] again” than they heard the telltale whistling of the Saviors and found themselves completely and totally surrounded. (Okay, so there are as many Saviors as there are viewers of this show.) And they already had Eugene as a hostage. (That didn’t take long.) The lead Savior that Rick threatened earlier disarmed our heroes and had them — including poor Maggie — get on their knees. Afterward, Dwight escorted Daryl, Michonne, Rosita and Glenn into the circle, and the lead Savior said, “Let’s meet the man” and knocked on an RV to let Negan know it was showtime.
As the episode — and, with it, the season — drew to a close, Negan wondered aloud when folks were gonna start pissing themselves. (Excuse us, but some of us already had.) Upon ascertaining that Rick was the “prick” in charge, Negan explained the new world order. Which, as we already knew, was, in short, half of anything that was our heroes’ was now his. The more they tried to fight it, the worse it was gonna get. Although, really, since he was planning to use Lucille to kill one of them as payback for all the Saviors that they’d killed, how much worse could it get?!? “Lighten up,” he told Carl. “At least cry a little.” When Negan noted that Maggie looked like hell, and contemplated putting her out of her misery, Glenn understandably freaked. (Luckily, the villain decided that, since it was an emotional moment, he’d let the outburst pass.) Finally, after a torturous game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Negan settled on a victim and swung. And swung. And swung. But who was it?!?
Who do you think Negan “whacked”? How ticked are you about the cliffhanger? Overall impression of the finale? Hit the comments!