The season six finale was nothing like I imagined it to be, yet it exceeded all my expectations despite its controversially frustrating cliffhanger ending. So much happened in such a slow-moving torturous episode that I felt we were being cruelly teased ourselves, just as our favourite characters on the road were. The episode was a subtle nod towards Miltons Hell especially towards the end where the cast were engulfed in forestry (but surprisingly unbothered by the dead.) 20 minutes into the episode my mind began to fidgit. There had been no hard action yet, it was nowhere near as hard hitting as the mid season premiere and no deaths in sight. It’s a bitter feeling when you find yourself wishing for a death but that’s essentially what The Walking Dead is and what kept 19.5 million people tuning into the start of the season. I eventually saw through the trap that the group had fallen into and it was clear with every u-turn that there was no way out. It was a long torturous 50 minutes of drawn out apprehension for Negans arrival.
I’ve broken down what I thought about each character scenario.
CAROL & MORGAN
As I said in my prediction post (lol all wrong), Morgan to me is a pretty replaceable character. Obviously his edge is his self pledged pacifism, but it’s not enough to keep me wanting to watch his scenes. Now however, my attention has been completely regrabbed by his original elusive thought processes. The fact that he killed – and for Carol – is an extremely defining moment for his character. In most cases, it would signify the characters journey ending, however due to his introduction to The Kingdom, we know we have another personal journey about to begin for him. Going back to the kill, was it just me or did no bullets appear to penetrate Morgans victim? Was this a post-production error? Morgan killing proves that what Rick has been telling him for so long is absolutely true in this new world. At some point you will be forced to kill, to save yourself, or someone you love. Morgan is also doing here what Carol claims to no longer be capable of. Carol really did piss me off though. She was stupid enough to go off on her own and even more stupid to believe that nobody would follow her. The dramatic irony that Morgan delivers is incredibly frustrating as he talks to Carol about how the others will be waiting for their return. No Morgan, you are so wrong. It’s not long until we are introduced to the owner of Morgans stolen horse. Now I don’t know too much about this expanded world we are soon to be introduced to but I believe the two characters are from a place referred to in the comic series as “The Kingdom.” Are they friends? Are they enemies? Are they a match for Negan? So many questions, so many months in between.
So once again, Judith has been left in the (able?) hands of Father Gabriel. It’s really endearing when Rick expresses the trust he has in Papa G, yet I still get nervous when I think back to some of his previous mistakes. If anything is true in the world of the walking dead however, it’s that people DO change and eventually can make the choice to adapt as Eugene so nicely and scientifically puts it. What interests me is how Alexandria will appear the next time we see it. Will flowers still be in bloom? Walls in tact? Negan made a point of explaining how they work for him now so if we have one silver lining let it be Alexandria in tact. It still does unnerve me knowing it’s without it’s biggest fighters and defenders but if Ricks happy with Father Gabriels position of power, then I am. But then again, what does Rick know?
THE RV GANG AKA EVERYONE
RICK – If I have ever thought I was stressed before, that is clearly nothing compared to the stress levels so brilliantly portrayed by Andrew Lincoln in this last episode. Between deadly pitt stops and having to reassure a woman going through birthing complications, Rick was well and truly fucked from the start. This is the first time we have seen Ricks total loss of confidence in himself. At the beginning of the episode he was as arrogantly cocky as ever reassuring Maggie that everything will be okay because they have eachother and they always get through the obstacles they face. This isn’t necessarily true for everyone though, seeing how they lose members frequently throughout their many altercations. Yet still, he does what any man would do and keeps things confident without cause. To have the pressure of Maggie, as well as the tantalising re-routing and hints of gruesome deaths at each turn, Rick finally physically lets down his ego as he is given the biggest reality check of them all. He’s gotten way too comfortable recently going against his own words to Carl in an earlier season:
“You are not safe. No matter how many people are around, or how clear the area looks, no matter what anyone says, no matter what you think, you are not safe. It only takes one second. One second and it’s over. Never let your guard down, ever.”
What does Rick do? Lets his guard down. Andrew Lincoln is never highly credited enough for his acting skills in this show and this episode was an A* all round mesmerising portrayal of the soul destroying devastation Rick Grimes suffers as his world collapses before his very eyes. Another crucial moment for Rick which could easily be missed, was when they came across the Red Rover Walkers he had to chop and chop and chop at “Michonnes” arm taking us way back to the mid season premiere in which he decapitated his former lover. Was this a hint towards Michonnes own nearing end or was it a pure coincidence? In the world of prime time television, nothing is a coincidence!
AARON – I’m really glad that Aaron was part of the group that was captured. Not because I want him to die but because I feel he does deserve to be acknowledged as an important part of the group. His involvement in episodes has been a bit up and down with selective screen time but I do like him as a character especially the humanity he brings to the group.
ABRAHAM– Abraham you warrior you. My little heart weeped as he rose to face Negan like the true military braveheart he is. I’ve seen Abrahams name a lot in the WHO WAS IT speculations (third behind Glenn, then Daryl) which is pretty upsetting because he is the most comedic role! His one liners are one in a million and nothing breaks the tension of a fatal scene like a “bitch nuts” from Abe. Obviously my heart lies with Glenn and Daryl over anyone but it would sadden me to see Abraham go, especially since he was so uncowardice towards Negan. I feel like thats a reason why Negan would decide to respect him, because he rose to accept his fate whatever it would be. Of course this could catapult and be the reason for Negans choice, but if I were Negan, I’d take it as a strength. He wants men to work, who’s more of a man than Abraham?
MAGGIE – Oh Maggie hun. Things aren’t looking to good to be honest. As in, if her character hadn’t been developing into Rick 2.0, I would definitely think this is the last of her. I truly truly believe at this point her baby has died. I don’t know the scientific logistics of post zombie apocalypse reproduction but she did not look too well at all. And not just standard in labour pain, but something is very clearly wrong. I, like anyone in their right minds would be absolutely thrilled if both Maggie and baby come out of this alive but there was something haunting about the line “she’s burning up back there” that flashed back to Dales RV which held another burning up soon to be zombie member. I don’t know, the writing in the show always leads you to thinking the worst of every situation and that would literally be the worst thing to happen to Maggie right now (asides from watching her husband and baby daddys eyes beaten out of his head,) but time is of an essence right now for Maggie and with the distress of the groups current situation I can’t see a positive ending in sight.
DARYL ROSITA MICHONNE GLENN – We were given no direct clue as to the state of these characters well being other than sly camera shots of light beams showing that they were all being held up together somewhere. With no character visuals or dialogue, the fate of the awesome foursome was unknown which kept the episode all the more excruciating. With the penultimate episodes shock ending, viewers were left pining for knowledge of Daryls injury and we weren’t given confirmation of his state until that last ten minutes, only adding to the questions left unanswered. I literally can’t think of anything worse than Daryls departure and after his appearance on talking dead, again, I am left worried. As I have previously stated I think that Norman Reedus will soon depart from his role as Daryl but I no longer think it’ll be at the hand of Lucille (in this instance anyway.) Despite that, he took a very close impact shot to his shoulder and I’m guessing hasn’t been given the best treatment since then so time is of an essence not just for Maggie but for Daryl too.
I’m really sad that I just had to rewatch the said head bashing multiple times in order to write this blogpost. It’s made me not fancy Negan anymore. See the conflict is already starting!!