THE WALKING DEAD RECAP: S7EP16 THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

Paul Mendoza

The season finale opened with the shortest cold open ever and it was beautiful. We see Sasha listening to Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free” on an IPod, silently singing along and then her head goes limp and she dies. That’s it. It becomes obvious that she’s in a moving vehicle and headed to Alexandria for a showdown between Negan and Rick. During the course of the episode we return to the visual of her listening to that song and then thinking back to a conversation with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) that took place just before they took off to escort Maggie to The Hilltop and that tragic night when they first meet Negan. It’s very moving and makes clear why Sasha takes Eugene’s poison pill and dies before they reach Alexandria.

NEGAN

Negan brings Sasha some breakfast! “Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.”
He tells her that she’s going to help him get Rick and her people back in line and that he’s going to kill three randomly to make the point. Sasha starts crying which seems to move Negan. He agrees to kill only one. Sasha surprisingly agrees but Negan has no idea she means herself.

“You have me wrapped around your little finger” he says to her with real admiration.

Negan plans to take a convoy of Saviors to Alexandria and threaten to kill Sasha if they don’t surrender. They actually have a coffin to display Sasha in when they get there. Sasha says she will get in the coffin for the 2 hour journey so she can sleep on the way. Eugene hands her the IPod for the trip. Eugene is very thoughtful. He has no idea what she’s planning!

DWIGHT

We pick up where we left off last episode: Dwight’s on his knees and Rick holds his revolver to his head. Then Tara gets in his face, “You killed my girlfriend” and when Dwight replies with all sincerity, “I wasn’t aiming for her” this sets Daryl off. Daryl shoves Dwight against the wall and has his knife to his head. Tara is yelling for him to do it! But Daryl is convinced Dwight really wants to help them. He still doesn’t trust him though and as soon as this is all over he plans on killing him.

THE KINGDOM

King Ezekiel leads his knights to Alexandria accompanied by Shiva. Now that Carol has joined the fight she’s basically taking Richard’s spot and has put on the armor. Along the way they come across Morgan who’s wearing Benjamin’s armor. He’s still looking a little shaky but Ezekiel and Carol convince him to join them. Their blood lust is up!

THE HILLTOP

Jesus tells Maggie about the oncoming showdown between Alexandria and The Saviors. Maggie has to decide whether to join the battle or stay put. Rick wants her to stay put in case things go bad and they need a place to retreat to. Good luck keeping Maggie out of this one!

THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS

Jadis and The Scavengers arrive at Alexandria in, you guessed it, garbage trucks! They pile out, heavily armed and ready to rock and roll. Some also came riding bikes!

“Yours?” Jadis asks Michonne pointing at Rick.
“We’re together” she hesitantly answers.
“I lay with him after, OK?”

Rick’s reaction was priceless! He just backed out of the line of fire and said nothing.

SASHA’S FLASHBACK

It was great to see Abraham again. The scene is heartbreaking. She had a dream that he died and doesn’t want him to go with Rick to take Maggie to The Kingdom to see the doctor. But Abraham wasn’t having it. They seemed to be very much in sync and a good match. He knows what they share in common. He tells her that everything they do is for others and that Maggie is carrying the future – that little Rhee baby! She knows he’s right and they agree to both go. These were her last thoughts as she lay in that coffin dying. Very sweet.

ALEXANDRIA

Dwight does what he promised. He cuts down a bunch of tress to block the road to slow down The Saviors. Eugene convinces Negan to allow him to  try to convince Rick to give up without having to use Sasha. When Eugene stands on the bed of that truck and starts speaking to Rick with the bullhorn everyone is shocked. “Where’s Negan?” Rick asks Eugene. “I’m Negan!” Eugene answers. The look of disgust on Rosita’s face is perfect!

Rick signals to Rosita to blow the dynamite that was set up outside the fence knowing it would kill Eugene! Rosita presses the button, Rick ducks! But no explosion. Just then all the Scavengers turn their guns on Rick and his people! Double Cross! I did not see that coming! Holy crap! NO!

Negan then tells Rick that he wants ALL the guns brought to him and if they don’t comply then they’re going to hurt someone they know. Dwight and Simon unveil the coffin that Sasha is in. They stand it up.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“Let me see her!” Rick demands. Negan pound son the coffin with Lucille, “Sasha!”. He opens the coffin and out comes Walker Sasha! She charges at Negan and they fall off the bed of the truck. Using this distraction, Carl starts shooting! Then Rosita and Daryl start blasting! It’s chaos! The battle is on! Rick, however, cannot join because Jadis is still holding a gun on him. Michonne, positioned on top of one of the buildings gets in a struggle with one of the lady Scavengers. Usually I would think Michonne would kick her ass but this lady Scavenger was giving her a fight.

Rick tries to make a new deal with Jadis but she wasn’t agreeable and shoots Rick in belly. The gunfire subsides and Jadis brings Rick over to where Negan has Carl on his knees. Rick joins him and this seems all too similar to the season opener. Not again! Negan tells Rick he’s going to kill Carl. “I’m going to try and do it in one hit because I like him. And then Lucille is going to take your hands” Negan says to Rick. But Rick can no longer be coerced. He’s come too far! He’s defiant. He echoes what he told Negan in the season opener only this time with much more confidence. “I told you already. I’m going to kill you. All of you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but NOTHING is going to change that” Then he leans in close to Negan and whispers in his ear, “You’re all already dead.” Negan is furious but then his anger turns to laughter.

He gets behind Carl and is about to bring Lucille down on his skull when Shiva comes out of nowhere and attacks the Savior standing behind Negan. Here comes King Ezekiel and his knights!

“Alexandria will not fall! Not on this day!”, the King pronounces.

The battle is joined by Maggie leading her Hilltop army!

“That widow woman is alive ! Guns a-blazing!” Negan shouts!

Morgan and Rick give each other nods of the head as they battled side by side!

Daryl found an awesome machine gun!

Jadis and her Scavengers fire off a flare and set off smoke bombs to make their escape.

Negan and his Saviors retreat! He gives Alexandria the finger and he drives out of town!

Rick and Carl find a badly beaten Michonne. Damn, she really had the crap beat out of her! But she’s alive.

Jesus and Maggie go looking and find Walker Sasha. Jesus takes her down and puts her out of her misery off camera as we watch poor Maggie’s reaction. She loses everyone!

Back at The Sanctuary Negan questions Eugene about how Sasha died. Eugene says she ran out of air but Negan is suspicious. He turns and addresses a huge army of Saviors and declares “We’re going to war!”

In Alexandria, Rick addresses the now joined communities with King Ezekiel at one side of him and Maggie on the other. Maggie is holding the watch Hershel gave to Glenn.

Daryl closes the gate and finds a little wooden soldier with writing on it saying “I didn’t know”. Most likely left by Dwight. Is he still with them?

SIDE BITES

Man! That was a thrilling season finale! Very satisfying! I did not see that twist! The Scavengers betrayal was shocking. We all knew Sasha was a goner we just weren’t sure how it was going to happen. The show handled her death with style and class and she went out fighting like the warrior she was even as a Walker.

Eugene! I know anyone can be redeemed but how could Rick ever accept him back into the fold after seeing him declare that he was Negan? I see a “redemption by death” scenario next season for Dr. Eugene.

Rosita got shot but she survived.

Where is Gregory?

Kudos to Carl for firing the first shot.

Shiva was awesome!

Great to see Carol back in warrior mode.

So now we have arrived at ALL OUT WAR! I expect all of next season to deal with the war and that means we’re going to get a lot of action and probably see a lot of beloved characters perish. This should be good and I am ready!

IN MEMORIUM

Until then, Fear The Walking Dead returns in June!