‘The Walking Dead’ Season Six Finale Recap and Review: Last Day on Earth

0
Walking Dead Season 6 Finale

Josh McDermitt, Andrew Lincoln, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Michael Cudlitz in ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 16 (Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC)

“Are you comfortable leaving me in charge of Alexandria’s defenses?” asks Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). “Yeah,” replies Rick (Andrew Lincoln) just before he leaves with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) to try to get Maggie (Lauren Cohan) to the doctor in the season six finale of the AMC horror drama series, The Walking Dead.

Before getting in the RV, Carl is arguing with Enid (Katelyn Nacon), telling her she can’t come and that the Saviors are out there and he won’t let happen to her what happened to Denise. Enid realizes Carl is hoping the Saviors show up because he’s looking for a fight. She refuses to be left behind and Carl seems to give in, telling her to get a few more weapons from the closet. The second Enid goes in the closet, Carl locks her in. She bangs on the door telling him to let her out but he doesn’t answer her. “What if you don’t come back? What am I supposed to do then? How am I supposed to live with that?” asks Enid. Carl replies through the door, “Just find a way to survive somehow.”

While on the road to Hilltop Rick and the gang run into another roadblock set up by the Saviors. Rick and the group, minus Maggie who’s sleeping through most of the episode, get out of the RV and face the handful of Saviors. The Saviors tell Rick his people will have to give them their stuff and they’ll still have to kill one of the Alexandria crew, but then they’ll be allowed to drive on. Rick understandably declines the offer, asking the man doing the talking if he wants today to be the last day he’s alive. He answers no but says that’s a good question and Rick should ask that about him and his group. Rick and his comrades get back into the RV and back up to go find an alternate route to Hilltop.


Meanwhile, Morgan (Lennie James) is still out looking for Carol (Melissa McBride) and comes across a small horse that he takes with him in his search. Finally, Morgan finds a seriously wounded Carol and takes her inside a house to get her patched up. Carol is not pleased that Morgan came after her and he lets her know that Rick also came out looking for her but went back to Alexandria to get ready for the Saviors attack. Morgan tells Carol to rest and he’ll check the area to make sure they’re safe for the night and at sunrise they can head back to Alexandria. Carol says she’s not going back and tells Morgan that if she’s with her people, she’ll be forced to fight and kill for them and she can’t do that anymore. Morgan refuses to leave without her and tells her that Rick and the others need and care about her.

Back on the road, Rick and his group are not having any luck getting to Hilltop. Every road they try is blocked by Saviors and they’re forced to spend much of the episode backing up the RV. They come across another roadblock made up of walkers chained together and Rick decides to have his comrades get out with him and put down the barricade of zombies so they can get by. No sooner do they begin than shots are fired at their feet by Saviors hidden in the surrounding woods. They quickly put down enough walkers so they can drive through, but not before they notice two of the walkers are dressed like Michonne and Daryl. They continue on only to find an even bigger roadblock made up of large trucks and what looks to be a small army of Saviors. So once again Rick and the gang back up and head back.

Morgan goes off to put down a walker who’s hanging from a rope and when he returns Carol is gone. So, Morgan gets on his horse and goes off looking for her again. Carol’s making her way through a deserted town when a walker attacks and almost gets the better of her in her weakened condition. Carol is finally able to put the zombie down when she is tackled by the Savior who survived the gunfight a few days earlier and has been following her ever since. He gets up and gets the draw on Carol and shoots her in the arm. He tells her he’s going to make her suffer and he’ll kill her the way she killed his friends. Carol just lies on the ground not seeming to care about her fate. She even smiles. “What’s wrong with you?” asks the Savior, annoyed that Carol isn’t showing any signs of fear. “Nothing. Nothing’s wrong with me. I’m going to be dead,” she says with a smile and a tone of relief in her voice.

Confused and irritated, the Savior begins to walk away leaving Carol lying on the ground. “You can’t just walk away!” Carol yells after him, goading the Savior into killing her and telling him he has to choose to kill her and that life isn’t going to make it happen if he walks off. Growing more angry, the Savior turns and starts walking back to Carol with his pistol pointed at her when he hears a voice telling him to stop. It’s Morgan (WHEW) who tells the Savior he can survive this if he puts down the gun and walks away. The Savior has no intention of doing that and makes as if to kill Carol. Morgan shoots him dead with the gun Rick gave him the day they parted ways. Carol asks why Morgan did that and that’s when a new voice behind Morgan asks, “What’s happening here?” Morgan turns to find two men dressed in armor, one on a horse. Morgan tells the man that he found his horse, that he also found his friend pointing to Carol. Morgan says she’s hurt and the strangers respond with an offer to help.

Back on the never-ending roadtrip, Rick is getting very concerned about Maggie’s worsening condition and tries to reassure her that he will get her to Hilltop and that this isn’t the end. “I have faith in you, Rick,” answers Maggie and Rick gets even more upset seeming not to know what their next move should be. It’s Eugene who comes up with a plan that takes some real guts. He tells Rick and the others that the Saviors are blocking the roads but not the woods. He’ll drive the RV on the roads as a decoy while Rick and the others get Maggie to Hilltop on foot through the woods at night. Rick tells Eugene that the group is lucky to have him and Eugene agrees. As Rick and the group are working their way through the woods, they hear whistling and realize some of the Saviors are nearby. They begin to move quickly through the forest and are met with bright lights from vehicles as well as a searchlight. The Saviors knew exactly where in the woods Rick and his group would end up and have been waiting for them. Rick is once again face-to-face with the man he confronted earlier in the day but now that man is surrounded by so many Saviors it’s not possible to put up a fight. The Saviors take away the Alexandrians’ weapons and tell them to get down on their knees. Rick notices Eugene is there badly beaten and down on his knees as well.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in ‘The Walking Dead’ (Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC)

This is when Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) comes out of the captured RV and finally introduces himself to Rick and the group. He also has his men pull out Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Glenn (Steven Yeun), and Rosita (Christian Serratos) from where they’ve been holding them. “I do not appreciate you killing my men. Also, when I sent my people to kill your people for killing my people, you killed more of my people. Not cool. Not cool. You have no idea how not cool that shit is, but I think you’re going to be up to speed shortly,” threatens Negan. Negan explains the new world order and tells Rick that he doesn’t want to kill them and that he wants them to work for him – and they can’t do that if they’re dead. However, one of the group must pay the ultimate price so that Rick realizes the seriousness of the situation.

Rick tries to tell Negan to stop this, but Negan shuts down Rick by threatening to kill Carl who he’s deduced is Rick’s son. Negan keeps walking back and forth pointing Lucille, his big bat wrapped with barbwire making it a very nasty and effective weapon, at Rick and his friends. He notices how terrible Maggie is looking and says maybe they should just end her suffering right now. Glenn screams no and tries to run to stop Negan but is knocked down to the ground by one of the Saviors. Negan laughs it off and says he’ll allow that behavior once, telling Glenn and the rest he understands it’s an emotional time. He reinforces that one of them has to die for all the people he’s lost but is having a hard time deciding. “I know,” Negan says as he again points his bat at Rick. “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” Negan has decided to use the old children’s game to decide which one of Rick’s group he’s going to beat to death. When Negan finally chooses and swings the bat down, the viewpoint of the camera is switched to that of the victim. The audience sees Negan bring down his bat only for the screen to go dark and then whoever was hit, visioned blurred, looks up at Negan through the blood we see running down the screen. “Taking it like a champ!” laughs Negan before bringing the bat down again, hard. The screen goes black. As the screen remains dark, more hits from Negan’s bat can be heard landing on their target until finally it’s quiet.

Review of The Walking Dead Season 6 Finale

Slow and tedious, episode 16 titled “Last Day on Earth,” which honestly should have been titled “Road to Boredom,” is without a doubt the most disappointing and weakest season finale since the show debuted back in 2010. Almost the entire episode is nothing more than a set-up to introduce and finally reveal the new major villain in a scene that, despite a great performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, just wasn’t that impressive of a payoff after all these episodes teasing the new character. The never-ending roadblocks and psychic way Negan and his Saviors seem to know Rick and the group’s every move, even when they depart the RV and travel through the woods at night, is beyond believable. It’s downright implausible and reminiscent of so many bad horror films that have the killer always popping up at just the right time to make a kill.

With one of Rick’s group beaten to death by Negan, fans of The Walking Dead who decide to stick around after this finale will unfortunately have to wait until October when the seventh season of AMC’s horror drama starts to discover which main cast member won’t be returning.

GRADE: D

The Walking Dead Season 6 Recaps: Episode 1 “First Time Again” / Episode 2 “JSS” / Episode 3 “Thank You” / Episode 4 “Here’s Not Here” / Episode 5 “Now” / Episode 6 “Always Accountable” / Episode 7 “Heads Up” / Episode 8 “Start to Finish” / Episode 9 “No Way Out” / Episode 10 “The Next World” / Episode 11 “Knots Untie” / Episode 12 “Not Tomorrow Yet” / Episode 13 “The Same Place” / Episode 14 “Twice as Far” / Episode 15 “East”

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
Share.

Comments are closed.