Previously on The Walking Dead: Sasha was captured by the Saviors in her attempt to kill Negan, who once again made his zero-tolerance policy regarding rape very clear, and Rick decided to pull a Negan (minus the profanities and hip-dipping) and raid the Oceanside community for their guns so he and his people could use them in their war against the Saviors.
THE STORY SO FAR: Dwight attempts to convince Rick and company that he’s there to help them take down Negan. Negan decides to use Sasha as a bargaining chip to put an end to Rick’s attempted rebellion against him, and Sasha takes steps to prevent that from happening. Jadis and the Not-At-All-Affiliated-With-Bill Cosby Junkyard Gang end up betraying Rick and company because they get a much better offer from Negan. Pretty much everything goes completely pear-shaped and many a bullet from both sides starts flying as a result.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THE EPISODE: Every scene with Sasha, especially as we got to see many an expression play out on Sonequa Martin-Green’s face in close-up as she looked back on her time with Abraham and with Maggie while listening to Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free” on a classic iPod given to her by Eugene, and finally deciding that she was willing to put herself on the chopping block in order to keep any more of her friends from dying.
Seeing Michael Cudlitz return once more as Abraham.
Shiva coming in for the save — even though it didn’t make a lick of sense — as Negan was about to kill Carl.
The gunfight that followed soon after that between Rick and company/Ezekiel, Morgan, Carol, and the rest of The Kingdom vs. Negan and the Saviors/Jadis and the Junkyard Gang
Rick, despite his idiocy, making it very clear to Negan that no matter what, he would win and he will kill him.
The closing monologue by Maggie, who continues being awesome like always.
This entire scene here:
Jadis (to Michonne) “Yours?” (referring to Rick)
Michonne: “Yeah, we’re together.”
Jadis: “I lay with him after. You care?”
Michonne: (looking at her with an expression that’s a combination of…
And Rick just standing there, looking at the two of them like he wants nothing more than to do this:
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE: I’ll get to that later.
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: Yes, he is.
DOES NEGAN KILL ANYONE ELSE?: Most likely. I’m sure he killed some people during the gunfight in this episode.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF HE’S NOT, THEN WE RIOT: Yes, he’s still alive
DO WE FIND OUT WHO WAS KILLED ON Big Little Lies?: 1) I assume so, as I haven’t watched it yet. 2) Why the hell are you asking me this during a recap of The Walking Dead?
ANY TIME-TRAVELING ALIENS IN THIS EPISODE?: None whatsoever
TO SUM IT ALL UP:
Yeah, that one GIF pretty much sums up my feelings towards this episode and this entire damn season.
All season long, I was hoping that The Walking Dead was not going to repeat the same mistake that it made back in Seasons 3 and 4, when instead of resolving the Rick vs. The Governor storyline by the end of Season 3, the showrunners decided to streeeeeeeeeetch that out and have the actual battle occur in the midseason finale for Season 4. And considering everything that we’ve seen Rick and company do these last seven episodes to prepare themselves for battle, you’d think that the All-Out War between Rick and Negan would’ve started and ended in this season finale.
Well, I was wrong, and anyone else hoping for that was wrong too. Because once again, The Walking Dead decided to take a storyline that they had sixteen episodes to resolve and streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch it out into the next season.
So if you like seeing Rick act like a complete dumb-ass who doesn’t know the definition of ‘back-up plan’ and has seemingly forgotten everything he’s learned about survival and self-preservation since Season 2…
…if you like seeing Michonne getting into an overly prolonged fight with a Junkyard Gang member where she constantly appears outmatched, just so we can have that one moment where we’re led to think that she’s dead, even though she’s not…
…if you like seeing The Saviors get ambushed and torn to shreds by a pouncing tiger and not waste any time or brainpower wondering how none of them saw or heard this tiger approaching them, or how they also didn’t see or hear King Ezekiel and company approach them on horseback…
If you like having to lower your expectations for what you’re watching in this season finale so that you can wait another nine months to see the All-Out War actually take place in the midseason finale for next season…
…then this season finale is the episode for you.
Whatever issues I have with this show, Sonequa Martin-Green was not one of them, and I look forward to seeing her work with (hopefully) better material as she calls the shots on Star Trek: Discovery.
This episode of The Walking Dead was dedicated to the memory of legendary comic-book artist Bernie Wrightson, who died last month.
This episode of The Walking Dead has been brought to you by “Fight Music” by D12:
I can't fathom how a human with a pencil even executed this. RIP Bernie Wrightson. pic.twitter.com/cbl7vqS1Kg— John Gholson (@gholson) March 19, 2017