The Walking Dead S7E16 The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

walking-dead-5 photoThe stakes continue to grow higher as paths cross; the group enacts an intricate plan.

The Walking Dead‘ wraps up its seventh season with a bloody extended episode that teases us a quick war that may end before it even begins.

Last episode saw Dwight defecting letting Rick know Negan is on his way and allowing for Rick to plan with the Scavengers to take on Negan and his Saviors. Things don’t go easy with double crosses and a shootout battle that feels like the cathartic release we’ve been craving this entire season.

But, the episode is an interesting one as it really focuses on Sasha in her sendoff episode. We know her character has to take off in some way due to the actress being cast in the new Star Trek series, but how will it go down?

That’s where the episode is interesting in that it teases you the entire time taking us through a construct of Sasha as she talks to Abraham in a dream-like sequence where we don’t know if this is her imagining things and hallucinating or if she’s dead and that’s juxtaposed with moments between Sasha and Maggie. It bounces between the two and it’s touching in numerous ways as an almost angel and devil on the shoulder debate.

I’m not going to spoil the crosses or the battle, but it’s absolutely worth it and the best moment of the season. This is the first volley in the massive war to come and there’s lots of emotional moments and small nods throughout the battle to keep you wondering who is on what side. Is Dwight turning into a face? Is it a put on? There’s lots of clues. And who turns and when is most interesting.

What I think is solid in this episode is that I felt like I was on the edge. I didn’t know where it was going to go and who was going to get killed and who would live. That’s impressive. I’ve read the entire series and still this episode had me guessing. Would it vear from the comics?

What’s great too is the Kingdom and Hilltop each have their moments as they still debate their actions and decide if they’ll rally or not. It’s quick but also a build up to the release.

But, it’s the end that stands out as Maggie and Rick recount what they’ve been through. It’s not just Rick, Maggie takes center stage as in the comics the series becomes her story as much as his. She steps forward as the leader in ways and we see that here. It’s solid and touching and as the episode wraps up it’s emotional. We’re taken through where they’ve been and get glimpses as to where it’s going as we’re reminded for all of the bang, the show is still about the people.

Overall rating: 8.65