The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale Predictably Saves the Best for Last

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale Plot Summary:

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has caught wind of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the crew’s plan for rebellion. He forces Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) to help him. Oh, and not everyone on Rick’s side are not being fully honest with him.

Obviously…Spoilers Ahead

“The First Day of the Rest Your Life” is no way, shape, or form as thrilling or awesome as last year’s season finale. However, it’s one of the better acted (from a complete cast perspective), better scripted, and better shot episodes of Season 7. It had the drama, tension, urgency, emotional weight, excitement, and danger that’s been sorely lacking in the series as of late. Of course this comes at the end of the season which is super-frustrating.

As an episode, one can’t recommend “The First Day of the Rest Your Life” enough. Again, this is not as gripping as two episodes when Rick and company first encounter Negan. However, it’s a really good turning point for the story in regards to pacing, drama, and action. There was a lot to like in this episode, but this is so typical of the series. We’re given reminders of why we love the series, but they come too late in the season, and often aren’t followed up on. In regards to the latter part of this statement, they do have to follow up on the war because it’s happening, but I have little faith they’ll maintain the excellent pacing or the emotional aspect found in this episode.

Now, let’s discuss the death of Sasha. That was a glorious send-off. Probably one of the best deaths in the show’s history because she sacrificed herself for her friends, and did it in the most bad ass way. Walker Sasha was completely unexpected — well to this writer at least. Employing the Donny Hathaway jam, and the flashbacks with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) were fantastic. Sonequa Martin-Green was outstanding in her final three episodes. Her character arc over the past few years was hit-or-miss, but she really became an emotional touchstone these last three episodes, mirroring her in-series brother Tyreese. Also, the reveal of Walker Sasha…awesome! The death of Walker Sasha, pretty sad, especially given the fact Maggie (who loses yet another important person in her life), did the deed.

Speaking of Maggie (Lauren Cohan), it was a really nice touch to have her do a voice-over monologue during the aftermath of the Saviors and Scavengers vs. Hilltop/Alexandria/Kingdom.

The Scavenger “heel turn” and the Dwight betrayal were well-done, if not a little expected. Also, can we agree that the way Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) speaks is one of the most annoying things in the series right now? This isn’t a 1970s post-apocalyptic thriller, or the sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road. Talk like a normal person and not some dystopian humanoid.

The entire “siege” sequence was marvelously done. From the betrayal to the near execution of Carl (Chandler Riggs) to the big rescue scene from Carol, Maggie and their army — it’s all worth the price of admission and then some.

Season 7 was a frustrating one. However, unlike the previous two seasons, the frustration comes from there being too many episodes of shenanigans and malarkey and sidetracking. This series needs to be efficient and to the point. We need Point A to Point B, not Point A to Kansas to 3.14 Squared to Mars to Point B. If you watch this episode, you know the people behind it are able to be efficient. They had a ton to accomplish in this episode, and they did it well. If this efficiency and impact were applied to the entire season, it would’ve been one of the best ones ever.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites