The Walking Dead Review: “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”

Editor’s note: this review of AMC’s The Walking Dead will contain some spoilers. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but they’re be there nonetheless. You’ve been warned.

So the season ends with a dues ex tigris. That’s fitting enough, I suppose. The Walking Dead has been a complete hash this season, so why should the finale be any different? That being said, I will say this: at least something happened. The season ended definitively. Without some big, dumb cliffhanger. The stage is set for the big war that should have happened halfway through the season. But hey, at least something happened.

The Walking Dead Review - "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"

The fight that capped off the episode was pretty damn cool. Red shirts were getting killed all over the place. Sure, there was no appreciable reduction in any of the various armies on the field, but that’s to be expected. The show runners have to keep the stakes high for the next season.

Rick’s big alliance was a mixed bag, but a fairly predictable one. The two groups that were well integrated with members of Rick’s community (Hilltop and the Kingdom) stayed faithful and pulled Alexandria’s ass out of the fire. The Trash People were betrayers, which really shouldn’t surprise us all that much.

Ultimately,  it’s hard to care overmuch about the Trash People. Their weird, broken English, stupid haircuts, and bizarre costumes feel like randomly selected idiosyncrasies. There’s no real depth there, nor do any of these things make a whole lot of sense within the context of the story. But in terms of needing to raise the stakes for the finale, it was serviceable enough. My big complaint is that, once again, it makes Rick look like a complete idiot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t know why people follow that man.

The Walking Dead Review - "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"

All that excitement out of the way, the other half of the episode focused completely on Sasha and the slow reveal that she’s locked in a casket and has poisoned. While her plan was pretty stupid, that reveal was pretty cool.

Sasha’s been one of the stronger characters on the show these last couple of seasons. She’s an emotive, powerful actress and has one of the better bits of motivation on the show. On The Walking Dead, that’s a lot. I really wish he big last stand would have meant a little more.

In the end, that stage is set. Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom have cast the die, and the Saviors are calling in all their guys.

The Walking Dead Review - "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"

That means we’re likely in for a lot of wheel spinning until something actually happens at the mid-season finale, and then again at the end.

Grade:
3.5 zombie heads out of 5

6 Comments

TheBeefThief

I liked this episode a lot, Season 7 ended with a great battle, the music was also quite good.
I also liked the appearance of the tiger, and now I am looking forward to seeing Season 8!

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Dave

The battle was indeed amazing, it’s just frustrating that we wasted so much time getting here when it seemed so inevitable.

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Pepper Valentino

I like Sasha, and I’m sad to see her go.

I don’t know why there’s so much hate for the character.

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Dave

I honestly don’t either. I think the character is solid and the actress is amazing. She does so much characterization with her expression.

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Pi3rK

I wasn’t a big fan of yer until abraham dies to be honest. But she was great that last season.

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Pi3rK

As you pointed out, it’s obvious that everything Rick’s touching the last few seasons become crap immediatly.

He made that alliance with the most unreliable people you could fine with a big smile on his face (like, look what I found everybody!) while Morgan and Carol found the Kingdome and Maggie was negociating with the Hilltop and Tara found the Amazones. Everything Rick wasn’t involved in is/was working pretty well.

I’ve seen coaches fired for less than that… Please, Neagan, kill Rick. Period (and finish Michonne too).

As I feel relieved that this season is over, I have to say I don’t complain about a full season of rising the stakes. I just regret that it was poorly executed.

Overall it was average at best but with a few moments of brilliance. As much as the clans idea was good, they kinda made it look bad. We’ve seen good characters sacrified for the need of the story, and honestly everything that happened recently was kind of a long straight corridor leading to an obvious ending.

Ok the betrayal of the Garbage people wasn’t obvious, but it’s not surprising at all.

So… Lack of effort here guys. Gotta do better next season.

Less Rick and Michonne. More Aaron and Rosita.

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