Legions of filmmakers working today would love to make a feature horror piece rife with political relevance, originality, poignancy, and, to top it off, something that is *actually* scary. Luckily for we viewers, Phil Guidry, Simon Herbert, and David Whelan managed to do just that. Welcome to Savageland, a place you’ve probably been before if you followed the 2016 US Presidential election (or really if you spend any time watching the news these days).
Episode 16: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life
Okay, time to stop prolonging the inevitable and get down to it. The Walking Dead is gone until October, and life is now officially hard for us fans. However, I am really happy with how things wrapped up. So let’s get down to it. First off, Negan is not dead. This makes me really happy because I am not ready to be done with this character and any plot surrounding him. He’s just too juicy to only give us one season of story! I was obviously happy with The Walking Dead before he came along, but he definitely brought a new energy into the mix that has changed things up for the better. We did have a pretty good battle at the end of this finale, and clearly the war is coming. I loved how even in the middle of this guns-blazing showdown, Negan still had time to make quips! He is truly unhinged and it’s wonderful.
It looks like Dwight is truly on the side of Rick & the Gang. He was only being “Negan” to keep his wife alive. And now that she’s escaped, he wants to kill his former Dictator. Not to mention, he’s got some pretty solid plans on how to help out. He even apologized! And admitted he wasn’t aiming for Tara’s girlfriend when HE SHOT HER THROUGH THE EYE and killed her that one time! Dwight is part of the team for now, but Daryl and Tara are probably gonna whack him before long.
In a heartbreaking flashback, we see Sasha and Abraham’s last conversation before he met with the wrong end of Lucille. Sasha had a dream that he died, and didn’t want him to go on the ill-fated mission to get pregnant Maggie to Hilltop! After some beautiful dialogue, Abraham reminded her that this is what they do as good people. They fight the good fight and are willing to die for it. ☹
How cool was it to see Carol as the new leader of King Ezekiel’s knights?! Go, girl! The Kingdom is officially in with Alexandria. The handsome monarch we all love, reminds Morgan that this is not a mission of vengeance, and to not lose all of his former peaceful, compassionate self in the process. We all know I’m obsessed with Morgan, so I’m hoping he doesn’t have another complete mental breakdown and go feral again.
Here’s where things got really fucked up. Negan and The Saviors are supposed to show up in Alexandria, and the exact reason why isn’t known to Rick/Gang. We as the audience know that he is bringing Sasha along as a bargaining chip. His mole, Gregory, has told him everything. Negan likes teaching lessons to his puppet people when they stray, so Sasha negotiates to only have one person die for the crime. More on that in a minute.
Jadis and her super cool trash people show up in Alexandria in DUMP trucks to help kill The Saviors. For a cost, remember. In an epic twist I 100% did not see coming, The Scavengers double cross the Alexandrite’s and turn their weapons on them! Jadis shrugs off the betrayal, Negan offered a better deal. I can’t even be too mad at her. She’s doing all this to keep her clan alive. They’re still a badass matriarchy and I’m here for it.
Sasha spent the ride to Alexandria in a coffin, symbolic of Rick having to choose between her and another member of the fam needing to die for his rebellion. Sasha flips the script and takes Eugene’s suicide pills on the drive over; so when Negan pops open the casket, her killer undead self shambles out and attacks! Surprise, bitches! Mayhem breaks out, Rick gets shot (he’s ok), and before you know it, Negan has Rick and Carl (haven’t seen him in a while), kneeling before him. Carl is going to die, and Rick is going to be tortured. Before Lucille can be fed, Shiva the tiger comes to the rescue!! I cheered, almost cried, to be honest. I’m a cat person, so I love it when a cat saves the damn day. Obviously The Kingdom storms in followed by Maggie leading The Hilltop! Rosita gets shot, but Tara drags her to safety because she’s awesome like that. Much firing of guns ensues. The Scavengers bust out smoke bombs and Ninja-vanish along with The Saviors. Michonne got the stuffing beat out of her by a Trash person, but it looks like she and Rosita will both pull through. The season ends with both sides addressing their troops to prep for war.
I’m sorry this was a long wrap up, but there was some serious stuff to unpack here.
Top 4 Moments of the Night:
- Um...all of it. But let’s start with saying goodbye to Sasha. We knew it was going to happen, but it still sucked. This woman is amazing & will be missed. It was kinda awesome to see her in Walker makeup, though.
- The Scavenger’s betrayal! Before they turned on them, Jadis asked Michonne if Rick was her man. She then announced that after the fight she would be taking him as a sexual prize. God, I love that lady.
- Shiva the Tiger. I think she actually killed two people. Good kitty.
- Maggie as the new leader of The Hilltop. Like, officially. It was awesome to see her standing there with Ezekiel & Rick at the end.
Episode 15: Something They Need
WE ONLY HAVE ONE MORE EPISODE LEFT BEFORE THE FINALE! Okay, sorry, had to get that out of my system. Well, looks like they got Sasha - those bastards! So much for the one-woman suicide mission to assassinate Negan. Instead, she finds herself thrown in that same damn closet they always keep prisoners in. I guess this isn’t too shocking, since we are clearly counting down to a final battle. She can’t just cut the line and kill the monster ahead of schedule. Instead, she actually gets SAVED by Negan from the aptly named asshole, “Rapey-Dave”. Negan doesn’t allow sexual assault, (we’ve noticed before, Negan does seem to have some kind of weird honor code) so Dave has to go. Yay! Thanks, Negan! He then offers Sasha the chance to join them. He admires her “beachball-sized lady-nuts” and thinks she would make a good Savior. Of course there is a twist. A “little birdie” has alerted him that Rick is up to something, and he needs Sasha has a bargaining chip, or some nefarious fate will befall her, no doubt. Since the alternative is clearly death, she reluctantly joins. Her plan for Eugene to smuggle her a weapon to “kill herself” backfires after he gets her pills, and not a knife, to kill Negan. I wish she would just claim to be all in on joining The Saviors. Why has no one tried to infiltrate them and take them down from the inside yet??!
My money is on Gregory, the booze-soaked flailing leader of Hilltop, as that little bird tweeting to Negan. Gregory knows he’s losing his grip on the community. It gets even worse after he tries to butter-up Maggie and contemplates knifing her. Then a couple of walkers come along, and Greg is fully emasculated when the pregnant lady needs to save his ass. A group of scouts see all this. Maggie tries to help him save face by announcing he’s never had to kill one before. Apparently he’s been lying to everyone and claiming he’s a walker killer extraordinaire...yikes, that’s awkward. Maggie is so nice! She’s willing to work with this jackass and saved his life! I love her. My husband says I’m as nice as Maggie, so that makes me happy.
Tara, Rick, and the regular crew pay the women of Oceanside a visit. Tanya, their leader, isn’t happy to see them. The Alexandrite’s make it a peaceful affair and no blood is shed. They want the female community to help them fight Negan but either way, they’re taking their armory. Stupid Tanya almost ruins the whole damn thing and nearly gets Tara (and probably others) killed. Good thing her granddaughter, Cindy, is there to serve Grams a nice right hook to the face. Some water-logged walkers show up and the entire crew needs to band together to take them out. Nice teamwork, gang! Sadly, the Oceanside ladies can’t come to an agreement on whether to fight or not; so they won’t be coming along. But we can tell that Cindy and some others are happy that SOMEONE is going to battle.
Last but not least, there are a couple of surprises waiting for Team Rick when they get home. Rosita is back, and she’s got Dwight with her! That was definitely him in the shadows watching her last week. And now he claims he wants to help kill Negan. Do we dare trust him?!?
Top 4 Moments of the Night:
- This is a Maggie two-parter. Firstly, Maggie winning friends and influencing people at Hilltop. The girl is a natural leader! And secondly, Maggie saving that idiot, Greg. (Who runs the world?!)
- David, the would-be rapist, getting a knife right through the throat from Negan.
- Oceanside walkers covered in moss and barnacles. SO cool.
- The Oceanside standoff. We got a couple rather intense moments: when Tara tried to sway them, and then, once again, when Rick finally did. And it really was cool to see them all work together for a minute there to fight the mossy undead. And of course, Tara’s quote to Tanya & Cindy, “the world can belong to good people.” UGH, my heart!! She just nailed the whole reason why we need to fight The Saviors. I have a sneaking suspicion the Oceanside gals may ride in to help save the day in the end.
~ Sandra (@LilMsMnstr)