The season finale of “The Walking Dead” directed by Greg Nicotero and written by Scott M. Gimple and Matthew Negrete can only be described as an absolute mess. I often have my complaints about the show but rarely come away from it so completely disappointed and appalled. Season six has been a roller coaster for sure, it started off strong but slowly began to dwindle. Characters began to do illogical things (ex: Carol leaving the walls after a character was murdered) and the writers couldn’t stop trolling their audience, episode 16 was no different.
The episode titled “Last Day on Earth” opens up with three scenes all juxtaposing off one another: Morgan on his search to find Carol, Carl and Enid arguing about whether the latter should go with Rick and the rest of the group to take an ill, pregnant Maggie to the Hilltop, and an unknown man running in the forest away from the Saviors who are chasing him.
The only highlight of the episode was Morgan’s decision to kill in order to save Carol (who was the biggest disappointment, character wise this episode), which for those who were growing bored with his optimistic outlook on the world might be relieved. But whether or not he’ll change his “all life is precious” philosophy, we’ll have to stay tuned for.
The tension is laid heavily upon throughout the entire episode, every time Rick and his group come in contact with the Saviors who block each and every single road to the Hilltop we slowly begin to give up hope and slowly begin to believe Maggie isn’t going to make it. But Rick doesn’t, and he keeps that same arrogant attitude we all know and love, all the way up until he finds a lock of Michonne’s hair stuck on a chained up walker purposefully set there to torment the group. It’s this moment when we think Rick is going to lose it. It was only hours ago when he was curled up in bed with a blushing and giggling Michonne. But he manages to keep it together for the sake of Maggie.
But it’s the cliffhanger that destroys all of this build up, and if not the whole season. As the group finally gives up trying to travel on the road, they decided to go by foot but it’s a trap and they end up running into the Saviors. It’s in this last scene that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) a comic fan favorite finally appears with his trusty companion, Lucille, a bat covered in barbed wire.
The Saviors make the Alexandria group all knee down in front of him, and Negan plays the game of “eeny, meany, miny, moe” because he can’t choose what group member to kill: Rick, Carl, Michonne, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Abraham, Sasha, Eugene, Rosita, or Spencer. As he plays his childish game, close-up shots are shown to us as our hearts beat rapidly in our chests. Then he decides and begins beating the character to death. The problem is, we don’t know who. The moment was shot in the character’s perspective, we scene one after they’re hit and it’s a blurry image of Negan and with a second hit the screen goes black. And all we hear are the mushy bits that were once someone’s head.
After waiting through 15 episodes, and suffering through endless commercials throughout the 90-minute episode, the audience was apparently deemed to be unworthy of seeing which beloved character would get the bat. Fans will now have to wait until the seventh season, starting in the fall, to see which character was murdered. The finale wasn’t just a disservice to the fans or the character, for it surely was but most of all it was poor writing. The show-runners didn’t deliver what they promised, what they had been promoting all season that it would be someone’s last day on earth.