The Walking Dead – Season 6 Episode 16
“Last Day on Earth”
The most eagerly anticipated character in the entire run of The Walking Dead finally made his debut in the final episode of season 6. Jefferey Dean Morgan did a great job as Negan and bought a great malevolence to the character. Unfortunately we still don’t know who he ended up killing. The episode pretty much built up to the last 10 minutes, and for us not to get an answer was quite frustrating. The rest of the episode was a bit aimless, particularly the Morgan and Carol story.
Like in the last episode, far too many skilled people left Alexandria. Maggie needed medical attention but that seemed a bit of a clumsy tool to get them to leave and the various roadblocks they kept running into started to get a bit tiresome as the same thing seemed to keep happening.
Some harsh words were exchanged the first time they were stopped by the saviors and I thought we might get some shots fired. The next two or three times they hit a roadblock, Rick would order the van to turn around, until finally they realised there was nowhere to go. This all just seemed like filler to me, waiting for the big punch of the season, which was the appearance of Negan. I will say that the episode did highlight how truly out of his depth Rick is now. Up until this point there didn’t seem to be anyone in The Walking Dead world capable of stopping him from getting whatever he wanted. I think this does bode well for next season as we will see how he approaches situations where he is subordinate to Negan.
In the second story line Morgan finds Carol and tries to convince her to come back to the group. She’s a pretty stubborn woman so she refuses, her reason being that if there are people you care about, you’ll have to kill for them eventually. The flaw with this reasoning being that she killed a group of people after she left, while on her own, proving the world is kill or be killed regardless. It’s also pretty prophetic after Morgan ends up killing a man in order to save Carol’s life. After Morgan kills one of the Saviors, two people in body amour show up on horseback carrying spears. We get no insight in to who they are, at a guess I would say they could be potential allies against Negan’s group next season. I’m still not sure how relevant I find the Morgan and Carol story, I enjoyed their dynamic much more earlier on in the season when they had an opposing world view.
The final 10 minutes of this weeks episode of The Walking Dead was as tense as it was frustrating. Jefferey Dean Morgan was definitely the best thing about this episode and had a great presence about him. His nonchalant yet authoritative way of speaking really did build up a tense finish.
In general the final scene was pretty good. I loved the look of complete fear and horror in Rick’s face as it is something I don’t think we have seen to that degree before. He was completely helpless with absolutely no way out for the first time in 6 seasons. Even throughout this episode he had been acting cocky to the Saviors when they met them on the road.
I’m not overly keen on the fake blood splashing on the screen that they started using last week when Daryl was shot, it was fine for a one off, but in a scene like this it just undercuts the drama. Also the whole POV victim shot of whoever Negan beat to death just seemed all wrong to me. I did also think that deciding to finish the season on another cliffhanger was a bit of a writers cop out. Ending a season on a cliffhanger isn’t something I have a problem with when done well but this one wasn’t. The show had been promising the arrival of this hugely influential character for such a long time and to then finish the way it did was poor. Despite that the final 10 minutes or so was the strongest part of the episodes.
“The Last Day on Earth” was an overall disappointing affair with a few redeeming qualities. It’s all about building up intensity for the introduction of Negan, in reality half the season has been building towards it, and it failed to deliver. This seems to happen all too often in The Walking Dead. Jefferey Dean Morgan was great as Negan and I look forward to him being the main bad guy next season. The dynamic between Rick and Negan will be something to look forward to as I’m sure Negan will end up underestimating Rick which will open he door for a lot of excitement.
Last Day on Earth
- Jefferey Dean Morgan as Negan
- the final scene
- hints at some potentially good character dynamics
- any scene featuring Carol and Morgan
- the poor cliffhanger