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Sweatpants & TV | The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 16, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”

It all comes to a head in the season 7 finale as the communities of Alexandria, the Kingdom, and the Hilltop converge to fight the Saviors.  It’s a full circle kind of episode as the emotionally wrenching season 7 draws to a close, and Abraham and Glenn are very much present throughout these events.

When we left off last week, Sasha had a choice to make. She had no intention of letting Negan use her to hurt her friends, and she’d begged Eugene to get her a weapon of some kind, ostensibly so she could kill herself. The crafty Eugene did come through with a lethal weapon, but one that Sasha could only use on herself. It was the not the knife or shard of glass Sasha had hoped for – it was the poison pill Eugene whipped up for Negan’s wives.

Sasha is in the dark, eyelids fluttering, flashing back to a conversation with Abraham. He’s telling her that Maggie is in trouble, something to do with the baby, and he’s going with them to get help. Sasha is filled with foreboding and asks if they can’t sit this one out. Not gonna lie, I got teary, seeing Abraham again and the tenderness between the two of them. In the zombie apocalypse, you can’t ever have anything nice.

We jump around in time a lot in this ep. The next scene is Negan bringing Sasha pancakes in her cell. It’s going to be a big day and he’s super psyched that she has agreed to help him. Like any successful leader, Negan has a nose for people who are management material, and clearly, he sees potential in Sasha.

Flash to an oddly peaceful image of Sasha and Maggie, sitting together.

Back at Alexandria, we pick up in the cell where Rick is holding Dwight at gunpoint. Tara confronts the odious Dwight about killing Denise (my heart – still not over it!) and Dwight says he wasn’t aiming at her. That’s when Daryl loses his shit, slamming Dwight up against the wall and introducing him to the pointy end of a knife. Dwight tells them that Negan will be coming the next day and that he can help slow them down – knock over some trees along the route, that sort of thing. The Alexandrians are rightfully suspicious, but Dwight tells them he wants Negan dead. He went along before to protect Sherry (he reminds Daryl that Sherry helped him escape as well) and now that she’s gotten away, he doesn’t care anymore. They let Dwight go, still uncertain as to whether or not he is telling the truth. Daryl promises to kill him either way.

More Sasha and Abraham flashback. She’s telling him that she had a dream he died, and the pain on her face is a premonition of what we know is to come. Meanwhile, Negan is gleefully filling Sasha in on how he’ll get the Alexandrians back in line after they see her. He will, of course, execute three people just to make a point, but then everything will be hunky-dory. Sasha convinces him that only one person has to die.

We see Maggie consulting with Jesus and Enid. She thinks the Hilltop will have to head over to Alexandria to help in the fight, what with Gregory being AWOL. The Alexandrians may be facing a trap. We also see the Kingdomers on the march, complete with horses, banner, and tiger. Along the way, they encounter Morgan and Ezekiel persuades him to join them.

Other preparations are taking place. The goth garbage people and Jadis arrive and are welcomed in to Alexandria. There’s a lot of suspicious smirking going on amongst the Scavengers, but no one seems to notice this. Rosita and Aaron are rigging explosives in a truck outside the gates. Did anyone else find it weird how reserved Michonne’s response was when Jadis asked her about Rick? I mean, she’s supposed to be this hardass! I dunno, but if someone points to my man and asks, “Yours?” The answer is, “Bitch, yes. Hands off.” But perhaps Michonne is more evolved than I am.

While the Saviors deal with some downed trees in the road (so Dwight did keep his word), Eugene proposes that he go on to Alexandria and convince them to surrender. It seems like in his cowardly way, he does want to help them. It’s just that he thinks the best path for everyone is to roll over and become Negan’s bitches.

Sasha/Abraham flashback: In her dream, Abraham sank beneath the waves. He tells her he hates the beach. Sasha begs him to stay, imploring him to let Maggie take care of herself. As soon as the words are out, she flinches, but you can see how desperate she is. These flashbacks are always followed by the dreamy image of Sasha and Maggie in the field.

The Saviors arrive at Alexandria and Eugene addresses Rick with a bullhorn. Rick demands to speak to Negan and Eugene resolutely replies, “I am Negan.” At that moment, Rick closes his eyes in regret. Then he signals Rosita to hit the detonator and they duck. Nothing happens! The horror and betrayal dawn across Rick and Rosita’s faces and before they can react, Jadis and the Scavengers have pulled out their guns. It seems they made a better deal with the Saviors. Once again, the Alexandrians get kicked in the metaphorical nutsack.

Back to Sasha in the dark. She’s with Abraham and he’s telling her that they always, always put themselves on the line for others. It’s what they do. He kisses her. He says he knows she did not like hearing herself say that Maggie should take care of Maggie, and Sasha admits he’s right. Sacrificing themselves for the good of others is what gives them purpose.

Negan reveals that he has Sasha in the casket that is on the back of the flatbed truck they’ve brought. Rick demands to see her, and Negan is clearly delighted to trot her out. Except that when he does, it’s WALKER SASHA who emerges, hissing and growling like a badass. Oh, Sasha. You didn’t get the weapon you wanted, so you became a weapon. It’s her last act of loyalty and service to her friends.

Negan grapples with Walker Sasha and he’s clearly disappointed by her choice. He and Simon get away and Sasha goes on to nosh on another Savior. In the confusion, the Alexandrians draw their weapons and fight back against the Scavengers. Jadis shoots Rick in the side and pushes him off the platform and Michonne is getting the snot beat out of her by another Scavenger.

Once again, Rick finds himself kneeling before Negan with Carl beside him. However, this time feels different than it did in the season opener. Even as in the distance, Rick hears a scream that he thinks is Michonne falling to her death, Negan graphically describes how he’s going to kill Carl with Lucille and then smash Rick’s hands, and Rick doesn’t even blink. He just tells Negan that he’s going to kill him and all the other Saviors. That they’re all already dead. There’s a curious look on Negan’s face as he regards Rick, then he gets up to take his deadly swing at Carl’s head.

And this, my friends, is where some might say The Walking Dead jumps the shark, but if you’re gonna jump the shark, do it with a fucking tiger. Just as Negan cocks the bat, Shiva appears out of nowhere and savages a Savior who is looking on. Negan FREAKS OUT.

The Kingdom is in the hizz-ouse! Ezekiel brandishes his sword and declares that Alexandria will NOT fall this day. It’s glorious. Maggie and the Hilltoppers also arrive, firing their guns. It’s a full-on battle.

The Scavengers quickly figure out that they chose the wrong side in this deal and Jadis signals to her people. They set off smoke bombs to cover their escape.

Rick and Carl are relieved to see that the body on the ground is a Scavenger and not Michonne. They find her, bloodied and barely conscious. She struggles to get out the words, “We are the ones who live” but can’t quite do it. It doesn’t matter. Rick knows. He promises her that they will.

Back at the Sanctuary, Negan asks Eugene how he thinks Sasha managed to die in the casket, and without hesitating, Eugene says she probably ran out of air. Negan then tells his assembled Saviors that they’re going to war.

One of the most poignant scenes in the entire episode is Maggie and Jesus encountering Walker Sasha. The grief on Maggie’s face at the sight of her friend is heartbreaking.

Daryl finds a wooden soldier figurine carved by Dwight with the words “Didn’t know” written on it.

Maggie narrates the end of the episode, telling Rick that it all began when Glenn made the choice to save him, way back in the beginning. One stranger choosing to help another. And now here they are, family. What began as survival has become cooperation and sacrifice and service. We’re watching the evolution of this new society. As the episode ends, Rick, Ezekiel, and Maggie stand on a platform before their people, united in purpose.

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About Nanea Hoffman (221 Articles)
Nanea Hoffman is the founder of Sweatpants & Coffee. She writes, she makes things, and she drinks an inordinate amount of coffee. She is also extremely fond of sweatpants. She believes in love, peace, joy, comfort, and caffeinated beverages.

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