After the nerve-wracking finale of Season 6 of “The Walking Dead,” viewers of the Season 7 finale of the show, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” were unsure if this, too, would be a cliffhanger of the first degree or whether we’d finally see some satisfying resolutions. You decide which of these – or both of these – “The Walking Dead” Season 7 finale provided. Note: Spoilers Ahead.
One of the unique features of this episode are both montages of Sasha listening to the song, “Someday We’ll All Be Free” by Donny Hathaway via earphones and flashbacks of Sasha’s memories of her and Abraham’s final conversation. The brief scenes of Sasha listening to music portend things to come, while the flashbacks provide insights into both the intense bond between Abraham and Sasha and a reminder of what it is that drives so many of the characters to fight Negan and the Saviors – for the possibility of a better future for those who come after.
Negan visits Sasha in her cell, bringing her a sumptuous breakfast and declaring that this day is the first day of the rest of her life. Negan explains what it is he wants of Sasha when he and the Saviors go to Alexandria to get problems solved.
He explains that a few people will die, but not Sasha herself, and not many people. Sasha says that no one needs to die.
Rick asks Dwight at gunpoint why he is willing to help the people of Alexandria now. Dwight explains that he wants Negan dead.
Tara tells him that the woman he killed with an arrow through the head was a good person, that Denise was a doctor who helped many people. Dwight explains that he hadn’t been aiming for Denise.
This incenses Daryl, who rushes at Dwight, pinning him against the wall with a knife to his head. Tara is in the background, encouraging Daryl to kill Dwight as Dwight explains that his loyalty to Negan was due to him wanting to protect another person – his wife, Sherry – but now with her gone, he has no loyalty to Negan and the Saviors.
Dwight describes to Rick and the others that Negan and the Saviors are planning an attack on Alexandria the next day. Dwight offers to put out roadblocks to help slow down the caravan from the Sanctuary, giving Rick and the rest time to make their preparations. Dwight explains that by taking down Negan and the group that comes with him, the alliance can then begin to take one Savior outpost after another, with the Saviors learning to trust Dwight, Rick and all.
Negan finishes explaining to Sasha what it is he wants her to do to help him take over Alexandria. Sasha agrees to help, but says again that no one has to die. Negan explains that the deaths are intended to be a punishment to Alexandria for resisting him, that punishment has always been part of his leadership style. Finally, Negan agrees that instead of three people he had intended to kill, he will limit it to one person instead.
Negan tells Sasha how much he respects her, that she is a tough but classy warrior.
Jesus has gone to the Hilltop to tell Maggie what is going on at Alexandria and the impending visit by Negan to that community the next day. Maggie mulls over what she knows and realizes Rick isn’t aware that Gregory has left Hilltop or what he may be telling the Saviors.
Maggie wonders aloud if the Hilltop community should help Alexandria fight the Saviors. Jesus says he is confident that Maggie will make the best decision for all.
Carol and the Kingdom Knights
Carol and the Kingdom Knights, along with King Ezekiel, are out on patrol when they come upon a roadblock made with shopping carts. Wary because they have seen this type of roadblock in the past, the group begins to investigate further when Morgan comes out of hiding to speak with them.
Morgan, who is now wearing the slain Benjamin’s armor, talks to Ezekiel who invites Morgan to join them, that to fight the Saviors alone is folly. Ezekiel points out that Morgan is wearing Benjamin’s armor, but will Morgan fight in Benjamin’s honor?
Morgan follows the group as they begin to walk on.
Jadis and the Scavengers show up at Alexandria by the trucks full, aptly most of which are garbage trucks. Jadis asks Michonne if Rick belongs to her, to which Michonne replies that yes, the two of them are together. Jadis then asks Michonne if she minds if Jadis lays with Rick after the battle.
Aaron, Daryl and Rosita are busily preparing explosives for the arrival of Negan and the Saviors. Dwight and several of the Alexandrians are setting up roadblocks to slow down the Savior caravan while the Scavengers and Alexandrians busily begin to take up positions to defend the wall and the community.
Eugene and Sasha are talking as they walk through the Sanctuary. Eugene says that if people die today it is due to the choices they make. Sasha agrees.
Negan and the Saviors arrive at Alexandria’s gate. Eugene is talking on a bullhorn, encouraging the Alexandria community to surrender. Hearing Eugene talking like that, many of the Alexandrians become angry. When Rick demands to know where Negan is, Eugene answers that he is Negan.
Rosita pushes the detonator for an explosive device meant to blow up the Savior caravan outside Alexandria’s gate, but no explosion happens. Rick, realizing there is a problem, goes for his gun to begin an assault on the Saviors, but before he can act on that, the Scavengers turn on their Alexandrian allies and open the gate for Negan and the Saviors.
Negan tells Rick that by his show of defiance, Rick has just orchestrated everyone’s deaths. Negan wonders aloud why he was prepared to kill Eugene along with everyone else outside the gate with the explosives. Rick turns to Jadis and reminds her that they had a deal; Jadis explains she got a better deal with the Saviors.
Dwight and Simon uncover a large box on the back of one of the Savior’s trucks. The box turns out to be a coffin that the two men stand upright. Negan explains that Sasha is in the coffin.
Negan demands all the guns that Rick and the Alexandrians have gathered, and wants to the pool table, pool cues and chalk or Sasha will die and so will everyone else. In addition to these demands, Negan explains that Rick will have to choose one person for Negan to beat to death with Lucille as punishment for the group’s uprising.
Negan spots Daryl and threatens his life.
We get to see what happened at the Sanctuary as the caravan was getting loaded. Negan tells Sasha she doesn’t need to ride all the way to Alexandria in the coffin, that she can get into it just before they arrive at the gate.
Sasha offers to ride in the coffin, asking for a bottle of water to take with her. Eugene has let Sasha borrow something he got from the commissary so she can listen to music on the journey. Eugene wants her to know that sometimes his heart is in the right place. Sasha tells him she has hope for him yet, then gets into the coffin and is closed in there.
Negan approaches the upright coffin, opening the lid to let Sasha out. Sasha has become a walker and attacks Negan as he lets her out.
At this point, all hell breaks loose. Sasha the walker is trying to bite Negan, but is pushed off by a Savior, who she then bites. Rosita is shot. Jadis shoots Rick in his side. Gunfire can be heard throughout the community.
An intense hand-to-hand battle between Michonne and one of the Scavenger women is taking place away from the gate. Michonne is being beaten savagely by the Scavenger woman.
Jadis parades the wounded Rick over to Negan who is standing with a group of Saviors who have Carl already there, on his knees in the grass. Rick is made to kneel beside him.
Jadis reminds Negan that their deal was for 12, but we don’t know 12 what. When Negan doesn’t answer her, Jadis says 10 will do.
Negan says that if he had a son, he’d want him to be just like Carl, which he says makes it that much harder for him to do what he has to do.
A woman can be heard screaming in the distance, to which Rick reacts with dismay. Negan says it sounds as if Rick just lost someone important to him, which is a shame considering what Negan must now do as punishment for Rick disobeying him.
Negan says he will kill Carl with Lucille but will try to do so with one hard blow so the boy doesn’t suffer and then he is going to take off Rick’s hand. Rick and Negan are now eye-to-eye as Rick tells Negan to go ahead and take Rick’s hand, but that he is going to kill Negan, maybe not today, but at some point.
As Negan stands behind Carl, ready to take a swing at the boy’s head with Lucille, Shiva pounces on Negan from out of nowhere.
The Kingdom and the Hilltop communities have come to help the Alexandrians fight Negan and the Saviors. The Scavengers set off multiple smoke bombs so they can make their getaway amid the gunfire between the Saviors and the newly-formed alliance. Negan leaves in a truck; we cannot see who is driving.
Rick and Carl begin to look for Michonne, thinking she is the one who hey heard screaming earlier. Instead, the Scavenger woman with whom she’d been fighting is found dead on the ground after having fallen from a building. The two find Michonne badly beaten and barely conscious inside the building. Rick reassures her.
Later we see both Michonne and Rosita in hospital beds, recovering from their wounds.
Dwight, Eugene, Simon and Negan have made their way back to the Sanctuary. Negan wonders aloud how could Sasha have died in the coffin and asks Eugene. Eugene answers that she must have run out of air inside the coffin; Negan isn’t convinced this is true, but it is plausible.
Negan walks outside to the yard where the Saviors are gathered to hear what he has to say. When Negan shouts that they are going to war, the Saviors cheer.
Jesus and Maggie find Sasha the walker; Jesus mercifully kills it.
Daryl finds a dusty old toy soldier. As he looks at it, he notices that handwritten on its back is “Didn’t Know.”
Maggie’s heartfelt conversation with Rick:
Ezekiel, Maggie and Rick stand together to address their united communities.
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