TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 – Last Day on Earth | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 – Last Day on Earth

By Megan Wilde

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 - Last Day on Earth

“Last Day on Earth,” the season finale, the big encounter we’ve been building toward, ends up being a disappointment, a cop-out. We do get to see the hinted-at and long-awaited Negan, but the writers leave us hanging on the death of a major character — but which one? Oh, we’ll find out — in the fall. Frankly, it makes me angry. It feels like a very cheap gimmick.

And at an hour and a half, you think the show is going to be good, that big things will be happening and there’s too much to fit into just one hour. You would be wrong. Most of “Last Day on Earth” is just Rick and his group going in circles and literally backtracking trying to get Maggie to the Hilltop’s doctor after her mystery pain last week. (And she does not look good; they are right to try to get her to a doctor ASAP.) I understand that they are trying to do a slow build, showing Negan’s group slowly growing in malice and number and being ahead of Rick at every turn, but by the third time the RV is stopped by a group of Saviors, we are over it, and they’ve still got another couple of these encounters to go.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 - Last Day on Earth

You are outfoxed this time, Rick.

Along the way, we get a series of scenes that feel like goodbyes — and for one member of the group, it probably is. Even so, they aren’t real goodbyes, like, say, Andrea’s or Tyreese’s; they’re just moments that can serve as a goodbye when it’s revealed NEXT SEASON which character bit the dust. It makes it seem like the writers don’t know themselves which way they’re going with this, and that cheapens the stunt even more — audiences don’t like to be played for fools, and that increasingly feels like what is going on with this show this season. See: Glenn’s faux death, Exhibit A.

So who could be the one? The candidates are: Rick, Carl, Michonne, Maggie, Glenn, Abraham, Sasha, Eugene, Daryl, Rosita, and Aaron. It’s not going to be Rick, because duh. Neither will it be Carl, because Negan says he’ll take Carl’s remaining eye and feed it to Rick if anyone makes noise. The characters who have scenes that feel like goodbyes are Maggie, Abraham, Sasha and Eugene. And maybe Glenn and Daryl, if you look at past episodes — but to have scares with both of them, not kill them after those scares, and then kill them now would be almost incomprehensible. I just can’t imagine why they would ever think that would be a good idea. Perhaps I put too much faith in these writers.

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Eugene has a moment saying goodbye to Rick and Abraham after he volunteers to drive the RV as a decoy that REALLY feels like he is about to die, so I could see it being him. Or Abraham, since he is dead in the comics and Denise got his death a couple of weeks ago. It could be Maggie, but it seems like Negan wouldn’t have much fun killing someone who is so obviously almost halfway there already. I feel like Sasha, Aaron, and Rosita wouldn’t matter as much to us as one of the others, but I know that might be a reason why the show WOULD pick one of them. It had better not be Michonne, that’s all I’m saying about that (I don’t feel like it would be — although Danai Gurira is really busy and successful on Broadway right now, so hmm). Daryl would be an interesting choice, since he did kill a lot of the Saviors and probably is known to Negan for doing so, and Dwight has it in for him.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 - Last Day on Earth

Oh, crap.

But regardless of who it is, I predict the reveal will fall at least a little flat just because of how the show chose to play things in this episode. Because how can we properly say goodbye to one of these characters if he or she is just going to be a quick almost-footnote at the beginning of next season? All the emotional weight that could have accompanied this death is gone because it’ll just be thrown in there at the beginning of next season. One would hope it would be at the beginning, but I’m starting to not want to give this show the benefit of the doubt about making logical moves — it could really be dragged out. Imagine if we’d seen one of the group get bashed in by Lucille. We’d have all summer to mourn and talk about how that would affect everyone else and everything else going forward. But now we have all summer to complain about this unsatisfying cliffhanger and rethink whether we want to pick back up in the fall. That’s probably not what the show was going for. But who am I kidding? I’ve come this far; I’ll see it out.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 - Last Day on Earth

The day a walker gets the drop on Carol is a sad day indeed.

And Carol! What have they done to Carol? I did not want to believe that they were really taking her character in that direction, but they really are. They ruined the best character on the show, all in the name of a way to introduce Ezekiel and the Kingdom? Don’t get me wrong; that is a highlight of the show for me, when those two “knights” come upon Morgan and Carol and I realized who they must be, and I really am excited to see that, coming up. But it feels like that’s why they changed Carol’s character and made her leave: So they could find a reason to get her and Morgan out, where they could run into people from the Kingdom. And as excited as I am, that is not a reason to ruin a character.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 - Last Day on Earth

See? Not everyone shoots first and asks questions later.

So, it is an unsatisfying, disappointing episode on many levels. However, there are some good moments: the aforementioned knights, probably from the Kingdom; the look on Sasha’s face when Abraham starts talking about the two of them having a kid – it’s like she’s thinking, “Have you lost your damn mind?”; Eugene stepping up and showing his bravery; Morgan finally making the right choice by shooting Carol’s tormentor; and Negan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is fantastic. He has Negan’s charisma and dark charm down. His performance is mesmerizing. I really hope the show does not wimp out on his character. I am excited to see more of Negan. As much of a psychopath as he is, he’s pretty funny, and it doesn’t seem like they are going to shy away from that aspect of him. As much as this episode irritated me, I am curious to see more of Negan — and Lucille.

FBI SCORE: 6.5 out of 10. “Last Day on Earth” is an overly bloated, irritating cliffhanger that leaves us unsatisfied on a few levels. But there are some bright spots, like the hint of another community from the comics, and Negan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance does a lot to raise this episode’s score; he makes Negan super charismatic, as he should be, and he is the brightest spot in an otherwise disappointing episode.

Megan Wilde

I'm an editor, wife and mom of two. I love to read and watch good TV and good (OK, and bad) movies. I like pop culture, sci-fi, zombies, comics, Neil Gaiman, Miyazaki movies, Star Wars, '80s nostalgia and all things geeky.

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