Goodbye *insert name of dearly beloved character here*, HELLO NEGAN!!
This was the title of my post before the season finale aired. I did so because I honestly did not believe AMC would end the finale the way they did. They followed Negan’s intro speech from the comics nearly perfectly (no F-Bombs unfortunately) and it gave me chills. I felt my heart racing when he finally informed Rick’s group he was going to slaughter one of them and started methodically playing eenie meenie miney mo since he couldn’t decide. The music was chilling, the tension was at an all time high and I truly felt like we were going to see someone truly beloved…
GET. THE. BAT.
But it never came. Well it did. But it killed the person we never thought would die.
THE FUCKING CAMERA MAN
But before I talk about the ending, let’s go through my usual review process. Story, pros, cons and final verdict. But first I’d like to explain some history behind my relationship with the Walking Dead.
I became a fan of the show right before season 2 started. I had a best friend of mine suggest it to me and since the first season only had 6 episodes, I was like “why the fuck not?” So I went ahead and I watched it and I loved it. I loved how the zombies looked, I liked the characters and I was curious with how they would go with the story. I had no idea the show was based on a comic book until maybe a season or 2 after. I’m not sure to be honest. I picked up the comic a few seasons later and binged through it. At the time, there were about 120 something issues. So that would place the time frame roughly in the summer of 2014. We’re in the year 2016 now so now there’s over 150 issues.
I love the comics. Even more than the show. Even though I would read Rick’s lines in the comics in Andrew Lincoln’s voice (dude’s the best part about the show, I’m not sorry). So as a lover of the comics, I was hoping the show would replicate the comic’s most iconic moments and they mostly did. They changed the roles of various characters and gave various characters different deaths but they mostly followed the lead of the comics. The way they went about the journey may have had slight differences but they still ended up reaching the final destination (it’s not like they made a huge deviation). Which is something I’m okay with, variety is good. Changing things up and being flexible is a quality you gotta have in order to have an entertaining show. So all things considering, I think the show’s pretty damn good. Do I like the comic more? Fuck yeah, there’s just so much more you can do on paper than you can do on television so that’s just something you gotta keep in mind and considering how vulgar and explicit the comic is, the show is doing just fine. After this season finale, the show is officially past issue 100 of the comic.
So let’s finally move on to the review. Oh yeah, there’s gonna be SPOILERS.
Following last episode’s ending with Daryl being shot and a huge chunk of Rick’s group being captured by the Saviors and Morgan looking for Carol on his own AND Maggie getting some kind of pregnancy pain, Rick decides to take the other huge chunk of his group to the Hilltop to get Maggie some help from the doctor over there. In addition to that story line, we also have Morgan looking for Carol who actually manages to find her slumped over near a run down house (or something, I didn’t get a good look at it). He patches her up as best as he can and tells her that they’re heading back to Alexandria the next day. Carol currently in her angry teenager phase, threatens Morgan but then takes it back asking nicely to just “let her die”. Morgan goes with the “all life is precious” thing again then proceeds to go clean out the surrounding area of walkers and leave Carol alone to recover. Which predictably leads to him finding her gone when he returns and him having going to find her again. While that’s going on, Rick’s group of Abraham, Sasha, Aaron, Carl, Eugene and Maggie head out to the Hilltop leaving Alexandria with about 4 relevant characters in Gabriel, Enid, Tobin and Spencer. No way, that’s gonna end well.
- The buildup/ The Saviors. This episode was over an hour and a half long so you can imagine a ton of buildup and holy shit was all of it good. This half season has seen Rick’s group massacre the Saviors time and time again with no casualties. So we finally get an episode seeing just a little bit of what the Saviors actually are. They spend about a 1/3 of the episode beating the crap out of a random from a community called Blackberry. Apparently they were under the Saviors “protection” but decided to try to break free from it. It didn’t end well for the community and this guy is the only survivor. Outside of seeing the Saviors hang this guy from a bridge with a chain, the rest of what we see from the Saviors is their numbers. They blocked off all of the major routes to the Hilltop that Rick’s group tried to take which were about 3-5 roads with about groups of 15 or so per blockade, one of them being a blockade of chained together zombies. Pretty dope. These guys mean business.
- Steven Ogg as Unnamed Savior
Trevor Philips .If you know me, you know I’m the biggest GTA 5 fan. So seeing this guy as the semi-awkward mouthpiece for the Saviors throughout most of the episode was pretty awesome. Trevor’s voice is obviously exaggerated for the game but you can still hear him in Steve’s performance which was just pretty fucking dope. (Poor dude doesn’t get a picture on his own but he’s the skinny dude in the front on the right in the above picture. Real life Trevor Philips man).
- Morgan. Ahhh yes the dude finally stepped it up. Carol being the angry teenager she is ends up being caught by the Savior she wasn’t able to kill back in the last episode. She ends up getting shot twice but gets saved by Morgan who finally throws away his “all life is precious” life lesson but shooting the dude multiple times before he tries to bury the kill shot in Carol. Wonder what kind of road Morgan’s gonna go on now.
- The glimpse of the Kingdom. Shortly after Morgan saves Carol, 2 people with makeshift body armor stumble on them. They tell them that they can help Carol and Morgan with no other choice decides to believe them. Followers of the comic know their outfits resemble those of this community called The Kingdom. Shit’s getting real guys.
- Jeffery Dean Morgan as Negan. Negan finally makes his debut in the TV show in a big way. Appearing about 70 mins into the episode, he takes center stage, making Rick look like he should have worn his brown pants and making the rest of the group look incredibly uncertain and absolutely terrified of what was going to unfold. JDM pulled off Negan’s intro speech incredibly well considering he wasn’t able to drop the numerous F-Bombs Negan is known for in the comics. He looked the part as well except the facial hair which he does make a reference to while he was speaking so hopefully we get to see a shaved Negan in Season 7. The dude was methodical, he was intimidating , he wasn’t nearly as vulgar was I would have liked but alas that’s television for you. Lucille looked damn good too.
- Carol. I don’t think this is such a big deal since it eventually leads to the introduction of the Kingdom which is a pretty cool community in the comic (and eventually leads to a pretty cool character with a pet unlike any other) buuuut her little angry teenager phase was pretty lame and lead to important characters looking for her which could have ended badly and made her look like a giant dick. So. Yeah. Not a good look Carol.
THE FUCKING ENDING
Dammit, I did not think AMC was going to go this route despite what I heard rumbling in the rumors department of a potential cliffhanger for the season finale. It just didn’t seem likely to me. Why blow an epic moment like issue 100 in the comics on tv by cutting it at the end?
Imagine if they ended it like that?
It just didn’t make sense to me but it started creepin on me as the timeframe for the episode to end was fast approaching. The show was going to end at 10:33pm and Negan was STILL talking and not bashing heads. As much as I like Negan talking, I really wanted to see how they were going to pull off the iconic head bashing scene from the comics.
But they didn’t do it.
Instead after an intense game of eenie meenie miney mo where the camera constantly panned between Negan and the various characters of Rick’s group set to increasingly suspenseful music full of heart pounding tension, the camera switches over to a first person view of one of the characters looking at Negan. Then violently shaking with a blood pouring down effect on the viewpoint as Negan swings Lucille over and over and eventually the screen goes black. You hear more swinging sounds of the barbed wire entangled bat hitting and demolishing flesh.
And then the credits roll. I immediately scream at my TV
“NO NO NO NO
THEY CAN’T END IT LIKE THIS
they can’t end it like this.”
But they did. And now I’m incredibly dejected. And I’m stuck with blueballs. One of the greatest moments from the comics ever. The biggest hour and a half long tease. Cut short. Right. At the climax.
Now we have to wait until October. I don’t wanna.
I will be seeing Hardcore Henry this week so expect another review soon.
Thanks for reading. Catch you next time.