TV Review: The Walking Dead – Series 6 Episode 16: ‘Last Day on Earth’

After all of the build-up to Negan’s dramatic reveal, the series six finale of The Walking Dead falls short of expectations, says


Image: AMC

Image: AMC

All that I can say is that I am incredibly disappointed in that ending. Could the showrunners care any less about their viewer-base? Okay, maybe I’m being a little melodramatic, but that final scene has really left a bitter taste in my mouth. Sure cliff-hangers, in theory, encourage viewers to return to the show for the next series, but when a show is six series deep like The Walking Dead is, surely they’ve already established a decent enough fan-base that this is entirely unnecessary. So when they chose to alter the perspective of the famous scene from issue #100, an issue that might I add introduced Negan as a means of encouraging readers not to drop off of the comic series, to one where we don’t know who has died, fans have a right to be frustrated. I come out the other side of ‘Last Day on Earth’ not pining to find out who got up close and personal with Lucille – a scene that will now, for me, continue to lose impact until October – but rather harbouring an immense feeling of disappointment for the last episode of a great series.

‘Last Day on Earth’ was also another example of the show’s runtime being expanded to 90 minutes for no real reason. What would really have been lost if they had kept to their original runtime? Maybe we’d have seen the group go down one less road and be stopped by the Saviours one less time? Granted, this did serve to create tension building up to the final reveal of the grand scale of the Saviours’ capabilities, but in all honesty it did kind of feel like we were watching them driving around just a bit too much. Furthermore, this is but one example of where the episode felt a little dragged out. Well at least they can take pride in the fact that it wasn’t as bad as the 90 minute Morgan special…

Speaking of Morgan, it looks like he’s learning that sometimes people have to die to save the ones you love. I’m very glad that he saved Carol don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t seem like she was too pleased. It looks like they’re building her up to have a similar death to her comic book counterpart, one that I would have thought that they would have steered clear from after all of the character development they’ve invested in her over the course of six years, but it doesn’t look like their plans are making much sense anymore anyway…

Just look at how Daryl survived last week’s episode. It doesn’t seem like there would be much a reason for Dwight to keep him alive, so why on Earth would he not just shoot to kill him? I was pleased to see that he was alive, but it just seemed a little odd that Dwight would choose to shoot him without the intent of killing him, especially if all that he wanted was to capture him. A gun to the head usually does the trick of making somebody lower their weapons. I suppose that the bad blood between the two made it make some sense and it does seem like the Saviours take enjoyment out of dragging out somebody’s death. The rivalry between these two probably means that either of them won’t be going away anytime soon, but who knows, maybe Daryl’s fate was just to meet Lucille instead?

Although I’ve been highly critical of ‘Last Day on Earth’ for the most part of this review, I do want to commend the casting choice of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan. He fits the character down to a tee. He perfectly captured how this psychopath can go from menacingly playful to full blown monster at the drop of a hat and genuinely brought home just how much fans of the show are going to hate this guy. Rick looks more afraid than he ever has been before and with good reason too. Next series is about to get really hairy for the Alexandrians and although this series finale was mostly a huge disappointment, it still has ushered in one of the greatest conflicts in comic book history and that is enough to make anybody excited!

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