The Walking Dead Series Finale: My reactions. All in all, wow.
My rare nerdy moments are peaking out after the Walking Dead proper comes to a close. I wrote about my thoughts and beginnings of the show a while back, but it now comes to a finish (or does it?) after 12 years.
Basel works for AMC outside of House, and him and I were talking about the finale. I spent hours this past week going through all of the spinoffs, reading and watching all of the summaries, fan theories, and recaps.
The night as a whole was a pretty cool setup. It's not very often that a television series gets a red carpet event to close out their work. The displays and decorations, hearing from actors of the past, it was a nice touch to the finale. I didn't need to see Demi Lovato though , nor do I believe that she's a fan. But that's just me.
Now for the series finale. 90 minutes (well 65 after commercials) of the last Walking Dead episode ever. My thoughts typed as they happened are below.
The opening scene of Daryl getting knocked out rather then getting shot was a stretch. Of course the whole crew would escape the walker hoard, and make it to the hospital. Daryl just having O- blood is so perfect, let alone remembering he was O- was questionable, but I'll take it because it's Daryl.
Losing Luke was sad for his OG crew, but it wasn't really that major. I was more worried about Daryl (who we already knew would survive) and Judith. Too many characters, he's been gone for a while. It sucks his story ends, but it wasn't needle moving anymore. Having him be there saying they'll keep the music alive was touching.
Daryl putting Judith in the hospital room and barricading it was identical to Shane doing so with Rick in season 1. It was a great nod to the first year of the show.
Rosita surviving a fall, absolutely demolishing an entire pack of walkers, then jumping into the building to climb into safety, a while having her child on her chest, was a bit of a stretch.
Negan has had the ultimate character arc in television history. Him wanting to kill Pamela instead of Maggie so she can come back to her son was awesome to see. He wanted to right his wrong. He understands how he destroyed Maggie, and the apology that we've been waiting for was much needed, and helps make sense of their spinoff in "Dead City", or at least them making amends.
Eugene talking about the summer and saying how Rosita can teach her child to swim in Oceanside like nothing crazy has happened year after year is priceless. It was a total foreshadowing to the shock of her revealing she was bit. Everyone speculated she was going to get the nix this episode, and I am surprise that it happened. What a strong character who has done so much for the crew. This one stung.
Mercer is part of the crew, and everyone agreed. Ezekiel putting his crown back on saying this is our home and this place is worth fighting for was one a tone setter.
Meanwhile, the Mercer monologue was needed for plot purposes, but so unrealistic. Same with Pamela's. She is the WORST. Such a cold bitch. She should've been shot on site, but democracy. Daryl stepping up being a leader, calling out Pamela as a leader making us worse, and dropping f-bombs, was heroic, and the one line. "This Ain't The Walking Dead". OHHH BABY!. Total Rick moment. The whole sequence I liked, because the good guy's won.
Pamela letting Hornsby almost bite her was pathetic. Maggie not letting it happen so she can take care of her latter was predictable, but I was for it. Hornsby coming back at the end was great good symbolism. Gabriel being the one to let the citizens in from the gate, and being a catalyst of saving people was one of the prime examples of great character arcs in this show. From timid and shutting people out, to opening the gates for his congregation. Fantastic work.
The record scene with everyone working together and luring the walkers, felt way too similar from Stranger Things. The flames also gave Game of Thrones vibes. Sacrificing part of their community to stop this was insane, but needed. I thought they figured out how to fix this way too quickly, but that's the power of this group I guess.
Outside the show, there was a ton of commercials, as anticipated, but I thought it was super creative of AMC to have a ton of the commercials Walking Dead themed and included former characters. Milton, Gareth, Andrea, nice touch.
Pamela in prison was too similar to Negan, but not as tough. The cutaway from her to him though was spot on, followed by Negan tossing away the walker mask. It's a new chapter for our villain-turned-friend.
Maggie talking about Glenn to Negan was so sad. I felt like it wasn't talked about enough. Granted, it was years and years ago, but still. Her describing the tortuous acts and calling out Negan needed to happened. The conversation was authentic, she doesn't have hate for Negan anymore, but she will never forget. Again, why they both go to New York is still mind boggling to me at this point.
A Thanksgiving episode? Happiness? Landslide by Fleetwood Mac? Dog is back?! It doesn't feel right. I felt like they just rushed past that the one explosion saved the Commonwealth. It doesn't make sense. Also, how is Rosita still alive? Thinking further though, the crew is finally having the dinner they dreamed of.
There was a lot of emotions at the dinner. Negan and Daryl's subtle stare as outsiders, Rosita telling Gabriel that her time is almost over. Yumiko and Magna embracing. All slow ties for the show. It was poetic.
I am glad Rosita got a loving death. She deserved to die happy, in comfort, and surrounded by loved ones. Being there with Carol and Maggie, alongside her daughter, Father Gabriel dawning his priest robes and giving her Last Rites Prayer, Eugene showing his gratefulness, Daryl watching outside the door. It was all a perfect way to end her story. I thought there would be some more overbearing sadness, but it was one of the first times in a while these characters watched a loved one die so slowly.
A one year later time jump? Are you kidding me. I didn't like that, but guess it had to happen, but it felt way too rushed. Yet again, it gave Rosita's death purpose and allowed it to be a stand alone moment. The memorial plaques were a nice tough. Eugene and Max have a daughter named Rosie. Love it. Ezekiel as Governor and Mercer as Lt. Gov. What a combo!
Where is Negan? The note to Judith was special, because she was the first person that gave him the benefit of the doubt. I am curious how his story connects back with Maggie. Also, where is Negan's wife and child?
Daryl is a cowboy, exploring the frontier. Loved the embrace with Connie too.
Alexandria is back and thriving, as it should! The core of Maggie, Daryl, and Carol being the ones to talk about the future is great for the fans and for the story.
Carol developing communities and building for the future its how it should. I wish she was given a spinoff. What a great arc for her story as a whole. Bravo.
Also Carol and Daryl's final moment as best friends, not lovers, is what the show needed to address.
Daryl does deserve a happy ending, yes Judith. He's back on his bike, and he's ready for the next chapter. His growth from the first episode to his last word. What a performance. Daryl reassuring that he is going to keep looking for Rick and Michonne is foreshadowing to their series, but I wish it was addressed in the year time jump.
One last Greg Nicotero walker is exactly what I expected.
The Post Credits...
After four years. Rick. Is. Back...
The cinematic back and forth of Michonne and Rick was a nice touch. They were writing to each other, writing to Judith and RJ. Writing back to their family and community. The parallels, the items, it was done perfectly.
The narration and the flashbacks of every main character we lost was excellent closure and beautifully played.
Rick wearing the CRM uniform, looking like he's escaped. Rick is one of a kind. The timing is confusing, because although it was the post credit after the series finale, and it included flashes of what we watched. Rick was tossing the belongings in the boat. This has to be the same boat that Michonne discovered, right?
What is this Michonne group? Who is she riding her horse too? What does she see?
Rick outside of Philly? The CRM helicopters are back. Who is speaking to him? Why is he smiling at them? Is it Jadis, is he in shock, is it someone we know? I cannot wait for AMC to finally tell his story.
That was a lot. I was unsure on how they were going to close this all out. I liked the episode, I liked it a lot, but I didn't love it. I was content, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought the story was a tad rushed, but there was plenty of storylines they covered perfectly, and others, who were smaller, that weren't addressed, but they didn't need to be I guess.
I still have some questions. What happened in that year jump, I wish there was a little bit more dialogue rather then just characters catching up randomly. Is Pamela still in jail? Where is Negan? I wish there was more time to see what happened.
And as anticipated, the last five minutes hooked me and gave me hope. It had all of the elements that made me like the show, it showed us Rick and Michonne, it tied some lose ends, and it made me excited for what's to come next year, and for the spinoffs of the future.
I was never a big sci-fi guy. I never thought I'd like this show. But the Walking Dead captivated me. They made the characters relatable. They made the post-apocalyptic world realistic. The actors have so much passion for the show, and it was present in the episode and in the Talking Dead finale.
So after a lot of typing, and a lot of years watching, it's a happy sad feeling that one of my favorite shows has come to a close. I cannot wait for what's to come.