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Recap / The Walking Dead S 06 E 16 Last Day On Earth

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Season 6, Episode 16

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Something to fear.
On a desperate mission to Hilltop, the group discovers to their horror the true power of the Saviors, and that the deadliest threat they have ever faced has finally arrived.
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The sixth season finale.

As Maggie is in severe pain, the group prepares for a run to Hilltop to seek the aid of Dr. Carson. Carl refuses to allow Enid to accompany the group and even locks her in a closet to keep her home. Abraham, Sasha, Eugene, and Aaron elect to join the mission, and Rick leaves Gabriel in command of Alexandria while he's away, knowing that the Saviors could attack any day now.

Meanwhile, Morgan finds the horse the stranger he and Rick encountered was looking for. He mounts it and eventually finds Carol at a library, a site that is in the aftermath of a deadly attack. Morgan begins treating Carol for her injuries and tells her that she must return home lest she die from a possible infection, but Carol refuses, stating that since she has grown weary of killing, she can't be around the group anymore since she can't do what has to be done anymore, even for them. Carol soon escapes Morgan, and is shot by Roman, who decides to watch her die slowly (as he predicts that he will). Carol appears to have some sort of peace in the belief she is going to die, even as Roman shoots her several times. Morgan appears, and when Roman refuses to stand down, Morgan finally breaks Eastman's creed and kills him. Two heavily armored survivors arrive on horseback, and agree to take Morgan and Carol to their community since Morgan rescued their horse.

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The group is stopped in the road by a group of Saviors, led by Simon, who have a severely wounded man at their feet. Simon demands their supplies, and the life of one of Rick's people, but Rick refuses and boasts that he doesn't want to kill anymore of them. The group is allowed to leave by Simon, and they work out an alternate route to Hilltop. Unfortunately, the Saviors have formed a blockade there as well. The next blockade has a group of walkers in chains, all carrying a memento of one of the group's missing members (like a dreadlock from Michonne and one of Daryl's arrows). The next roadblock comes much sooner, as the group faces about several dozen Saviors. The group turns around and tries again, only to find a huge pile of lumber blocking their path. Eugene observes that they only could've done this with some very big resources. The man the Saviors tortured earlier is then suddenly hung from a nearby overpass, and Rick's group watches in sorrow as they realize how dire their situation is.

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Maggie's condition continues to worsen, and the group begins to get frustrated. Eugene proposes that the Saviors are looking for the RV, not whoever's inside, and volunteers to drive the RV as a distraction while the rest of the group takes Maggie to Hilltop on foot. The group agrees. Eugene gives Rick his recipe for homemade bullets, and Rick thanks him and tells him they're lucky to have him. Abraham tells Eugene that he is a strong survivor, and the two embrace before parting ways.

Rick, Abraham, Sasha, Carl, and Aaron carry Maggie on a stretcher through the woods until they hear whistling. The group panics and begins going as fast as they can, only to be surrounded by a huge amount of Saviors, who have already captured the RV and taken Eugene hostage. The group realizes that they are trapped. The shaken Alexandrians hand over their weapons, and the captured Glenn, Daryl, Michonne, and Rosita are brought to them by Dwight. The Alexandrians are forced to their knees, and Simon beckons for someone to exit the RV.

Negan has arrived.

The leader of the Saviors introduces himself, and says he's angry for them killing so many of his men. Negan orders Rick to surrender Alexandria and its resources to him, or he will kill them all - it's what he calls the new world order. Negan informs the Alexandrians that he is going to kill one of them with Lucille, his bat that he has wrapped in barbed wire. He remarks on Carl's stoic attitude (and calls him a future serial killer) and considers the extremely bad-off Maggie as his victim. When Glenn tries to stop him, Negan informs the group that any future outbursts during this confrontation will have them all killed. Rick and the Alexandrians can only weep, pant, and recoil in terror as Negan considers who to kill.

Negan decides to use "eenie meanie minie moe" to choose his victim. He finally finds his choice at random, and beats the victim to death with Lucille.

We see the victim's death through their POV, and the credits roll, leaving the season on a cliffhanger.


  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The Saviors' capture of the group is far more elaborate and relies extensively on psychological torture than in the comics, as a way to show just how powerful the Saviors are after half a season of humiliating defeats.
    • The Negan lineup is about half a dozen more numerous in the show than in the comics: the comic lineup consisted of Rick, Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia (who is long dead by this point in the TV show), Michonne, and Heath. The TV lineup consists of Rick, Carl, Michonne, Abraham (who was dead by this point in the comics), Eugene, Rosita, Aaron, Glenn, Maggie, and Canon Foreigner's Daryl and Sasha.
    • And finally, to be pendatic, Negan brought 50 Saviors to join his ambush in the comics. Here, as stated above, there are dozens and dozens of Saviors just at one blockade. Word of God states that there are at least one hundred Saviors present at the lineup.
  • All for Nothing: Eugene's attempt to pull a Heroic Sacrifice by acting as a distraction for his group to get away ultimately fails since he and his friends get captured in the end.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The season concludes with the Saviors defeating Rick's group and offing one of Rick's allies to send them a message.
  • Bat Man Grabs A Gun: In order to save Carol, Morgan finally breaks his vow to never take a life again and guns down a Savior after warning him that he can just walk away.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Negan comes off as a little strange, but he poses as a very serious threat when provoked.
  • Book-Ends
    • Abraham and Sasha's first and last major conversations during this season revolve around what they believe means living.
    • "First Time Again" (the season 6 opener) and this episode both revolve around Rick having a confident plan to conquer a dangerous threat, only to fail with horrible consequences. The first time, it's the enormous walker herd. This time, it's Negan.
  • Black Comedy: When the gang comes across a huge pile of lumber blocking their path, Eugene says that it indicates they're dealing with an enemy that has huge numbers, resources, and toys. Abraham remarks that it indicates that "we are neck deep up shit creek with our mouths wide open". The scene is where the group really realizes how dire their situation is, but Abraham's deadpan delivery and traditional funny diction can't help but make one chuckle.
  • Break the Badass: The Saviors literally had Rick and his pals at their mercy, and it shows. For Rick in particular it's...
  • Break the Haughty: After spending the back half of the season confident that he can easily deal with the Saviors, Rick is truly terrified when he's completely outmatched. Robert Kirkman offered this trope as a response to the immediate fan backlash to the cliffhanger, claiming that the episode is to focus on Rick and his group being brought down a peg.
    Negan: Sucks, don't it? The moment you realize you don't know shit.
  • Break Them by Talking: Negan's speech is meant to do this to the group. After terrorizing them all day, he now has them on their knees and points out how they are nothing compared to him and that they will give him half of their possessions because that is the natural order of things in this new world. He then explains that he will kill one or more of them and have the others watch.
  • Character Death: Roman is gunned down by Morgan, and one of the group is murdered by Negan.
  • Cliffhanger: The show runners decided to end the episode on a cliffhanger and thus we did not officially learn the outcome of the long-awaited climactic scene of this episode until October 23, about 7 months after this episode's airing, which Scott Gimple openly professed on the following episode of Talking Dead was a way to boost the ratings for the Season 7 premiere.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Aaron tells Rick he'll have to slug him and tie him up again to keep him from joining the emergency mission to Hilltop, recalling their meeting in "The Distance".
    • Eugene gives Rick his recipe for homemade bullets that he began working on around the time of "Twice as Far".
    • Abraham and Sasha are all too familiar with meeting a group of heavily armed Saviors on the road, after the events of "Start to Finish" and "No Way Out".
    • With Denise having died in "Twice As Far", the gang is forced to journey to Hilltop to have Dr. Carson treat Maggie.
    • "I do not appreciate you killing my men ("No Way Out", "Not Tomorrow Yet" and "The Same Boat"). Also when I sent my people to kill your people for killing my people, you killed more of my people ("Twice As Far" and "East")."
  • Crazy-Prepared: Despite his confidence they can deal with the Saviors, Rick has an evacuation plan in case Alexandria is overwhelmed by the Saviors.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • One of the innocent survivors being chased by the Saviors is captured, tortured, beaten, spray painted on, and hung on a bridge without a mercy kill, meaning he'll turn into a walker.
    • Lucille's victim is bludgeoned to death by Negan with multiple strikes in front of their friends.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: After spending half of the season trying to crush the Saviors and this the entirety of the episode get past their blockades to get Maggie to the Hilltop for medical treatment, Negan and his crew successfully capture them, break their spirits, and he executes one of their members in order to show his power.
  • Death Glare: The members of Rick's group who aren't crying are giving Negan this, particularly Carl and Abraham.
  • Defiant to the End: Despite their group being completely outmatched, Abraham and Carl do not lose their composure at all during the lineup scene. Abraham twice silently volunteers to be the victim.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Still weak from Dwight's shooting and outsmarting him, Daryl is completely submissive and quiet during the entire final scene.
  • The Determinator: Rick's group is determined to get Maggie to Hilltop and they are not deterred by the Savior blockade. They try to find a way through and when that proves futile they try a desperate gamble where Eugene acts as a distraction while the rest walks to Hilltop.
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: Rick and his friends try to dodge the Saviors by travelling through the forest on foot. Guess where the Savior army was waiting for them?
  • Downer Ending: Negan has Rick completely at his mercy and proceeds to beat one of his friends to death.
  • Evil Gloating: The Savior that led the first group met by Rick and the gang engages in some of it after the gang is finally trapped in the woods.
  • Expy: The new Negan spokesman (later identified as Simon) harassing Rick's group throughout the episode looks and acts a lot like Trevor Phillips (justified in that he's played by Trevor's actor, Steven Ogg).
  • Eye Scream: When he chooses his victim, Negan instructs his army that if someone tries to stop him, that they are to cut out Carl's other eye and feed it to Rick.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Negan Up to Eleven, a given considering this trope is his group's modus operandi. While he clearly is a fun-loving guy and is fairly affable to the gang, he is telling them that he now owns them and their property and will brutally beat one of them to death, and makes several threats should they step out of line while he chooses someone.
  • Forced to Watch: Rick's group is unable to do anything other than watch Negan execute one of their friends.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Morgan and Carol are in the library, one book is plainly visible in the background with its back cover facing the audience. Its title? Payback.
    • Abraham and Glenn are strongly implied to be the victims of Negan; for Abraham, he's had a massive amount of focus recently, which to pretty much any savvy fan is a mark for death, and he even tells Sasha he'd like to start a family and future with her someday. Glenn, meanwhile, was the victim in the comics, and right after Negan introduces Lucille, we get a shot of Glenn and the soundtrack picking up, which if not a mark for death is a clear nod to his comics fate.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The scene where Negan kills someone by bashing their head in with his baseball bat. In the comics, this scene was one of the most brutal, graphic moments ever. But thanks to the P.O.V. Cam mentioned below, we don't see any of it here. Subverted in the next episode where the death is shown, and it clearly matches the comics in its brutality and gore.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: All of Negan's F-bombs from the comics are omitted here, though he still has a rather filthy mouth and it still sounds natural, except in the two instances where "fucked" is replaced with "pegged."
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Negan is wearing a black leather jacket to enhance his evilness.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Saviors whistling. Whenever it is heard any other characters on screen react with panic and start running for their lives. No matter how much you run you are quickly caught by Saviors. Even Rick and his group react this way when they hear it in the woods at night.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Subverted. Eugene tries to act as a distraction to buy the group time to escape from the Saviors, but it turns out that Negan's people were already prepared.
    • Subverted again later when Abraham silently stands up and volunteers to be Negan's victim but Negan keeps walking.
  • Hope Spot: The group seems to have finally broken through the Saviors' blockade and are on their way to Hilltop. Then they see another barricade blocking the road and even more Saviors. Things only go downhill from there as it becomes clear that they are facing a small army with complete control of the area.
  • I Have Your Wife: The Saviors not only have Daryl, Michonne, Rosita and Glenn, they also capture Eugene after the group leave him with the RV to distract the Saviors.
  • Ironic Echo: Negan tells Rick that "you are not safe". Rick previously told the same to Carl with just as much gravity in "Strangers", during the arc which saw Rick accept his humanity and brutality and subsequently grow far more confident. By the point of this episode, however, it's made clear he's become too confident since then.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Rick and his group assume that the Saviors are following the RV, and so won't follow if Eugene drives it in another direction. Unfortunately, they are actually not only following them directly, but they end up being led straight to Negan anyway.
  • Kick the Dog: Negan coldly murders one of Rick's friends as they're Forced to Watch.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Roman shoots Carol while she's already injured on the ground.
  • Killed Offscreen: Lucille's victim is not shown on screen until the next episode.
  • Kneel Before Zod: The Saviors force Rick's group to grovel before Negan himself when speaking to him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Thanks to Morgan stopping Rick from killing the survivor who owns the horse from "East", he and his comrade were happy to help Morgan when he asks for their help with Carol who is suffering from gunshot wounds.
  • Last Episode, New Character:
    • Negan makes his long-awaited debut after first being mentioned in The Stinger of "Start to Finish".
    • It's implied that Carol and Morgan have encountered members of the Kingdom in their final scene of the episode (though one cameoed in the previous episode).
  • The Load: Justified. Maggie is pregnant (possibly suffering some sort of complication or miscarriage) and requires assistance from the others in getting to the Hilltop Colony.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": A collective one when the group hears a whistle and then more from all directions, realizing they are surrounded by Saviors.
  • Mercy Kill: When Negan takes a good look at the severely ill Maggie, he considers giving her the bat to put her out of her misery.
  • Mood Whiplash: The terror of the final scene is abruptly ended when the credits suddenly roll. Just check out a fan reaction video on YouTube for proof.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Negan at one point comments that he wants to shave, as Comic!Negan was usually clean-shaven.
    • Right after Negan declares his intent to murder one of the group and introduces Lucille, we get a shot of Glenn and the soundtrack picks up a bit. In the comics, Glenn was the one who suffered this fate by random choice in a deadly game of "eenie-meenie-minie-moe".
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: This episode marks how dead serious the Saviors are to Rick's people.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: This is the very first time the we see Rick looking helpless and shivering in terror since the pilot, same for his Badass Crew.
  • Pet the Dog: When the Saviors have the group captured, they are about to presumably forcibly take Maggie down from her stretcher. Abe stops them and pleads for them to help their ailing friend down. Simon allows it.
  • P.O.V. Cam: Either Daryl, Glenn, Michonne, or Rosita throughout the episode, and unfortunately also the victim of Lucille, who we don't learn the identity of until the next episode.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Negan allows the majority of Rick's group to live because he wants them to work for him by giving him their safe zone's supplies so he and his army will lay off. However, he wants to remind them that he's in charge by only killing one of their friends just to show how serious he is.
  • Real After All: It turns out that Negan was an actual person and not a boogeyman the Saviors made up like Rick's group thought.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • With Denise having been killed in "Twice as Far", the group is forced to head for Hilltop to get Dr. Carson's aid; given the nature of Maggie's ailment, they almost certainly would've had to go anyway given Carson is a trained obstetrician.
    • Rick's overconfidence led to him striking first against the Saviors; this episode confirms that Rick did so vastly underestimating the true strength of the Saviors and the scope of their resources and people. The group pays the price (or did six months later in real-world time in Season 7) for Rick's severe, premature miscalculations.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Negan delivers an epic villainous one to Rick's group.
    Negan: You see, Rick, whatever you do, no matter what, you don't mess with the new world order. And the new world order is this, and it's really very simple. So, even if you're stupid, which you very may well be, you can understand it. You ready? Here goes. Pay attention. Give me your shit... or I will kill you. Today was career day. We invested a lot so you would know who I am and what I can do. You work for me now. You have shit, you give it to me. That's your job. Now, I know that is a mighty big, nasty pill to swallow, but swallow it you most certainly will. You ruled the roost. You built something. You thought you were safe. I get it. But the word is out. You are not safe. Not even close. In fact, you are pegged, more pegged if you don't do what I want. And what I want is half your shit. And if that's too much, you can make, find, or steal more, and it'll even out sooner or later. This is your way of life now. The more you fight back, the harder it will be. So, if someone knocks on your door... (chuckles) ...you let us in. We own that door. You try to stop us and we will knock it down. You understand?
  • Season Finale: The sixth one, though the season's actual plot won't be resolved until Season 7's premiere in order to boost its ratings.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Negan kills one of Rick's friends, but the audience can't see who it is. The writers confirmed that this was an attempt to hype up the Season 7 premiere as opposed to actually concluding the episode's story.
    • Morgan and Carol are saved by the armored man who Morgan previously saved and are being escorted to an unknown safe zone to get Carol medical treatment.
  • Shoot the Rope: When the Saviors hang a man from a bridge, Aaron tries to shoot him down but he is stopped by Rick and Abraham. They point out that it would not work and Aaron would be just wasting ammo they will need later.
  • Silent Credits: This episode's end credits lack the show's theme music.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Roman's death at the hands of Morgan means the end of his Pacifist Run in the zombie world.
  • Smart Ball: The Saviors finally gain a victory by successfully laying a trap for Rick's group and waiting patiently for them to fall into their hands as opposed to setting out an all-out war.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Downplayed, but Heath is not amongst the lineup at the end of the episode, making him the only character who was alive at the time of the scene in the comics to not be a part of the television adaptation of the scene.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: The Saviors consistently tracked Rick's group throughout the entire episode in order to finally exact their revenge.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The gang spends the entirety of the episode on the run from the Saviors as they try to find a way to Hilltop. No matter which way they turn, they Saviors are waiting for them. It turns out the Saviors were herding them toward Negan.
    • Likewise, Roman, despite his injury, keeps on tracking Carol so he can exact revenge for the deaths of his friends.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Saviors finally become a credible threat in the episode.
  • Uncertain Doom: The fate of half the cast is in the air, since Negan executes one of them, but we don't exactly see who was killed. The only certainty is that it's neither Rick nor Carl.
  • The Unreveal: We do not find out who Negan killed before the episode ends.
  • Villain Has a Point: Negan correctly calls out Rick's group on their overblown egos and points out how they should not have underestimated him.
  • Villain Respect: Negan seems to be a bit impressed by Abraham's offering himself to die, and is definitely impressed by Carl's stone cold defiance.
  • Weapon of Choice: Negan takes the time to introduce Rick's group to Lucille; a baseball bat covered in barbed wire.
  • Wham Episode: Despite the widely panned cliffhanger, the episode does still change the show as much as the comic issue did: Negan has arrived and the Saviors have made it known that they're an entire army with complete control of the region, and really are not as hapless as they'd seemed until now. The group's pride and confidence has been completely shattered, they're forced to helplessly watch as one of them is killed, Rick realizes that he is no longer the alpha of his world, and in fact that the world at present belongs to Negan.
  • Wham Line: Eugene has taken the RV to make his Last Stand in order to distract the Saviors, theorizing they are following the RV itself and not the people inside. The others are heading for Hilltop on foot through the woods, seemingly safe for the moment. Then we hear a whistle.
  • Wham Shot: Several as the episode progresses.
    • Each consecutive shot of the Saviors' increasingly elaborate roadblocks. The final choice is the worst, as the group sees about fifty Saviors lined up and waiting for them.
    • The camera pans out when the group is captured to show the true numerical might of the Saviors - and what's worse, Eugene has been captured too.
    • Finally, Negan's exit from the RV. The most notorious villain in the history of The Walking Dead franchise has finally arrived.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Negan seriously considers killing Carl with Lucille.
  • You Are in Command Now: Rick leaves Gabriel in charge of Alexandria while he's away.
  • Zerg Rush: The Saviors successfully capture Rick's group by having an army of them ready to pounce in the forest.

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