Cat and mouse. That’s what “Last Day on Earth” was. It was a game of cat and mouse. The mouse? Rick and Co. The cat in this episode? The Saviors. And the Saviors have all of the pull in this game. The mouse can run as much as they want, but inevitably, the cat always gets them.
Morgan and Carol
The search for Carol continued in last night’s episode, Morgan hot on her trail. He finds a horse, which thankfully survives the episode. (A horse’s survival is unheard of in this show, after all. So this horse beat the odds). After a little bit of riding and much determination, he finally finds Carol slumped outside of a building in bad condition. She is injured, having presumably survived an attack.
After tending to her wound, Morgan begins to make plans for their trip back to Alexandria, but Carol wants nothing of it. She is adamant in her resolve to leave everyone in Alexandria behind. She cares for them, but she won’t kill for them. As she tells Morgan, when you care for people there is always a price to pay, and she is not willing to pay that price anymore. Carol believes that her only option is leaving everything behind and being on her own. And she does just that. When Morgan goes outside to kill a walker that is hanging, she leaves.
If only her escape could go smoothly. She encounters a walker, and being injured, she struggles to kill it. Just as she puts it down, a Savior attacks her; this is the same man that had survived her attack on the Saviors in “East.” He is on the verge of dying, and in his final moments, he wants to see Carol die a slow death. He shoots her in the arm not once, but twice. Carol smiles, though, and this confuses the man. Carol says that there is nothing wrong with her anymore because she is going to die. In this moment, Carol is welcoming death. She feels that she is getting what she deserves; she has taken a long list of lives, and she believes that this is the time that someone will take hers.
Morgan follows the gunshots to the scene and tries to talk the man out of shooting Carol. He tells the Savior that he can survive this if he drops the gun. He doesn’t want to have to kill the man. Before the Savior has the chance to kill Carol, however, Morgan shoots him dead. Aikido. It means not to kill, and it is the way that Morgan has been living since he encountered Eastman. Only Morgan cares for Carol, and he realize that she was right; when you care about people there is a price to pay, and he paid that price.
Another Family Roadtrip
When “Last Day on Earth” begins, Rick and Co are on a new mission: get Maggie to The Hilltop doctor as soon as they can. The pains that began for her last episode haven’t subsided; in fact, her condition is only worsening. The life of not only her, but also of her unborn child, depends on them getting her to The Hilltop. Maggie is family, and Rick will do anything and everything to save his family. So Rick, Carl, Aaron, Eugene, Abraham, and Sasha all get into the RV, a sick Maggie joining them, and they begin their journey to The Hilltop.
As is true of The Walking Dead, however, nothing goes as planned and things have a way of turning sour in an instant. The group encounters the Saviors not once, not twice, not even three times; too many times to count, and with each encountered, their situation becomes more and more dire. The firs time that they encounter the group, everyone in the RV aside from Maggie gets out. The Saviors have a man, and the lead Savior of this small band explains to Rick that this man is someone who was with a group who didn’t listen. He demands that Rick gives them all of their stuff, but Rick is unwilling, and they part ways. Before they leave, however, the two men exchange words. Rick asks the man if he wants this to be his last day on earth, and the Savior counters by asking Rick the same question, stating that this could be the last day on earth for anyone in Rick’s group.
Sasha and Eugene draw out a new route, and they steer the RV in that direction. It is once again blocked. They go a different way, the Saviors shooting near the RV, but not directly at it. This new way is, once again, blocked, this time by a group of zombies chained together, making it impossible for the RV to drive through. So the group gets out, and they realize something familiar about two of the walkers; one has one of Michonne’s dreadlocks, another has two of Daryl’s arrows protruding from it. Rick realizes that Michonne and Daryl have at some point run into the Saviors. As gunfire ensues on them, Rick quickly takes an axe to one of the walker’s arms (callback to Jessie in the midseason premiere, anyone?). They escape, but they escape with the dawning realization that the Saviors wanted them to go that way.
They are being corralled. It is a game of cat and mouse, but the Saviors are the game makers and they have Rick and Co. exactly where they want them. While our motley crew may escape, the Saviors are always ahead of them…and behind them…and every way that they could possibly turn. They all realize this, but it is Eugene who realizes that the Saviors are corralling the RV and are unaware of the occupancy inside of the RV. In a last-ditch effort to save themselves and get Maggie to The Hilltop, they desert the RV, Eugene manning up and staying behind to steer the RV and throw the Saviors off. If only things could go that easily.
Taking Maggie out of the RV on a stretcher, the group, minus Eugene, makes their way through the woods. Soon enough whistling coming from every direction surrounds them, and before they know it, Saviors surround them. The RV is there. Eugene is there on his knees. Their weapons are taken from them. They are forced to kneel in a line. They made it, as the Savior that they had encountered earlier says. Daryl, who is badly injured but alive, Michonne, Glenn, and Rosita are all pulled from a truck and forced to kneel in line with the others. This is all in preparation for the big event.
It was 1 hour and 15 minutes of anticipation. 1 hour and 15 minutes of suspense. 1 hour and 15 minutes of build up. 1 hour and 15 minutes that came in the wake of seven episodes leading up to this moment. Negan. And he is worse than anybody could have imagined.
The bat-wielding, leather-wearing, mouth that would make a sailor blush, man steps from the RV, and he is all business. This is the new world order, and Rick hasn’t been playing by the rules. It’s career day, and it is time for Rick and the other residents of the Alexandria Safe Zone to become employees. Their boss? Negan. Their job? Give him “half of their shit.” Consequence for breaking the rules? Death.
But Rick and Co has killed Negan’s men, and Negan can’t let that slide. There has to be a punishment for what they have done. An example has to be set. And that example is to be set by someone meeting Lucille, Negan’s bat wrapped in barbwire.
Eeny, meeny, miny, mo.
Catch a tiger by his toe.
If he hollers, let him go.
Eeny meeny, miny, mo.
My mother told me…
to pick the very best one…
It’s a game. Everything is a game. And Negan makes his decision of whom to kill with a game. Only we don’t know who that person is. Flashes of their faces, of the characters that we have come to love, are shown before the camera is instead turned to the point of view of the victim, slowly fading to black as they die. It is the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers in the history of cliffhangers.
This is usually the part where I talk about the characters and the entire episode, but in the wake of “Last Day on Earth,” I think that we’re devoting this section to those final 10 minutes and that cliffhanger that will keep us all on the edge of our seats until October. Who in the world got Lucilled?!
The introduction of Negan and the terrible death of Lucille’s victim is such an iconic scene in the comic books, and it is something that comic books readers have been anxiously waiting for for seasons. Everything since the midseason finale has been leading to this point, but did The Walking Dead do it justice by leaving it on a cliffhanger and not revealing who the victim is? By reactions on Twitter, fans aren’t too happy.
While I am usually a die-hard fan of cliffhangers, this one seems a little cruel. Our favorites on their knees, a barbwire bat swung in front of them, the pure terror on their faces as they realize that there is nothing that they can do, that they will once again have to witness someone who they love die. The wobbly camera fading in and out as the camera takes on the point of view of the victim. And then black. No knowledge of who just died. No clues. Just a black screen and constant speculation until October.
- Carl locking Enid in the closet…not nice, Carl, but you just saved her life. Also, “Just survive somehow.”
- Father Gabriel stepping up again. Ready to fight. Ready to protect. I like this version of him.
- Rick talking to Maggie and telling her that she will get through this and everything will be fine…I wasn’t crying, you were.
- Abe and Sasha. Do we ship it? Anyway, he’s ready to settle down, and he’s just waiting for Sasha to be ready with him.
- Who wouldn’t want to play a fun game of Zombie Red Rover? Red Rover, Red Rover, send all your things over…to the Saviors.
- SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! POSSIBLE COMIC BOOK SPOILER! Did anybody else get The Kingdom vibes from the two men that Morgan encountered?
- Eugene stepping up again? Abraham calling him a survivor? Rick telling him that they’re lucky to have Eugene. I like this Eugene.
- Breath of relief for Daryl still being alive.
- Breath of relief for Daryl possibly meeting Lucille.
- Okay, but really? Really? That cliffhanger? Who in the world got Lucilled?! Who?! Who was it?! Somebody please tell me, because waiting until October is going to be torture!
So, what did you think about the episode? Who do you think got Lucilled?
This is usually where I put “Don’t miss an all-new episode of The Walking Dead Sunday at 9 EST on AMC,” but we’re going to be waiting until October, so…