And this is the way the season ends. Not with a bang, but a bashing.
Yes, after months of teases, Negan strolled into the picture with his cherished bat, Lucille, in tow to shake things up for Rick and the other survivors. Unfortunately, we don’t know just how the new world will look for Rick’s group because the episode concludes with Negan killing someone, but who that person is remains a mystery.
Before arriving at that crucial juncture, though, let’s roll back to the beginning of “Last Day on Earth” as there is plenty of road to cover in the lengthy season 6 finale.
We’re talking about an actual road here, though, because the actual events of “Last Day” can be boiled down quite simply: Rick wants to get Maggie to the Hilltop for treatment, but the Saviors have set up various roadblocks at every turn to prevent them from arriving at their destination. Negan is sick of having his men killed, and he’s finally seeking retribution and restitution. He’s just playing with his food first.
Almost every familiar face in Alexandria accompanies Rick on the RV when they set out for the Hilltop. Father Gabriel stays behind, now in charge of protecting the town (and, most importantly to Rick, Judith) with Spencer by his side, while Enid is left behind against her will. She pleads with Carl to go along with them, wanting to be there for Maggie and to help save her, but Carl refuses to put her in such jeopardy. So he fools her into the closet of the armory, locking her inside, and telling her to “just survive somehow.”
So the rest of the cavalry (well, those not already captured last week by Dwight and the Saviors) ride out of town, Maggie burning up in the back as they race to get her the medical attention she so desperately needs.
Rick tries to comfort her while on the road by saying that they’re all in this together, that everything they’ve accomplished has been as a group, as a family. But any comfort those words provide should start to dissipate at the signs of their first roadblock. A relatively small group of Saviors, their cars parked blocking the road, stands before them, with Steven Ogg’s chatty Savior in the lead. (While you may recognize him from guest spots in shows like Better Call Saul, Ogg will likely be most familiar as the man behind Grand Theft Auto V’s Trevor.)
Stepping out of the van, Rick offers to make a deal, but Ogg’s Savior tells Rick he wants all of their stuff and will probably kill one of them. (Stuff is so vague a bargaining term, but it’s understandable why he may not have a detailed list on him at all times. Who knows how long he had to be out at that roadblock for?) Rick would rather take their “stuff” and not kill anyone at all, but, unsurprisingly, no deal is actually made. The Saviors have a captive, whom they spray paint in the street after having previously beat him to a bloody pulp (he says he comes from “the library,” but what that is isn’t exactly clear to me), assuming he must be one of theirs.
So Rick makes to leave, just as the lead Savior of this group makes the first big foreshadowing speech of the episode. Rick asks him if he wants to make today his last day on Earth, and the Savior throws the question right back at him, suggesting he or someone he loves is not long for this world.
Whatever mind games he’s playing, they certainly seem to contribute to shaking up Rick, who visibly grows more concerned and even more scared than he has appeared in a while. The group turns around and plans to make for another route (a leg of the trip in which Abraham conveys to Sasha, in his own way, that he’s open to the idea of fostering a family with her). Naturally, they come across another band of Saviors, a slightly larger, more heavily armed battalion, which forces them once again to find another road.
So they come to a third block in the road, which, on the surface, is not comprised of Saviors. Instead, a group of walkers have been chained across the road, and running right through them with the RV could risk taking out their vehicle. So Rick and a small group ease their way out of the van only to find these walkers bear familiar markers. Signs of Michonne and Daryl signal that their fellow friends are in serious trouble, but they quickly find themselves in danger, as well, when a firefight breaks out. Rick makes to clear the the living dead defense system, chopping off an arm to break the line and thereby setting the walkers loose.
NEXT: Rick and the group hunt for salvation while Morgan continues his hunt for Carol