After promising starts, it looks like we’ve had another completely inconsistent season of The Walking Dead that ultimately went nowhere. Thanks to its cliffhanger, it rendered all the build-up to the last few minutes useless as it gave us yet another bait and switch in a season that has been full of them. Showing someone get their head smashed in by Negan’s bat, but not showing the audience who it was caused some frustration and really didn’t deserve to be one of the most heartbreaking episodes of the series yet, which cast members such as Lauren Cohen had been building it up as.
I’m really considering giving up on this show because every time it give us signs of promise, it constantly reminds us just how awful it can be as this was one of the worst episodes of not just the season, but the entire series to date. There wasn’t even half an hour worth of actual story progression in Last Day on Earth and the fact that it was granted a 90-minute runtime was just so incredibly pointless and undeserved. It could have easily been cut down to make a more streamlined, better 45 minutes of entertainment.
Firstly though, let’s get the few positives out of the way. I’ve been waiting for Jeffrey Dean Morgan to appear as Negan for a while now and the former Supernatural star (who also had a brief cameo as Thomas Wayne in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) delivered here as the evil antagonist. His character was handled pretty well and the actor was clearly having lots of fun, but at the same time his entrance was cheapened by the cliffhanger. Negan like many villains before him (such as Dominic on Person of Interest) seems to be offering the “join or die” approach for Rick and his helpless captives, but it’s pretty clear that there’s going to be some sort of resistance going into Season 7.
One thing that bugged me about his Saviors is that they have essentially just turned into experts overnight. After being easily taken care of by the group in previous episodes, I don’t buy that they knew how to pull off their roadblocking plan so well to the point where they could give Daredevil’s ninjas a run for their money.
And what makes things worse is that this wasn’t the only terrible storyline this week as Morgan and Carol’s arc was underwhelming as well. Carol has regressed as a character over the past few episodes and Morgan, for all his no-killing stance, wasn’t afraid to change it on a whim to save Carol. Considering how good these characters can be it was a real shame to see this potential wasted this week.
The complete and utter cop-out of the cliffhanger ruined what would have been an otherwise solid introduction of a threatening new villain. When you take into account the slow-build of the episode and the hype built up around it before its start, it’s a real shame that Last Day on Earth was just so poor. Hopefully Fear the Walking Dead, which returns next week, will be a marked improvement on the latest season of its parent show.