Apr 042016
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC


The Walking Dead is a maddening show. Not so much a “love to hate” show, but a show that can be loved and hated in almost equal measures. The Season 6 finale, Last Day on Earth, evidences both The Walking Dead’s best qualities and its worst ones in abundance. There was much that was stunning, and much that was just like, oh come on, really? Because this is a whole blog post, and not a tweet, I will certainly be getting into more detail on both the love and the hate.

But first, A CLIFFHANGER? REALLY? That is just bullshit. You can say, what was I expecting? It’s a TV show, isn’t a cliffhanger de rigueur? No, not really. I mean, I’m fine with the fact that a cliffhanger exists, but you can’t argue it’s necessary to bring in the audience when the show already has mega-high ratings. A show that popular can afford to reveal something major in the season finale and trust the audience to return. Obviously, the producers would argue that the reveal is Negan himself, but in interviews, all the major players have said, ‘Oh, don’t you worry, we’re not teasing, there will be serious, important deaths in the season finale’, so the refusal to reveal who (and confining the “who”—at least in this episode—to one person) is a cheat.

Pissing our pants yet?

Last Day on Earth did some wonderful things, especially introducing Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan. With all the tension surrounding this character, the slow build, the growing aura of terror surrounding the Saviors, this had to be done right. The raid on the Saviors compound was the very definition of “too easy”—we didn’t see all that for us to be done with the Saviors, and we didn’t see some random guy identify himself as Negan, for that to be that. So, the ultimate introduction of Negan and the true size of his army had to scare the pants off of us. More importantly, it had to scare the pants off of Rick’s crew. And boy howdy, that all worked. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was great. Rick was dripping with terror. The army was three levels past imposing into Holy Shit.

Another thing that was done very well was giving everyone a strong character moment. It’s like the writers have been on the internet and learned that we all figured out that when someone gets a character moment, they’re going to die. So, in service to the cliffhanger, everyone got the death knell character moment. Well done, truly.


Here’s what didn’t work, though. I get that Maggie was very sick. Maggie had Plot Device Disease, a terrible condition of pregnancy that causes everyone to pile into an RV. But by the second roadblock, Rick and crew should have known that they were well and truly fucked, and that every route would be blocked. The leader at the first road block told them as much. Again this episode, Rick said, “Just as long as it’s all of us we can do anything.” This is not only arrogance, but foreshadowing—we know it’s not going to be “all of us” any longer.

I honestly don’t know what we are to assume is wrong with Maggie—I’m not a medical professional, but it doesn’t fit the symptoms of any complication of pregnancy I know of. Preclampsia doesn’t have fever. Eclampsia is defined by seizures. Most other alarming conditions of pregnancy–placental abruption, ectopic pregnancy–would be accompanied by mild or severe vaginal bleeding. Either they made something up, or they’re too delicate to talk about vaginal bleeding, which is nastily ironic in an episode that introduced Lucille.

Hey, why doesn’t our gang have a cool name? There’s Hilltop, Wolves, Saviors, and the people Morgan encountered appear to be folks from the comics who have a cool name as well, but I won’t spoil that. How come I keep having to say “Rick’s crew”? We need a name. Arrogant Assholes is what I’m toying with at the moment.

Arrogant Rick was somehow unable to discern that these roadblocks meant…there would be roadblocks, or he was too arrogant to imagine that could stop him. He should have gone back to Alexandria and then they’d have to do their best with medical textbooks. Not a hopeful solution for Maggie, but dragging her through the woods on a stretcher is definitely not better.

Did you notice that there were no women in Negan’s crew? On the roadblocks (including last week’s roadblock that encountered Carol), in the woods, and in the compound that Rick and the A.A.s raided, it was all men, mostly big, burly men. Then the group that captured Carol and Maggie were mostly women. Seems like Negan is segregating genders.

Meanwhile, Carol and Morgan are in a parallel story, not at risk from the Saviors (yet) and having encountered what’s obviously a different group, and a much friendlier one at that. Carol’s whole sudden turn into moral confusion, suicidality, and stupidity is not well-written. I think moral confusion and post-traumatic stress, not to mention grief, are absolutely legitimate to play. What drives me nuts is Carol’s notion that somehow, being out in the world on her own will result in her killing less, when her first eight hours disproved that theory. Morgan’s relentless kindness, though, is its own kind of badass, and I’m coming to appreciate it. I assume whatever horrors await the group currently held captive by Negan, Carol, Morgan, and the People With Horses and Padding will play an important role in a rescue.

Or, I don’t know. Maybe a rescue isn’t necessary. Negan said that he needed Rick to work for him, so that seems like he intends to free them and send them back to Alexandria—exactly what he did with Hilltop, after all. I guess next season, then, is Alexandria in service to Negan, and how to fight back, and again, that’s where Morgan and his new friends will come in. (I can’t go by the comic books, here, they diverge too much—keep us guessing.)

So, Walking Dead, you have pissed me off with your stupid Carol and your stupid Rick and your pseudo-disease and your shitty cliffhanger, but you have thrilled me with your incredible cast and strong pacing and terrific world-building, so I’ll be back for Season 7, and find out who’s death I have to mourn.

What about you, Basketcases? Who do you think died? Will you be back to find out? Does Negan scare the beejeezus out of you?


  23 Responses to “The Walking Dead: Last Day on Earth (Season 6 Finale)”

  1. It wasn’t completely clear to me why they didn’t go back to Alexandria, I believe at one point someone (maybe Rick?) said something to the effect that “They must be behind us, too), so it was pretty clear that they were being herded to some location. And I was kinda pissed because they were teasing a big, important death for the last few weeks, then leave us with a cliffhanger… and from the victim POV which didn’t make a whole lot of sense unless it’s not actually a death. All in all I was a bit disappointed – I’m getting kinda tired of Rick swerving between relentless killer and flop-sweat despair.
    And don’t get me started on the ham-handed writing of of Carol’s descent. The first time she started gibbering I thought she was just playing a role to lull her captors into complacency so she could bad-ass them, which is how it played out.But then she bugged out. And again, tears and gunfire, but then very uncharacteristically she left the scene without confirming her kills and preventing the dead from walking again. I am left quite conflicted and confused, waiting for next season…

    • I hear you about Carol. I think the cliffhanger this season is like Who Killed Rosie Larsen–they really went too far in discussing it. The showrunner, creator, producers, have all said, “Oh, yes, no bullshit, no teasing, there really will be major character deaths in the finale”. We’ve been posting those interviews here.

      I thought Rick wouldn’t go back because Denise’s death means there’s no doctor in Alexandria.

  2. The whistling is going to haunt my dreams. And thanks to Jeffrey Dean Morgan that was almost the best scene the show has ever had, the shitty cliffhanger being the one thing to ruin. I loved that he called Carl a future serial killer.

  3. By the time Rick said that about being surrounded he’d already ignored like 2500 warnings.

    My theory is the writers haven’t even decided, and maybe there are contract negotiations. But mostly the former. I didn’t think of it until people started asking, Who do you think he killed?, and my reaction was NO ONE IS REALLY DEAD, which progressed to my theory.

    • Yeah, first one to ask for a raise is the one who ends up dead. So much for your movie career, Norman Reedus.

    • Based on nothing, I gotta think the writers KNOW who died.

      My original theory was that Glenn got killed and his much criticized miracle dumpster adventure was just a feint to throw viewers off the scent.

      Now, my conspiracy theory (albeit so obvious that it could be a fake out as well) is that the writers/producers killed off Daryl (Norman Reedus has a new show coming out), but had trepidations about fan outrage and want to test the waters a bit more and keep their options open.

      Or Negan killed Tony Soprano. 🙂

      [Comic spoilers deleted by the sadistic but fair editorial staff.]

      • I gotta think the writers KNOW who died.

        You’re damn right the writers know who died! Nothing happens randomly on this money cow.

        My original theory was that Glenn got killed and his much criticized miracle dumpster adventure was just a feint to throw viewers off the scent.

        No, it was foreshadowing. Glenn says the big Goodbye.

        the writers/producers killed off Daryl (Norman Reedus has a new show coming out),

        Yeah, I thought that too, and pontificated all over the internet about that. But it’s only 6 episodes and was shot real quick during the break.

        But Daryl is prominent in the s7 teaser.

    • I don’t doubt that the writers know who is dead. I also had a minute of “Maybe nobody is dead”, but they already teased that with Daryl in the previous episode… and they’ve been VERY specific that somebody died.

      Personally I think it’s Jon Snow…

  4. Here’s a thing that’s bothering me the next day.

    How come Negan’s people are so silent in the woods?

    Did you see those guys? That’s an army of burly toughs. They look big and lunky. The look vaguely urban. The do NOT look like Sneaky Native American Ninja Woodsman who can come up behind you without snapping a twig. That’s, like, YEARS of training. There were dozens of them in the woods and no one heard them? DARYL, who is legit a REAL woodsman, didn’t hear them?

    I call double-plus bullshit.

  5. Maggie, St. Mary, Hypatia of Alexandria and Abraham of the Abrahamic religions and Roman Empire.

    After watching the season finale, I’m more convinced that Maggie will be one of Negan’s victims. In “Last Day on Earth” she can represent St. Mary with her unborn child as Jesus, or she herself can be Christ, both dying for the sins of the group. And in contrast Maggie can also represent Hypatia of Alexandria who was brutally murdered by a Christian mob.

    As an after though to Deborah’s Maiden, Mother, Crone observation from “Same Boat,” I commented in Deb’s “East” review that on season wide scale Deanna could be the crone, Denise the maiden, and eventually Maggie the mother who would die at the hand of Negan, a symbol of the patriarchal order which he represents.


    After watching the season finale I’m even more convinced that Maggie will be one of the people Neagan kills, but as seen from the angle of St.Mary and Christ plus Hyptia of Alexandria.

    The season finale began with crosses of light, which is Christian symbolism at its core, and those crosses kept reappearing throughout the episode. There’s been a lot of Christian symbolism this season, complete with a flying Jesus and the decision to mass murder the Saviors made in a church. Especially there’s Carol who’s has gone religious and pacifist, complete with a rosary which is associated with St. Mary.

    In the finale, Carol is wounded as per Christ’s wounds, but in reverse order. Carol first gets a gash on her side, which Christ gets after his crucifixion to make sure he is dead. Then Carol gets shot in her leg and arm, as per Christ’s wounds from being nailed to the cross. Interestingly, I read online that the name of the Savior who shot her is Roman, not so subtle. Carol’s suffering at the hands on the Savior seems self-inflicted, in that she wants him to make her pay for her sins, just as Christ died for the sins of others. And once her ordeal is over, Morgan’s words imply resurrection (“You are gonna come back from this”) and they are greeted by almost angelic figures from another group.

    Also, the way Morgan cuts down the library survivor from the tower is similar to removing Christ from the cross.

    There is an “Entertainment Weekly” review goes in depth with much of the other Christian symbolism in the episode. Suffice to say, there’s a ton of Christiness all over the episode.

    Which leads to Maggie. Her trip as pregnant woman looking for a safe place (Hilltop) to help her baby but being turned away at every road by impasses, reminded me of pregnant Mary and Joseph being turned away at the inn at Bethlehem and having to give birth in a manger.

    Also, when Enid wants to go to Hilltop, she tells Carl, “Jesus, this is about getting Maggie to a doctor.” Interesting how “Jesus” and getting Maggie to a doctor are in the same sentence.

    Moreover, when Negan sees Maggie, the first thing he tells her is, “Jesus. You look shitty.” On its face it’s “Jesus (the expression). You look shitty.” But symbolically it could be “Jesus (addressing Maggie as Jesus). You look shitty.” Which would describe Jesus after dragging the cross to his crucifixion.

    Negan goes on to tell her, “I should just put you out of your misery right now.” The word “misery” immediately reminded me of Christ’s suffering before the crucifixion, just as Maggie suffered on her path to Hilltop. The term for the period between Jesus coming to Jerusalem and his travails till the crucifixion is called the Passion, or Latin for “suffering.” So symbolically Negan could be saying, “Jesus, I should just put you out of your Passion right now.” And the way to do that is through death.

    The most telling line is Neagan saying, “Everybody’s at the table waiting for me to order.” Hmm…Christian symbolism, folks sitting at a table, LAST day on Earth…it’s the Last Supper! In Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Christ is in the middle in a light blue upper cloth with a redhead to his right. And in Neagan’s lineup, Maggie is in the middle (counting Eugene) wearing a light blue shirt with a redhead (Abraham) to her right.


    And throughout the episode the crosses of light keep on appearing. The fact that the crosses are made of light rather than ink or paint may be symbolic. Specifically, Lucille means “light.” So crosses of light could mean crucifixion by Lucille, and if Maggie has the spot of Jesus, then she will be the one “crucified” by Lucille.

    With Maggie symbolizing St.Mary, in Christian iconography Mary is usually wearing light blue, the same color as Maggie’s shirt, as well at the bedding and blanket of her stretcher. And there is a consistent imagery of the Rosary in S6 with Carol, the Rosary being highly associated with Mary. Also, when Neagan choses whom to kill, he uses Eeni Meeni, but also uses the add on at the end, “My MOTHER… told me… to pick the very best one… and you… are… it.” So Mother may be a clue to both Mary, mother of Christ, and the fact that Maggie is pregnant.

    Again with the Christian motif, Maggie’s death could have a huge impact on the Saviors themselves. In early Christianity, there were too few Christians to destroy the Roman Empire. Rather, what happened is that people within the Roman Empire converted to Christianity and the Roman religion crumbled from within.

    Similarly, there are not enough people in Rick’s group to defeat the Saviors. But within the Saviors there are people like Dwight, Honey, and their diabetic friend who are against what the Saviors have become. Dwight also says that things were better when the Saviors first started, but then things changed severely for the worse.

    In the forest ambush there are only men, but there also may be “back end” group of women, children, and non fighters. It also says a lot that Dwight had never killed a person before Denise, meaning that there are people within the Saviors who are not thugs. If this non thug back up group hears about the murder of a pregnant woman, it may be too high a moral price to pay for safety. For that matter, it could even be a turning point for some Saviors who see Maggie’s murder, those Saviors who commit violence just so that Neagan does not harm them or their families.

    So perhaps similar to the way Christianity defeated the old Roman Empire from within, the murder of Maggie and her unborn baby will turn enough Saviors and their families against Neagan and thus eventually help defeat him from within.

    Conversely to Christianity, Maggie could also symbolize Hypatia of Alexandria, who was brutally murdered by a Christian mob (which could be symbolized by the Saviors, as in Jesus Christ Savior) in 415 AD, an act which some consider the end of the classical age (the pre Apocalyptic world) and a precursor to the Dark Ages of Christianity (Neagan and the Savior’s backward ass rule).

    During the Roman Empire, Alexandria was a great intellectual center with a famous library which was infamously burned. Alexandria was also famous for its lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the ancient word, which was destroyed in an earthquake. Hypatia was a pagan mathematician and scholar whose father Theon was the last director of the Museum of Alexandria, the city’s intellectual center and home to the Library. She was murdered as a result of her loyalty to Orestes, the Roman governor of Egypt, in his feud with Cyril, the Christian bishop of Alexandria.

    When I first saw Alexandria and how it was a bastion of civilization, I was immediately reminded of ancient Alexandria. I doubt this parallel was unintentional in the TV series, since during each of Rick’s group’s video interviews the backdrop is books, as in a library. Also, Reg’s architectural scrolls are reminiscent of the scrolls of the library of Alexandria. To add to that, Deanna herself writes Reg’s favorite Latin saying on one of the scrolls. Also, Deanna is a variant of Diana, a Roman goddess.

    Also, it was the tower which crushed the walls of the community, which could be an echo of the Lighthouse of Alexandria and its destruction.

    The Library of Alexandria parallel seemed to be driven home in the beginning of the finale, with the killing of all the residents of the local library and the brutal treatment of their leader throughout the episode and his eventual public murder. Interestingly, the whole scene of the Saviors beating up the Librarian is interlaced with Enid, a young woman, being a victim of violence by Carl (locked in closet) and her banging against the door. I doubt the quick switching between scenes is coincidence.

    Also, a wounded Carol takes refuge in the library, and once she emerges from there she becomes a woman of the library in a sense. And then she is viciously attacked by a Savior.

    With the Saviors/early Christian parallels, there is the obvious Jesus Christ Savior phrase. Also, the Savior are highly male, patriarchal institute lead by a male leader, similar to the Catholic Church.

    For the parallel between Maggie and Hypatia, both are prominent figures of their communities and protégés of their community leader. For Hypatia, she was the daughter and protégé of her father Theron, the director of the Museum of Alexandria. For Maggie, she is the protégé of Diana, the leader of Alexandria.

    There are also striking similarities in how Maggie and Hypatia are captured. Hypatia was captured by the Christian mob while she was traveling in her chariot and the mob dragged her from it. Similarly, the whole theme of the finale is transporting Maggie, and she is captured during that process.

    Interestingly, another person who is pulled from their transportation in S6 is Primo, the medic of the Survivors, when Daryl shoves him off his motorcycle. In the raid on the compound, Rick’s group would be considered the villains. And the name “Primo” is Latin for “first” (again Latin, as in Hypatia being a member of the Roman Empire), while “Hypatia” similarly means “highest, supreme.” And Primo is shot in the head by Rick, the leader of his group. Which as parallel could mean Maggie will be killed by leader of the Saviors, Neagan.

    With the Orestes and Cyril factor, just as Hypatia was collateral damage in the fight between the two of them, Maggie could be collateral damage in the fight between Rick, with whom she sides (Orestes, pagan like Hypatia) and Neagan (symbolizing Cyril the Christian Bishop who incited the Christian mob to attack Hypatia). And after the mob grabbed Hypatia, they took her to a church and tore her skin off with tiles and mutilated her body. Sadly, Neagan’s way of killing his victims is similarly sadistic.

    With the Pagan versus Christian theme, in my original post I noted that the killing of Mother, Maiden, and Crone would be congruent with the arrival of Neagan who symbolizes the worst in masculinity. But after watching the finale and seeing a parallel between the Saviors and early Christians, it makes sense that the Goddess archetype of the Mother, Maiden and Crone would be destroyed before the beginning of Neagan’s rule, since the rule of Christianity in Europe effectively ended the worship of the Goddess in that area of the world and started a reign of persecution against women of strength. Interestingly, the first two women killed (Deanna the Crone and Denise the Maiden) are the smartest women in Alexandria. And if Neagan kills Maggie, the Mother, he will be killing one of the strongest.

    While I do think Neagan will kill Maggie, I doubt she’s his first victim, but rather his second. Specifically, the POV of the victim does not include any hair on the camera lens and Maggie’s hair was in front of her face. If that’s the case, then Abraham should be Negan’s first victim (no hair in face) and Maggie his second.

    Thematically this would fit because Abraham’s very name is the source of the term Abrahamic religions. His death it could symbolize the end of the Judeo Christian moral code and the beginning of Neagan’s. Also, during the crucifixion Christ had a person on either side of him facing the same judgement, being death. So on one side of Maggie/Christ Abraham dies, and on the other the Rick as he saw himself dies, in that he realizes that he is not all that he thought he was and he had led his group to disaster.

    From the perspective that Rick’s group represent the Roman Empire (the pre Apocalyptic values and order) versus the Christian mobs (new patriarchal order), the fact that Abraham is military, the backbone of the Roman Empire is a factor. This military aspect is emphasized when Abraham first meets the Saviors in dress uniform. So, the American Empire of which Abraham was a soldier is now over, the Dark Ages of Neagan and the Saviors have begun.

    If Maggie is killed second, Neagan either bludgeons her, or he can use the Lucille engraved gun from Carl to keep the crucifixion by Lucille motif.

    Also, having Maggie be the second kill could make sense if Neagan has spies at Hilltop and knows it was Maggie who cut the deal with Gregory. Then killing Maggie would be “justice” from Neagan’s perspective, or, as Maggie herself put it, the price she has to pay. Or more interestingly, Neagan may not know who cut the deal with Gregory, and the others would keep quiet to protect a pregnant Maggie. But if Maggie suspects that she is dying anyways, she may offer herself up as a sacrifice, keeping in line with the Christ sacrificing his life to save his followers.

    So Neagan should kills Abraham first since Abraham is strong and will not bow, thus killing him will seriously weaken Rick’s group. But then Neagan should murder Maggie second as pay back for her striking the deal with Hilltop.

    While usually I really like this type of symbolism, in this case I don’t if it took from the greater elements of TWD in S6, such as plot and character development. Many reviewers and fans have criticized the shaky plot and bizarre character arcs of S6, especially the first half. If a great character like Deanna was killed to further the Mother, Maiden, Crone motif, then it detracted from the plot. If Carol’s sudden swing from bad ass Mama Bear to weak and frail was to further the Crucifixion theme, then it detracted from what is considered to be the best character on the show. If Daryl suddenly went from calm and mature to impulsive and endangering the group just so that he could take the place of Judas in the Last Supper line up (an allusion to his Lady Gaga video Judas), it detracted from TWD more than adding to it.

    In the end it’s the cake that matters (plot and character), not the icing (symbolism).

    • The link to the lineup image just shrunk the image. Here’s a better image.


      Deb, Roberta, if you could switch the new link into to original post that would be great. Thanks!

    • Forget it.

      This is NOT how decisions are made for TV shows. A Kubrick movie, maybe (2001 was really about puberty), but not a TV action show.

      [Faye Kane, girl brain, has been put on moderation until she shows a propensity for good manners. –Deborah]

      • Faye Kane, girl brain

        You may want to read the comments policy.

        “We encourage strong opinions, lively debate, and colorful metaphors. However, if you are insulting, demeaning, or behave in any way like a troll, we reserve the absolute right to make you disappear.

        Name-calling, or racial, sexual, or any other slurs are not tolerated. Not even a little bit.”

        Having said that, why the fuck do you assume I’m Christian? For your kind information, I was not raised in any Abrahamic religion, Christianity, Judaism, Islam. But in school I did this amazing thing, I studied. Especially when it came to literature since much of English lit is based in Christian thought.

        And while I do not particularly care for Abrahamic religions, I would never blatantly insult anyone who followed them, nor stand by when someone else does.

        And if you read my post with an open mind, I do NOT condone the use of Christian allegory in the show, rather I criticize it at the end as overshadowing plot and character development. And I also point out the reverse allegory of Hypatia, who was brutally killed by a Christian mob.

        Also, TWD has always had a strong Christian undertone starting with S2 (Carol and Rick at the Church, plus Hershel). What I say is that the show should stay and action show driven by plot and character and NOT go into huge allegory as it may have in S6.

        Having the good fortune to do my grad work at Berkeley, I enjoyed the city but loathed this kind of knee jerk pseudo liberal reaction. Please understand what you are reading, think about it, then post, it would be better for all.

    • With religious symbolism, I wonder if TWD this season and next will be venturing into Hinduism. In specific, Ezekiel’s tiger’s name is Shiva. And while Shiva is a male god (while Ezekiel’s tiger is female), the tiger is the vehicle of the Goddess Durga or Shakti (meaning strength). And if Shiva isn’t really Shiva (short “a” at the end) but Shivaa (long “a” at the end) it could be another name for Durga. Interestingly, the images of CGI Shiva have a long red streak down the middle of her forehead, similar to Durga in some images.

      Durga riding a tiger


      Shiva the tiger


      With Carol, Tobin tells her she’s a mom to the community not just because of the cookies, but because she’s strong, and other name for Durga/Shakti (strength). But by the end of the season Carol loses that strength. May be going to the Kingdom where Shiva the tiger is could be foreboding that Carol will get her strength back.

      Interestingly, Ezekiel looks like the actual god Shiva with his dreadlocks. And a famous myth of Shiva is how he lost his first wife, which as foreboding may not bode well for Maggie.

      With Morgan, his adamant pacifism in the light of the need for action is reminiscent of the Prince Arjuna in the “Bhagavad Gita,” which was discussed in BoK under Mad Men. With Arjuna’s guide Krishna (his cousin, mentor, and best friend) being his voluntary war charioteer, the appearance of so many horses with the Kingdom may lead in the direction of Morgan having a more balanced view of pacifism and action.

  6. Woooaahh…I’ve got to come back and read this in the AM. The parallels I’m now realizing from this and the show. I agree.. there was an odd shift S6. Unnatural, if you will. But reading this analysis, it kind of makes sense. Wow. Thanks for taking the time to write this out!

    • Marilu,

      If your comment was for my post (#5, “Many reviewers and fans have criticized the shaky plot and bizarre character arcs of S6, especially the first half”), thanks!

      If it’s for Deb, yeah, she’s so good it’s scary some days.

  7. Deb,

    “Carol’s whole sudden turn into moral confusion, suicidality, and stupidity is not well-written. I think moral confusion and post-traumatic stress, not to mention grief, are absolutely legitimate to play. What drives me nuts is Carol’s notion that somehow, being out in the world on her own will result in her killing less, when her first eight hours disproved that theory.”

    I think I was so shocked by the stupid cliffhanger ending that I did not read your review completely and missed this brilliant quote. I couldn’t agree more.

    With Carol having PTSD, I thought survivor’s guilt was aspect the writers would follow. In Alexandria, Carol in a lot of ways has a better life than she had in the pre Apocalypse world. She has a luxurious house and a closet full of clothes. She has a social life, something Ed would never have allowed, and she has a great boyfriend. And the price for all this was the end of the world, and with that Sophia. So if Carol was feeling guilt that the Apocalypse gave her a good life at the price of Sophia, that would have made more sense to me.

    But this BS sudden shift to neurotic guilt ridden pacifist made no sense to me, especially since Carol was someone who almost always killed to only protect others, not out of anger or enjoyment. Which make me believe even more that Gimple is making a symbolic “plot” his priority and is warping characters to fit into that narrative.

    Another reason I wonder if Gimple is going symbolic is because he seems to be going all “Taroty” this season. The whole tower falling is The Tower, complete with flames on the lake, and the false reality of the Alexandrians crumbling and they finally fight.

    And then there’s the hanged librarian. Yes, it’s not he inverted Hanged Man, but you can’t kill someone that way. But symbolically Rick starts the finale seeing the world one way and the way he sees it at the end is completely inverted and is the truth (that he is not the strongest and the Saviors were stronger all along).

    And there is the whole theme of judgement for crimes in the finale, from Neagan’s perspective. The way Gabriel starts the finale at the top of the watch tower is very similar to the real Gabriel and the Judgement card. And that card is all about the dead rising.

    Also, Morgan is riding a horse and is associated with the east (Eastman and the episode East). Which could correlate to the Sun card, especially since Morgan is one of the few who has found some peace.

    The finale’s title is “Last Day on Earth,” which could be a reference to the World card. And since the person in the World card is a young woman, it may not bode well for Maggie, Sacha, and Rosita. Also, the World/EARTH card is the LAST card in the deck.

    Point is, Gimple may be trying to get all symbolic and consequently contorting the characters to fit that framework. So Carol becoming so weak could only be happening so that when Carol goes to the home of the nice horsemen, there could be a nice lion or other big cat which she pats on the head once she regains her strength, thus making The Strength card. So the new drive of the show may be to have the symbolism even if it destroys the characters.

    • Also, Eastman could be The Hermit, complete with staff, isolation, and introspection.

      And Jesus could be The Magician in how he seems to almost magically deal with Rick’s group in their first encounters (getting free and on top to the truck, escaping his room and showing up in Rick’s room), and in how Jesus is about action and getting things done.

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