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"The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" overcomes sporadic doldrums with an action-packed battle sequence, satisfying and innovative storytelling, and impressively imaginative use of a tiger.
The Walking Dead proved why it is still in the top tier of scripted television in its Season 7 finale, entitled "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life."
The Walking Dead is kind of like Michonne, bloodied and bruised but ready to go on.
This was a simultaneously overblown and underwhelming sign-off following a run of episodes that had implicitly promised the mother of all fade-outs.
It was great to see them fight back and regain some semblance of the upper hand, and fun to see all our heroes in one place for a change, fighting side by side. But the show had already sucked all the joy out of the room.
a solid, course-correcting conclusion to a shambolic, occasionally directionless season
While I would have loved to see the war start and finish in this season seven finale, the fact that it only briefly started is what's going to bring me back next year.
That final battle, initiated by a jungle cat eating a guy's face off, is the culmination of a season that's (for the most part) successfully acknowledged how over the top some of the show's elements really are.
It was a solid end to an inconsistent season. It was certainly a much more satisfying ending than Season 6's cliff-hanger. It ended a chapter. Season 8 will turn the page.
And now, Maggie's words say aloud what fans have known all along: if it weren't for Glenn, and everything he taught the group, our heroes never would have gotten this far-and they almost certainly wouldn't be prepared to handle what's to come.
It's thrillingly-paced, blisteringly-edited set piece, the effect of which could only have been achieved had the writers taken their time to languidly sow the seeds throughout this past season.