THE WALKING DEAD SPOILERS INSIDE.
It’s been a long journey for viewers of “The Walking Dead“, from the first episode being aired back in 2010 to the final ever episode airing 12 years later in 2022. The anticipation has been at an all-time high this past season, with huge fan expectations for the finale’s performance.
Sadly, nobody was worried about certain characters when they were meant to be due to the announcement of future spin-offs. Maggie, Negan, and Daryl’s spin-offs spoiled some meant-to-be-tense moments throughout the whole of the final season.
Putting characters who we know survive into life-threatening situations just doesn’t have the same effect anymore. However, this wasn’t a massive letdown as the season’s plot wasn’t driven by just three characters, there was plenty of wiggle room to explore other character storylines.
The Walking Dead: “Rest In Peace” Review
THE WALKING DEAD FINALE SPOILERS BELOW.
The episode begins with the almost instant death of Luke, played by Dan Fogler, which explains why he was brought back so close to the end. Killing Luke off in the opening minutes does instantly set the tone of the episode, foreshadowing that nobody is safe and that death has a big part to play. Luke’s death also drives the character’s motivation to prevent anyone else from being killed due to the chaotic mess that is Pamela Milton.
Funnily enough, AMC actually spoiled Luke’s death by accident in a now-taken-down image from the finale days before it aired. Could this have possibly impacted how fans initially reacted to this scene? Truthfully, probably not, as Fogler just hasn’t had the screen time to let the viewers attach themselves to his character.
Judith Grimes being injured and out of the loop for the majority of the episode seems a wasted opportunity, as she has been the main Grimes star of the show these past few seasons. As a matter of fact, the absence of the Grimes family, in general, has been a massive void during these past few seasons, but especially since the introduction of the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, credit has to be given to Cailey Fleming, she provided such a gripping and heartbreaking performance as Judith Grimes over the course of the show, carrying whole scenes if not whole episodes.
Negan manages to score two heartwarming moments that have been long overdue, which were worth the wait. Maggie and Negan finally have ‘the talk’ about Glenn, and not a fast-paced and anger-fueled discussion this time. Lauren Cohan delivers a tear-jerking speech to Negan about how forgiveness isn’t as easy as she wished it was, confessing that she doesn’t want to hate him anymore. The finale may not bring closure to Maggie and Negan’s storyline, due to their future spinoffs, but it does finally bring some closure to the tension between them.
While setups are made throughout the whole episode for the next iterations of the franchise, the finale does, however, end on a similar note to the comics. Although it does somewhat reflect the ending of the comics, the large threats such as the CRM almost contradict it. Seeing the comics ended with the reveal that the whole story was really just Carl Grimes telling his daughter about her grandfather, Rick. In the TV counterpart, this just isn’t the case at all, as Rick Grimes is very much alive and in extreme danger.
It must be said, however, that the explosive action and gore in the final episode may have been some of the best in years. The work that goes into the Zombie effects, both practical and visual, has always been some of the best in the industry. This includes the set design, costume design, and everything else that goes into bringing the world of “The Walking Dead” to life, visually stunning, to say the least.
When it comes to the return of Rick Grimes and Michonne, more could have been done on that front, but the team behind the show has explained why it was the way it was. Their justification does add some logic as to why Rick Grimes didn’t just show up and save the day during the events of the final episode. Seeing that Rick Grimes and Michonne have been out of the picture for so long, it just made sense to have them show up the way they did. Questions and more confusion as to what Rick Grimes has been doing still remain, but the CRM jacket and clear indication that he has been trying to get back home offers enough for now.
The final episode isn’t a bad episode per se, it just doesn’t quite make for the best finale as it leaves many open doors and a tonne of unfinished business. Although this was to be expected due to the countless spin-offs currently in development, it was sad to see the original series not getting the finale it deserved. It may have made more sense to bring closure for fans who might not want to tune in for future spin-offs, but now everyone has just been left with various cliffhangers.
So, to conclude this review, it’s safe to say that the finale wasn’t quite a traditional finale and really just more of a 90-minute setup for the franchise’s future. While also completely saying goodbye to the show that originally based its source material on the original comics. The future of the franchise is now headed to a non-comic-based franchise, or at least in the sense of the writing anyway. Meaning that nobody will really have a clue about what’s going to happen now, bringing the story to a brand new direction with the hope that it will succeed like its predecessor.