Recap: 'The Walking Dead,' episode 716, 'The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life'

Josh McDermitt and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in "The Walking Dead," season 7 finale, "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life."

Sunday night saw the epic season finale of "one of the best shows on television".  And might I add it was one of the best nights of television of the season.  The episode was extended and with good reason.  Even though the extra half hour hardly seemed noticeable, giving fans highs and lows on a scale to rival any roller coaster.  The episode was primarily split between Sasha's thoughts as she lay locked in a casket. (for dramatic effect)  and what's happening currently at the gates of Alexandria. 

I must say this episode had a very Game of Thrones-y vibe to it.  Must be the sprinkling of betrayal I taste, followed by the sweet aftertaste of cavalry surprise.  A few things I learned from the episode.  Michonne needs more hand-to-hand training.  And/or she needs to not leave her sword at home.  I'm not going to go too in depth here, because thinking about it makes MY face hurt, but we're praying for a swift facial reconstruction.  The Junkyard dogs definitely have some payback coming back their way.  They cut a better deal with the Saviors.  Let's see what kind of offer Rick makes them once he catches up with them. Morgan and Carol are both committed.  It was a long road, but all paths lead to solidarity, as symbolized when Carol sat beside Morgan, and they exchanged no words.  But at least they were finally sitting on the same side, so to speak.

Maggie definitely looked like the "Young Wolf" making the right calls at the right time.  She was ready and able to back up Alexandria and showed up just in time to attack with the second wave.  Carl is still the man.  Even with one eye, he can spot his opportunity.  I'm going to miss him when Chandler Riggs goes to College.  If Carl goes on any extra long runs, you'll know why.  Rick gets two thumbs up for his gumption.  But again Negan has the numbers, so how long can an open rebellion last?  Alexandria won the day because of her allies that arrived in time to help.  But what happens when the Saviors launch a counteroffensive, against the Hilltop, Kingdom and Alexandria, all at once?  When each battleground has its own troubles and are unable to answer the call to assist the other?  Rick has some semblance of an army.  What they still require is a plan to definitively and concisely end this conflict ... and victoriously.  The longer the hostilities last, the better the odds are for the Saviors.

Rick needs to adopt a Revolutionary War mentality.  He needs to find a way to make this conflict not worth it to the Saviors to pursue.  Negan is going to attempt to overwhelmingly dominate them for the door as his numbers permit him this opportunity.  Rick needs to be smarter than that.  Their most successful bout with the Saviors came when they raided the Satellite station.  They had Surprise and arrived en force.  Half that advantage is now gone as the Saviors are sure to be on high alert from here on out. 

Rick and the others' best chance for survival lies with a skirmish based attack strategy.  Hit and run, keep moving, get in, kill  and be gone before the smoke settles. Attack like minutemen and remember the fallen.  Tonight that was Sasha who went out on her own terms, and decided to not allow her life be used to subjugate her friends.  Sasha is clearly not swayed as easily as some cowardly Turncoats I could mention.  However one small glimmer of hope for our resident Turncoat (Eugene) is that he may not have gone fully to the dark side.  It seems he wasn't the one who told Negan what the Alexandrians were up to.  It was in fact the Junkyard Dogs who tipped Negan off.  This means Eugene is playing his part and still has a part to play in the war to come.