My Thoughts on The Walking Dead 6×16: Last Day on Earth

I don’t usually post about things other than books and the occasional personal post, but I’ve recently become obsessed with The Walking Dead and after watching the finale on Sunday I can think of little else. So I wanted to share some of my thoughts. This won’t be a complete recap, just my thoughts on what happened and the reactions to what happened. SO BE FOREWARNED: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS POST, SO IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 6 EPISODE 16 “LAST DAY ON EARTH” YET, YOU SHOULD NOT READ ANY FURTHER.
So first of all, I just want to mention that I’ve been reading a lot of posts about this episode, and while I haven’t read ALL OF THEM, I did notice that none of them (of the ones I read) are talking about how incredibly BRUTAL that episode was. I don’t really want to talk about anything but the ending, but that ending was brutal enough. Everyone I’ve talked to, though, and all the posts and reactions I’ve seen on social media have been about two things: Who did Negan kill, and Why did they have to make a cliffhanger ending. Which, don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent plenty time pondering the answers to both of these questions myself. I was spoiled that the ending was a cliffhanger, so when I watched that part, I knew it was coming, and that really shaped my thought process. I was focused on the fact that it was a cliffhanger. My initial reaction, like many fans’ initial reactions, was “What? We don’t get to find out who Negan kills?” And that reaction covers both of those things that all the rants and tweets have been about.
But as I found myself thinking about this episode more and more (and I’ll be honest and say I’m mostly thinking about that ending when I say “thinking about this episode”), my reaction is more of a physical one. My stomach drops. My mouth falls into a frown. My eyes feel like they’re going to start spilling out tears at any moment. I saw the posts of the audio files where we can hear more of what is going on in the background and yes, initially I was thinking about it in terms of who died, but then I found myself just thinking about it in terms of HOLY SHIT, NEGAN JUST BEAT SOMEONE TO DEATH. USING A BASEBALL BAT WITH BARBED WIRE ON IT. ON THEIR HEAD. IN FRONT OF ALL THEIR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES. And I just can’t.
It was such a brutal, brutal thing to happen and I just can’t imagine. But it bothers me that more people aren’t talking about this. I’ve seen some posts where people are talking about how because we don’t actually see the beating, some of the immediacy is lost. We lose some of the scene’s power. And I guess I have to agree. Most people just aren’t talking about it from this angle. It also makes me think of that whole idea that movies and video games and things are desensitizing us to violence. I usually hate reading those kinds of articles, because they’re usually written in this very condescending manner, or at least I take them that way because Ilikemyvideogames thankyouverymuch. But I feel like maybe it is saying something about how we digest violence when all the reactions are more about who died than how they died?
But enough about that. I can handle thinking about these kinds of majorly depressing things for only so long before they take their toll, and I have more to discuss about this episode, namely: Who did Negan kill?
So stick with me on this–my thoughts on who Negan killed are long and detailed, and perhaps a bit scatterbrained, but I do have major reasons for everything. Initially, I thought it was Abraham. Then I thought Aaron. But now I’ve totally changed my mind, and here’s why.

THE OPTIONS (in the order they were kneeling): Glenn, Rosita, Daryl, Michonne, Abraham, Maggie, Rick, Sasha, Aaron, Carl, and Eugene.

First let me just get a few things out of the way. All of these characters are going to grieve, and grieve A LOT, for the character who died, no matter who it was. So when I speak about one or two people grieving for a character if it was that character who died, I mean that those one or two people would grieve more than the other characters, that it would be hardest for them.

Also, there are lots of “clues” floating around on the internet and the only one I focus on here is what Negan says in his monologue at the end. I’m not going to focus on the Eenie Meenie Miney Mo aspect because I did rewatch this scene and try to figure it out that way and it just doesn’t tell us enough. He went in a certain kind of order at first but then he pointed at either Rosita or Glenn, then at Daryl, and then he moved to his right, skipping over either Rosita or Glenn, whichever one he didn’t point to before Daryl. (It isn’t clear who he points to before Daryl, but I think it’s Rosita, which would mean he skipped over Glenn during this first round of Eenie Meenie. Or it could be that he pointed at Glenn before Daryl, and therefore skipped Rosita). And then later it seems like he goes completely out of order, which I’m pretty sure the producers did on purpose to throw all of us amateur sleuths off. So because this whole “clue” is completely unclear, I’m not going to focus on it. So let’s go ahead and talk about the one clue I will focus on: Negan’s remarks right after he lands on a person.


For Shock Value


At first, I thought that because Negan says, “Anybody moves, anybody says anything, cut the boy’s other eye out and feed it to his father,” that it ruled out Rick and Carl. But now I’m not so sure. Because after that, he says “And then we’ll start.” So everyone saying that you can’t feed the eye to a dead person has a point, but because he said, “and then we’ll start,” it seems to me that he’d do this before killing the person. So the line about cutting the boy’s other eye out and feeding it to his father really has no bearing on who he’s killing.

Some might ask, but why would he cut Carl’s eye out and then feed it to Rick right before killing Rick? Maybe to add insult to injury. Maybe Negan wants to show Rick that not only will he kill him, but he’ll make him suffer even more just before killing him.

I don’t think it’s Carl, simply because Negan kind of gestures to his right when talking about cutting the boy’s other eye out. And why would he tell his men to cut Carl’s eye out if Negan is the one killing Carl? Wouldn’t he just cut Carl’s eye out himself?

I’m not saying that it is Rick, I’m just saying we can’t rule him out from that line. And I read an article on Hypable where one person thinks that Rick is the only death that would justify such a long wait for the person to be revealed. And I completely agree with that. Let’s face it, people probably won’t care if it’s Aaron. He’s a good character but he’s not a favorite. And Sasha and Rosita are great characters, too, and it would definitely show how cruel Negan is if he killed a woman in that brutal of a way (but let’s be real, this was a brutal, brutal death no matter who it was). (And “brutal” seems to be my new favorite word, or at least my buzzword for this episode.) And while I like Eugene and Abraham, I don’t think their deaths would justify so long a wait, either.

So if we rule all those out, we’re left with Rick, Carl (which I already ruled out above), Michonne, Maggie, Glenn, and Daryl. Any of those would be horrible deaths. They all have huge numbers of fans. And yes, I can see the reasoning behind ANY of their deaths. And I think there are some completely compelling and awful things that would then happen to the other characters if any of them died. But I feel like Rick would be the most shocking, if they’re going for shock value. (Him or Maggie, actually.)

It reminds me of Gossip Girl. When they revealed Gossip Girl’s identity on the show, I knew that was the only one that would shock viewers. Anyone else and people would have been like, “You made me wait how many seasons for that? I suspected them in season 1!” To me, if The Walking Dead producers are going for shock value, they’d pick Rick (or Maggie, because she’s pregnant). Anyone else and it wouldn’t be that much of a shock.

To Further the Story

Now, if they’re simply going for the story line here (which I think, honestly, it’s a bit of both story line and shock value), I could see Michonne or Daryl. And Glenn. But I really doubt it’s going to be Glenn because he almost died already and we had to wait a few episodes to find out that he was still alive. I know Glenn is the one Negan kills in the comic books, but they don’t stick strictly to the comic book story line.

I guess I just really don’t want it to be Glenn because that would mean that Maggie has lost her mom when she was younger, her step mom and step brother to the zombie plague, her other step brother to a zombie horde, her father to a power-hungry maniac, her sister to an accidental(?) gun shot, and now her husband and father of her child to this brutal murder by Negan. And it seems like she’s having complications with her pregnancy, too, so she could also lose the baby. Maggie’s not my favorite but I don’t like it when one character is singled out as someone who just can’t win. And I don’t think there’s anyone on the show who has lost more loved ones than Maggie. Yes, everyone has lost someone, and many of them have lost several people, but Maggie’s just lost too many.

If it’s Daryl, how will that forward the plot? It might make Carol come back, but I think it might make her just as likely to want to stay away. It sure will piss off a lot of viewers, but I don’t see how it will further the plot.

If it’s Michonne, how will that further the plot? Carl and Rick will certainly be hurt the most, but what else will the plot gain? Some revenge by Rick or Carl?

If it’s Maggie, it certainly will be uncomfortable for many viewers. And it will show just how ruthless and horrible Negan is. But as far as we know, Negan doesn’t know that Maggie is pregnant. Maybe if he kills her and then finds out she was pregnant he will have some remorse? And certainly the rest of the group will be in shock and majorly grieving, not only for Maggie, but for her child, and for Glenn. And because they were trying to get her to a doctor when all of this happened.

If it’s Rosita, Abraham will be very upset, and Eugene as well, but it won’t really further the plot.

If it’s Abraham, it’s sad because he just found his happiness with Sasha and they were talking about maybe trying to have a baby. And Rosita, Sasha and Eugene would grieve a lot. But it otherwise doesn’t further the plot.

If it’s Aaron, LGBTQIAP community members (like me) will be upset, and his boyfriend would grieve (is he still alive?), but it would not further the plot.

If it’s Sasha, Abraham would grieve, but it would not further the plot.

If it’s Eugene, Abraham and Rosita would grieve, and Rick now has the plans to make the bullets, but it would not further the plot.

If it’s Rick, not only will there be shock value, but everyone in the group would lose their confidence. The producers said on Talking Dead that this finale was about Rick losing his confidence, and that season 7 was about this character’s death and how that affected all the other characters. Certainly all the other characters kneeling before Negan have lost their confidence during this finale as well. But to lose their fearless leader on top of that? All hope would be lost. So this finale was about Rick losing his confidence, and perhaps season 7 will be about everyone losing Rick, and with him, losing every last shred of their confidence as well. And perhaps the next season will also be about each individual character crumbling, as well as the weakening of the group as a whole.

The Verdict

So who did Negan kill? My best guess: Rick or Maggie. Those two would further the plot the most, AND create the most shock value. Yes, Glenn or Carl would create a lot of shock and further the story line as well, but I just don’t think they’re going to stick with the comic book story line, nor do I think it’s Carl because of Negan’s comment.

So what are your theories? I’d love to hear them all! And I have to also admit that surely the producers enjoy seeing all the theories and all the discussion. Even if that wasn’t their purpose for ending the finale with a cliffhanger, I’m sure it’s a nice bonus for them.


  1. Unknown

    April 6, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Its1of the 4 people in the RV,throughout the episode. They were showing their point of view throughout the finale so that is clearly the one that got killed. Just before the final scene when they open the door u only see Daryls head meaning its someone behind him. Cant be Rosita because she's not a big enough character, Glenn is too obvious because of the comics. The creators said they take a huge left turn from the comics and has to be someone big. It has to be Michonne

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      April 6, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      I mean, I see what you're saying about the point of view, but just because they showed that POV while the 4 were trapped in that trailer doesn't mean that the POV later is the same person. It *could* be, but it doesn't *have* to be. Cinematographers do things like that all the time and it doesn't necessarily mean that because we see the person dying from their POV that it's the same POV from before. But if it turns out being one of those four, I will probably concede to your theory. :)

  2. Jessie Marie

    April 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I know who it is and I hate that I know who it is. Because we're going to have to wait until, what, October for the rest of the world to catch up? Ugh.

    I may have been the only person on the planet positively cheering when Negan showed up. Because I've been so excited about Jeffrey Dean Morgan joining the show. Danny and I are watching Grey's Anatomy right now and I have a major cowboy crush on JDM.

    But then my feeling started to shift. I got uncomfortable. He's so charismatic but Evil with a capital E. I like horror stuff. Grit and dark are my thing. And that bat actually scared me. I shielded my eyes when he was deciding who because I didn't want to see. I do feel like changing the viewpoint for the killing alleviated that a bit. Somehow it felt like first person was less intimidating and scarring than watching the carnage omnisciently.

    You'd think, as readers of series, that we'd be almost used to cliffhangers. But it never gets easier, does it?

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      April 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Yeah, I definitely think it didn't hit us as hard since we didn't really see it happening. I mean, it was still horrible the way we saw it, but it would have been so hard to watch him do that to one of our favorite characters.

      And some cliffhangers I can handle, but this one, waiting for 6 months, is just not cool. It's been hard enough for me to wait one week for each episode after I binged 5 1/2 episodes in 2 weeks back in February. I'm going to have to read all the comics and rewatch the whole series several times to get my TWD fix over the next 6 months…

    2. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      April 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      SEASONS! I binged 5 1/2 seasons in 2 weeks, not episodes! My phone is not letting me edit my comment for some reason…

  3. TieDyeT

    April 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    How about this. Since we know this will effect the entire group, and Negan's goal is having effective employees. Perhaps it's Maggy. As you said it's a major moral blow for the group rallying to help her. From Negan's perspective she looks sickly and dieing. How many before her looked that bad and didn't make it? Now what he's doing isn't personal it's just a necessity of the business. People are a resource for him. So if he kills someone healthy they'll still waste time trying to save her and lose her anyway. That's 2 bodies lost. If he kills her, he thins the weakest wolf from his new pack and they can get to work for him sooner. 2 birds, one stone. What you think?

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      April 9, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      I think you're onto something there. Maggie definitely wouldn't be able to work for Negan in her state.

      I've also had someone mention to me that it seems strange that Negan's group just happened to know that Rick & Co. would be going down those roads that day. She thinks that someone inside Alexandria was actually working for Negan and poisoned Maggie. I mentioned that it was probably the pickles. But it could be that one of Negan's people snuck into Alexandria, since Carol was able to sneak out without anyone seeing her. BUT if someone in Alexandria was working for Negan, perhaps that's the one Negan kills? Maybe Negan's upset that that person didn't warn him when Rick & Co. killed all his people? And maybe now Negan has no more use for his spy? This, to me, would be the only reason that I would be okay with Aaron, Abraham, Eugene, Sasha, or Rosita being the one killed. Because if a smaller character like one of them dies, I'll be upset that I had to wait for six months for that, especially if there's no real reason for one of them to be the one who died. If there IS a reason, like they were actually working for Negan and double-crossed Rick & Co, then I'll be okay with it. Otherwise, I feel like it needs to be a big character for the six month wait to be worth it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Unknown

    April 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    My money is on Eugene for two reasons.

    1) The order in which they are kneeling (Glenn, Rosita, Daryl, Michonne, Abraham, Maggie, Rick, Sasha, Aaron, Carl, and Eugene) Negan doesn't care who ends up at the end of lucille at the "it" he was about to kill maggie just because she look shitty for crying out loud, knowing that, when playing Eenie Meenie Miney Mo he starts with Rick then Maggie meaning he started going left, now, just follow the order of the game, not by the shots we're shown (Because honestly I think the director intention was to throw us off thinking it was random when really it was just a simple game) So, following the natural order of a game of Eenie Meenie Miney Mo, it would be Eugene at the "it"

    2)I think it would definitely advance the plot, the others character mourning the lost of the guy who was just starting to be more "helpful" and because he gave Rick the recipe for the bullets, wich might prompt Rick to not make his death be in vain and actually using the recipe and start making the bullets wich is a very important thing in the comics.

    But now that I read your theory some part of me now thinks is going to be a major character. My gut tells me Eugene tho ;)

    (Name's Oscar, btw)

    1. MotherBlogger

      April 6, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      My initial gut feeling was Eugene to. He seemed clearly set-up to be phased out, from the bullets 101 to the pattern of killing characters that are turning a corner or the moral compass. This post(and others) got me thinking other angles.

    2. MotherBlogger

      April 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      oops I'm TieDye BTW. Sign in changed.

    3. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      April 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      I understand your thinking, Oscar. If Negan does really go by Eenie Meenie, then yes, it could be Eugene. But I can't really agree with your second point. The characters are all going to be mourning whoever dies. If Eugene dies, sure, Abraham and Rosita will probably be the ones who mourn the most, but honestly, I don't care about them very much. They're not the main characters and seeing them mourn for Eugene isn't going to advance the entire plot–it'll just advance their individual plots. And Eugene has already given Rick the information on the bullets, so it doesn't matter if he lives or dies–that's not going to affect whether they can make the bullets or not. Yes, it's sad that he has come so far as a character and that he sacrificed himself to help Maggie, but I really don't see him dying as advancing the plot of the entire show.

      But that's just my opinion, so who knows? Thanks for coming by and sharing your theory!

  5. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    April 8, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I think it'll be Glenn, Eugene or Abraham. I feel like Glenn would be overkill *pun totally intended* because we've already had quite a few "Is Glenn dead?" moments the last season and one more will just piss me off. Both Eugene and Abraham had big moments- they made up, Eugene manned up (plus he gave those bullet making plans to Rick) and Abraham expressed hope and future plans (never a good thing on this show).

    I don't think it'll be Rick- I can see them killing him off at some point, but I'm betting it'll be the last season (although I do agree it would be shocking, and Maggie could step up and be the leader they need). It won't be Maggie. She's pregnant and sick, and I just don't seem them bashing the brains of a pregnant woman in- this is still a television show, and that's a huge taboo.

    Also, if it's Rick, Maggie, Michonne or Carl, there's no way the rest of them will stay down and watch it happen- which would lead to a huge massacre and all the characters dead. Maggie would stay down if it's Glenn, because she's sick and she has to live for the baby, but can you imagine Rick standing by if it's Carl or Michonne, or Glenn allowing Maggie to meet Lucille? Of course that makes it unlikely for other people too- Abraham isn't going to let Sasha go out like that, it doesn't fit into his macho man image, especially not after admitting he wants to make a little pancake with her. Rosita isn't enough of a loss to really be worth all this cliffhanger crap, although I like her. It won't be Daryl, because that would be like throwing away money.

    So my best guess? Abraham. Denise took the death meant for him, so that he can take the death meant for Glenn.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      April 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      I do see your point about them not killing Maggie in that way because it is television and that would be a bit crazy. And I agree that they've already done too much "Is Glenn dead?" stuff this season so I really hope it's not him, because that would definitely be too much.

      I can also see what you mean about how depending on who it is, the rest would overreact and create even more of a massacre. BUT perhaps they DID react and Negan reminded them that he needed them to work for him and he didn't want to kill them but he would, so they stopped? I mean, you can hear people screaming in the background when Negan is killing the person (it's not very loud but it's there, even if you don't listen to that audio file that is on some other sites) and remember Negan said "Anybody moves, anybody says anything, cut the boy's other eye out and feed it to his father." SOOO is he going to do that? Clearly people were screaming. They were making noise and saying something. So either he's going to cut Carl's other eye out, too, or he's going to just let their noises slide.

      There are just so many options, but I'll be upset if it isn't a main character, because I'll have to wait six months for a smaller character to die. The only way I'll be okay with a smaller character dying is if they were also working for Negan or something, as I mentioned in an earlier comment. For Negan, there might not be a reason he killed who he killed. But the producers need to have a reason, and not only a reason to kill that character, but a reason to advance the major plot of the story, and also a reason for us to wait six months for the reveal. I'll just be upset if it seems like the producers didn't have reasons for all of these things.

      But I also do like your theory about how Abraham died in the comic books and Denise took his place in the show, so maybe now Abraham will take Glenn's place. It just won't really be enough for me, personally. ;)

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