The Walking Dead

Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 16 Feedback Show | The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Listen to the Podcast

The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 16 Recap: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Rob Cesternino (@RobCesternino) and Alex Kidwell (@alexkidwell) are back to answer your feedback from the season 7 finale of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”.

  • Oscar Portillo

    I’ll miss Rob’s impersonation of Negan during the off season.

  • Megan

    Great job during the whole season with these recaps Rob, Josh & Alex! I too will miss Rob’s Negan impersonation. Thanks for taking my question too!

  • homertownie

    While it is fun to think through and highlight how unrealistic scifi plotlines have to go, this podcast is bordering on becoming those “nerds who sit behind you in a movie and point out the flaws” and never appreciate the show.

    The garbage people riding in garbage trucks was funny, cool, and normal Science Fiction group behavior. If nobody wore “uniforms” in these battles then you would be complaining on how can’t tell people apart. Yes the Tiger shouldn’t know who to kill, but do you really want the logistics of getting a tiger out in front of an attack that nobody sees coming for no reason? Etc etc etc.

    A little bit of that stuff is fun. But once it grows to more than half the show is just annoying and really just fan fiction circle stuff. You could do the same thing to the original Star Wars and Lost and every single Science Fiction movie ever made. Do you really want to see no sound in space, and space ships obeying basic physics?

    Yes, the villain always makes a grand speech before trying to kill the hero. And 99% of the time that unrealistic behavior is what allows the hero to be saved. But do you really think the fan fiction writers who hate that are better than than Shakespeare and Tolkien and Ian Fleming and every successful writer in the history of mankind.

    If you want “reality” instead of literature, then the apocalypse is going to be the crips vs. the bloods with zero intelligent speeches or behavior. Is that what you want to watch or podcast about?

    Please think about what portion of the podcast you want to spend with fan fiction and pointing out that a show about zombies is not “realistic”.

    • Andiamo

      Are you really saying that all Science Fiction is above criticism simply because it’s, by it’s nature, not realistic? If you’re watching a show about the zombie apocalypse, you obviously have to suspend disbelief, but it doesn’t mean you have to suspend all notions of common sense and decent storytelling. There’s a difference.

      You’re right that many stories use the same tropes and techniques, but you can still say that some use them better than others. Would you agree that Fear The Walking Dead is not as good as The Walking Dead? You can criticize some of its plot lines, characters, and dialogue even though it’s an “unrealistic” zombie show.

      I don’t have a problem with it being fantasy, I have a problem when it’s so badly done that it takes me out of the fantasy.

      I think Rob, Alex and Josh do a great job mixing analysis with humor, and I’m sure it’s not easy to pull it off this smoothly. I haven’t always agreed with their takes on every single thing, I don’t know how that could be expected, but overall I really like their approach, and that’s why I listen.

      I’m not saying “love it or leave it,” but if you feel like the whole tone of the podcast isn’t right for you, maybe this isn’t the right one to listen to.

      • TrentC

        “…you obviously have to suspend disbelief, but it doesn’t mean you have to suspend all notions of common sense and decent storytelling. There’s a difference.”

        “I don’t have a problem with it being fantasy, I have a problem when it’s so badly done that it takes me out of the fantasy.”

        This is an excellent two part description of why there’s criticism for this show.

        One of Rick’s main character traits is his paranoia when meeting new people. In the back half of season seven, he meets an entire new community of people (The Scavengers), accepting and trusting them instantly. Within a relatively short period of time, they become an integral part of a larger plan that fails. In that instance they become a device to further a plot point. If Rick welcomed every new group without question, there would be no disconnected feeling or peaking behind the curtain as it were.

        I accept a whole lot of other things without question and enjoy them as part of the show. If someone wants to compare my complaint, look at how warmly Rick interacts with The Scavengers despite how they treat him, and compare that to the Oceanside people. For me, the entire Scavenger progression felt false and a definite part of A+B must equal C in terms of writing.

        • Andiamo

          Yeah, the inconsistency in the way the characters are drawn is my biggest pet peeve with the season. With many of them, especially Rick and Sasha, it felt like they forced the plot without regard to the way the characters usually operate.

          Eugene and Dwight were two noticeable exceptions to this, and that’s why their stories worked the best for me. Even though it was surprising that Eugene defected so quickly, it’s still in keeping with his character, so it was a fun surprise, not a wtf surprise.

          If they did this, I wouldn’t care as much about the tiger and the gun fight and most of the other nitpicks.

          The whole Scavengers thing is really odd. Maybe next season they’ll get into why they seem like they’re living 20 yrs. beyond the time the rest of the characters are living in. On a positive note, I kind of like their Alexander McQueen meets a Hefty bag clothing style.

          • TrentC

            Season seven had a lot of groups and moving parts to arrive at the big battle, and perhaps that’s why it’s coming under heavy criticism.

            For me, it was almost too much. In the past it’s usually only been Rick and Company vs the Bad People of the Season.

            From the opening scene in season seven when we witnessed the brutal beating, a clock started ticking. When and how will Rick get his revenge?

            We have the Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside and the Scavengers all develop within a short period of time. Now instead of eight to 10 main characters split up across the landscape, we have veritable communities of people, not to mention Negan’s civilization.

            This season finale would have worked better as a series finale in my opinion. Gathering pockets of humanity to fight in what amounts to a war. Rick vs the Biggest Bad.

            And yes agreed on Eugene and Dwight. I was thinking that Eugene for sure would have a secret plan to foil Negan. Instead, he defects and they give us a very real character progression. He was scared and decided to flip sides. That’s a great example of not what we wanted to see, but what would make sense for him. Jury is still out on Dwight however…

            I had to look up Alexander McQueen fashions. On point as usual Andi.

          • homertownie

            Great ideas. When you get a TV show, let us know.

          • TrentC

            In my post I mentioned a possibility as to why season seven is coming under fire critically. I also mentioned that the season finale seemed like a series finale to me because of the scope. Same underlying reason for both of the comments. Lots of factions and faces and things going on.

            In addition, I mentioned that one of the character progressions was great because it was an example of not what I wanted to see as a fan, but what made sense for the character. Rick becoming instant buddies with The Scavengers was something I thought unrealistic by comparison.

            I didn’t really put forth any great ideas, but I did catch the snark in your response.

            I’ve seen your previous posts implying that other commenters are not television screen writers, and that fact should somehow negate their right to an opinion. Do you by chance write for any television shows?

            Did you compare the soliloquys in Romeo and Juliet to Negan’s lengthy monologues taking place in an action/horror show? The former is a perfect fit for the type of story being told, the latter is problematic because of..well you know…guns and timing and tigers n stuff.

            Question – Regarding a podcast, are the speakers allowed to have their own opinion(s) on the subject matter? I’m being facetious, of course they do.

            I disagree with the podcasters here on a lot of subjects, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing something wrong.

            As you mention, you always have the right to bail on the podcast if you disagree. It’s too bad, because you seem like an intelligent and well spoken commenter.

          • Andiamo

            There were a ton of moving parts. Looking back on it, this season seemed more like a set up to the next season rather than a stand alone. I don’t mind a two season arc, but since they usually resolve the main conflict in one season, they trained us to expect a resolution that never came. All along it seemed too much was going on for one season, turns out that’s because there was.

            With the “big bad” arc stretching over two seasons (or more?), I think they decided to create a one season arc which was more emotional. Rick moving from fear to courage was one arc. The other was going from the deaths of Glenn and Abraham to recognizing the legacy that they left on the others, and in general the impact each person makes in setting the course for the group, whether they physically survive or not.

            I think that’s the reason it felt like a series finale (to me too.) We know there’s never going to be any real end to the chaos. They’re not going to find a cure, they’ll never be one final bad guy to defeat until they’re all happy. They’ll continue fighting and dying and sometimes finding love and hope. Looking to the past for strength, and moving forward without fear (combo of Rick, Glenn and Abraham stories), seems to be the perfect message for the series finale.

            On another note, I half expect we’ll find out that the Scavengers wanted 10-12 people from Negan for their avant garde fashion/hair studio sweatshop. I bet that Winslow was chained to a sewing machine at one point.

          • TrentC

            I wonder where the writers will go after Negan?

            Two possibilities I guess. Rick’s group kills Negan and the bad Saviors, or the writers have an end point in mind for the series and Negan kills everyone (my favorite).

            I could actually see them finding a cure if the series was ending. And since I’m a logistics nut it would be nice to find out what the cause was. Ever since the CDC guy whispered to Rick that everyone who dies turns into a zombie, I’ve been fascinated by the catalyst. Air, water, food borne…kale??

            Winslow worked for Kathy Lee Gifford? Thank goodness Rick ended his misery.

      • homertownie

        Three fourths of the show was nit-picking like nerds in the back row of a movie theatre. If that is the podcast, then yes, I will stop listening.

        TV would be soooo much better if all the Star Trek officer stars never left the bridge? Movies would be soooo much better if James Bond was just immediately shot in the head instead of elaborate killing schemes that gave him an opportunity to escape? Romeo and Juliet would have been great if nobody gave long speeches to nobody before committing suicide?

        There is a difference between nerds in the back row and good story telling. And telling a 200 hour story is much different than telling a 40 minute episode. But phoning it in is phoning it in, and fan fiction is always fan fiction.

        • Andiamo

          This podcast would be soooooo much better if it weren’t for the nit-picking nerds. Right, got it.

  • homertownie

    In the big picture, for the first six seasons or so, the show went from “our group” alternating between being “on the road” and “settling down”. They met different “civilizations” along the way and dealt with them one by one. The complainers would complain about both being “on the road” too long and “settling down” too long.

    I think this season is much more interesting as it sets up “our group” dealing with six “civilizations” (Saviors, Garbage, HIllside, Oceanside, Kingdom, Alexandria). That is the big picture. If they spent 100 hours telling every story in those six groups, then the complainers would really have something to complain about.

    That meta discussion was a tiny portion of the podcast, compared to a huge portion that is just fan fiction nit-picking. That might be expected when you are just look at the show episode-by-episode. But how long could they continue the alternating “settling down” and “on the road” stories? The “never ending saga” will either recede into nihilism or it will evolve into meeting different “civilizations”, much like “Star Trek” (and even before that, “The Wagon Train”).

    • Andiamo

      I agree, I like the meta discussion too. But it’s a bit of a trade off. They record the recap shows right after the show ends. It takes time to let the episode, and then the season sink in. If you could do a podcast with a lot of meta analysis immediately after the show ends, then I salute you, because as much as I love that stuff, I could never do it that quickly.

      There are plenty of people in the comment section who offer good insights.I think it’s better to raise those discussions here than to expect the guys to perform miracles.

  • Parzival

    The wooden figure Dwight left for Daryl was featured last season when they first meet each other when Sherry and Dwight are running away from The Saviors. Daryl even commented on it if I remember correctly which is why when Daryl was escaping the sanctuary this season and ducks into that bedroom he knows it’s dwight’s room because he recognizes the wooden figures