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Time to put down that wire-wrapped baseball bat and shuffle off into the distance for another season. As #TheWalkingDead bows out of its superb seventh season, it is time to look ahead to Season 8 but also back at what we may have missed. From Creepshow walkers to whispers of the Whisperers, #AMC's #zombie apocalypse likes to tease fans with an Easter Egg hunt across the wasteland of the end of the world.
Each week as we tuned in to #ScottGimple's rotting romp, the story of Rick Grimes and co. unravelled over 16 episodes. Where some shows seem to pluck their episode titles out of thin air, TWD is a well-planned homage to the contents within. So, looking at all 16 episodes, just what relevance did their titular phrasing have?
Time to smash open those eggs like the skull of Abraham Ford and relive the adventure that started back in October.
1. 'The Day Will Come When You Won't Be'
It was hello and goodbye for Glenn and Abraham, getting the season off to a bloody beginning. While the Season 7 premiere delivered a killer blow to fans (literally), the line "the day will come when you won't be" may sound a little familiar. Going way back to the start, the dialogue was delivered by Noah Emmerich's Dr. Edwin Jenner in Season 1. It was one of the few titles of the season which wasn't directly said during its episode.
2. 'The Well'
In stark contrast to the action-packed first episode, round two was a more laid back affair as we met the whimsical and poetic King Ezekiel. Along with the king came the Kingdom and its motto, "You drink from the well, you replenish the well." Sound advice for any Dead-head to live by.
3. 'The Cell'
"The Cell" may not have been directly spoken, however Daryl Dixon's time locked up in Negan's stronghold is an easy comparison to spot. With his fashion faux pas sweatshirt and dog food sandwiches, the surviving Dixon brother definitely wasn't living on "Easy Street."
Negan played pick 'n' mix with Alexandria's belongings, presumably wanting to start his own mattress store, while Rick was left holding the baby and the bat that killed his comrades. Negan's cock of the walk stance demanded that the Alexandria residents thank him for his "service," providing protection to them in the apocalypse.
5. 'Go Getters'
It was a mind "ogling" episode as Steven Ogg's Simon came to the forefront of Negan's big bad brigade. This time it was the Hilltop under Savior scrutiny as Gregory felt the squeeze from above. Lauren Cohan was back as Maggie, Carl and Enid somehow had time for roller skating in the land of the undead, and Simon revealed that Alexandria works for Negan now. Rick's plucky group is described as "real go-getters."
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside. Continuing the show's disjointed episode structure, there was a brief return for Heath as he and Tara went to catch some rays by the sea. We met the female-first Oceanside group, and Cyndie made Tara "swear" not to reveal the new community's location — yeah, that worked really well, didn't it?
7. 'Sing Me A Song'
Thankfully there wasn't a repeat of "Easy Street," however Episode 7 pulled its title right from #RobertKirkman's comics. There was a new sheriff in town as Carl launched his one-man attack on the Sanctuary. Although Negan spared Grimes Jr.'s life, Carl still underwent some serious psychological torture. After Negan demanded that Carl sing him a song, we also got a peek at his gooey eye hole. The Walking Dead again showing Greg Nicotero's superb SFX work, but I was hoping for something a little more grotesque.
8. 'Hearts Still Beating'
Olivia played happy families with Negan, Spencer lost his breakfast (and a few vital organs), and we got a tease of that Boots character. It was an action-packed episode as Tara also got her gnarly scar, while Eugene went for vacation and a change of career. Aaron took a beating, but don't worry, though, as the episode clarified, his "heart's still beating."
9. 'Rock In The Road'
After we saw Richonne slice and dice over 300 zombies with their wire trick, it was analogy time again in the midseason premiere. This time Rick was spinning yarn with a tale to recruit the Kingdom to his cause, telling Ezekiel the story of the rock in the road. If the Kingdom was willing to help dig the rock (the Saviors) out of the way, there could be great rewards, however, despite Rick's efforts, Ezekiel remained reluctant to start the fight.
10. 'New Best Friends'
With a questionable taste in allies, Rick meet the riddle-talking Jadis and her spikey walker Winslow. Rosita continued her journey of self destruction and Gabriel was back in the good books after his implied deception. Jadis held the fate of Alexandria in her creepy hands and it was questioned whether the Junkyard Kids were Rick's "new best friends."
11. 'Hostiles And Calamities'
With less guts than Spencer, Eugene changed his name to Negan and we saw the conniving side of Dwight. Dr. Carson become victim of the week thanks to an unfortunate furnace accident, and Josh McDermitt is the star of the week with his fetish for pickles and stuffed animals. Eugene bigged himself up to his newfound Saviors, citing some of his encountered threats "hostiles and calamities."
12. 'Say Yes'
There was all the fun of fair and a dodgy CGI deer in Episode 12. Rick and Michonne showed us just how steamy their relationship could get, but he still failed to win her a giant teddy bear on the hoopla. After bringing their cache of guns to Jadis, the picky junker said that 63 wasn't enough to rally her team against the Saviors. Rick bargained with the bowl-cut bitch and pleaded "just say yes."
13. 'Bury Me Here'
Oh Richard, if ever was there a more unfortunate character on the show? Ezekiel's right-hand man's plan didn't go too well, costing the life of poor Benjamin. Morgan went full berserker and broke his no kill rule, throttling Richard in front of an astounded crowd. Although Morgan murdered Richard, he still obeyed his last wish, taking his sign into consideration and burying Richard right where he decreed.
14. 'The Other Side'
Just like "The Cell," Episode 14 isn't exactly spoken in the episode's run, however, it is cleverly implied. Maggie and Daryl played hide and seek with the Saviors and Dr. Carson Version 2.0 found himself whisked to the Sanctuary. There was a guns-blazing finale and a haphazard rescue attempt for Eugene, as Sasha and Rosita came accept their differing fates. Sasha found herself on "the other side," right where Daryl had back in 7x03.
15. 'Something They Need'
The pieces fell into place for the horrifying season finale and Sasha and Eugene said their goodbyes to each other. Negan put his plan into play to make a move on the Safe Zone and Rick tried to boost his arsenal. You may alter the title slightly, but Rick said that Oceanside had "something we need," relating to their unguarded weaponry.
16. 'The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life'
As finales go, we managed to avoid the massive cliffhanger that loomed over us this time last year, but that doesn't mean we aren't left hungry for Season 8. Rick and Negan go head to head, and the latter showed the utmost respect for Sonequa Martin's Sasha. As Negan delivered Sasha some pancake room service, he boldly declared that this was "the first day of the rest of your life," and boy was he right!
And there we have it, rounding off 16 episodes of Lucille, Trevor from Grand Theft Auto, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's pearly whites, the clock is ticking for Season 8. Who knows what will happen when The Walking Dead returns in the fall, but expect more bloodshed, more angsty teen romance with Carl and Enid, and a possible turn of fortunes for Rick's survivors. Keep 'em peeled Dead-heads and don't have nightmares.