Every fan of The Walking Dead was going into the finale with dread in the pit of their stomach, knowing that someone was going to die and that it was probably going to be someone awesome. It's difficult to set yourself up for that kind of stress, but that's what The Walking Dead is all about; it's part of the experience. Tension was high from the first minute: hazy, unclear shots; the pulsing soundtrack; the quick cuts from hurried scene to hurried scene. Danger was everywhere. But even all that didn't make anyone more prepared for what happened. Someone died, and it was someone big. But who died in The Walking Dead finale? Unfortunately, we just don't know. The episode ended on the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.
"Last Day on Earth," an appropriate name for such a big episode, didn't waste any time building to confrontation between Rick's crew and The Saviors. It seemed like there was a mass exodus from Alexandria, with every main character you either loved or hated piling into an RV to take an ailing Maggie to Hilltop so she could see their gynecologist in the wake of last week's worrying cramps. It put everyone up on the potential chopping block as they barreled towards an encounter with some ready to rumble Saviors.
Checklist for The Walking Dead Finale Tonight:— Daryl's Ear Necklace (@EarNecklace_TWD) April 4, 2016
-Paper bag for breathing
-Life support machine #TheWalkingDead
Mortality was on everyone's minds — even the characters. One of The Saviors speechified to Rick the importance of being kind to the people you love because for any of them, it could be their last day on earth. It was some pretty heavy foreshadowing for the loss everyone was going to suffer by the end of the episode. The Saviors were waiting at every turn to take one of our heroes out. Even Rick was looking beaten down by the seemingly impossible odds. Eventually our heroes ended up surrounded with no hope of getting away. Rick, Maggie, Abraham, Sasha, Eugene, Aaron, and Carl were all forced to kneel for the Saviors to decide their fate.
By the time the episode was winding to a close, it started to seem like it wouldn't be just one character whose death would be blowing up Twitter – it would be a whole lot of them. Don't forget that Glenn, Michonne, Daryl, and Rosita were still being held somewhere – that's a lot of main characters to be worried about at once. They were brought out to kneel alongside their compatriots and that is when Negan made his first long-awaited appearance. The first line out of his mouth summed it up for everyone involved: "Anyone pissing their pants yet?"
Jeffrey Dean Morgan lived up to Negan's terrifying reputation (though he also kind of dressed like a cute hipster dad from Brooklyn). His menace was contained within a kind of wry sarcasm that only made it scarier. But as he moved from character to character, counting off with an "eenie meenie minie moe" that has never sounded more threatening, the camera turned to face him. All we saw was the bat coming at the screen, a splatter of blood, and then the scene cut to black as Negan's beloved bat Lucille made contact. We have no idea who died, and we won't until the premiere of the seventh season.
Hey – at this point I'm glad it was a cliffhanger as long as I don't have to watch a character I love die quite yet.
Here's to another six months of waiting to find out who Lucille killed.