"The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" is the sixteenth and final episode of the seventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the ninety-ninth episode of the series overall. It premiered on April 2, 2017, at 9/8c on AMC, and on April 3, 2017, at 9pm on Fox. It was written by Scott Gimple, Angela Kang and Matt Negrete, and directed by Greg Nicotero.

Plot

The stakes continue to grow higher as paths cross; The group enacts an intricate plan.

Synopsis

In a dark, enclosed space, Sasha struggles to maintain consciousness. Music echoes from her earbuds as she finally drifts off. In a flashback, Sasha sleeps on a couch. Abraham wakes her and tells her that Maggie needs medical attention, and he’s accompanying Rick’s group on their trek to Hilltop to get her to a doctor. Sasha asks him to stay behind.

In the present, Negan brings a tray of food to Sasha’s cell. He assures her she doesn’t have to die that day but warns that someone from Rick’s group does. She asks him what he needs from her.

In another flashback, Sasha sits next to Maggie in a field.

In the Alexandria prison cell, Rick and the group interrogate Dwight. Tara furiously reprimands him for murdering Denise, to which he replies that she was not his intended target. In response, Daryl slams Dwight against a wall and holds him at knifepoint. Dwight insists he’s on their side and offers to work with them, saying his only reason left for staying with the Saviors, Sherry, is now gone. Tara tells Daryl to kill him, but he stands down. Dwight warns the group that Negan will come to Alexandria the next day with three trucks and at least 20 Saviors. Dwight presents his plan: he suggests they attack Negan and his crew while they’re in Alexandria. From there, Dwight can radio the Sanctuary and let them know everything is okay. The Saviors there will be caught off guard when Rick and the group ride in, using the Saviors’ own trucks. Once inside, they can rally the workers to their cause, take down the Saviors and destroy their other outposts one by one.

Dwight heads back to the Sanctuary after Rick’s group agrees to his plan. Daryl vows to kill Dwight after the battle is over.

Sasha continues listening to music through her earbuds. Continuing the same flashback from earlier, Sasha tells Abraham that she had a dream in which he died.

In the present, Negan tells Sasha how he plans to use her in his attack against Alexandria. He insists on executing three people, but Sasha bargains him down to one.

In the flashback, Sasha and Maggie continue to stare out at the field.

In the present, Maggie reviews Rick’s plan with Jesus and Enid. She considers their options and contemplates joining the fight at Alexandria. Jesus remarks that he's happy she is the one making the tough decisions; Gregory is noticeably absent.

Carol leads a regiment from the Kingdom toward Alexandria. They reach the blockade of shopping carts previously placed by Richard; it has been rearranged. Morgan appears, still emotionally unstable, and vows to hunt down the Saviors by himself, but Ezekiel convinces him to fight at their side. He joins them as they march towards Alexandria.

The Scavengers arrive at Alexandria in a caravan of garbage trucks and bicycles. Rick greets Jadis inside the gate. She crudely propositions Rick, but is swiftly repelled. Daryl, Rosita and Aaron wire explosives in an empty cargo truck outside the Alexandria gate.

Meanwhile, Negan’s crew works to remove chopped down trees blocking the road, delaying their arrival at Alexandria; a diversionary tactic secretly employed by Dwight. Negan suspects Alexandria is responsible, and reminds Simon that they have a Plan B. Eugene asks Negan’s permission to approach Rick and try to defuse the situation before resorting to warfare.

Back at Alexandria, a Scavenger watches Tara as she helps set up a blockade outside the gate. On a balcony, Michonne gives sniper instructions to Farron (a Scavenger), and hands her a sniper rifle. “We win,” Farron tells Michonne.

Sasha listens to music on her headphones. She struggles to keep her eyes open. In the flashback, Sasha tells Abraham about her dream: they were at the beach, he went under water and never resurfaced. Abraham jokes that he hates the beach and gets up to leave for the Hilltop. Sasha again asks for them to sit this one out -- “Maggie’s gotta take care of Maggie,” she says.

Earlier, Negan and the Saviors mobilize for their attack on Alexandria. At Sasha’s cell, Eugene speaks with Sasha about her change of heart regarding the “allergy medication” (the suicide pill). He assures her she’ll get used to life at the Sanctuary. “No, not like you,” she says.

In the flashback, Maggie and Sasha watch the sunrise.

A Scavenger alerts everyone in Alexandria to the Saviors’ arrival. Rick assumes his position at the front gate, with Jadis crouching by his feet, hidden from view. Negan’s caravan arrives. Eugene steps out and tries to convince Rick to surrender. Rick hesitates, stricken by Eugene’s betrayal, and asks where Negan is. "I'm Negan," Eugene replies. Rick then gives Rosita the signal to detonate the explosives. Rosita pushes the detonator, but there is no explosion. Before Rick can reach for his gun, Jadis leaps up and aims her gun at Rick. Simultaneously, the Scavengers all turn their guns on the Alexandrians. Negan emerges from a truck and taunts Rick as his Saviors open the truck that holds the explosives. Brion opens the gates for the Saviors. Watching the situation unfold, Michonne tries to leave her balcony post to help Rick, but Farron stops her, holding her at gunpoint.

Simon and Dwight remove a coffin from their flatbed; Negan announces that Sasha is inside, alive and well. He offers to let her live if Rick turns over all their guns, lemonade and pool equipment – and Daryl. Even then, Negan will still execute one Alexandrian of Rick’s choosing using Lucille. If he refuses, Negan will kill them all. Rick insists on seeing Sasha. Negan taps Lucille against the casket, knocking.

Earlier, Sasha listens to music on her headphones. In the flashback, she and Abraham kiss. He reminds her that putting their lives on the line for others is what they do and that Maggie and her baby are the future. Sasha agrees, admitting guilt for her previous statement about Maggie. They leave for their doomed journey to the Hilltop.

As Negan’s group mobilizes to attack Alexandria, Sasha confirms with Eugene that it will take a couple of hours to reach their destination. Eugene gives her an iPod with headphones. Sasha tells Negan that she wants to travel to Alexandria in the casket so she can rest. She requests a bottle of water. Negan sincerely thanks her for siding with him. Inside the coffin, Sasha selects a song from the iPod. As Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free" begins to play on the iPod, after a brief moment of thought, she pops the suicide pill in her mouth and washes it down with water.

In the present, Negan opens the casket door. Sasha, now a walker, lunges at him, knocking him off the flatbed. Rick’s group takes advantage of the ensuing chaos and turns their guns on the Scavengers. Those on the guard posts open fire on the Saviors outside. Michonne fights Farron on the balcony. In the chaos, Rosita is shot, and shortly after is escorted away by Tara. Rick tries to join the fight, but Jadis holds him at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Roy removes the zombified Sasha off Negan, but she then proceeds to devour Roy's face as Negan and Simon hide from gunfire behind a truck. Negan screams to Simon that they need to put Plan B into action.

Rick attempts to make another deal with Jadis, but she shoots him in the side and pushes him off the platform. On the balcony, Farron gains the upper hand and brutally beats Michonne, before pushing her precariously towards the edge as they struggle.

In the streets below, The Saviors and Scavengers have gained control of the situation; some Alexandrians have been killed, and several are in custody. Jadis leads Rick to Negan and orders him to kneel beside Carl, who is surrounded by over a dozen Saviors. She reminds Negan of their deal – twelve people in exchange for the Scavengers’ help in the attack. Negan swiftly bargains her down to ten.

Rick and Carl look on in horror as a body plummets to the ground, from Michonne’s balcony post. Negan vows to kill Carl and destroy Rick’s hands using Lucille as punishment for Rick’s collusion. Rick swallows his fear and furiously reiterates his pledge to kill Negan, regardless of the threats he makes. Negan stares at him for a moment, before smiling. As Negan prepares to strike Carl with Lucille, Shiva leaps onto and mauls a nearby Scavenger. Carol and Ezekiel arrive at the head of the Kingdom regiment in an attack, as Maggie arrives with the Hilltop fighters. A battle ensues as the Saviors and Scavengers are caught off guard. Rick and Carl join the fight. Negan orders a retreat as Shiva mauls another of his men to death. To his fury and surprise he sees Maggie, alive and well, leading the Hilltop warriors. 

The fight is hectic, and numerous Saviors and Scavengers are gunned down. Morgan discards his empty gun and begins killing with his staff, joining Rick. The joint communities successfully push their adversaries back. The Scavengers release smoke bombs and escape in the haze, scaling the walls and running out the gate on foot. Negan and his men escape in their vehicles being bombarded with gunfire. Before leaving Negan gives a defiant middle finger to his attackers. The battle is over; it is a victory.

Rick and Carl rush to where Michonne was last seen, and to their relief, they find Farron’s dead body on the ground, where they expected to find Michonne. They discover her inside, badly beaten and barely conscious. Rick gently embraces her.

Back at the Sanctuary, Simon and Dwight inform Negan that preparations are underway for plan B. Negan asks Eugene how Sasha managed to die in the casket. Eugene surmises that she ran out of air. Negan looks doubtful but concedes it's possible. Negan then addresses his Saviors amassed in the courtyard. “We are going to war,” he declares as the crowd, over 130 strong, all reply with a "Yes Sir!" together.

Maggie and Jesus track down the zombified Sasha in the woods. Maggie cries as Jesus pins Sasha to the ground so Maggie can stab her, which she does moments later. In the graveyard, Gabriel presides over Sasha’s funeral. Members of Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom celebrate their victory. Carol sits on the porch with Morgan, who seems more clearheaded now. Daryl finds one of Dwight’s wooden figurines hidden by the front gate. He sees the words, “Didn’t know,” written on the back. In the infirmary, Tara sits by Rosita’s side, and Rick holds Michonne’s hand as she rests in bed. Maggie proudly tells Rick that she was not the one responsible for the events which saved Alexandria; it began right at the start, when Glenn made the decision to save Rick in the tank in Atlanta. It was that heroic choice that paved the way for everything to come.

In a flashback, Maggie and Sasha continue to sit in a field, watching the sunrise. They turn to each other and smile.

Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel stand on a podium and address the crowd as the leaders of their respective communities: Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom, united and ready for war.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Special Guest Star

Uncredited

Deaths

Trivia

  • First (and last) appearance of Farron.
  • Last appearance of Sasha Williams.
    • As of Sasha's death:
      • None of the Williams family members are alive.
      • None of the members from Tyreese's original group are alive.
      • None of the characters who joined the prison community at the end of Season 3 are alive.
      • None of the survivors of the prison flu are alive.
      • Judith is the only character introduced in Season 3 who is still alive.
  • Last appearance of Roy.
  • Last appearance of Abraham Ford. (Flashback)
  • This episode is 85 minutes long, according to AMC's schedule.
  • This is the twelfth extended episode this season and the eighteenth extended episode overall.
  • This episode had the most scenes adapted from "Volume 19: March To War":
    • Rick and Daryl make the decision to trust Dwight.
    • Negan arriving at Alexandria with a group of Saviors in several trucks.
    • Negan's line to Rick about how he "thought he knew shit" before the conflict is taken from Issue 112.
    • Michonne's fight in the sniping post is adapted from Issue 113.
    • The second line-up is adapted from Issue 114.
    • Negan's laments about needing to kill Carl is from Issue 114.
    • Rick believing Michonne to have been thrown from the tower only to later find her alive.
    • Shiva pouncing on an enemy right before Negan kills Carl and the subsequent arrival of the forces from the Hilltop and Kingdom is adapted from Issue 114.
    • The scene in the infirmary and the declaration of war by Negan to his men.
  • Sasha's death and reveal as a walker is adapted from Holly's death in Issue 119, and her biting of Roy is adapted from Issue 120.
  • This episode was dedicated to Bernie Wrightson, a close friend of Greg Nicotero.
  • The title's episode is the longest title in the series, having nine words.
    • The title of this episode comes from Negan's exchange to Sasha: "Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life, Sasha".
  • It was revealed that Jadis was the snitch of Rick's group to Negan as he mentioned in "Something They Need."
    • This is adapted from both Issue 109 and Issue 110, however, the betrayal is successful unlike the comics.
  • This is the only episode this season in which a living character is killed by a walker.
  • Maggie calls the garbage people "Scavengers", which is the first time they're called that since they've appeared in "Hearts Still Beating".
  • Judith says her first words in this episode, "Mama".
  • This episode marks the first time an animal has killed living survivors.
  • The song that plays while Sasha takes the pill is "Someday We'll All Be Free" by Donny Hathaway. Another song that Sasha played is Just Freedom" by MIDImarc.
  • Sasha's flashback with Abraham was a flashback to "Last Day on Earth" before they decide to join Rick to take Maggie to the Hilltop.
  • Sasha's flashback with Maggie was a flashback to "Them" when the two watch the sunrise together after the storm.
    • However, these flashback scenes in this episode are all a re-shoot since Maggie's hair is much shorter compared to the scenes in "Them".
  • This is the first episode since "Judge, Jury, Executioner" to feature only one walker.

Goofs/Errors

  • When Rosita got shot, there was no blood that could be seen on her shirt.
Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof" • "Slabtown" • "Self Help" • "Consumed" • "Crossed" • "Coda" • "What Happened and What's Going On" • "Them" • "The Distance" • "Remember" • "Forget" • "Spend" • "Try" • "Conquer"
Season 6 "First Time Again" • "JSS" • "Thank You" • "Here's Not Here" • "Now" • "Always Accountable" • "Heads Up" • "Start to Finish" • "No Way Out" • "The Next World" • "Knots Untie" • "Not Tomorrow Yet" • "The Same Boat" • "Twice as Far" • "East" • "Last Day on Earth"
Season 7 "The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be" • "The Well • "The Cell" • "Service" • "Go Getters" • "Swear" • "Sing Me a Song" • "Hearts Still Beating" • "Rock in the Road" • "New Best Friends" • "Hostiles and Calamities" • "Say Yes" • "Bury Me Here" • "The Other Side" • "Something They Need" • "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"
Season 8 "Mercy" • "The Damned" • "Monsters"