In This Episode...
We open right where we left off, with Rick impaled on the rebar. He uses his belt to pull himself up off the rebar, hops on his horse, and escapes. Most of the episode is a collection of scenes of Rick bleeding onto his white horse as he tries to escape the massive horde of zombies. When he loses consciousness, he has visions of eating burgers with Shane and joking about Judith being his daughter; watching a sunset with Hershel; standing in a field of the dead with Sasha. He finally arrives at the bridge, and though he doesn't want to, the only way to keep the herd from the communities is to lead them over the bridge, which will collapse under their weight and wash them out to sea. But it turns out the Saviors do good work, and the bridge holds. Luckily Rick's friends come rushing out and try to save Rick, try to divert the herd. But Rick, who had been searching for his family this whole episode, realizes that Michonne, Carol, Maggie, Daryl, etcetera, are his family. He shoots a pile of dynamite on the bridge and blows the whole thing up - and himself. Flaming zombies spill into the river.
Except that Rick didn't blow himself up. Anne, who has been racing to meet her helicopter evacuation, watches the explosion from a distance. Then she sees Rick on the embankment, injured but alive. She calls to her evac and tells them she doesn't have an A; she never did, but she does have a B. "He's injured but strong." Rick wakes in the helicopter, with Anne caring for him. He's going to live.
Elsewhere, Maggie goes to kill Negan. She fights with Michonne over this, but Michonne eventually gives in and lets her in the prison. Maggie drags Negan from his cell, but he ends up crying, begging her to kill him, to do what he didn't have the strength to do. But Maggie can't. This is worse than death. Maggie decides to let him suffer.
Rick Grimes' last episode
Well, he didn't die. I'm glad for that, not necessarily because I have any vested interest in Rick, but because it is too easy. In a show like this, killing off characters is like breathing. I like the idea that Rick will be somewhere, hidden from his family. Plus, then the producers can bring him back without resorting to silly "speaking to the dead" montages like in this episode.
I do find it interesting that this is being billed as "Rick Grimes' last episode," NOT "Andrew Lincoln's last episode." Maybe he will be brainwashed into another character when he makes his inevitable guest appearance in a couple of seasons.
Judith at the end. Do we time jump some more?
As soon as I heard the little girl's voice at the end, I knew it was Judith. But what I don't know is if it is just a peek into the future - like a "what could happen" thing, or if we will legitimately do another time jump into the future.
The bridge is some kind of metaphor
I just can't quite figure out exactly what it is. The bridge was Rick's pride and joy, something he desperately felt was necessary to connect the different communities, but when it came down to it, Rick was ready to sacrifice it in order to divert the herd. The irony is that it was far more stable than Rick thought it was. You could almost see it in his eyes: "Dammit, those Saviors really did good work!"
Negan is truly sad and pathetic.
It was almost painful watching him plead for Maggie to kill him, knowing that he was too weak to do it himself. Also, Negan looked a little too similar to Charles Manson in his later years. It was creepy.