The Walking Dead ended season 7 on a considerably different level than season 6. Season 6 left you wanting 3 minutes more, or at least you tried to tell yourself that, even though you didn’t because it was such a dramatic cliff hanger. This year it ended with a more optimistic feeling, especially with the amount of losses the group was taking this season.
This episode was very thought provoking, and an episode that made more sense after it was over and you can learn a lot on a second watch. For instance, what appears as the beginning of the episode, is actually the middle, it picks up when Sasha and company are making their way to Alexandria, we actually see Sasha taking the poison that Eugene made for her before the 2 hour drive.
Sasha hallucinates about Abraham during the drive back. Abraham has knowledge about Maggie, and saying that what Maggie is carrying is the future. Sasha tells the Abraham vision that he dried by drowning, even though he says he hates the beach. One thing I am very surprised about, but likely will never know, is why did Sasha and her brother Tyrese hallucinate others while dying, but yet we haven’t seen that happen for anyone else. Do they have something spiritual that others didn’t? Just a question I ask myself while watching.
The episode starts backtracking at this point, we see Negan in the cell block talking to Sasha, telling her what the plan is for the day. How many people have to die, he originally picks 3, but Sasha is able to convince Negan that only one person has to die today. He says get ready in 45 minutes to leave. On the walk Sasha and Eugene talk, I don’t think that Sasha tells Eugene about her plan, he gives her some music to listen to on the long trip. She plans to ride in the coffin to Alexandria, Negan thinks it’s because she is a bad ass, but we know it’s because Sasha has other plans, plans to commit suicide to come back as a walker to create or hopefully kill Negan.
Back at Alexandria, Dwight wants Negan dead, he says though he can’t just go and do it because everyone at the Sanctuary is Negan. Dwight says he was doing what he was doing for someone else, but now she got away and Dwight is here, and because of her is the same reason Daryl is here. Dwight warns them that Negan is coming tomorrow, he will probably bring 3 trucks with him. Dwight talks about a plan they can do to finally kill Negan. He says that he can go and take down some trees to slow them down so they can get ready to ambush the Saviors. Tara wants Daryl to just kill Dwight for killing Denise, she doesn’t trust him and the group is thinking he might just be here to check if Daryl is at Alexandria. Rosita say she doesn’t trust Dwight either but she trusts Daryl. They let him go, and Daryl and Rick agree that if he is lying this is already over.
At the Hilltop with Gregory gone, Maggie seems to be the de facto leader. Enid, Jesus and Maggie are discussing tactics, Rick feels that they should stay at the Hilltop to be a safe place and somewhere that the Saviors thinks is still on their side if something goes wrong. During the session Enid takes Judith and gives Glenn’s pocket watch to Maggie and she holds onto that as she is thinking, seemingly gaining strength. Concurrently, the Kingdom with Ezekiel, Shiva, Carol, and others march towards Alexandria, they come across Morgan and are able to bring him back into the group. Lastly, the garbage people arrive at Alexandria and get into position, the leader asks Michonne if she can lay with Rick.
On the trip to Alexandria, we see that Dwight did in fact keep his end of the bargain by laying down a bunch of trees into the road. The convoy has to stop and luckily carries chain saws with them to cut a path. Negan wonders if it was Alexandria that did this, while they have some downtime Eugene says he wants to talk to Rick when they arrive to try to diffuse the situation. Negan allows Eugene to stand on the back of the flat bed with a megaphone trying to talk to Rick, during the approach the garbage clan gets into position, along with a sniper with Michonne. Eugene tries to get them to comply while Alexandrian’s look on with disgust at Eugene, who called himself Negan, they write off Eugene and try to detonate a bomb that Rosita had set up in a truck that was to stop the Saviors. It didn’t go off and the garbage people pull guns on Rick and his people setting up the double cross. The leader told Rick they had a better deal.
Negan finally comes out to talk to Rick, saying he gets how they tried to blow him and his people up, but surprised they would blow up Eugene, he thought Eugene was one of their people. He has Dwight and Simon set the casket upright, saying it is Sasha, they must like Sasha. Negan starts to let out his demands, Negan says he wants all the guns they managed to scrounge up, every last grain of lemonade, someone of Rick’s choosing to die to Lucille, he wants his Daryl, the pool table, pool cue’s and chalk. If he doesn’t get it all right now he will have to kill Sasha and probably everyone else too.
Rick wants to see Sasha first, Negan says he has to fill her in on what’s going on as she can’t hear inside. Negan goes to the casket and opens the casket and out pounces walker Sasha right at Negan and they tumble off of the bed of the truck. This momentary commotion is enough for Carl to be the first to react, he turns around and takes a leg shot and a chest shot at someone else before anyone else can react, as Alexandria is fighting back against the garbage clan and the Saviors. At the sniper location Michonne got blindsided and is getting pummeled by her attacker, a scene just like Rocky. During the fight Rosita is shot in the chest area, saved by Tara, and the leader of the garbage people shoot Rick in the side as well. Does Rick get wins over anyone anymore? He is always so slow to react in one to one combat, go back and look at the history.
Rick and Carl are held captive, and the garbage leader and Negan are talking about their deal, I’m unsure what they get, but they settled on 10 from Negan instead of an original 12. We hear screaming as someone fell out of the tower, Carl and Rick naturally believe it is Michonne, and Negan realizes that they think they lost someone important just now. Negan says that if he has a son he hopes he will be like Carl, but he has to kill Carl now, and he will do it in one big hard swing because he likes Carl. Negan follows up that Lucille will take Rick’s hands off after that. Rick says nothing will ever change the fact that he will kill Negan, and his people, that they are all ready dead. Negan nuts up and is about to hit a grand slam on Carl’s head when all of a sudden.
Yes, a big ass glorious tiger attacks one of the Saviors behind Negan, creating a natural commotion that causes a retreat. Ezekiel and his people start to press from the back as Ezekiel yells, “Alexandria will not fall! Not on this day!” You have to give Ezekiel credit, he is taking his act to the limit. From the other side come Maggie and the Hilltop forcing the Saviors to retreat even more and Negan to exclaim, “God damn tiger! That widow is alive! Guns a blazing!” During the mayhem Morgan does kill someone, the garbage clan throw out a flare, and smoke bombs as they retreat, Negan and his people leave with Negan flipping everyone else off. Everyone keeps chasing them out of Alexandria but near the gate they are stopped by shooters at higher ground shooting at them to get back and they locked the gate from the outside to slow them down.
Rick and Carl go to see if Michonne is OK and are happy to see that Michonne wasn’t the one that fell, they find her inside but she is beat to a bloody pulp but still alive. Negan asks Eugene how Sasha died, with Eugene’s guess is that she ran out of air, probably from the longer trip with the diversion. Rick wonders if Sasha did that to herself, Maggie says she knows that she did, but she doesn’t know how. Morgan and Carol share a moment together on a porch, and in the aftermath Daryl finds hidden by the gate one of Dwight’s old chess pieces with, “didn’t know” written on it.
We close the season with stories on screen and verbally. Jesus and Maggie went out looking for Sasha the walker. Jesus pins her down and Maggie goes over to put her down though crying a lot. Rick tells Maggie she made the right decision to come. She gave them a chance, Maggie said it was decided a long time ago. Before it all they would be strangers who passed on the streets but now they mean everything to each other. You were in trouble, trapped, Glenn didn’t know you, but he helped you. He put himself in danger for you, and that started it all. From Atlanta to my daddy’s farm, to the prison, to here. To this moment now, not as strangers, as family. Because Glenn chose to be there for you, that day a long time ago, that was the decision that changed everything. It started with both of you and it just grew, all of us, to sacrifice for each other, to suffer and stand, to grieve, to give, to love, to live, to fight for each other, Glenn made the decision Rick, I was just following his lead(as she is holding his pocket watch). Most of the speech happened as the three leaders, Ezekiel from the Kingdom, Rick from Alexandria, and Maggie from Hilltop talk to everyone in what is going to be an All Out War.
The Walking Dead typically returns in October, I don’t have a return date yet but I can’t wait to see how this battle will take shape, it’s going to be for great TV!