On the season 7 finale, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” we learned that Sasha is basically brilliant. And also that you shouldn’t assume you can trust people who live at the dump.
Instead of a play-by-play of every last significant moment of this finale, this week’s column will include some thoughts on what it all means – and what to look for in season 8.
Sasha is still in the hands of Negan and spends a significant portion of the episode somewhere very dark, listening to music from an iPod. She remembers the conversation she had with Abraham before they left on their fateful trip to the Hilltop. She tells him she had a dream he died and that he shouldn’t go. We later find out that she is in a coffin for the “couple of hours” ride to Alexandria.
Rick wants to trust Dwight, but doesn’t. Daryl steps in, holding a knife on him. While Tara begs him to kill Dwight, Daryl decides he’s telling the truth about turning on Negan. Dwight says Negan is bringing Saviors the next day and he can buy them time by blocking the road, which we later see that he does.
The garbage people show up, armed with the guns Rick borrowed for them. They set up all around Alexandria, right beside the residents. They also set up a bomb in a box truck right outside the perimeter fence.
Carol and King Ezekiel lead a group of Kingdomites and find Morgan. Ezekiel begs Morgan to join them. Morgan’s decision won’t be revealed until later when he shows up in Alexandria and joins the fight.
Jesus and Enid arrived back at the Hilltop at some point. Presumably to bring Judith somewhere safe, since she’s there now. Jesus and Maggie talk about going to support Alexandria since Gregory took off. He makes no appearance in this episode and no one mentions him again, so his whereabouts are currently unknown. Maybe he’s with Heath. Since no one has even mentioned his name since episode 10.
After getting through the tree barrier, the Saviors arrive at Alexandria. Eugene makes a speech to try to appeal to Rick’s desire to keep everyone safe. Rick asks, “Where’s Negan?” Unfortunately, Eugene says, “I’m Negan.” And it’s on.
The garbage people, who made a deal with Alexandria and got a whole bunch of guns in the process, turn on them. Negan offered them more, Jadis explains. This all leads to Alexandria standing down, though still armed. Negan comes strolling out of somewhere and gives a big speech about how he’s taking away everything that makes Alexandria a fun place to live in exchange for Sasha, who is locked inside a coffin that Saviors stood up on one end. So that it can be super dramatic when Negan opens it.
And it is dramatic, but not in the way Negan expected. Because it turns out that Sasha, being the brilliant kamikaze that she is, took Eugene’s poison pill while she was locked in the coffin. She’s dead. So when Negan opens the coffin to let her out, Walker Sasha attacks him. And that distraction is all Alexandria needs to regain themselves and open fire on the Saviors and the garbage people.
Eventually, this dies down after Jadis shoots Rick in the side and pushes him off a watchtower. Negan gathers Rick up next to Carl and says it’s time. They hear a woman scream and think it’s Michonne, which Negan loves because it means more suffering for Rick. We find out later that, of course, it isn’t Michonne. She’s not the type to get killed in an ambush. Negan tells Rick he’s going to kill Carl. And then he’s going to chop off both of Rick’s hands. Rick tells him to go ahead and cut off his hands. “I told you I’m going to kill you. This doesn’t change that. In fact, you’re dead already.” Negan raises the bat to Carl’s head and suddenly Shiva the Tiger comes out of nowhere and takes down a Savior.
The Kingdomites join the fray and the fighting resumes. A few are gunned down. Some Saviors are gunned down. Garbage people too. Shiva eats a couple of people. Walker Sasha takes down one or two. And then the Hilltop chimes in with guns blazing. The Saviors, clearly outmatched, flee for their lives. The garbage people take off too, but not before causing more chaos and setting a few booby traps on the way out.
Back at the Sanctuary, Negan, with Lucille at the ready, asks Eugene how Sasha died. Eugene suggests that she suffocated since the coffin was sealed. Negan doesn’t argue, but clearly isn’t convinced. And he announces that they’re going to war.
Jesus and Maggie go out into the woods. They find Walker Sasha and Maggie kills her properly.
Which means that Season 8 is going to be “All Out War.” This, appropriately, is the name of the corresponding issues in the comic series.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out because Alexandria has no more cards to play. Negan knows they have Daryl. He knew that already, but they know he knows. No more hiding. And he also knows they have guns and explosives.
Negan also knows about the alliance between Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom. He knows they know each other and that they’re working together. This means he’s lost his supply chain, of course, but it also means there can’t be another surprise attack. Unless Oceanside suddenly turns up with some guns they forgot they had.
We also learned from Dwight that there are a lot of outposts with a lot more men. This is going to be a long fight.
Questions to answer in Season 8:
- Is Dwight really on Alexandria’s side?
- What will Negan’s people do now that they won’t have regular supply pickups?
- Where is Gregory? Did he run and hide or is he still planning to go to Negan?
- Will Oceanside come around and rejoin society or continue to keep to themselves?
- Where is Heath?