April 2nd, 2017
"I just followed his lead..."
This was, hands down the most dynamic season finale EVER filmed by The Walking Dead Crew. From start to finish, it was heart pounding, breath taking and stunning, an utter work of film art. It was a true masterpiece. I bow to the filmers, producers and directors, actors, screenwriters and scripters.
When the episode opened, it showed Sasha listening to music in both ears. She seemed to be possibly suffering from air loss then she appears to pass out. When the commercial ends, she's listening to music again. She says "Hey Darlin' wake up," a dream-like sequence commences and she sees Abraham. He's smiling. "Good mornin' to you," he tells her. She says "you're here," and he says "I'm feeling all kinds of good to see you." He explains how he knew she pulled a night shift and he didn't want to wake her but he felt she needed to know Rick was planning to take Maggie to the Hilltop Doc. She tells Abe, "Don't go."
When she is woken up, Negan is seen holding a cloche at the foot of the cell. "Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life, sunshine," he steps in and puts it at her feet. He tells her that she's going to help make sure things get back in track. Negan tells her that she's smart, hot as hell, dignified as shit and that she doesn't suffer one bit. Then, he says he doesn't want her to die. But someone's gonna have to. He tells her "dig deep, big day." And Sasha asks what he needs from her. Then, she sees herself and Maggie...
Back at Alexandria, it's a stare down between Daryl and Dwight. Rick tells him to look at him (Rick). Rick asks why and Dwight says he wants Negan dead. Rick wonders why Dwight doesn't just kill him himself and Dwight tells him "They're all Negan." Tara gets into his face and tells him "The girl you murdered had a name. Her name was Denise and she was a doctor and she helped people." Dwight says he wasn't aiming for her and Daryl goes crazy. He grabs Dwight and throws him up against the wall, a six inch blade in his face. Tara encourages. Dwight tells Daryl: "If it has to end this way, go ahead. I'm sorry. Negan owned me... but not anymore. What I did wasn't for me. It was for someone else. But she got away. You did too, because of her." Tara tells Daryl to do it, again. Dwight tells Rick that Daryl knows he isn't lying. Daryl backs off, reluctantly. Rosita tells them that Negan has Sasha. Jesus asks her why she hadn't told them before and she says she didn't trust Dwight but she trusts Daryl. Dwight begins to explain that Negan is planning to come tomorrow. 3 trucks, 20 Saviors. He says he can buy them time, a fallen log in the road would do the trick. He tells them that if they can wipe out the crew, they can take the trucks and ride back to the Sanctuary for an ambush. They can go from outpost to outpost and wipe every single Savior they have. Rick tells him to keep talking. Dwight leaves. Daryl tells Rick when its all over, he's gonna kill Dwight. Rick tells Daryl; "If he's lying, it's already over." Daryl looks back at Tara then back to the gate as it comes to a close.
Sasha is seen in a pitch black area listening to the music beating in her ears. Then, she whispers "Oh, I gotta go." and it pops back to her dream sequence/memory. Abraham was saying "Oh, I gotta go. In fact, I..." she cut him off. "I had a dream... you..." Age smiles and perks up. "You had a dream about me?" Her expression went confused. "You died."
Negan says "That's the plan, that's what I need from you. And when we come out, not a peep. They will stand down if they haven't already. And Lucille will get her three. We have to move forward with a new understanding." Sasha tells him that she can do it but no one has to die. He tells her punishment is key (in so many words). She begins to say: "you think I'm going to let..." and he interrupts her, saying "Careful. You are not letting me do anything." She repeats that no one has to die and Negan smiles. He offers an ultimatum: one person . She agrees to one person. Negan smiles and stands. He tells her "You've got me wrapped around your little finger. Its not because of a man woman thing. If you had a dick, I would still have these feelings. We roll in 45." Sasha sees herself and Maggie again...
Maggie gives an overview on what she's been told to Jesus and Enid; they don't have Oceanside but they have their guns, Negan has Sasha, Daryl wants them to trust Dwight and that Rick wants the people there at Hilltop I'm case things go south. Enid guesses correctly at what Maggie is thinking, and that is sending the community into war with the others. Jesus says he's glad she's the one making the decision. Enid hands Maggie Glenn's pocket watch and takes Judith out of the room while Maggie and Jesus talk.
Carol's back, baby! She's leading a pack of Kingdomers towards Alexandria to accept Rick's deal from earlier in the season. She stops them though when she sees a train of shopping carts in their path. Jerry says they've seen this before (when they met to make their trade with the Saviors). Then, Morgan appears. Jerry asks if he's okay then Carol approaches, asks him if he was planning to ambush them himself. He says "Yeah," she tells him that going alone wont work for this. He said it would for him. She asked if he killed any Saviors and said she needed to know in case it got back to Negan, because it would soil their plan. He said only walkers. King Ezekiel steps forward. "Do you wish to extinguish everything who you've become?" He asks Morgan. Morgan tells him that he's stuck. Ezekiel asks if he wishes the saviors dead. Morgan says he does. Ezekiel tells Morgan he desires his presence. "The Saviors are a dragon with many heads. Their numerous legion. We must seek allies in this indever." He then notices Morgan's armor and recognizes it as Benjamin's. "Do you wear it to serve you or in his honor? Morgan, you are not stuck. Join us in this journey to create an alliance. Fight with us and we shall defeat them so no one will suffer under their capricious, malifiance ever again." Morgan nods. Ezekiel rejoins Carol and Shiva and they carry on again. Morgan follows
An RV, nine people on bikes, three dump trucks, a regular truck and a few more bicyclists enter Alexandria, guns and people galore. Its the Junkyard Crew. Jadis glances around and seems impressed, saying "what you fight for." Rick corrects her and says "not the place, the people." Jadis looks to Michonne and asks her if Rick is 'hers'. Michonne says they're together. Jadis says she will lay with Rick once its all over. Michonne says that they should get back to work. Daryl, Aaron and Rosita are working on a bomb with dynamite and c-4 right outside the Alexandria gate inside a truck while people keep watch on the wall.
True to his word, Dwight fell a tree and its taking longer for them to get by. Simon isn't happy. Eugene asks Negan to grant him permission to go ahead and "slow their jets and cool their roll," considering the circumstances. Negan just smiles.
The Alexandrians are busy at work, moving cars and setting up watch points. Michonne sets up a watch point with a blonde Junkyard member. She tells Michonne "we win," and takes her position.
Sasha's dream sequence: "You know what's gonna happen. How this is gonna end. We're gonna walk out that door together. We kick shit and eat snakes. That's us." Abe tells her. "We can sit this one out. They need us here, anyways. Rick said to get ready for a fight." She said. Abraham asks how he died. "We were at the beach. It was before. You got pulled under and didn't come back up. I was trying to find you but you were gone. And then I started to drown." "I hate the beach. End of the day in a wet suit, like your sand blasting your nutsack every single step you take back to the car. Luckily, seaside ain't on the agenda today. Just security and some road to chew, alright? Come on, lets go help Maggie." But she's still hell-bent on not going. Then, it bounces to her and Eugene at the Sanctuary. They're walking down a hall and he asked her if she's reconsidered the "allergy medication," She says she's made her decision to take it. It shows Sasha with Maggie again. Sasha asked Maggie why they were there. Maggie simply says, "For this."
The Alexandrians are working fiercely in preparation. The Junkyard Crew establish a call for their lookout while they finish the lineup on the wall, armed to the teeth. Rick tells Rosita to get into position and he'll signal. The wall just has to hold... "All the points are covered, every contingency is already met." Eugene booms over a microphone. Rick is sickened and horrified. He asks where Negan is and Eugene tells Rick "I Am Negan," Rick shuts his eyes and Rosita's finger lingers above the detonator. Rick nods and ducks. Rosita pushes the button but... nothing happens... Rosita is horrified. The Junkyard Crew jumps up and takes aim at Rick and the Alexandrians. Negan jumps out of the truck with Dwight in tow. Michonne is watching through her scope. "No," she whispers. Then, the blonde takes aim at her and says "We win."
Negan stares at Rick and asks him, "You ever hear the one about the stupid little prick named Rick who thought he knew shit but didn't know shit and got everyone who he gave a shit about killed?" Damn you Negan and your tongue teasers! He points to him and says "Its about you." He then proceeds to tell everyone that they're gonna put their guns down. Rick turns to Jadis and says "We had a deal." "Tomiel came for the boe of things, follow who took. Had a better deal." Negan tells Rick he pushed him. He told him he understood his wanting to blow him up. But his (Negan's) people? And Eugene? "You people are animals. " Negan orders Dwight and Simon to work. They unveil a casket. They roll it over towards the edge of the bed of the truck and stand it up. Negan stands next to it. "So you don't like Eugene, anymore. You gotta like Sasha. I do, too. Got her right here, packaged for your convenience. Alive and well . I brought her so I wouldn't have to kill any of you. Not killing you could get complicated. See, I know there's a lot of firepower left in there, Rick. So I'll make this simple; I want all the guns you've managed to scrape up. Yep, I know about those, too. I want every last grain of lemonade you got left. I want a person of your choosing for Lucille. Daryl. Oh, I gotta have my Daryl back. And the pool table and all the pool cues and all the chalk. And I want it now. Or, Sasha dies. And then all of you... probably." Negan then tells Rick that he sucks ass. Rick wants proof first. Negan agrees and goes to open the casket. When it shoots back to Sasha's dream/memory sequence.
She was listening to music when she whispers "It felt so real,". She told Abe it felt so real even though it'd just started. Abe tells her he admires the way she calls bullshit, (he's said that to her before) and says "Let me return the favor. The next thing you'll say is you'll go and I can stay because I know you didn't like hearing yourself just say 'Maggie's gotta take care of Maggie', I know those words are gonna choke in your ears and while and you're gonna wanna make up for that. Am I right?" She says he's right. "We lay our big meaties across the chopping block ahead of someone else's. Both of us sure as hell know if we're gonna kick it, there better be a reason so we can feel the reason to all of this. Alpha and Omega. When you're in the battlefield, or on the beach or somewhere out there today. Maggie... she's carrying the future." Abraham tells her. She says he's right. He then quotes her. "Oh my, that's living." She calls him an idiot. He says he never said otherwise. They walk out and it shoots back to her and Eugene at the Sanctuary. He tells her its a few hours ride and gives her an MP3 player they found a huge stockpile of. "Even though I am a selfish coward, I do tend to think of other people on occasion. I do hope I measured up." She tells him she hasn't given up on him. Negan tells Sasha that she doesn't have to ride the whole way in the casket but she's fine with it. Negan tells her he realizes how hard it is and thanks her for doing it.
Sasha is inside the casket and begins to play the music. She takes a drink of the water and swallows the pill. She smiles. It goes back to the current scene in Alexandria. Negan opens the casket and walked Sasha charges him. He goes over the edge of the bed. All hell breaks loose. The Alexandrians take fire against the Saviors and the Junkyard Crew. Rosita gets winged by a bullet. Daryl fires. Negan wrestles with walker Sasha. "Awe honey, God damnit!" She was close to chomping his neck when a Savior pulled her off and she tore his eyeball out. Simon and Negan take cover. Negan yells out in frustration. "Plan But it is!"
Jadis tells Rick to get down and shoots him in the side when he doesn't comply. She shoves him off the landing and says "I said down," Daryl kills Savior and Junk-ian he comes across, collecting their weapon. Michonne and the blonde fight, Michonne getting her head smashed into the floor. Rick is being lead through Alexandria by Jadis at gunpoint. He sees many dead Alexandrians and many defeated Alexandrians. Then, Carl is seen kneeling in the middle of a pool of Saviors and Juckyarders. Negan comes out and says "Hello, again.'" Rick kneels beside Carl as Negan dogs the Junkyard Crew. "Deal's for 12, yes?" Jadis asks Negan. "10," he counteroffers. "12," she demands but backs 9ff and excepts 10 after Negan gives her a "look." Negan walks around to face Rick and says, "I like to have fum, I do. If I had a kid, I'd want him to be just like your kid which makes this so much harder." Carl says, "You're not gonna win." Blondie is choking Michonne, now. Rick hears a cry tear through Alexandria and goes from pissed to defeated. Negan sees the sickness on his face. "You just lost someone important to you just now. Jesus. That is timing. I'm gonna kill Carl, now. One nice, hard swing cause I like him. Then, Lucille's gonna take your hands." Rick tells Negan: "You can do it in front of me, take my hands. I told you that I'm gonna kill you. All of you . Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but nothing is gonna change that. Nothing. Yours all already dead." Negan jumps up and throws Carl's hat off. "You said I could do it!" Just as he raises Lucille, BOOM! Shiva pounces on a Savior to Negan's right. People scream and Saviors take cover. In comes the calvary! The Kingdom fires, coming to their aid. "END THESE SAVIORS AND THEIR ACCOMPLICES! ALEXANDRIA WILL NOT FALL, NOT ON THIS DAY!" King Ezekiel yells. The Kingdom army fires and battles. Then, The Hilltop joins! Maggie is in lead, Daryl and Enid flanking her. They knock them down left and right. Daryl's got this Syfy gun, mowing them down three, four, five at a time. Negan sees Maggie. "The widow is alive, guns a blazin'!" Just as Negan leaves his cover, Shiva comes and attacks a Savior that took Negan's spot just a millisecond before she pounced. Ezekiel and Carol and Daryl and Morgan take two separate teams and battle, scattering the Saviors and The Junkyard Crew. Negan and the remaining Saviors leave in a truck with a hailstorm of bullets. Once they're gone, they shit the gate. Daryl jumps up and checks from behind the wall. No one is there. No sign they were even there...
Carl and Rick head to the house. They see the blonde laid out on the ground, dead. They rush inside and find Michonne half dead leaned against the wall. He falls to her side. She barely even responds. "You're alive," Rick says. "We," she manages to whisper. "We are. And we will." Rick and Carl are crying. They embrace.
Back at the Sanctuary, Dwight has gathered a gathering of Saviors. Simon says to Negan, "Getting preparations in place," Dwight says, "Everyone's on blue level. You say the word and they're ready to go." Negan says that's good then questions Eugene on how Sasha died. Eugene said he sealed up the box tight, insinuating she suffocated. Negan says maybe and turns to his people. "We're going to War!"
As Maggie speaks, it shows them looking for walker Sasha, finding her and killing her, Tara with Rosita, Rick with Michonne and eventually Maggie, Rick and another speaking with the remaining Alexandrians. "The decision was made a long time ago, before any of us knew each other, when we were all strangers in the world, passing each other on the street. And now we mean everything to each other. You were in trouble. You were trapped. Glenn didn't know you but he helped you. He put himself in danger for you. 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." (Daryl finds one of Dwight's wooden carvings that says "DIDNT KNOW" "Because Glenn was there for you that day a long time ago. That was the decision that change everything. It started with both of you. You just grew. All of us to sacrifice for each other," (Maggie and Sasha are now looking at a stunning horizon in the distance) "To suffer or to stand. To grieve. To give. To live. To love. To fight for each other. Glenn made the decision, Rick. I just chose to follow his lead..."
What were your thoughts on this heart-pounding season finale? Did you see what was coming? Did you expect the Kingdom to come? The Hilltop? Tell me what you thought below.
What's to come of season 8? Will the Kingdom, Hilltop and Alexandria come together finally? Was the Junkyard stunt just a ploy or did they truly abandon The Alexandrians? What does Negan and the Saviors have in store for Rick and the others? Will it follow "All Out War" close in the show as in the comics or will it sway? Let me know below.
Until next time, guys.
Editor: Joeleen Gatlin