Season 7 of Walking Dead is finally over. And I say finally because season 7 was a hard one to watch, especially the first half of the season. Episode 16, or the grand finale fans were expecting, aired on AMC on Sunday night, and it probably was one of the best episodes of the entire season. If you haven’t seen it yet, I can tell you there aren’t any annoying cliffhangers in this one, without spoiling it for you. But beware, spoilers do follow below.
From the beginning, it’s crystal clear that someone will die. It’s not going to be Negan, but one of our favorites will perish. It’s either Sasha who’s in a terrible spot, or it’s going to be someone from the Alexandria community.
The more the episode insists on Sasha, the clearer it is she’s going away for good. It’s a proper send-off for the character, and it’s a fitting death for her. Sasha turning into a walker and almost biting Negan is a great moment of the episode. We see Negan devoured by fear when he’s overrun by the unexpected walker.
However, I will point out the obvious we’re again served a full spoon of silly writing. Why on earth does Negan want to bring a coffin with him? No matter how much he likes to cause a scene, isn’t it a bit too much? Shouldn’t be in a hurry to actually deal with Rick now that he knows about the plan? And where on earth do you get a coffin? Why would you?
Of course, the entire coffin thing is needed for Sasha to make her big zombie entrance. Sasha’s death is what helps the Alexandrians get the upper hand for a short while, and start shooting at Negan and the Garbage people.
The fact that Negan knows about the planned mutiny ruins any chance of a surprise attack, so Rick and Co. need to think fast to plan a surprise defense. The Garbage people come to the rescue, but something is off from the get-go. And why on earth do they all talk funny? Have they forgotten how to speak properly?
The Garbage people deliver an unexpected betrayal and a great plot twist. They turn the weapons, just as Negans makes his demands. Well, it’s technically Eugene who makes the introductory remarks, but he’s pretty much Negan at this point.
Sasha’s walker moment interrupts everything, and it’s Carl who starts the war. That kid is brilliant at this point.
The Saviors and Garbage people are able to win the skirmish, and we get to come full circle. We’ve got Negan with a bat in his hand, talking shit to two people who are kneeled before him: Carl and Rick. Negan wants to kill both of them, and we see a line exchange that sounds similar to the first episode. Rick promises Negan that he’s going to kill him at some point in the future. Regardless of what Negan does to his son, or whether Rick loses his hands or not.
It’s at this point where the viewer may be inclined to believe a monstrous cliffhanger is in the works. Will Negan kill one of the two, or both, without AMC telling us about it? Or has a Garbage woman killed Michonne by dropping her off their sniper’s nest after a fierce hand-to-hand combat?
The conflicts are soon resolved by a particular tiger. That’s right, Maggie’s Hilltop and King Ezekiel’s Kingdom come to the rescue, effectively driving the Saviors away. How neat that they coordinated their arrival.
Rick and Carl are not killed, and they later discover Michonne is still alive. All that happens during the episode, so kudos to AMC for not keeping it secret. It managed to pull off both a Glenn fake death moment and a smaller version of season 6’s finale, all without trolling the audience.
I can’t but notice other “errors” from the writers. Negan did a poor job on intel. He knows that Rick’s been up to no good, but he didn’t bother to keep tabs on the other communities he’s pillaging?
Also, how come nobody noticed Dwight was gone for so long? Dwight is now Rick’s inside guy with Negan, which is something I certainly want to see more of. When did Dwight have time to scribble that he didn’t know the Garbage people were dealing with Negan? How did he know that anyone will find his tiny sculpture and understand what it all means? He apparently did that while he had to act as a Savior, which includes firing his gun, attacking, retreating, evacuating, and basically obeying every Negan command.
The season ends with both sides planning for what it’ll be an uneven war. Negan has a massive army, compared to the other communities combined. We don’t see the Garbage people, but they’re certainly not done interfering.
With all that said, I’m both glad episode 16 wasn’t a letdown, but I’m also happy to take a break from Walking Dead once again. The season finale was better than most episodes this season, but it wasn’t short of certain faults, and it only proved that we’ve had too much filler content following that brutal premiere. Will season 8 get any better? We’ll just have to wait.