First Aired April 2nd, 2017.
Dwight (played by Austin Amelio) proposes an alliance against Negan (played by Jeffery Dean Morgan) and although most don’t trust him, Daryl (played by Nomran Reedus) knows he wants Negan dead. It’s also pointed out he is their best chance of rescuing Sasha (played by Sonequa Martin-Green). Dwight says Negan and the Saviors will be arriving the next day and plans a counter strike; privately Daryl resolves to kill Dwight regardless because of his past actions.
Negan plans to use Sasha in his confrontation with Alexandria. He refuses her protests that no one has to die but agrees to kill just one person. Interspersed are scenes with Sasha dreaming of conversations with Abraham (played by Michael Cudlitz) where she tried to convince him they should skip the mission that ultimately led to his death. At Hilltop, Maggie (played by Lauren Cohan) prepares to rally everyone to fight after realizing Gregory (played by Xander Berkeley) is gone and likely betraying them to Negan. Carol (played by Melissa McBride) leads a group of Kingdom soldiers to confront the Saviors, meanwhile Jadis (played by Pollyanna McIntosh) leads the Scavengers to Alexandria to do the same. Rick (played by Andrew Lincoln) gets everyone into position as the Saviors arrive but it’s Eugene (played by Josh McDermitt) who addresses them. Eugene reveals his new allegiance with the Saviors, proclaiming he is “Negan” and asks Rick to surrender. In response, Rosita (played by Christian Serratos) detonates the dynamite but nothing happens; Jadis and her group then betray Alexandria having made a “better deal” with the Saviors.
From the start of the episode, things did not look good for Alexandria: their main ally was someone they couldn’t trust and were prepared to kill. There was no doubt a large battle was coming, it was just a question of what could go wrong for Rick and everyone else. Jadis and her group were shifty people from the moment they were introduced, so they’re betrayal was not much of a surprise. Eugene is also solidly against Alexandria and they know it, although Sasha tried her best to get him to see the light. For someone who started the series as an inconsequential character, Sasha grew into a very strong character, particularly in this season. Her role in the episode suggested that she wouldn’t survive. Sasha was resolved to die, the only question was could she make her death count for something. Even her scenes with Abraham felt like it was closing the chapter on Sasha’s character by giving her closure with him. The first half of the episode building up Sasha’s role and the communities preparing to fight the Saviors was suspenseful and entertaining.
Negan demands all of Alexandria’s guns, Daryl returned to the Saviors, and for Rick to choose one person to be killed. Negan brings out a coffin where he contained Sasha. Unknown to him, she ate Eugene’s poison pill while inside to avoid being used against her friends. The reanimated Sasha attacks Negan and everyone in Alexandria begins to fight back against the Saviors and the Scavengers. People are killed on both sides, Rick and Carl (played by Chandler Riggs) are captured along with several Alexandrians. Negan taunts Rick that he will kill Carl and cripple his hands but Rick defiantly says that one way or another he will kill Negan and the Saviors. Just before Negan kills Carl, reinforcements from Hilltop and the Kingdom arrive and help Alexandria regain the upper hand. Many Saviors and Scavengers are killed as they retreat.
Sasha negotiated that only one person would have to die, and, in the end, she made sure it was herself. Sasha had perhaps one of the most memorable deaths yet, she went out as both selfless and a hero: the antithesis of Eugene. She turned herself into a weapon rather than a bargaining chip to give her friends the chance to fight and live another day. The battle was brutal and bloody, although the casualties are all nameless Alexandrians and Saviors which lessens the visuals of dead bodies strewn everywhere. If at least one of those bodies had been a familiar face, it would have had more of an impact. Next season Alexandria needs to create actual characters. Rick came full circle and stood up to Negan in the face of Carl being killed rather than submit like in the premiere. Overall, the fight felt like a climactic way to end the season and it perfectly set up the upcoming war for season eight.
Back at the Sanctuary, Negan questions whether Eugene might have helped Sasha kill herself and prepares the Saviors to go to war. Maggie tracks down the reanimated Sasha to put her down and give her a proper burial. She then makes a speech that they became a family when Glenn (played by Steven Yeun) first saved Rick in Atlanta, and that they should follow his lead. There’s a flicker of hope for Eugene, but, at this point, we can only hope the traitor meets a well-deserved bad end. It was disappointing not to get an appearance by Glenn, although Maggie’s speech did give him a presence in spirit. It was also a good jumping off point leading up to the coming war with the Saviors in what should hopefully be an epic battle.
“I told you already, I’m gonna kill you, all of you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but nothing is gonna change that. You’re already dead.”
Shiva the tiger eating Saviors was awesome, best post-apocalypse pet ever.
“You chose this, I truly don’t know what more I could have done to warn you. But this isn’t a warning, this is punishment.”
Season seven was far from perfect but it did give us great character growth for the major characters who either died or will live on to fight next season. Overall, it was entertaining.
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