'The Walking Dead' sets stage for war in tense season finale

'The Walking Dead' sets stage for war in tense season finale

'The Walking Dead' sets stage for war in tense season finale

Here, actress Sonequa Martin-Green is given an emotional death that forwards the plot of the finale instead of dragging things to a stand-still. The only upside to losing her is the manner in which she goes. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's been more or less interesting since then, but Negan's softened over time; and while that's understandable, having him act like a complete moron means the show may have finally given up on ever having tension again. She just knocked it out of the park, and knowing what was happening, being in that cell, in particular, and the dialogue we had and what she was doing and the acting that was happening was just a thrill for me to see. Rick's gang and the Scavengers built up defenses but when Negan arrived Rick learned that ole bowl-bangs and her clan of trash people were traitors. She was right. When Negan opened the casket for a trade-off with Rick, zombie Sasha attacked him, providing the ideal distraction for the Alexandrians to mount their counterattack. To top it off, Negan also threatened to kill the rest of the Alexandrians should Rick think of declining his offer. But until that surprise moment, we'll all revel in watching Rick Grimes and Negan's clans duke it out in what will be an epic battle. Rick and company have a plan, but it's going to take all their allies to bail them out as the first shots of war are fired. Meanwhile there's a gun to Rick's head the entire time.

It caught Negan, who clearly had the upper hand, off guard, giving Alexandria a chance to escape the clutches of Jadis and the rest of the dumpster-dwellers.

Danai Gurira (Michonne): "She's [Martin-Green] wise, she's amusing, she's smart, she's lively, she's talented". While Rick and Carl were on their knees, she was in a struggle for her life on a balcony with one of Jadis' followers. But he told her Maggie's "carrying the future" and that's worth fighting for. The season premiere will go down in infamy for the gruesome portrayal of both Abraham and Glenn's death, while the season finale will be remembered for the intensity of the action at Alexandria.

I have wondered if Sasha might bite someone like Tara, a non-comic character whose fate is free of any specific death, though I have a hunch that she's become too major for The Walking Dead to kill off in this fashion, and I think she still has to be involved in the Amazon/Oceanside storyline in episodes to come. In a narration at the end of the episode, as the Alexandrians hold a funeral for Sasha, Maggie explains to Rick that she decided the Hilltop had to join the fight because of Glenn, who's baby she is carrying.

'You chose this. This is not a warning. No, the Negan war will not end tonight, as it's really only just getting started, but it will be a "conclusive" kick-off, if that makes any sense. "All of this. To sacrifice for each other".

She talks about how they live to "suffer, stand, grieve, give, love, live, to fight for each other. I was just following his lead".

Even though the second half of this season has been refreshingly expedient in the way it's moved the plot along, there was nearly no chance the finale was going to end with Negan dead and the war against the Saviors resolved. And in the year to come, we're going to need all of that kind of propaganda we can get, if we're going to keep cheering our team on to victory.

"It started with both of you and grew, to all of us", said Maggie.

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