Betrayal was in the air during The Walking Dead season-seven finale. Scarface Dwight comes to Rick to let them know he is done with Negan, and that he has a plan to defeat him. Rick joins forces with the Scavengers, the group led by Jadis, the gnomic woman who looks like she used to own an art gallery in Chelsea, to take Negan down from the wall when they arrived the next day. But, surprise! Jadis double-crosses Rick, and the gallery girls hold Rick and his crew up at gunpoint, which allows Negan to make another Big Speech where he pontificates about how he’s a pretty understanding guy, but that Rick is rude as hell.
This time, Negan has a prop — a casket with an allegedly alive Sasha in it — and he makes a list of demands: He wants all of the guns, Daryl, the pool table, cue, and chalk, and for Rick to choose one person to die by another beating of the bat. In exchange, he will return Sasha. Rick, of course, asks for proof that Sasha is alive, and when Negan opens the coffin, zombie Sasha comes out and attacks him, thus providing the Ricksters an opening to shoot and take down the Scavengers.
You see, Sasha had taken the poison pill that Eugene had made early on during his stay with Negan and given it to her when she said that she wanted to die. Sasha has what seems like either a portentous flashback or an imagined conversation with Abraham (welcome back, Michael Cudlitz!) about dreaming of his death and why sacrificing yourself for others is noble. So, of course, she takes herself out for the good of the cause. Hurrah, Sasha! May you live long and prosper on Star Trek.
Still, Negan and the Scavengers are able to overpower Rick, and once again, he’s threatening to kill Carl. But, just as he’s about to do it, CGI Shiva jumps in! As expected, Ezekiel and the Kingdom and Maggie and the Hilltop swoop in and beat back the Saviors. Ezekiel screams in a kingly fashion, “Alexandria will not fall! Not on this day!” It’s pretty cool.
The episode wraps up with Maggie doing a voice-over about family and why Rick is an important leader, and how their journey together started when Glenn saved Rick back in Atlanta. Glenn! #NeverForget.
Some lingering odds and ends:
• Carol and Morgan seem to have found peace after their PTSD and moral crises and become good old-fashioned killing machines. Yay mental health!
• All Out War is coming. One of the biggest showdowns of the comics is now coming to the series, with Negan going head-to-head against Rick.
• Daryl finds a little wooden soldier that has “Didn’t Know” scrawled on the back. You might have forgotten, but in the episode where Dwight and Daryl first meet, Dwight gives Daryl a wooden soldier he carved as thanks for helping them out. So, in all likelihood, this is a message from Dwight to say that he didn’t know what was actually about to go down.