'Walking Dead' Learned Its Lesson From The Negan Cliffhanger

Then there's the moment they jump into action to rescue Eugene (Josh McDermitt), still pulling rank as Negan's new right-hand man at the Sanctuary. But each of those scenes says as much about Maggie as it does about Daryl, especially when she begs him not to kill any of the Saviors after they arrive at Hilltop, and pleads with him to help her win. Daryl was all the way in Hilltop and unless he hopped in a vehicle immediately after the Saviors left with the doctor (which he did not appear to do), then there was no way he could have gotten to the Sanctuary that fast. The root cellar also has a secret space, which allows Maggie and Daryl (Norman Reedus) to hide during a surprise visit from the Saviors, and Maggie's cool head and sharp instincts about when to fight and when to hold your fire restrain Daryl from making a fatally rash move when a Savior comes down to scope out the cellar. Sasha made a decision to save Rosita's life by locking her outside of the Sanctuary's gates while she ran inside to take on the challenge of killing Negan all by herself, though there was no guarantee that Sasha would live through the attempt. And that's when the waterworks start.

"The Walking Dead" is nearing its epic Season 7 conclusion and just about every member of the core group is finding themselves in trouble. "Shit you not", he says. "And he would know, because he was one of the good things too". Gregory is technically the leader of the Hilltop, but the community's residents have already committed to following Maggie. Even the premiere, which I railed against so heartily, was terrible because of what it was trying to say (or how little it had to express) rather than a basic failure of artistry. And her refusal to let Daryl attack the Savior is ultimately a strategic one. Her girlfriend Denise (Merritt Wever) was controversially killed off in what became part of a troubling TV trend a year ago; an unwelcome resurgence of the "Bury Your Gays" trope which came to a head with a profoundly controversial storyline on The CW's The 100. Why settle for a pyrrhic victory when you're preparing for an all-out war?

Enid tells Sasha she'll tell Maggie in 10 minutes about the plot to assassinate Negan and walks out.

Our guess: she'll go out in a blaze of glory during the finale and will likely take some Saviors out with her.

In the end though, this week is all about Rosita, Sasha, and the red-mustached ghost who haunts them.

She tied up the loose end of Rosita in the episode, finally bonding with the woman Abraham left her for.

Sasha's gentle but persistent compliments and questions crack the taciturn Rosita's defensive shell, so viewers finally get her backstory. "I'll never get to tell Abraham I'm happy he was happy", she confided in Sasha in a touching moment.

"I've spoken to [Ross] about it", Payne said, prepping him for a day in which "somewhere down the line, we might get together". "I mean, who thought Richonne was going to happen?"

The episode concludes with Sasha breaking into the Saviors compound, but sealing Rosita out to protect the latter.

But Sasha has one last secret plan in store. She decided it wasn't Rosita's time yet, choosing to potentially sacrifice herself instead. "There's gotta be a point to it, right?" Which way do you see it going?

For the better part of this season, The Walking Dead has given us episodes that run just a little too long.

  • Salvatore Jensen