The Walking Dead Season 7 finale explained

The Walking Dead Season 7's finale didn't have the same kind of nail-biting, fan-frustrating finale as the previous season's last episode, but it also opened a few doors—er, gates—rather than closing them. The war has just begun and alliances have been formed (and already broken) between the Alexandrians, the Saviors, and the rest of the Virginian survivors. The odds are stacked heavily in favor of resistance being futile, but Rick Grimes and his band of ragtag soldiers might still have a few advantages up their tattered sleeves. Here's a rundown of what exactly went down in the surprisingly non-explosive final episode of this season's The Walking Dead.

Sasha made a sacrifice

The whole finale episode juxtaposed real-time events with Sasha's fever dream. Captured by the Saviors, she had no choice but the align with Negan for his sinister plan to entice the Alexandrians into submission yet again. Thanks to her stoicism, she'd been able to wrangle a suicide pill from Eugene, who'd previously made them at the request of other ladies in the Saviors ranks. Once she decided against using it to end her suffering in the cell, though, Eugene assumed the pill was ancient history and guided Sasha to do her worst for Negan.


Negan intended to use her for bait, carting her to Alexandria in a coffin so as to bring her out in dramatic fashion once he'd inevitably gotten the upper hand. All the while, Sasha was sweating bullets and listening to Donny Holloway's "Someday We'll All Be Free" on the MP3 player Eugene gave for the ride, envisioning a conversation with Abraham about their role in stepping out as the sacrificial lamb for their friends. In the end, Abe reminds her that they're doing what they do to provide a future for the next generation, like Judith and Maggie's baby, and so she suits up to say goodbye to her safehouse. That's when she dies, we have to assume, and is transformed into a zombie before Negan can open the hatch of her coffin for a surprise attack that might buy her friends some time and provide a critical distraction. She'd agreed to just one Alexandrian death in the transaction with Negan, and by golly, she made good on that end of the deal.


Jadis made things complicated

Although the Alexandrians were able to make a deal with Dwight, who swore he wanted to help destroy Negan once and for all, to buy some time before their invasion with some downed trees, Negan was still able to overrun the place thanks to one surprise bit of subterfuge. Jadis the trash queen, who Rick had literally fought a monster to win over, got a better offer from the Saviors and decided to offer up her garbage people to his side instead of Rick's.


This meant that her soldiers were well placed within the Alexandrian stronghold to overtake its critical players—a sniper had the upper hand on Michonne in the lookout tower, her soldiers were practically paired off with everyone of importance to the group, and even Jadis was standing right alongside Rick when her soldiers turned their guns against the Alexandrians. This meant that they were able to disarm Rosita's bomb and that Negan got the element of surprise in dropping Rick's men and women from inside the wall.


Ezekial made a grand entrance

Even as the firefight commenced thanks to Sasha giving Rick a fighting chance, the Saviors and dumpster people still heavily outnumbered Rick and the Alexandrians. Negan was able to put Rick and Carl side by side to give his Lucille the satisfaction he'd come for—with the promise of killing Rick's son with a single swing as an act of mercy before taking his hands as a wink to the comics.


But before he could let the first swing fly, Ezekiel's tiger Shiva overtook some of Negan's henchmen and, once again, provided a last-minute bit of distraction for the fray. With the Kingdom coming in full-stop with their weapons and brute determination that "Alexandria will not fall on this day," Rick finally had a true alliance to help stave off the Saviors, who went into retreat alongside the garbage women and allowed Rick's company to regroup and heal. But it was far from over.


Rick made a declaration

Even before the Kingdom came and it looked like all hope was lost for Carl, Rick's hands, and who knows what other price would have to be paid as "punishment" for Negan, Rick still wasn't backing down. He made an oath to Negan, even as he believed he'd just heard Michonne take her last breath, that he wouldn't back down from his mission to kill Negan himself.


In other words, there would be no going back to business as usual. Whereas the last time he and his son were lined up for the slaughter, Rick was forced to abide by Negan's rule and came extraordinarily close to resigning his post as leader of this group, that was no longer an option for him. He would fight, and he would die trying, no matter what Negan did to him or his son. The good news? They still have all those weapons from Oceanside in hand.


Carol and Morgan made up

Carol's had a quiet season overall. While she'd played a critical part in previous fights—particularly against those cannibalistic Terminus whackjobs—she'd been laying low, even as tension built and put her favorite person, Daryl Dixon, in jeopardy. The same can be said for Morgan. Fighting wasn't the life either of them wanted, and they clung to non-violence as long as they could.


In both cases, it took very rude awakenings to snap them back into service. Morgan had to get a little unhinged and back to the "clear" days to see the light, while Carol had to put her own inclination for isolationism aside again, but they're here for this fight now. No doubt about it.


Tyreese made a comeback, sorta

Sasha's visions gave Abraham the tribute he deserved. He was still snarky and vulgar, but he was also just as earnest and committed to honor as ever, which helped Sasha make peace with her decision to put herself in final jeopardy in the hope of helping her friends.


And it's no accident that Sasha's final scenes went down this way, either. You might recall that her brother Tyreese's death was also slow and full of reflection as he succumbed to blood loss from his bite in Season 5. Sasha's last stand was a very cerebral and emotional experience, and it all seemed like a subtle tribute to Tyreese's end.


Glenn made Maggie's decision for her

As far as Negan knew, Maggie was dead. She possibly could have lived out her days undiscovered by him and the Saviors. She'd already made her peace with Daryl and assuaged his guilt over being the proximal cause of her husband's death—all was well (enough). But even after seeing a sonogram of the healthy baby that's growing inside of her—enough reason for anyone to shy away from such a difficult road—she couldn't dishonor Glenn's memory by taking the easy route.


After all, it was Glenn who first formed this "family." He was the one who'd rescued Rick from certain death in Atlanta all those years before and formed an alliance that would never waver: "To suffer, to grieve, to give, to love, to live, to fight for each other." Maggie believed she was just following the man she loved and respected by taking up arms and coming out of hiding once and for all. To fight for her family—the living, the dead, and even the unborn. She clutched the pocketwatch her father had given her husband as a gesture of his trust, as a bit of symbolism. That she was now the keeper of the future, whereas her father had been a beacon of the past and Glenn had been trusted with the present during his lifetime.


Eugene made a choice, but he might have to change his mind now

Eugene is the biggest disappointment of Season 7, for sure. He's always worked whatever angles he can to survive, and Rick, Abe, and even Rosita have never truly faulted him for his lies. But when he shows up at the wall as Negan's spokesperson, he's given up for lost. It's a tragedy that someone who'd been riding with the Alexandrians for so long could be so easily enticed with offers of comfort and safekeeping, even at the expense of his truest friends. And so it was. But there's still reason to hold out hope for Eugene.


As he walked Sasha to her coffin, in more ways than one, she told him that she still believed in his core values and potential. When he saw her make such a grave sacrifice, he had to have been impacted, especially since he knows he was the one who made it possible. He told Negan he believed Sasha must've died from suffocation during the trip, but Eugene knew better. And now that he's seen true bravery in action—and been told he has a hero lurking within his own self-interested shell—he might just have a reason to use his new leverage as an inside man for good. We'll see.


Dwight made his mark as well

Another betrayal at the wall of Alexandria seems to come by way of Dwight. He'd committed himself to helping the Alexandrians prepare for and hopefully survive an assault on the wall and made good on his promise to drop a few tree trunks in the road to buy them time. But when Negan rolled up with his trucks full of soldiers, Dwight was right there among them, carrying out his deathly bidding and handing him Lucille when prompted—kneeling just like always,


Daryl Dixon seemed especially disappointed by this development because he pretty much vouched for Dwight when he could've easily killed the guy. You might recall, Dwight and Daryl go back to a time when Daryl helped Dwight and his friends first try and escape the Saviors before we ever knew Negan. Despite appearances, though, there's at least one reason to believe Dwight is still siding with the Negan resistance effort. In the end, as Daryl closed the wall after Negan and his men had retreated, he found a wooden carving of a toy soldier with the words "didn't know" written on it. Longtime fans of The Walking Dead might remember that Dwight was known for such carvings, so this was clearly an effort on his part to pass along a low-key message that he was still shilling for the good guys in secret. With the numbers so unbalanced between the two squads, the Alexandria side is gonna need all the help they can get. Dun dun dun!