The Walking Dead Season 7 finale included one single zombie, and she set a war in motion. If tonight’s finale had followed along with Robert Kirkman’s original comics, the story would have been far weaker than it was. Instead, AMC’s zombie drama pulled off a suicide that felt both tragic and oddly triumphant.
Spoilers ahead for the Walking Dead Season 7 finale.
Sasha, the character fans assumed correctly would die, was able to leave the show with a rare agency not often afforded to The Walking Dead’s slain heroes.
In Kirkman’s comic, Sasha is killed where the reader can’t see, and her zombie reveal hurts Rick’s people instead of empowering them. Here, actress Sonequa Martin-Green is given an emotional death that forwards the plot of the finale instead of dragging things to a standstill.
We also get to watch Rick make the same mistake he does in the comics — assuming his girlfriend is the one launched off a roof — but he finds out that it wasn’t her with enough time for the finale to close on a complex and somewhat hopeful note, rather than a devastating one.
The other alteration made was flipping Dwight’s double agent plotline into a triple agent shock. Dwight does approach Rick and his people saying he’ll help, but we realize after a few more scenes than he was acting for Negan all along. It’s the same sense of surprise for comics fans that viewers experienced when Abraham died in this season’s premiere, but it’s much easier to stomach this time. The possible sign that we’re in for yet another side-switch from Dwight — Daryl finding a figurine in the wall with “didn’t know” written on it — suggests that there’s a lot more in store for the character.
The Walking Dead Season 8 does not currently have a release date.