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‘Walking Dead’ Season 7 Finale Recap: A Sad Death Kicks Off a Serious Fight, and War Is on the Horizon

For once, the death of a major character on The Walking Dead wasn’t a terrible surprise — but it was still hard to say goodbye when the season finale aired on Sunday, April 2. Watch all the highlights in our video recap above!

Related: 10 Most Devastating TV Deaths of 2016

The AMC drama’s final season 7 episode saw Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) embarking on a journey to Alexandria with his prized hostage, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) in tow — and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) preparing to meet him and fight him, although we might as well tell you right now that things did not go according to plan. But that’s OK; war is a series of battles, and this was just the opening salvo in a conflict that won’t be resolved anytime soon. Here are the biggest moments from the season finale, titled “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life.”

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A familiar face

The last time we saw Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) was way back in the season premiere, and uh, he wasn’t looking so hot — which is why it was nice to see him back this week with his head intact, in flashback form. Sasha spent her return trip to Alexandria in the cocoon-like environment of an actual coffin, listening to a first-generation iPod and reminiscing about her last moments with her mustachioed boyfriend, which also contained the moral of this story: Putting your own life on the line for the people you care about is what makes it worth living. 

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Die-hard Abraham fans, however, will be more excited to know that these moments also contained a brand-new fabulously vulgar quotable from our favorite ginger Shakespeare about the effects of a wet pair of swim trunks on the male anatomy.

Enter the garbage people

Meanwhile, behind Alexandria’s walls, the laconic weirdos from the junkyard taught us all an important lesson about why you don’t make arms deals with obvious lunatics who live in a literal pile of garbage. After collecting their weapons, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her crew waited until the Saviors rolled up in their trucks before showing their true colors by turning their guns on the Alexandrians in an absolutely hideous betrayal. (Did that cat statue mean nothing to you, Jadis?!) For a moment, it looked like the fight was over before it began. Except hey, on the subject of turning …

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A blaze of glory and gunfire

This is when Negan opened the coffin, and Sasha — who popped her suicide pill right at the start of the journey to ensure precisely this outcome — emerged fully zombified and hungry for human flesh. And while Sasha chowed down on a random Savior’s face, Carl (Chandler Riggs) sprang into action, stitching the legs of the garbage people and setting off a massive gunfight … for about five minutes, but let’s not forget that our heroes were seriously outnumbered.

In short order, both Carl and Rick were on their knees, listening to Negan announce his plans to beat Carl to death and then crush both of Rick’s hands to a pulp. But Alexandria’s fearless leader had his own plan, he said, and he wasn’t going to let a little thing like his son’s death or a surprise amputation by baseball bat get in his way: “You’re all already dead,” Rick snarled.

Enter the allies

If you’re thinking that this would have been a perfect moment for a hungry tiger to leap onscreen and put a stop to this nonsense, then you’ll be delighted to know that The Walking Dead shares your feelings. Before Negan could take a single swing, allies from the Kingdom and the Hilltop swooped in with guns blazing, led by Shiva the tiger, who has apparently been taught to maul on command.

The surprise attack turned the tables in Alexandria’s favor, as the Saviors and the terrible garbage people turned tail and fled. And while there were quite a few bodies left lying in the streets, none of them were anybody important — which is a state of affairs we should enjoy while it lasts, because it won’t.

Here comes the war

Yes, yes, we’ve been saying this for weeks. But when The Walking Dead returns for season 8, it’s gonna be war, for sure! (Negan said so, to cheers from his still-quite-sizable army of Saviors.) And apart from Sasha’s heroic and definitive end, this season left Us with more questions than answers. Will the Hilltop, the Kingdom and Alexandria have the numbers to put up a decent fight? Will Dwight (Austin Amelio) actually make good on his promise to change sides? (He just stood there like a lamp throughout that entire ordeal, so who knows.) Will Rick track the garbage people back to the junkyard and take all their cat statues as payment for their ghastly betrayal? We’ll find out when The Walking Dead returns to AMC this fall.

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