This was posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
I've turned this into an annual tradition: guessing who will die on the season finale of "The Walking Dead"?
Last year was a feint. Negan killed someone but we didn't know who until the start of season 7. (A year ago, I picked Abraham and was ultimately correct but didn't at the time see the second death as well of Glenn.) I'm sure the producers will not repeat that again. This season, we have a major war brewing so people are certain to die. But who will perish during this Sunday's 90-minute expanded edition?
By the way, I have no spoilers. I know nothing about the upcoming episode. AMC does not provide writers advance screeners of the season finale.
There have been so many minor or still secondary characters with speaking roles this season, I am not going to bother to list them all. I will include only those people might care something about. (At least one of the three Saviors under Negan with names Jared, Simon and Gavin may die but do we really care? And Heath and Sherry may or may not be alive.)
Sasha 90%: She already had a death wish with her "beach ball sized lady balls" as Negan says going all kamikaze on his joint. She has seen two boyfriends and her brother die, too. She has suffered enough. Her story line seems to be leading to a big heroic death. And actress Sonequa Martin-Green has been cast in the lead of the upcoming CBS All Access show "Star Trek Discovery." That does not bode well for Sasha's future.
Gregory 80%. He is clearly the most disliked character on the show at the moment who is not a Savior. He's a weak, seemingly accidental leader who can't remember anyone's names. He is a pure supplicant to Negan. He can't seem to exert any real authority over Maggie. He has never even killed a walker and when he tried this past Sunday, he failed. He is now on his way to the Saviors compound with very modest intel and I can't imagine it's going to go over too well once he's there. Someone is going to kill him. He so needs to die.
Morgan 70%. His story arc has zig-zagged all over the place. He began in season 1 episode 1 as the first person to school Rick on the zombie apocalypse. He later reappeared season 3 sequestered and a bit nuts, having lost his wife and son. Later, he found a mentor who taught him how to use a stick while becoming far more zen like. He could kill walkers but not people. When he re-connected with Rick in Alexandria, he was the king of pacifism. But he was tested over time, eventually having to kill a Savior to save Carol. When he lost Benjamin, he choked the man he ultimately blamed - Richard - and proceeded to isolate himself to prepare for war. Like Sasha, he seems to be on his way to a major, satisfying valiant death. But it seems to make more sense to delay his death until season 8. We'll see.
Dwight 30%. Dwight is a Savior turncoat! He has plenty of reasons to want to have revenge on Negan. Negan burned the side of his face for trying to escape. He lost his wife to Negan. Then Sherry let Daryl go and disappeared. She also gave up on Dwight and who knows if she's alive. And after he used the doctor to cover up his own issues and watched the doctor die a horrible death, he joined Rosita back to Alexandria. There is no doubt he will provide great intelligence to Rick's crew. But he may try to stay out of sight during this finale. I anticipate he will survive into season 8. His death at this stage would seem distracting to more emotionally heart-rending deaths like Morgan or Sasha.
Rosita 30%. She seemed ready to just die last week yet she's still around thanks to Sasha. Her character has always seemed a bit rough around the edges but she showed vulnerability for the first time episode 14. But Sasha is right: she is a warrior and can do great damage once the war really starts. I am not sure the show is ready to off her just yet and may hold off until season 8.
Eric (Aaron's boyfriend) 30%. What? He showed up to help out this past week at Oceanside just so he could hang out with Aaron and maybe die with him. But can he really fight? He could easily become a hostage or an easy quick death in the hands of the Saviors.
Carol 25% I do not want to see Carol go. Who does? Atlanta's Melissa McBride has turned who was supposed to be a side note into one of the most stirring, heartbreaking characters on the show. She has killed time and time again - even a little girl. She has made tough decisions to keep her group alive. The weight of what she has done enveloped her. She was ready to die when Morgan saved her. She sequestered herself until Morgan told her what really happened to Rick's group and she is now ready to fight. It strikes me as way too soon to take her down if the writers are going down that path.
Tara 20% She is a solid mid-level character on the show but not a weighty one. Killing her off during a season finale would seem almost picayune.
Eugene 20% He is a pragmatist with poor fighting skills but an impressive survivor's instinct. He is probably the one character on the autism spectrum. The fact he is now working with Negan means Rick's group could very well kill him. Or Negan himself might choose to do it himself if Eugene shows any hesitancy to do any real dirty work against Rick. He is always vulnerable to death.
Aaron 15% Like Tara, he hasn't been on screen enough to truly "earn" a season finale death in my mind.
Gabriel 15% He has gone from Gregory-level cowardice to a true acolyte of Rick. He has been a clear redemption story. He has survived far more times than anyone expected. Killing him now would be intriguing but it would have to be super interesting from a plot standpoint.
Jesus 10% This truly likable character seems way too savvy to die at this stage. And the writers seem to have plenty more story to tell with him.
Enid 10% Her story arc doesn't seem to lead to an "end" now. Not yet at least. And Carl needs a love interest, right?
King Ezekiel 5%. He is way too interesting to perish now.
Carl 3% He's the future generation. I don't see him going anywhere. Plus, he already lost his eye last season.
Maggie 3% They already killed off Glenn. Why would the writers off her as well? Plus, she's being groomed as a leader. And the writers wouldn't gut a pregnant woman when she's not even close to having a baby. (See Lori season two.)
Negan 2%. Rick's chief protagonist needs to be around for season 8.
Michonne 1% She is nearly as invincible as Rick and Daryl in terms of popularity.
Jerry 1%. Why would the writers take down everyone's favorite sidekick now?
Rick 0% He's the heart of the show. As long as Andrew Lincoln wants to be around, Rick will be around.
Daryl 0% Like every other season, Daryl is way way too popular and bada** to be offed. He will do plenty of killing though.