SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched the season 7 finale of The Walking Dead, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life.”
It was never looking good for Sasha on The Walking Dead once news broke that the woman playing her, Sonequa Martin-Green, had landed the lead role on CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery. It also didn’t help that Sasha (who did not exist in the comics) seemed to be taking the place of Holly from the source material as the woman for whom Abraham left Rosita. Holly died in the comics when Negan captured her and returned her as a zombie to Alexandria.
Sasha indeed suffered the same fate in The Walking Dead season 7 finale — although this time she committed suicide in a coffin thanks to Eugene’s poison pill and attacked Negan as a zombie rather than one of the Alexandrians. Martin-Green spoke about Sasha’s final sacrifice on Talking Dead after the show.
Martin-Green was happy with the way Sasha sacrificed herself to try to take down the big bad. “It just felt so right,” she said. “It felt so complete. It was quite poetic when I found out how it was going to happen. Because I felt like it was the perfect end to my story, the perfect culmination of my life. I felt like all of my roads had led to that moment of getting to that place of complete selflessness. It felt perfect.”
She also appreciated the way her character’s entire journey culminated in that one moment. “In this beautiful way, it was the first time we had ever rooted for a walker,” said Martin-Green. “Also, it was beautiful because the way I saw it, that warrior spirit lives on. That even in death, I was still going to fight, because I had realized my purpose. It had been revealed to me. Everything before that had been self-preservation, self-defense mechanisms, basically self-obsession. And over the course of my life as Sasha, it was progressing beyond that to the point that I said, ‘Okay, I now have a greater purpose that is much bigger than me, that’s for the future, and I’m going to do it even in death.’”
As for why Sasha died in that way, showrunner Scott M. Gimple — also a guest on Talking Dead — said the reasoning was simple: “It was always about Sasha not being a victim. She had wanted a weapon from Eugene. She wanted a knife. She didn’t get one, so she became the knife.”
Check out our instant react to the season finale. We’ll have tons more finale coverage — including interviews with key cast and producers — coming up, so follow @DaltonRoss on Twitter for all the latest Walking Dead updates.