Unlike previous seasons of The Walking Dead that often featured deep dives on specific characters, the last few weeks of season 8 have showcased several different stories all going down at once. Norman Reedus told us that will continue into the April 15 season-ender with four things that “go off at once at the same time.” Showrunner Scott M. Gimple also hinted as much when we spoke earlier this year as he was still working on the finale. “It’s very big,” said Gimple then. “Probably currently a little too big.”
Now we have word from series star Andrew Lincoln on what to expect, and once again, it appears as if there will be several things happening simultaneously to close out the season. “I would say this is a smorgasbord,” he says of the final episode. “I think you’ve got everything in this one. It’s quite an unusual structure, but it’s very emotional, I hope, because that’s what I felt [while filming]. It’s epic.”
And Lincoln has dropped some enticing news in terms of where the final conflict between Rick and Negan may go down. Instead of a big battle at the Hilltop or Sanctuary, it seems there could be an entirely new setting for the war’s conclusion. “The location we shot at was phenomenal and unusual,” says Lincoln. “I hope that it’s going to look on screen as good as it felt when we were shooting there.”
The man who plays Rick Grimes also echoed comments from the showrunner that the last chapter of season 8 will not feature a cliffhanger, but will rather conclude the war while planting seeds for what comes next. “It does feel like it completes something,” he says. “But it also does feel that it offers a lot of interesting story arcs for the future, which is quite unusual.”
Whether that means we will still get a time jump or meet the next big menace from the comic book in the Whisperers (and their enigmatic leader Alpha) before the season is over — the same way Negan was introduced in the season 6 finale — remains to be seen. As does the setting for this mystery location Lincoln mentions. We’ll get our answers on April 15 on AMC.
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