News

The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale Scoop and 9 More Things to Know

Andrew Lincoln, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Josh McDermitt, and more cast members reflect on their characters' futures.

by | March 19, 2017 | Comments

The Walking Dead had 15 people on stage for the show’s 2017 PaleyFest panel in Los Angeles, and that’s not even half of the cast. Andrew Lincoln, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Sonequa Martin-Green, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, Josh McDermitt, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Austin Amelio, and Tom Payne joined producers Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero on stage to discuss the season 7 finale, season 8, and beyond.

Rotten Tomatoes attended the panel, where Gimple dished on the last few episodes of season 7 and the show’s future. Here are 10 things we learned at The Walking Dead PaleyFest panel.


1. THERE’S ALREADY A PLAN FOR 100 MORE EPISODES

It just so happens that the season finale of season 7 is episode 99. That means when The Walking Dead returns, the show will hit the 100-episode landmark — and the producers are already thinking long-term.

“The first episode is, I think, less about that we reached 100 episodes,” Gimple said. “It’s more about setting up the next 100 episodes. The first episode of season 8 is about setting up this gigantic epic tale to come, not only in season 8 but beyond.”


2. THE END OF A CHAPTER

Expect a conclusion of sorts at the end of season 7, as well as a hint about the epic story to come.

“The end of this season is very much the end of a chapter,” Gimple said. “It’s very much a conclusion that promises this epic story ahead.”


3. HOW ANDREW LINCOLN WANTS IT TO END

Whether it’s 200, 400, or more episodes from now, Lincoln has his own idea for Rick Grimes’ last stand. The actor performed a dramatic reenactment of the proposed ending, even making fun of his own exaggerated pronunciation of Carl.

“We’re going through a desert and I jump off the bus in a very heroic act, [calling to] ‘Cararararl!’” Lincoln said. “Maybe that’s the last thing I say. I jump off and I’m kung fu kicking [zombies], I earn my action figure. Halfway through I get bit, ‘Ow.’ Doesn’t matter, keep going!”

After Rick has ensured the survivors’ safe passage, Lincoln had a twist.

“I’m dying on my own,” Lincoln continued. “A day passes, I don’t die. Holy s—, maybe I’m the cure. High shot, zombies coming. Rick gets up, follows the [bus] tracks. The herd comes towards him and they separate.”

Creator and comic book author Kirkman weighed in on Lincoln’s proposal.

“I just want to say that was cute,” Kirkman said.


4. KIRKMAN RULES OUT MORE THEORIES

Kirkman is used to people speculating about The Walking Dead after all these years, and doesn’t even entertain false theories anymore. He just shoots them down, like when Martin-Green suggested the survivors might reach shore and find a blockade, because the outbreak is only in America.

“Nope,” Kirkman said. ”Nice try.”

An audience member floated the popular theory that the whole series is just Rick’s coma dream in the hospital.

“Nope,” Kirkman said again.


5. MELISSA MCBRIDE DOES NOT FEEL BADASS

When you see how far Carol has come on The Walking Dead, it’s downright shocking that McBride  doesn’t feel like a badass. Maybe that’s what makes her so badass.

“Badass is really hard for me to wrap my head around because I don’t feel like I’m playing her as a badass,” McBride said. “She just does badassy things.”


6. GLENN IS THE REASON MAGGIE KEEPS GOING

It’s hard to imagine losing as much as Maggie has and still waking up every morning. First her father died, and then Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) killed her husband, Glenn (Steven Yeun). But that’s exactly why Maggie still rallies, Cohan said — so they did not die in vain, and for the life she’s about to bring into the world.

“I think that the only way she can comprehend these things happening is that she’s now come to understand it’s not about her,” Cohan said. “It’s not about any of us as individuals. It’s about them as a whole and them as a greater good and them persevering because what other reason would there be to experience such a loss but to have life inside of you? And to know that you still have to live for them.

“We’re just pieces in this puzzle now,” Cohan continued. “I think when you still have light to share, you still have a flame to pass the next torch on, that’s just who you are. That’s what you have to do. The more people she loses, the stronger the fire burns and helps strengthen everybody else she’s with. I think that’s where she takes all of her strength is knowing that you’re not just one. You’ve got family and there’s just no delineation between us as survivors.”

It is tough to hear that Negan is a fan favorite character though.

“It bugs me,” Cohan said. “It bugs me. I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, so I get it, but Negan…”


7. EUGENE HAS MORE SURPRISES TO COME

Eugene says whatever he needs to to survive. He said he was a scientist so Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) would let him join their group of survivors. Then he joined The Saviors in calling himself Negan.

“You may see him change and adapt again if he continues to live on in the series,” McDermitt said. “That’s just how he survives. He lies, he manipulates. He’s like a cockroach, man.”


8. TARA COULD BE THE NEW GLENN

Now let’s be clear. There’s no replacing Glenn. His death will always hurt. Some fans caught Tara (Masterson) quoting Glenn, saying, “There’s nothing left in this world that isn’t hidden. We just have to find it.” Masterson, who filmed an action-packed episode just after giving birth, said hopes her character lives up to Glenn’s legacy.

“I felt like it was Tara’s time to shine,” Masterson said. “I think she’s got a lot of heart and hope she’s holding the torch for Glenn.”


9. AARON IS FINALLY LEARNING TO FIGHT

Aaron (Marquand) is still new to fighting. He’s spent much of the apocalypse trying to solve conflicts peacefully, but Marquand says he just needs time. He’ll catch up.

“Now he’s seeing this breakdown of society and he’s still trying to maintain that dignity but it’s not working with the Saviors,” Marquand said. “It’s not working at all. Diplomacy doesn’t work. I think he’s finally realizing that if he’s going go fight with Rick, he has to put some of that diplomacy aside, pick up arms and fight.”


10. JESUS LEARNED HE’S NOT A LEADER

Everyone wants to be the Rick Grimes of their group, but not everyone is cut out for leadership. Jesus (Payne) had to learn that the hard way, but now he understands his role.

“He’s kind of crapped out a couple times,” Payne said. “He’s taken Rick’s group to two different places and neither of those places really worked out. He’s been on his own a lot. With the arrival of Maggie and Sasha, he sees the opportunity for a real human relationship. With the arrival of these two, he feels like actually there’s a future.”

Perhaps being of service to others is Jesus’s true purpose.

“With his connection with Rick’s group and everyone he’s meeting on the way, I think he’s in this grim world kind of excited about how he can better himself through other people,” Payne said. “He tries the best he can in the situation but he’s not a leader. I think he sees that in Maggie and is willing to help her out in any way he can.”

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC


Tag Cloud

Heroines The Purge adventure canceled TV shows Film Character Guide Podcast kids sitcom Women's History Month Schedule zombie Tarantino Baby Yoda Lucasfilm SXSW Fantasy A&E Star Trek reboot movies spider-man LGBT DC Comics TV Amazon Prime Video Tomatazos 007 cartoon Crackle The Walking Dead joker justice league Stephen King children's TV composers spanish language south america ABC Family cooking teaser scary movies Sneak Peek Box Office TCM APB latino Masterpiece indie elevated horror USA Reality Trophy Talk serial killer cancelled TV shows Oscars ratings Black Mirror golden globes spinoff TV Land BBC America space Tumblr boxoffice romance Ellie Kemper VICE TV renewals dogs Kids & Family YouTube Red comiccon GIFs Nominations Sundance Now reviews Hulu transformers Apple TV+ breaking bad 2020 IFC Films Sony Pictures The Witch hispanic FXX President medical drama YA binge ABC Video Games zero dark thirty anthology Pop Musicals strong female leads Funimation Country unscripted DirecTV festivals tv talk Fall TV CMT Hallmark Christmas movies Vudu Avengers free movies award winner Spike game of thrones Shudder werewolf Rocky Countdown BET adaptation CW Seed Pride Month GoT 21st Century Fox Marathons Interview rotten movies we love Superheroe book FX on Hulu Discovery Channel Warner Bros. Star Wars Columbia Pictures Emmy Nominations Binge Guide Red Carpet NBC GLAAD Captain marvel First Look DGA Winners National Geographic cancelled cinemax Polls and Games cars USA Network comic streaming Amazon 2018 cops Mary Tyler Moore independent RT History animated Cosplay YouTube Holiday Premiere Dates dceu franchise video Toys versus Mudbound Elton John name the review anime 2019 2015 Writers Guild of America Sundance TV universal monsters finale Action Holidays Sundance PaleyFest Walt Disney Pictures Mary Poppins Returns facebook Pixar thriller Classic Film stand-up comedy halloween Bravo Comedy crime social media disaster Academy Awards Summer slashers crossover blockbuster Cannes Christmas Infographic Extras Ovation romantic comedy SDCC docudrama Emmys Adult Swim AMC Spring TV Syfy war E! Food Network green book miniseries comics Spectrum Originals Family dragons Comedy Central psychological thriller true crime Rocketman 20th Century Fox Nat Geo Turner Classic Movies Marvel Studios Acorn TV TNT vampires Musical movie Song of Ice and Fire jamie lee curtis X-Men Amazon Prime Teen Turner MTV DC Universe toy story cancelled television politics Drama police drama harry potter MCU CNN TCA Winter 2020 Lionsgate Netflix Christmas movies Music Superheroes zombies Year in Review cats sequel Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Arrowverse dc screenings San Diego Comic-Con OneApp Logo The CW crime drama screen actors guild Tubi MSNBC Ghostbusters Pop TV Watching Series Martial Arts Marvel Grammys Western 2017 richard e. Grant Endgame 24 frames TCA 2017 TLC Winter TV supernatural Disney streaming service television Shondaland singing competition Travel Channel quibi Quiz Disney Channel Rock IFC natural history Paramount OWN Certified Fresh FX 71st Emmy Awards Reality Competition SundanceTV Rom-Com Calendar blaxploitation psycho A24 Horror Paramount Network 45 Brie Larson discovery theme song Lifetime Anna Paquin aliens revenge The Arrangement Crunchyroll Lifetime Christmas movies History BBC HBO TCA Black History Month crime thriller spy thriller series Apple New York Comic Con TBS canceled batman Netflix Fox News Dark Horse Comics Thanksgiving witnail cults 2016 Disney+ Disney Plus Super Bowl sag awards Sci-Fi Epix travel Disney robots WarnerMedia Set visit Mystery game show See It Skip It Pet Sematary NYCC Cartoon Network Marvel Television Photos Nickelodeon Election Amazon Studios period drama CBS All Access ITV Animation directors Trivia ESPN HBO Max TIFF based on movie renewed TV shows LGBTQ Starz diversity Mary poppins political drama American Society of Cinematographers nature Britbox DC streaming service mutant foreign Opinion biography Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Television Academy Comic Book spain WGN cancelled TV series Valentine's Day Awards Tour Pirates CBS christmas movies Creative Arts Emmys Apple TV Plus Film Festival Universal technology VH1 Mindy Kaling ghosts Freeform PBS Chernobyl Comics on TV what to watch mockumentary Biopics Trailer YouTube Premium TruTV doctor who documentary FOX talk show sports Peacock Showtime historical drama casting hist Hallmark RT21 Awards Best and Worst First Reviews science fiction dramedy El Rey Disney Plus E3 Esquire