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One thing is for certain. The people who make The Walking Dead aren’t going to risk another cliff hanger at the end of this season. After the almighty hissy fit than some fans threw when season 6 dared to end with Negan hitting… someone, the makers aren’t going to send us away from season 7 without some kind of closure.
So says showrunner Scott Gimple speaking at PaleyFest yesterday: ‘The end of this season is very much the end of a chapter.’ That means no ending with Negan swinging old Lucille down on some poor Alexandrian’s head while we watch it from the victim’s point of view. Phew!
But just because we won’t be getting an epic troll-worthy beauty of a cliff, doesn’t mean Gimple isn’t already looking forward to the future of the show. The season 8 premiere will be the 100th episode of the show and Gimple claims it’s all about ‘setting up the next hundred episodes’. So this saga isn’t even half way over yet if he has his way.
And what can we expect from the final few episodes of this season? Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Gimple claims ‘We step on the gas and we do not let our foot off the gas until the end of episode 16… I mean, the next three episodes we’re going to shoot you through a lot of big events and things become quantum intense.’ If Gimple has been reading what fans have been saying on the internet, then perhaps he’s very aware that many want the pace to pick up. And hopefully that’s what we’re about to get.
Of the season finale, he says ‘I just think it’s everything… It is exciting and it’s very emotional and I believe it’s funny in a couple parts, and it builds and builds and builds and it explodes. And though it promises more — because there is a whole lot to get to — there is an ending. It really is just a huge episode inasmuch as it has all of the flavours of this season.’
All of the flavours? Does that mean we’re going to have to taste the bitter tears of seeing some beloved characters getting their heads squished again? If the comics are anything to go by, when Gimple says the episode ‘explodes’, he could be talking quite literally. The war won’t be over by the end of season 7, but the rebels will certainly be striking back at Negan’s Empire. And I can’t wait.