This week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Say Yes,” largely focused on Rick and Michonne’s scavenging adventure, but one of the more interesting developments came late in the episode in a meeting between Rosita and Sasha. “I’m here because I need your help,” Rosita said to Sasha, before the scene essentially laid out Sasha’s potential demise.
It’s an open secret on The Walking Dead that Sasha is on the chopping block at the end of the season. The actress who plays her, Sonequa Martin-Green, has taken a job as the lead on CBS All Access’ new Star Trek series. While the casting announcement was careful to note that filming for Star Trek: Discovery would not conflict with Green’s schedule for The Walking Dead, we also know that — at one point — CBS postponed the premiere of Discovery until after The Walking Dead aired so that there would be no character confusion. However, Discovery has since been pushed back again until late summer/early fall, meaning that it’s likely to overlap with the 8th season premiere of The Walking Dead and the only way to avoid character confusion in that case is if Sasha no longer exists on The Walking Dead.
Sasha is probably going to die. The question up until now, however, was how? In “Say Yes,” it appears we got our answer: Sasha will likely die nobly, in an effort to kill Negan. In the episode’s final scene, Sasha agreed essentially to a suicide mission: Invade the heavily guarded Sanctuary, shoot Negan, and sacrifice herself in the process. Rosita knows her way around the inside thanks to what Daryl told her, while Sasha has a map out of the outside sketched by Jesus.
What’s most frustrating, unfortunately, is that Sasha’s death will likely be for naught. We know that Negan will be around in the eighth season (and perhaps beyond), which means that Sasha and Rosita’s plan is likely to fail.
This makes sense as a ending point for Sasha, even without her other gig on Discovery. Sasha survived the death of her brother, Tyreese; her boyfriend Bob; and her pseudo-boyfriend, Abraham. She’s been relatively little-used this season, as she has been reduced to mostly a second in command at The Hilltop, a position even less necessary after the war unites the disparate colonies.
The other question is whether Rosita will also die in the suicide mission. Her role has been beefed up this season, and her character’s personality has shifted in a way that often precedes a character death on The Walking Dead. However, I suspect that not only will Rosita survive, but that she’ll somehow manage to rescue Eugene. I suspect that Sasha will be put in a position before she dies where she has the opportunity to either kill Negan or help Rosita save Dwight, and that Sasha will choose the latter. It will be a tragic ending for Sasha, but for Rosita, it will illustrate Father Gabriel’s point: “We still need you.”