Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his allies are on the verge of "All-Out War," the explosive arc from the Walking Dead comic books that sees the conflict between the Alexandrians and the Saviors finally reach a boiling point.
Granted, it's not like tensions have been at room temperature all this time. The feud began with violence back in season six, when Rick led an assault on a Saviors satellite compound, brutally butchering everyone inside. Some would argue that the heroes were lucky to only lose two lives as an immediate result of their first strike against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his people: Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), their heads bashed in with a barbed-wire baseball bat known as Lucille.
Since then, more bodies have dropped on both sides of the aisle, primarily on Rick's squad. But will those odds even out as we reach the season seven finale? With the final episode of the season officially within sight, here are THR's predictions for how it'll all play out:
1. Sasha Will Die
Nobody's happy about it, but almost everybody agrees: Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) won't make it out of season seven alive. In the season's penultimate episode, Sasha made it clear that she wants to commit suicide in order to prevent Negan from using her against her friends. Whether or not she makes good on the threat, Sasha will die somehow (and we're pretty sure we know how), if only due to Martin-Green's Star Trek: Discovery commitments.
2. The Toxic Avenger
Don't expect Sasha to die without taking somebody else out of the picture. She's currently the proud owner of two poisonous pills, courtesy of Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). It's entirely possible that the show plays this one straight, and allows Sasha to consume the pills herself. It's equally possible that Sasha will somehow poison one of the Saviors before she shuffles off into the great beyond. Either way, expect those pills to play a very big role in the finale.
3. Gregory Seeks Sanctuary
In what's increasingly becoming the most Xander Berkeley-esque role of the great Xander Berkeley's career (AKA a rough-around-the-edges craven on a collision course with some sort of comeuppance), Gregory ended this most recent episode with an eye toward fleeing the Hilltop in favor of the Sanctuary. This mirrors a moment from the comics, one that could very easily be faithfully rendered in the season finale.
4. Negan Won't Die
Sorry, sports fans. If you're hoping Rick and Negan's feud will end with the big bad Savior's death, you're in for a disappointment, at least this season. We're in for a long stretch of violence between these two parties, and one episode is not nearly enough to contain all the coming bloodshed. It's certainly fair to expect Negan to lose a key battle in the finale, but the whole war? Not a chance - at least not until season eight.
5. Taking Out the Trash
What's up with the Garbage People? There are many answers to and interpretations of that question, and hopefully we'll receive some clarity in the season finale, now that Rick and friends have found the bountiful stash of guns that Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her people so awkwardly requested. How much further will the Garbage People last beyond that? Probably not too far, at least for many of them; the season finale demands red shirts, and these Heapsters are here to provide.
6. Return of the Dead
If season seven was built on the bashed-in brains of Glenn and Abraham, isn't it only fair that the year ends with an acknowledgment of these two fan-favorite characters? Walking Dead is certainly no stranger to bringing deceased characters back into the fold from time to time, like the visions Tyreese (Chad Coleman) experienced before his death in season five, or Rick remembering Hershel (Scott Wilson) at the end of season four. Here's hoping for a similar treatment for at least one of Glenn and Abraham. And given Sasha's relationship with Abe, we're betting it's him.
7. Step Away From the Cliff
A year ago, Walking Dead infuriated much of its fan base with a brutal cliffhanger, leaving an unidentified fan-favorite character's life hanging in the balance. Do not expect a similar ending to season seven, according to what showrunner Scott M. Gimple said at PaleyFest this year: "The end of this season is very much the end of a chapter; it's a conclusion that promises this epic story ahead." Of course, there's always wiggle room in a statement like that ... but if this season does end on another massive cliffhanger? Let's just say that Daryl's death isn't the only thing that could cause Walking Dead fans to riot.
What are your predictions for the Walking Dead finale? Sound off in the comments below, and bookmark THR.com/WalkingDead for additional coverage after Sunday's finale.