6:00am PT by Josh Wigler
'Walking Dead': How the Comics Could Influence What's Next for Sasha
[This story contains spoilers through season seven, episode 14 of AMC's The Walking Dead.]
Was Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) happy when she was with Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz)? She sure was — and it sure looks like the sadly separated couple will reunite soon enough.
The 14th episode of The Walking Dead's seventh season, called "The Other Side," saw Sasha teaming up with an unlikely ally: Rosita (Christian Serratos), Abraham's ex-girlfriend, who has made no secret about how much she can't stand Sasha. Two episodes earlier, Sasha and Rosita agreed to travel to the Sanctuary to assassinate Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) with a sniper rifle, knowing full well that they were signing up for a suicide mission.
So far it's a bloodless affair, at least where Rosita and Sasha are concerned. Indeed, it was actually a relatively happy affair, at least by Walking Dead season seven standards, as the two finally squashed their beef and bonded over their shared love for Abraham and his zest for life. But the happiness was short-lived, as Sasha's window to snipe Negan from a safe distance was too short to make any kind of move. Instead, the Alexandrians were forced to directly invade the Saviors' compound in order to make their move against Lucille's master — except it's only Sasha who infiltrates the Sanctuary, as she intentionally leaves Rosita behind in an attempt to help Rosita live long enough to find her own sense of happiness.
Is this really it for Sasha? Is there no way out for the sharpshooter, who has been a steady presence on The Walking Dead ever since the midway point of season three? Sadly, a lot of signs point to the fact that, yes, Sasha's days are numbered — not the least of which is because she's beaming aboard the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery in one of the lead roles. It's the latest example of a Walking Dead actor signing on for another show while still serving a role on the zombie apocalypse drama, almost certainly signaling their doom. Look no further than Jon Bernthal hopping over to TNT's Mob City during season two of Walking Dead as an early example of this trend; Tyler James Williams was also cast on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders with weeks to go before his character's brutal death in season five. Granted, Corey Hawkins left Walking Dead for the lead role on 24: Legacy without his character Heath kicking the bucket, but that's more exception than the rule.
What's more, there's comic book precedent for what might happen next to Sonequa Martin-Green's character. Sasha does not appear in the Walking Dead comic books, but she's mirroring the arc of a character from the comics named Holly, who became Abraham's new romantic partner shortly after his arrival in Alexandria; as was the case on the show, Abraham and Rosita break things off in the comics once she learns about his new girlfriend, and it's actually Rosita who instigates the split.
In the comics, long after Abraham's death and right as tensions between Alexandria and the Saviors reach a boiling point, Holly channels her inner Abraham and makes a suicide play of her own. She traps herself in the Sanctuary while Rick and the others escape during a massive assault, much to Rick's protesting. Holly ends up becoming a prisoner for a short time, almost subjected to sexual assault from one of the Saviors, if not for Negan's intervention. But his mercy only goes so far. At some point off-page, Negan kills Holly and returns her to the Alexandrians with a bag over her head. It's only once they remove the bag that they realize Holly has turned into a walker, too late to do anything as she takes a big bite out of Dr. Denise (who was played on the show by Emmy winner Merritt Wever).
Of course, Holly does not exist on Walking Dead (unless you count the short-lived background player named Holly who debuted and died in Season six's "JSS"), and Denise is long gone at this point. But the similarities between Sasha and Holly's stories, from their relationship with Abraham right up to intentionally stranding themselves within the Saviors' community, are too close to ignore. Add to that Martin-Green's impending role aboard the new Star Trek enterprise, and it's sure looking like Sasha is about to go the way of Holly. Here's hoping she's surrounded by friendly ghosts on her way out the door, just like her brother Tyreese (Chad Coleman) back in his deathisode. And if she does die? Martin-Green previously told THR that now would be the perfect time.
"In a broader sense, this group has battled and been victorious over lots of enemies in our time but never before has an enemy like Negan come and been such a threat to life," she told THR in an interview conducted earlier this month. "The entire world is at risk. If school was still in session in this world, let's say decades go by and Negan's way of life is a new form of slavery. One of the deeper themes of the zombie apocalypse is the second chance to live better and have a better society. One that's more inclusive, loving and progressive. That's what you're seeing in this season. When our group comes against that danger of losing everything, the only thing that keeps them going forward are those things that really matter: love, connection and family. It would be appropriate for it to be the end for anyone right now because this is the biggest fight we've ever had."
What do you think is going to happen to Sasha next? Let us know in the comments below, and keep following THR.com/WalkingDead for interviews, news and more in the lead-up to the season finale.