The Walking Dead came to an end after 11 seasons, though fans know that’s far from the end as there are multiple spinoffs on the way.
These spinoffs protected some characters from a walker’s teeth, but we always felt that despite a largely deathless final season (for the “heroes”, anyway), the extended final episode would kill off some much-loved characters.
In the end, only a few ended up as walker food despite the episode opening with several of our favorites in a dumpster Glenn situation. Maybe that’s for the best, because the finale’s biggest death also ranks among the dumbest in the entire series.
Major spoilers are ahead if you haven’t seen The Walking Dead final again.
The precarious situation at the start of the episode causes a few characters to bite it, but no offense to newly rediscovered Luke and Jules, those weren’t the kinds of deaths that made us think the finale meant business.
While trying to find their friends after finally reuniting with the kids, Rosita (Christian Serratos), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) find themselves in a sticky situation.
Surrounded by walkers, they had to climb a pipe to safety and give us a glimpse of the silliness to come, Rosita insisted that Eugene and Gabriel go first. Being the feminists that they are, Eugene and Gabriel did just that, leaving Rosita to fend for a bit before climbing up.
Rosita has also swaddled Coco to her chest at this point, but which guys leave without her doesn’t seem to matter. She climbs a bit before the walkers manage to grab her and Rosita falls back to the ground, being quickly surrounded by the undead.
Now, of course, a mother and baby being eaten would be a very dark moment, but we would have welcomed it as a bolder move than what happens next. Somehow, Rosita manages to make her way, gets into the ambulance next to them, then jumps off the roof of said vehicle onto the pipe and to safety.
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The Walking Dead has never been a show known for its logic, so we’ll ignore the fact that jumping at such speed towards a pipe against a wall would have likely caused serious injury to the baby swaddled in front.
That’s definitely part of what makes this death so stupid – and yes, we said death, because while it looks like Rosita survived, she didn’t. She later reveals to Eugene that she was bitten during this miraculous escape, resulting in a slow, excruciating death after one last meal together.
Christian Serratos and Josh McDermitt are certainly doing their best in Rosita and Eugene’s final conversations to make the emotion work. However, you can’t escape the fact that Rosita’s low-key death came at the expense of a far more memorable death.
The show never really seemed to know what to do with Rosita, despite being one of the most enduring characters. In this final season, while Eugene and Negan had meaty subplots, Rosita was just kind of… there.
She rescued horses, became Alexandria’s live-in nanny, killed multiple walkers, and then became a cop in the Commonwealth. Before the finale aired, we singled her out as a prime candidate for a bloody exit for that very reason.
As a result, it’s perhaps no surprise that Rosita’s death was actually Serratos’ idea, because at least she had something to do.
“There’s so much talk about spin-offs and all that, and I couldn’t live in limbo. I couldn’t not know if she’d ever come back or not. It was going to drive me crazy. So that made me crazy. ‘really helped me, Christian, it’s over,’ she said EO.
“And I really think that made sense to Rosita. I mean, she was so eager to die for her loved ones and to die for her child, and I just thought it really made sense to her.”
Because it was just a small nibble, it takes Rosita a while to die – by the logic of the show, she died of an infection from the bite rather than anything else. The finale quickly wrapped up Pamela’s arc, blasted all the walkers, and then spent time bidding farewell to Rosita.
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Like so many of this show over the past few seasons, it felt like it was so close to a genuinely shocking moment, and then we made the wrong decision.
Instead, he fabricated an extremely stupid action sequence, only to then decide that in fact, Rosita hadn’t even really survived that.
After being on the sidelines for so long, Rosita could have had a truly memorable outing, up there with Carol shooting Lizzie in terms of dark twists. But at the end, The Walking Dead couldn’t even give him that.
The Walking Dead is available to watch on AMC in the US and STAR on Disney+ United Kingdom.