In Entertainment Weekly’s exclusive interview with The Walking Dead’s Scott Gimple, the showrunner claimed that this Sunday’s finale will finally wrap up eight seasons of storytelling, and head in a new direction in season nine.
Gimple realized that “People were pretty to the limit this year emotionally.” and therefore “…this episode isn’t just like these 15 episodes coming to a conclusion, but Angela and myself and the writers had always talked about this in many ways being sort of the conclusion of the first eight seasons. This show will be very much a new show next year and with a bigger, new narrative. It was something I was really excited about getting into even before season 8. And so there was just a certain weight in the air of the kind of conclusion that we were getting closer to. It was a weird graduation for everybody.”