The Walking Dead: season 7 episode 15 – Something They Need
The penultimate episode of season 7 of AMC’s The Walking Dead delivers on a lot of fronts, but occasionally feels underwhelming. Tara brings the group to Oceanside to try to convince them to join their fight against the Saviors and to retrieve their weapons, Maggie and Gregory attempt to reconcile, Sasha finds herself in an impossible situation, Eugene must make a heartbreaking decision, and Rosita makes a new best friend. Below is our spoiler-heavy review.
At the Hilltop community, Maggie continues to embody a leadership role, earning the respect and loyalty from its inhabitants. Gregory clearly feels threatened by this and makes an effort to present a united front, though it feels contrived. Joining her outside of the gates, he stands watch while she uproots a blueberry bush. His position is made clear when he momentarily considers using the knife he’s holding on her. Having a change of heart, or more likely lacking the nerve, he decides against it. Oblivious to his intentions, Maggie tries her best to truly make amends with him. When walkers wander out of the nearby woods, Gregory proves just how weak he really is when he fails to dispatch them and needs to be rescued by Maggie.
Here it’s revealed that Gregory has never killed a walker before, and he offers Maggie his thanks for coming to his aid. For a brief window of time it seems as if he might be coming to grips with the idea of them running the community together, however by the end of the episode it’s clear what a tremendous shit he is. True to his nature, he intends on making an excursion to visit Simon and further discuss the fact that his leadership may be displaced. The dissention between him and Maggie is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, as these characters are at odds in the comics for ages.
Despite her reservations about revealing Oceanside to the group, Tara feels she has no choice but to do so. Joined by Jesus, Daryl, and Enid, the group journeys to Oceanside to obtain the community’s weapons and attempt to convince them to join their fight against the Saviors. Their priority is to acquire the weapons without anyone getting hurt, and their plan is well executed. Here it’s conveyed just how well Rick’s group works together when committed to a common goal, something that has been lacking on the series for some time.
As intended, Rick and company manage to overpower Oceanside without anyone getting hurt, and the women who make up the community are divided about whether or not to join their cause. Taking an all or none stance, they ultimately decide against it. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the more tenacious women deflected and end up joining the fight in next week’s season finale. It seems undue to introduce a community of spirited women and not have them be more pertinent to the narrative. Regardless of whether they appear again this season, I remain doubtful that we’ve seen the last of them.
Last week Rosita and Sasha’s mission to eliminate Negan from a safe distance was unsuccessful, and after locking Rosita out in an effort to spare her life, Sasha was last seen running into the Saviors compound. This week finds her locked up, not unlike Daryl and Eugene in previous episodes. Here she is visited by a Savior named David, who intends on raping her. Negan appears in the nick of time and confronts the man, reminding him that rape is against the rules. David is visibly terrified of his leader and makes a desperate apology. While stabbing him in the throat with a large blade, Negan tells the man he doesn’t accept his apology.
It’s no secret that I was rather disenchanted with Negan it the front half of the season, however I have to admit that with his presence scaled back he’s been a far more intriguing and effective villain in recent episodes. I’m also relieved that the series have kept his position on the topic of sexual assault equivalent to that of his comic counterpart, though I feel as if the circumstances involving at least some of his wives crosses into inappropriate territory, since we know of several (Sherry, her deceased sister Tina, and Amber) who feel they have no other options. Regardless, in this sequence Sasha seems genuinely perplexed by Negan’s behavior, especially when he hands her the knife he used to kill “Rapey Davey” and makes her the same offer that was previously made to both Daryl and Eugene. He leaves her locked up with the body to give her time to contemplate his offer.
In a stirring and well acted scene, Sasha is later visited by Eugene, who brings her items to make her more comfortable and attempts to convince her to join the Saviors. Here he explains his position, telling her that after what happened to Abraham he feels he was delusional in thinking that he could ever be a survivor. Disclosing that he’s never been more scared in his life than he was that night, he declares that being with the Saviors means he’ll never have to again. While this is a disheartening revelation, it’s certainly an understandable perspective for him to assume.
Negan checks in on Sasha to see if she’s made a decision, finding that she’s exterminated David’s reanimated corpse, proving that she took her time making her choice. She tells him he wins, but seems surprised when he takes his knife back and intends to keep her locked up until he’s certain he can trust her. Here he discloses that a “little birdy” told him that Rick and company are up to no good and declares that this needs to change and insists that Sasha is going to aid him in effecting that change. Sasha begins to comprehend the gravity of her situation, realizing that if she’s alive she can be used against those she cares about. She later implores Eugene to aid her, asking him to bring her something so she can put an end to things, meaning she requires any sharp object that will aid her in taking her own life. Speaking on either side of the door to where she’s being held, her expressions and mannerisms in this scene can’t be seen by Eugene, and they seemingly indicate that she’s manipulating him and probably intends to use the object to kill Negan, presuming that she can get close enough to do so.
Unaware of this, Eugene is forced to make a difficult decision as to whether or not he’s willing to assist his friend taking her own life. Not surprisingly, he opts to bring her one the pills that he produced in a previous episode at the request of Negan’s wives. Now Sasha is the one faced with an impossible choice. Shall she endure the possibility that she can be used against her friends, or end her own life? Unfortunately I believe the answer to be both. As I mentioned last week, I’m convinced that the writers are adapting Holly’s comic death to be used for Sasha, and this episode only further confirms that theory. From the point in which there was a romantic connection between her and Abraham, her story has paralleled Holly’s in many ways, and recent episodes have set up a scenario similar to the one leading up to Holly’s comic death. Even more specifically, the scene where Negan stops Sasha from being raped happens tho Holly in the comics shortly before her demise and in much the same way. For those who don’t read the comics, I won’t spoil anything her by stating details, but I will say that you’re likely to assume I’m wrong about Sasha’s death right up to the moment where you realize I’m not.
When we last saw Rosita outside of the Saviors compound she was faced with a silhouetted figure carrying a crossbow, which many fans assumed was Daryl, while others thought it could be Dwight. Personally I never questioned whether or not it was my favorite crossbow wielding redneck, and by that I mean Dwight. Upon returning to Alexandria, Rick and company find that Rosita is there safe and sound and she tells them they have company. Bringing them to the jail cell that Morgan fashioned at an earlier time, she reveals Dwight to them and states that he wants to help. Upon seeing him, Daryl has a freak out session in which he behaves like a rabid dog and has to be held back from attacking. Rick asks Dwight if it’s true that he wants to help, and Dwight confirms that he does. I mentioned this as a possibility in my review last week, but surmised that I might be jumping the gun. I’m pleasantly surprised to find that I was correct in that Dwight is already revealing his disloyalty to Negan. If this scenario plays out anything like in the comics, the union between Dwight and Rick’s group likely to be a complex one and may very well be the thing that keeps me watching next season.
I feel it’s worth noting that Negan’s mention of a “little birdy” telling him about Rick’s plans remains open to speculation, given that it didn’t turn out to be Rosita or Dwight. I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s the Junkyard group, who may wind up being revealed as traitorous. Though parts of this installment dragged somewhat, this was a strong episode overall and a suitable setup for the finale. Anyone who’s read even one of my previous reviews is likely aware that I haven’t exactly been enthusiastic about this season, but that being said the series has traditionally had strong premieres and finales and I have hopes that next week’s final episode will be satisfying.
Image credits: AMC, FOX