Warning: General spoilers ahead
Even though there are critics who have not been fans of this season of The Walking Dead, as some of you know, I’m not one of them. I’ve felt the entire season has been good, and except for a couple of exceptions, most of the episodes I have rated with a solid “A.” This being said, I can’t help but feel sadder than normal this year with only 2 episodes left in the season, and then, that dreadful 6-month hiatus. Sigh. However, the good news is with the build-up to All Out War and knowing what I know from the comics, I fully expect the finale to be beyond epic, and the even better news is this week’s season 7 penultimate episode is pretty damn good too. Three communities are visited, and the final preparations are made for the big showdown with everyone’s arch-enemy, Negan and the Saviors.
Given the events from last week, it’s no surprise that the next time we see Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), she’s been captured at the Sanctuary, and is in the same cell Daryl (Norman Reedus) found himself in earlier in the season — the only difference is Sasha’s allowed to keep her clothes and no Easy Street (thank God!). Seeing that she embarked on a suicide mission and never really expected to make it out alive, one big question throughout the episode is whether Sasha truly wants to live. This is ultimately put to the test when the sleeze ball Savior, David (the same perv who came onto to Enid at Alexandria), tries to rape Sasha, and just like in the comics, is killed by Negan when he walks in and catches David in the act. The kicker is Negan decides to give Sasha a little “test” and leaves David’s corpse in her cell, knowing full well he’ll soon turn. He then hands Sasha his knife, and she has to choose. Let David reanimate and eat her face off. Slit her wrists with the knife. Or, put down Rapey Davey before he becomes dead alive Rapey Davey. In the end, Sasha decides to save herself, and Negan seems very pleased because he hopes to have her by his side to run the Sanctuary one day (dream on, Negan!). However, when Sasha appears suicidal when talking with Eugene (Josh McDermitt) later in the episode, you really have to wonder. Sasha saved herself just a few hours prior, and so, why does she want to end it now? Or, perhaps she’s just playing Eugene much like Negan’s wives did in “Hostiles and Calamities”?
Moving on to the Hilltop, as is depicted in the below Promo, Gregory (Xander Berkeley) puts on the front that he wants to start working together with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), but we all know better. That guy is a snake, and this is made clear when he contemplates stabbing Maggie when she asks him to keep a lookout for walkers. However, any plan that Gregory may have had is interrupted when a couple of walkers appear from the woods, and Maggie has to step in to save his ass. It’s pretty clear Gregory has never killed a walker before, but even so, Maggie tries to defend him when she realizes that a few Hilltoppers saw the entire thing go down. “He’s never killed one before, but he’s learning,” Maggie shouts, and to that, they respond, “That’s not what he told us.” Ouch. How embarrassing! Anyways, even though Gregory appreciates Maggie saving his life, that humiliation appears to be the final straw. The next time we see Gregory he grabs a bottle of tequila, calls for Hal, and says he needs him to drive him somewhere, probably an overnight trip. It doesn’t take a genius to know where he’s going and what he’s about to do.
Of course, as some may have suspected, the majority of the episode deals with the aftermath of Tara’s (Alanna Masterson) little confession to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) about Oceanside a few weeks ago in “Say Yes.” The end result is a very large group from Alexandria and the Hilltop making the trip to Oceanside, with the full intent of taking their weapons and if possible, convince them to join in the fight with the Saviors. I’m not going to reveal how it all turns out (and some of it may actually surprise you), but I will say that regardless of the outcome, I do think these 2 groups could eventually work together. In the opening of the episode, we see a very large group of disgusting (but cool!) ocean walkers coming from the direction of a wrecked cruise ship, and later, while Rick is attempting to negotiate with Oceanside’s leader, Natania (Deborah May), this mini-herd emerges from the forest. The women don’t have any weapons, but Rick gives a few of them — most notably Cyndie, Beatrice and Kathy — knives, and they end up fighting **together**. Heck, even Rachel (Mimi Kirkland) gets in a few walker kills, which she is more than a little giddy about. But, the interesting part is after it’s all over, an amazing thing happens — Beatrice (Briana Venskus) returns Rick his knife, and he extends his hand. Then, she smiles, and they shake hands. Again, regardless of how this episode plays out, I would love to see these 2 groups become allies and work alongside each other. I definitely think Rick can trust them a lot more than that creeper, Jadis, and her junkyard weirdos.
Finally, the episode ends with the answer to the question that most fans have been buzzing about for the past week — who was the shadow figure in the final scene of last Sunday’s episode? It seems Rosita (Christian Serratos) and this mystery person end up back at Alexandria, and when Rick and Co. return from Oceanside, Rosita takes them to Morgan’s jail cell where she’s holding their “visitor.” You’ll have to watch to find out what happens next, but I will say Rick not giving a very warm welcome is a vast understatement.
The season 7 penultimate episode of The Walking Dead is titled “Something They Need” and airs Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com