Last week's episode left us wondering what happened after Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) ran into the Sanctuary to kill Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), leaving Rosita (Christian Serratos) behind. Fortunately, that's not the case.
Outside of the journey to Oceanside, the episode also checks in on Sasha who is now captive at the Sanctuary. After so many weeks of build-up to the final battle between the Grimes crew and the Saviors, Negan's not going to get shanked by Sasha in a cell before it begins.
It's a odd thing for the show.
There's been talk of Enid being a traitor for quite some time. Two things I didn't anticipate: Rick's Trumpian approach to deal-making, and a shipload of Wet Walkers who've apparently been stranded long enough to grow barnacles and are only now making their way down the beach. The motivations of the characters, across the board, don't make a lot of sense. It needs to make episodes like this one worth it. A little overly convenient, given that Rick is trying to persuade the Oceansiders to join them in the fight against Negan?
That's the episode's B plot. We're talking about the inevitable moment where the combined forces of Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and the Scavengers - armed with the Oceanside commnity's newly "borrowed" arsenal - will start launching coordinated assaults on the Saviors in their scattered outposts. And yes, that's the hero of the story. Eventually weariness at all the hellishness and hopelessness will overtake us and we'll just give up and the show will blink out of our existence. Sure, they may rob a community of their protection.
The main focus of this Walking Dead episode was Rick and company getting the guns from Oceanside, which they do.
Win The Walking Dead prizes with Sky here. Rosita informs them that Dwight wants to help them. With a few well-placed (and harmless) explosives creating a distraction, the good guys are able to round up everyone in the community and hold them at gunpoint while they attempt to persuade them to just hand over the guns. His motivations of "don't get killed by the Saviors" and "retain power in Hilltop" are one-dimensional to the point that he seems incapable of doing anything other than exactly what audiences would expect. Online rumorssay there are sightings of the junkyard people firing on Rick's group during production. But I did appreciate the creativity and something different coming at them.
The episode, written by Corey Reed and directed by Michael Slovis, sends the Grimes clan to the Oceanside Cabin Motor Court. But the raw material, specifically the characterisation, is lacking.
Rick's people gather the weapons while the women look on. Sasha somehow survives a suicide mission. Even though she was faking her outburst to Eugene she did get one thing right: Negan will use her to hurt her friends. Everyone's devolving and no one's learning anything. Make no mistake, his set up with his wives is rape. Eugene becomes courageous, then a coward again. Has Eugene joined the Saviors for real, and sided with Negan?
Fortunately, it will all be over soon. They're not good people just because their leader meets the bare minimum of human decency when it comes to this one thing.
As season seven draws to a close, the penultimate episode has been praised by fans who are now eagerly awaiting the finale next week. But The Walking Dead is a show where abused middle-aged housewives can become Imperator Furiosa-like warriors, and skinny pizza boys can become lethal survivalists; so its women have typically fared better than their counterparts on, say, Game of Thrones. Instead of branding him a traitor, perhaps we should instead just give him a little more time to redeem himself; although it'll be hard to forgive him a second time after that whole Washington incident.