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The Walking Dead - Something They Need - Review

The Walking Dead “Something They Need” was written by Corey Reed and was directed by Michael Slovis. It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of season 7 – Sunday’s episode will wrap up this arc, and it seems unlikely that we will get to the actual war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) this season. I have my suspicions about where the episode will end, but the writers may surprise me. I think the episode will end on a shocking note, but I think they will avoid the wholesale carnage of the first episode given the ratings backlash after the first episode of the season. Also? I totally called it that it was Dwight (Austin Amelio) at the end of the last episode!

The episode begins with a voiceover of Tara’s (Alanna Masterson) conversation with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) about Oceanside as we see walkers from a ship on the beach and the group heading to Oceanside. It’s all hands on deck – literally as they use a boat to get there! – Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) is front and centre with Aaron (Ross Marquand), Tobin (Jason Douglas) is there, and Enid (Katelyn Nacon) is paired up with Carl (Chandler Riggs). I like how a lot of this scene comes back later in the episode – the walkers are what actually bring Alexandria and Oceanside together – and Carl and Enid share a moment.

Enid asks Carl if he ever thinks about who he’s killed, and he admits that he does. I loved Alanna Masterson watching the two here – it’s clear that she’s troubled by the people she’s killed, but she is also worried about the people she may have to kill – and the effect all of this will have on the people at Oceanside – perhaps Cyndie (Sydney Park) more than anyone.

As Enid and Carl carry the guns out of Oceanside, Carl continues their conversation. He tells Enid that it’s not just the ones he’s killed that he thinks about. He also thinks about the people he didn’t kill too. Like the walker he didn’t kill that killed Dale – but also the people he has helped save.

Rick asks Tara if she’s prepared for things to go bad, and she says she is. He tells her that she doesn’t have to feel bad, but she does. She’s breaking the promise she made.

At the Hilltop, Maggie (Lauren Cohen) is slowly winning over everyone without even trying, just by her style of leading. She explains how to tarp the plants to one of the Hilltoppers (Anthony Lopez) and then simply leaves him to do it, assuring him that “he’s got it” – he can do it, she has faith in him. She also tells him that she’s going out to try to replant a young blueberry bush that she saw. A good one will produce for over 40 years, and they have to start acting like they’ll be around that long. She has faith in the future and in them being able to look after themselves – it’s hope that’s infectious. Gregory (Xander Berkeley) is a coward, but not that stupid. He sees what’s happening.

Back at Oceanside, the team gets ready. Rick helps Michonne (Danai Gurira) start up a tree. She asks when the clock starts, and he says as soon as she’s inside. Then he asks if she’s “good.” She replies “good enough.” It’s clear that Michonne doesn’t want to take the guns by force, but she knows that they may have to. It’s a nice nod to the balancing effect the two have on each other. Would Rick have agreed to let Tara try to negotiate before?

Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) lay explosives while Aaron and Eric keep watch. Eric surprises Aaron by telling him that he understands the choice now – hide or watch Aaron get beaten occasionally. I loved him saying that being with Aaron made “abject terror tolerable!” It was a nice moment of insight into the character that we haven’t seen in about two seasons. He’s smart; he has a sense of humor. It’s a lot clearer why Aaron is with him. And means he's probably not making it out of the season...

Jesus thinks he should have tried harder to stop Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green). Daryl assures him that Sasha is a good shot and Rosita can take care of herself. He even suggests that they’re probably back at the Hilltop already – but even with Negan dead, there’s a whole lot of people that still need to die.

And then we discover that Sasha didn’t die and isn’t at the Hilltop either. She’s in a cell at Negan’s base. She’s visited by David (Martinez). She doesn’t remember him from “last night,” which he describes as a shit show. This was one of the scariest scenes in the show, seeing one of the strongest characters completely helpless and at the mercy of this bastard. While we’ve heard about other characters raping women – Randal’s group in season two – it’s not something that’s truly been addressed on the show. Sasha head butts him, but she’s still tied up and clearly afraid.

Negan comes to Sasha’s rescue. We finally get Negan clearly articulating his hatred for rape. He wouldn’t want to be somewhere where that was allowed. David knows he’s in big trouble and tries to apologize. Negan does not accept his apology, and I can’t say that I was too upset when Negan stuck his gigantic knife through his neck.

Negan then begins the process of trying to win Sasha to his side. He proves once again that whatever else he may be, he’s an astute judge of character. He tells Sasha that her name is beautiful, but it’s clear that regardless of how much he may admire her beauty, he knows that she’ll be most valuable to him as a fighter – assuming he can get her to switch sides, and always assuming that he even thinks that is possible.

Negan admires the fracas she caused. And then he realizes who she is. He wants to know if Rick put her up to it, but of course, Sasha tells him no, calling Rick his bitch. Negan gives her the knife – and choices. Use the knife to try to kill him – not smart as he is standing over her with a baseball bat, use the knife and slit her wrists – he recognizes she’s not in a good place and planned to go out kamikaze-style last night, do nothing and let rapey-davey come back dead-alive and eat her face off – crazy, but to each their own, or use the knife to take out rapey-davey before he turns and join the cause.

Negan offers her a place helping to run things. To enforce the rules. Negan insists that’s all it’s ever been about. They all have shit to get over. He tells her “we are not monsters.” I loved the shot of Sasha sitting with her back against the wall as Negan closes the door and first she is plunged into darkness and then rapey-davey is. Cut to commercial as we wait for Sasha’s “answer.”

There is just enough light to see Sasha holding the knife, looking at rapey-davey, and then the door opens. Eugene (Josh McDermitt) brings her some “comforts” – a pillow, blanket, light, and the water rapey-davey had tried to bribe her with. Sasha’s first question is “what did they do to you?” And Eugene shakes his head: “they’re keeping me safe.” And really, that’s all it’s ever taken to buy Eugene. Eugene tells her that they told him if Sasha took him hostage, he was on his own. Is she supposed to admire this act of bravery?

Eugene tells her that she should accept Negan’s offer. Eugene confesses that he thought he could be brave – like Abraham – and he’s proud of the 37 minutes he drove the RV in last season’s finale – but he realizes now he was delusional. Seeing Abraham die – someone brave and a survivor – destroyed any vestige of courage he might have had. He thinks that being with Negan means that he’ll never have to be brave again.

Eugene doesn’t even believe it when he says that she should say yes – they – he? – would want her to – and he quickly changes it to he wants her to say yes. He knows that Abraham wouldn’t want any of them to give in. Eugene insists that things have changed and that they should change with them. Sasha just stares at him and then tells him to go. Eugene even uses Negan’s knock to indicate he wants out. The lighting on Eugene’s face at the end is perfect, contributing to the atmosphere of the entire scene. It’s black and white for him. Sasha watches as rapey-davey turns, and we still don’t know what her answer will be.

Back at the Hilltop, Gregory joins Maggie outside the walls where she’s digging up her blueberry bush. He wants to know where her friends are. Maggie tells him they’re out looking for something they need. And of course, that’s true of all of them. Jesus, Daryl, and Enid are looking for the guns they need, and Sasha is looking for revenge – or peace of mind. Gregory wants to know why she’s still there. With Carson gone, there’s no reason for her to stay. Maggie turns it on him, saying she heard he was getting the doctor back – is that not true?

Gregory tells Maggie she should trust him and that they should present a united front. She says things would be better if they were a united front. He tells her that everyone is tense – really, isn’t that just him? He also tells her that he never meant for the two of them to be adversarial. Maggie says she appreciates his comments – and that it’s never too late to change. She suggests that she come by later so they can talk more about it. Gregory says fine, but he clearly wants her to give in to him – not the other way around.

Maggie asks Gregory to keep an eye out while she finishes digging up the bush. He says he’s happy to and takes out his very small knife – it’s a nice contrast to Negan’s! As Maggie digs, it’s clear that Gregory is thinking of using the knife on her. Was Maggie foolish enough to dismiss Gregory that much? Was she hoping he would try? Is she simply taking on Glenn’s mantel of being more positive? Regardless, Gregory can’t do it.

When a walker shows up, Gregory lets out what can only be described as a squeak, and Maggie gets up to take it out. Gregory, however, won’t let the pregnant lady protect him. He insists that he’s killed one before – though he clearly hasn’t. He insists that he can do it, but in the end, backs away and waves Maggie ahead to take care of it.

When he’s also attacked, Maggie has to save him again, and he calls out to her to help him. Maggie doesn’t hesitate to save him. However, she makes a huge tactical error when a group of Hilltoppers walk by. She tells them that Gregory hasn’t killed one before, but he’s learning. They call back that that isn’t what he’d told them. She’s damaged his reputation with the Hilltoppers – and that’s worse for a narcissistic coward. Maggie even reaches out to comfort him by touching his arm.

Back at Oceanside we see Natania (Deborah May) praise the every delightful, hell-spawn Rachel (Mimi Kirkland) for catching a fish. I have to admit, I spent the rest of the episode waiting for Rachel to kill Tara. We also get a nice close up of the bullet holes in the cottage from when Tara almost got shot the last time she was there.

Tara is waiting for Natania in her cottage. Tara doesn’t rise to any of Natania’s comments. Cyndie is not happy to see Tara and reminds her of her promise. Tara insists that she didn’t have a choice – but they do. Her friends are going to take their guns to fight the Saviors. They don’t want to fight them – unless they have to. She tells them everything that happened and that they have others that are joining with them. She insists that they have to try.

Tara insists that if they fight them together, they can beat them. She just wants Natania to talk to Rick. Natania is adamant that they can’t win. Tara insists that the world can belong to good people if they’re all just brave enough to try. Natania insists that neither she nor Tara are good or brave – but Cyndie is. I think she’s totally selling Tara short. Cyndie wants to talk to them to try to stop it, but Natania waits too long.

The Alexandrians use an explosion as a diversion and Michonne is guarding the guns from the tree. Tara explains the bombs were outside the walls, and Natania could have stopped it. Natania fakes Tara out, allowing Cyndie to get a gun on Tara – who immediately gives up her empty gun.

Once the Oceansiders are gathered. Rick tells them that no one has to get hurt. Natania comes with a gun to Tara’s head. Rick asks her to put the gun down so that they can talk. Tara yells at Michonne not to shoot. Cyndie tells them that they want them to fight the Saviors. Natania refuses to give up either the guns or their safety. Tara points out that if Natania kills her, she’ll be killed, they’ll take the guns, and nothing will change.

Not surprisingly, Beatrice (Briana Venskus) is one of the first to want to join the fight. Michonne sees walkers and calls to Rick. Cyndie takes advantage of the distraction to disarm Natania, and then the Oceansiders work alongside the Alexandrians, who immediately circle them to protect the kids and unarmed, to take out the herd. Natania still refuses to join them, but Rick shakes hands with Beatrice.

Negan comes to see what Sasha’s answer is. This time we see Negan as the door opens and see him smile. This time, Sasha is on her feet. Negan takes the knife back from where it’s stuck in rapey-davey’s forehead. He tells her that she’s still got a ways to go before he believes she is fully on board. Let’s not forget he’s not stupid. He also takes note of the way she surrendered to him. She could have had the knife in her hand and attacked whoever came to the door after all. Negan considers she’s made a good start. Sasha clearly thought it would be easier, however, and is disappointed to have lost the knife.

Somebody has tipped Negan off that Rick is up to something. Negan wants Sasha’s help to change that – she’s going to find him a win-win. He’s going to give her the night to enjoy what they have to offer – because tomorrow “is going to be a big day!” Clearly, things didn’t go as Sasha had planned. My money is on Gregory having tipped off Negan – maybe simply by how he was acting with Simon – or his comment that someone might be doing something. Gregory looks at his map – and plans on taking up that invitation made by Simon…

Eugene comes to talk to Sasha. We see most of this scene only from Eugene’s point of view. Sasha tells him that she can’t go through with it. It was a mistake. Surviving was a mistake. She asks him to get her something – a knife, a gun, a razor blade. Eugene is worried she wants to try for Negan again, but she tells him that she wants to be able to kill herself to avoid Negan using her to hurt their friends. She tells Eugene she has to die. She begs him not to let Negan use her to hurt their people. Eugene says he’ll consider it.

The scene only shifts to Sasha at the very end when she tells Eugene thank you. And it’s utterly clear that she’s been playing him! Martin-Green is simply magnificent in this scene – her voice conveys exactly the terror and despair that she wants Eugene to think she if feeling, but her face, when we finally see it, is utterly calm and peaceful. Of course, she’s planning on turning whatever Eugene brings her on Negan! My other question is whether she has also let go of her sanity here. It’s a brilliant performance.

Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) questions whether they need all the guns. Jesus also looks a bit ashamed that they are taking all the guns from the Oceansiders. Tara tells them that they’ll bring them all back when it’s over. Cyndie wants to go with them, but it has to be all of them or none of them. It’s clear that Beatrice would also like to go with them, but they are both needed there to protect the others.

Tara thanks Cyndie for saving her – a bunch of times! – and Cyndie thanks Tara for what they are doing. I loved Tara giving Rachel the one finger salute to say goodbye again – and Rick’s face as she does it! He asks if she’s ok, and she says she is – he was right. She doesn’t have to feel bad.

Sasha is pacing in her cell – not eating the loaded plate they’ve brought her. Eugene returns. He’s decided to grant her request, and he’s brought her the poison he made for the girls. It should work in 20 – 30 minutes. Sasha is clearly distraught – this doesn’t give her a way to kill Negan. Eugene tells her he doesn’t want her to go, but it sounds like she’s already gone.

Rosita opens the gate at Alexandria when the others return. Enid wants to know if she’s ok, and Jesus wants to know where Sasha is. Rosita doesn’t answer, she just takes them to the cell. As soon as she opens it and Daryl sees Dwight, Daryl wants to kill him. The others hold him back. Rosita says he wants to help and when Rick asks him if that’s true, he says yes. Rick tells him to get on his knees….

I’m betting that like Sasha, Dwight is pretty sure that this is a suicide mission. I don’t think he will beg for his life, but I also think that Rick’s pragmatism will kick in. Dwight can provide valuable information if he’s sincere – and we can be pretty sure that he is.

I loved how the title threaded it’s way through this episode. Our group need guns, Sasha needs revenge and closure, Negan needs a “man,” Maggie needs hope for the future, Gregory needs respect and control, and Dwight needs redemption. This episode really started to bring the threads together. There are plenty of rumors and spoilers out there. My prediction is that we’ll see all the pieces moved into place for the big war, but that the finale will end with Negan sending Rick a “good faith” offering that won’t be at all what Rick is expecting, and we’ll have the summer to wait for the big war itself. What did you think of the episode? Are you ready for the finale? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!