Just like we knew they would, because what’s The Walking Dead without unnecessary stalling?
If last week’s ep was the type of filler we need sometimes, this week was another one to make me wish the season was 2-3 episodes shorter. But alas.
Apparently Sasha got captured like 2 seconds after infiltrating the Savior compound, because she’s in Savior jail, like Daryl was. Only instead of Dwight, her jailer is this creepy gross dude named David. David hits on her, rips her shirt, and is undoing his pants when Negan shows up. Honestly for a sec I felt like I’d missed an ep because wow, talk about jarring and random.
Negan’s totally cool with bashing people’s heads in or throwing them alive in a fire, but rape is crossing a line. I mean ya know he has an entire harem of “wives” who are with him against their will and try to poison him to escape, but that’s DIFFERENT!! Negan is REASONABLE! He doesn’t support sexual violence!!
Ahem. Anyway. He kills David, then leaves a knife with Sasha, offering her a choice: she can kill herself, kill David, or let zombie!David munch on her. If she chooses door #2 it means she’s ready to join them! Which seems weird, because I mean can’t she kill David and still just wanna chill in her cell? Whatever.
Meanwhile back in Hilltop, Maggie is teaching people to farm because she’s good at that. Gregory is walking around look shifty because he’s good at that. She goes outside to dig up a wild blueberry bush and Gregory follows her. When she asks him to keep watch, he acts like he might actually kill her instead, but ultimately he chickens out. They’re approached by 2 walkers, and Gregory almost gets eaten and Maggie has to save him. It seems, after, that he’s decided to take Miles up on his offer to join them in Savior land.
The main group is traveling to Oceanside with plans to relieve them of their guns. Tara is sent in to grab their leader while Jesus and Daryl set bombs around the perimeter. Tara can’t convince her to negotiate before the dynamite goes off, and the women are driven to the edge of town where Rick, Carl, and the rest herd them all together.
Grandma gets the drop on sweet, trusting Tara and takes her to the others at gunpoint. She’s dead set against trying to fight, even though some of the women seem interested. Eventually a big ol’ group of walkers shows up, so everyone ends up fighting together anyway.
Rick & co. take the guns and leave the women there. Cyndie tells Tara that some of them want to fight, but unless it’s unanimous they won’t join in. Tara’s okay with that, and they leave with Oceanside’s guns.
Sasha, meanwhile, convinces Eugene to bring her a weapon, something she can use to kill herself. Predictably, he brings her the poison pill he made for the wives the other week, which doesn’t help Sasha at all because of course the whole thing was a ruse to try to get her hands on a weapon. Now she’s stuck as Negan’s right hand with no weapon and no way to fulfill her stupid kamikaze mission to kill him.
Back in Alexandria, Rosita opens the gates for the others as they return from Oceanside. As I sort of suspected, despite what I wrote, the man Rosita saw lurking outside the Savior compound was Dwight, not Daryl. She has him locked up in Morgan’s cage thingie, and she immediately takes the others there. Dwight has apparently defected from the Saviors and Negan, but Rick doesn’t quite believe him. He pulls his gun and tells him to get on his knees, but honestly if Rick shoots him in cold blood like that then I’m a monkey’s uncle.
I mean what can I say? It was typical Walking Dead stalling. They have to get to the big season-ending cliffhanger, and along the way we get a lot of foot-shuffling and hand-wringing. Yeah, they needed Oceanside’s guns, but this was literally the most boring way to get them. Sure, we wanted to know what happened to Sasha, but a rape threat and an offer to join the Saviors? *yawn* And does anyone really care what smarmy, squirrelly Gregory’s up to? I sure as fuck don’t.
Our GBF Jesus apparently knows stuff about bombs, which is interesting. I wonder if a boyfriend taught him just like one of Rosita’s boyfriends taught her. Maybe we’ll get a monologue about it sometime before the cliffhanger next week. Probably not.
I guess Eugene really is a Neganite now. I thought he was just playing along, but this week he told Sasha he realized he isn’t brave at all, and watching someone brave like Abraham die, then watching it happen all over again to Glenn, made him realize he doesn’t want to be afraid anymore. With the Saviors he isn’t, and he likes that. I wonder if Josh McDermitt ever feels limited by some of the character choices he’s made for Eugene, because at times it seems confining. Or maybe that’s just the way they write him.
I don’t know if The Walking Dead is tricky enough—or has the balls—to actually pull of a Eugene switcheroo at this point. I assumed he was just playing along, but after the last 2 episodes of him so faithfully devoted to Negan? It seems like the real deal. I don’t trust the writers to make any sort of long con convincing or realistic, so I guess just. That’s it. For Eugene. And the Alexandrians get Dwight, who I couldn’t care less about if you paid me actual cash money.
My fear is next week will be an hour and a half of slog only to have it end about two seconds before battle commences. They would do that, since they seem completely unable (or unwilling) to learn from past mistakes. I’m tired, y’all. It’s been a long 16 episodes. Last season was a long 16 episodes. When will The Walking Dead remember how to write a decent television series as a whole rather than just small snippets of good moments week by week?
Perhaps more importantly, when will The Walking Dead finally commit to something? Rick & co. are supposedly the good guys, but as Negan pointed out, they’ve killed way more Saviors than Saviors have killed them. The show seems to remember that, and shy away from it, because god forbid we delve into any moral ambiguity or gray areas.
This week they stole an entire cache of guns from a peaceful, isolated community, and rather than explore the morally questionable tactics of such a move, they just brushed right by it. Tara, our Jiminy Cricket so far this season (always a dangerous thing to be on this show), told Rick “I don’t have to feel bad” as they walked away. So that’s it? We just decide it’s cool to take ALL their guns (just like Negan did to you, remember!) and leave them virtually defenseless in the woods? One time when a conversation might have actually been warranted and we don’t get one, after a season of practically nothing BUT talking.
I hurt my knee the other week (Did you know kneecaps can migrate? I didn’t before, but I do now.), and I’ve started physical therapy to get it better. It’s hard work, and I hate it because I swear sometimes the cure hurts worse than the disease. The Walking Dead is like physical therapy: I don’t wanna keep going, I’m worn out, but there’s just…one…more!