The episode opens with Tara telling Rick about the matriarchal society she discovered earlier in the season. Throughout the episode, we see some dramatic foreshadowing with a cut to a horde of walkers on the beach; beach-walkers are certainly something new to look forward to with their rotten manacles and bits of clumped seaweed, but the scene cuts quickly back to the Hilltop, leaving us to wonder about the significance of the introduction of the beach-walkers.
Gregory, who has overtaken Eugene as the show’s coward, watches Maggie from a distance, plotting some sinister plan undoubtedly to restore power to his community. We see some short and abrupt scenes from the our other favourites in Rick’s group, and then cut back to where last week’s episode left us at a cliff-hanger…
Sasha wakes up in Daryl’s old cell, where a creepy man named David introduces himself with a disturbing motive. Sasha fights him off with a feisty headbutt and when David tries to go after her again, Negan shows up. According to Negan, torture and murder is okay, but rape isn’t. Negan doesn’t accept David’s apology and shoves a knife through his neck. While it’s great that we get to see Sasha and Negan together (our two favourite badasses at the moment), it would have been great to see what exactly Sasha did last night that caused such a stir, and how she got caught.
Negan gives Sasha a test. After handing her his knife she is left with David’s dead body, pre-animated. She can kill him as a walker and join Negan, or stay in her cell and die. One thing that annoys me is why Sasha simply doesn’t pretend to be on Negan’s side, and then quickly kill him anyway. It’s an issue that keeps popping up throughout the season, whenever characters get close to killing him, they rather ingeniously lose patience and attempt to take revenge.
Sasha is left in the darkness to make her decision, when Eugene is allowed inside her cell, seemingly all too happy about his new position in power with the Saviours. He begs Sasha to reconsider and simply to kill the pre-animated walker to join them. Forever the rebel, Sasha refuses, and David’s body animates into a walker.
Meanwhile at the Hilltop, Gregory confronts Maggie outside the walls for a “talk”, apparently concerned about her being out alone. Surely his suggestion that they be more unified is a trap and Maggie must know that, especially when he stands behind her with the knife. For a moment it’s as if he’s going to kill her, but he’s too much of a coward to do even that. Luckily a walker appears and Gregory decides to prove himself by going after it, but then changing his mind for Maggie to take down the walker anyway. While she’s busy, she saves his life when a second walker appears and it’s obvious that Gregory has no experience fighting walkers.
Back in the matriarchal group by the beach, Tara pulls a gun on Tanya and Cindy, and then tells them of their plan to take their guns and fight against the Saviours. Unfortunately, it’s a little preachy and tiresome listening to yet another let’s-fight-against-Negan scene. They refuse to talk to Rick, and rightfully so in my opinion, since Rick’s group are essentially injuring innocent women and taking over their camp. Tara gets taken hostage in a tense stand-off, but before they can reach an agreement they are all attacked by a horde of walkers, and both groups work together to take them down.
The fight seems to have broken the ice and Tanya tells them to take the guns and go, though it’s clear that many of them are all keen to join the fight against Negan.
Speak of the devil, Negan finds Sasha has killed the walker and is therefore on his side. His mission for her implies that he is aware of a plot against him, and he will use Sasha against Rick’s group. Sasha weakly refuses, and again we return to the fatal point: why doesn’t she just pretend to be on Negan’s side? When she’s out, she’s out, she can tell Rick that Negan knows and finally we can have the war we’ve waited a season for.
We cut back to Gregory getting drunk in his office again, and then deciding to leave for a long drive. Will he be the one to finally betray them?But then Sasha suddenly, and entirely out of character, begs Eugene to give her some form of weapon so that she can kill herself, rather than injure her friends as Negan’s spy. This is an example of really poor writing and it totally contradicts the badass woman from the previous episode… Unless this is all a ploy to get a weapon to use against Negan and his men, in which case, good thinking. Eugene complies, and gives her a poisonous pill.
The episode closes by revealing the figure from the end of last episode. It wasn’t Daryl with the crossbow after all, it was Dwight, who has come to apparently join the cause, to which Rick says angrily, “Get on your knees.” At least we don’t have to suffer with any more of Dwight’s character arc, he’s finally picked a side and let’s hope he sticks to it for next week’s finale.
The highlight of this episode was Negan, by far, and it is interesting to see that matriarchal group by the beach again, and some long-lost walker action. Unfortunately, this episode was another filler where nothing much actually happened. We didn’t even get to see Sasha’s attempt to take Negan down; we didn’t see what Gregory actually did and if he is the bird Negan said had told him about Rick’s plot; and the plan to take Negan down still seems undecided. Hopefully the grand finale will be a longer episode than usual, and we can have the fight we’ve been waiting for.
And now the question remains: who will die in this season’s finale?
Image Credits: AMC