Post guest-written by Brad Morris for Funkhouser.
For the second time in four years, I’d like to thank TWD for something. And that is to escape the reality of another UK basketball season ending on a sour note. When we lost with the 38-0 team, I was physically ill in the last few seconds. Sunday’s game brought back memories of “he who shall not be named” 25 years ago. And of course the dude last night wore number 32. Karma right? However, despite my mood, and after securing the rug rats to sleep mode, waiting for me was our weekly respite from reality, The Walking Dead. And since it was the next to last episode of the season I was expecting a great one. And I think they got it half right. Let’s check in on some of the characters involved.
There were many, many characters involved in “Something They Need”, but I think Tara should be the starter for this post. The one off episode in the first half of the season she was involved with was brutal to watch, however this episode was the payoff. Tara knew that Rick had become desperate for weapons and finally gave in and told him about the Oceansiders. I had been rolling through the different ways the group could approach this armed to teeth group for some time. Do they go in guns blazing, does Rick go in alone with a white flag, send a candy gram for Mongo, etc. etc. In the end they went with Tara’s plan. She was able to sneak into the camp having been there before and was successful in talking to their leader Natania. The plan was simple and worked, partially. While the Alexandrian’s are successful in acquiring the weapons they were so desperate for, Natania is adamant the Oceanside will not join the fight. A good showing by Tara in showing some gumption in helping her people out and managing to have not one life lost. And you know the episode is good when you flip off a trash talking 12 year old.
Ah Jeffery Dean Morgan, I remembered why I need more Negan soliloquies. As has been the case several times this season, pages of the comic were pulled right off the page and put on the screen. After the attempted rape of Sasha, Negan turns into the white knight and saves her. His little talk with Rapey Davey was a good insight to Negan’s thoughts on how he controls the Sanctuary. There are rules to follow and Negan’s word is law. And God forbid you break them in his presence. His offer to Sasha was genuine. He really does want her to join his group to make them stronger. I think in his twisted mind that his way to rule brings safety to the new world in some insane way. And his charisma is on display as well in the form of Eugene, who seems to have truly bought into the whole “We Are Negan” clan. This is an offshoot from the comic that Eugene has joined him and I’m interested to see how Negan controls him going forward.
Maggie and Gregory
Like I said at the beginning, lots of characters on screen this week. We see Maggie and Gregory have some fun outside the walls of the Hilltop. Gregory’s cowardliness was on full display as he cant take down a walker. It can’t be that hard at this point, right? Even my 8 year old knows how to take one down, “You bop them in the head!”. After Maggie rescues Gregory, he actually has the decency to thank her, but his mind is made up. He heads straight to his office for a drink, a map, and a ride to the Sanctuary. He. Is. Done.
Maggie showed quite a bit of trust in letting Gregory watch after her while she played in the dirt, doing what I have no idea. Was she planting that tree? Was she pulling it up? No clue here except as a plot point to have her and Gregory talk. I think since we’ve seen the last of the former head of the Hilltop, Maggie will be assuming full time command. The good news for her is that thanks to her tractor skills and feisty killing of walkers, she already has the backing of the people.
We’d only seen the leader of The Oceansiders once before and her second appearance still has me asking as Jerry Seinfeld would, “What is your deal?”. Seriously, coming to tell you that an army has been raised to fight the Saviors, a force that has taken everything from you has to be a great chance at revenge. And as my esteemed colleague Josh Juckett pointed out, there has to be another reason why Natania won’t fight or risk her people. A very close, personal relationship with one of the Saviors maybe? Who knows. Her reluctance to fight was a bit annoying the first time we met her, this time it was almost to brutal to watch.
I’ll also say this about the raid on the armory. The end result is not in anyway how I thought it would play out. I thought for sure Aaron’s boyfriend would die after his “I want to be out here with you” speech. The possibility of the Oceansiders coming on board to fight was high. Taking all of the weapons and leaving without a scratch to anyone? Not what I foresaw. So go take a nap Natania, we’ll show ourselves out.
Pretty straight forward for the badasses of the group this week. They had a plan and it actually worked. We do see that Andrea’s storyline from the comic has been merged with Michonne’s on the show. I went back to look, and I’ve never seen her with a gun in her hand at any point on print. I’m fine with this because she has become warrior supreme now. Sword play and sniper? Very helpful indeed. Just enough of the main characters to move the show along nicely.
Sasha and Eugene
Per usual I saved the worst for last. In a color me shocked moment, Sasha has been captured *gasp*. I’ve already referred to her encounter with Rapey Davey, of which Negan took care of the situation. She fakes interest in Negan’s offer and admits to Eugene she just wants to die. Of course she’s lying a little bit. She wants to die if she can kill Negan. After telling Eugene she wants out of the great game, he provides her with the suicide pill he made a few episodes ago. She’s brought to her knees with the pills because her plan has been foiled before it could ever take off.
I’m not sure what to make of Eugene anymore. I thought he would bide his time and at the right moment help out his friends, however that doesn’t seem to be the case. Eugene admits how scared he was the night Abraham died, and being at the Sanctuary has made him feel safe for the first time in forever. Will he turnout to help his former group? Only time will tell. I am looking forward to all the memes being made with Eugene leaning his face on the jail cell door.
Is that it? Did we cover it all? Man there was a lot that happened this week. I’m not even going to get into what happened when our gang got back home. That final scene is a big setup going into the season finale and I’ll touch on it next week because then we should have the full story on our burned faced turncoat Dwight.
Thank you to all that read the weekly recaps of TWD. I hope that viewing it from the characters perspective has been a different take on the post apocalyptic zombie world that AMC and Robert Kirkman has created. Josh and I will be back with the Kentucky Deadcast later this week to talk about this episode, what we can look forward to in the season finale, and we finish up our Walking Dead bracket of who is more likely to die. We’re down to the final four, so tune in and have a listen. Go Cats and ta ta.