The Walking Dead 7.15: Something They Need
As the penultimate episode of the season, this is a rather odd way for the story to go. Considering that Team Grimes has been trying to establish itself as the kindler, gentler alternative to the Saviors, Rick’s decision to terrorize Oceanside into joining the cause is just a bit unusual. And it’s even stranger that Tara would appear to be fully on board with the notion.
Tara sits down with Natania and tries to broker a deal, which makes perfect sense, as it fits the overall scheme of the season thus far. Team Grimes is trying to do everything possible to get the various communities they’ve encountered to work together, and of course Tara was going to go back to Oceanside, given how well-armed they are. But the idea that she would be willing to force them into helping or giving up their weapons? It’s ridiculously aggressive compared to the negotiations they’ve made previously.
What’s cloying is that Rick’s overall gambit seems to have worked. The arrival of the Walkers gives the two sides something to bond over, some of the women are willing to come over to Team Grimes and fight, Rick gets the weapons he wants without much resistance, and even Tara seems to walk away feeling good about herself. It’s galling, to say the least, especially when Natania completely overlooks the obvious argument and focuses on the general notion that Negan is invulnerable. No need, then, for anyone to question Rick’s morality.
It may be intentional; after all, this episode shows a side to Negan that we haven’t seen before. For all that he effectively forces women to become his “wives”, he does what many people would like to do to any piece of human refuse that threatens rape. (I would love to see some internal trolls that casually threaten to rape women get the same treatment!) Negan’s focus is on recruitment, as he continues to assume (right or wrong) that anyone who has survived this long is willing to compromise morals to continue surviving in the best conditions possible.
Perhaps Eugene reinforced this belief, especially since Eugene continues to act as though he really has switched sides. But why let Sasha live? Daryl had the potential to be broken by what happened to Glenn, and Eugene appears to have been turned over instantly. Sasha shows little or no remorse, and Negan is leaving himself far too open.
It makes Sasha’s plan to get her hands on a weapon all the more tragic when they don’t pan out, because if Eugene hadn’t already been given reason to think of a “suicide pill”, it might have worked. Instead, Negan is going to come after Rick again with a ton of justification that Alexandria hasn’t learned its lesson, and that is the most logical place for the storyline to go, considering how the season began. Dwight’s apparent defection is a wild card that Negan couldn’t see coming, so who knows how that will play into the finale?
Meanwhile, the episode also included a long stretch that underscored just how much of a coward Gregory is. Faithful readers will see how this might factor into his inevitable fate, and hopefully that’s where this is all going. Xander Berkeley is a great actor, but Gregory is loathsome on several levels, and it’s time for him to come to a sticky end.
- Things are coming to a head with Negan again, which ought to be helpful
- How is Rick any better than Negan after this? Just because he’s slightly more merciful in his fascism?