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So just when I think this show is running downhill, I come to the realization that I’ve set my bar too high.
This week’s episode was a continuation of events from three episodes back, when Eugene announced he’s Team Negan & Negan killed the Sanctuary’s doctor. But it starts at Hilltop, with a majority of residents involved in preparing for the upcoming war Rick wants to finally fight. Maggie, played by Lauren Cohan,
is leading the resistance movement, since Gregory prefers being a supplicant to the Saviors, due to his love of power and alcohol.
Maggie is working with Jesus on formulating a strategy, in between talking about love & boys
By some accounts, Jesus is the 6th identified gay or lesbian character on the show. At this point, letting it drop via casual conversation passes it off as just one other thing about him, like being left-handed. Quite professional story-telling, actually. I pity the people at the FCC who get complaint letters from Trumpian snowflakes complaining that, once again, their beliefs are under attack, and you wouldn’t make Mohammed gay on TV!
Daryl is at Hilltop, but that fact is (I think) hidden from Gregory, as he would rat him out – and by extension Maggie & Sasha – in order to keep his power.
When the Saviors do head into Hilltop this week, it’s not for supplies or Daryl, it’s for their doctor, because Negan burned his to death, believing he (and not Dwight) had helped Daryl to escape. When the doctor questions the logic of Sanctuary having two doctors,
we learn that the doctors are/were brothers. After the doctor has been secured, Gregory asks to speak with Simon, the Savior leading the crew, about threats to his leadership.
Simon assures Gregory that if he has any problems, he should get in touch and Simon will handle it, because “you’re a good producer for us, I don’t want you to be so stressed.”
After the Saviors leave with the doctor, Maggie & Daryl reflect about Glenn. They have a modified heart-to-heart, where Maggie absolves Daryl of the blame he feels for contributing to Glenn’s death. It doesn’t stop him from being the troubled loner all the girls love, but it does close that lingering plot point that wasn’t really an issue.
In the meantime, and in-between time, Sasha & Rosita have used the Saviors arrival to sneak out on their hit mission to get Negan. Along the way, they bond while talking about boys, especially Abraham. When they get to the Sanctuary compound, they find a good sniper position and prepare for the shot.
However, they find out Eugene is acting a willing part in protecting the compound, which leads to a change in their plans, because they’re not sure if it’s a con just to stay alive. Rather than shoot Negan from far away (and, y’know, thus survive their daring mission), they change to a break-in, hoping to kill Negan and free Eugene. Except, they don’t count on Eugene actually wanting to stay, and Rosita doesn’t count on Sasha locking her out after breaking through the fence, turning an assassination attempt into a suicide mission. The episode ends with Sasha going on a hunt inside Sanctuary, and Rosita running away only to come across a shadowy crossbow-wielding figure, who teh internetz assume is either Daryl or Dwight.
So, by the end of the episode we have ascertained:
- Sasha gon’ die
- Gregory will eventually play his betrayal card
- it will likely not go well
- Eugene is still Team Negan
- Maggie is training an army
- Dwight has probably turned against Negan, which will be discovered in the next two episodes
- Jesus is gay
- Hilltop no longer has a doctor.
All of this points towards them joining the upcoming war, but Gregory will throw a wrench into the works which impedes their ability to fight as a total unit.
The promo for next week seemed to be a combination of the remaining two episodes. There were highlights of Oceanside being attacked, Gregory threatening Maggie, a meetup of the various forces from various camps, and Negan being menacing. Oh yeah, and zombies; can’t forget what drew people to the show in the first place.
For those old enough to remember – remember when MASH stopped being funny & started being serious almost every episode? When hilarious antics gave way to serious issue analysis on a comedy show? This is the corner “The Walking Dead” feels like it’s turned. They drew people in with the zombies; now that everyone’s here, let’s go with our generic soap opera points. It seems I’ve heard this complaint before…
Anyway, there’s two episodes left. We’re guaranteed a cliffhanger (“Will the war start?”, or possibly, “Will Gregory betray Rick/Maggie to Negan?”) and at least one major character death (Sasha – Sonequa Martin-Green is set to be the leading lady in Star Trek: Discovery).
Penultimate episode next week!