In this next to the last episode of “The Walking Dead” Season 7, the episode that sets up the season finale, we as viewers are left with more questions than answers, as frequently happens. Moral reckonings continue to be an ongoing theme. Note: Spoilers Ahead
In terms of action, “Something They Need” could be quickly summarized, but much of the real story and understanding of characters takes place in conversations, and sometimes, in the things left unsaid.
In the opening scene, we hear Tara telling Rick about Oceanside in an off-screen conversation. Rick reassures Tara if the Alexandrians trip to Oceanside doesn’t work out that it won’t be Tara’s fault.
Maggie and some of the community members are working in the garden, with Maggie giving instructions on how to tarp the plants. She tells someone that she’s seen a wild blueberry plant growing outside the walls of Hilltop and is going to get it to transplant it inside Hilltop, that the plant will bear fruit for years to come, which is how everyone should be thinking at this point.
A group of Alexandrians, including Rick, Michonne, Tara, Daryl, Ross, Eric and Jesus are setting up explosives in the perimeter around Oceanside. Michonne takes her position high up in a tree to act as a sniper if necessary.
Sasha’s suicide mission to take out Negan in Episode 14 has instead resulted in her capture by the Saviors. We know this because she is sitting in a cell with her hands tied behind her back, where David, the Savior who had harassed Enid in Alexandria, visits Sasha in her cell. David pretends to be thoughtful, offering Sasha a drink of water if she’ll do something nice for him.
David’s voice and demeanor are both lecherous and demeaning. When he leans into Sasha to whisper in her ear, she kicks him and sends him to the floor. David says he likes it rough and approaches Sasha, ripping her shirt when Negan walks into the cell.
Negan takes David to task immediately, telling David he knows the man was about to rape Sasha, to break a rule about such unacceptable behavior. David meekly apologizes, but it is too little too late for him. Negan stabs David through the throat with a large knife. David falls to the cell floor, dead.
Negan apologizes to Sasha for David’s behavior and for her hands being tied. Negan frees her hands, commending her moxie for her actions of the night before when she caused such a commotion in the Sanctuary.
The Savior leader tells Sasha he remembers her from the fateful night when he killed Glenn and Abraham. He asks Sasha if Rick sent her to the Sanctuary. Sasha answers with contempt in her voice, “Rick, who – your bitch?”
Negan is again impressed with Sasha’s courage and determination. He hands her the knife he had killed David with, explaining that she has options on what to do with that knife: Sasha can try to kill Negan, who is standing over her holding Lucille; Sasha can kill herself with the knife; or she can kill David again either before or after he comes back to life.
Negan gives Sasha his sales pitch for her joining the Saviors. He tells her he wants her on his side, and to eventually help him rule the Sanctuary. Absent is his smart aleck tone of voice that is so familiar to Negan; he sounds just like one person having a conversation with an equal. Negan explains to Sasha that it’s always been about everyone working together.
Eugene comes to the cell, bringing a light, a pillow and a blanket for Sasha. He tells Sasha she should take Negan up on his offer to join the Saviors.
With Negan now out of the cell, Eugene explains to Sasha that his decision to stay at the Sanctuary has been a good one for him, that the Saviors keep him safe. Eugene explains how he used to be afraid all the time; now he doesn’t have to be afraid any longer. Eugene invokes Abraham’s memory, telling Sasha that Abraham would want her to stay because things have changed and with that, they all have to change, too.
Maggie is outside the Hilltop, digging out the wild blueberry bush she wants to replant inside the compound. Gregory walks up on her, saying that he’d like to talk to her. He asks why she continues to stay at Hilltop, now that her friends are gone and Dr. Carson has been taken to the Sanctuary.
Gregory explains that Maggie needs to trust him, that it will help all the people at Hilltop if he and Maggie work together. Maggie answers that if Gregory is serious, she’ll come by the office later to talk to him.
When Maggie asks Gregory if he’ll keep an eye out while she finishes digging out the bush, Gregory agrees. He is standing behind her with a knife in his hand, seemingly thinking about stabbing her when they both hear a noise in the distance. The noise is a walker who is nearby and coming towards the two of them.
Gregory says he’ll kill the walker after Maggie tells him she can do it. Gregory says he is there to protect the pregnant lade, not the other way around. Gregory walks toward the walker, but is unable to follow through and tells Maggie to do it.
As Maggie is killing that walker with the trowel she was using to dig, another walker comes up on Gregory and knocks him to the ground. Gregory, who still has the knife in his hand, struggles to keep the walker from biting him and calls to Maggie for help. Maggie dispatches the second walker, saving Gregory from its bite.
As the two re-gather themselves, a group of Hilltop scouting members walks by. Maggie reassures them everything is okay; this is just Gregory’s first walker kill. Someone from the group says, “That’s not what he told us,” to which Gregory looks disgusted and dismayed.
Tara is waiting with a gun inside Natania’s house when the woman returns home. Tara tells Natania to sit down and listen. Cyndie walks in; Tara repeats her instructions.
Natania is dismayed that Tara has returned, saying they should have killed her instead of letting her go. Tara explains that her friends are here with her with an offer for the Oceanside community: To join the Alexandrians in their fight against the Saviors.
Tara encourages Natania to talk to Rick, that the Alexandrians don’t have to take over Oceanside if the group just agrees to fight against the Saviors together. Cyndie tells her grandmother that they should talk to Rick, but Natania is steadfast against fighting the Saviors. Tara explains it’s now too late for talking as explosions can be heard in the distance.
Natania and Cyndie knock Tara to the floor, with Cyndie pointing a gun at Tara. Tara hands over her own gun, explaining there is no ammunition in it, that she really came in peace.
In the meanwhile, Rick, Father Gabriel and the others have rounded up the Oceanside community, trying to calm them down by telling them that no one will get hurt. Natania walks toward the group, holding a gun to Tara’s head as Natania holds her hostage. Natania threatens to kill Tara if the Alexandrians don’t leave immediately.
Beatrice and Cyndie indicate they are willing to talk to the Alexandrians, setting Natania off and increasing her anger. Before Natania can shoot Tara, Cyndie hits her grandmother on the head, knocking her down. As Natania falls, we can see that Enid had been standing behind Natania with a gun in her own hand, ready to shoot the woman if need be.
All the noise and commotion has brought groups of walkers descending on Oceanside; the walkers are soon dispatched of. Beatrice shakes hands with Rick in a show of solidarity, but Natania says no – take our guns, but we are not going to help you fight the Saviors.
Negan visits Sasha in her cell, finding that she has put the knife he left with her through David’s head. Negan takes the knife, explaining that he doesn’t have enough trust in Sasha yet to let her be armed.
His reason for the visit, Negan explains, is because a “little bird” has told him that Rick and the Alexandrians are up to no good. Negan wants Sasha to help him change things, to find a win-win for everyone. Tomorrow.
Gregory is sitting at his desk with the map to the Sanctuary that Simon provided to him. Gregory arranges for a driver to get ready to take Gregory on a trip and to pack clothes because they may be gone for a while.
Eugene visits Sasha through her locked cell door. In a voice that sounds very un-Sasha-like, she entreats Eugene to bring her a knife, a gun or even a piece of glass so she can have a way out of having to betray the Alexandrians. Eugene is affected by her pleas and tells her he’ll think about it.
The Alexandrians are ready to leave Oceanside with the guns from that group. Tara thanks Cyndie for saving her life – again – and Cyndie thanks Tara and her group for being willing to take on the Saviors and not harming anyone at Oceanside.
Cyndie explains that even though some of the Oceanside women would like to join the fight against the Saviors, it has to be all of them or none of them.
As the group leaves Oceanside, Tara tells Rick that she doesn’t have to feel bad about what their group has just done.
Sasha is alone in her cell when Eugene returns and slips something under her door. He explains the two capsules are poison that he himself has made. Sasha is disappointed; it was a weapon she wanted to be able to carry out her original mission to kill Negan, not really something to kill herself. Eugene speaks kindly to Sasha, telling her he doesn’t want her to end her life, but it seems to him she has made up her mind to do so.
The Alexandrians return to their community, where Rosita opens the gate for them. Everyone is asking Rosita where Sasha is. Rosita, instead of answering the question, tells them that the community has a visitor.
The group follows Rosita to a cell, where she shows them the visitor is Dwight. Daryl immediately wants to take on Dwight, but the others hold him back. Rosita and Dwight both tell Rick and the group that Dwight wants to help them.
Rick pulls a gun on Dwight and tells him to get on his knees…and now, we wait for the season finale to see how this all plays out.
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