Seven seasons into The Walking Dead, there are a few things that we all know about the show: 1. If a character who rarely has lines suddenly has a bunch of ’em, they’re toast. 2. If Daryl is in danger, we will worry as if he’s going to be killed off, even though he’s never going to be killed off. And 3. no matter how well-laid a plan is, it’s going to go awry. So it wasn’t humongously surprising that in Sunday’s episode, Sasha and Rosita’s plot to do away with Negan hit a snag before they’d gotten to execute it. What happened? Read on…
‘IT’S A LONG LIFE, AND THEN IT ISN’T’ | Early on in “The Other Side,” Jesus confided in Maggie that, until she and Sasha came to the Hilltop, neither had he really felt like a part of the community nor had he really gotten close to anyone, whether “neighbors, friends, boyfriends.” In response, the widow told him that he should “try it sometime, even if it doesn’t last.” (Does anyone at this point not assume that Jesus will get together with Aaron after Eric’s inevitable death?) Later, Jesus caught Sasha stealing bullets that he’d hidden in a book. She was welcome to them, he said. But he wished she and Rosita would reconsider their suicide mission. At least let him and Enid act as back-up. No, Sasha replied. Maggie was going to need them for “what happens after” Negan’s assassination. Once alone with Enid, Sasha made the teenager promise to protect the mom-to-be. “She’s the future of this place,” she said. “So are you.” Honoring Sasha’s request for secrecy — at least in a way — Enid gave her and Rosita a 10-minute head start, then she was going to blab to Maggie. Only, before she could spill the beans — and before Sasha and Rosita had even skedaddled through the hole beneath the Hilltop — the Saviors arrived. As Daryl and Maggie hid in a fruit cellar, Gregory was informed by Simon that they had “no need to talk” (gulp), he was just there for a “certain somebody.” Runaway Daryl, perhaps?
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‘I’M NOT HERE TO PLAY GET-TO-KNOW-YOU’ | En route to the Sanctuary, Rosita continued to be so nasty to Sasha that I half-expected her to snap, “This is not RuPaul’s Best Friend Race!” Finally, Sasha gave in to her companion’s demand to talk about the mission or nothing at all, and explained that Jesus had told her about some buildings from which they might get a clear shot at Negan in the compound’s rear courtyard. Using this approach, they might actually make it out alive. (Naturally, this was of little interest to Rosita, her death wish practically tattooed across her forehead.) Once the Bickersons made it to a building from which they could see the courtyard, they got an eyeful of Eugene barking orders at the Saviors like he owned the place. He’s just “playing some angle,” Rosita assumed. (But was he?) Eventually, Sasha’s questions about where Rosita had picked up all of her impressive skills softened her up enough that she revealed that she’d used the men she’d been with to learn how to protect herself, then bounced when there was no more to learn. Was that how it was with Abraham? Clearly not. Rosita admitted that, when they first got to Alexandria, she’d been strong for him when he wasn’t… even though she hadn’t been strong, either. Then, he adjusted; she didn’t. Couldn’t. So she’d thought she hated the woman for whom Abraham had dumped her. But “maybe,” she allowed, “I just hated that you figured out his s— first.” In any case, she was bummed that “I’ll never get to tell Abraham I’m happy he was happy.” Off this hard-won bonding, the coconspirators agreed that, no matter what went down, they had each other’s backs.
‘WHY DOES NEGAN NEED TWO DOCTORS?’ | Back at the Hilltop, Enid bravely did her damnedest to distract a Savior who seemed unusually concerned with whether she’d called vegetables “veggies.” But her efforts were to no avail — he still headed down into the cellar where Daryl and Maggie were hiding. Though Daryl was at the ready to kill the grammarist, he and Maggie went undetected. Once they exhaled, she noted that he hadn’t said a word to her since he arrived at the Hilltop. “I’m sorry,” he said, barely able to look her in the eye, he felt so guilty about Glenn’s death. In response, she not only assured him that that hadn’t been his fault, she told him, “You’re one of the good things in this world. That’s what Glenn thought. And he would know, because he was one of the good things, too.” While we were reaching for a Kleenex — sniffle — Simon congratulated Carson on being relocated to the Sanctuary by Negan. That was the “certain somebody” he’d been sent to fetch. When Carson asked why Negan needed two doctors, Simon let his expression (see above right) answer that, of course, he didn’t need two doctors. Carson’s brother — am I the only one who didn’t realize the docs were sibs? — was ashes. Mind you, the Saviors weren’t leaving the Hilltop without medical care — Simon had a crate of aspirin for them. (D-bag.) Off this, Gregory warned Simon that, if he lost his people’s trust, he could wind up being replaced by a leader that Negan might not, er, like so much. Simon’s solution? He’d put Gregory’s name on a list at the Sanctuary so that he could gain admittance to report any such problem anytime he felt the need — “as long as there’s no shenanigans afoot.” Later, feeling empowered, Gregory threatened Jesus for mouthing off, and Daryl showed up at Barrington House looking for Rosita and Sasha. Speaking of whom…
‘WE’RE BREAKING YOU OUT’ | With their bird’s-eye view, Negan’s would-be assassins spotted Simon & Co. returning from the Hilltop with Maggie’s ob/gyn. Negan came outside to greet him, but dammit, someone was always blocking the shot! After hearing Eugene over the radio talking about the need to beef up fence security, Sasha and Rosita decided OK, they’d have to go in. That night, no sooner had Eugene shown the fence guard to the, er, fence than the guy was shot down where he stood. Rosita and Sasha were quick to explain that they were rescuing Eugene, but freaked out and sobbing, he replied, “No, I’m not going with you.” When he ran inside, terrified, Sasha went through the fence and… what the? Locked Rosita out. “It’s not your time,” Sasha said. “They need you.” As you’d expect her to be, Rosita was horrified. But when Sasha entered the compound by herself, Rosita did the sensible thing and ran. Once she was a ways away, she broke down in tears, only to be interrupted by a man with a crossbow appearing in the shadows. We’re meant to think that it’s Daryl (I think), but since Dwight is currently in possession of Daryl’s crossbow (isn’t he?), it’s likelier him (er, right?).
What did you think of “The Other Side”? The revelation that Jesus is gay? The big Maggie/Daryl scene? Sasha’s sacrifice? Hit the comments.