Something They Need might as well have been referring to The Walking Dead audience. With two episodes left in the season, this penultimate episode had to deliver. Or at the very least offer some hope that next week’s season finale is going to pay off this extended slow burn.
For the most part, it was more of the latter. Not a bad thing as there was a definite sense of purpose. With no more episodes to waste, Rick and company needed to get moving while some other key players started making potentially game changing moves. I’ll discuss the biggest later on.
I can see how Negan became so formidable. He kicks off with a major show of force, breaks the leaders of the opposing forces and then offers the strong-willed a better way of life. Negan is all about Darwinism and he makes a mean pitch.
It doesn’t hurt that he doesn’t abide by rapists at all. ‘Rapey Davey’ helped Negan show his control and power. Negan might be crazy, but he does have a warped sense of honor. Sasha was focused though and wasn’t ready to buy in. Not when she had Eugene around to sucker in to getting her something she could use to kill Negan.
Eugene had a tremendous scene when he explained why he aligned with Negan. He’s not a traitor in any sense. Eugene has just repeatedly seen that being good doesn’t matter at all here. And he was tired of being afraid.
This might have been Eugene’s strongest scene since … ever. He wasn’t comic relief or know-it-all. Just a scared dude who realized he could change that with this new alliance. You had to feel for Sasha when Eugene just dropped off a poison pill. It would help her ‘suicide’ attempt, but there was no way she could use that on Negan. Now the trickier question is if Eugene considered that or was just truly trying not to make her suffer?
Maggie and Gregory have an interesting conversation. Gregory seems to get the shift in power. Like Eugene, Gregory isn’t the bravest guy and the sight of walkers terrifies him. Almost as much as losing his power over The Hilltop. But is it enough to kill Maggie over it? And where is he heading off to now?
Armed with valuable information about a weapons depot at Oceanside, Rick and his crew pulled off a calculating assault. As tough as Oceanside looked against Tara, they weren’t prepared for Alexandria.
A crashed ship full of walkers forced Alexandria and Oceanside to work together, which really should have been enough to convince Oceanside leader Natania (Deborah May) they really could beat The Saviors. But there did seem to be some Oceanside folks convinced this is the time to strike. Maybe they’ll be the cavalry next week?
But a more immediate new ally is far more surprising. Rosita is back and she’s brought a guest — Dwight. Turns out ‘ol Dwight is fed up with Negan and wants to help take him down. Color me intrigued.
Something They Need didn’t have to carry of the burden of this season. That’s next week’s season finale. What it needed to do was building anticipation for this epic clash. And that mission was most definitely accomplished.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC