A Look at The Walking Dead- Season 7, Episode 14: “The Other Side”

So Rosita has been a complete asshole to Sasha all this time, but I guess when it comes to the dealing with the bigger picture and killing Negan, Sasha can put any anger she has aside.  At least Rosita has a well thought out plan, right?  Anyway, let’s return to the Hilltop in “The Other Side.”

The episode begins with a montage: Maggie and Sasha training cannon fodder- I mean, Hilltop residents, Carson snows Enid and Maggie the incoming baby, Sasha goes over a layout of the Sanctuary provided to her by Jesus, Sasha tends to Abraham and Eugene’s graves, and Maggie joins Daryl one evening by the fire, as he doesn’t join the others in the trailer.

One morning, while Gregory resides in his mansion and Rosita arrives to speak with Sasha, Maggie apologizes to Jesus for taking over his trainer, but he doesn’t mind.  After all, he’s spent time in group homes.  After helping Maggie and Sasha get adjusted, he feels like he belongs and wants the same for them.  When he first arrived, he found it hard to get close to people.  Maggie suggests Jesus try it sometime.

Maggie suggests speaking with the blacksmith in order to trade with the Kingdom for riot gear.  As she and Jesus walk off, Sasha enters the trailer and looks through a book housing a few bullets.  When Jesus and Enid arrive, Sasha claims that she was looking for a book, but they don’t buy it.

Jesus tells Sasha that she can have the bullets now that Sasha has a gun.  He doesn’t want Sasha to go yet and knows that Sasha intends to kill Negan.  She’ll need a lot of people for that, but Sasha isn’t changing her mind.  As for Maggie, she has no idea that Rosita is here yet, but Enid wants Maggie to be filled in on the plan.

Sasha is still getting ready, though.  And Rosita is going with or without Sasha.  Maggie needs Jesus and Enid, but Jesus reminds Sasha that she is part of that picture, too.  But to Sasha, Maggie doesn’t need her anymore.

Jesus insists that Sasha stay and she can take anything else she needs, but she and Rosita at least owe it to Maggie by telling her their plan.  When Jesus leaves, Sasha instructs Enid to protect Maggie, as she and Enid are the future of the community.  She then gives Enid some gimp to hold onto for Maggie’s baby.  Enid, though, will tell Maggie what’s going on in 10 minutes.  Whatever Sasha does in that time is up to her.

Sasha and Rosita take their leave just as the Hilltop gets an unexpected visit.  As Maggie and Daryl go into hiding, Simon arrives and leads a squad of Saviors into Gregory’s mansion.  Gregory eventually comes out and offers Simon some gin, but Simon is now into tequila.  Go figure.  Simon is unusual like that.  No need to talk, though.  The Hilltop has someone that Negan needs.

While Maggie and Daryl hide in storage, Sasha and Rosita make their escape and begin their journey towards the Sanctuary.  Rosita attempts to hotwire a car, but the car is dead.  And just so Rosita can be an absolute prat again, she spots Sasha wearing the necklace that she made for Abraham and asks if she likes it.

Rosita explains she learned to disarm bombs some time ago.  Sasha mentions hiding atop one of the buildings near the Sanctuary so they can have a clear line of sight and take advantage of any possible weak spots.  This way, they do it clean and hopefully make it out alive.  Sasha is certain that she won’t miss this one shot, but Rosita doesn’t like this plan at all.  Of course not.

In fact, Rosita maintains that nothing is wrong with her and tells Sasha that she can bail now if she wants, but Sasha thinks this will give Rosita the chance to make up her mind and decide what she wants.

Back at the Hilltop, Enid distracts a Savior by trying to get him to carry a basket of vegetables that’s apparently too heavy for her, but he’d much rather take her knife, which he does.  He heads into the cellar and grabs a few items while Daryl and Maggie remain silent in their hiding spot.

So Gregory brings Simon to the other Carson not for medicine, but to graduate Harlan from Hilltop to Sanctuary, as Negan has need of him.  Harlan soon realizes that his brother is dead.  As he’s not given time to pack, Harlan instructs Gregory how to continue on in his absence. And Harlan should be happy.  Simon tells him that if he likes ice cream, there’s someone at the Sanctuary who can make some.

Simon then instructs Gregory to open a box to prove that the Saviors aren’t leaving the Hilltop empty handed.  Inside are tons of boxes of aspirin.  I had high hopes it was Bengay just to fuck with Gregory, but you can’t have everything.

Gregory then speaks with Simon one-on-one and tells him that he needs to hang onto the Hilltop’s trust because someone with crazy ideas could take his place.  Simon asks who could take over and has these crazy ideas, but Gregory is just speaking hypothetically. Simon instructs Gregory to speak with him anytime he has concerns.  He’ll arrange it so a guard at the Sanctuary will let him in if he has future issues.

Back in the cellar, the Saviors continues grabbing supplies.  Daryl goes to make his move, but Maggie stops him just as the Savior leaves. She’s certain the Savior wasn’t going to find them, and Daryl insists that the Savior deserved to die.  Maggie notes that since Daryl arrived, he hasn’t said a word to Maggie, and she wants him to look at her.

He does.  And a tearful Daryl apologizes for Glenn’s death, but Maggie insists that it wasn’t his fault.  She knows that Daryl is one of the good things in this world.  Glenn knew this, too.  Plus, Maggie wanted to kill that Savior too, but they have to win.  As Maggie embraces Daryl, she wants him to help her win.

Outside, the Saviors take leave with a new Carson in their possession.

Back on the trip to the Sanctuary, Sasha and Rosita set fire to a car to attract the attention of some nearby walkers.  The two scale the fence and Rosita successfully manages to hotwire a car.  They load up and head towards the Sanctuary.

They arrive at the Sanctuary in no time at all to see Eugene at the fence.  Sasha relays this to Rosita before then asking if she can teach her how to make knots.  Rosita says that won’t matter soon, but soon relents and starts showing Sasha anyway.  Sasha admits that the group got lucky with Rosita around since she knows how to do everything.

Rosita then tells us about the people who helped teach her how to deal with bombs, cars, and making knots.  The guys wanted to protect Rosita, who at the time didn’t know how to protect herself, but picked up skills as she went along.  The sex was just for fun.  In Rosita’s mind, if the world’s ending, everyone may as well get their rocks off.  Hard to argue with that logic.  Sasha then asks if that’s how it was with Abraham.

But it wasn’t.  She fell in with Abraham because he saw that Rosita could handle her shit.  When the group arrived to Alexandria, she couldn’t figure out why Abraham was so calm and adjusted to living normally.  She thought that she hated Sasha when Abraham left Rosita for her, but maybe she hated that Abraham figured out his shit first.  She’s never told anyone any of this, and for that, Sasha is glad that she felt like she could.

But Rosita never got to tell Abraham that she was happy for him.  Sasha then asks if Rosita is happy, because she at least was.  She knows that Abraham would’ve wanted to go out fighting, but Negan took that away.  No matter how this all goes down, the two promise to have each other’s backs.

The two check and the Saviors from the Hilltop have returned with Harlan in their possession.  Sasha then spots Negan, but she can’t get a direct shot.  They then hear Eugene’s order on the radio to procure a few walkers.  Negan will be indisposed, so any questions should go to Eugene, who is Negan.  Time for a change of plans.  Sasha and Rosita realize that they’ll have to enter the Sanctuary.

Back at the Hilltop, Jesus pays Gregory a visit.  Gregory knows that Jesus has been slacking on recruiting and that there are too many people in his trailer.  He has some assignments for the newcomers so they can contribute, but Jesus believes that Gregory is focused on splitting them up.

Jesus also doesn’t take kindly to Gregory threatening him, but Gregory affirms that he and Jesus aren’t friends anymore.  When Jesus leaves the room, Daryl confronts him and asks where Rosita and Sasha are.

Over at the Sanctuary, Eugene speaks with a Savior about drilling down on safety protocol.  Said Savior is soon swiftly killed.  Sasha and Rosita arrive and tell Eugene that they’re breaking him out, but Eugene refuses to go, as he didn’t ask them to come.  He heads back inside.  The two continue their plan, but before they can start together, Sasha goes through the gate and locks Rosita out, saying that it’s not her time.

With Rosita locked out, Sasha makes her way inside the Sanctuary.  As Rosita flees, she soon spots a shadowy figure armed with a crossbow.

So “The Other Side” brought us back to the Hilltop and pushed us further towards war with Sasha and Rosita taking matters into their own hands without Rick’s knowledge as they take part in a potential suicide mission.  Well, I say potential, but given how the episode ended, Sashs is going on a one-woman mission to find Negan and Rosita is now in someone else’s crosshairs, so this plan could fall apart before it begins.

More on that later.  “The Other Side” showed us more of the Hilltop, which is both good and bad.  First off, it gave us more of Gregory’s slimy antics.  The man isn’t cut out to be leader- we know.  But that doesn’t mean he can’t convince the Saviors that he deserves to be in charge.  He’s at least a bit craftier than Spencer in that regard.

Sure, the man’s a coward, but in Simon’s eyes, he at least produces results.  Never mind what the community thinks.  At the end of the day, what matters is what the Saviors want. So even though the Hilltop is lining up behind Maggie, Gregory is sucking up to the Saviors, giving into their demands, and proving that he won’t have crazy ideas that could jeopardize Negan’s operation.

But Jesus is taking note of that and I like that even though he doesn’t get much to do, he’s rising in being more assertive towards Gregory.  Through Rick and Maggie, he sees the sort of leader that Gregory will never be, and I hope he continues stepping up and challenging Gregory’s authority.

By the way, I think it speaks volumes on the show’s part that it doesn’t spend a lot of time on the fact that Jesus is gay.  It’s such a minor and underplayed mention that I missed it on first viewing.  There’s nothing wrong with Jesus’ sexuality here anymore than Tara or Aaron, but I like that, just with those characters, the show doesn’t come to a screeching halt to address this.  Plus, Jesus’ strength is that he’s a badass.  Stick to that.

Daryl and Maggie get a nice moment where Daryl admitted his guilt for getting Glenn killed and I wish we got to spend more time with this scene.  We didn’t need to drag things out with Enid trying to distract the Savior or said Savior searching for the two when it was clear that he wasn’t going to locate them.

And I get that it was for the episode that the two had this conversation now, but one thing I wish we had more of was Daryl keeping a distance from Maggie or more of her attempting to speak with him, but getting nowhere.  We know Daryl has been at the Hilltop before from when Jesus rescued him, so I can’t believe that this would’ve been the first and only time he and Maggie have been in a situation where they were forced together to talk.

At least Sasha and Rosita have had more opportunities to connect, even if Rosita has been stonewalling Sasha.  It’s fine that Rosita shares some of her backstory and how she picked up the skills that have been vital for the survivors, but she’s been such an asshole towards Sasha all this time that what we learn doesn’t make her seem any more sympathetic.

It felt like this was her chance to vent about losing someone as close as Abraham, while we’ve seen Sasha contend with loss several times.  And sure, Sasha has been on the edge before, but she didn’t lash out at almost everyone the way Rosita has as of recent.

Okay, fine, the two have put their differences aside and made peace in order to focus on the greater priority of killing Negan, but there are many still holes in this plan.  Again, neither Sasha nor Rosita have been to the Sanctuary, so any intel provided by Jesus doesn’t mean much if they can’t pinpoint Negan’s location.  And Sasha going in gung-ho is sure to get her captured.

Perhaps now that she’s made peace with Rosita and left behind a memento to Enid, she’s fine with this suicide mission because she feels that it’s her time to be the sacrificial lamb, while Rosita has more skills to contribute.  Doesn’t make a ton of sense when Sasha’s a great shot and would be as vital to the war as Abraham would have, but hey, maybe she’s not going to get Holly’s death.  Maybe this is a big fake-out and she has a master plan.

Wishful thinking, I know, but fun to speculate.  Otherwise, Sasha is shooting her way towards what might be her last stand in an uphill attempt to kill Negan.

Overall, “The Other Side” was decent.  Good, but not great.  It had some good character moments between Daryl and Maggie’s discussion, Gregory scheming to win more of Simon’s favor, Jesus growing bolder towards Gregory, and some of the bonding between Sasha and Rosita.  Not everything stuck the landing, though, and there were moments here and there that could’ve been removed to enhance other, much stronger scenes.

With two episodes left before the season ends, the march to war continues, but with Rosita orchestrating another assassination attempt on Negan and Sasha deciding to go it alone, I smell disaster coming soon for the survivors.

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