After last week’s episode I was really curious what The Walking Dead was going to do this week, not only because I found the last episode weak, but this was the lead in to the season finale. This season has been slow and disappointing and to be honest I was expecting an explosive last couple of episodes. Instead, “Something They Need” continued to build up to what is now the only remaining episode with story lines and plot arcs the average viewer has either already figured out or has completely lost interest in.
We quickly learn Sasha’s suicide mission from last week, running into The Saviors stronghold, didn’t end up with her dying some meaningless, gruesome death. Instead she was captured and thrown into a room that looked like identical to where Daryl was kept when he was an unwilling visitor to this fine establishment. Negan comes to visit, giving her the same speech he gave Daryl about admiring her ‘balls’ and inviting her to join his happy group of gun toting psychopaths. (This point is driven home earlier but I won’t spoil it here)
Over at Hilltop, Maggie (the real leader) and Gregory (selfish, cowardly ‘leader’) have a nice little chat while doing some gardening. Gregory’s little speech about wanting to work together fools no one but I don’t think many were expecting what he really wanted to do. It seems it has finally dawned on Gregory that he has lost any trust he had with the people of Hilltop and he is nothing more than a tool for The Saviors. Cowards are great at looking out for themselves and after his encounter with Maggie and some unwanted guests, Gregory realizes it’s time to take action the only way he knows how.
Meanwhile Rick and the gang head to Oceanside after Tara gives up their secret location and the fact that they have a lot of guns. Desperate to arm themselves to the teeth for the coming war they take all the guns but at the same time invite those they just stole from to join them. It is an interesting exchange and a strange moment that says a lot about the group and what path they are choosing to take.
The big cliffhanger at the end of this episode involves Rosita and who she has brought back to Alexandria to supposedly help. This comes off as pretty flat as they pretty much gave it away at the end of last week. The only interesting part about this is finding out just what game this individual is playing and who’s side they are really on.
Again, this is yet another episode that slowly, carefully and yes, painfully lays the groundwork for the upcoming clash with The Saviors. Since there is now only one episode left, I find it hard to imagine everything is going to be sorted out at season’s end, although some familiar faces are sure to be making their final appearance on the show. That being said, it has taken far too long to get to this point, mostly due to the fact that the first half of the season was an ungodly mess.
The good thing is, all the pieces are now in place and there are some wild cards hanging out there that are definitely going to screw things up. Sasha’s exchange with Eugene was interesting and what she does next could change things dramatically. Even Eugen himself is still an unknown, and this is great, not knowing what side his is really playing for. Gregory has set his sights on screwing something up and the new guest at Alexandria could also turn the tables for Rick and company.
Those were the good things. The biggest problem lies in the fact that the show has taken so long to get here, with so many unnecessary turns and pit stops that people have begun to stop caring. The writers have tried to build tension in many spots but it’s just not working, instead giving us too many throw away episodes and an attitude by this viewer anyway, to just get on with it already.
While this was an improvement over last week, “Something They Need” still felt flat in spots and at this point in the season that’s not a good thing.
Three and a half stars out of five
- With only one episode left this season, we will finally get to see the big war....right?
- Still cannot figure out which side Eugene is on
- I hope Gregory lives. His cowardly, weasel-like character is always interesting
- Longest setup to a climax on a TV show...ever
- Negan suspects Rick of being up to no good but does not bother to check it out himself?