‘The Walking Dead’ recap: The real savior

Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers for the The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 14, “The Other Side.” To read our recap of Episode 13, click here.

“It’s a long life, and then it isn’t.”.

Jesus directs this quip to Sasha just before she and Rosita strike out on their own mission to kill Negan. It’s a useful bit of advice, but it doesn’t save her.

There’s a lot of talk of “saviors” on this show — not just because Negan co-opted the term for his followers, who are anything but. In this episode, Sasha became a savior. Many characters have sacrificed themselves over The Walking Dead’s seven seasons, but Sasha’s decision seems most poignant. She’s not dead — yet. But she saved Rosita from death and a little bit from herself. Let’s hope the sacrifice isn’t in vain.

Vegetables, not veggies

Sometimes, when it wants to, this show can produce really affecting and emotional television. This week’s silent opening, featuring life at the Hilltop for Maggie, Sasha, Enid and new addition Daryl, was one of those moments. It was a well-done sequence that showed Sasha’s uneasiness, Maggie and Enid’s comfort and Daryl’s trauma. The Alexandria immigrants in the Hilltop are there for different reasons, and it seems like they are going to meet very different fates by season’s end (more on Sasha below).

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Daryl’s decision to leave the pacifist Kingdom and go prep for war at the Hilltop was ill-advised at the time and seems even more so when the Saviors make one of their calls to the settlement. The surprise visit forced Maggie and Daryl into hiding, and Enid into some pretty terrible undercover work (not everyone is as easy to manipulate as Carl Grimes, m’dear). It also forces Daryl to confront what seems a lot like PTSD after the torture he went through in the Saviors’ compound. Maggie, who has been going through her own grieving process the whole season, promises they’re going to get the bad guys.

That might prove to be a little difficult, as a drunk Gregory decided to start stirring the pot in his mansion. The leader has been pretty much a non-entity in the back half of the season, and it seems he finally figured out how inconsequential his leadership is. He appeals directly to his assigned Savior to help him maintain power and then challenges Jesus, who has been gathering more since Maggie and Sasha’s arrival. Gregory needs to check himself, though. We don’t have time to fight a civil war before the war on Negan.

Someone’s got to live

We’ll miss you, Sasha.

Of course, Sasha isn’t dead — yet. But her self-sacrificing move at the Savior compound all but guarantees her imminent demise. So does the fact that, as astute fans may have noticed, the actress who plays her, Sonequa Martin-Green, has been cast in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery.

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But let’s not skip ahead. When the Saviors showed up for their surprise visit at the Hilltop, Sasha and Rosita were able to skip out through a handy tunnel that she dug right away and head out on their mission to kill Negan solo. As happens on this show when a pair of our characters go out on their own, there’s a lot of bonding before things get down to it. It helps that these two were in love with the same man, as they have some prearranged talking points.

Rosita, who has been angry and emo all season, finally opens up to someone about Abraham and the other men she’s lost. Sasha, meanwhile, admits how deeply she felt for Abraham. Even the methods they both argue for to take out Negan explore their overall motivation. Rosita argues for a full-on suicide mission inside the compound. Sasha wants to take him out with a sniper rifle.

Sasha is proven wrong, but not before she locks Rosita out of the compound. We’ve been worried about Rosita’s suicidal thoughts, but it was Sasha we should have been watching. Rosita is devastated, but good thing Daryl shows up, crossbow slung across his back. I’d be hopeful for Sasha if I didn’t know how this show worked.

Eugene, too, might have only a few episodes left. Now that his betrayal is out in the open, the likelihood of him surviving the final battle seems to have dropped.

Scroll through more photos from Season 7 below.

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