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The Walking Dead: That's probably the end for a major character

By Liam Mathews,

I have a feeling this was Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) saying goodbye to The Walking Dead. We'll probably see her alive for a few minutes at some point during the next two episodes, but she'll be too busy fighting to get an emotional send-off in addition to a death scene. So this was Sasha's time to come to terms with the fact that this is her last day on Earth and prepare to enter death with a clear conscience.

Sasha joined the group way back in Season 3 when she and her brother Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and some other survivors (now all dead) arrived at the prison. Sasha is not unique in how everyone she's loved has died, but her losses have been especially traumatic. First was her kindhearted boyfriend Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), who had his leg eaten by cannibals shortly before succumbing to undeath from a walker bite. Sasha watched this happen. Then was her brother, who was bitten by a walker. These deaths hardened her until Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) broke down her walls. But then he was bludgeoned to death by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), again while she watched helplessly.

Which brings us to now. Sasha decided that self-taught explosives expert and jack-of-all-trades Rosita (Christian Serratos) has more to offer the group than she does, so she locked Rosita out of the Sanctuary and charged in alone, intent on putting a bullet in Negan's head. She's seeking revenge for Abraham, but perhaps she feels taking out Negan will help her atone for all the people she couldn't save. Which is too bad, because she's not going to take out Negan. Seeking peace from an external source isn't going to get her the closure she wants. I wonder if she'll have a hallucinatory death like Tyreese's where he and Bob and Abraham come back and tell her it's okay, she did her best.

She tied up the loose end of Rosita in the episode, finally bonding with the woman Abraham left her for. They're not friends, exactly -- Rosita's anger and pain is too deep -- but Rosita at least allowed herself to share something about who she is and where she came from. She explained how she's used men sexually to get close enough to learn their skills, and that's how she knows how to do so much. It wasn't like that with Abraham, though. She cared about him, and was happy he was happy even after he left her for Sasha. This scene threw the Bechdel test in a woodchipper, but it got Sasha and Rosita to say they had each other's backs as they carried out their mission.

The idiocy of their mission cannot be overstated, and it's going to create serious problems for Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) secret plan to go to war with the Saviors. Negan will know Sasha came from Alexandria, and he's going to want to know where her gun came from. Then the Saviors are going to come to Alexandria looking for answers, and they're going to be in the mood to dole out punishment. Sasha and Rosita's actions won't thwart the war effort before it happens, but they're going to force it to happen before Rick's ready. Very stupid. People are going to die from their hotheadedness.

While they were up in a building outside of the Sanctuary trying to get a sight on Negan to snipe him, they spotted Eugene (Josh McDermitt) giving out orders to Saviors with his cremblygunk in his pocket. Rosita figured he was "playing some angle," but when they went down to break him out, he wouldn't go. He may still be working an angle, but right now it's looking more like he's Negan. The Sanctuary has been better for him than Alexandria was. He cares about his Alexandrian friends, sure, but his ultimate loyalty is to himself.

The other action in "The Other Side" was at Hilltop. Sasha and Rosita started there, with Sasha telling Enid (Katelyn Nacon) that she's the man now dog and it's her responsibility to take care of Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Enid, who is a teenager at least half Sasha's age, was the voice of reason, telling Sasha that her plan will fail without a lot of people, but Sasha didn't listen, and she and Rosita escaped through a secret passage as Saviors arrived.

As they were leaving, Maggie and Daryl (Norman Reedus) ran and hid in a basement. Maggie confronted Daryl about ignoring her ever since he came back to Hilltop, and he cried and said he was sorry for getting Glenn (Steven Yeun) killed. Maggie told him it wasn't his fault, and she needs him to stop moping and help her win. They're going to cook something up together.

Later, Daryl and his crossbow wanted to know where Sasha and Rosita were after the Saviors left, and we were supposed to think that Rosita saw him outside of the Sanctuary at the end of the episode. But that's not him, that's Dwight (Austin Amelio), who's probably breaking good now. While Eugene works against Rosita, Dwight's going to work with her.

Where does Eugene's allegiance lie?

But everything else was secondary to Simon's ascendance to the best character on the show. Huge shoutout to Steven Ogg for his creepy charisma as Negan's second-in-command. His delivery of the line "cardamom gelato" was the top moment of the season.

He came to Hilltop to take Dr. Harlan Carson (R. Keith Harris) with him back to the Sanctuary. Negan threw the other Dr. Carson in a furnace, so he's filling the vacancy with his much less charred brother. This is going to be bad for Maggie, but at least Simon gave Hilltop a giant box of aspirin!

Gregory (Xander Berkeley), Hilltop's ineffective mayor, made a deal with Simon to pay a visit to the Sanctuary to discuss some important business. This would be yet another problem for Maggie. Hopefully Jesus (Tom Payne) is going to finally decide he's had enough of Gregory and take him out before he does too much damage.

Things are taking shape. After Sasha shuffles off to Star Trek: Discovery, it's going to be a race to be ready to fight Negan in time for his retaliation.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.


 

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