The Walking Dead Season 7 – Ep. 14 “The Other Side”: A Review

Posted: 03/21/2017 in Uncategorized

The-Walking-Dead-7.14-The-Other-Side-9

Well, this was easily the weakest episode this season. My wife used the “f” word numerous times as watched it…the “f” word of course being “filler”. While there were some good moments and some emotional baggage was duly sorted, not a heck of a lot got done. The Hilltop leadership angle did get some proper traction including the establishment of some alliances. The majority of the ep however stood or fell on the Rosita (Christian Serratos)/Sasha(Sonequa Martin-Green) road trip to the Saviors’ compound. My opinion on this journey is offered below.

I will open with the stronger aspect of this run, the Hilltop prep for war. Essentially already led by Maggie Green (Lauren Cohan), the community begins its transition from producer to warrior. A quick run through of Maggie’s routine is presented sans dialogue (none is needed) showing her efficiently making plans and running the community via her earned respect. Maggie’s second is now Enid (Katelyn Nacon) who has evolved from the stand offish loner into a young woman with hope and something she now wants to fight for. The relationship between the two characters is sisterly, both earnest and organic. It is also an evolution of sorts as Sasha begins to pull away from the same role via her meeting with Rosita and imminent foolhardy plan.

Jesus (Tom Payne) is the bridge between the community, Maggie and cowardly leader Gregory (Xander Berkeley). With this episode, we learn that the bridge has become shaky, via Gregory’s fear of losing his tenuous rule to a superior leader. Berkeley excels at creepy. Seeing him with diminished ‘coping’ resources as well as his witnessing the respect already shown Maggie, the viewer is well aware he will pull something awful. Maggie’s earlier words last season about his being a coward and therefore dangerous resonate throughout this run. The arrival of the Saviors led by Simon (Steven Ogg) yields tension laden moments as well as some closure between Maggie and Daryl (Norman Reedus). Yet another creepy moment is had between a Savior and Enid.

The scene in which Maggie and Daryl are trapped together in a cellar avoiding detection played well. Her emotional strength is ably presented as she reaches out to DD, pushing past his guilt over Glen’s death and assuring him she doesn’t hold him responsible. Her asking his help to win preceded by her telling him “You’re one of the good things in this world” is powerfully poignant. That she ends this declaration with “Glen thought so too” bats the scene out of the park. Maggie’s ascension as Hilltop’s leader is inevitable, a “when” rather than an “if”.

Simon is vile. He is no Mini Negan however. He is his own animal and his playing to Gregory’s baser nature via an invitation to talk and share a drink should the beleaguered ‘leader’ ever have problems with ‘competing forces’ is a deft play by the Savior. Gregory’s meeting with Jesus in which he alienates him sets the fuse for further plays in the next episode. The procuring of Dr. Carson (R. Keith Harris) due to Negan’s vicious punishment of the Savior’s in house physician adds another loss to the already scant medical resources populating both Hilltop and Alexandria. Jesus holding Gregory accountable for this action however isn’t exactly fair. Hilltop is presently a powder keg.

Now for the not so good: Rosita and Sasha’s plan to eliminate Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is just plain insane. There is no positive outcome to this plan. Should they successfully kill the Saviors’ leader, the retribution toward their people would be catastrophic. If they fail, not only would they die or something equally unpleasant, but the retribution obtained afterward would be equally horrific. Anyone wondering how vile Negan truly is need only hearken back two episodes to his savagely eliminating his own Dr. Carson (Tim Parati). This episode did give us a bit of back story regarding Rosita, but it is not enough to sustain a character so immersed in her suffering and guilt that she has built a wall of hostility toward essentially everyone. Sasha joining her is a mixture of guilt over Abraham’s (Michael Cudlitz) demise as well as a death wish. Sasha’s tendency toward ending her existence has been a plot device used off and on for a number of seasons. With Sasha, we have a character who feels she had done all she can and that she needs to make a difference via an epic action or sacrifice. Rosita is hurting and while she does move forward slightly in this run, the revelation that one aspect of her suffering and guilt might truly not have been worth it comes to bear. Sasha’s end action can be read either as heroic or suicidal.

This latest run of WD had some cool moments and plot trajectory but overall was not outstanding. WD however remains well worth your time and with two episodes to go until this season’s end, I have every confidence in a tremendous delivery by the finale.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s