The Walking Dead 7×15 Review: Something They Need

With The Walking Dead Season 7 finale right around the corner, “Something They Need” is a decent setup for the battle to be fought next week. Note I used the word battle because there’s no way Rick & Co. are going to defeat Negan and his Saviors in their entirety. The fighting we’ll experience next week will only be the beginning of Rick & Co. taking back their control and the war against the Saviors.

But since we can’t jump in a time machine and skip one week forward to the finale, let’s talk about “Something They Need.” This episode was all about switching alliances and making a stand aka picking sides. The time is now and Eugene has picked his side just like Rick & Co. have. Dwight has apparently switched allegiances and we’re hesitant to believe it with Negan talking about a big bad day coming tomorrow. Foreshadowing of a betrayal, much?

Everything is so precariously set on a knife’s edge and I wish Rick & Co. would wait until things were a bit more certain…but they’ll never be. Things will always be up in the air, there will always be a risk, and people will continue to die. Rick & Co. understand this and are more than willing to live and fight for their continued existence and prosperity.

Even if it’s temporary and fleeting.

Dwight’s Betrayal vs Eugene’s Betrayal

I want to believe Dwight. I believe in giving second chances and that people can grow. But his switch is born out of loss and malice. He wants to get revenge on Negan. A man like that, with anger motivating his actions will work temporarily. Afterwards he’ll have to deal with the fall out and Rick & Co. will have to make a decision on where he goes next.

Again, I’m steering clear of the comics and slowly deleting everything I’ve read in them because I want to be surprised. Also, there’s no way The Walking Dead will follow the comics closely anyway. Have to surprise avid readers too!

On the flip side of things, Eugene has betrayed his family, his friends, for a comfy bed and creature comforts. This betrayal is worse than Dwights and leaves me seething that I could’ve believed in Eugene for so long. At the end of the day, or at least at the end of this episode, he proved that he’ll always choose the one who takes care of him.

If Negan provides for him and keeps him out of the line of fire, Eugene will choose Negan. That’s how he ended up with Abraham and Rosita in the first place and why he stuck around with Rick & Co. He’s a coward who will follow the biggest, baddest, and strongest person to ensure his survival.

I’m wary of Dwight, but I’ve got more respect for him. He had the guts to stand up and go against the grain because Negan was doing him wrong and he was tired of living under such rule. Eugene is just a coward. Unless this is all an elaborate ruse, then all of this goes out the window!

Maybe Dwight was sent by Negan to make Rick & Co. believe he’d switched sides to just betray them at his command? Maybe Eugene has had a master plan all along and has pulled the grand con on all of us? Or maybe there’s someone waiting on the sidelines with an even bigger betrayal up their sleeve?

Negan and His Confusing Moral Code

 

Negan confuses and fascinates me. Let’s put that out there just so we’re clear about where I stand on the man. Even though I know he’s evil, his moments of “kindness and morality” leave me feeling conflicted and remembering what a good friend told me once, “Bad people can do good things.” And they certainly can, but in Negan’s case I think it’s something different.

On one hand he does not condone rape of women in his compound, prisoners included. In fact, he severely punishes even the attempt of such an act. And on the other hand he takes multiple women as his wives and puts them in impossible situations where they are subservient to him. Oh and let’s not forget the fact that he beats people to death with a bat at the drop of a dime or guts you like a pig.

Yes, Negan has a moral code. Yes, it’s twisted as hell. And yes, he knows it. In fact, I think he uses it to his advantage. What better way to confuse your enemy (Sasha, your people, us) and show how righteous you are by punishing a would be attacker? What better way that surprising them with an act of civility they’ve probably seen others break in the big and bad post-apocalyptic world?

Negan is playing everyone. He rules with fear but he also rules with confusion. He is a walking and talking contradiction that leaves you hot and bothered, weighing his wrongs against his rights, and wondering who the real enemy is in a world that’s gone to shit. Top that all off with his strict rules and you’ve got a charismatic, twisted, hardy leader who ensnares you with one hand and prepares to destroy with the other if you make but one move.

And that move is coming quicker than he might imagine…

Are Rick & Co. the Enemy?

 

Are Rick & Co. the enemy? The simple answer is no. Of course, that answer gets a little complicated when you take into account what they did to Oceanside. They forced this community out of the shadows and took what they had to fight a war Oceanside wants no part of.

Even worse, they bonded over killing a bunch of zombies, the ultimate show of solidarity in the apocalypse. To bad that it was a situation of their own making caused by the explosives set off around the camp. They forced Oceanside’s hand and then made it look like they were helping them.




Again, Rick & Co. are the good guys and Negan & the Saviors are the bad guys. Doesn’t mean that their methods can’t falter off the stereotypical path to success. Sometimes the good guys do things and walk down paths that are questionable for the greater good. In the grand scheme of things, the weapons taken from Oceanside is a small measure to take care of a greater problem.

But small moments like this won’t be forgotten by the people of Oceanside. They’ll remember that their hand was forced for the “greater good” and resent Rick & Co. for it. Here’s hoping it doesn’t bite them in the ass, because it will, too hard. I’d keep my eye out for Rachel.

That little girl is a force to be reckoned with!

Additional Notes:
  1. Television shows like to place the pregnant woman on the back-burner. It’s like as soon as she becomes pregnant she’s this delicate summer flower that can’t do anything besides grow and walk around pregnant. That’s not the case on The Walking Dead. She’s not an invalid. She’s a pregnant woman who still kicks ass and takes name while slowly taking a place of leadership on Hilltop. She’s self-assured, the one person people come to when they need strength, a teacher, a confidant. She’s a well rounded character who has no time for stereotypes because she’s got walkers to kill and people to keep safe. She’s Maggie Greene.
  2. Tara, like Enid, has grown on me. I felt like a proud mother watching Tara go in, despite the fact that she broke her promise, and talk to the people of Oceanside. She’s fighting for a better life for all of them and is willing to do what she must for them, without hurting them. Whatever comes next, I think she’s more than willing and ready to do it to make sure no one suffers like Abraham, Glenn, Denise, or Spencer did, ever again.
  3. If there’s anyone I have faith in it’s Sasha. I know the fact that she has a new show coming up makes it so she’s on the chopping block of people to die during the finale. But I don’t even care because I’m too focused on the possibility of what she’s going to do next. She tried and failed to kill Negan & Co. when she busted in unannounced. She tried and failed to get a weapon from Eugene under the pretext of trying to kill herself. And I know that right now she’s trying to destroy Negan anyway she can. And why do I have faith in her and think she’s not going to flip like Eugene did? Because of the way she reacted to Eugene trying to convince her to join the Saviors. She’s ashamed of him and will not fall like him just because creature comforts have been provided. Sasha knows who her family is and will fight for them no matter what.
  4. I can go on and on about the women of The Walking Dead and that makes me ridiculously happy. They’re dynamic, jaded, nuanced, complicated, women who connect with viewers because of their imperfections, struggles, and triumphs. If there’s anything The Walking Dead is doing right, it’s the women.
Favorite Scene from Something They Need:

Continuity. Bye, Rachel!

 

Check out the trailer for the season finale of The Walking Dead:

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



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