‘The Walking Dead’: Change And Unity Build Toward Season 7 Finale

The Walking Dead “Something They Need” brings viewers one episode closer to the Season 7 finale with themes of unity and change, beginning with Sasha and Negan.

The penultimate episode begins with a disappointing reveal, Eugene did indeed join team Negan. The safety and comfort of the Sanctuary were too much for Eugene to resist. Tired of fighting, he chose the path of least resistance. But will Sasha do the same?

Sasha comes face to face with her nemesis Negan after he saves her from would-be-rapist, David. Her charismatic savior (and ironically a rapist of another variety) tells her, “We are not monsters.” The Walking Dead has long played with Niche’s philosophies of good and evil, but the statement, considering the source, is ridiculous.

Eugene tries to sway Sasha, telling her times have changed and so should they, but Sasha will not be used as a tool against her friends. She gets to work manipulating Eugene. Will Eugene survive her escape?

Sasha pretends she wants to kill herself and begs Eugene for a sharp object. What he doesn’t see is her smirk when he decides to comply. Sadly, he returns with a suicide capsule. Will Sasha be able to use it to her advantage? Did Eugene know she was bluffing and prevent another threat to Negan?

Watching Eugene serve Negan with sincerity is tough after his long-time camaraderie with Abraham. What will come of Eugene once all-out war begins? Will he align with his friends or will he align with the Saviors?

Meanwhile, Gregory learns that he can’t survive without Maggie. Maggie, following her father’s advice and planting dead parts of a plant elsewhere so they can grow, is at a distance from her supporters and alone with her greatest threat, Gregory. He considers, quietly, killing her, but decides against it. And that’s where things get interesting.

The sudden appearance of two walkers sends Gregory whimpering to Maggie to save him. He quivers in the wake of his near-death experience and some Hilltop members walk by them. Maggie explains to them that Gregory is still learning, but the passerby scoffs that he lied to them.

And just like that, Gregory loses what little respect he had with his people. The Hilltop already reveres  Maggie, but will Gregory change? Now that Gregory has been emasculated, will he run to Simon? Is Gregory the “little bird” that Negan alludes to when he tells Sasha he’s heard reports of Rick’s looming uprising?

Big change is upon Oceanside, too. Tara leads Rick and his group to the Oceanside. They are successful in procuring the arms they need necessary to fight Negan, but not the soldiers. The women of Oceanside prove themselves strategic warriors as they fend off walkers alongside Rick. Still, their teamwork isn’t enough to convince Oceanside’s leader to join Rick’s alliance.

Oceanside’s lead warrior and others seem eager to join Rick’s fight against Negan. Will they defy their leader and join his ranks? Will they be able to survive without their weapons? Will they resent Rick should members of their community perish without their weapons? And is Rick any better than Negan when he exploits a community for their goods to serve his cause, no matter how noble he perceives it?

The episode closes with an answer to the question of who was lurking in the shadows at the conclusion of episode 714. When Rick and the others return to Alexandria, Rosita leads them to a surprise guest. Dwight.

Dwight, it seems, has changed sides and is eager to align with Rick. Dwight is likely sincere in his desire to destroy Negan; after all, the man turned Dwight’s wife into his concubine, disfigured Dwight’s face, and habitually emasculates Dwight in the interest of keeping him subservient. Will Negan catch on to Dwight’s efforts? Will Dwight mistakenly confide in Eugene, who is likely to snitch at this point?

Now that Dwight is on team-Rick, he may work with Sasha on the inside to bring down the big bad Negan. Will Sasha trust him, though?

With the Season 7 finale on the horizon, there are a lot of loose ends. Fear not. Showrunner Scott Gimple promises no cliff-hangers. How will the finale play out? A sneak peak of the finale shows the Kingdom, along with Morgan and Carol, marching presumably to Alexandria. But what drama may the group face while on the road? And will it thwart Rick’s grand plans?

You can leave your insights, predictions, and questions in the comment section below. You can also check out tonight’s sweepstake’s codewords by clicking here.

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Teacher by day, pop culture consumer by night- Melissa lives for good stories and loves to share them with fellow TV, movie, graphic novel, and book enthusiasts. She also blogs about pop culture's influence on everything from her worldview to her relationships at undertheinfluence76.blogspot.com-- she'd love for you to join in on her journey.