Previously, on The Walking Dead…
Daryl escaped from the Sanctuary and Negan sent a search party to look for him in Alexandria. Now the chief engineer at the Sanctuary, Eugene professed his loyalty to Negan. Maggie, Sasha and Rosita vowed to teach Hilltop’s residents how to fight. Rosita recruited Sasha to her mission to take Negan down.
Hilltop is preparing for the war against the Saviors; weapons are being forged, and Maggie and Sasha are training the residents to fight. These preparations regularly continue into the night, with Maggie constantly keeping track of the supplies the colony needs. In the meantime, Sasha works on her private plan to take Negan out, closely going over the map of the Sanctuary that Jesus has drawn for her and trying to form a plan from there.
However, the days do not pass without emotions coming to the forefront of everyone’s lives. Maggie continues to have regular check-ups with Dr. Carson to make sure that her pregnancy continues to run smoothly – and even though she smiles as she and Enid look at the image on ultrasound, Glenn’s absence is prevalent. Sasha regularly visits Abraham’s grave as she comes to terms with what she believes she must do to in order to kill Negan. And believing that it is his fault Glenn died, Daryl keeps his distance from Maggie, unable to look her in the eyes due to the overwhelming amount of guilt that he feels (which also makes things extremely awkward between them).
As Maggie and Jesus gather with Hilltop’s residents outdoors to continue planning, Gregory watches from inside, clearly annoyed by the influence that they have been exerting over “his” people. He drinks what little alcohol he has left from his personal collection as the camera pans to show us a full bottle of gin on the table behind him (presumably for the Saviors).
At that moment, Rosita enters Hilltop and walks over to Sasha, who is tending to Abraham’s grave. “I’m here because I need your help,” she says (which seemingly brings all of the storylines to the end of episode 7.12 – “Say Yes”, where we originally saw this moment).
Sitting outside of Jesus’ trailer, Maggie apologizes to him that she, Sasha and Enid have taken over his living quarters. Jesus responds that he is “used to it,” having grown up in a group home.
“For the first time, I feel like I belong,” he reveals to Maggie, as Sasha approaches and listens from around the corner. “Trying to make sure you and Sasha became a part of this made me a part of this.” He tells her that prior to their arrival, he had found it very difficult to get close to anyone at Hilltop. “Neighbors, friends…boyfriends.” He and Maggie smile at each other – and, this being the first time on the show that Jesus is revealing that he is gay to someone, I honestly can’t think of a more perfect moment!
Maggie tells Jesus that he should try to get close to someone sometime, “even if it doesn’t last.” As they shift to talking about war preparations and the possibilities of trading supplies with the Kingdom, Sasha rounds the corner and enters the trailer.
Inside, she grabs two bullets from the hollowed-out center of a book and pockets them. Just then, Jesus and Enid enter, seeing her with the book in hand. Sasha tells Jesus that she found it the other day when she was looking for something to read; Jesus tells her that he is fine with her taking the bullets, but he didn’t know she had a gun on hand.
“I didn’t,” Sasha responds. “I do now.”
Having seen Rosita enter Hilltop and realizing what this means, Jesus implores Sasha not to go after Negan. Sasha tells Jesus that while she appreciates his point of view on the matter, it is already settled; neither she nor Rosita are going to change their minds. Jesus and Enid offer to come along too but Sasha refuses, saying that they are needed at Hilltop to back Maggie up once the deed is done.
Jesus tells Sasha that while he knows that she and Rosita won’t stay, he wishes they would. “It’s a long life, and then it isn’t,” he says. He tells her to take anything else they may need for their journey, but he advises that she and Rosita tell Maggie what is going on before they depart. “You owe her that much,” Jesus says, exiting the trailer.
Turning to Enid, Sasha says, “Maggie trusts you. You have to protect her no matter what.” She says that Maggie is “the future” of Hilltop and gives Enid a bracelet she had been making for the baby to hold on to.
Enid tells Sasha that she will tell Maggie what is happening in ten minutes. “It’s up to you what you want to do with that,” she says. “I’m doing what you asked.”
As Enid exits the trailer, Sasha smiles and continues to gather her supplies. But at that moment, the warning bell sounds from outside – the Saviors have arrived at Hilltop for an unexpected visit.
Enid rushes to find Maggie and Daryl outside as Rosita finds Sasha at the trailer. Sasha leads Rosita to an exit she dug out that will take them under the fence and outside of Hilltop, and the two depart. With no time to make it to the exit themselves, Enid hides Maggie and Daryl in the food storage cellar, realizing that she can keep lookout for them since this group of Saviors is different from the ones she encountered in Alexandria back in episode 7.04 – “Service” (and thus, they will not recognize her).
Gregory greets Simon and the (rather large) group of Saviors in the foyer, telling Simon that he had not been expecting a visit so soon. He offers up his office for a chat, saying that he has a bottle of gin that they can crack open – after all, Simon claimed that he was a “gin man” during their last visit. Simon declines the offer, saying that he is more into tequila now. I can’t help but think that Simon is changing his beverage of choice every time he visits just to mess around with Gregory’s head – and since Gregory keeps trying so hard to prove that he is a loyal lapdog, that thought is pretty hilarious.
Simon tells Gregory that they don’t need to talk anyways, since the visit will likely be a quick one; he simply needs Gregory to point him in the direction of a “certain somebody” who will now belong to Negan.
Meanwhile, Maggie and Daryl inch further back into the cellar, hiding behind crates of food.
Having made it outside Hilltop’s walls, Sasha and Rosita begin their journey to the Sanctuary. As Rosita tries to hotwire a car, she notices the necklace she gave Abraham hanging around Sasha’s neck.
“Like it?” she asks. “I made it.” Awkward. Realizing that the car is dead, Rosita moves on. Sasha follows, tucking the necklace away beneath her shirt.
As the two come upon more cars, Rosita continues to try to hotwire one to get them to their destination. Sasha tries to make small talk with her, asking Rosita where she learned how to disarm bombs. However, Rosita doesn’t want to “get to know” Sasha; according to her, they can talk about the mission or nothing at all.
Shifting her focus, Sasha discusses tactics with Rosita; from the map that Jesus drew, she knows that there are some buildings across from the Sanctuary that the two can use to hide in and try to take the shot from. She claims that if it doesn’t work, they can enter from one of the weaker spots on the perimeter; however, by attempting to shoot Negan from outside, they may have a chance to leave the Sanctuary with their lives.
Rosita is not a big fan of this plan; after all, she wants to make sure they kill him, and they could potentially miss from a distance (and we all know what happened when Rosita missed her shot back in the midseason finale!). Sasha argues that she won’t miss, but Rosita wants to hear none of it. Sasha tries to reason with her, stating that if they are caught on the inside, they will be killed; however, if they miss the shot from the outside, they will have a second chance.
“Maybe you’ll change your mind about what it takes to get what you want,” she tells Rosita.
At Hilltop, a Savior approaches the food storage cellar but Enid runs over quickly, attempting to distract him with a basket of fresh vegetables she has in hand. After a relatively creepy moment, she tries to get the Savior to load the vegetables up on the truck – but seeing as he is a Savior and all, this is unacceptable. He tells Enid to load them onto the truck herself, threatening her and taking her knife in the process.
As Enid obeys, the Savior enters the cellar. Daryl and Maggie observe him from behind the crates, preparing themselves for an attack if need be.
In the meantime, Gregory has pointed Simon in the needed direction – to Dr. Carson’s quarters. Simon tells Dr. Carson that he will be moving to the Sanctuary, where he will be working directly for Negan. Dr. Carson asks why Negan needs two doctors; after a series of (slightly hilarious) leading looks, Simon tells him plainly that Negan doesn’t need two doctors.
“So, my brother pissed someone off, get himself killed?” Dr. Carson asks – and suddenly, it’s making a whole lot more sense as to why both Hilltop and the Sanctuary had a “Dr. Carson!” As Simon confirms this and offers his condolences, Dr. Carson implores Gregory to make medical arrangements for Hilltop’s ongoing patients. Simon has the Saviors behind him put down a crate and tells Gregory that they won’t be leaving Hilltop without medical solutions; after all, the crate is full of a lifetime’s supply of aspirin! Simon, you are too good to them.
Asking for a private word outside, Gregory explains to Simon that he needs to keep the trust of “his” people (let’s be honest – they’re really Maggie’s people now), suggesting that someone else could take over if they do not agree with his decision-making. Simon tells Gregory to come see him if such a problem should arise, writing his location on a piece of paper (likely using that trusty pen from the season 7 premiere) and telling Gregory that he will make the guards aware of the situation. This really makes me wonder what Simon is up to here and whether or not he actually gave Gregory the location of Sanctuary as their meeting place; I am intrigued to see if that goes anywhere in the last two episodes of the season.
In the cellar, Daryl and Maggie continue to watch the Savior from behind the crates as he gathers food to take back to the Sanctuary. As the Savior begins to head out, Daryl inches forward with his knife in hand, ready to go in for the kill – but Maggie stops him with her hand on his arm.
The Savior leaves, and the two emerge from their hiding spot. Maggie inquires as to why Daryl was so eager to kill the Savior, since he wasn’t going to find them. Daryl responds by telling her that the man “deserved to die,” his face turned away all the while.
“Ever since you got here, you haven’t said a word to me,” Maggie says, with hurt all over her face. “Would you look at me? Please?”
Turning to face her, Daryl makes eye contact with Maggie and breaks down into tears.
“I’m sorry,” he tells her, his overwhelming guilt over Glenn’s death finally coming out. “I’m sorry.”
Maggie tells Daryl that what happened wasn’t his fault, but Daryl still claims that it was.
“No, it wasn’t,” Maggie responds. “You’re one of the good things in this world. That’s what Glenn thought – and he would know, because he was one of the good things, too.” She tells Daryl that she wanted to kill the Savior in the cellar too, but they need to win the upcoming war. Hugging him, Maggie asks him to help her to win, and Daryl nods in agreement. Also, apparently what they say is true: when Daryl cries, we ALL cry (well, it’s true in my case, anyways)!
Outside, Simon and the rest of the Saviors depart with Dr. Carson as Gregory looks on, clearly unhappy at what has transpired. He observes the Hilltop’s residents watching as the Saviors depart, and the expression on his face suggests that he is seeing enemies everywhere. You’re probably not wrong about that, Gregory!
On their way to the Sanctuary, Rosita and Sasha come across a walker-filled lot with more cars, and they devise a plan to try and obtain a vehicle. Cutting the fence and breaking a window of one of the cars, Rosita throws in a makeshift torch, setting the car on fire. The sight draws the walkers in, giving Rosita and Sasha enough time to climb over the fence and hotwire a car for their journey.
Later, Sasha observes the Sanctuary’s fence from one of the buildings across the street using the scope of her gun. She notes to Rosita that while Negan hasn’t made an appearance yet, Eugene is out there, apparently giving orders to some of the Saviors. In the meantime, Rosita agrees to teach Sasha the knots she is currently making.
“We got lucky having you with us,” Sasha tells her earnestly. “You know how to do everything.”
Rosita sits down and begins to tell Sasha about how she became so well-versed in survivalist skills. She reveals that when the apocalypse first came about, “a lot of guys wanted to protect [her],” having thought she wouldn’t have a clue how to do it herself. Since she actually didn’t know how to protect herself at the time, she just went with it, leaving each one once she “outgrew” them.
“They didn’t even notice I was picking up everything they knew how to do and doing it better,” she says.
Sasha asks if that was how Rosita came to be with Abraham.
“No,” Rosita responds. “I fell in with him because he saw I could handle my shit.” She says that she never looked back until their relationship was over. “I thought I hated you,” she tells Sasha, “but maybe I just hated that he figured out his shit first.”
Rosita reveals that she had never told anyone about her life pre-Abraham before; Sasha is glad that Rosita was able to share the information with her.
“It was stupid to waste so much time,” Rosita says, crying. “And now, I’ll never get to tell Abraham I’m happy he was happy.”
“Abraham would have wanted to go out fighting,” Sasha says tearfully, “and that asshole with the bat took that away, too.” At this, both women agree that if they die, they want to go out with meaning – and they agree that no matter what happens, they will both have each other’s backs (and it’s at this exact moment that I’m finding that Daryl and Maggie aren’t the only ones making me cry tonight!).
Hearing trucks approaching, Sasha checks the fence again to see the Saviors returning with Dr. Carson. Negan comes out to greet his new doctor – but Sasha can’t get a clean shot from their current location. Rosita turns on the radio and they hear Eugene giving orders to put up more walkers on the wall, claiming that Negan will be “indisposed” for the rest of the day (seemingly with his wives). This means that a change of plans is necessary.
“So, we go in,” Rosita says. “I’m ready.” Sasha smiles and nods.
That night at Hilltop, Jesus visits with Gregory in his study. Gregory passes along the new job assignments he has for the “newcomers.” Looking over the list, Jesus notes that Gregory is looking to split everyone up and remarks that Gregory must be “really worried” about what is to come after he allowed Dr. Carson to be taken.
Gregory tells Jesus that he shouldn’t speak to him that way, saying, “Who knows what might happen with all these Saviors coming around?” Jesus takes this as a direct threat, but the two are interrupted as Gregory’s bottle of tequila arrives. Jesus is shown out, and Gregory pours himself a drink from the tequila – which I can’t help but feel is some underhanded slap at Simon.
Outside of Gregory’s study, Daryl approaches Jesus, asking where Sasha and Rosita have gone to.
At the Sanctuary, Eugene (grembly gunk in pocket!) and a Savior approach the fence, discussing guard duty. Suddenly, the Savior is shot dead. As Eugene cowers in fear, Rosita and Sasha rush over, beginning to cut through the fence. Rosita tells Eugene that they’re going to break him out, but Eugene refuses; he runs inside, leaving Sasha and Rosita dumbfounded.
As Sasha works on the fence, she tells Rosita to keep an eye out, since more Saviors could be coming from behind them. As Rosita does this, Sasha slips in – chaining the fence behind her so Rosita can’t follow. Shocked, Rosita asks Sasha what she’s doing.
“Go,” Sasha urges her. “It’s not your time. There’s gotta be a point to it, right? They need you.” She smiles and takes off into the Sanctuary, taking out a Savior as she enters – and as gunfire sounds and other Saviors head outside to search for the source, Rosita knows that she has no choice but to flee the scene.
As she is running away, Rosita pauses to catch her breath, sobbing. To her side, there is a figure in the shadows, a crossbow slung over his shoulder. As she turns and sees them, surprise registers on her face. Daryl? No, given the distance between Hilltop and the Sanctuary, Daryl is almost certainly still at Hilltop; my bet is that this “figure” is Dwight and if so, I can’t wait to see how that transpires over the course of the next two weeks!
Personally, this was one of my favorite episodes this season. Though it was a very emotional episode, I loved how realistically it portrayed the grief that these characters are going through. There was so much movement in the first half of the season that most of the characters didn’t have much time to reflect on what happened to Glenn and Abraham, and I thought that this episode dealt with that in a beautiful way. To see both Daryl/Maggie and Rosita/Sasha work through their emotions together was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time; however, I think that it is worth noting that the effect would not have been the same without the heaviness of the front eight episodes. If we hadn’t seen the guilt that Daryl felt over Glenn’s death while he was holed up at the Sanctuary, his apology to Maggie wouldn’t have been as powerful; likewise, if we hadn’t watched Rosita struggling to deal with Abraham’s death for much of the season, her scenes with Sasha wouldn’t have been as emotional. I think that this is the perfect evidence that everything shown so far this season has been necessary from a storytelling point of view, and I can’t wait to see how that story plays out in the final two episodes.
For those who play the No Man’s Land mobile game, this week’s season 7 mission is Rosita and Sasha looking for cars along the road. Along the way, they run into walkers and Saviors, who give them a little trouble.
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