All season long, the survivors of The Walking Dead have been readying themselves for war: closing ranks, stockpiling supplies and forming alliances for their one and only shot at defeating the Saviors.
But even on the eve of the big battle — which should kick off just in time to make for a major cliffhanger in next week’s season finale — there were still a few last-minute surprises in store for Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his ragged army. Here’s everything that went down on the Sunday, March 26, episode, titled “Something They Need.”
A Trip to the Beach
Let’s be real: There was no way that Tara (Alanna Masterson) wasn’t eventually going to tell Rick about Oceanside and their giant stockpile of weapons — but she did, in her defense, feel super extra-strength bad about it.
The Alexandrians pulled off a coordinated raid on the coastal community, leading to a tense confrontation in which Natania (Deborah May) came awfully close to killing Tara before Cyndie (Sydney Park) stepped in with a well-timed grandma knockout punch. (That’s three times that Cyndie has saved Tara’s life, which means that when this is all over, someone should really make sure she gets a jumbo-sized thank-you fruit basket.)
The only hitch in the Oceanside raid was the arrival of a herd of marine-themed zombies drawn by the sound of explosions, which the groups took down with an efficiency that made an alliance between the two seem inevitable. But no, Cyndie said, without a unanimous vote, Oceanside won’t be joining the fight. S’fine. Rick still got all their guns.
The Farmer’s Daughter Saves the Day
After spending the bulk of his meager screen time being terrible in every possible way, Hilltop leader Gregory (Xander Berkeley) turned over a new leaf in this episode when he … yeah, no, we’re just kidding. He’s the worst.
This time, his one-on-one meeting with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) outside the walls of the Hilltop turned into an embarrassing dance with death when two wild walkers appeared. Gregory’s total inability to kill the zombies did not go over well with his people — or with the man himself, who clearly doesn’t handle humiliation well. Last we saw him, Greg was guzzling tequila and planning a trip to the Sanctuary, where he’s almost certainly planning to do something really stupid.
Sasha’s Exit Strategy
Let’s start with the good news. After her kamikaze exit last week, Sasha (Sonequa Martin Green) was still alive for the duration of this episode. The bad news is, she was not only captured and imprisoned by the Saviors, but left to be guarded by the rapiest guy on the block. GROSS. Fortunately, Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) one redeeming quality is that he doesn’t tolerate sexual violence — and after killing the guard (rest in peace, Rapey Davey), he made his own pitch to Sasha.
“You’ve got some beach ball-sized lady nuts, and I wanna harness the heat coming off ’em,” he said, in Negan-ese. Translation: “I admire your courage and would like you on my team.”
But c’mon, you know Sasha better than that; she won’t go to work for the enemy, and she won’t let herself be used against her friends, either. And thanks to Eugene (Josh McDermitt), who is still capable of minor acts of decency despite his overall cowardice, she now has a pill in hand that’ll give her a painless way out … which is to say, we should probably be bracing ourselves for a sad goodbye next week.
But First, Say Hello to Your Newest Ally
Returning from Oceanside, Rick found none other than Negan’s right-hand, semi-melted man waiting for him inside Alexandria’s gates. Yup, that’s right: Dwight (Austin Amelio) has finally seen the light and joined the side of the righteous. Pointing to their surprise guest, Rosita (Christian Serratos) said, “He says he wants to help.”
“OK,” Rick replied, and pointed his gun at Dwight. “Get on your knees.”
Is Dwight about to be a goner? Or is Rick going to initiate him into the gang with a surprise game of leapfrog? All will be revealed next week — or at least we hope so, because it’s going to be a long, long wait for the season 8 premiere.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.