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TV Review: The Walking Dead - Season 7, Episode 15

03.27.2017

Season 7, Episode 15: Something They Need

PLOT: There's a hostage situation at the Sanctuary and a power shift at Hilltop while the Alexandria group raids Oceanside.

REVIEW: Something They Need was an episode I had been looking forward to with a certain degree of dread. I knew Tara (Alanna Masterston) would have to break her promise and tell her fellow Alexandria residents about the Oceanside community at some point - the community's weapons are going to be very useful in the fight against the villainous Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors. But I was worried about how our heroes would handle the confrontation that would surely follow the sharing of that information. If Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew went too hard on Oceanside, they could come off as being just as bad as the Saviors. I was concerned that we were going to see a very dark side of our heroes right when they're about to go into battle against the "big bad" of the season.

I needn't have been so worried about all that. The Alexandria crew handled the Oceanside raid in about the most harmless way possible, even finding support from some unexpected sources in the process. The only trouble really came from Oceanside leader Natania (Deborah May), a frightened old woman who could not be swayed and made herself a major pain. Even the situation with Natania worked itself out, though. As it went on, I came to realize that I should have had a very different concern about Something They Need: I should have been dreading how uninteresting the episode would be. I just didn't know it was uninteresting until I was knee deep in it.

There wasn't much about this episode that felt truly inspired, it just felt like the show was going through the motions on the way to the finale, checking off items on a list of things that need to be done before we can get to the action. Of course, that's basically what the entire second half of this season has been doing, but it was especially obvious in this episode. It's like even the powers that be behind the show are getting tired of their long build-up at this point.

While the "we need to pay off this storyline and take these steps" part of the episode played out at Oceanside, the previous episode's cliffhanger involving Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) entering the Saviors' home base the Sanctuary was also followed up on. The scenario could have provided some action and thrills, but instead it's presented in the most sedate way possible. Did you think maybe Sasha might be stalking the halls of the Sanctuary, taking down Saviors as she went, leading to some kind of violent confrontation with Negan? Don't get carried away imagining the possibilities, because she's already locked up in a cell by the time the episode begins. And in a cell she sits for the duration of the episode - having some dramatic interactions with Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Negan along the way. Eugene proves himself to be exactly the cowardly scumbag I suspected him of being, while Negan almost comes off as being something of a good guy... if only we didn't know him as the guy who murdered Abraham and Glenn and a few more people since. Those season premiere kills are tough to get past, and we can't be lured over to Negan's side right when we're about to get the fight against him we've been waiting for all season.

There were some intriguing aspects to Sasha's time in her cell, but we'll have to wait to see where they're going.

Mixed in with these plots were also a few scenes at Hilltop, scenes that are clearly setting up Maggie (Lauren Cohan) as the new leader of the community while current leader Gregory (Xander Berkeley) falls from his throne. It was only a matter of time before that would happen. The shocking thing is that Gregory was ever considered to be leader material in the first place.

Something They Need was a stepping stone episode that I didn't enjoy very much overall. After all this waiting and building, I really hope we're in for an epic and awesome finale next week. It needs to make episodes like this one worth it.

BEST ZOMBIE MOMENT: The Alexandria / Oceanside stand-off is interrupted by the arrival of a herd of some of the most disgusting zombies this show has had to offer, a water-logged, barnacle-encrusted bunch that has risen from the sea.

GORY GLORY: There's nothing too special about the way any of the walkers were dispatched on this episode, so I'll go with Negan sticking his knife through the neck of the Savior who will forever be known as Rapey Davey.

FAVORITE SCENE: Gregory showing off his incompetence with a group of Hilltop residents nearby to witness.

FINAL VERDICT:

Source: JoBlo.com

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