Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead episode “Something They Need.”
It was another slow build-up on this week’s The Walking Dead. Last week’s episode focused on Sasha and Rosita hashing out their issues, ending with Sasha’s apparent sacrifice when she charged into the Saviors’ compound, guns blazing.
This week picks up right after that left off, with Negan holding Sasha hostage while trying to persuade her to betray Rick.
If you were expecting an exciting lead-up to next week’s season finale, guess again. As with most of the episodes this season, “Something They Need” was another slow, meandering episode that wanted to feel important, but ended up as mostly filler.
Twitter expressed its disappointment with last night’s episode as well.
Despite another lackluster episode, fans seemed pleased with how Negan was portrayed. When one of his crew attempts to rape Sasha, Negan promptly dispatches him and lays down the law of the land.
I hate Negan, but got damn, they write him so well #thewalkingdead— Heather | Tell them the North remembers (@_UpHillBothWays) March 27, 2017
The meat of the episode centered on Negan tempting Sasha to join the Saviors the same way Negan tempted Eugene. While it appears Negan was successful with Eugene, it seems he will be somewhat less successful with Sasha. While it was not definitive whether or not Sasha would reveal Rick’s plan to Negan, Sasha made it clear she hasn’t given up on her plan to take him out.
While captive, Sasha tries to reason with Eugene, who is “full Negan.” In a moment of compassionate manipulation, Sasha begs Eugene for any kind of weapon to end her misery and torment. It’s clear Sasha has ulterior motives, but her mission fails. Eugene doesn’t give her the weapon she hoped for, but instead a pill designed to cause death. That brings Sasha back to square one, while leaving it unclear whether or not she will ultimately betray Rick. Given Sasha’s characterization in the episode, it is unlikely she will betray Rick—with or without a weapon to defend herself.
Meanwhile, Rick’s group invade Oceanside in order to obtain additional weapons. It’s a struggle as Tara tries to convince Natania to join Rick’s cause. Tara is unsuccessful, but that doesn’t stop Rick and others from heading into Oceanside Michael Bay-style, blowing up the place and taking the guns from them with force.
It was the only exciting moment of the episode, and it came near the end. As with most of The Walking Dead episodes this season, any forward momentum comes too little, too late. By the time something exciting happens, the episode is almost finished and any excitement, no matter how thrilling, feels perfunctory and loses any punch.
The only real punch, or mystery, surrounds the identity of a “little birdie”.
Early in the episode, Negan tells Sasha that a “little birdie” has informed him that Rick is “up to no good.” AMC’s synopsis for the seventh season warned “we’ll see treachery from people we trust.” While it may not come from Sasha, there’s a good chance it came from Eugene or perhaps someone close in Rick’s circle.
Either way, all will be revealed with next week’s season finale. Whether or not it will be a satisfying, exciting conclusion—or another drawn out build-up to very little—remains to be seen.