The Walking Dead
“The Other Side”
March 19, 2017
Over in Hilltop, Maggie is training the Hilltoppers for the coming war with the Saviors while that coward Gregory fretfully watches and Sasha draws maps of the Sanctuary. This goes on, silently, for a solid 10 boring minutes.
Eventually Rosita arrives and asks for Sasha’s help in her “Let’s Go Try (and Fail) to Kill Negan and Recklessly Put All of Our Friends’ Lives in Peril for No Very Good Reason” plan and Sasha is all, “SOUNDS GREAT, SIGN ME UP.”
Meanwhile, we learn that Jesus is gay. OK.
Sahsa begins collecting her stuff and things for Operation “Let’s Go Try (and Fail) to Kill Negan and Recklessly Put All of Our Friends’ Lives in Peril for No Very Good Reason,” when she is confronted by Jesus and Enid who are like, “Hey, maybe don’t do the dumb thing that you are planning to do?” and “We’re totally going to tattle on you to Maggie.” Sasha is all, “You do you,” and gives Enid some string jewelry she’s been making for Maggie and Glenn’s baby because babies love string jewelry.
And then the Saviors swing by for an unexpected visit sending Hilltop into chaos: Rosita and Sasha slip out of the community via a hidden tunnel, while Maggie (who is supposed to be dead) and Daryl (who is supposed to be listening to “Easy Street” in a cell at the Sanctuary) hide in a root cellar. They are nearly found by a Savior who is doing a search of the place, but then aren’t in the biggest non-surprise of the episode. And then Daryl has a sad for getting Glenn killed, but Maggie is all, “Don’t sweat it.”
Meanwhile, that one jerky Savior, Simon, demands Gregory the Cowardly provide him tequila and the remaining Dr. Carson. Gregory the Cowardly is all, “AWW MAN, TAKING OUR DOCTOR AWAY IS GOING TO MAKE ME LOOK BAD WITH MY PEOPLE,” but Savior Simon gives exactly zero fucks. He does, however, give Gregory the Cowardly a crate of aspirin and
Chekhov’s gun a note that will grant him access to the Sanctuary should he need help keeping the Hilltoppers in line.
Later, Gregory the Cowardly gives Jesus new work orders that will separate people to prevent them from conspiring. Jesus is like, “Dude, you’re such an asshole,” and Gregory the Cowardly is all, “I know, right?”
And then Daryl finds Jesus and asks him where Rosita and Sasha are. Funny you should ask!
Rosita and Sasha: walking through the wasteland, walking through the wasteland, walking through the wasteland. They try to hotwire some cars and Rosita notices that Sasha is wearing the brake light necklace she made for Abraham and is like, “OH THAT’S TOTALLY COOL.”
But instead of taking it off or offering it back to Rosita, Sasha tucks it into her shirt? Oh, girl, no.
The women then discuss their plan, such as it is. Should they shoot Negan from a safe distance or should they enter the Sanctuary and make sure they kill him (and get themselves killed)? Rosita is for whatever will guarantee that she does not make it out alive, gracias.
Eventually they make their way to a building right outside the Sanctuary where they watch Dr. Mullet tending to the fence walkers and they decide that he’s “playing an angle.” LOL NOPE. Rosita begins opening up to Sasha about all of her mad skillz, and how she learned them from different men who wanted to protect her. Once she learned what they knew, be it how to defuse a bomb or hotwire a car or tie a knot, she would leave them.
But Abraham was different: he recognized her as an equal, not someone he needed to take care of, and so she stuck around. That is until he dumped her for Sasha. And what makes Rosita sad now is that she never had the chance to let Abraham know that she was happy that he had found some happiness, even if it was with Sasha. The women then agree that it wasn’t Abraham’s “time” and that he would have wanted to go out fighting, because that’s what they all want.
Eventually Negan emerges from the building to greet New Dr. Carson, but Sasha can not get a clear headshot, so the women decide they have no choice but to go into the Sanctuary.
That night, Dr. Mullet is out in a courtyard with some Savior whom the ladies kill. But when they encourage him to escape with them, he’s all:
Sasha convinces Rosita to keep watch while she slips through the fence, only to lock Rosita out of the Sanctuary, explaining that it’s not Rosita’s time. With that, Sasha runs into the Sanctuary and gunfire erupts inside (but don’t worry: she’s beamed up onto Star Trek: Discovery and will be fine). Rosita, frustrated and infuriated, begins to flee when she notices a dark figure with a crossbow strapped to his back watching her.
So I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode because a whole lot didn’t actually happen. A short list of things that happened:
- Sasha and Rosita team up to take out Negan (which we already knew they were going to do).
- Sasha tricks Rosita into allowing her to take on a suicide mission.
- Dr. Mullet betrays them because he’s a huge coward.
- Gregory the Cowardly gives the Saviors his doctor.
- Daryl feels bad about Glenn.
That’s just not a whole lot to work with.
To fill the time in between these threads of a story we get a long monologue from Rosita explaining how she became the badass that I don’t know any of us thought she was supposed to be. Listen, I am a big fan of strong female characters: Michonne is one of my favorite things about this entire show. But you can’t just tell us that Rosita is a strong female character. For the past three seasons, Rosita was nothing more than a cypher — she was Abraham’s pretty girlfriend and her entire story, her entire purpose, revolved around her relationship with him. So Sasha telling her, “You are so strong and important to our group, why don’t you share with me how you developed all of these skills we did not know you had,” does not suddenly turn her into that character.
And what is most frustrating about this is that it follows an episode in which a character’s arc was well-developed and was well-earned. As I pointed out in the previous recap, they spent some 29 episodes showing us that Morgan was trying to avoiding any more killing. It was the crux of his character and his conflict. The crux of Rosita’s entire character and her entire conflict was her relationship to Abraham. They had three seasons to show us a Rosita who was skilled in ways that would be important to the group, but instead they only presented her as Abraham’s lady friend. And now it is entirely too late for the writers to try to go back and try to go back and pretend that in reality she was this badass all along.
And in conclusion, TRY HARDER, WRITERS.
The Walking Dead airs at 8/9 p.m. on Sundays on AMC and would like a shot of that tequila, thanks.