'The Walking Dead' Season 7, Episode 14 Recap: A Jesus revelation and lots of blue-balling


One of the pitfalls of the world-building in The Walking Dead's seventh season has been the fact the show hasn't spent nearly enough time with Maggie in the aftermath of the season premiere, in which Negan brutally murdered her husband and fan-favorite character Glenn. 

In theory, there's been a lot of things going on this season — the introduction of the Kingdom, the Sanctuary and Oceanside; Negan's reign of terror; Alexandria's decision to fight back; and Rick meeting a new group living out of a junkyard. However, when we're also treated to a full episode of Rick and Michonne canoodling at a zombie carnival with a resolution everyone saw coming, AMC could've done better. 

So at the very least, it's nice to get more time with Maggie and the rest of the Hilltop Colony in season seven's 14th episode, "The Other Side," as the show continues to gear up for what should be an explosive season finale. We're close; there's just two more episodes to go before The Walking Dead  concludes a season that resulted in the biggest scrutiny the show has faced over its seven-year run. That makes it all the more disappointing that "The Other Side" effectively blue-balls its audience by resolving very little, postponing its biggest revelations for at least another week. 

We return to the Hilltop, where Maggie and Sasha are training community members for the upcoming battle against the Saviors. Since Daryl's return after escaping the Sanctuary, he and Maggie haven't really talked — they have an understandably fractured relationship since the events of the premiere, when Daryl punched Negan and accidentally caused Glenn's death. In one of the episode's quieter moments, we also get an important revelation about Jesus — the character, of course, not the messiah. 

Jesus opens up to Maggie about how close he's become with her and Sasha, admitting he hasn't had the same luck with previous friendships or boyfriends. Actor Tom Payne supported the idea of his character being gay during a November interview with the Huffington Post, indicating he may have known the announcement was coming. Regardless, it's great to see another openly gay character on the show — especially one who happens to be one of The Walking Dead's resident badasses. 

Meanwhile, Sasha and Rosita discuss their plan to assassinate Negan, which essentially comes down to scoping out a section of the Sanctuary through the window of an abandoned building adjacent to the community. Once Negan's in sight, they'll shoot him and try to escape. Hmm, that should go well. 

Those plans are jump-started, however, when Simon and some other Saviors show up to the Hilltop unannounced. Maggie and Daryl hide, while Sasha and Rosita escape through a hidden exit. This leaves Gregory to deal with Simon, who's mostly there to snag the Hilltop's physician on account of Negan setting the Sanctuary's doc on fire. It also gives Gregory an opportunity to complain to Simon about the circumstances and how his subordinates might feel without an onsite doctor. Simon assures Gregory that if anyone at Hilltop tries to rebel, he's welcome to head to the Sanctuary for help.

The Saviors' visit also gives Maggie and Daryl a much-needed opportunity to talk. After Maggie stops Daryl from killing one of the Saviors, Daryl gets his cry face on, apologizing to Maggie for inadvertently getting Glenn killed. "It wasn't your fault," she responds before they hug it out. 

Rosita and Sasha also reconcile during their trip to the Sanctuary — well, in their own way. Rosita has been frustratingly standoffish in season seven's second half, which isn't a good look for someone who got other Alexandrians killed when she inexplicably shot Negan's bat, Lucille, instead of the man himself. She's still giving Sasha the cold shoulder, but eventually opens up once they arrive outside Negan's camp. 

"A lot of guys wanted to protect me, like there was no way I could protect myself," she says. Abraham was different, she explains, and seeing him adjust to life in Alexandria quicker than she could — and dumping her for Sasha in the process — was infuriating. It's a sweet scene, even if such bonding sessions on The Walking Dead are typically precursors to one or multiple deaths. 

Will that person be Sasha? Well, let's looks at the evidence. Actress Sonequa Martin-Green was recently cast in a lead role for CBS' new Star Trek series. Rumors have also swirled that Abraham portrayer Michael Cudlitz will appear in the season seven finale in some type of flashback or dream sequence, and he was Sasha's most recent love interest. Also, Sasha just so happened to enter the Sanctuary alone, locking Rosita out so she could handle the job. Yeah, Sasha's definitely going to die. 

Gene Page/AMC

But she's not dead — yet — and we don't get any real resolutions by the end of "The Other Side." It's another unfortunate example of The Walking Dead blue-balling its audience. Of course, few would believe Sasha will actually succeed in her assassination attempt; for one thing, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has already been confirmed to return in season eight. However, prolonging what should be Sasha's last stand for at least another week is unnecessary. 

The ending sequence with Rosita isn't any better, either. Having left the outskirts of the Sanctuary once Sasha locked her out, she discovers someone's watching her. Said person is only seen via a darkened silhouette, though considering the person was holding some kind of weapon over their shoulder, we have to assume it was Daryl and his signature crossbow. But again, this resolution will have to wait. 

It might even be delayed until the finale, since a lot still has to happen before The Walking Dead's epic battle actually begins. For starters, Alexandria has yet to presumably attain Oceanside's huge cache of weapons and present them to the Scavengers before joining forces with Hilltop and the Kingdom. In other words, it's going to be lot to pack into two episodes, along with the resolution of Sasha and Rosita's subplot. 

Sadly, there's another way The Walking Dead could wrap up season seven using its favorite narrative device: cliffhangers. We don't want to see one, either, but don't say we didn't warn you. 

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