“I just want you to understand, we are not monsters,” says Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) after just killing one of his own men for trying to rape her in season seven episode 15 of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
As the episode begins, there’s a voice-over of Tara (Alanna Masterson) telling Rick (Andrew Lincoln) about Oceanside and all the guns they have stored. Rick asks why she didn’t say anything sooner and she tells him that she made a promise. He tells her not to feel guilty about it, but she does. As the voice-over of this conversation is taking place, the screen shows Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Jesus (Tom Payne) setting explosives in the woods just outside of Oceanside as hungry walkers roam the beachside.
Over at the Hilltop, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) shows a resident how to garden before heading outside the walls to look for a certain plant she saw earlier. Gregory (Xander Berkeley) watches Maggie go and decides to follow her.
At the Sanctuary, Sasha is alive but a prisoner and in solitary. A Savior named David visits her cell and offers her water if she’ll do “something” for him. She headbutts him as he starts to make a move on her, and that’s when Negan shows up asking what David thinks he’s doing. David starts to answer him and Negan points out that it was a rhetorical question. Negan reminds David that rape and attempted rape are not allowed and after David apologizes, Negan puts his large Bowie knife through David’s neck saying, “I do not accept your apology.”
Negan tells Sasha he recognizes her from the night he killed Abraham and Glenn and doesn’t blame her for breaking into his compound. He’s even impressed and asks her if Rick put her up to it. “Rick, your bitch?” replies Sasha, trying to convince Negan that Rick is obeying him completely. Negan tells Sasha she has four choices as he hands her his knife. First, she could try to kill him with the knife but he’s standing over her with a bat so that’s not such a good idea. Second, she could kill herself with the knife which Negan says would be “a crying shame.” Third, let David the reanimated zombie eat her which would be weird and sick but to each their own. Or four, use the knife to stop David from turning and “join the cause.” He shuts the door behind him and leaves her alone with dead David to think about it.
Later, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) brings Sasha a blanket and pillow and tells her that Negan told him about his offer, encouraging Sasha to take it. She asks what they did to him and Eugene tells her that basically all his bravery was used up driving off in the RV the day before Abraham and Glenn were murdered. Watching Abraham die the way he did crushed Eugene. For the one person Eugene looked up to and admired and always thought of as a fighter and survivor to go out like that convinced Eugene to adapt and to not be brave anymore to survive. He tells her he hopes she will accept the offer and she tells him to leave.
Back at the Hilltop, Maggie is working on her plant and Gregory comes along wanting to talk. He tells her they should appear to the people to have a united front, and Maggie replies it would be better if they actually had a united front. He agrees and Maggie tells Gregory if he’s serious she’ll come around later and they can talk some more. “It’s never too late to change,” says Maggie, asking him to keep a watch out for walkers while she finishes up. Gregory says he would be glad to and pulls out his knife.
At first, Gregory is keeping watch but then he looks down at Maggie on her knees finishing her gardening and starts to lean forward with his knife, looking as if he’s going to kill her. Luckily, the better part of Gregory comes out and he stops himself and goes back to guarding. When he sees a walker approaching, he wants to handle it but fear gets the better of him and he lets Maggie put the walker down. As Maggie kills another zombie, a different one attacks Gregory who struggles to keep its mouth away from him. He yells to Maggie for help and she races over and kills the walker. A few of the Hilltop residents are walking back to the town and Maggie tells them it’s his first time killing walkers. “That’s not what he told us,” answers back one of them, and Gregory gets up and walks off, upset.
At Oceanside, Tara sneaks into town and surprises Natania (Deborah May) and Cyndie (Sydney Park) in their cabin. She warns them her people are all around and they’re going to take over the town, but she can call it off if Natania is willing to talk to her leader, Rick. She tells them they’re going to fight the Saviors and they’re taking their guns, advising them they should join in the fight. Natania refuses to listen and won’t talk to Rick.
Explosions begin going off and the women of Oceanside run to escape only to get caught by Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus), and the rest of their team. Michonne (Danai Gurira) is up in a tree as both a lookout and a sharpshooter. Natania approaches the group, holding a gun to Tara’s head. Natania got the drop on Tara with Cyndie’s help, and only after disarming her did they discover Tara’s gun wasn’t loaded. Rick tells her to put it down and they can talk, but again Natania isn’t willing to listen. Tara shouts to Michonne not to shoot knowing that she most likely has a shot she can take. Cyndie tells the unarmed Oceanside women that Rick and his group want to fight the Saviors. Beatrice says out loud that maybe they should also try, but this just makes Natania more determined to make sure her group does not join the fight, reminding them they’ve forgotten what they went through last time. She swears she’ll make sure they don’t fight because she’ll kill Tara and end up being killed by Rick’s people, and that will be the end of it. This makes Cyndie knock Natania out so as to avoid any killing.
Michonne, who’s still up in the tree, spots a herd of walkers heading their way and yells to Rick. Rick, Daryl, Beatrice, and the others with weapons form a line and Rick tells everyone else to get behind them. They become a firing squad, putting down the walkers before they can take a bite out of anyone. Once finished, Beatrice hands her gun back to Rick and shakes his hand.
Back at the Sanctuary, Negan opens the door to find that Sasha did put down the David walker. She says, “You win,” and Negan replies, “No, you win.” Negan takes his knife back and reveals a little bird told him Rick is up to no good and that she’s going to help him to change that. Later, Eugene visits Sasha telling her he’s happy about her decision and she tells him she can’t do it. She won’t betray her friends and he has to get her something – a knife, a gun, a piece of glass – so she can die. Eugene tells her he’ll think about it.
At Oceanside, Cyndie confesses to Tara that she wants to go with her and that others also want to fight, but it has to be everyone or no one goes. Tara thanks Cyndie for all the times she’s saved her life and walks off with Rick who asks her if she’s okay. She says yes and that he was right, that she doesn’t have to feel bad.
At the Sanctuary, Eugene slides the poison he had made under Sasha’s door, telling her it should work and he hopes it’s painless. He disagrees with her decision but he did it because he trusts her and respects her. Sasha, who was trying to trick Eugene into giving her a weapon she could use against Negan, is very upset because now she has nothing to fight with when they open the door.
Rick and the group get back to Alexandria and Rosita (Christian Serratos) opens the gate. They ask her where Sasha is and she says that someone is here. She takes them to the cell they built and inside is Dwight (Austin Amelio). Daryl launches himself toward Dwight, but Rick stops him. Rosita yells that he says he wants to help and Rick asks if that’s true. Dwight answers yes. “Okay, get down on your knees,” says Rick as he points his large police revolver at Dwight’s head.
The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 15 Review:
Tense and engaging, episode 15 titled “Something They Need” moves Rick and his group a little closer to the all-out upcoming war with Negan and his Saviors, with hints of the possibility some of the citizens of Oceanside will join in the fight. The stand-out performance in this episode goes once again to Jeffrey Dean Morgan as head bad guy, Negan. The scenes between he and Sonequa Martin-Green are the most tense and uncomfortable ones in this episode. Negan has become a more interesting villain since displaying his desire to give those who have killed his people (and even tried to kill him) another chance to fall in line and become willing followers. He’s a deadly bully but seems to really enjoy getting strong people to break and follow him.
With Dwight at Alexandria claiming he wants to help (or is he really a spy planted by Negan?), Sasha still a prisoner of Negan’s, and some of the Oceanside ladies looking as though they want to join the fight, the war with Negan and his Saviors is looking even bigger and bloodier.