‘The Walking Dead’ “The Other Side” Tension and Transformation

The Walking Dead “The Other Side” was filled with tension and transformation. The Saviors raid the Hilltop while Jesus tries to talk Sasha into a tactical attack on Negan. Will Maggie and Daryl sustain the Savior’s surprise visit? Will Sasha and Rosita jeopardize the alliance’s efforts to stand against Negan?

Sasha and Rosita narrowly escape the Savior’s surprise visit, but Negan and Maggie aren’t as lucky. Maggie and Daryl hunker down in a cellar while Enid does her best to stave off the villains.

In the dark, after a close call, Maggie absolves Daryl of his self-inflicted blame. Daryl has long blamed himself for Glenn’s bloody fate and his grief has weakened him. Maggie’s absolution is both heartfelt and tactical. She needs Daryl to help her win the long game against the Saviors.

Meanwhile, Gregory, in a panic, has an unexpected heart-to-heart about the Hilltop’s leadership. Upset that Simon is taking Dr. Carson, Gregory confides in Simon that losing the doctor may cause unrest in the Hilltop, claiming a less cooperative leader may rise.

Simon tells Gregory that if someone challenges Gregory’s leadership, he should tell Simon. Simon gives Gregory a rendezvous location should the need to stop an uprising occur. Will Gregory sell-out Maggie and Daryl? Will he use Simon’s offer as a bargaining chip with Maggie to restore his power?

Gregory flexes a little with Jesus. But what does that mean for the alliance against Negan? Will Gregory blow the whistle on the operation?

Sasha and Rosita scout out the Sanctuary. As they wait for Negan to show himself, the two women bond. Watching the two women work together is a refreshing change of pace. Sasha gets Rosita to teach her how to tie a knot, a skill Rosita speculates Sasha won’t live to use. Rosita ultimately teaches her and also shares her stories of her past. The moment played as healing and hopeful.

Does Rosita’s divulging her past foreshadow her future? Is this moment an indication that it will be the last she spends with Sasha?

While the alliance gears up for all out war, there are some details some viewers may have missed.

Early in the episode, as Jesus pleads with Sasha to bring Maggie in the loop or to delay her assassination plans, she stands beside a lobster bib. Is this a funny Gimple nod and wink to Eugene’s request for lobster in a previous episode or is it something more? Lobsters sometimes symbolize transformation and emotional growth.

Will Sasha move past her need for personal vengeance? Or is she moving to a point of no return? The notion of growth continues with Simon, who when asked if he’s a gin -man responds that he is a man of changing tastes. Simon’s comments on change and the lobster align with Rosita’s unexpected growth.

After Sasha fails to get a clean shot at Negan, Rosita says she’s ready to go into the Sanctuary. The women, transformed by their therapeutic talk, are about to put themselves into the cooking pot.

The reason Sasha couldn’t get a clear shot at Negan is interesting. Eugene stands between Sasha’s shot and Negan. Eugene thwarted one attempt on Negan’s life in a previous episode. Did he once again spare Negan the wrath of scorned women?

When Rosita and Sasha shoot a savior to rescue Eugene, he whimpers and refuses to go with them. Sasha then makes an unexpected decision. She locks Rosita out of the Sanctuary and runs in after Eugene, alone. She tells Rosita that the others need her. After all, someone has to answer for the fallen Savior.

Sasha likely knows that Negan and the Saviors would head straight to Alexandria and the Hilltop for vengence. She takes the fall so the alliance can continue to prepare for battle. But will she survive? Will Negan kill a woman? Or will he try to bring her into his fold? He admired Carl for his chutzpah, so maybe Sasha has a chance at survival.

Does Sasha’s decision to lock herself into the Sanctuary suggest Eugene’s loyalty to Rick and the others? Does he know that he can better protect his group from Negan from inside the Sanctuary? Is he, too, sacrificing himself for the good of the group? Or did he refuse to go with the women because he is afraid?

The episode closes with Rosita running from the Sanctuary, stopping when she sees a shadowed figure. Who is the shadowed figure? Did Daryl catch up to her? Daryl is the one who realizes Sasha and Rosita are missing from the Hilltop and time jumps are nothing new to The Walking Dead universe.

What did you think of tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead? There are only two more episodes left this season and Gimple promises tension galore. You can leave your insight, questions, and prediction in the comment section below.

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Melissa O'Donnell

Teacher by day, pop culture consumer by night- Melissa lives for good stories and loves to share them with fellow TV, movie, graphic novel, and book enthusiasts. She also blogs about pop culture's influence on everything from her worldview to her relationships at undertheinfluence76.blogspot.com-- she'd love for you to join in on her journey.

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