Warning: This recap for the “The Other Side” episode of The Walking Dead contains storyline and character spoilers.
Sasha and Rosita make up as they carry out their plot for revenge against Negan, and Maggie makes the guilt-racked Daryl look her in the eye, but it’s a meeting between cowering Gregory and Negan’s right hand dude Simon that could lead to a disastrous result for the anti-Savior revolution… or provide one of the biggest opportunities Negan’s enemies have to get inside the Sanctuary and wreak havoc.
“It’s a long life, and then it isn’t”
The Hilltop is alive with war preparations: the blacksmith team is making spears, Maggie and Enid are training the residents in knife throwing battle, Sasha is showing them knife combat skills, and Maggie and Sasha both are writing down plans for what they’ll need to take on the Saviors.
Well, Maggie is… Sasha is mapping out plans to take on Negan, solo, as she is committed to her job being to cut off the head of the Saviors, avenging Abraham and Glenn’s deaths, and making the ultimate war against the whole Saviors army a little more winnable for Maggie and the others. Maggie doesn’t know about her friend’s plans, though, so she happily gets a sonogram from Dr. Carson — Harlan Carson, the Carson brother who didn’t get tossed head-first into an oven — with Enid at her side.
Daryl’s back at the Hilltop, too, and he still can’t look at Maggie. She sets down a plate of food for him and squeezes his shoulder, but after she leaves and he looks up to see her wiping away tears, he hangs his head back down and maintains his lonely spot on a picnic table.
Maggie continues to bond with Jesus, who’s allowing Maggie, Sasha, and Enid to live in his trailer. During their chat session, he reveals he grew up in a group home, and has always had trouble allowing himself to get close to anyone, including his boyfriends (yes, like TWD comic book Jesus, TV Jesus is also gay). Trying to make sure she and Sasha felt at home at the Hilltop made him become an engaged member of the community he tells Maggie.
And just as Rosita comes walking through the front gate of the Hilltop — on her way to tell Sasha she has a rifle and wants her help in taking it to go kill Negan — pathetic Gregory is alone in his office, downing liquor, and noticing with increasing panic that his lack of skills and leadership makes him ripe for getting booted from the cushy governorship gig the community is allowing him to hold on to.
After Sasha and Rosita confirm their plan to flee to the Sanctuary — the meeting we saw at the end of “Say Yes” — Sasha is inside Jesus’s trailer, where she swipes a couple of his bullets. He walks in and sorta busts her, but she ‘fesses up right away. She tells him she has a gun, and he guesses that’s why Rosita really came to the Hilltop: to meet up with her to go kill Negan, not to help train the Hilltoppers for battle. He tries to talk Sasha out of it, telling her Maggie needs her. “It’s a long life, and then it isn’t,” he says. But Sasha insists she and Rosita won’t be talked out of what could be a suicide mission to take out Negan. Jesus and Enid volunteer to go with her, but Sasha tells them no, they are necessary to Maggie’s efforts. “The Hilltop has to be ready for what happens after,” she says.
Enid tries to convince Sasha to talk to Maggie before she leaves, and Sasha tells her she has to protect Maggie no matter what, that Maggie — and her — are the future of the Hilltop. Sasha puts on her jacket and grabs her supplies, and before she can even consider talking to Maggie, an alarm sounds. The Saviors are coming, and when Rosita rushes into the trailer to ask where they’re hiding, Sasha says they’re not, and leads Rosita to a wood bin that’s hiding a passageway to an underground tunnel that will take them to the other side of the community and then outside the walls.
Meanwhile, just as the Saviors drive through the front gate, Enid helps Daryl and Maggie get to a hiding spot in a food storage cellar.
A slew of Saviors spill into the entryway of the Barrington House, and Gregory wastes no time in butt-smooching: He offers Simon a drink of gin, recalling that he said it was his favorite libation during his last pop-in to the Hilltop.
“I’m a man of shifting specifics … taste’s in transition,” Simon says. “I’m into tequila now. Gin seems like turpentine… it happened quick with a gimlet the other night. I’m an unusual kinda creature.”
Indeed, but a charming one who continues to scare the bejesus out of Gregory. He tells Gregory he’s there to collect someone on behalf of Negan, and he needs Gregory to point him in that person’s direction.
Gregory asks who. “You get your pointy finger up, and I’ll tells ya,” Simon says. It’s Dr. Carson — Harlan version — of course, who Negan wants at the Sanctuary to replace the perfectly good doctor he burned to death. Gregory leads Simon and a couple of his men to Harlan’s office, and Simon tells him he’s coming to stay at the Sanctuary. Harlan asks why they need two doctors, but the eyebrow-raised look Simon shoots him doesn’t provide him with an answer, even though, as Simon tells him, he’s been told he has a very expressive face.
“But if not, let me repeat your question,” Simon says. “’Why do we need two doctors?’ Answer: We don’t.”
“So, my brother pissed someone off, got himself killed?” Harlan asks.
Simon: “Something like that. Very, very ugly stuff. My condolences.”
Carson says he has to pack, but Simon tells him he doesn’t, they have everything he needs at the Sanctuary, and will get anything they don’t have. They even have ice cream… courtesy of a woman who makes a cardamom gelato that seems to be a favorite of Simon’s.
Simon then tells Gregory he’s not leaving him high and dry in terms of medical solutions. He has his men set down a giant crate, which is filled with… aspirin. Gregory asks to talk to Simon outside, and asks him not to take the doctor. Gregory says he needs to keep his people’s trust, lest someone get radical ideas and try to stage a coup. Simon asks who would do that. Gregory doesn’t name names — yet — but says he’s planning for the worst-case scenario, as he knows human nature. Simon’s solution: If Gregory finds himself in the midst of those problems, he can come see him at the Sanctuary. He writes down the info for Gregory, and tells him he’ll arrange it so that the guard will let him right in, “as long as there’s no shenanigans afoot.”
“There will be none,” Gregory says, and then tries one more time to keep Dr. Carson. Simon rebukes him, and Gregory backs down, promising not to ask again.
In the cellar, Maggie and Daryl are hiding behind baskets of vegetables, when one of the Saviors comes in and starts poking around. It seems certain he’s going to spot them, and Daryl is about to step out and stab him when Maggie grabs him and tells him not to. They wait through a tense few minutes, and finally the Savior leaves with some fresh goodies. Daryl and Maggie step out, and she confronts Daryl. “Ever since you got here, you haven’t said a word to me,” she says. “Would you look at me? Please?”
He turns to face her, and tears form in his eyes.
Maggie: “Daryl …”
“I’m sorry,” he tells her, crying. “I’m sorry.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” she tells him, but he nods his head and insists it was.
“No, it wasn’t,” she tells him. “You’re one of the good things in this world. That’s what Glenn thought, and he would know, because he was one of the good things, too.
“I wanted to kill that guy, too. I want to string them all up and watch them die,” she continues. “But we have to win. Help me win.”
Daryl nods as Maggie hugs him.
Above ground, Simon and his men make Harlan climb into a truck, and as Gregory and the rest of the community stand there, the Saviors drive off with one of the Hilltop’s most valuable resources.
Thelma and Louise do the apocalypse
Outside the Hilltop, Rosita and Sasha try to find a car to hotwire. The frostiness between them is thawing, especially when Sasha leans over and her necklace falls outside her shirt. The necklace Abraham wore. The one Rosita made for him, which Rosita points out to her. “Like it? I made it,” Rosita says.
They’re testing another car when Sasha — who has tucked that necklace back under her shirt — tries to get to know Rosita a little better, seeing as how they may very well be on their way to certain death. She asks Rosita where she learned how to disarm bombs. “Were you in the army?”
“Someone I knew,” Rosita answers. “Not him… I’m not here to play ‘Get to Know You.’ So either we talk about the mission or we don’t.”
Sasha stomps off, but thinks better of it and returns. She tells Rosita she wants to hide out in a building nearby the Sanctuary, where they can wait to get an open shot at Negan in the courtyard.
Rosita doesn’t like that idea. If they miss, she says, the Saviors will be alerted to their presence, and they won’t get another shot. She thinks they need to try to go inside the Sanctuary, and get close enough to make sure they don’t miss on their first try. Sasha sees that as the second best option, because it’s almost certain to end with their deaths, even if they do kill Negan.
Even though they want the same thing, they’re squabbling.
Finally, they find a car that will get them to the Sanctuary, but it’s inside a fenced-in area rife with walkers. Rosita tosses a lit bottle of gas into the back of another car so the fire distracts the walkers long enough for her and Sasha to hotwire another one. Rosita badasses it out of the yard, driving in reverse as she deftly maneuvers the car, mowing down walkers and fence until she gets the car on the road.
She and Sasha make it to a factory across from the Sanctuary, where they’re scoping out the courtyard for any signs of Negan, using the scope on the rifle. Sasha spots Eugene, and reports that it looks like he’s issuing orders to people inside the Saviors’ home base.
“Playing some angle,” Rosita scoffs. She’s tying knots in a rope, and Sasha asks her to teach her that particular knot. Rosita asks why, when it won’t matter soon. Sasha insists it might, and she picks the skill up quickly when Rosita agrees to show her. As Sasha practices, Rosita uses the scope to see what she can see across the way.
“You know, we got lucky having you with us,” Sasha tells her. “You know how to do everything.”
Rosita sits down near Sasha. “Johnny… that’s who taught me about bombs,” she says. “Survivalist, prepper-type s–t.” She goes on to say men treated her like she was helpless, couldn’t survive on her own, and she hated the fact that they were right. So she started paying attention to the things they knew how to do, like working on cars, tying knots, disarming bombs. “They didn’t even notice I was picking up everything they knew how to do and doing it better,” she tells Sasha. “Then I’d outgrew them, and bounce.
“Sex was just for fun,” she continues. “I mean, the world’s over… everyone should be getting their rocks off.”
Sasha asks if that’s how it was with “him.”
“No, I fell in with him because he saw I could handle my s–t, and I never looked back,” Rosita says. “Well, no, I did… when it was over. You know the thing that killed me? When we got to Alexandria, I was acting like it was all good, ‘cuz he wasn’t. Then the son of a b—h was actually all good. And I couldn’t figure this one out: living there, feeling like we’d made it, I couldn’t pick that one up. Then when he bounced, I thought I hated you. Maybe I just hated that you figured out his s–t first.
“I’ve never told anyone any of that stuff, who I was, what I did.”
Sasha: “I’m glad… that you thought I… you could.”
“It was so stupid to waste so much time,” Rosita says. “I never got to tell Abraham I was happy he was happy. Were you happy?”
Sasha says she was.
Rosita: “It wasn’t his time.”
“Abraham would have wanted to go out fighting,” Sasha says. “And that a–hole with the bat took that away, too. Took him out with no point to going out.”
Both women are crying as Sasha adds, “I guess we all want that … No matter how it all goes down, I got your back.”
“And I’ve got yours,” Rosita assures her.
Sasha is scoping out the Sanctuary courtyard again, and she sees trucks pull in. She also notes that they’ve got Dr. Carson, Maggie’s doctor, with them, just as Negan walks outdoors. Sasha aims the rifle, waiting for the perfect shot, but between Eugene and Carson being too close and the fact that Negan is surrounded by Saviors, she doesn’t have a clear, open chance to shoot him.
As Negan, Carson, and the Saviors head indoors, Sasha and Rosita hear Eugene, who refers to himself as “Dr. Eugene Porter, chief engineer” and “Negan,” on the walkie-talkie order any Saviors in the area to bring back walkers, as per Negan’s demands. Negan himself will be “indisposed in the boudoir,” according to Eugene, who signs off the transmission as “Dr. Eugene Porter, chief engineer, also known as Negan, who I am.”
Now Sasha and Rosita agree, they have to get inside the Sanctuary to get at Negan.
“Did you just threaten me?”
Back at the Hilltop, a suddenly confident Gregory calls Jesus into his office and tells him his new friends need to take jobs, because there will be “no more free rides on the teat.” Gregory, of course, doesn’t consider Maggie and Sasha saving the lives of the community during the Saviors attack in “Go Getters,” or training them now to defend themselves, as work or repayment for their stay at the Hilltop. He only sees it as a threat to his tenuous position. He also tells Jesus they can’t stay in his trailer anymore. Too many people, too big a fire hazard, he claims. He says there are rooms inside Barrington House where they can stay.
Jesus calls Gregory on his nonsense, though, telling him he allowed the Saviors to take Dr. Carson. He’s surprised Gregory didn’t kneel, again. “You must really be worried if you’re trying to split everyone up,” Jesus says.
“You shouldn’t talk to me like that,” Gregory says, laughing. “Who knows what might happen with all these Saviors coming around?”
Jesus: “Did you just threaten me?”
Gregory says he was just being sarcastic, but Jesus insists it was a threat.
Gregory: “Think what you want. What I was saying was I look out for my friends, and I realized we’re not friends.”
Gregory dismisses Jesus, thinking his little chat with Simon, and Simon’s invitation to come to him at the Sanctuary, gives him some new power. Gregory, sadly, and maybe tragically, ultimately, for him, is too lame to realize that he does have some new power; but instead of using it to threaten one of his own people, he could be using it as an opportunity to help Jesus, Rick, Maggie, and all the others who want to stop the Saviors, do that very thing. Simon told him as much, when he warned him he could come to the Sanctuary as long as he came with no shenanigans afoot. There could and should be shenanigans planned, but again, Gregory’s too terrified and selfish to see that opportunity.
When Jesus leaves Gregory’s office, he runs into Daryl, who’s carrying his bow, and asks where Sasha and Rosita are.
Who is that bow-ed man?
And back at the Sanctuary, it’s dark, and Eugene — complete with Grimblygunk in his coat pocket — is with a Savior who says he’s the new guard. They walk towards the walker pit fences, and the new guy says, with no offense to that last guy — who, presumably, is Fat Joey (R.I.P.) — but he “could hardly handle a gun.” The second those words leave New Guard’s mouth, he’s shot in the head by Sasha.
New Guard (R.I.P.) falls to the ground, and Eugene ducks. Rosita and Sasha come up to him right outside the fence and say they’re there to break him out. He refuses! “I didn’t ask you to come, so go!” he says, and walks back inside the building.
“That big, lying sack of s–t,” Rosita says, and decides she’s going inside. Sasha tells her to hang on a minute, to keep watch for any Saviors, while she gets inside the fence first. Rosita does, and while her back is turned, Sasha gets inside, and then clamps the fence closed again, blocking Rosita.
Rosita turns around to see her do it. “What the hell are you doing?” she yells.
Sasha: “Go! It’s not your time. There’s gotta be a point to it, right? They need you.” She smiles at Rosita, then runs toward the door to get inside the Sanctuary. A Savior runs out and she shoots him as she goes in.
Rosita angrily kicks at the fence, shakes the fence, but when others start coming outside to investigate, she takes off. She runs away, crying, and stops for a minute when she’s out of the immediate view of the courtyard. She looks up and stops crying, spotting what appears to be a familiar figure, holding a bow, not very far away from her. Is it Daryl? Or someone who wishes he was?
* The Savior who was poking around in the cellar really does not like word abbreviations. When Enid offers him a basket of veggies to try to prevent him from going into the place Daryl and Maggie were hiding, he corrects her. “Stop! They’re ‘vegetables,’” he says. “Use the whole word. We have time.” Get the feeling that “veggies” and similar shortened words are the personal pet peeve of one of TWD writers?
* Not a knot expert, but it appears Rosita taught Sasha to tie the alpine butterfly kno … any knot know-how-ers who can confirm that?
* Eugene-ism: When he’s talking to New Guard (R.I.P.), he tells him he needs to step up his game with the new safety protocols, making sure they’re of the “don’t mess with Texas” variety.
* What’s your vote: Is that Daryl or Dwight standing there with that bow?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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